bows online or around DC
June 18, 2011 10:46 PM   Subscribe

It's been almost a decade since I practiced archery, but at long last I am looking for a good recurve bow. Should I shop online (larger selection), or should I try to find a hunting/archery store in the DC area (a chance to try it before I buy it)? If you advise the latter, what's the best place around DC to buy a recurve? What brands/models are best? I would like to keep it under $350 or so.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you haven't shot for almost a decade, there may be a lot to selecting a proper bow that you might have forgotten. Matching a comfortable draw weight, limb length, draw length, and then choosing a shaft material (what are you shooting? traditional wood, aluminum, carbon?) and and proper arrow length for your draw. Nothing beats getting properly fitted at a competent shop, and they'll be there for you when you need help.

Brands/models will be partly determined by what you want. Are you going straight traditional? Or are you open to laminates. composites, and the latest in almost robotic-looking target bows?

Thanks for this question. I've been wanting to start shooting again, and now I've really got the itch! :)
posted by xedrik at 11:29 PM on June 18, 2011

You need to head out to the exurbs. In Gaithersburg, MD there is a superstore named Dick's Sporting Goods that sells all kinds of hunting gear, including, I think, bows. There are also many VA locations.
posted by bad grammar at 8:20 AM on June 19, 2011

I would strongly recommend a take down bow for traditional archery. PSE makes some pretty good ones (and some competent ones are under 100). It is easier to buy new limbs when you are ready for more draw weight and the ability to remove them for travel is really, really handy. It is also far easier to store them without bending a tip or other problems. I would also recommend you get a laminate recurve of moderate length for getting back into it. After you practice for a while you can then decide if you want to spend some serious money and get a custom long bow or horse bow or really high quality handmade recurve or one of the newer aluminum riser target bows like they use in the Olympics. Personally I like using shorter recurves with a decent draw (a 55# bear Kodiak is one of my all time favorite bows to shoot) but a lot of the people i shoot with like a long self bow, like the traditional English long bow.

If you haven't been active for awhile I would strongly recommend you also get the new carbon fiber arrows to practice with. They never warp, crack or bend, they don't react to changes in weather and they aren't anymore expensive than good quality wood arrows and they last so much longer than aluminum that you will make up the difference.
posted by bartonlong at 9:50 AM on June 19, 2011

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