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Thread: choosing draw weight for new bow

  1. #1
    TXN
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    Default choosing draw weight for new bow

    I am planning to purchase a 2010 Shadowcat very soon and am contemplating what draw weight I should get this bow in and am hoping for some advice from knowledgeable people on the pros and cons of heavier vs lighter draw weight.

    The tech specs on the new Shadowcat indicate that the bow is available in 50#, 60#, and 70#. I am assuming that I will have to select a draw weight when I purchase the bow as the limbs determine its capacity for draw weight...correct?

    I'm intending to shoot the Shadowcat with fingers although I may decide to experiement with a release in the future. My draw length is 29.5 and the bow I've been shooting for the past 30 years has a draw weight of about 55#.

    This Shadowcat will be used strictly for hunting whitetail deer and mule deer, so all I'm really interested in is that I have good accuracy and enough penetration to kill. I have never had any penetration problems on deer with the 55# bow that I've been using, so I really don't see a need for a heavy draw weight, but I'm wondering what you guys have to say about this.

    Right now, my thoughts are that I should go with the 50# bow as I believe it will be plenty adequate for deer hunting and should probably make for an easier time of shooting large numbers of arrows during practice sessions. I am 6'2" and have plenty of strength to shoot a heavier bow, but I'm thinking that there is really no need for it. However, most of the deer I have ever killed with a bow have been under 30 yards and I would love to be able to increase the distance I could shoot and still make clean kills. Would a heavier draw weight be beneficial in making kills out to longer distances or will 50# suffice just as well?

    Although I've been bow hunting for 30 years, I am not very knowledgeable when its comes to the technical specifics concerning arrow trajectory and impact with different draw weights or arrow speeds, so I'm really hoping that you guys will share some of your knowledge and help me to determine what draw weight will be best for my situation. Really, the main things I am concerned with are honing my accuracy out to a little farther distance and having enough penetration for good clean kills.

  2. #2
    RogerSr
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    Congrats on your new bow, I've been hunting with a bow for more then fifty years, and I have killed every kind of big game in the northern and western part of the US. and some in Alaska and Canada and also some in Africa, and the only places I used a bow of more then #60 was in Alaska and Africa, and I'm getting older now, for the past few years I've been using a #50 to #55 bow for everything, and have killed a lot of deer & elk
    bear & pig with them, I don't think there is any need for more then #50 for deer #60 at the most, you know that you can special order a #55 from Martin in any bow they make, I have in the past and it's a great weight, most Martin bows with #50 limbs will max out at about #53 if not give the cables a twist or two and they will, good luck and enjoy.

  3. #3
    String builder/ Super Moderator Hutch~n~Son Archery's Avatar
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    I agree with RogerSr. You don't need a massive draw weight to kill a deer. Now for longer distances (I assume you mean 40 and 50 yards), I would recommend the 60lb. bow. The higher the draw weight, the higher the kinetic energy(penetration) is of the arrow. It also raises the arrow speed(there are other factors including weight on the string, arrow weight, and draw length that change the kinetic energy and speed of the arrow). So with the 60lb. bow, it would give you the edge you need at longer yardages, but it could still be adjusted to 50lb. if you wanted.
    Last edited by Hutch~n~Son Archery; 01-09-2010 at 05:46 PM. Reason: Missing info

  4. #4
    jpermenter
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    I would also keep in mind that all the bows have 15# of adjustment on draw weight so a 70# would go down to 55# and a 60# bow would go down to 45#. Personally I got a 70# and shoot around 63-66 pounds. How I see it, the more pounds you shoot the faster your arrow will travel. With that long of a draw you could shoot 50-60 yards with 60# of draw weight pretty comfortably and still get clean kills and probably pass through most game if the arrow is placed where you want it. Also another thing to keep in mind, if you are shooting an old bow you may be surprised how much smoother the draw is on the new bows. (which to me makes it easier to draw). Congrats on the new bow!

  5. #5
    RogerSr
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    I take deer out to 50yrd with my #50 bows and get pass throughs on almost all of them, and took one last year at 56 yrd with a #51 and got a pass through, it's shot placement that counts, not how much draw weight your pulling,
    and if you back the limb bolts out more then about one or two turns you lose efficiency
    Last edited by RogerSr; 01-09-2010 at 06:20 PM.

  6. #6
    String builder/ Super Moderator Hutch~n~Son Archery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXN View Post
    I am planning to purchase a 2010 Shadowcat very soon and am contemplating what draw weight I should get this bow in and am hoping for some advice from knowledgeable people on the pros and cons of heavier vs lighter draw weight.

    The tech specs on the new Shadowcat indicate that the bow is available in 50#, 60#, and 70#. I am assuming that I will have to select a draw weight when I purchase the bow as the limbs determine its capacity for draw weight...correct?

    I'm intending to shoot the Shadowcat with fingers although I may decide to experiement with a release in the future. My draw length is 29.5 and the bow I've been shooting for the past 30 years has a draw weight of about 55#.

    This Shadowcat will be used strictly for hunting whitetail deer and mule deer, so all I'm really interested in is that I have good accuracy and enough penetration to kill. I have never had any penetration problems on deer with the 55# bow that I've been using, so I really don't see a need for a heavy draw weight, but I'm wondering what you guys have to say about this.

    Right now, my thoughts are that I should go with the 50# bow as I believe it will be plenty adequate for deer hunting and should probably make for an easier time of shooting large numbers of arrows during practice sessions. I am 6'2" and have plenty of strength to shoot a heavier bow, but I'm thinking that there is really no need for it. However, most of the deer I have ever killed with a bow have been under 30 yards and I would love to be able to increase the distance I could shoot and still make clean kills. Would a heavier draw weight be beneficial in making kills out to longer distances or will 50# suffice just as well?

    Although I've been bow hunting for 30 years, I am not very knowledgeable when its comes to the technical specifics concerning arrow trajectory and impact with different draw weights or arrow speeds, so I'm really hoping that you guys will share some of your knowledge and help me to determine what draw weight will be best for my situation. Really, the main things I am concerned with are honing my accuracy out to a little farther distance and having enough penetration for good clean kills.
    In the end it comes down to personal preference. All members of this forum will have different opinions on this topic, so go with what you feel is best.

  7. #7
    TXN
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    I've been thinking, all along, that I will go with the 50# bow, but have also considered the possibilty of going with the 60#. I had read that bows will perform best if maxed out, but I haven't understood why. When you say that you will lose efficiency after backing the limbs bolts more than one or two turns, exactly in what way is efficiency lost? If I were to go with the 60# bow and drop it down to 55#, would it neccessarily be less efficient than shooting a 50# bow that is maxed out at 50#?

    I was watching Ted Nugent on the Outdoor Channel a couple of weeks ago, and he was saying that there is absolutely no reason that anybody needs anything heavier than 50# for deer hunting. His reasoning was that if you exceed 50#, you will tend to be less graceful in drawing and firing your bow, which will effect accuracy. Also, he reasoned that above 50# it simply becomes too difficult to shoot 100 practice arrows a day. He was quite convincing in his argument, as Ted seems to have a knack for, so I've just been wondering if anyone might be able to give me some good reasons why I might be better off with 60# rather than 50#.

  8. #8
    RogerSr
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXN View Post
    I've been thinking, all along, that I will go with the 50# bow, but have also considered the possibilty of going with the 60#. I had read that bows will perform best if maxed out, but I haven't understood why. When you say that you will lose efficiency after backing the limbs bolts more than one or two turns, exactly in what way is efficiency lost? If I were to go with the 60# bow and drop it down to 55#, would it neccessarily be less efficient than shooting a 50# bow that is maxed out at 50#?

    I was watching Ted Nugent on the Outdoor Channel a couple of weeks ago, and he was saying that there is absolutely no reason that anybody needs anything heavier than 50# for deer hunting. His reasoning was that if you exceed 50#, you will tend to be less graceful in drawing and firing your bow, which will effect accuracy. Also, he reasoned that above 50# it simply becomes too difficult to shoot 100 practice arrows a day. He was quite convincing in his argument, as Ted seems to have a knack for, so I've just been wondering if anyone might be able to give me some good reasons why I might be better off with 60# rather than 50#.
    If you shoot a #60 at #55 you will only be backing the limb bolts out less then two turns, but the limbs are designed to perform at there best tightened all the way down, like I said you can special order a bow with #55 limbs from Martin, when you have the limbs all the way tight the cables are tight, and the bow is more efficient, and you will shoot it with more accuracy, and I think Ted is right, also when you have the limbs all the way down the bow is a lot quieter and I mean a lot quieter! for my target bows I don't care to much, but my hunting bow I do, my hunting bow right now is a #51 that is Maxed out, and when I shoot it All you hear is the arrow hitting the target what ever it is, the bow is so Quiet
    Last edited by RogerSr; 01-09-2010 at 09:34 PM.

  9. #9
    TXN
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    At this point, I still plan to go with the 50#, but the 55# special order that RogerSr mentioned is enticing as well. The biggest concern I have with that is that I've already run into such difficulty with just finding a way to get the bow that I'm afraid of throwing any more variables into it. As you may have read in some of my posts in another thread, my nearest Pro Series dealer is 384 miles from me, so I've been trying to find a way to order and have it shipped to my house. The dealer says I have to come to his shop to pick it up, but Martin told me that it can be drop shipped through my nearest dealer and sent directly to my home address.

    RogerSr: Do you know if placing a special order for a 55# bow will significantly increase the amount of time I will be waiting for the bow to be delivered? I'm hoping to be able to recieve the bow in a reasonable amount of time after I place the order, so I would rather go with the 50# if it will arrive much sooner than waiting for the 55#. However, I think I'd be willing to wait on the 55# if it doesn't take a whole lot longer to get it. What have your experiences been with this?

  10. #10
    Super Moderator bfisher's Avatar
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    TXN,

    When people say a bow is more efficient with the limbs maxed they are talking about the bow being a little faster, pound for pound. It isn't much though with modern bows. For instance, take a 60# bow with an efficiency of 80%. This means that the bow uses about 80% of its stored energy to propel a given arrow. Now if you were to take a 70# bow and back the limbs down to 60# the efficiency would drop a couple percentage points and thus that bow would shoot the same arrow a few feet per second slower, but again, it is only a few fps. Not so much to be concerned about.

    Brought up by Roger is that you can order any Martin bow with 55# limbs if you so desire. The bow would still peak at probably about 57#. It just depends on how much the cables are wrapped up. You can alway play around with adding or subtracting a few twists on the cables to alter the draw weight a few pounds and/or change the way the cams feel as they roll over.

    What it boils down to is nitpicking to some degree. Something else to consider is that with today's higher energy cams you'll end up with a faster bow anyway, even at a lower draw weight. I'd think about it and just make things easier on yourself.

    I know as I get older the need for speed and energy is leaving my pea brain and I think more in terms of being able to draw the bow more easily and not have sore back and shoulder muscles the day after I have a long practice session. It's more enjoyable being able to draw and shoot that first arrow with confidence. To that end I noramlly shoot around 45# these days, working my way back toward 50#, and I wouldn't hesitate to hunt any deer sized game with complete confidence, and confidence in your equipment and your ability with it is always a major consideration.

    Now I guess you're just as confused as ever.
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