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Emblizz
03-31-2014, 07:39 PM
Hey there, archers!

I'm a 19-yo girl on the look-out for my first bow - preferably a traditional recurve - and I could really use some help!
Currently, I am considering the Martin X200 and the Mamba.
At first when I began my quest searching for bows, the X200 caught my eye, and since then I have done an amount of research on it and read a bunch of reviews. It seems to me that it would be a good bow for me, but it's out of production, right? Furthermore I'm not sure if it comes with my draw length, which is 26". I've only seen it around with 28". (I know I'm green, but am I right when I'm assuming that I should buy a bow that has 26" as a marked draw length, or would a 28" serve me just as well?)
Turns out that a "local" (well, not exactly local, but it's located in Scandinavia and not in the US) archery shop has offered to take in the Mamba for me if I decide that I want that. I originally asked if they could take in the X200, but they didn't see that as a possibility.
Upon visiting the Martin site, I immediately noticed that the Mamba has a draw weight of 40# and up, which made me eliminate it as a possibility. But the shop I mentioned wrote back saying they could get it for me with 30#.
That made me feel more curious about the Mamba, so I read a few reviews about it. I was thrilled to learn that it's great for those with shorter draw lengths (as I mentioned earlier, mine is 26"). But to be honest, the reviews mostly made me feel a little discouraged, because they stated clearly that the Mamba isn't suited for beginners.
I’m not sure how much attention I should pay to that, as traditional bows in general probably wouldn’t be recommended for beginning archers. I want to do instinctive shooting and am not interested in modern archery equipment at all, really, so I guess I pretty much know what I am getting into when taking that into consideration.
Also, I want a quality bow that I can count on having for years. Not a too expensive one, but definitely not a cheap beginner-bow.

Anyway, enough talking for now - I'd love to know what you guys think!
Should I go for the X200, or is the Mamba maybe the thing for me?
And would it be hard to get my hands on an X200 with the specifications I've mentioned earlier? (26", and ca. 30#...)
Any thoughts, input and advice would be greatly appreciated! :)
Also feel free to ask me any question that might pop into your head, and if I've made myself unclear in any way, let me know.

Thanks in advance!

- Embla

Joe H
04-01-2014, 08:36 AM
Hi, First off, the 28" means that the weight of pull, such as 30 llbs, was measured at a 28" draw...so if you are at 26", the draw wt. for you may be closer to 27 lbs rather than 30. You are wise to set your max. at 30 lbs, and you should not rule out 25 or even 20. I recently got a 20lb Martin X100 in like new condition on eBay for a total cost of $118. The bow I use most often is a 1966 30 lb Shakespeare X25 Trident that I bought in a antique shop for $115. Both are fiitted with a $2.50 Hoyt Hunter arrow rest that I replace every 1,000. arrows. I do not use sights or other add-ons.
I am pretty new to this as well as I took up archery again after 55 years (I'm 72). Make sure you love the bow before you buy it. I need a bow I love to look at, and "modern" bows look too much like machines to me. You would do well to get the book "Shooting the Stickbow" by Anthony Camera. It is, by far, the best I've read. Good luck and much fun ahead!

It may be tough finding the 2 bows you mentioned in 30#, or for a modest price. You may want to consider a new Samick Red Stag from lancasterarchery.com for $170. It has many positive ratings, but all the weights (30# and above) are on backorder (a few weeks wait) due to its popularity. It is a very attractive bow, and Lancaster Archery is a great place to deal with (I have been there a number of times).

elkslayer4x5
04-01-2014, 10:28 AM
Hey there, archers!

I'm a 19-yo girl on the look-out for my first bow - preferably a traditional recurve - and I could really use some help!
Currently, I am considering the Martin X200 and the Mamba.
At first when I began my quest searching for bows, the X200 caught my eye, and since then I have done an amount of research on it and read a bunch of reviews. It seems to me that it would be a good bow for me, but it's out of production, right? Furthermore I'm not sure if it comes with my draw length, which is 26". I've only seen it around with 28". (I know I'm green, but am I right when I'm assuming that I should buy a bow that has 26" as a marked draw length, or would a 28" serve me just as well?)
Turns out that a "local" (well, not exactly local, but it's located in Scandinavia and not in the US) archery shop has offered to take in the Mamba for me if I decide that I want that. I originally asked if they could take in the X200, but they didn't see that as a possibility.
Upon visiting the Martin site, I immediately noticed that the Mamba has a draw weight of 40# and up, which made me eliminate it as a possibility. But the shop I mentioned wrote back saying they could get it for me with 30#.
That made me feel more curious about the Mamba, so I read a few reviews about it. I was thrilled to learn that it's great for those with shorter draw lengths (as I mentioned earlier, mine is 26"). But to be honest, the reviews mostly made me feel a little discouraged, because they stated clearly that the Mamba isn't suited for beginners.
I’m not sure how much attention I should pay to that, as traditional bows in general probably wouldn’t be recommended for beginning archers. I want to do instinctive shooting and am not interested in modern archery equipment at all, really, so I guess I pretty much know what I am getting into when taking that into consideration.
Also, I want a quality bow that I can count on having for years. Not a too expensive one, but definitely not a cheap beginner-bow.
Anyway, enough talking for now - I'd love to know what you guys think!
Should I go for the X200, or is the Mamba maybe the thing for me?
And would it be hard to get my hands on an X200 with the specifications I've mentioned earlier? (26", and ca. 30#...)
Any thoughts, input and advice would be greatly appreciated! :)
Also feel free to ask me any question that might pop into your head, and if I've made myself unclear in any way, let me know.

Thanks in advance!

- Embla

If your dealer can get you a Mamba in 30#s, it would be the better of the two bows mentioned, and as you said, you want a higher quality bow. Martin had been making the Mamba a lot longer that they've offered the X-200, an intermediate level bow, not that there is anything wrong with the X-200, just that the Mamba is higher quality bow, but basically designed for hunting, with its 58" length. It is a very good looking bow with its Bubinga and Shedua riser and Maple accents, while the X-200 has an one piece "Riser made of exotic hardwoods", but is a 60 inch bow. If it was me plunking down my hard earned 'coin of the realm', I'd go for the Mamba. :D
As Joe H mentioned, your 26" draw will only reduce the draw weight. Recurves are unlike compound bows, which are draw length specfic, Recurves can be draw to any point and shot with no ill effects. The X-200 was discoutinued in 2013, and veiwing the 2013 website, I see that the Mamba is avaible in 35 to 65# draw weights, the 35 # Mamba drawn to 26" would be about 32=33#s, if the dealer can't find a 30# model. :)

Stevtech
04-01-2014, 07:31 PM
http://www.reddit.com/r/Archery/comments/1e0b2a/my_first_recurve_samick_sage_vs_red_stag_vs_pse/

This is some reading that is interesting. I know how rough it is to be inexperienced and trying to buy a bow mail order.
I was in the same situation. I bought a martin diablo TD. I found that was the easy part. The hard part was buying a string that would last, and arrows that I could tune to it.

Emblizz
04-02-2014, 01:34 PM
I just want to thank you for your posts, you have been of great help!

I'm doing some more research before I buy something. Thanks for recommending the Stag, Joe - I will look it up.
I've decided not to buy the X200. I'm still drawn to the Mamba, but like I said, I'll keep looking for a bit before I decide on anything :)
Also, thanks a lot for explaining about the draw length and draw weight, elkslayer4x5 - finally I actually understand it, phew! What a relief. :p

And yes, Stevtech - it really seems hard to choose arrows in particular...
I have to do some serious reading about it, but you guys may not have heard the last of me...... ;)
Anyway, I'll update y'all when I've decided on a bow, if not before.
The dealer wanted quite a price for the Mamba, so that's another reason not to rush it.

Shoot straight!

CLT Bluesman
04-02-2014, 04:56 PM
This thread was a wonderful read. Welcome to the site, and let us know how your journey progress's. You came to the right forum. The guys on here are truly experts and you will learn alot.

elkslayer4x5
04-03-2014, 10:28 AM
The dealer wanted quite a price for the Mamba, so that's another reason not to rush it.

Shoot straight!
Yep, it's an upper end bow and will cost more, but it is worth it! An even better value is the Samick Red Stag, which is becomming a very popular bow due to it's shooting characteristics, as well as it's eye appeal, Every time I browse an Archery catalog, the Red stag one piece catches my eye, I'd be shooting one but for my long draw length. :)

Emblizz
04-04-2014, 03:21 PM
This thread was a wonderful read. Welcome to the site, and let us know how your journey progress's. You came to the right forum. The guys on here are truly experts and you will learn alot.

Thank you! It seems like a great forum indeed, I'm glad I chose to join this one.


Yep, it's an upper end bow and will cost more, but it is worth it! An even better value is the Samick Red Stag, which is becomming a very popular bow due to it's shooting characteristics, as well as it's eye appeal, Every time I browse an Archery catalog, the Red stag one piece catches my eye, I'd be shooting one but for my long draw length. :)

The Red Stag looks cool, and is also quite cheap, from what I can see... hmmmm.. Seems like I'll have a hard time trying to make a choice :p
I haven't been able to find it for sale anywhere outside of the US though, and I don't know if it's a good idea for me to buy from the US. The shipping prices get really high. Then again, I might be able to find it in Europe if I keep looking.

Stevtech
04-05-2014, 09:44 PM
Samick is made in Korea.
"Ragim 58" Black Bear" made in Italy. Martin low end recurves made in USA, TD limbs made in China. Thats what I read but don't really know.
All are probably better than you could get 20 years ago, which was not so far gone for some of us.
From what I have read performance and finish are about the same on all of them and to spend more generally gets you a better finish on the bows.
In reading threads, here and others, it seems you might need to take a fine rat tail file and round out and smooth out the string groves on all of them. I know I did on my Martin Diablo to make the string not have such a sharp bend that it opens the serving.
It would be nice to shoot all them before you buy one. The next best thing is looking at U Tube videos. On people shooting and comparing them.

You will have to get arrows. If you have a place to shoot targets, and finger tabs, stringer.
On the arrows, I buy a group of six with two unfletched until you get the ones you really like. That is the way I do it. I have gone to three shops that were no help at all, they just specialize in compounds for hunting around here.

Keep us informed of your progress and decisions.

CaptJJ
04-05-2014, 10:39 PM
I own both bows. My opinion is that the Mamba would be a poor choice for beginner, the short riser makes for less stability and tougher to shoot accurately. I bought mine for short range hunting and it took a while to get used to it, but now I really like it. The X-200 is a little longer, higher brace height and it's much easier to shoot well, along with my Hunter; the longer bows are much more forgiving and smoother drawing and it is easier for me to be accurate with them. That's been my experience anyway.

elkslayer4x5
04-07-2014, 09:25 AM
Both the Italian and the Korean bows should be avaible in Sweden, with out any import fees. Hope you find your bow, and please , tell us what you do get. :)

Emblizz
04-07-2014, 01:21 PM
Samick is made in Korea.
"Ragim 58" Black Bear" made in Italy. Martin low end recurves made in USA, TD limbs made in China. Thats what I read but don't really know.
All are probably better than you could get 20 years ago, which was not so far gone for some of us.
From what I have read performance and finish are about the same on all of them and to spend more generally gets you a better finish on the bows.
In reading threads, here and others, it seems you might need to take a fine rat tail file and round out and smooth out the string groves on all of them. I know I did on my Martin Diablo to make the string not have such a sharp bend that it opens the serving.
It would be nice to shoot all them before you buy one. The next best thing is looking at U Tube videos. On people shooting and comparing them.

You will have to get arrows. If you have a place to shoot targets, and finger tabs, stringer.
On the arrows, I buy a group of six with two unfletched until you get the ones you really like. That is the way I do it. I have gone to three shops that were no help at all, they just specialize in compounds for hunting around here.

Keep us informed of your progress and decisions.

Thanks for your post!

I considered the Ragim Black Bear for a short while, as it looked nice on their website. Plus it would be cheaper for me to get it as I live in Sweden - buying an imported Martin bow (or the Stag, for that matter) adds 100 dollars to the price, and I have to say that's a bit unfortunate..
But when I googled the Black Bear, I wasn't able to find a single good review of it - most people had horror stories about receiving the bows all twisted up etc, and everyone agreed that it's quite a crappy bow. I don't dare to waste any money on it :P

I haven't got a chance of trying out any of these bows as they are hard enough to get hold on here in Europe (especially with the right draw weight).
But thank goodness for Youtube vids! :)

The mere thought of me putting a file to a bow scares me, though. Haha. Hopefully I can get someone else to fix that for me...


I own both bows. My opinion is that the Mamba would be a poor choice for beginner, the short riser makes for less stability and tougher to shoot accurately. I bought mine for short range hunting and it took a while to get used to it, but now I really like it. The X-200 is a little longer, higher brace height and it's much easier to shoot well, along with my Hunter; the longer bows are much more forgiving and smoother drawing and it is easier for me to be accurate with them. That's been my experience anyway.

Thanks for your input! Great to hear the opinion of someone who owns both the bows I mentioned.
Do you think the X200 is worth the extra $100 that covers the shipping costs? In that case, I would be able to buy it from an american webshop that still has it in 30#. (Ye Olde Archery Shoppe)

EDIT: Oh, and thank you, elkslayer4x5 - I will! :)

elkslayer4x5
04-07-2014, 03:28 PM
The mere thought of me putting a file to a bow scares me, though. Haha. Hopefully I can get someone else to fix that for me...

When you get your bow, check it at the limb notches for any rough spots, if you find any rough area and need to clean those up, we can lead you through the process, it's very easy, remember that people have been doing this for 100's of years, even though your new bow will be made of modern materials, the process is the same. My grandson got a new set of limbs for his Martin Diablo not long ago, and one limb wouldn't fit. A few stroke with a file removed the rough finish of the imported limb ( China ) and the limb fit fine. I have several links to bow build-alongs, in case you'd care to see and read on how it's done. Have no worries, we can help you through this phase as well. :)

Emblizz
04-10-2014, 10:26 AM
When you get your bow, check it at the limb notches for any rough spots, if you find any rough area and need to clean those up, we can lead you through the process, it's very easy, remember that people have been doing this for 100's of years, even though your new bow will be made of modern materials, the process is the same. My grandson got a new set of limbs for his Martin Diablo not long ago, and one limb wouldn't fit. A few stroke with a file removed the rough finish of the imported limb ( China ) and the limb fit fine. I have several links to bow build-alongs, in case you'd care to see and read on how it's done. Have no worries, we can help you through this phase as well. :)

Okay, that's great. I think I'll be able to do it with a bit of guidance :rolleyes:
And I would really like to read about it if you've got some good links!

I've been reading about recurve bow tuning and arrows now.
From what I can understand, I should order arrows that fit to the draw weight of my bow... How accurate does that have to be?
The rest seems quite complicated, like what kind of spine I need etc. I think I'll go for wooden arrows anyway, and I guess I can try a few different ones and go with what I like.
But if any of you have any suggestions about what kind of arrows I could try, that would be great. I'm a bit of a newbie after all, lol :) I know it's a bit too early to decide on any, since I haven't actually bought/decided on a bow yet, and the kind of arrows I use should match the bow.

I find myself thinking that I perhaps should just start off with a cheap bow, like the Ragim Black Bear, and then buy something better when I've got the hang of using that... But it does tempt me more to buy one of the better alternatives. It's just the import costs that hold me back. :l

elkslayer4x5
04-11-2014, 01:39 PM
Okay, that's great. I think I'll be able to do it with a bit of guidance :rolleyes:
And I would really like to read about it if you've got some good links!

I've been reading about recurve bow tuning and arrows now.
From what I can understand, I should order arrows that fit to the draw weight of my bow... How accurate does that have to be?
The rest seems quite complicated, like what kind of spine I need etc. I think I'll go for wooden arrows anyway, and I guess I can try a few different ones and go with what I like.
But if any of you have any suggestions about what kind of arrows I could try, that would be great. I'm a bit of a newbie after all, lol :) I know it's a bit too early to decide on any, since I haven't actually bought/decided on a bow yet, and the kind of arrows I use should match the bow.

I find myself thinking that I perhaps should just start off with a cheap bow, like the Ragim Black Bear, and then buy something better when I've got the hang of using that... But it does tempt me more to buy one of the better alternatives. It's just the import costs that hold me back. :l

This link should give enough reading for a little bit. This is the Bowyer's Workbench at TradRag.com Lots of build alongs will take you through building a bow, of all types, with text and photos.

http://www.tradrag.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=35&sid=2069efe43489d8ce9cf8c80e8e189d82

As far as arrows go, they need to be spined correctly for your bow, your draw weight and draw length, which can get quite complicated. In the search box at the top right of this forum ( Traditional Bow Forum ) type in Recurve tuning, and you'll begin to get an idea of every thing involved, but as with everything else here, we're glad to help. I prefer wood with recurves, but other like carbons, which seem to be harder to tune. Only because they are avaible in a wider range of spines. Read through the links and the search and we'll take it from the new question that will come up. Really do wish I had this resource when I began archery, my rescource was to join an archery club, which I recomend if you can. :)

Emblizz
04-30-2014, 06:11 AM
I can now gladly announce that I've finally bought a bow. :D
I should perhaps start a new thread, because I ended up with a 58" Ragim Black Bear, 30# @ 28". I think it will do fine for me, at least for the time being. I'm planning to upgrade when I have become better at shooting (and rich :rolleyes:).
Also bought a few arrows that the shop recommended for the bow and me. And nocking points and a bow stringer of course.
I haven't strung or set up the bow yet, as I still need to make/buy a target, lol. I'm going to the nearest sports shop to look later today as I seem to recall that they had archery targets a few weeks back.
Anyway, the bow looks and feels like it's good quality. I don't think it needs to be filed.
Updating in the near future! :)

minnie
05-01-2014, 08:32 AM
don't forget a finger tab and arm armguard.
and happy shooting with your new bow.

Emblizz
05-01-2014, 09:12 AM
Haha, true - I delayed buying it, which I have paid for with a bruised forearm and some painful fingers. :P
Buying both asap. And thanks!

elkslayer4x5
05-01-2014, 09:53 AM
You can make a target by stuffing a woven plastic bag, the type commonely used as feed bags with shrink wrap or plastic bags, it will be lightweight and weather proof. Also will not cost much, if anything. :)

Stevtech
05-01-2014, 02:06 PM
Congratulations, There are You Tube videos of DIY targets. Shouldn't much for penetration. Size may be another issue. ;-)