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Thread: X200 vs Mamba for beginning archer?

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    Question X200 vs Mamba for beginning archer?

    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

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    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).
    Last edited by Joe H; 04-01-2014 at 09:56 AM. Reason: added info

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emblizz View Post
    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.
    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.
    Last edited by elkslayer4x5; 04-01-2014 at 10:33 AM.
    http://eastoutfitter.tripod.com/index.html
    http://www.cascadianbowmen.org/
    Martin 06 Slayer, Nitrous C, shoot thru, 63lb, Quiktune 3000, HAA OL 5519, Beman ICS Hunter
    Martin 06 Slayer, Nitrous C, Shoot thru, 55lb, Quiktune 3000, HHA OL 5519 2X, Easton A/C/C
    Ben Pearson 1968 'Cougar' 62" 45#s @ 28" recurve, parallel shaft POC, Zwickey 'Eskimo' 2 blade

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    http://www.reddit.com/r/Archery/comm...d_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.

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    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.

    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!

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    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.
    2007 Slayer, 55#, Nitrous C, Bodoodle rest, Limbsaver sight, Kwikee Kwiver 3 arrow, Aka "The Man in Black"
    1981 Martin Cougar II MT-6, 60#, Whisker Biscuit, Fuse sight. Kwikee Kwiver
    1984 Browning Deluxe Nomad II XL, 50#, Browning Rack & Pinion sight, Flipper II rest. Kwikee Kwiver

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emblizz View Post
    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.
    http://eastoutfitter.tripod.com/index.html
    http://www.cascadianbowmen.org/
    Martin 06 Slayer, Nitrous C, shoot thru, 63lb, Quiktune 3000, HAA OL 5519, Beman ICS Hunter
    Martin 06 Slayer, Nitrous C, Shoot thru, 55lb, Quiktune 3000, HHA OL 5519 2X, Easton A/C/C
    Ben Pearson 1968 'Cougar' 62" 45#s @ 28" recurve, parallel shaft POC, Zwickey 'Eskimo' 2 blade

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    Quote Originally Posted by CLT Bluesman View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by elkslayer4x5 View Post
    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
    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.

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    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.

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    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.
    Recurves: 40lb X-200, 45 & 50lb Hunters, 45lb Mamba

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