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Just Starting Out... Need Help...

Old 06-11-2008, 09:35 PM
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Default Just Starting Out... Need Help...

Ok as the title suggests, I've decided to pick the bow back up. I used to own a compound bow a good 10 or 12 years ago, as well as a crossbow. I haven't touched a bow since then, until now.

I did a little poking around on the net and liked what I saw when it came to Traditional bows. I'm a huge fan of military history, so when the decision as to what type of Traditional bow came up, I picked the Longbow.

Now, I've gone ahead and picked up some reading material to get me going (it's basically a self-help area that I live in and not too many ranges to shoot at). I also picked up a decent (at least I think so) little Longbow from Ebay, that appears to be of workable quality.

The description from the bow is as follows:

This bow is made from a single piece of tough red oak backed with heavy cloth, this rugged combination produces a bow that is almost unbreakable. It is 72 inches long and pulls around 42 pounds at 28 inches. The handle is wrapped with black tape for a smooth grip. This is a well-tillered fully functional bow with a first bid of only $40. Maximum draw length is 28 inches. [align=left]
[/align][align=left]The bow is ready to shoot and comes with a bowstring, bow stringer, and basic instructions. The bow needs to be oiled before shooting, and once or twice a year after that. Vasolene petroleum jelly works well for this: simply rub it in thoroughly and wipe off. For a more permanent finish, a water based polyurethane works well. Failure to do this will void the warranty.

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[align=left]
[/align][align=left]Now, as much as it says, "Ready to Shoot" I do have a few questions. I noticed right away that unlike most other bows, this one doesn't have the shelf rest/strike plate combination. It's actually completely smooth along the sides leaving no apparent place for that.
[/align]
[align=left]Here's a picture:[/align]
[align=left](Picture is too large, try the link) http://www.woodbows.com/ebay/1l.jpg[/align]
[align=left]Anyway, is this something I need to absolutely invest in? I'm right now trying to perfect the form on a stationary target. I'm not looking to be a pro right away, or hunt right off the bat. I just want to make sure I do everything correctly.
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[align=left]Now, I did fire off a few shots (20-30 feet) with decent enough accuracy without any aided shelf. I basically used the top of my hand, which didn't get caught or hurt in anyway. Is this standard practice?[/align]
[align=left]Can you guys suggest some things that a first time (or returning after a long break) shooter can do to improve? I've checked all around the web and there doesn't seem to be much in the way of Traditional Bow information (as it relates to stance, hand placement, and shooting). Anyone have a good starting place for me? I did grab the book, "Beginners Guide to Traditional Archery" which has the bare minimum basics. Where else can I go?[/align]
[align=left]I know I have tons of questions... so let's wait to ask more until after I get answers for the first few (to keep things easy to understand).[/align]
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[/align][align=left]Thanks!
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:23 PM
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Default RE: Just Starting Out... Need Help...

The bow that you have was designed to be shot "off the knuckle" so you did correctly with using your hand as a rest. I'm not sure if there are any special gloves for this style of thooting but i'd look into it. you'll want something foryour "string" hand as well. Something like a shooting tab or a shooting glove.These will help in a more consistant release and result in better accuracy.Another thing to invest a few bucks in (if you're hitting your arm) is an armguard. I would go ahead and get a more permanent finish for the bow because putting stuff on routinely seems inconvenient.

here are some links
http://www.3riversarchery.com/Cat.asp?c=1&s=0&p=0 <--- gloves, tabs, and armguards

http://www.3riversarchery.com/Thumb.asp?c=49&s=37&p=0 <--- bow finishes (alternative to petroleum jelly)


Also, when practicing with a traditional bow it's a good idea to change the distance from the target a random intervals. maybe 2 shots move, 3 shots move. This will help to train your mind to automatically judge distance to the target and make adjustments accordingly. I'm still a rookie to Traditional gear myself. good luck! and have fun.


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Old 06-12-2008, 05:06 PM
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Default RE: Just Starting Out... Need Help...

ORIGINAL: Seif5034
Also, when practicing with a traditional bow it's a good idea to change the distance from the target a random intervals. maybe 2 shots move, 3 shots move. This will help to train your mind to automatically judge distance to the target and make adjustments accordingly. I'm still a rookie to Traditional gear myself. good luck! and have fun.
Now there's an idea I didn't think of. :P I went shooting today and stayed at about 25 feet, hitting the target consistently (which I guess is good). I'll try moving when I do it next time (tomorrow).

I did get a glove... it's a "Neet Archery Glove":



I went for a little over an hour without any problem to my hand at all. I also did get an armguard, which I didn't notice any difference with.

I'm having two problems though, that maybe you guys can help me with:

1. When releasing the string, instead of it slapping my forearm, it hits my wrist (left hand). I've tried shifting my hands around to see if I can get that to stop happening and couldn't figure it out. It got pretty painful after a while, basically hitting me right in the notch of the wrist (where say a handcuff would go). Is this something I'm expected to see?

2. All of my arrows hit generally where I'm aiming at... yet almost all of them (99% or so) twist in mid air. They basically leave the bow, travel about 20 feet, then turn to the right (they continue straight, they just turn in mid-air). When they hit the target, they go in at an angle (about where I was hoping to hit). How would I fix this? Why is this happening?

I did pretty well (to my standards anyway)... My first set of arrows I only hit the target 4/12 times. The target by the way is 14 inches wide, and 24 inches tall.

The second set, I hit 7/12 with a bullseye. The third set, 8/12. The fourth set I hit the target 12/12 times, and the final fifth set I also hit 12/12. I was shooting the entire time from approximately 25-30 feet away, and after those sets I even tried my luck at about 50-60 feet with a single shot. That one sailed over the target by 2 inches.

My goal was to work on my stance... to make it so I'm shooting correctly. I know with enough time that I'll hash that out... if I can only fix my two issues above I think I'll be set.
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:01 PM
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Default RE: Just Starting Out... Need Help...

i'm not sure about either but i'll take a guess.

1. I've been having a similar problem with my compoiund bow, but it's not on my wrist. It's on my hand behind the thumb. I held my bow in hand and cycled the bow slowly to find out what was making contact. (for me it is my arrow rest due to my draw length being too long) try that out. Could it be the arrow's fletching slapping your wrist?

2. possibly a spine problem? The stiffness of an arrow is much more important with a trad- bow than it is with a compound. and I know that an incorrect spine rating can make arrows go side-to-side.

As I said. I'm still a rookie, just some suggestions to try
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:35 PM
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Default RE: Just Starting Out... Need Help...

Well... I was doing everything as slow as I could, to see what was happening (I did a bit more shooting in my yard). It's definitely the strings that hit my wrist (base of the thumb, at the notch, where a wristwatch goes). So aside from hiking my armguard up and keeping my watch on, I can't seem to make that stop.

As for the second issue... it might be... though all of the arrows do it and they're all new. I thoroughly checked each arrow for any problems before using them, and hadn't noticed anything. I tried changing my stance up a bit, and hand placement. I was able to get maybe 30% of my arrows to fly perfectly straight, so it might be that. But, then again, I'm now focused on the issue instead of not noticing it right away before. Maybe someone has heard of this happening.

Oh, and I do notice every one and a while the arrow passes over my hand and the fletch knicks the meaty part of my thumb. I figure this is normal, and doesn't hurt in the slightest. It's the damn string to the wrist that bugs me the most.
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:21 PM
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Default RE: Just Starting Out... Need Help...

spine stiffnes isn't something really visible...you'd have to get a more experienced guy to explain it. or check the article archives. i'm sure it's been explained on here before.

I wonder if the string hitting you is a brace height problem.
i found this little guide to determine correct BH I took it from an article. Here's the link you might want to scim through it. Thereis some good info in there.http://domino.htcomp.net/bhn/Columnists.nsf/0/6d6e03a01d94a96b86256e8d005e6066?OpenDocument

Straight limb self bow 6.0" - 6.5"
Straight limb or reflex laminated longbow 6.25" - 6.75"
Reflex - deflex long bow 6.5" - 7.0"
Recurve self bow 6.5" - 7.0"
Hybrid Long Bow 7.25" - 7.75"
50's Style Recurve 6.75" - 7.25"
Modern Hunting Recurve 7.5" - 8.0"
Modern Target Recurve 64" or longer 8.0" - 8.5"
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:20 PM
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Default RE: Just Starting Out... Need Help...

That might be the problem. I've measured the distance (brace height) and I only get 3.5" This however, is how it came delivered to me. So I guess I need to back that up to about 6.0" (at the very least)?

EDIT: I found some documentation for my bow, and it says a Brace Height of around 6.5" is the norm. So I'm going to guess that was the problem. We'll find out tomorrow when I get some time to shoot again. This might also fix my second problem. We'll see!
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:42 AM
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Default RE: Just Starting Out... Need Help...

ORIGINAL: Seif5034

Also, when practicing with a traditional bow it's a good idea to change the distance from the target a random intervals. maybe 2 shots move, 3 shots move. This will help to train your mind to automatically judge distance to the target and make adjustments accordingly. I'm still a rookie to Traditional gear myself. good luck! and have fun.
In order to building good range judging and instinctive shooting skills what I like to do is stand at the target and throw my arrows by hand like darts. I shoot from wherever they land. You can easily throw an arrow 25 yards and it's fun shooting a group when none of the shots are from the same distance, it really helps me with my instinctive shooting skills.
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:55 AM
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Default RE: Just Starting Out... Need Help...

yet almost all of them (99% or so) twist in mid air. They basically leave the bow, travel about 20 feet, then turn to the right (they continue straight, they just turn in mid-air).
Thats nothing to worry about it just means your fletching is working to stabilize the arrow in flight, all arrows twist in flight to some extent depending on how little or how much helical you have on the fletching

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Old 06-14-2008, 09:59 AM
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Default RE: Just Starting Out... Need Help...

All-wood bows generally have a really low brace height, around 5" or so, so the limbs don't get strained too much. When you release an arrow, the string will always come a short distance beyond brace height before the limbs stabilize. That's true of all bows, no matter what type. That's why string dampers like the STS are so popular on compounds. Not much you can do about that on a selfbow except to raise the brace height a bit. Don't raise it too much though. Having the brace too high will shorten the bow's lifespan.

Besides having properly spined arrows, another thing that can ease up the wrist sting is to make sure your arrow nocks aren't too tight. If they grab the string too tight, the arrow will pull the string even further past brace height before the nocks release. You want the nocks just tight enough that they will hang from the string, but loose enough that they'll fall off if you thump the string with your finger.

Also, going up in arrow weight will help.

I can't recommend it if the bowyer doesn't, but I've used fastflight strings on selfbows with no problems, and it really helped with that bit of wrist sting. If you choose to go that route, remember that I said you do so at your own risk.

If all else fails, just wear your armguard lower on your wrist.
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