Author Topic: Buying archery accessories?  (Read 3479 times)

ultros1234

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Buying archery accessories?
« on: February 19, 2014, 02:00:01 PM »
Dear mustachian archers --

I recently got a bow, which I'm planning to use to shoot for free, forever, at the local public archery range. But I'm currently lacking in, um, arrows. And other accessories. If there's any mustachian archers out there, do you have recommendations for arrows? I'm not sure what to buy that will last a long time but not be needlessly pricey.

I have a 40# recurve that I will use exclusively for target shooting -- no hunting for me. I also need stuff like a bow stringer, glove, arm guard, etc. I've been stalking CL, but it's slim pickings, and lots of people are too far away from me to be worth the cost savings over new. Thoughts?

Russ

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Re: Buying archery accessories?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2014, 02:06:41 PM »
My grandpa made his own arrows. I have no idea how this works, cost effectiveness, longevity, etc., but it's a thing.

For used stuff, find an archery forum. Forums exist for everything, and they almost always have a buy/sell/trade section. Just make sure to introduce yourself first.

Zimy

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Re: Buying archery accessories?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 04:40:47 PM »
For the arm guard and quiver, get them new and get exactly what you want. Good quality ones will never wear out.

I prefer tabs to finger guards, and tabs have the bonus of being a lot cheaper. Buying another finger guard will set you back $8 - $20, whereas a tab will be $.5 - $1.5 and they wear out at about the same rate (ymmv). Some people work up to not needing any finger protection at all.

There's not much to say about strings except when you're buying new ones the sizing can be confusing. Write down what length your string is and verify that the new one is also that length. Some strings will be labeled by bow length. For example, if your bow is 60" then you need a 56" string (or thereabout). Some 56" strings will say 60" and what they mean is that they are for 60" BOWS. It can be confusing.

Arrows are by far the most expensive part of shooting. I'm afraid I don't have experience buying arrows in the last 10 years so I can't help you with cost/location, but it's definitely worth it to get some good arrows. Some places will let you pick out the materials, and I don't just mean the fletching colors - they'll give you a bunch of shafts and let you choose the ones you want to use (hint: put one end up to your eye and sight down the length while turning it. Only choose the straightest ones). Be careful about getting second-hand arrows. Since you're shooting a higher poundage bow it's especially important that your arrows are spined correctly. I won't get too much into it, but arrows that are less "dynamic" will bend unpredictably around your bow and decrease your accuracy. Basically, if you go online and buy some arrows from ebay, the arrows could be spined for a 25# or 30# bow and while you may not notice as a beginner, you will in the long run.

One of the biggest considerations should be the type of target you use. If the targets are very hard or the shooting area is surrounded by concrete or metal, your arrows will break far more quickly. All those arrows you chose so carefully? Kaput. On a funnier note, you can tell you're getting good when you start breaking your own arrows.

You don't mention whether you're an experienced archer, so I feel obliged to mention that 40# is a lot of draw weight and the people I know don't usually use anything above 35#. Also remember that the listed draw weight of the bow is usually at 28" - if you have long arms you'll be drawing more.

Best of luck! I love archery and wish I got out to shoot more.

ultros1234

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Re: Buying archery accessories?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2014, 05:07:53 PM »
Thanks folks!

Zimy, a couple follow-up questions:

-- Do you use a bow stringer? I've read that it's bad for the bow to string it without one.

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Some places will let you pick out the materials, and I don't just mean the fletching colors
Arrow materials are hard to keep track of. It seems like target arrows come in fiberglass, wood, aluminum, or carbon. My quick evaluation is that wood is not very practical, and as far as price and quality go, fiberglass < aluminum < carbon. Can I get by with fiberglass arrows, or do I need to go more expensive?

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Be careful about getting second-hand arrows.
I hadn't thought about this, that arrows are going to get screwed up with use. Maybe I will be better off biting the bullet and buying new.

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You don't mention whether you're an experienced archer, so I feel obliged to mention that 40# is a lot of draw weight and the people I know don't usually use anything above 35#. Also remember that the listed draw weight of the bow is usually at 28" - if you have long arms you'll be drawing more.
Well, maybe I've made a terrible mistake, since I'm not an especially experienced archer. I was aiming to get a bow that was accessible but that I wouldn't feel the need to replace later, so I split the difference in terms of draw weight. I guess I'll just have to take it to the range and see how it goes. Maybe I just need to start doing push-ups again. :)

Zimy

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Re: Buying archery accessories?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2014, 12:38:37 PM »
Yes, I use a bow stringer! Completely forgot about that, sorry. I've used mine since I started and it hasn't worn out. If you're handy you can probably fashion one yourself. In the same vein, avoid storing your bow upright because that puts pressure on the limbs.

Sorry, I don't know much about arrow materials. I come from the SCA world and everyone uses wood except the kids, who usually use aluminum. I personally love the feel of the wood, but I checked out this website (https://www.3riversarchery.com/arrowselectiontips.asp) and think that fiberglass should be fine.

One thing about arrows I completely neglected to mention is that the length of the shaft will be tied to your draw length (This website shows how to determine your draw length: http://www.bestrecurvebowguide.com/how-to-choose-arrows-for-your-bow/). If your arrows are too short you'll pull them straight off the arrow rest!

You'll probably get used to the weight of the bow after a while, it'll just take longer. Keep your first few sessions short and slowly increase your time on the range to avoid injuring your shoulder.

jba302

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Re: Buying archery accessories?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2014, 01:00:38 PM »
Well, maybe I've made a terrible mistake, since I'm not an especially experienced archer. I was aiming to get a bow that was accessible but that I wouldn't feel the need to replace later, so I split the difference in terms of draw weight. I guess I'll just have to take it to the range and see how it goes. Maybe I just need to start doing push-ups again. :)

Strong back not strong chest. Do a lot of rows, power cleans, chin ups. Traps, anterior delts, rhomboids.

That's all I have to add since my bow is a compound. I use carbon fiber w/100 gr tips and a 68# draw, but I imagine that draw would be hard to hold with a recurve for more than a dozen shots.

ultros1234

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Re: Buying archery accessories?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2014, 02:20:26 PM »
Thanks everyone! Sounds like I need to make a trip to the archery store -- buying all this stuff at once online is pretty overwhelming. Once I have a basic setup, I think I'll be better able to buy used or find excellent online deals.

And to jba: Thanks! I will bust out the pull-up bar, not the push-up, um... floor.