9 Best Recurve Bows for Every Archer In 2020 ( From Beginners to Hunters )

man hunting with recurve bow

Here is the information you need to make the best choice on choosing the best recurve bow for you. Maybe you’re just starting out, are interested in getting another bow, or want upgrade to something better.

The following guide provides advice and recommendations on everything from beginner recurves and youth bows to custom recurves from the best bowyers.

Let’s make clear that there is no definitive list of the best recurve bows.

There are too many equal representatives at every level of the recurve market to define any single bow as better than any other. This guide instead aims to highlight particular characteristics of different bows in order to inform your own decision making.

There are many great, highly capable bows produced by large-scale manufacturers, and some of them are mentioned below. These bows fit the niche of beginners through serious archers who simply want tools for getting the job done.

Where performance, aesthetic appeal and individuality come into play to create the “best” bows, manufacturers of custom recurves take pole position. Some custom bows are made by small factories, while others are made by individual craftspeople entirely by hand.

 

Some Terms Explained

To start, there are some terms that will be referred to throughout the guide that warrant explanation.

Riser: The riser is the unbending part of a bow that the grip is built into.

Limbs: The limbs are the bending parts of a bow. In recurves, these gently angle backward from the riser (toward the archer) before recurving forward to the tips.

Draw: To draw a bow means to pull the string back. A person’s draw length is the measured distance that defines their full draw (generally from the throat of the bow grip to their anchor point). A bow’s draw weight is the poundage pressure it takes to bring the bow string back to the defined draw length.

Anchor Point: A person’s anchor point is the position their string hand reaches full draw. Anchor points should be easily reachable and repeatable, as they are for “anchoring” the rear end of the arrow in the same place every time to make shooting consistent.

They are commonly associated with locating fingertips and/or knuckles of the string hand at particular points on the face.

 

The 9 Best Recurve Bows of 2020: Outdoor Empire Reviews

  1. Best Beginner Bow on a Budget: Samick Sage
  2. Best Beginner : Bear Grizzly
  3. Best Three-Piece Takedown: Acadian Woods 3 Piece Carbon Reflex
  4. Best Two-Piece Takedown: Great Plains Swift Long Curve
  5. Best Hunting Bow #1: Schafer Silvertip
  6. Best Hunting Bow #2: Black Widow Three Piece
  7. Best Youth : Arc Rolan Snake 48″ Recurve
  8. Best Traditional for Target Shooting: Stalker Stickbows Apex ILF
  9. Best Modern for Target Shooting: Hoyt Formula XI

 

CategoryBest Beginner RecurveBest (Two-Piece ) Takedown RecurveBest Recurve Hunting Bow
ProductBear Grizzly
Bear Grizzly

Great Plains Swift Long Curve
Great Plains Swift Long Curve

Black Widow Three Piece
Black Widow Three Piece

Length58 in58 in54 - 64 in
Mass Weight2.7 lbsNot specified by manufacturer3 lbs
Draw Weight30 - 50 lbs58 lbsCustomized
Draw Length28 in24 - 30 inCustomized
Brace Height8-1/2 in8 1/4 - 8 1/2 in8 1/4 - 9 in
CostCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

 

1. Best Beginner Recurve Bow on a Budget: Samick Sage

Samick Sage

The Samick Sage has won over many beginning recurve archers and has proved to be one of the greats at this end of the market. Fully capable of punching paper, and a killer out in the woods as well, it’s probably one of the best-known beginner bows around.

Specifications

  • Three-piece takedown system
  • Length: 62 inches
  • Available in right- and left-handed models
  • Draw weight between 30 pounds and 55 pounds (in 5-pound increments)

Samick went through a rocky patch for a couple of years when they pulled out of the recreational/hunting bow market, but the Sage didn’t go away. Instead, its designers continued making the bow under the manufacturer name Galaxy and distributed through Lancaster Archery Supply.

The Sage just won’t go away though, and recently Samick reinstated this little winner in its new, albeit much shorter line of hunting and recreational recurves.

Pros

  • Affordable quality
  • Proven performer
  • Interchangeable limbs mean you can start at a low poundage and work up

Cons

  • Requires (simple) modification to shoot off the shelf
  • Complicated manufacturing history raises questions about future availability and support

Whether it’s labelled a Samick or a Galaxy, it’s an all-round great bow. That being said, any other Samick hunting bow will perform admirably if you can find one.

Buy it if you’re looking for reliability and proven performance in an affordable package. If you want to get started in recurve shooting, you can afford a Sage.

 

 

2. Best Beginner Recurve: Bear Grizzly

Bear Grizzly

Since 1964, the Bear Grizzly recurve has remained unchanged. That suggests that it must have done something right. As a one-piece recurve, it maintains light weight and simple lines for elegance and performance. It’s relatively short at 58 inches, adding to the bow’s versatility.

Specifications

  • One-piece construction
  • Length: 58 inches
  • Available in right- and left-handed models
  • Draw weight between 30 pounds and 50 pounds (in 5 pound increments)
  • Leather side plate and bear-hair arrow rest

The Grizzly is a hunting bow, and it comes ready for the task. The bow is designed to shoot off the shelf and comes set up with a rug rest and leather side plate, so all you need do is string it up and start shooting.

Pros

  • Time-proven design
  • Affordable mid-range bow
  • Classic looks
  • Comes ready to shoot off the shelf

Cons

  • One-piece construction difficult to travel with

Bear Archery equipment has a long-standing reputation that can’t be ignored. Fred Bear shot recurves, and the designs he created were made to shoot and shoot well.

Buy a Grizzly if you want an affordable bow that is real quality. It may well be the only bow you ever need.

 

Bear Grizzly is also available at:

Cabelas

Walmart

 

3. Best Three-Piece Takedown Recurve: Acadian Woods 3 Piece Carbon Reflex

Acadian Woods 3 Piece Carbon Reflex

So here is where things take a serious turn in the price department. When you want “best” recurve, a custom bow is the obvious choice. There is no way to quantify quality custom bows — they’re all works of art.

Acadian Woods Custom Longbows and Recurves make very nice recurves.

The bowyers, Tim Mullins and Gancarcik, bring their expertise to their bows to provide the very best in performance, feel and looks. The 3 Piece Carbon Reflex recurve is one such masterpiece.

Specifications

  • Variety of limb construction options
  • Variety of riser construction options
  • Options for extra set of limbs
  • All orders come with a bow stringer, Spectra string and bow sock

Pros

  • Three-piece takedown system
  • Fully customizable options
  • Custom draw weight and length
  • Top-quality bow design for performance and style
  • Able to discuss options with bowyer
  • Unique end product

Cons

  • High cost
  • Waiting time between ordering and receiving

Acadian Woods bows are finely crafted masterpieces in the custom bow world. The one-on-one interaction with the bowyers allows them to craft your bow the way you’d like it to be. An Acadian Woods bow is a bow to cherish for a long time, whether you’re a hunter or tournament shooter.

Learn more about the Acadian Woods 3 Piece Carbon Reflex.

 

4. Best Two-Piece Takedown Recurve: Great Plains Swift Long Curve

Great Plains Swift Long Curve

There’s little more elegant than a 1950s-style recurve with the delicate, fine lines of a longbow riser complimented by the sweeping curves of recurve limbs. The only way to make one of these bows better is to turn it into a takedown.

Great Plains Traditional Bow Company has a good range of bow designs to choose from with customizable options. Their Swift Long Curve takedown is a finely built two-piece recurve.

Specifications

  • Length: 58 inches
  • Two-piece socket and tenon system
  • Available in right- and left-handed models
  • Choice of construction material mixes
  • Optional antler limb tips

The takedown design utilized by Great Plains is strong and reliable and simply slots together without tools being required. This is great for sneaking into your hunting location and quickly getting set up.

Pros

  • Two-piece design for ease of transport
  • No tool assembly
  • Short bow good for shooting in tight quarters

Cons

  • 58-inch length suited to draw lengths only up to 30 inches

The Great Plains Swift Long Curve two-piece is a fantastic takedown recurve that, in the scheme of custom bows, won’t break the bank. Purchasing one, you can be assured of quality and customer service, and you’ll have a bow that’s backed by a proven track record.

 

 

5. Best Hunting Recurve Bow #1: Schafer Silvertip

Schafer Silvertip

Paul Schafer is recognized as one of the greatest bowhunters of all time. His original 60-inch one-piece recurve design was fixed in 1977, and soon after a takedown version was created to suit hunters’ changing preferences.

The modern iteration of the takedown Silvertip has proven itself, and Dave Windauer continues Paul’s legacy as a fine craftsman.

Specifications

  • Three-piece takedown system
  • Wide variety of customizable riser and limb veneer combinations
  • Checkered grip
  • All bows now made to shoot fast flight strings

Silvertip bows are works of art in their own right, with a variety of limb and riser configurations and veneers available. Pair that with the history associated with these bows, and you’ve got a very special bow.

Pros

  • Top-quality construction
  • Wide variety of customization options
  • Checkered grip provides extra grip when cold, wet or wearing gloves
  • Associated with bowhunting and traditional bow history

Cons

  • Relatively expensive custom bow option
  • Long lag time between ordering and receiving

If you want a recurve that’s known as one of the iconic bows on the market, a Schafer Silvertip fits the bill.

Learn more about the Schafer Silvertip.

 

6. Best Hunting Recurve Bow #2: Black Widow Three Piece

Black Widow Three Piece

Black Widow has sat at the table of top-end recurves for a long time. Their bows are known for the quality and reliability built into them and represented by several respected hunters. Their unique limb design contributes to the speed, smoothness and stability that Black Widow bows are known for.

Specifications

  • Length: 54 inches to 64 inches (dependent on model — PCH, PSA, PMA)
  • Models allow for different limb lengths
  • Various riser- and limb-design configurations available
  • Customizable draw length and weight
  • Comes with string, stringer, string silencers, bow-tip protector, calf-hair shelf rest and strike plate, bocking points, owner’s manual companion DVD and owner’s manual

An interesting aspect of the Black Widow three-piece recurve models is that they allow the archer to choose different lengths of working limbs for the total length bow. The PCH X model has the shortest riser length, while the PMA X has the longest.

Another great offer from Black Widow is the option to “test drive” a bow. If you’re located in the United States, Black Widow can send a test model of the bow you’re interested in for you to shoot for a week to get a feel for it. You only have to pay postage and insurance. That’s a pretty great initiative!

Pros

  • Well-designed, high-performance bow
  • Models allow for selection of working limb length
  • Option to test a bow for U.S. customers
  • Affordable for a high-quality, customizable bow
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Different aesthetic for those that are fans of the traditional-style recurve
  • Test shooting bow option only available for U.S.-residing prospective customers

The Black Widow takedown recurve is a high-quality recurve that is a proven shooter. It’s well worth the money if you’re looking for affordable quality and craftsmanship in a reliable package. Black Widow is known for excellent customer service.

Learn more about the Black Widow Three Piece.

 

7. Best Youth Recurve: Arc Rolan Snake 48″ Recurve

Arc Rolan Snake 48″ Recurve

Getting kids into archery is great; it’s a fantastic hobby for them which gets them out and about and working on patience and perseverance. For lots of kids, being given a bow starts them on the path of a lifetime passion.

All that being said, archery isn’t for everyone — so a kid’s first bow just needs to give them the option. A simple, affordable bow that’s capable of throwing arrows decently is all that’s needed — and the Arc Rolan Snake does that well.

Specifications

  • Length: 48 inches
  • Draw weight: 15 pounds
  • Ambidextrous build
  • Durable composite-polymer construction
  • Suitable for children 6 to 11 years old

The Arc Rolan turns up at clubs and shooting ranges, where it’s a good lender bow for kids having a go at the sport. They are well made for what they are, with the bow and string both being durable.

Pros

  • Workable length for kids
  • 15-pound draw weight is powerful enough to not be considered a toy, but not so powerful that a kid can’t draw it
  • Durable construction
  • Ambidextrous grip allows left- or right-handed shooting

Cons

  • Simple design doesn’t look like an adult’s bow
  • Kids can outgrow the 15-pound draw weight relatively quickly if they shoot all the time

The Arc Rolan is a great beginner bow for kids that want to try out archery. It’s affordable and durable enough to allow for plenty of shooting and to hand down between siblings. Matching some light arrows with feather fletching to this bow will make it entirely capable of accurate shooting.

 

 

8. Best Traditional Recurve for Target Shooting: Stalker Stickbows Apex ILF

Stalker Stickbows Apex ILF

Bowyer South Cox creates some really beautiful and functional bows. Craftsmanship and durability are what Stalker Stickbows are all about.

The Apex ILF recurve is from that stellar lineup, with the key feature of including the standardized International Limb Fit (ILF) system for attaching limbs to risers.

This system provides another level of versatility to the bow — particularly useful for the target shooter — as well as allows any ILF limb to fit the riser, regardless of manufacturer.

Specifications

  • Three-piece ILF system
  • Fully customizable features
  • Draw weight adjustment through the ILF system
  • Tiller adjustment through the ILF system

Using the level of adjustment available in the ILF system, the draw weight of the Apex can be fine-tuned between three to five pounds by tightening or letting out the limb bolts.

In the same way, the tiller of the bow (the way the limbs bend and the amount between each limb) can be adjusted. For shooters who like to shoot three fingers under or with a fixed crawl, this ability helps tweak the tuning of the setup.

Pros

  • Custom bow options
  • ILF system
  • Adjustment in draw weight and tiller
  • Top-quality performance and craftsmanship

Cons

  • Relatively expensive custom bow
  • Lon lag time between ordering and receiving

Stalker Stickbows are well-crafted custom bows and well respected on the market. The Apex ILF, with its extra adjustment capability and interchangeable limb system, is a great choice for both the target shooter who likes tinkering, and the shooter who switches between targets and hunting.

Learn more about the Stalker Stickbows Apex ILF.

 

9. Best Modern Recurve for Target Shooting: Hoyt Formula XI

Hoyt Formula XI

Hoyt is recognized around the world for leading technology and impeccable performance — particularly for target shooters. The Formula Xi 25″ riser and Formula series limbs are tough to beat.

Specifications

  • Length: 25-inch riser; limbs offered in short, medium and long sizes
  • Poundage: between 22 pounds and 50 pounds (in 2-pound increments)
  • String Tension Technology
  • VertaTune Plate System
  • Earl Hoyt Geometry
  • Formula Limb Pocket Weight System (sold separately)
  • Weight: 2.76 pounds

The Formula Xi riser incorporates Hoyt’s String Tension Technology, which allows the shooter to adjust string tension of the bow without affecting tune. Three settings can be selected: Ultimate Performance, Ultimate Smoothness and Hybrid. The VertaTune plate system allows adjustment in the plunger rest.

Pros

  • Technologically advanced design
  • High degree of adjustment that doesn’t affect bow tune
  • Choice of limbs (Formula Carbon Velos and Formula Carbon Integra) and limb lengths
  • Exceedingly smooth, steady and balanced setup

Cons

  • High cost
  • Best suited to serious tournament archers

If you’re looking for the top of the market in a target recurve, look no further than the Hoyt Formula Xi. There’s no way that it will let you down.

Learn more about the Hoyt Formula XI.

 

Understanding What’s Important in Recurve Bow Quality and Selection

man holding recurve bow in the woods

No two recurve bows are the same. Bows constructed from natural materials are inherently different because no two cells of timber are ever the same. But even when it comes to machined risers and synthetic limbs, if you give the same bow to two different shooters, it won’t be the same.

We all bring our own idiosyncrasies to shooting a recurve, from how we grip the bow to how we address the string, how we draw, where we anchor and when we release.

All of that being said, certain bows are only capable of so much.

An entry-level bow isn’t going to have the sizzling performance of a high-tech recurve, and while that top-end gadget might be great, it might not be entirely necessary if all you want is to have a bit of fun on the range or bag a buck.

man training with recurve bow in the field

And of course, we can only get as good as we can afford.

Some popular brands of recurve bows are mentioned later in this guide, but rest assured that they aren’t the only options.

Some good advice for the beginner is to decide on a budget and then see what fits within it. For someone with limited spending money, sticking to recognized brands is most important, as there are plenty of poorer choices at the lower end of the market.

By the time you progress to the mid- to high-end of the market, there is a lot more standardization across manufacturers. A $600+ bow is going to shoot pretty well regardless of who makes it.

 

How to Choose Your Recurve

recurve bows hanging on rack

For anyone in the market for a bow, whether it’s your first or just a new toy to play with, shooting one before buying is a good idea.

If possible, go along to club shoots, archery meets and other events where there might be a chance to shoot different bows and get a feel for them. Some stores also have ranges where you can test a bow.

An off-the-shelf recurve will have its own specifications.

If you’re in the market for a custom recurve, do some research to find out what you like when it comes to aesthetic. Every custom bowyer has their own style, and you can decide on who makes the style for you.

recurve bows hanging on rack

Some bowyers also provide prospective clients with test bows to shoot. If the bowyer is local, then that’s a great way to get a feel for their products and the bowyer themselves — there’s a wealth of information that can be gained from them.

If the bowyer you’re interested in isn’t local, it’s a great idea to have at least a phone conversation with them to get to know them and their product — and how they can create the best bow for you.

Especially when starting out, the following considerations will help you choose the right bow for you.

 

Length

recurve bow and arrow on the grass

The average recurve bow is about 60 inches in length. To bring that into perspective, a 56-inch bow is short, while a 64-inch one is long.

The length of a recurve has some impact on what it feels like to shoot it. The shorter the bow, the more it “stacks.” Stacking is the feel of the bow at the final stages of the draw.

Simply speaking, short limbs physically move further backward to reach full draw — which is noticeable as a sudden increase in effort required to get the string back and hold it there.

Longer limbs, however, maintain less of an angle between the limb and string and don’t end up moving as far. This creates a smoother feel during the entire draw and less perceived effort in holding.

In summary, two bows of the same draw weight at the same draw length will feel different to shoot if they are of different lengths. The short one will feel a bit tighter and more uncomfortable to hold for a long period at full draw.

Smooth shooting isn’t the only consideration though. For the target archer, a long, smooth-shooting bow will definitely help accuracy. For the hunter, however, a short bow can be very useful when stalking and shooting in cramped conditions like thick brush, blinds and tree stands.

 

Draw Weight

man aiming arrow with recurve bow in woods

A bow’s draw weight is the poundage pressure required to bring the bow to full draw. It’s important to remember that this measure is at full draw as specified on the bow .

The standard draw length is measured at 28 inches, so it can be assumed that a mass-produced bow reaches the recommended draw weight at 28 inches.

Because we’re all different, though, we don’t all have the same draw length. A shorter draw will mean the bow is shooting at less than the specified draw weight, while a longer draw will cause the same bow to shoot a higher poundage.

If you have a long draw, it’s particularly important to make sure, that the bow you shoot can safely handle being pulled back that far.

Custom bows, of course, can be constructed to shoot a nominated poundage at a certain draw length — part of the benefit of custom creations.

There isn’t much requirement to go far over 40 pounds for the target archer. In fact, shooting higher-poundage bows over a long period can lead to injury.

The same can be said for the average hunter who’s in pursuit of deer-sized game. Well-tuned arrows and sharp broadheads are the real determining factor in penetration and corresponding lethality.

More-powerful bows do become necessary when targeting large game. This is because heavy arrows are required to maintain momentum through heavy skin, gristle or bone in order to achieve maximum penetration.

 

Right or Left Hand

hand gripping recurve bow

Whether you need a bow that is right- or left-handed depends on your dominant eye.

Your dominant eye is the one that the brain favors most when looking at things. There’s a simple test to find out which eye is dominant:

  • Focus on a spot about 10 feet away with both eyes open.
  • Point your finger straight out so that your eyes are looking at the spot over the top of your finger.
  • Close your left eye, and note where the finger is in relation to the spot.
  • Reopen your left eye, close the right, and note where the finger is.
  • The eye that maintained closest alignment with the spot is your dominant one.

Consistent accuracy is easiest to obtain by shooting a bow that keeps the arrow closely aligned with the view of the dominant eye.

A right-handed bow, then, works best for someone who’s right-eye dominant. The bow is actually held in the left hand and the string pulled back with the right, so that the arrow sits close under the line of the right eye at full draw.

A left-handed bow is the opposite and is held in the right hand as the string is drawn with the left.

 

Arrow Rest

There is a surprising variety of arrow rests available to the recurve shooter.

Regardless of designs, brand and specific purpose, these can be broken down to two categories: elevated rests and the shelf.

Elevated Rests

Elevated Rest on recurve bow

Elevated rests encompass all manner of gadgets designed to support the arrow while it’s resting on the bow. They are a separate attachment to the bow and have varying degrees of adjustment.

Their purpose is to provide the arrow consistent, repeatable, minimal contact with the bow when clearing the bow once the string is released, thus aiding in repeatable performance and accuracy.

Elevated rests are commonly used in target recurve archery due to their fine-scale impacts on accuracy.

 

Shelf Rests

recurve bow rest upclose

Shelf rests, or “shooting off the shelf,” gained its name from using the bottom of the sight window (the shelf) on a recurve’s riser as the rest for the arrow. It can justifiably be used to describe using the finger or a part of the riser grip (on bows that don’t have formed risers) as the arrow rest.

Shooting off the shelf has benefits in a couple of areas. For one, the arrow is as close to the bow hand as possible, thereby making it as closely aligned as possible to where the bow is pointed. Additionally, the shelf is an integral part of the bow itself and can’t accidentally be lost or broken.

These are great attributes for hunting when things often happen quickly in less-than-ideal circumstances.

Mid-range and custom hunting recurves are generally sold ready to shoot off the shelf. Consumer-grade recurves are more often sold either with no rest set up, or an entry level elevated rest.

It’s simple to convert a recurve to shoot off the shelf and achieve consistent performance.

 

Making a Shelf Rest

DIY off shelf rest for recurve bow

  • Ensure that the shelf has a convex curve — hopefully with the top of the curve situated over the throat of the grip.
  • If the shelf is flat, use a fine file to add a slight curve.
  • Glue a sliver of cardboard or matchstick to the sight window perpendicular to the shelf, aligned with the throat of the grip.
  • Shape two pieces of calf-hair leather or suede leather — one for the shelf and one for the bottom end of the sight window.
  • Glue these in place to create soft plates for the arrow to pass over

The reason for the curved shelf and cardboard sliver is to create raised areas that’ll act as single contact points for the arrow. These single points ensure minimal contact that’s always in the same place.

Aligning both contacts over the throat of the grip (the deepest part that the hand sits in) puts them in the pressure center of the bow. At this point, any twisting exerted by the hand is minimal. The arrow therefore shouldn’t be unduly impacted by inconsistencies in grip.

 

Popular Recurve Bow Brands

arrow rested on recurve bow

There is no way to single out select recurve bow manufacturers because of the variables involved. A bow’s popularity might be based on price, performance, looks, construction materials or any mix of these factors.

Additionally, once an archer has taken to shooting a particular bow and had a good time, they are likely to show preference for that brand regardless of anything other than their own experience.

There are so many bows of equal price and performance level that brand really does become irrelevant. Many budget bows are good performers, and lots of custom recurves are fantastic shooters, so personal preference is based on how the individual feels about a particular bow.

Well-known manufacturers are listed below as a place to start researching to find your own bow.

 

Manufacturer

Entry Level

Mid-range

High-end

TargetHuntingTargetHuntingTargetHunting
Samick Sports
Hoyt Archery
PSE Archery
Martin Archery
Bear Archery
Black Widow Bows
Stalker Stickbows
Great Northern Bowhunting
Great Plains Traditional Bow Company
Schafer Silvertip Bows

 

While those brands listed in the table do not form an exhaustive list, they’ll put you in the right circles for finding more information.

Some of those manufacturers are detailed further below.

 

Samick Sports

Samick Sports logo

Korea is a force to be reckoned with in the target archery world, and they’ve long held a formidable presence at the Olympic level. Samick started out in Korea in 1975 and has been making quality bows since then.

Up until 2016, Samick produced many entry- to mid-level hunting recurves as well as a few longbows. However, the company has since discontinued the majority of this range to cater to the target-archery market.

That’s a loss for beginners because Samick bows started many peoples archery journey. Some of the discontinued Samicks are still available through select distributors, and if you happen across a well-maintained secondhand bow, you’ll be in luck.

The good news for those interested in a reliable starter recurve with an esteemed reputation is that the Samick Sage is again being marketed by the company. The Sage is a well-regarded beginner’s bow that has hit a lot of bullseyes and game animals in various countries around the world.

 

Hoyt Archery

Hoyt Archery logo

Hoyt is a world-renowned manufacturer of archery equipment. They produce target recurves that win medals, and the company claims that since the 1972, more Olympic medals have been won with Hoyt bows than bows made by all the other bow manufacturers combined.

That’s a hard claim to contend with!

Starting in 1931, Hoyt has innovated and created technological advancements. The manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, produces bows and equipment that’s trusted by leading competitive archers and bowhunters alike.

Hoyt specializes in catering to serious hunters, and their hunting line of recurves provides technically advanced bows created using modern design and materials.

 

Bear Archery

Bear archery logo

The name Fred Bear is synonymous with archery.

Few other archers have had such a profound impact on the sport. Focusing his efforts on archery products in 1940, he created Fred’s Bear Archery Company and never looked back. Fred promoted archery and inspired generations of hunters — and his legacy continues on to this day.

Bear recurves uphold that legacy and continue to remind us of those roots laid down in the ’40s and ’50s. The Kodiak, Grizzly and Bear Takedown retain their original designs and are beautiful-looking, good-shooting bows.

Bear caters to the mid-tier of the recurve market, with bows well suited to the beginner and serious shooter alike. Only by stepping into the custom recurve world do archers take the next step in quality and service.

 

Black Widow Bows

Black Widow Bows logo

Black Widow Bows enjoy an enviable reputation in the custom-hunting-bow market. A lot of big game has felt the bite of a Black Widow, and their smooth-shooting, high-performance products deserve to be mentioned.

Since 1957, Black Widow has produced high-quality custom recurves and longbows in a variety of styles. From their familiar single-, two- and three-piece recurves and longbows, there’s something for every discerning archer.

The significance of a custom bow is that it’s made to suit the individual archer. From draw weight, draw length, shooting style and aesthetic desires, a custom bow ticks all the boxes. Black Widow will build the model of bow to fit the shooter rather than the shooter having to adapt to the model.

With so many choices, Black Widow ensures the best possible outcome for every bow purchased.

 

F.A.Q

When and why should I unstring a recurve bow?

You should unstring your recurve whenever you aren’t using it. Recurve (and longbow) limbs operate by using the elastic energy stored in the limbs when the bow is strung and drawn.

One thing we know about rubber bands is that with repeated use, they begin to stretch, lose elasticity and ultimately break. The same can be said of recurve bow limbs — they have a finite lifespan.

While it’s fine to have the bow strung up during a day at the range or while out hunting, the bow should always be unstrung for storage and transport.

Another reason to unstring the bow during transport is to help avoid damaging the string, which is more prone to wear and tear when taught and under tension.

 

How far can a recurve bow shoot?

The simple answer to this question is “far enough.”

In terms of accuracy, target archery competitions shoot ranges up to 70 meters and sometimes out to 90 meters. Target archers are highly proficient with their bows.

Indoor archery competitions usually shoot at 18 meters.

For the hunter, maximum range is dictated by how far the individual knows they can ethically take a shot and kill their quarry humanely — every single time.

The vast majority of recurve and longbow hunters only ever shoot game at ranges of 18 meters or less.

Taking away the human element, recurve bows are extremely accurate at ranges over 100 meters but that is irrelevant because a bow is only as accurate as the person shooting it. Also, once stepping outside, all kinds of environmental factors can influence the accuracy of a shot.

It’s for these reasons that hunters limit themselves to close range and only take ethical shots.

Learn more about hunting with a recurve bow.

You might also want to consider:

Compound bows

Crossbows

Joe Brennan
Joe hails from Down Under and grew up in the Aussie outback, in a family of professional hunters. His passion is sharing his decades of outdoors experience to inspire others to find their own adventures. He’s fished and hunted around Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada; acted as a wilderness guide; and works as a wildlife ecologist. He regularly contributes to a range of fishing and hunting magazines.

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