Is it fair to assume that the following models have the same standard grips as they come from the factory?
1. Dream Catcher
I ask this question because I love the basic grip on the Hunter and I am a bowyer as a hobby. I need to buy a bow to use as a pattern so I am thinking I can buy any of the above (depending on the best deal) to copy the grip. Maybe i will get lucky and find a buddy with one to borrow. Thanks
The Dream Catcher, Hunter and Mamba have very similar grips. The current version of the X-200 has a slimer grip. The Hatfield grip is different as it is flatter than the other grips (similar to the Serengeti).
Ain't life grand
Well Dean it has been an interesting time for me the last few days. I went into Saskatoon, SK on the weekend and shot a brown riser X200, a green riser X200, and a Hunter all nominally 45 pounders.
Originally Posted by deanrm
The brown riser X200 felt kind of harsh and when we checked it was already pulling 52 pounds at 29.5 inches. Just a little too much for me.
You are correct, the green riser X200 has a more comfortable grip for me too. Still that bow did seem to stack a bit. It was at a different shop and we did not have a scale available.
Then I decided I had better try the Hunter and although it shot very well for me I came to the conclusion that what I really want is a bow that will give 45 pounds only at my 30 inch draw length, meaning a 40 pounder@28inches.
Well I get home late last evening and cannot resist checking out some of the on line classifieds. Well the first thing I see is a 40 pound Damon Howatt Ventura in really nice shape. Now with that bow I would have 3 bows all at 66 inch AMO. However according to the prices on eBay he wants too much money for the Ventura so I may have to pass on that one for now.
Then the fellow with the Serengeti gets back to me and tells me he also has a custom long bow (radical reflex/deflex) that he wants to sell for about half what he paid 2 years ago. It is however 47 pounds at 28 inches which may be more than I should be playing with. On the other hand I have pretty well decided to stay where I am at and kick things up a notch in terms of coaching school archery. Now that will mean I could shoot every day, all year long if I really want to. I have a pretty substantial upper body (and 29 inch in seam legs) and although it is a little old and worn out, I think I could whip it back into shape. Then of course the 50 pound Serengeti appears to still be available and from the pics it is very nice, never hunted.
The worst case scenario here is that I will have 3 bows for a total investment of about 640 USD, all quality bows. And how can 3 bows fail to be a lot more fun than just 1!
BTW we went on a field trip from school today and had both a fair size black bear and a woodland caribou cross the highway in front of the bus. Gotta love this part of the world.
Best thing to do if you can is visit a local Martin dealer. In the last 3 weeks I have shot all of these bows but the Mamba, which at 58 inches AMO does not interest me in the least. They are all hanging on the wall right beside a 10 yard shooting area down a hallway. In reality I did not pay a lot of attention to the grip on any of them just because I feel the difference between a good grip and a not so good one can be fixed with a rasp, some sand paper and some finish.
Originally Posted by Whisperbow
That will give you the best idea of which one you want. Then check out the classifieds on Archery Talk and Leatherwall as well as eBay. If you just want one for a pattern you should be able to buy any one of them in less than pristine condition quite cheap, and then sell it later and get most or all of your money back. I just picked up what appears to be a very nice Damon Howatt Ventura for a hundred bucks on eBay.
I think if I were you, I would wait until your Ventura arrives and you have the oppertunity to shoot it a lot before you decide on your next bow. If you miss a good deal on one now, chances are that another will come along. After you have shot your Ventura for some time and developed proper form, along with getting your muscles used to drawing a bow, you could consider a heavier bow.
Shooting a light weight bow is great. You can shoot it longer before you start getting tired. Once you begin to get tired, it seems like your form starts to degrade and you might pick up some bad habits. As soon as I feel that I am getting tired/sore, I stop shooting.
A great book on shooting is "Shooting the Stickbow". I highly recommend it:http://www.shootingthestickbow.com/
One other thing to consider, it seems like older Martin Bows were marked lighter than they actually were. I have a 10 year old Dream Catcher that is marked 50# @ 28", but actually measures 55# @ 28". The newer ones seem much closer, usually within a pound of what is marked. It is good that you are measuring them at your draw length as this is what you will feel. Also, when measuring, you might want to take note of what they are at 28" & 29" also so you can determine how fast the weight is increasing (stackinig). I've seen bows that increase anywhere from 2#/in. to 5#/in.
Thanks, Dean, I was just kind of thinking the same way. There does not seem to be any rush as there are good bows coming up for sale all the time.
Originally Posted by deanrm
I know from golf and rifle shooting that it is far easier to not develop bad habits than it is to break them.
One thing I did find out about the 40 pound Ventura was that it pulls 38 pounds at 28 inches. The current owner was even shocked by that since he has had other Damon Howatts that scaled on the high side. The bottom line is that without scaling them one never knows.
I have a mamba
I tested a number of Bows some were too hard to pull or were not comfortable in the hand I liked the feel of the mamba as soon as I picked it up the grip suited me.
Well, Dean, to make a long story short I am now shooting the Ventura and it is right at 42 pounds at my draw length. Only had it for a few days but can feel the improvement in my muscle tone already. Just proves the wisdom of buying good used equipment as I have seen brand new bows with more shop wear on them than this bow exhibits.
Originally Posted by deanrm
I ended up buying some brush rests from Joe St Charles, Glenn St Charles son, and he got me thinking about the nice wood used to make bows in the 60's.
So I now have a Bear Kodiak Special (probably 1963) in process. It is also a 66 inch bow and at a nominal draw weight of 42#. I really did not need it, but it sure is a pretty looking thing.
I have also come to the conclusion that if I am going to buy a takedown bow it will be a Chek Mate that is made right here in Canada. The pricing on them is very reasonable and everyone seems to like the ones they have.
Thank you for all your good information and encouragement. I may never be an actual Martin owner; I doubt that I will ever part with the Ventura which is a first cousin.
The Checkmate's are very nice bows, espically for the money. My Nephew shoots one, and every once in a while I sneek a few shots with it.
Your Ventura is made in the same facility by the same people as the current production Howatt/Martin bows are. The only difference is that it doesn't have the Martin name on it.
I think you made a great decision with that bow. As you shoot it more, you will feel yourself getting stronger and then you will be able to begin to shoot a heaver bow if you choose to do so. Just concentrate on maintaining the good form that you will develop with your current bow.
Have fun shooting!