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Old 03-22-2012, 07:45 PM
OneGuerrilla OneGuerrilla is offline
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Question Best Bow and Arrows for SHTF



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Hi everyone, new to the forum. First thread, just was looking through the forum and some questions popped up.

I am wanting to have archery as another skill/tool. Thing is, I have no knowledge on bows. I have done some research, but not finding what I am looking for.
What's the best bow to get? Recurve, Longbow or Composite?
I prefer a medium to longer range bow (no idea on bow ranges, but want at closest, target 35 ft. away). NO compound bow or crossbow for me.
Want one most reliable/durable in dirty, wet enviroments. Also most practical as far as size to carry and manuver through the woods.
What's the best material for the bow to be made out of?
Best material for bow string?
What pound draw? I hear 45 lb. and up will kill most game. What lb. draw could kill a adult bear?
Best material for arrow shafts? Best head to use? Fletchings?
Best price to quality?
What make and model bow do you recommend?
Where do you recommend purchasing for best price?
Any replacement parts worth getting just in case?
And if you know, what do you think the effective range would be in the hands of a little-better-than average archer?


Just want to know for a good set-up. Please, no "beginner bows," let me know what affordable bow a experienced archer would use. Of course I will have back-up skills, such as how to make a "bush" bow and also make traps.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:15 PM
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Composite recurve with 45 to 50 pound draw weight will take a moose or bear. If you get one practice regularly because if your shooting muscles go soft on you your bow will not be as effective as it should be.
Old 03-22-2012, 09:23 PM
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I agree. Recurve or longbow, doesn't really matter.
With that draw weight you can fashion your own strings and wooden arrows. Many compounds would shatter a wooden arrow, and possibly snap a handmade string.
I've used a longbow since 1982, but the old girl is due for retirement. My choice for a replacement is a PSE Coyote take-down bow.
I could shoot that one bare bow, as I did my longbow, or add all the bells and whistles, sights, stabilizers, fishing rig, etc; if I wanted to. And since it is a take-down, I can transport it in a much smaller package.
Old 03-22-2012, 09:28 PM
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I picked up a Samick Sage #45, put a nice flemish string on, and some aluminum arrows with zwickeys. Couldn't be happier!
Old 03-22-2012, 09:31 PM
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I recommend get tug into primitive skills and try to get to a knapp in or find a bowyers group and learn to make your own

the bowyers bible 1,2,3,4 are the best series on making bows and different types

i recommend getting something between 50-60lbs for practicality as for arrows making your own is very simple and easy and a lot cheaper per dozen than buying them at the store I recommend 3 rivers archery for your bow/arrow making supplies
Old 03-22-2012, 09:37 PM
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The best bow and arrow is the one you can make yourself in the wild.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:02 PM
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First off, there is no such thing as best anything! There's better then, but best, is at best, subjective and totally biased.

If cross and compound bows are out then you're left with sticks bows and that gets broken down into 4 categories, 1) recurve, 2) recurve/decurve (Longbow), 3) Horse or Tartar/Mongol and 4) Japanese offset (Yumi).

There is no such thing as a "beginner" bow--each and every bow will kill, just depends on the draw weight as to what distances are involved...There are youth bows that are strung lighter but there is absolutely no difference what-so-ever between them and a full custom built bow as to technique required to operate it...None, nada, zilch, bupkis.

There is also no such thing as a short or medium range bow but there are long distance bows—but that’s a very specialized niche market…I can shoot all distances with my bow in hand by drawing to full or as situations dictate I can make a half or even a quarter draw and release…i.e. You’re hunting rabbits and you come up on one that’s sitting there, five feet in front of you and you’re shooting a 60# longbow with a small broadhead on the arrow…Full draw the arrow will go completely through the rabbit’s body (which is a good thing) but will hit that giant rock behind the animal and shatter your point and/or your carbon fibre or wood shaft.

State laws vary but the "usual" minimum is 45# draw stick and 90# cross but of course the heavier the draw the flatter the trajectory, faster the arrow and most importantly heavier the punch (penetration & shock) on the target...Lots of compound bows are set a 65# and while harder to get to full draw but once it’s done, it's like holding a 10# to 20# draw (up to 80% let off)--so the draw can be held longer, waiting for the perfect angle on the target…International target shooting the bows are set to 35#.

How much are you wanting to spend (monetarily and physically) will govern what you can get that's better then the others...FYI --those things sticking out (counter weights & balance bars), sights, quivers, string thing-a-ma-jigs that you see on compounds can also be mounted on traditional bows albeit with some variations—just look at an Olympic recurve bow…Little holes are drilled into the limbs, a locking insert is set (glued) in place and you just stick your anti vibration or counter balance or multi pin sight into the hole…A friend has a single point sight set and a weight bar on a small and thin—make that very small and thin Magyar bow but he kept measuring each component until he could find the proper one for the profile of the bow…It looks odd but it works great.

Strings used is firstly dependent on the type of bow, secondly, the draw of the bow and lastly, the shooting environment...Damp weather, I have a waxed string on, dry weather it's plain linen...For extreme cold, snow conditions I use cross (X) country ski wax…Traditional bow limbs and risers can be all fibreglass, glass with exotic woods, exotic woods laminated, wood and bone laminates or a combination or metal.

Before making a decision of make and model, first, take lessons at a certified training range that will probably have the different makes, models of the bow style you like on hand for you to try…Second, decide on how much you’ll spend—lots of people have started off with a $350 to $400 outfit and stay with that their whole shooting careers or as a stepping stone to more elaborate bows; with more exotic wood; hand made by a full custom builder…Third, you’ll have to find the best price on line but remember that that seller may be 3,000 miles away and if something goes wrong with it you’ll have to deal with it…If the price is within reason then buy from your local merchant who’ll also be there if you need help—remember that he has a brick and mortar building to maintain, not a website in mommy’s basement

Take-down bows, while much more convenient to transport, cost more…Longer bows shoot smoother while short bows are easier to handle in the bush or from a tree stand at the exact same draw weight…Long bows are easier to get to full draw and “usually” shoot quieter then short bows

I was at the shooting club this morning for our weekly traditional 3D shoot and a guest brought his new toy, a Ben Pearson Bush Master takedown (dual pin) recurve that was a delight to look at and shoot…There was also a new Hoyt Bison or Buffalo that I had never seen firsthand or shot…There were the usual array of Martin, Fred Bear, Browning (w/a new Ghost takedown), I shot my Tomahawk and Saluki and there were a whole bunch of custom makes (IIRC 24) amongst the shooters as well…Really good turn out, 35 members and 5 guests…Temp was lovely, still a bit of snow on the ground hardly any wind.

At the top of this thread there is a sticky for Bowyers with links to the majority out there with web sites just click a link and browse...Fred Bear, Ben Pearson (both making bows since the 1950s), Browning, Hoyt, Martin, Mathews are all long time commercial makers of traditional (and compound) bows and all make great items.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerJohn View Post
I recommend get tug into primitive skills and try to get to a knapp in or find a bowyers group and learn to make your own

the bowyers bible 1,2,3,4 are the best series on making bows and different types

i recommend getting something between 50-60lbs for practicality as for arrows making your own is very simple and easy and a lot cheaper per dozen than buying them at the store I recommend 3 rivers archery for your bow/arrow making supplies
I second the motion, that's pretty much word for word what i do.
Old 03-24-2012, 11:52 PM
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Default Third the motion

Definitely on building it yourself...need to be self sufficient with making the arrows unless you plan on stocking hundreds of them...
Old 03-25-2012, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
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I second the motion, that's pretty much word for word what i do.
i wouldnt worry so much about makeing a bow. if you buy a quality bow to begin with and learn how to care fore it, the bow should last you a lifetime. however it would be a good idea to buy the tools and learn to make strings and arrows,that would be a good to know skill.

BUT if your thinking of useing it for a SHTF scenario recurves are just fine for young strong health bucks but as you get older and those injuries you got when you was younger begin to haunt you. you must concider getting older as a factor. as you get older it gets increasingly harder to use a recurve. i would suggest a regular crossbow, as you get older the crossbow will be much more user friendly than a recurve.also injuries that may occur durring a SHTF can make pulling and holding a recurve MUCH more difficult if not impossable.

something like this would work just fine .you just need to get a good poundage.

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Old 03-25-2012, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cryptkeeper View Post
i wouldnt worry so much about makeing a bow. if you buy a quality bow to begin with and learn how to care fore it, the bow should last you a lifetime. however it would be a good idea to buy the tools and learn to make strings and arrows,that would be a good to know skill.

BUT if your thinking of useing it for a SHTF scenario recurves are just fine for young strong health bucks but as you get older and those injuries you got when you was younger begin to haunt you. you must concider getting older as a factor. as you get older it gets increasingly harder to use a recurve.
Couldn't agree more...Not everyone has the equipment and/or the knowledge and/or the talent and/or the desire to make bows and arrows...Oh, and learning from a book, better make sure you have a dozen or so staves as it will take you that many to finally get a very good one.

I RESENT THAT...I'M 61 YEARS OLD and draw an 80# compound, 70# recurve/longbow and a 65# horse bow and just shot a twenty target 3D course with the latter two yesterday morning...If you only shoot once or twice a year (1 day practice and 1 day hunting) then you'll be useless and a cross would be the best choice...You keep shooting daily your muscles will not get out of shape.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:38 AM
FarmerJohn FarmerJohn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekHer View Post
Couldn't agree more...Not everyone has the equipment and/or the knowledge and/or the talent and/or the desire to make bows and arrows...Oh, and learning from a book, better make sure you have a dozen or so staves as it will take you that many to finally get a very good one.

I RESENT THAT...I'M 61 YEARS OLD and draw an 80# compound, 70# recurve/longbow and a 65# horse bow and just shot a twenty target 3D course with the latter two yesterday morning...If you only shoot once or twice a year (1 day practice and 1 day hunting) then you'll be useless and a cross would be the best choice...You keep shooting daily your muscles will not get out of shape.
you get 4 good staves from a small tree and weather or not someones interested in learning does not mean that its not the best option
Old 03-25-2012, 11:57 AM
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FWIW, it sounds like the OP is on the same quest I was on when I finally bought my Sage, and he's received the same categories of answers. One piece of advice that I was given was to actually get some time behind the riser before you start building bows.

Sage was $140 with case, stringer, tab and quiver from 3 Rivers. Its a no tools takedown, with optional replacement limbs in poundage from 30 to 65.
- Too much pull and you'll get strong but you may get frustrated learning proper form, etc.
- Too little pull, and its just a paper puncher.
Came with a dacron loop, which is my backup string. I replaced with a handmade recommended by Pete Ward, for $20.
* string change increased speed drastically, increases energy, increases penetration.
Added some whiskers to silence the string, but its a quiet bow already.
Had the local shop teach me how to set my brace height.
* proper brace height gave a more comfortable pull, increased efficiency on draw.
Had the local shop fit arrows to me, and teach me why/how that's important.

Then I've shot it a lot, made adjustments, learned the mechanics. So now as I move into bow making, I have an idea what I should be looking for. At least that's what I was advised. YMMV.
Old 03-25-2012, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerJohn View Post
you get 4 good staves from a small tree and weather or not someones interested in learning does not mean that its not the best option
The amount of staves is proportional to the diameter of the tree...As long as you get both heart and bark and a wide enough piece you can have a bow...A 24" or 36" diameter tree would give you far more then 4 staves and also a lot more work to get a bow out of that stave which is why they don't recommend them in bowyer's manuals...If you came across a felled yew tree, say a lighting split one, you'd not avail yourself of the material?

I've made a bow, it shot an arrow that we also made including knapping the head and splitting goose feathers for the fletching but we used packaged bow strings...They were all crude and we even had the hands on help of a professional bowyer and fletcher during this self help course at a rendezvous...It broke--split actually after fifteen or sixteen shots...I even attempted the effort a few more times after that with nearly the same results including a sinew/bone backed model...They all broke or cracked as the wood dried further.

To make a field expedient bow sure, no big deal...but that's all you'll ever get out of it a temporary weapon...To make a really good long lasting one you need very aged wood, a steam chamber and jig (recurves) and some proper laminating materials...To speed things along a kiln but it's not a priority item.

Do I have the knowledge to build one, somewhat, yes...Do I have the tools necessary to make you, yes (I have a draw and crooked knife, a scraper and wedges in the tool bag in the vehicles but used for other things)...Do I have the need to construct one, no we have lots of bows to hand...Do I have the desire to create one, nah I got other things that are more pressing...I'm not a bowyer or desire to be--I work with woods in other ways--toy, cabinet and stick furniture making.

A good bow will last you...We're still shooting a 52# Bear Magnum that I bought in the late 1960s and has been passed down through all my daughters to where it's there for someone to use if we go outside and shoot some butts.

Unless you have a desire to further your knowledge and expertise in archery then building one will never cross your mind--Hell, owning one will only be a fleeting thought...Look how many members are in this forum and compare the number of postings in this specific column...

Will knowing how a bow is made make me understand the instrument better, certainly but only consistent practice will make me a better shot.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:15 PM
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I owned a Kodiac #52 recurve as a kid and I loved that bow. It put a arrow clean through the chest of a muley.

I personally wouldnt shoot a adult bear with a bow but if I did it would be from a tree and using something above #60. Bears can get angry.

As far as building your own bow, just know its possible but very difficult. At least building something with a good draw wieght.

Unless you go with a PVC bow. More than a few youtube vids on this.

Old 03-25-2012, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekHer View Post
Couldn't agree more...Not everyone has the equipment and/or the knowledge and/or the talent and/or the desire to make bows and arrows...Oh, and learning from a book, better make sure you have a dozen or so staves as it will take you that many to finally get a very good one.

I RESENT THAT...I'M 61 YEARS OLD and draw an 80# compound, 70# recurve/longbow and a 65# horse bow and just shot a twenty target 3D course with the latter two yesterday morning...If you only shoot once or twice a year (1 day practice and 1 day hunting) then you'll be useless and a cross would be the best choice...You keep shooting daily your muscles will not get out of shape.

LoL there are always excceptions to the rules

I'm alot younger than you, but with tendonitis in both arms/wrist. i have a hard time with a recurve anymore. if i had the time to devote to it I'm sure i could build up my arms again and be able to shoot like i use to.but not everyone has the time to devote to practiceing 3 times or more a week. i always loved shooting recurves,i hate nonshelf long bows.
but even the most fit shooter it still takes 2 hands/arms and if they get injured they could have a hard time shooting a recurve .where for a SHTF weapon i would want a crossbow over anyother bow.
Old 03-25-2012, 09:39 PM
OneGuerrilla OneGuerrilla is offline
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Thanks for all the info. everyone. I will narrow down my search and look for a recurve or longbow from the brands "SeekHer" has mentioned. Tooless take-down ones interest me. I will ask around again to narrow down my choices before purchasing. Thanks again.
Old 03-25-2012, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekHer View Post
The amount of staves is proportional to the diameter of the tree...As long as you get both heart and bark and a wide enough piece you can have a bow...A 24" or 36" diameter tree would give you far more then 4 staves and also a lot more work to get a bow out of that stave which is why they don't recommend them in bowyer's manuals...If you came across a felled yew tree, say a lighting split one, you'd not avail yourself of the material?

I've made a bow, it shot an arrow that we also made including knapping the head and splitting goose feathers for the fletching but we used packaged bow strings...They were all crude and we even had the hands on help of a professional bowyer and fletcher during this self help course at a rendezvous...It broke--split actually after fifteen or sixteen shots...I even attempted the effort a few more times after that with nearly the same results including a sinew/bone backed model...They all broke or cracked as the wood dried further.

To make a field expedient bow sure, no big deal...but that's all you'll ever get out of it a temporary weapon...To make a really good long lasting one you need very aged wood, a steam chamber and jig (recurves) and some proper laminating materials...To speed things along a kiln but it's not a priority item.

Do I have the knowledge to build one, somewhat, yes...Do I have the tools necessary to make you, yes (I have a draw and crooked knife, a scraper and wedges in the tool bag in the vehicles but used for other things)...Do I have the need to construct one, no we have lots of bows to hand...Do I have the desire to create one, nah I got other things that are more pressing...I'm not a bowyer or desire to be--I work with woods in other ways--toy, cabinet and stick furniture making.

A good bow will last you...We're still shooting a 52# Bear Magnum that I bought in the late 1960s and has been passed down through all my daughters to where it's there for someone to use if we go outside and shoot some butts.

Unless you have a desire to further your knowledge and expertise in archery then building one will never cross your mind--Hell, owning one will only be a fleeting thought...Look how many members are in this forum and compare the number of postings in this specific column...

Will knowing how a bow is made make me understand the instrument better, certainly but only consistent practice will make me a better shot.
i am aware but its pita to split by hand huge logs smaller diameter trees are more manageable not that i haven't before but i dont typically work with big trees
Old 03-27-2012, 03:25 PM
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I agree, learn how to shoot and then fashion a longbow. It's ridiculously easy to fashion a 'bush bow' which might not have the range and accuracy but still would drastically improve your hunting chances.

As for the "best" bow for survival?
My vote,
A smaller (compact) 50lb compound bow.

+Smaller so it travels easily, lighter than a crossbow. A small compound with quiver should be able to lash to a backpack,
+50lb is light enough to pull and heavy enough for range and power.
+Compound because with modern sights a beginner can be scary accurate, and because the let-off allows you to aim longer.
+Accurate. Just as accurate as a crossbow with less weight.
+Practical. The compound stays strung, quiver attached is ready to shoot in seconds, reloads in seconds, doesn't mind rain, or weather, smaller means can shoot from a kneel, from a tree-stand, from cover.
+Versatile. Add-ons for bow-fishing, attached quiver, even a tactical flashlight. Can be set-up for a trigger release but still hand pulled. Sights can be painted pin-sights or battery free fiber optics, sights can be one pin or 5 pins every 10 yards or for distance at 0-20-40-60-or more (and it's hard, but i've hit the pie plate at 60 and 70 yards.)
+Arrows. Given I can't make modern arrows (but I'm hard pressed to do it with wooden ones either) but I can buy aluminum arrows at any archery store and most sporting goods stores. They're reusable (until they're not,) and there are a lot of different types to choose from (blunt tip, bird tip, bladed, expanding etc.)
Old 03-30-2012, 09:51 AM
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I have made the DIY PVC bow and it shoots great. I also found a used 50-60lb. Bear Compound at a shop, and only paid 37.50 for it. I added a cheap fiber optic site and a Whisker Bisquit, and it is deadly accurate! Look on C-L an at soem yard sales for deal.
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