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Civil but Disobedient
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In this post I will provide both a quantitative and qualitative assessment of my new Falco Trophy Carbon longbow.

Falco is an Estonian company that specializes in longbows. They also understand competition bows which is one of the reasons they were on my list of candidates. The deciding factor was that I had confidence that the bow would be IFAA standard and that Falco was a more affordable option than others. The total cost was $540 (380 Euros) with shipping.

I chose the Trophy version over the Force because I wanted a more conventional longbow handle. The Force has a recurve like grip and, cost a bit more. Siim of Falco added a couple of customization's to my bow, a bigger riser with a bit of a pistol grip, and two layers of carbon for speed.

The bow is 70 inches long, D shaped when strung, and 35 pounds at 28 inches, which supports my long draw well. I ordered 40 pounds at 31 inches, not to exceed 42. It came out at 41 1/2, which I am happy with. I used 31 inches for my approximate draw since a longbow is narrower than a recurve so my measured draw length would be shorter.

I will be comparing this bow to my $199 Samick SLB that I have been using since I decided to compete in the longbow class. My arrows are 40 to 45 pound full length POC arrows from Wapiti archery. The arrows average about 495 grains with 100 gr points and 5 inch feathers. I am working on getting some lighter arrows made, which I have concluded will be necessary if I really want to get some speed.

I will show some pictures and describe the qualitative bow performance in the next post, adding quantitative bow performance in the final post.
 

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Civil but Disobedient
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Below are pictures of the bow. You can see the semi pistol style grip. The last picture shows me with the bow which will give you an idea of how long it is compared to me at 6'4" (also notice the impressive results of dieting and daily workouts). Don't ask me what the wood is. I let Falco choose since I like to let artisans do what they do best. I asked what they made it out of but they did not tell me. I need to send them another email. If any of you wood guys recognize the wood, let me know.







My immediate impression of the bow is that it shoots straight, in fact, the arrows go where they are suppose to go. I struggled for years with my Samick, having to execute my best form to get the arrows to go straight. I had also gone through three sets of arrows to try to find something that worked. This bow worked out of the box. The only thing stopping me from shooting better was some target acquisition panic issues that I am working through. When I executed my form, the arrow went where it is suppose to go. I am convinced that the Samick was holding me back. Any mistakes with Falco are on me. I am also able to shoot the bow vertically. I had finally conceded that I needed to cant the Samick.
 

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Civil but Disobedient
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Now, I am going to review quantitative measures including:

Draw force curve
Stored energy
First derivative of the draw force curve
Energy stored per weight on the fingers (a measure of the bows ability to store energy)
Speed
Efficiency

I am then going to compare the bow to the performance of my Samick SLB. That will show the improvement that I got in acquiring the new bow. Here is the basic performance data.





Here are the charts showing the comparison to the SLB. It is easier to understand the performance charts above, by comparing to the lower performing Samick bow.





The two bows turn out to be fairly comparable in size and weight. The Falco is a bit heavier at normal draw lengths. The Falco stores considerably more energy.

The second set of curves are the key indicators of the performance differences between the two bows. The Samick required a 30 pound bow to get 40 pounds at my draw length. The Falco required at 35 pound bow to get 41 1/2 at my draw length. The reason why is seem on the smoothness curve where you can see significant stacking with the Samick. The Falco maintains a fairly steady pull, even to longer draw lengths. You can also see where the Falco stores considerably more weight per pounds on the finger, hitting 1.0 at 31 inches.

I will cover speed and efficiency in the next post.
 

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Civil but Disobedient
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The follow is my chrono data.

Falco
493 gr average arrows
153 fps average
72% efficiency

Samick
503 gr average arrows
143 fps average.
54% efficiency

These are both D shaped longbows and my arrows are heavy. I did not get the speed that Falco thought, but I got more than the Samick. I am currently looking for lighter arrows. I have a couple of companies looking into what they can do at my draw length. Falco provide specs for sub 400 gr arrows that would work with my bow, but I do not want my arrow maker to be overseas where replacements could take awhile.

The Falco comes out why ahead in efficiency, in fact, it is in the upper echelon of bows that I have tested. My efficiency numbers will run lower by several percent from results using Hooter Shooters (like Blacky). 72% is a big number for anything I have measured.

So, I am getting arrows that go where my execution dictates. The bow is faster and more efficient that what I was using, but, not quite as fast as I would like it to be. The speed is right on for IBO where I get about 27 yards point on with my high anchor. My lighter, faster arrows will be for NFAA distances. I am very pleased that now I feel I can move forward without questioning whether my equipment is holding me back.
 

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Civil but Disobedient
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great information Hank. I've been communicating with Siim here and there over the past few years, and he's my go-to bowyer for my next longbow.
I did not even mention customer service. Siim is great. He shoots about the same weight and draw as I and provide me some arrow specs that worked for him. They quoted 12 to 13 weeks and I received the bow during week 13 while I was on business travel.
 

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Civil but Disobedient
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Btw

Its 18 degrees here and it's gonna snow

So I do not appreciate you and your shorts :)
This was going to be the subject of another post but I cannot resist.

Today, my hot tub opened for business for the first time this year. I sat it in and let the jets message the knot in my bow arm. And if I need a little more work to get the knot out, my son has his message table setup in our living room and is ready and willing to ply his message therapist skills on me.
 

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markliep
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Great post Hank - would you be o kind as to explain why the Falco doesn't need canting as opposed to the Samick?

Context for me is that one of the main issues stopping me frm going back to more trad bows are short sight windows & the need to cant...so if there are options out there without those charachteristics it'd be great to have the info. Thx - M
 

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Civil but Disobedient
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great post Hank - would you be o kind as to explain why the Falco doesn't need canting as opposed to the Samick?

Context for me is that one of the main issues stopping me frm going back to more trad bows are short sight windows & the need to cant...so if there are options out there without those charachteristics it'd be great to have the info. Thx - M
I am not sure. I think they are cut the same distance off center. I will have to check. If I executed my best form, I could shoot the Samick straight with no cant. I just could not perform consistently at that level and finally decided that I had to cant to keep the arrows from going to the stiff side of the target. The Falco just shot straight with no cant, right out of the box, with no tuning. I shot 40 to 45's and 50 to 55's, and both were good, though the former flew better per my coach. I have not done anything to tune the bow yet other than choose the best of the two arrows that I had. I may get more out of the bow with a bit of tuning.
 

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Pete
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I found the same with my Falco, i went with the Force 66",40lb at my 28", specificaly to shoot ABA 3d and field. Falco's service is second to none and matched with Hilderbrand barrelled woods, tipped with Top Hat 100gr tips, 360 grain total, i was quickly shooting A grade scores, consistantly with a verticle hold.
 

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Congrats on a great looking bow!

How did you calculate efficiency? I am surprised at your efficiency figures since the Falco is faster but also stores much more energy than the Samick. 42 ft.lb vs 36 ft.lb. From your stored energy and arrow speed data, I divide arrow KE by SE and get 63% efficiency for the Samick and 61% for the Falco. Please correct me if I am doing it wrong.
 

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Civil but Disobedient
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'll have to check just to make sure I did not introduce a bug into my program. I am constantly checking since it is so easy to do. I redid the Samick results with some new chrono data and a different draw length. Efficiency from my data depends on what draw length you choose when reading the stored energy chart. I used 31 inches which is what I figure I am with a thin longbow. There is a lot of potential for error (I could have read the chart incorrectly when figuring the potential energy). As an additional comment, it is best to compare across the same tester, rather than trying to compare my numbers to someone like Blacky, who has a different procedure (uses a Hooter Shooter). If you did an error analysis you would probably discover that there is a lot of variance in these type of calculations.
 

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Civil but Disobedient
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am using your own figures for stored energy at 31" and arrow kinetic energy. The Samick actually turns out more efficient based on those data if I am not wrong.
I rechecked and you are correct. Unfortunately, updating the potential energy is one of the tasks that I have not automated. I did not update the Samick data correctly when I redid the chrono numbers and I read potential energy from the adjoining column on the Falco. The actual efficiencies are:

Falco 61%
Samick 56%

This is using the raw data, rather than reading from the graph, for the potential energy.

I can probably fix and edit on Tradtalk but I will have to post an errata on ArcheryTalk where editing is limited for a very short time period.

I am going to recheck everything again before I do any editing. It is late and I want to make sure there are not other issues.
 

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Thanks for the update. Glad to hear the bow worked out for you. I have the chance to test out the Falco Force vintage 2 weeks ago. It's the best shooting longbow for me so far. I shot it better than i shot any of my own bows ILF included. Falco does make a top notch product. From what I know their Trophy model is even more popular model among the top players.
 

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Civil but Disobedient
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
J-archer

Yes, from what I understand, the Force is designed to be a top end target bow with a recurve style grip. The Trophy has a conventional grip, though they offer a pistol option, which is what I think they gave me. They described it as "adding more weight to the riser". I went with the Trophy because I was looking for something different, in feel, than my recurves. It seems that both are commonly used for competition bows. So far, I really like the bow. I will have to see how quickly I come up to speed on it. I have to work through this little target panic issue that I have suddenly gotten (when I started stringwalking again, and shooting an indoor league). I'm not worried. I have beat it before.
 

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Hank,
Two questions for you:
1) did you get your bow with the high gloss finish?
2) what do you use for arrows and where do you get them?

Thanks.

Alan
 

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Civil but Disobedient
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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Hank,
Two questions for you:
1) did you get your bow with the high gloss finish?
2) what do you use for arrows and where do you get them?

Thanks.

Alan
I did not order a special finish. In fact, I asked that they design the bow. I like to let artisans do what they do best. I do not even know what wood they used. I asked, but have not yet gotten an answer. I may need to post a close-up of the riser and have a poll.

I get my arrows fully made from Wapiti Archery. They are full length, tapered, Port Orford Cedar shafts with 5 inch feathers and 100 gr points. The dowels are 32 1/8 inches long. The arrows are heavier than I would like, which is good for the shorter distances. I am going to find something lighter for NFAA where I will be launching missiles.

The setup I am shooting satisfies the "tangent rules" and thus, is NFAA (current rules) and IFAA legal. I will also quality for the longbow division for IBO and most organizations that separate modern longbows from D shaped bows.
 
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