Bow recommendations for shorter draw folks?

Ch3w1e

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Apr 9, 2021
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Hey folks. I was wondering if I could get some advice from more experienced bow hunters.

I'm getting into the sport. I've got a short draw length (in the range of 24-26").

I'm sort of at a loss as to what quality bows are out there that are optimized for a shorter draw. I've shot a few Hoyt's. I don't have a problem with the poundage. 60 lbs shoots fine, but I'm looking for something that will get me the most kinetic energy out of the arrow for my draw length. It seems like everything's set up for bigger folks these days. There seems to be a pretty big drop in zip from my friend's bow which is setup for 30" draw length versus what I've tried. I am actually scratching my head on that one because I figure the amount of force drawing a bow = the amount of force put into an arrow.

I don't think I'd have a problem shooting a 70 lb bow comfortably, but I was wondering if there are any models from 2017-2020, that would work well in short draw lengths. I was debating looking at a bow set up for speed like an Xpedite or a Hoyt Turbo model and was wondering how much of a drop in speed I'd see. I wish the manufacturers would post their speed ratings within each draw length.

This bow would be used for hunting deer and small game. My friend mentioned that he had issues with game ducking shots with slower bows that were taken care of once he up'd the speed on his arrows. I guess that's why I'm thinking about it. Thanks for all the advice in advance.
 

Mighty Mouse

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Jun 21, 2019
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Rule of thumb for speed-draw length relation is 10 fps per inch. During the draw cycle, you're building potential energy in the bow. This energy is a product of the weight you're pulling (draw weight) and the distance over which you're pulling it (draw length). Increasing either of those parameters increases the amount of energy put into the bow. During the shot, the bow's potential energy is transferred to the arrow and converted to kinetic energy. For a given arrow weight, more potential energy = more kinetic energy = faster arrow. So a 70#/30" bow is going to shoot faster than a 70#/26" bow (by about 40 fps if all else is equal).

I can't name any specific models off the top of my head, but I think all the major manufacturers offer bows in shorter draw lengths. They might be marketed toward youth and/or female shooters, but they'll kill animals just fine. At your draw length, your arrows will likely be flying well below 300 fps, but there's nothing wrong with that. Recurve/longbow hunters kill animals at sub-200 fps. Put a good sharp broadhead on the front, learn the trajectory of your arrow, keep your shots within your comfortable range, and you'll be fine.
 

Rodéo

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May 7, 2018
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Northern CA
PSE Xpedite seems like the ticket. Mine has a great draw cycle due to those evolve cams and it packs a punch. I'm also looking into the older Hoyt Carbon Defiants, you may want to look into a turbo model of the Defiant. I have no experience shooting them but I'm intrigued by the speed and smooth draw cycle that are mentioned in the specs/reviews.
 

Kularrow

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Feb 26, 2021
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Elk shape on YouTube has a 27 inch draw length and he has no problems dropping bulls while shooting Mathews. Most modern bows cam systems are highly adjustable to the user, you could easily use a V3 27 at that draw length the range is 25 - 29.5 I would shoot multiple new bows and pick the one that feels best for YOU. As stated before you’re always going to be at a “disadvantage” in the kinetic energy department. You’ll have find ways to balance that out whether it’s a heavier arrow set up or 80lb limbs, short dudes just like tall and normal dudes have been getting it done since this thing jumped off, just do your homework before you pull the trigger.
 
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Ch3w1e

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Apr 9, 2021
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Caught up on all the replies. Thank you for all the great information!

I think I understand it more now. Thanks for the explanation Mighty Mouse. If the draw weight is the force and the draw length is the distance, then the total energy put into an arrow (amount of work done) is something similar to the concept of Work = Force x Distance. Is that about right?

Sounds like there's no getting around laws of physics, but it does sound like I can "cheat" a little and get a bit more energy into my arrows with certain things like a shorter brace height and cams with little less let off. At least there is a nice consolation with us smaller frame guys. In my experience with other sports, us not-so-long armed guys can put in more effective torque on something than the longer arm folks at the same strength. I guess the best word to describe it is mechanical leverage.

I really appreciate all the bow recommendations. I'm going to check them out and see how they shoot. Really, really awesome recommendations from all!
 
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Ch3w1e

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Apr 9, 2021
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I looked at that Xpedite link. A lot of good information in it along with speed tests. Thanks for posting the video!
 
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Mighty Mouse

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I think I understand it more now. Thanks for the explanation Mighty Mouse. If the draw weight is the force and the draw length is the distance, then the total energy put into an arrow (amount of work done) is something similar to the concept of Work = Force x Distance. Is that about right?
You got it. Work and energy are closely related concepts and utilize the same units of measure. The work you perform while drawing the bow (i.e., applying force over a distance) imparts potential energy to the bow. This can be represented graphically with a "draw force" curve (example below). During the shot, the bow performs work on the arrow, and the potential energy stored in the bow gets converted to kinetic energy of the arrow (which is calculated in ft-lbs as [arrow weight in grains] × [arrow speed in fps]² ÷ 450,240).

On a draw force curve, the area between the curve and the horizontal axis represents the bow's potential energy. A lower draw weight shifts the whole curve downward and reduces the area under the curve (i.e., generates less potential energy). A shorter draw length shifts the right boundary of the curve to the left, which also reduces the area/energy. A shorter brace height has the opposite effect: it shifts the left boundary of the curve further left thus increasing energy. More aggressive (aka, "harder") cams produce a steeper slope on both ends of the curve, which marginally increases energy. Lower let-off percentage raises holding weight and shifts the right end of the curve up, slightly increasing energy.
ATA-force-draw-compound.jpg
 
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wesfromky

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Nov 23, 2016
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KY
Don't over think it like I used to. That extra length or draw weight really only comes into play if you are shooting longer distances, heavy, heavy arrows, or maybe really tough animals like cape buffalo.

Get a 60-65 lb bow that feels good and is easy to shoot, build a 450-500gn arrow, tip it with a quality broadhead like IronWill, and practice a bunch. A deer inside of 40 yards won't know the difference between 25 or 30 inch draws as the arrows comes out the other side.

I have a 27" draw and use a prime logic at 65lbs. 480gr arrows and ironwill wides = pass throughs on three deer last year.
 
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Ch3w1e

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Apr 9, 2021
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Caught up on all latest replies. The force-draw length curve is about as clear and elegant an explanation as I've ever seen to show the integral of work being stored in the draw. Makes perfect sense where cam profiles, brace height, draw weight and draw length all come into play.

Wes, I hear you on keeping it straightforward as well and I appreciate the advice on broadhead quality too.

I've got enough information to make some good decisions. Thank you all.
 

Tradchef

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Aug 30, 2017
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Bozeman, Montana
Man.....i shoot traditional now and have for 12 years but i still shoot a compound for practice and have a 27" draw. Back in the day i shot mainly speed bows and short draw specific bows. My favorites were the Bowtech Equalizer and the Heartbreaker. I have a Prime Rize at 63lbs and 27" that i practice with now. I like an ATA of 33 to 37 with a 6.5 or 7" brace if possible. I know Mathews had the Avail which was a nice short draw/ladies bow. The TX-5 is another slick little bow. The PSE Expedite is sweet and fast. I think you just need to try a few different models and see what you like. As said above......don't overthink it. Any of the new bows that can go to your draw length will work fine if it fits you properly. Good luck on your decision and let us know what you decide.
 

Shootinsurveyor

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May 18, 2019
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PSE Evolve has good speed for short draw and probably could find one reasonable priced. Easy to work on too. Mine at 60# and 27" draw with a 515gr arrow is 240FPS which is pretty fast for that draw and length all things considered.
 
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