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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
beginner archer here, with a takedown recurve (southwest tigershark pro) 40# draw weight, looking to get the bow setup for hunting deer in california.

currently I shoot carbon express predator ii - 2040 / 600 spine, ~7gpi, 30" long, with 125 grain field points for practicing. so the arrow is under 350 grains. it's got 3" parabolic feathers. I use fast flight flemish twist string.

but even with this light weight arrow, with my 40# takedown bow, shooting over 15 yards seems very slow (but I have nothing to compare it to). it almost feels like at 20 yards, I could catch the arrow if the same arrow and setup was shot at me. at 10-15 yards, it seems fast enough.

reading through some threads re: arrow weight for hunting, I was wondering if I'm setup appropriately to hunt deer in california if I swap out my field point for same weight 125 grain broadhead.

is 350 grain arrow with 40# recurve too light for blacktail buck weighing on average 150-200 lbs? my max range would be 20 yards.

should I be setting up my arrow for more weight? or is the arrow setup good enough assuming I'm accurate? I never shot into anything (flesh) except hay bales and foam/bag targets, so I have no idea how penetration would be like. all I experience from shooting is that my arrow flight despite its light weight seems slow.

would appreciate any feedback, suggestions, advice, etc-
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
another bit of relevant info- my bow is setup at 7 5/8" brace height, lowest recommend by manufacturer
 

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I shoot 28” draw, 40# with a 125grn Magnus Stingers with full length arrows for a total arrow weight of 510grn. Traditional hunters generally shoot heavy arrows.
As far as slow it depends on what you are comparing to. But if yours are that slow with that light of an arrow you got something else going on.
 

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One of the bows I shoot is a 40 pound limbed recurve that I pull to 44 pounds at my DL. The bow is a Southwest Archery Spyder, virtually the same bow you have. Just the limb attachment system is different.

I have three arrows that work for this bow, a Fleetwood carbon 400 at 31 inches with a 125 grain tip that weighs 415 grains, a Gold Tip carbon 500 spine at 32 inches with a 125 grain tip that weighs 460 grains and a Easton aluminum 1916 arrow, 30 inches long, with a 125 grain tip that weigh 485 grains. All of these arrows are full length and all have tuned up well with a two blade Magnus Stinger broadhead or Muzzy three blade head.

Divide the weight you are pulling into the finished arrow weight, to determine what your weight per pound of draw weight is. Most people wanted to get as close to 10 grains per pound of hunting weight as possible.

My 44 pound recurve is shot of a flipper rest with a dacron string and gets between 153 and 160 FPS depending on which arrow I am shooting. I would play around with your brace height a little as is it sounds a little short. If you want to increase your speed a little bit you can shoot a fast flight string on our bow.

My other recurve is a Galaxy Sage Elite with a 45 pound limb that I pull to 48 pounds. With the 460 grain GT 500 carbon traditional arrow I am shooting 163 FPS out of that bow. On this bow I am shooting a fast flight string off a flipper rest.

Neither bow is fast, kind of in the middle of the pack. What is more important is that each bow is quiet and the arrows are flying straight and hitting the target square. Both of these bows are slow, compared to my compound which is shooting 284 FPS with hunting arrows.

I would determine a few things- what is my DL and is it consistent, would a fast flight string help, and is my brace height and tip weight correct.

For hunting the lightest broadhead I will use is 125 grains. If I were you I would try a full length 32 inch, GT 500 spine carbon arrow with a 125 grain head. This is my favorite arrow weighing in at just over 460 grains. That puts me at over 9 grains per pound of hunting weight with either my 44 or 48 pound recurve. At shots at 25 yards and under its got enough weight and speed to use on deer. Pick a good broadhead, wait for a good shot and pick a spot.
 

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Call 3 rivers archery and talk to a recurve expert or consultant. Its free. Just them them your specs and they will get you on the right track. The GT trad carbons I mentioned have five inch shield cut feathers, to handle pretty much whatever broadhead you want to use. My two favorites are the 125 grain Magnus Stinger two blade and the standard old school three blade, 125 grain Muzzy.
 

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Maybe you should buy a cheap chronograph. You should be around 170-200 fps which shouldn't seem slow unless your expecting it to be as fast as a compound bow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for the responses-


I am using fast flight flemish twist strings 58". originally I set the brace height to recommended max, at 8 1/2". but after couple of months, the same string needed to be twisted/shortened to maintain the brace height. now, the strings have stretched to a point where I can only use recommended minimum, at 7 5/8, with a lot of twists. any more twists (in order to increase brace height) and it starts to kink. to remedy this I bought a 57" fast flight flemish twist strings, but now brace height is at 9" with basically 10 twists on the string. I'm hoping/waiting for this new string to stretch out so I can at return my brace height to a quieter 8 1/2".

I'm pulling 26 1/2 to 27 1/2"- and arrows fly straight, most of the time. my draw length isn't completely fixed, as I'm still working to find the sweet spot. right now I'm playing around with straight and slight bend in the bow hand elbow.

my glove release isn't always consistent especially when humidity is high. but I'm starting to see what a good shot feels and looks like, and know what my mistakes are.

never knew about weight per pound of draw weight- it's making me realize that I need to be okay with heavier arrows.

it's great to hear everyone's setup with a similar bow. my arrow seems pretty light then for hunting big game.

I do have a feeling that I'm expecting it to be at fast as a compound bow (I've never seen a compound bow or another recurve shot).

To be honest, I didn't even think about the speed until today, when I walked out to my outdoor target practice area with bow and arrows in hand, when I saw my dog sit and stare off- only for me to see a big mature buck on my mountain property maybe around 10 yards away, looking straight at my dog. seconds later my dog chased it and I started practicing. but after having seen a large animal with quick reflexes, I started to question if my arrows were too slow. it seemed slow, after this event. I was thinking that if I can avoid it, a wild animal definitely can. but of course this is assuming I am (or the animal is) looking at the arrow before it's been shot and ready to dodge.

I do have trad only carbon arrows that are 8gpi, and tested them with various weights from 125gr to 225. and they definitely don't fly nearly as flat out of the same bow compared to 7gpi carbon express predator arrows. I might be attached to the flatter trajectory with lighter setup because I feel like I'm more accurate with it with my limited experience.

anyhow, it does seem like I have some room to increase tip weight by 30-50 grains at least. I was just hoping that I'd be able to use same arrows with same tip weight (and just swap the field point for hex or broadhead) for small game and big game, using the same trajectory I've been familiarizing myself with.
 

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For every inch of draw length you are short of 28 inches, you are losing 2 to 2.5 pounds of draw weight, so a bow marked as having a 40 pound DW isn't 40 pounds unless you are drawing to 28 inches. If you draw past 28 inches you will gain 2 to 2.5 pounds of DW.

Determine your exact draw weight by using a draw check arrow. Also have your bows limbs weighed at full draw. This can be done at the archery shop. I think these figures have to be known so you can find the right arrow to achieve the best results.

It is possible that your bow does not scale out right at 40 pounds. My SWA spyder limbs scale out right on the nose at 35 40 and 45 pounds. With my draw length at 29.5 these limbs are actually shooting 38, 44 and 48 pounds.

Divide the bows draw weight to your finished arrow weight and you will get the figure for grains per pound of hunting weight. For hunting, the closer you are to 10 grains per pound the better. However, arrow flight also plays a huge role here.

Arrows need to be flying straight and hitting the target square. I would rather use a arrow that is a little under at 8 grains per pound, that is flying well, than use something that has the weight behind it but is flying like garbage. Arrow flight needs to be spot on for best your best penetration. What ever that number is, based on arrow flight is what I would use.

I get the best arrow flight at 44 and 48 pounds using the GT 500 spine trad carbons, full length at 32 inches with a 125 grain tip or broadhead. This arrow weighs 8.6 grains per inch, giving me a finished arrow weight of 460.20 grains. I get good penetration using two and there blade broadheads, my favorite being the two blade stinger and the three blade standard muzzy, both in 125 grain.
 

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Maybe you should buy a cheap chronograph. You should be around 170-200 fps which shouldn't seem slow unless your expecting it to be as fast as a compound bow.
A 40# at 170-200, even with a light arrow that would be a mighty fast shooting bow.
 

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This is a little off topic the bow weight jarred my memory. Last year while hunting I met a guy named Chris. He seemed familiar then I realized he wrote a story I had read in a magazine. It was about shooting a bow with his teeth when he broke his collar bone. He was eventually successful in late season 40 lb bow. I love the determination.
 

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Don't obsess about the speed of the arrow.
Xx75 2016 or gamegetter 500 full length with a 145 grain fixed broadhead.
Ya know, I was thinking the same thing or perhaps a 1916. I started with a package 40# sage and 1916's. I think they came in at just under 500 grains and they shot like darts. I don't shoot alluminums any longer and I spend a significant amount of time wondering why while I am gluing heavy inserts into carbon to get heavy arrows. I can probably tune every bow I have with either a 1916 or 2016 arrow. I think a 1916 or a 2016 with a 150 grain head would be very good pace to start especially if you are hunting.
 

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A 40# at 170-200, even with a light arrow that would be a mighty fast shooting bow.
I agree. A common yet adequate 40 # hunting setup like yours with a good hunting weight arrow is probaly moving along at 145-157fps . I wouldn't overthink that. If you came from the compound world that does sound like your throwing a spear.:p Just put it out of your mind for now.
 

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Lets see... he's shooting 40# and the arrow weighs 350 grains which is 8.75 grains per pound and he's hunting deer, not elk, moose or grizzly's, right?

I'm curious... in what decade did an 8.75 grain per pound arrow become a light arrow?
 

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what is your draw length, honest draw length? we've analyzed the rest of it.
If you re near 28" and bow is 40# at 28" 2) and your arrows are 8 GPP (grains per pound) or more, and 3) your 2-blade broadhead is sharp sharp SHARP and 4) FLIGHT IS GOOD & 5 )you can hit a spot at 18 steps with most of your FIRST SHOTs....groups do not matter here, since you don't shoot groups at a deer..........you are good / golden.
Welcome to the forum.
 

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With some manufacturers, shooting a bow at under 8 grains per pound will void the warranty. Arrow weight divided by bow poundage.

You say nothing about your draw length that I've seen. That's a pretty big part of the equation.

We don't know what you know about tuning. 'www.fenderarchery.com/blogs/archery-info/basic-tuning' is the bible, especially the broadhead tuning at the end. When it comes to penetration your better off with a dull broadhead than an untuned arrow. Don't shoot either!!!

If you're tuned and you add weight to the tip to get your grains per pound up, you won't be tuned.

At 40 pound you have plenty for deer. I've killed a moose with 39 pounds, but my arrow was 15 gpp AND tuned perfectly. Not tuned by paper, but verified by paper.

All that said, our season in WI opens next Saturday. If yours is somewhat the same, you don't have time to change. Go with what you have, it doesn't take perfect!

Bowmania
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm still relatively pretty new to this- never shot any kind of bow until less than a year ago, and I've probably so far put in a little over 100 hours practicing. so I'm still playing around with different forms (bow arm elbow bent vs straight, anchor point), so right now my draw length is either 26 1/2 or 27 1/2. so looks like I'm pulling on average 38# or so with my 40# bow. I've been looking for 45# limbs for my bow but unfortunately I'm having hard time finding #45 limbs (no inventory from manufacturer).

I'm aware of the basics of tuning (like decreasing arrow length to make it stiff and add more weight in front to make it weak, check stiffness of arrows by their flight leaning left or right), but I haven't bare shaft tuned or paper tuned. all I've done is really play around with 3 different types of arrows: carbon express predator ii 600s, Easton gamegetters 2016s and traditional only carbon 500s (testing w/ 125gr to 225gr tips).

california archery-only deer season started last month (august 15th), and general season was last week (September 6th). I've got my deer tag but I really wasn't expecting to feel confident this year enough to shoot at a deer and take a chance at possibly missing or wounding. getting the deer tag was just in case I got good, and also partly for motivation/reminder to keep practicing and not let myself allow random flyers, and take that first shot of the day seriously.

but you guys are making me get excited about getting my arrows perfectly tuned. I'm also relieved to hear that current setup for the most part (assuming I'm not doing anything terribly wrong in terms of my draw/release) is good enough re: power & speed.

I just ordered some 125 grain grizzly glue-in broadheads with some adapters (35 grains). my field point with 125 grains would be 9.2 grains per pound, and w/ 160 grain broadhead would be 10.1 grains per pound.

thanks for the welcome and patiently explaining to a newbie- I'm sure you guys have all repeated this numerous times~
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I was a little curious, but also didn't want to buy a chronograph. but still I wanted to see if I'm doing something terribly wrong or just have unrealistic speed standards/expectation for my setup. so I shot about 60 arrows just now, recorded the sound then found out the time interval between bow string slap and target impact. they ranged from 0.40 seconds to 0.45 at 20 yards. my mode (the value with most occurrence) was 0.42. so that comes out to be 143 ft/sec. from what everyone's shared here, sounds like that's within the normal range for my 38 pound draw w/ 9.2 gpp arrows
 

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That sure doesn’t sound like a very good or reliable way of getting close to an accurate speed. You can get a chrony for around 100.00. I can’t see how any archer could not have one.
 

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I have no need of a coronagraph. I can understand if you want to do some indepth study. It just isn't useful for me.
 
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