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RE: two questions (longish but very interesting)

Poster: Gene Bonar <eogan@ipass.net>

Hi Eogan,

Eogan (mac Ailpein) here.  

I hope this letter finds you and your beautiful and charming wife in good health and spirits.


1) My lady is getting into Combat Archery and is slowly peicing together
the equipment she needs.  

Yeahhhh, another combat archer,YEAHHHHHH

She has found a lovely, perfectly functioning recurve bow at a flea market for only $20.  

Good what a deal

Problem is, it has a 45lb.draw.  Now, a bargain like that is too good to pass up, so she's going to get it regardless, but she would like to know if there is a way she can reduce the draw to 30lbs. so the bow would be legal for comabt archery.

The short answer is no.  

As Blackbow points out you can lengthen the string and that will reduce the draw weight, HOWEVER, there is little likelyhood that you will be able to reduce it 15lbs and still have a well functioning bow.

As William of Falestone's archery friends suggest lengthing the string too much is bad.   There are 3 reasons for their concern;  1) Lengthening the string, reduces the string follow (the distance between the the back of the bow and the string at the nock point) (the nock point is the place where the arrow is nocked on the string, not where the string slaps the arm) (although the nock point may slap your arm) (also, some people call the little metal who-hahs that are placed there the "nock point") Decreasing the string follow a little is not bad, reduced alot makes the bow unusable.  2) The purpose of a recurve is to pre-store potential energy in the arms.  The bows are designed to be... well,  curved.  By lengthing the string alot you defeat the physics of the "recurve effect".  3) A bow acquires a set during its manufacture and use.  It gets a memory.  It bends a certain way, at certain points, when drawn to a certain length.  If after the bow acheives this set, it is over drawn or drawn in a different way, the bow can fail (break).  Now having said this, the afore mentioned set issue is far less likely to be a problem with a modern laminated recurve than say... an all wood longbow.

What can you do to reduce the draw weight ?  Well, you can sand the arms.  If you are VERY careful, you might reduce the strength of the arms and thereby reduce the draw weight. The likelyhood that you will ruin the bow is very high.  I repeat I do not recommend this.

So what does all of this mean.  You have a nice 45 lbs bow.  Elspeth (wife) and I bought two nice and servicable 30lbs fiberglass bows (with strings and nock points) at Penesic for $30 apiece.  There were many good bows from which to choose.  

Furthermore, we the members of the Windmasters' Hill Baronial Archer Corps (WHBAC, pronounced "way-back") have found a bow that you can buy brand new (with string) for $44.  Several of our people use these.If you want more you can contact me directly.
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