Properly Increasing Draw Weight on Recurve

Yard Candy

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Backstory: I am an adult onset hunter who has been hunting whitetail with crossbow and rifle for a few years now. I've always had an interest in archery and finally took the leap.

Storytime.

Knowing that the minimum recommended draw weight to hunt whitetail is 40#, when I got my recurve bow last Christmas I got it with 45# limbs. I had no experience with bows, so being a naive athletic guy I figured, "I use 45# dumbbells when I do rows at the gym, so a 45# draw is no big deal". Well after tinkering with the bow at Christmas I quickly realized I needed a lower draw weight to be able to learn this art properly.

So I ordered 30# limbs which are the lowest weight limbs available for my bow. Ahhhh... what I joy it was to shoot. I was able to comfortably draw, hold, learn, etc. I have been learning/practicing fairly regularly since Christmas 2020. I'm fortunate in that I have a large property so I can just step outside to shoot. I've been doing my best to shoot multiple times a week. When I started in December 2020 being able to hit my 30"x30" target at 5 yards was a success. Now, 4 months later, I've progressed to shooting fairly consistent groupings at 20 yards (shooting at a deer target, about 75% of the hits are in the lungs).

My goal is to learn on the 30# limbs (which I'm doing now) but hunt with the 45# limbs starting in September 2021 (6'ish months from now). What is the proper way for me to successfully do that? Can I simply start practicing with the 45# limbs when it gets closer to hunting season? Or is a 15# increase a good way to get hurt and this needs to be a gradual process?

If this needs to be a gradual process I can purchase 35# and 40# limbs so that I'll have a full set (30/35/40/45). Then I'd do something like every 2 months step up to the next weight? Just spit balling here, I'm certainly not the expert.
 

Billy Goat

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Is it by chance an ilf bow? That atleast allows a little adjustment, but it's not critical.

After you have your form nailed down you can go to heavier limbs. I bounce around on draw weight a good bit, unfortunately my release isn't the greatest, I shoot heavier weight better, it just leads to form problems from fatigue.

You will need different arrows for the jump in weight. You can probably work them out to be a similar grain/# so that it doesn't change your aiming but so much.
 
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Yard Candy

Yard Candy

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Is it by chance an ilf bow? That atleast allows a little adjustment, but it's not critical.
I don't know what ilf is, so I'm not sure how to answer that. I have this bow.

After you have your form nailed down you can go to heavier limbs.
Meaning jump from 30# right to 45#, or gradually increase limb weight?

You will need different arrows for the jump in weight. You can probably work them out to be a similar grain/# so that it doesn't change your aiming but so much.
When you say "different", are you referring to spine or something else?
 

Billy Goat

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That's not an ilf. Not familiar with it. You can probably still adjust the draw weight a little with the limb bolts.

It will wear you down a bit, but yes. After getting acclimated to the 30# limbs and having good form, you should be able to go to 45 without much issue, except for fatigue setting in sooner. Be best to stop when you get tired rather than allow your form to suffer and build bad habits.

Yes different spine, likely tip weight as well. It will be difficult to dial it in exactly the same without having a different arrow length. This won't be a big deal unless you are gap shooting. If gap shooting you will need to relearn those distances. I lean towards cutting shafts down to get the spine where I want. You can also play with tip weight. Changing tip weight to some extent you can pick your arrow length and then add or subtract weight till you get the dynamic spine appropriate. That of course will also be changing your gaps as your weight changes.


I'm far from a trad expert. Others on here can help you more than myself. Maybe they can suggest some things I have overlooked.
 

zbb

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Feb 7, 2019
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Here’s something that has worked for me that I found out building a bow. I made a riser and stained it and didn’t like how it looked so I built a new riser and cut the limb angle a little different on the second one and ended up making the bow about 4 pounds heavier. I made wedges for my Palmer recurve that go under the limb pad. If you move the limb tips away from you as you’re holding it, it will increase the draw weight. If you move them closer to you as you’re holding it, it will decrease the draw weight. If you go to drastic on the wedge you’ll have to have an opposing wedge on the back of the bow so the limb bolts line up and I needed to get longer bolts. I’m fully aware that this solution won’t be for everyone and some might say not to do it. But it has worked for me and if I screw something up I’ll just build a new set of limbs. Just one guys suggestion if you will. 6C1A5306-B4CC-46B9-A49F-9789167EE3AD.jpeg
 
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