Best Longbow – Reviews & Guide 2019
Longbow has a long history. In reality, this is one of the first kind of bow which is typical from then when humanity learned bow hunting. However, with the travel of time, there has been introduced a lot of modern bows like recurve bow, compound bow, crossbow, Yumi bow, Reflex bow and more. Those are decorated with ultramodern materials and accessorized with many types of equipment but when come to the question of pure archery the first thing come in everyone’s mind is a traditional longbow or a best longbow.
It seems that despite the availability of so many modern bows people tend to back-to-basics and choose longbows for entertainment, target shooting and even for bow hunting. If you go, a little more profound you might found two reasons behind this change: simplicity of equipment and historical background.
However, choose the best budget longbow is an intimidating task. Because, besides so many brands there is a large variety of longbows available in the market too, such as horse bow, flat bow, Mongolian bow, Turkish horsebow, Hungarian longbow, Korean longbow, English Bow, etc. We try to write an in-depth review on how to choose the best longbow on the market by matching with your level of experience and your objectives in traditional archery. Hope this will help you to navigate through the various brands and models available on the market.
Top 8 Recommended longbows
What is the best longbow?
So, you set your mind to devote in a longbow. Well, it will proceed you go back to the true origins of archery. Now, the question is, are you a beginner archer or an old-hand in the compound or other shooting and want to enter into traditional archery?
Whatever it is, there have some challenges in longbow operation which need to know well as a newcomer archer. Otherwise, it may deprive someone in the very beginning of practicing. So, you have to careful to choose the right longbow for you regarding quality and draw weight.
It is the real challenge to choose a longbow brands. A good brand makes a difference in performance of an archer either use for hunting or target shooting. To understand the quality of longbow you have to care about the following aspects.
About Traditional Archery
As I said there have some challenges in traditional archery, simultaneously there has some art also which you may not found in others type of bows. In design, it looks simple, but in this simplicity, there are hidden centuries of high-quality wood craftsmanship.
So, don’t be confused by its simple design, a well-crafted longbow can provides you ultimate pleasure of hunting or shooting. In our reviews, we analyzed 8 top rated longbow which may help you to choose the right one.
Types of Longbow
The most common feature of a longbow is its length. It is tall as the height of an archer and relatively narrow limbs and D-shaped cross section. However, based on materials, design, and style there are several types of longbow found in the market. It is essential to know about the characteristics of a different kind of the bow to choose the right one. There is three main category of the longbow, such as -
Again, you may think that in the market there are several styles and design bows available like Mongolian, Hungarian, Horsebow, and more. All other types are somehow similar to this three main category. It will be clear if you go through the description below.
Narrow limb, deep core, and around 6ft/1.8m tall are the main features of English Longbow. Usually, it made of Yew wood and higher draw weights.
Hill-style Longbow or American Longbow
Wider limbs and a flat cross-section that usually has more taper towards the limb tips are the main features of the Hill-style longbow. It is similar like flat bows which have a small cut-away to shoot the arrow from the shelf.
To made American longbow used a variety of wood rather than a single one. Usually, the limbs are a bit shorter than the English bow which makes it faster and durable.
This is an improved version of the longbow, similar to modern flat bow constructed with deflexed riser (bending towards the archer) and reflexed limbs (turning away from the archer). This improvisation makes it more energetic and reduces hand shock for accurate shooting or hunting.
A longbow can be categories into a single piece and takedown longbow too. The original longbow usually made one-piece which is a little tricky to transport during hunting or traveling long distance. Keep this on mind modern longbows are made takedown style. Archer can change limbs in takedown according to their draw weights too.
Purpose of the bow
You can choose a longbow for hunting or target shooting, or both depends on your choice you have to select your preferable longbow. Such as, if you like hunting than Toparchery handmade 53’’ hunting longbow will be your perfect match.
Lower the brace height, higher the speed of the arrow. You may know the brace height is the distance between the deep most of the handle and string. So, before selecting your longbow, check the brace height is perfect for you or not. Usually, standard brace height is 1/12th of bow heights.
Draw Weight and Draw Length
Draw weight and draw length are two interrelated and equally important aspect of any bow. Depends on folks body stature, experience, and purpose of use this two are vary person to person. Before choosing your best weapon, you have to determine the correct draw length first. Usually, for a longbow, an inch of increase or decrease of draw length – 2½ pounds of draw weight added or reduced.
Quality and Brand
To get a perfect longbow on the market, you have to check the variety of materials used for construct a bow. Usually, Yew wood used for made a longbow. However, nowadays various types of timber except yew and modern materials such as fiberglasses are seen to be used for it. Whatever it is, you should check that the bow will not be easily breakable.
In our longbow reviews, we recommended 8 top brands with in-depth research which may help you to choose the best longbow brands for you.
Price and Budget
You may find so many longbows in the market at a low cost, and you may be getting a self-complacency by thinking that you win. Still, when you start using that bow, you will identify the real situation. There is nothing good at a lower price. Though, we never suggest you spend your hard-earned money unnecessary. Hence, to get the suitable longbow for the money you have to pay a bit extra then cheaper options.
Hope the above ideas will help you to select right longbow by avoiding misleading information, and you can enjoy your shooting without hassle.
Why is a longbow better?
A longbow is a forgiving bow. It has a ‘D’ shape or half-moon shape curve with a straight grip that allows more energy stored in the wooden part of the bow. This shape makes it different from other bows like recurve bow or compound bow. It is thin in width but thicker in depth which makes it harder to twist the limbs when pulling the string by an archer. However, thin shape allows the arrows to fly straighter.
Furthermore, the length of the longbow sanction less grasping on the fingers when the string pulled back, and it also has less contact on the fingers when the line is released which makes it an excellent learning bow for a beginner.
However, to understand the longbow in a better way let discuss us the pros and cons below –
Long Draw length
As a longbow offers sufficient space to pull back the arrow allow you to draw the shaft up to your cheekbone which will give you incredible benefit which is unwatchable.
How much you can draw your string is determinate of the force and speed of an arrow. Thus the draw length allows the bow to store more energy for shooting the shafts at a higher rate and you can able to hit the target accurately.
Because of the large design, a longbow can accommodate any arrows to shoot. Like in a stronger wind velocity you can use the heavier arrow to get accurate shooting. Still, it also allows lighter shafts in case of steady wind. A longbow will impeccably accommodate projectiles of different weights.
Yet, if the basis of your purchase is only for shooting from the horseback, then longbow will not serve your purpose because of its high length. In that case, Turkish horse bow will be your good alternative.
What is a longbow used for?
In the new age of fashion, we have lots of ways to use many astonishing instruments to make our adventures whatever we want them to be. However, tradition is something that means many things to us. It's one of those things that people have a hard time understanding if they didn't grow up around it. The English longbow was a dominant medieval type of longbow (an excellent bow for archery) about 6 ft. (1.8 m) Long used by the English and Welsh for hunting and as a weapon in medieval warfare. When I touch it, it will back to me at that age.
Today’s cutting edge of technology there is available so many modern hunting equipment like a compound bow, rifle, and short gun. However, those who love to uphold tradition, like to use a longbow for hunting too. Longbow is challenging to master. If anyone captures the technique of longbow archery, also can operate other weapons smoothly. So, the longbow is an excellent device for the learner.
How to make a longbow?
There is a long process involved from cut a tree and turn a Stave into the best custom longbow. Usually, longbows are made by gluing different types of wood together or a combination of wood and bamboo for backing. This blend will permit to use of various properties of different woods. Some timbers are better at enduring tension, while other woods are better at resisting compression. Utilizing them together will yield the best of both. Examples of woods that used together are bamboo and yew, and hickory and lemonwood. Bamboo or hickory used on the part of the bow that is facing away from the shooter, which is known as the back. The slice of the bow facing the shooter, also called the belly, is typically made from yew or lemonwood.
Today other materials are used to make longbows, like carbon and fiberglass. Although there is some advantage to this, many archers still prefer traditional longbows.
During writing this part, I will take help of Mr. Tom Turgeon one of the best longbow maker and his visual instruction on Woodworkers Guild to America. Okay,
Step by Step Longbow Making Process:
Step 1: Crafting of a custom handmade longbow starting with a kit. The kit from Boise Bows and Arrows use the yellow heart for the belly wood and riser, and bamboo for the backing. Packages include a stave, bowstring and complete instructions.
Step 2: After filing the edges of the stave to remove bandsaw marks file a chamfer onto the bamboo, just enough 1/8″ to relieve the sharp edge. It is a crucial step. If you don’t do this fiber in the bamboo may blow out the first time you bend the stave.
Step 3: Shaping the stave is next. To do so, you can use a spokeshave. It is an exercise in finesse. You don’t want to take too much wood off, or you’ll lower the draw weight of the longbow.
Step 4: In this step, you have to work in a way down to two lines. One centered on the belly wood (the side that will face the archer), the other is 1/8″ down from the face of the belly wood. I create four of these facets on the stave. (It’s not a “bow” until it shoots an arrow.) The spokeshave works excellent, but you could also use a rasp. Surface finish isn’t critical at this point.
Step 5: Shaping results in a ridge on the belly wood side of the longbow.
Step 6: With basic shaping done, use floor tiller the stave. Carefully check the uniformity of curvature from top to bottom, and also determining which part of the stave will be the upper limb. Floor tillering shows that where you need to remove more material from the belly wood. It is an important step when you’re learning how to make a longbow.
Step 7: For this stave to tiller correctly you need to remove a little material from what will be the upper limb. I’m now using the spokeshave horizontally and taking the high point off the ridge on the belly wood. Light even passes, and frequent checks with floor tillering are critical. It is apparent that you will want to get a string on the stave, but it’s a big mistake to ask too much of the stave too quickly. You’ve got to teach the wood to bend. It takes patience and a gradual approach.
Step 8: Once the bow floor tillers correctly you have to file the nocks for the string. A 3/16″ chainsaw file does short work of this. You can (finally) string the bow and exercise it. That means gentle pulls, not coming to full draw. At this point when you are learning how to make a longbow, you have to measure, at straight points, from the string to the bow. The upper and lower limb measurements must be within 3/4″ or less of each other. If they are not its back to the spokeshave or rasp to take off a little more material.
Once everything looks good, and the bow has gently exercised you can come to full draw and shoot a few arrows.
You will take that as the first round at 25 yards!
Finishing doesn’t happen until the longbow is tillered and shooting well. If you like you can use aniline dyes, which blend into a variety of colors and patterns. A top coat seals the aniline dye in, and the bow is ready to use.
These longbows are capable of producing a draw weight suitable for hunting or being pared down to a lighter draw weight ideal for young shooters.
You can also follow the YouTube link for a custom-made traditional longbow without any lamination -
What kind of wood do you use to make longbow?
Undoubtedly Yew is the best timber for manufacture longbow as it is the most popular European timber that will make good self-longbows. Also, the first wooden longbows made from Yew. However, nowadays many types of wood and modern fiberglass are used to construct a bow. Among that Hickory, Mulberry, Walnut, Ash, Cherry and Hickory combine with exotic woods such as Basswood, Yucca, Osage Orange, Lemonwood, Blackwood, and Ironwood are some popular options.
What is the best tree to make a longbow out of?
To make a good quality Longbow less powerful, longer or of more elastic wood will be best, because of their narrow limbs and rounded cross-section. Yew has treated as the best tree to prepare a fantastic longbow, as it has high compressive strength, lightweight, and elasticity. You can also Elm timber to make a longbow, but it required a heat treatment at the belly. Today artisans also use some common and cheaper hardwood like oak, hickory, ash, hazel, osage orange and maple. From these trees, you can make a thin longbow with high draw-weight, but there is a chance to permanently bend which known as "set" or "following the string" and would probably be out shot by an equivalent made of yew.
Longbow keeps a significant contribution to change the nature of war as well as the history. With the invention of the longbow, people learn to hunt animal from a distance to collect their food, protect them from fierce animals and ill motive peoples which help them to travel to today’s modern edge. As touches a longbow, it flows those images in front of our eyes.
Though there are limitations of using a longbow and Olympic doesn’t allow it as a competition bow, people who love heritage can use longbow for their mental satisfaction and enjoyment. Because of its forgiving nature and straightforward way of arrows longbow is an excellent weapon for hunting game too.
Regarding budget, a longbow is cheaper than many other bows in the market. For a traditional look, it holds its popularity among old and young archers too. So, you can keep a longbow at your collection without any hesitation.