Which Longbow?

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greybeard
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Which Longbow?

#1 Post by greybeard » Sat Oct 30, 2021 3:03 pm

Whilst checking out some traditional type web sites there was a post by an archer looking at getting a Howard Hill longbow and he asked if they were any good.

Quite a few of replies were less than favourable.

Looking for some positives I found the following sites.

Limb profile description is mixed up a few times in the first video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=BsyLd2esFf4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNbNNYn2gQ8

Daryl.
"And you must not stick for a groat or twelvepence more than another man would give, if it be a good bow.
For a good bow twice paid for, is better than an ill bow once broken.
[Ascham]

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” [Einstein]

I am old enough to make my own decisions....Just not young enough to remember what I decided!....

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Re: Which Longbow?

#2 Post by Stickbow Hunter » Sun Oct 31, 2021 4:56 pm

I watched both videos Daryl and they were good. In the first one the fella did get things, the deflex/reflex, back to front as you say and it is one of my pet hates. :lol: He also didn't explain well why a bow with setback/reflex is faster than a straight limb or string follow bow, all things being equal. The other thing is he downplays the performance difference as a couple of feet per second; in my testing the difference can be like shooting a 5# lighter bow which is a big plus for a Bowhunter. Thanks for posting them up.

Jeff

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Re: Which Longbow?

#3 Post by Kendaric » Mon Nov 01, 2021 7:50 am

Interesting of the use of the term ASL - American Semi Longbow.

I would image that the aforementioned negative comments would be related to the Hill Style bows that had a degree of set-back, making it a little harsher to shoot.

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Re: Which Longbow?

#4 Post by greybeard » Mon Nov 01, 2021 2:47 pm

The handles of the bows featured in the videos appear to be shallower and longer than the original style hill bows.

I believe that if the limb timing is correct back set should have little effect on the feel of the bow.
Kendaric wrote: Mon Nov 01, 2021 7:50 am Interesting of the use of the term ASL - American Semi Longbow.
What is ASL in archery?
[i]“dragonheart II said: American semi longbow is a term that refers to a bow that has thick and narrow limbs. The term differentiates from an English longbow. Howard Hill mentions this term in his book ‘Hunting the Hard Way’. You will hear "Hill Style" as a term that refers to an ASL.”

What is a semi longbow?
“The Classic is a traditional, straight limb, American style semi-longbow. As opposed to the English longbow, the cross-section of its limbs are rectangular in shape, instead of a “D” shape. The simple, straightforward design with long limbs and deep core make the Classic a very forgiving bow with excellent cast.”

Comments from another archery site.

“You have to understand what a Hill style bow is and to a lesser degree how to shoot it. It's not really that different from any other bow.
When ordered of an appropriate size (typically longer than what most people think these days), they are exceptionally smooth and do have a good cast, again with an appropriate arrow - typically lighter in weight and spine than most people think.

They do have hand shock, regardless of how they are held, just nature of the design. If you commit to the bow (meaning shooting it full time, to the exclusion of other bows), the hand shock disappears. No, it doesn't really stop, but you expect it and it no longer affects you or your shot.

You will have your choice of grip styles and while I can tell you what I like, can’t tell you what you'll like.”

“We really don't know what your single string experience is (I know nothing about the LB you mentioned). If you can shoot that bow well, you might want to try a Hill or Hill style bow, but if you do, commit to it and don't base your decision on a couple of shots. Yes, the first few will rattle your teeth.”

“Fox, Timberpoint, Omega, Falco just to name a couple. All 100% less likely to cause tendinitis or rattle out your fillings. “

“What Viper said about HH is true. In my opinion HH is acquired taste - this doesn't mean you will end liking it if you shoot more.”

“One thing that I notice is that a good longbow "has almost no hand shock". I see that statement all the time. Longbow and Hill style shooters are a stubborn bunch. They love their longbows and will tolerate hand shock. I've owned five or six high end longbows now and just can't tolerate that "almost no hand shock." Bows have evolved to where they can build them that have no hand shock and that is the design that I will use, be it a reflex/deflex longbow or a recurve.

I'll address the 'hand shock' issue. Simple longbows, like the English kind, have no riser at all, and Hill style longbows have small risers. Their limbs make up most of the bow's length and they bend throughout most of their length. So most of their mass is in motion, and it comes to a sudden stop when the string comes taut. What energy has not gone into the arrow, goes mostly into the bow, and there is not much mass in the handle to absorb it. If the limbs are not well timed to each other, or if you hold the bow in an atypical manner, you will feel some of this energy.

Some archers perceive this as shock; many of us do not, perceiving it as feeling the bow work, or liveliness, perhaps as a pleasant aspect of the experience. Most good bowyers produce well timed limbs, and their Hill design bows will not feel much different from one another in this regard. The laws of physics apply equally to all of them.

I did once own one, made by Martin Archery in fact, that was out of time. Shooting it was a true shock. A friend who is sensitive to this took one shot with it and got a two day migraine, and tennis elbow at the site of an old injury. Mercifully this rogue bow broke down a few months later, to the satisfaction of all who had shot it.

But again, most archers find well made examples of the design easy and pleasant to shoot, and to produce good power and adequate speed with fairly heavy arrows. Many of us love them, and a fair number of us own more than a dozen of them. I own just one, a 70" Tembo with a bit of back set that I draw to about 50# at 29.5", from Howard Hill Archery. Of the many bows I have owned, it is the last I would part with. I intend to get a 42 pounder for target and field archery use and hope to add to my championship tally with it.”



Daryl.
"And you must not stick for a groat or twelvepence more than another man would give, if it be a good bow.
For a good bow twice paid for, is better than an ill bow once broken.
[Ascham]

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” [Einstein]

I am old enough to make my own decisions....Just not young enough to remember what I decided!....

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Re: Which Longbow?

#5 Post by Stickbow Hunter » Mon Nov 01, 2021 3:44 pm

Kendaric wrote: Mon Nov 01, 2021 7:50 am I would image that the aforementioned negative comments would be related to the Hill Style bows that had a degree of set-back, making it a little harsher to shoot.
greybeard wrote: Mon Nov 01, 2021 2:47 pm I believe that if the limb timing is correct back set should have little effect on the feel of the bow.
In the 1980's numerous bowyers were making the Howard Hill branded bows and one particular bowyer built them with set-back; straight limbs joining the riser at an angle, not reflexed in a curve. These particular bows kicked like a mule and were horrible to shoot. That was a long time ago and I don't know if the limbs were out of time but most likely.

In relation to the hand shock comments, if the limbs are tillered correctly and in time than there isn't actually what I would call hand shock. I refer to it as a bump and is inherent to the design of the bow so very similar to the English Longbow in that regard. How you hold the bow can and does make a huge difference to what you feel when shooting. To me recurves also have a little bump (much less than a longbow) and horrible vibrations after the shot. I'm sure a lot of recurve shooters wouldn't agree with me on that statement. :lol:

Jeff

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Re: Which Longbow?

#6 Post by greybeard » Sun Nov 07, 2021 2:57 pm

There are some interesting comments in the video on shooting the different style bows.

I believe this video appears to show the difference in handle shape rather than limb profile.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PHh8mxg-ys

When people mention their Hill style bows I have noticed that the handle section is shallower, wider on the belly and some appear to have longer fadeouts.
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Handle Comp.jpg
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Daryl.
"And you must not stick for a groat or twelvepence more than another man would give, if it be a good bow.
For a good bow twice paid for, is better than an ill bow once broken.
[Ascham]

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” [Einstein]

I am old enough to make my own decisions....Just not young enough to remember what I decided!....

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Re: Which Longbow?

#7 Post by Kendaric » Mon Nov 08, 2021 3:06 pm

Interesting video.

I can't say that I agree with his assessment or his method.

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Re: Which Longbow?

#8 Post by greybeard » Wed Nov 10, 2021 3:39 pm

If I am shooting my straight sided slightly reflexed longbow or one of my recurves I use the same relaxed grip.

Upon loosing the arrow the bow sits comfortably in the hand with no side effects.

Although I am now shooting lighter draw weight bows it should make little difference.
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Draw_Release.jpg
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Daryl.
"And you must not stick for a groat or twelvepence more than another man would give, if it be a good bow.
For a good bow twice paid for, is better than an ill bow once broken.
[Ascham]

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” [Einstein]

I am old enough to make my own decisions....Just not young enough to remember what I decided!....

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Re: Which Longbow?

#9 Post by Kendaric » Fri Nov 12, 2021 9:38 am

Same.

My grip doesn't change from one bow to the next, whether it be a straight or dished longbow handle, a recurve or when I use to have a compound many years ago - that is, with the handle on the thumb side of the lifeline, with the knuckles approximately at 40-45 degress and a low wrist. My fingers are relaxing and loosely curved around the handle without gripping it. The bow is held no firmer than what is required to stop the bow from jumping out of the hand upon release. This in particular seems to negate a lot of potential bow shock that could be felt. When I shot compound, the bow use to jump out of my hand, but was restrained by the use of a bow/finger sling - something can't be used in Trad.

If I even tried to heal a longbow (as in use the heal of my hand) out of experimentation, it performed terribly, giving poor arrow flight, and you would have to bend your bowarm elbow far more as to give better string clearance, which just increased muscle strain and produced a much less relaxed shot.

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Re: Which Longbow?

#10 Post by Kendaric » Fri Dec 17, 2021 8:26 am

I wonder if some of the problem lies with a hill style bow that has been tapered and narrowed to much in the handle section, facing the archer. I had a longbow made by Howard Hill Archery from the states, and it was very narrow in the handle where my hand rested. It was almost like holding a blunt knife at full draw, most uncomfortable. I wonder if this then encourages the shooter to heal the bow to distribute the weight.

Pistol grip longbows tend to be thicker in this section.

It was my understanding that Howard had fairly large hands, and using a 16" riser allowed the heel of his hand to not rest so much on the handle, but over the fades, inducing less or no heeling effect.

Interestingly enough, I noticed that the Howard Hill Archery longbow had different length limbs, such that the centre of the bow was the shelf. All my other longbows had even limbs where the centre of the bow was the centre of the handle.

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Re: Which Longbow?

#11 Post by greybeard » Sat Dec 18, 2021 10:52 am

Was the different limb length a Hill innovation or are the bowyers producing his bows responsible.

From memory this idea was reasonably popular when making selfbows. Supposedly it made tillering easier.

Extract from the http://www.vintagearchery.org/howard-hill.html

"Hill had never really been a commercial bowyer. He had built his own bows and a few for friends."

From Tradgang; https://www.tradgang.com/tgsmf/index.ph ... =173643.60

Daryl.
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H Hill Flight Record.jpg
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"And you must not stick for a groat or twelvepence more than another man would give, if it be a good bow.
For a good bow twice paid for, is better than an ill bow once broken.
[Ascham]

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” [Einstein]

I am old enough to make my own decisions....Just not young enough to remember what I decided!....

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