Tunings arrows for a longbow instead of a recurve

Wilderlife

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Hi all,

I got measured up for a custom longbow over the weekend and while I wait for it to get built, I have some questions I'd like to start working through.

The stats are as follows.
Between 60# and 65# @ 26.5 inches.
66 inches long.
Straight laid.
Shelf is not cut to centre; in fact, it'll be cut a little way off centre compared to my recurves.

So, I have a black Widow PCH with two sets of limbs. One set pulls about 52# at my draw length, and for that bow, my arrow setup is the following...
350 spine arrow.
30 inches long.
293gns up front.
3x 4 inch trad vanes.

I also have some limbs for this bow that pull around 63# at my draw length, and while I haven't tuned arrows for these limbs yet, I imagine I'll either need to cut my 350s right down, OR, go up to a 300 spine.

My question with the longbow comes from the fact that the bowyer has a shorter draw length like me, and at his shop over the weekend, the arrows I shot his bows with were cut to about 27 inches or so. The bows were all around that 58-62 pound range. They were wooden arrows, so it's tough to make an exact comparison between them and carbon.

I think that 350 spine arrows at full length will be a good place for me to start with this longbow, given the shelf will mean the arrow needs to be a little weaker as the arrow needs to paradox a lot more to get around the bow. Am I on the money with this? And, will having a 30 inch arrow out of a bow designed and tillered to shoot efficiently at 26.5 inches be a problem?

Cheers.
 

go4thegusto

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Well, first off I would ask why you are going 60# plus? Almost no trad bows are being built or sold above the low 50"s anymore. I tried to consign a 56# at Rocky Mountain and they did not want to take it as "too heavy" which surprised me. I own about 6 trad bows most of the time and have a chrono I use to test them. I have found that as I move above the low 50's it compresses my form in such a way as I do not pick up any speed. You also gain the advantage of ease of use in cold weather with cold muscles and being able to hold at full draw if required. I think the wisdom of "pick accuracy over poundage" every time is good. I shot clean through a bull moose with a 50# longbow and was so shook up with him knocking over the brush at 11 yards I doubt I got to full draw.
To your question I think a 400 spine arrow and play with length and tip weight is a good place to start.
 

ozyclint

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agree on 400 spine. your current setups sound too stiff. i shoot 30" 400's out of a 58# border recurve with 300gr up front.
same bow with 70# limbs shoots a 30" 340 spine with 350gr up front.

.....and if you cut them shorter they get stiffer really quick, plus you'll need a weaker spine to accommodate the bow being cut outside center.
.....and your draw is shorter...
 
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Wilderlife

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Cheers, fellas.

Firstly, I went with that poundage as it was recommended by the bowyer. He watched me shoot and had a good chat with me about the poundage and I can handle it, no problem. I appreciate that it's heavier than most bows getting built but that doesn't really concern me.

Secondly, I've confirmed that 350s at full length with 293 up front are perfect for my bow. This is from various bare shafting with 400s and 350s, shooting into targets and getting stacks of slow motion videos from behind me as I release. It confused me, too, but it's undeniable. I had 400 spine arrows originally for my 52# recurve and with only 230gn up front, had to cut them to 27.5 inches to get them stiff enough.

My thoughts on 350 spine is that ordinarily for a 65# bow, you'd want stiffer than 350, so having them slightly weaker than a 300 would compensate for the shelf? Only time will tell of course, but I'm thinking about what arrows I'll need early on.
 

Beendare

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You are right on that a less than centershot shelf needs a weaker spine.... Beyond that it’s all about bareshaft tuning

In regards to heavier bows:

Shooting a decent weight Arrow along with a very efficient Broadhead has made me realize I don’t need to shoot a heavy bow to blow an arrow through animals.... Plus I can aim easier. YMMV


——
 

Trumpkin The Dwarf

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You are right on that a less than centershot shelf needs a weaker spine.... Beyond that it’s all about bareshaft tuning

In regards to heavier bows:

Shooting a decent weight Arrow along with a very efficient Broadhead has made me realize I don’t need to shoot a heavy bow to blow an arrow through animals.... Plus I can aim easier. YMMV


——
Agreed, it's easier to shoot lighter poundage. But... *IF* you can shoot 60 lbs accurately, why not do it? It'll make the light bow even easier to aim and shoot well. Having said that, my only recurve right now is [email protected]".
 
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Wilderlife

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Agreed, fellas.

I never said I needed a heavy bow, but I can handle it OK and enjoy shooting it. I do everything I can to make sure my form is good and regularly send videos to Tom Clum when working through his online course.

In any case, I appreciate the concern, but we don't need to turn this thread into a discussion about why a heavy bow is pointless, or about how my current arrow tune for my Widow isn't correct. Give me the benefit of the doubt, ey?

I have some 400s cut to 27.5 inches with 100gn brass inserts in them, leftover from the original tune for my Widow. I have some 125gn and 200gn points as well, so I'll give them a whirl at first, as well as my 350 spines.

Having said that, I think it will be in my best interest to look for an arrow shaft that is fairly heavy in the gpi range. The bowyer is tillering the bow to be most efficient with arrows of at least 550gns, but something up around 650gns is more desirable.
 
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ozyclint

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I should mention that my experience with the border I have is that it has extreme torsional stability. I reckon this means the string doesn't move off center as much at release and doesn't move sideways around the fingers as much. Meaning that less paradox is induced therefore meaning weaker arrows than 'normal' seem to work.

You'll just have to try a few things and see what works. Good luck
What bow did you go with??
 
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Wilderlife

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I figured your border would have something like that going on. Having said that, in what I've seen people talking about with Widows, including the bloke who gave me my Widow, it seems they prefer a slightly stiffer arrow than what a lot of spine charts indicate. I asked him this question and he responded with the following...

"With that 65# BW recurve of yours I once killed a pig with a 110# spine Douglas fir arrow that I’d made for my 80# Silvertip. That arrow would’ve been too stiff out of even the 75# Hill (unless I front-loaded it a lot more). Hill longbows have a much narrower window of spines that will work (but a strategy that works for me is to select the arrow length and approximately-correct shaft that you want, often using charts, and then just play around with point weights)."

I've gone with a Norseman Chieftain model. Black glass, bamboo limbs, and Brazilian bloodwood riser. I spent about two hours with Nick when we were measuring me up and discussing bows and he's an exceptionally knowledgeable bloke. He made me feel very confident dropping the cash on this bow.
 
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