Longbow or recurve?

Dryfirepete

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Mar 26, 2021
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Hi all!

If you had only one bow for traditional archery/bowhunting, would it be a longbow or a recurve? I want to get into trad archery and am a bit torn. From your experience, is there a noticeable advantage in noise on the longbow side or in speed in the recurve side that would make you lean towards one or the other for hunting? I guess I’ll end up with a 60-62“ bow with around 50 lbs @ 29“ and will still be hunting with my compound parallel to the trad bow. What would you do?

Thanks in advance!
 

FLS

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May 11, 2019
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Shoot both, depending on the type of longbow, they shoot very differently. I believe a recurve with more mass in the riser is an easier bow to learn to shoot.
 

bkspyder

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There's so many options to choose from. I shoot a longbow - but it's got modern, carbon backed reflexed limbs with a grip that you could see on a recurve.
GENERALLY people say the longbow is quieter. But a heavier arrow is also quieter. A good stick bow simply make you want to shoot it all the time. That's its job, to make you want to shoot it!
 

Clintopher

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I haven’t shot any in a while but I went through a few year phase we’re I was shooting/trading every trad bow I could find. My preference lies with longbows. I found them generally easier to quite down and they don’t hang up in brush like recurves do. This is a small one, but I like to rest the tip of my bow on my foot…can’t really do that with a recurve.
 

Wrench

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I have both. I shoot both. I prefer to hunt with the longbow. I have 2 toelke take downs and they are bulletproof and simple. I manage 165fps with a 550gr arrow. My recurve gives me 165 with a 625gr arrow. Very similar trajectories. The longbow is quieter and i never worry about twisting a limb....btdt.

They shoot very differently. If you backpack hunt, consider a 2 piece bow....uber simple assembly and nothing to lose.
 

oldgoat

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Hi all!

If you had only one bow for traditional archery/bowhunting, would it be a longbow or a recurve? I want to get into trad archery and am a bit torn. From your experience, is there a noticeable advantage in noise on the longbow side or in speed in the recurve side that would make you lean towards one or the other for hunting? I guess I’ll end up with a 60-62“ bow with around 50 lbs @ 29“ and will still be hunting with my compound parallel to the trad bow. What would you do?

Thanks in advance!
Maryann or Ginger? Hopefully you're old enough to get that reference!
 

Montana Slim

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Aug 16, 2019
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You will just have to shoot to figure out what you like - it is very much just a "whatever cranks your crank". I only own one recurve these days and I'll never let it go due to sentimental value.
Find some light bows and experiment. Figuring out what you like is part of the fun of trad

Edit: unclear from above, but am solidly in the longbow camp and second @Wrench with the 2-piece. My current bow is a liberty 2 piece that is a beaut

And......... woodies all the way!
 

Foggy Mountain

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Jun 19, 2021
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I personally like longbows. Like the way they shoot and point better. I feel they’re more accurate but that’s me. Shoot both but you left out hybrids?
 

oldgoat

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Ok, now I'll answer for real, I pretty much echo everything wrench said but I'm too cheap to buy a 2 piece and haven't seen a reasonably priced used one in the right specs. You can find some real nice 3 piece hybrid longbows and get the best of both worlds. Also echo Clintopher, on the not getting caught up in the brush as bad!
 

Beendare

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Yeah personal preference.

A longbow is like carrying a feather in the woods. There is a little more weight on your fingers vs a recurve- a little more tension at full draw. The mass on any trad riser makes the bow more stabile on the shot- Long Bow risers typically have less mass. The ‘D’ or Hill type longbows are the hardest to shoot well and typically have more hand shock than the other styles.

Hybrids are a good way to go if you want the longbow feel but a smoother more forgiving experience.

Recurves are generally smoother and faster than longbows and generally preferred by many trad guys inc myself.

I shoot an ILF recurve which gives me interchangeable limbs; light/ heavy, cheap/ expensive- thousands of options.
.
 

North Idaho Stickbow

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I like the hybrids myself. You get the smoothness of try recurve, but the silence and light weight of the longbow.

Some folks like the big heavy riser recurves for stability, but I like something light to shlep around in the woods. Try a few out if you can and get an idea from there.
 

butcherboy

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I’ve got a stalker coyote on order. A set of longbow limbs and recurve limbs. I prefer the longbow as well but thought “why not” since the limbs are interchangeable.
 

thinhorn_AK

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I like both but don’t own a longbow yet. I have a black widow recurve on order but plan to get a longbow ordered up sooner than later. Lots of nice stuff out there dosent make it easy to choose.
 
OP
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Dryfirepete

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Mar 26, 2021
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Thanks for your input, guys! I know, it‘s all about personal preference. Trying both kinds of bows in a shop is fine, I did that. But this doesn‘t account for real hunting situations. That‘s why I just wanted to get an idea why anybody who actually hunted with both kind of bows would decide for one or the other. I‘m pretty set on a Stalker Wolverine (will definitely go the take down-route), just don‘t want to spend the money on two sets of limbs.
 

Kentucky

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Dec 15, 2019
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I shoot both.. but hunting with my R/D longbow JT archery, Apollo 60” 50#@28,. I have a couple takedown recurves as well. In the back yard pounding the targets I shoot both equally, maybe recurve a touch better.. but I can pull up and shoot better, faster with it longbow and unknown yardage idk why… I think my subconscious uses the cut of the sight window and arrow in unison to line up windage..

I have a sweet 3 piece recurve for sale in your weight range…it really is an awesome bow.. PM me if interested
 

Newtosavage

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People who shoot longbows tend to do that because they want to shoot a longbow, not because of any particular advantage longbows offer. There is a reason Fred Bear worked for years to perfect his recurve bows and why you don't see longbows in the Olympics.

I shoot both and always have. I enjoy how light and quiet my longbows are but my recurves are faster and more accurate. A good hybrid longbow is the best of both worlds IMO and if I only had one bow (and I did for years) it would be my Adcock takedown hybrid longbow.

But I can have more than one bow, so I also have an ILF recurve with a metal riser and my Bear Custom Kodiak Takedown, which is a spectacular recurve bow that is nearly as light as my longbow.

Shoot as many different bows as you can and then decide. We have a lot of choices in the traditional world, for a reason.
 

Foggy Mountain

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Idk if the Olympic analogy comes into play here. Punching paper w light arrows at long distances and shooting heavy arrows close range at animals are 2 dif things. Some of the best shooters in the world are longbow guys.
Fred Bear God bless him was a businessman. If recurves were cutting edge and that’s where the money was or he felt it was that could be why he concentrated there. Than too he might have just liked recurves himself better.
Also add to the Olympic thing, they shoot very differently, they anchor differently, hold the bow upright, recurve windows lend themselves more toward that.
Now the accuracy thing is a big one, imo longbows are far superior here. They’re def more point and shoot, def more accurate. Speed would be negligible but I’ve got a couple shoot by eye, cause I’ve never run em through a chrono , but they seem as fast or faster. Point being if speed really was the only reason we’d not be shooting any trad bows. It’s the love of watching an arrow fly, being 100 percent of the reason it flew that way, recurve, hybrid or longbow doesn’t matter all that much at that point.
To the op, go to a rendezvous, lots of makers will let you try their offerings. Chose what suits you.
 
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