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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I've been shooting a 50# @28 Martin Savannah for a little over a year. I draw exactly 28 inches. I would say I now shoot it comfortably. However, at a nearby property I get chances to shoot large animals (eland, elk and even some feral fighting bulls). I have been thinking about shooting a heavier bow. My gut tells me anything over 60# would be damn near impossible to control. So I am thinking about getting either a 55# or a 60# bow.

Ideally I would like to shoot 60#. However does anyone recommend moving up only 5 lbs to 55 @28? My fear is the 55# would not be enough of a difference for the bigger game.

The other thing is I want to purchase a nicer bow, perhaps a Toelke or Black Widow, and would eventually want to use the newer bow almost exclusively. Is 60 lbs too much weight to have as a regular shooter? I am 39 years old and 5' 11.

Thanks for your input.
 

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People will tell you 50 pounds is enough and probably more accurate, which is pretty much true. However if you dedicate yourself and practice regularly, 60 pounds and even more are doable. Need to shoot at least 2 to 3 times a week and not let your form suffer while practicing.
 

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Keep in mind that you won't get any younger and years of shooting heavy weight can destroy shoulders later in life. I shot 67# in my 20's on a Chekmate recurve. I also had a set of 54# limbs. I killed a cow elk with a different 54# recurve with a dacron string. I have since had 2 shoulder surgeries related to archery & I'm only 48.

Fred Eichler uses 54/55#. I plan on hunting elk this year up here in Idaho with a 52# warf at my 30.5" draw and a 550gr arrow.

55# is a 5 lbs jump in weight. Maximize the efficiency of your new equipment and it will shoot as hard and fast as some 60-65# bows.
 

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If you want more power Id suggest buying a bow that is more efficient or stores a bit more energy rather than moving up in weight.
I dont mean you need a super curve, but there are plenty of bows with more zip than that Savanah. A Toelke Chinook comes to mind.
 

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That number written on your bow doesn't mean much. What matters is an arrow of decent weight going at a decent speed. Lots of 50# bows do that in spades. I personally think it's enough for all of what you mentioned, the bigger stuff would be well suited by a strong two bladed broadhead.

My idea of decent would be 550 gr. at 170 fps or better.

Just listened to a podcast of a guy who could shoot 70 pound bows easily, he shoots just over 55# and blows through everything and he shoots more animals in a year than I will the rest of my life. He also said 50# would do the trick.

Going up 5# is a big jump past 45# too, save those shoulders for the other things in life.
 

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I think 50# with the right arrow and broad head would do anything a 60# can. Getting older has given me an appreciation for health and wish I was more conservative on stresses I put on my body in years past.
 

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To answer your question, 5# is a good jump up. Furthermore just shooting the bow isn’t enough. You need to do strength training to build the muscles around those used to pull the bow. IMO just shooting the bow and using those muscles only are biggest reason guys have issues later in life. I will be 76 in August, still shooting my 55# Lb but because I have slacked off it’s getting harder. Now I have heard the “45# bow can kill anything” argument for years now and under most circumstances it’s probably true but I like some insurance especially if you PO some fighting bull.
 

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The Martin Savannah is a very efficient longbow, Larry Hatfield, who I believe designed it, set several world flight (distance) records with it. I would consider keeping yours forever. In my experience very few men shoot more than 50 pounds really well, and not many do with 50. Many can shoot a few arrows a day and week well with it. Fatigue becomes cumulative and form degrades. So most I have seen shoot that much weight or more short draw it. A 50 pound bow mastered may well out power a 60 pound one shot poorly.

A mountain of elk have been taken cleanly with 50 pounds and less; they are tall but only 18" thick.

You are in your prime and could easily build the muscle mass and strength over several months to shoot heavier bows a moderate number of times. Use a strong draw and a solid anchor. I could shoot 70 pounds very well in my 50s, and enjoyed it. But not as a regular matter. For a chance at the big ones train with the big bow for several weeks - not too many arrows. Maintain a full pull and good form. Then back to a daily shooter of 50 pounds or less.

I actually think this sort of routine with good form can be protective of shoulders. We hurt them during other kinds of rough and tumble, and can rehab them with 30 and 35 pound bows.- lbg
 

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I think Larry used the Venom for flight shooting. But maybe he used a Savanah before that, I dont know.
 

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I've killed moose with a 50 pound long bow and a heavy arrow. Also with a SR at 39 and a heavy arrow. Lighter might have worked, but I'm not going to find out.

Bowmania
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all of your replies. I will not go against the collective wisdom so 60# is now out of the question.

The Martin Savannah is a very efficient longbow, Larry Hatfield, who I believe designed it, set several world flight (distance) records with it. I would consider keeping yours forever.
Thanks for the endorsement on the Savannah. Perhaps I just got caught up in the hype of wanting a nicer bow... That is the only bow I've ever shot and I have no complaints on it. It actually seems to shoot quite fast. However I find that I am susceptible to moving the bow arm and shooting the sporadic errant arrow. My newbie reasoning just being that if perhaps the riser is a little heavier, that can help with less movement on the shot or less stray arrows. I was thinking about getting perhaps a Toelke Whip 10X or a Black Widow PL Longbow. After all these responses, I think 55# is as high as I'd go, and maybe even just increase to 53#, so that it can really become my go-to shooting bow.
 

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A bow quiver will help add weight to your riser if you don't already have one. That would be much cheaper than a new bow anyway. It will also cause the riser to lean to one side after the shot, but a lot of people, myself included, don't mind the trade-off.
 

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Actually, shooting a low mass longbow is the way to train your bow arm to keep still. But if you want to add some mass for a while you could get a weighted glove or a wrist band.

Can someone verify whether Larry made his records with the Savannah or the Venom, and whether he designed it? - lbg
 

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A couple of years ago I shot a 55# Border Cover Hunter ith Hex 7.5 limbs. It pushed a 580 grain aluminum arrow at 188 fps. But I had to shoot it three days a week. Newer Hex 9 will do even better. Black Widdows have a strong following but are not really good so far as perforance and efficiency. 5# makes a diference, 10# would really be an improvement i you can handle it. 60# with a 700 grain arrow would give you a lot of momentum for hunting
Is there anyone near you that has such a heavier bow that you can try and shoot?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you all for your kind responses. It's so much easier to read your opinions than trying to navigate all the info out there.
If I stayed at 50# but wanted a heavier setup/ better broadhead, what's an easy way to go about it?

I am sorry to ask such a basic question, but a simple recommendation will do. Right now I shoot carbon arrows 400 spine. I use a standard 100 grain 3-blade broadhead. I've hit a whitetail and axis deer, both complete passthroughs.

I arrived to the current arrows because I had some fat aluminum arrows lying around and they flew horribly. I also tried some 340 spine and although better, they were still bad. Finally purchased the 400 and they seemed to fly straight and fast. I haven't messed with that setup for a year. Although this year probably coincides with my form getting much better.

The arrows themselves seem thinner than traditional wood or even aluminum arrows. To increase weight should I move to wooden arrows? I have some wooden arrows that are noticeably fatter and heavier than the carbon and they seem to fly straight as well, although a little slower than my carbon arrows. Unfortunately, I don't know the specs on the arrows, someone just gifted them to me. I've never shot those wooden arrows at game, though. Are those enough?

Can someone recommend a combo of arrow and broadhead that will have a better penetration on bigger game?
 

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FWIW I shoot 55lbs (Black Hunter) only to shoot my 50lb (Pharoh II) better. I have 60lbs (Black Hunter also), to be able to shoot my 55lb well.

I'm primarily focused on the former practice pair, because I know that with 50lb and a well tuned arrow, with great front-of-center, there's just about nothing it can't stop. My upper ceiling are the giant wild boar where I am, which are pretty tough. A 60lb with an even slightly untuned arrow (and/or bad form!) would not do nearly the needed damage my 50lb can and does.

On my 50lb, I shoot 340 spine, with 300gn on the end. My tuning is 'bare shaft' first, and then through paper (paper tuning, looking at tear patterns).

Another poster above also said it well, so I don't need to intro it here: go to the gym if you can, and work on bulletproofing your shoulders. If you can't do that, then do planks and press ups at home, every night. You will be amazed at the stability and injury proofing this brings.

I'm older than you, and look forward to shooting 70lbs, just for fun. But I would never even begin pulling such a weight without strong shoulders and back, and great form.
 

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Just a fun fact, 45# @ 29” shoots a 10ggp arrow the same as 55# @ 28”. (Same bow design) some exceptions apply.

So you could drop 5 pounds in draw weight and (maybe) gain one inch in draw length (less shoulder compression). This is the same as adding 10# of draw weight at 28”.

Something to think about..............
 

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No shame is wanting a new bow. Lots of us here go through different bows.
Keep an eye out for something used in 55# and give it a try. If it is not for you, you can sell it with minimal loss. Not so, in buying new.
For most guys it is hard to find someone near them that has one to try. But it never hurts to put out a post or two to see.
 

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1. If your Savanah has the acacia tree logo, it is one of Larry's design and is as efficient as any custom hybrid longbow if not better than some.
2. If you want to get #5 up you will need a new bow and just shoot the new bow until you are as good with it as you were with Savanah.
3. If you go for #10 up you will need time and most of the shooters will not be as proficient with it as they were with the #50 bow.
Pick your poison. I would go for a #55 and get to the #50 accuracy level during the summer.
 
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