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best heavy longbow?

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Old 09-19-2005, 05:01 PM
  #11  
LBR
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Art can tell you about shoulder damage better than I can--he's living proof. I tore my rotator cuff a few years ago (at work, not shooting a bow) and it kinda worried me. I don't have any problems right now, but I may later on. I severly sprained my ankle back in '88, and now arthritus is setting in and has me in a brace. Enough wear, tear, and time and it will catch up to you. I think Howard Hill was shooting 65-70# well into his later years, but he was an exception. Some folks just have the genetics, but most don't. Ron LeClair has spoken of paying for shooting super heavy bows back in his younger days, and Traditional Bowhunter Magazine had an article on it some years ago.

Sometimes we just have to let those less than ideal shots pass and hope for a better one. It's just part of hunting with a bow. The way I see it, I rather do that than take the chance of shortening my bowhunting days.

Chad
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Old 09-21-2005, 06:26 AM
  #12  
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Dkeener, I know there's people that blame the heavy bows on shoulder injury but in my experience (35 yrs.) I've seen just as many shoulder problems with 45 & 50# shooters. I'm a 150# 51 yr. old and my son is 130# 27 yr. old and we both shoot 80# all the time. This is even in tournaments. My average score this year at 3d shoots from the compound hunter stakes was 238. 4 yrs. ago I tore a rotator in my shoulder pulling down a treestand. in January. I killed my buck that year with my 80# longbow. You just have to keep after it. There's been massive amounts written on the proper exercise to shoot big stuff but I've found the bset to be just shooting regular. The lighter bow shooters seem to put them away quicker and get them out later than the heavy bow guys. I shoot year round. So to answer your question, to me the best Heavy Longbow I've ever seen shot is still the HH. My son's Wesley Special shoots 825 gr. arrows like darts and I've never seen a reflex/deflex hybrid shoot a heavy arrow anywhere near the way his HH does.
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Old 09-21-2005, 07:34 AM
  #13  
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I shot those 120 pounders year round too. I'd have been a lot better off if I'd stayed at 80. That would have been light for me back then. At this point, if I can pull a bow that's poundage is higher than my age, I'm happy.

Longbowman raises a point I definitely agree with about the HH bows. They've got heavy, deep core limbs and heavy limbs like that are best suited to shoot a lot of arrow weight. Reflex/deflex bows can't match them in that category.
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Old 09-21-2005, 09:54 AM
  #14  
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OK, I need some explaining done here. I'm not doubting anyone's experience--I know Art has probably forgotten more about archery than I'll find out in the next 20 years--but I can't understand where a Hill or Hill style bow will shoot a heavy arrow faster. I've shot several--including Bob Wesley's personal Wesley Special--with heavy arrows and lighter ones, and they can't hold a candle to my bow or most other deflex/reflex designsfor speed. One was a Harrison Hill style, and it shoot like every other Hill or Hill style I've shot--smooth draw, super quiet, pretty good thump on release (handshock), and comparably slow--enough difference in speed that I didn't need a chronograph to see it, so we're not talking 5-10 fps.

Shooting just a hair under 10 grains per lb, I'm averaging 187 fps with my longbow--that's real-world speed, with silencers, hunting string, shooting with a glove, etc.--not a stripped down string shot from a shooting machine.

I'm not trying to push my favorite brand here--you can't get it in a 100# bow anyhow--I'm just curious to know what changes when you put a heavier arrow on a Hill bow. I'm not saying speed is the be-all-end-all either. If it was, we'd be shooting compounds or rifles. This is just something I see comeup from time to time, but have yet had anyone makes any sense of it.

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Old 09-21-2005, 12:21 PM
  #15  
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Maybe I didn't say it the way I meant, Chad. You're right, of course, that the pre-stressed limb design on a quality reflex/deflex bow will shoot any arrow faster than the same quality Hill style bow, assuming same draw weight and draw length. It's probably more correct to say a Hill style bow is more efficient with heavy arrows - over 11 grains per pound or so - than a reflex/deflex is.... not to mention a proportionally heavier arrow really helps out with that thump in the hand. It helps change it from a tooth-rattling "Oh my God" to more of a "Hmmm."

Another part of taming handshock is that takes a bit more effort to find that sweet spot when adjusting brace height on a Hill style bow, and their magic brace height is usually lower than for a r/d longbow. Less shock means more of the bow's energy is going into the arrow than into your hand. Lower brace height means a longer power stroke, which also puts more energy into the arrow. More energy = more speed.

Tuned correctly, the few Wesley Specials I've shot were no slouch in the speed department. At the same time, I've shot some r/d longbows that were pure dogs when it came to putting an arrow downrange.
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Old 09-21-2005, 12:54 PM
  #16  
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Sorry Chad,

However I've taken my 800+ grain arrows to the ETAR and shot them out of every heavy bow they had and nobodys bow, regardless of price, came close to the HH bows for speed with them. I don't even own a Hill bow. I shoot what I call the reflex/deflex hybrid type longbow with the near recurve style grip and it makes an honest effort but is visibly slower than my sons HH. I have to shoot my 78# recurve to match his speed and cast.
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Old 09-21-2005, 01:30 PM
  #17  
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Good stuff about the bows guys, thanks.

Sorry to hear about your shoulders, Arthur. Nice to hear that you can still shoot though. What kind of arthritis do you have, specifically is it osteoarthritis (OA)? If so, it couldbe bow related (I am not trying to pry here, but it does matter and as a physician who has read thousands of shoulder x-rays and MRI's I am trying to determine if it is related to shooting a heavy bow). OA certainly can be caused by overuse syndromes, especially if you are shooting heavy poundage continually like apparently you were. Even so, that doesn't mean that you will develop OA. Often times it takes a combination of individual genetics (bad genetics in this case) combined with prior injury that causes joint injury and secondary joint incongruity/laxity. I have not seen any of the discussions/articles mentioned above about shoulder disease in archers but I would certainly be interested in them. Interestingly, the stress applied to the right vs left shoulder is different when shooting. Arthur, is your arthritis equally as bad in the left as the right shoulder? My intuition tells me that the pulling shoulder should be worse, if it is OA. This discussion prompted me to xray my own shoulders as I have been doing a heavy workout for 19 years. Fortunately, no signs of arthritis yet.
Other arthritis (Rheumatoid, gout, psoriatic, etc.) is not related to overuse.



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Old 09-21-2005, 01:54 PM
  #18  
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It's OA, Doc. The right shoulder, my pulling shoulder, is definitely worse, but it sounds like I've got gravel in both of 'em. I do have terrible genetics and taking the pounding from being a college basketball player didn't help matters much. It's really bad in my back and knees too. Fortunately, with 16 hours of A and P with a goodly bit of exercise science/kinesiology on my college transcript, I can do most of my own PT.

If it weren't for that, along with naprosyn and glucosamine/chondroitin tablets, I'd probably fall apart.
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Old 09-21-2005, 02:17 PM
  #19  
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You may want to get that "gravel in your shoulder" checked out if you haven't already. If in fact you do have "gravel", or loose bodies as we call them, floating around inyour jointthey will grind your remaining cartilage away at a rapid speed. Another cause of OA is a disorder called synovial chondromatosis, which produces loose bodies that detach from the synovium and can cause a secondary OA. This is rarer than loose bodies that are a consequence of pre existing OA though. Loose bodies from any cause are bad. At any rate, it sounds like your Doc has got you pretty well covered based on your meds, and is probably aware of your situation.
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Old 09-21-2005, 04:34 PM
  #20  
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I'm still not getting it. Art, are you saying that aHH bow with heavy arrows is more efficient than abow with light arrows? That I can understand if you factor in the momentum/ke/whatever you are getting. Every bow and design seems to have a point where you get the best transfer of energy with a given arrow weight.

Longbowman, have you got any chrony numbers? My experience has been just the opposite. Not saying the Hill and Hill style bows were dogs (and I have shot some deflex/reflex bows, even some recurves, that were slow), but compared to a well made deflex/reflex they can't hang for speed. I hope to do some more investigating soon--I've got an [email protected] deflex/reflex on order, and plan on using arrows that finish out between 800 and 1,000 grains on it. I have a chrony, and will see what it will do.

I'm not downing Hill or Hill style bows, or anyone that shoots them. They have taken their share of game over the years. My experience has just been a fast bow is a fast bow, regardless of arrow weight, and the same with slower bows.

I know that the shooter makes a difference, but just recently a deflex/reflex longbow (Martin Vision) set a new World Record in flight distance. O.L. Adcocks's bows, also deflex/reflex, set several records also.

Now I'm even more anxious to shoot my new bow and arrows! BTW, this bow was ordered for a special hunt, and when I get back it will be retired.Don't want to bugger up my shoulders!

Chad
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