Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ragim Matrix and Wildcat Recurve Bows

Today I bought a new set of recurve limbs for my archery equipment.

Today's purchase was 2 limbs, 38/40 lb limbs from Ragim (brand name) and the model type is Matrix.

In the past I have purchased quite a few Ragim limbs. Both Matrix and also Wildcat models. Matrix and Wildcat are basically interchangable. The risers (middle of the bow) and the limbs (curved arms) of the bow, are the two most important things to buy if you are into takedown recurve bows.

I have so far...

2 Wildcat 66 risers for right hand
1 Wildcat 66 riser for left hand
1 Matrix 62 riser for right hand
18/20 lb Matrix limbs
20/22 lb Wildcat limbs
24/26 lb Wildcat limbs
34/36 lb Wildcat limbs

And today's purchase - 38/40 lb Matrix limbs

Matrix Riser

Wildcat Riser

I also own a Bear Grizzly 45 lb traditional recurve (1 piece, non-takedown) which I gave a name to - "Seahawk".

Bear Grizzly Traditional Recurve

Now to explain why I have so many bows let me first get into the topic of why each bow has a different lb number. The lb represents the amount of force needed to pull back a bow using those limbs. The different numbers depend on whether it is a 66 or 62 inch riser (the riser isn't actually that length, it is a measurement of how long the bowstring is for that riser plus standard size limbs). For 18/20 limbs the force is really low so that even kids as young as 10 can easily pull it. The 18 is how much force it takes to pull back the bowstring 28 inches on a 66 inch bow. 20 lbs if it is a 62 inch bow. (Yes, that is right, the shorter bow is more powerful, because it has to be bent more.)

While I love shooting with my 45 lb Seahawk I must admit I get tired after shooting it for several hours. Thus it is nice to switch to a lower poundage bow which is easier.

For teaching purposes and hanging out with friends I have also determined it is better to have multiple bows with different capacities. Some people just aren't strong enough to pull the higher poundage bows. Even some adults have a lot of difficulty pulling a heavier bow and stick to bows in the 18 to 22 range because they are physically unable to pull back a 24 or higher poundage bow.

A lot of it comes down to back and shoulder muscles. Some people have very lazy jobs that causes them to sit behind a computer 40 - 60 hours per week and their back muscles have dwindled to the size of a child's because they simply don't use those muscles that often.

To be fair I had to do a lot of weightlifting just so I could pull a 45 lb and hold it steady. A year ago I could pull such a bow, but I wouldn't have been able to hold it steady and I still have difficulty doing many consecutive shots with it because it is more tiring to use. Eventually my endurance will catch up as I continue to practice with it, but for now I need to rotate how often I use the 45 and sometimes switch to a lighter poundage.

This is why I bought the new 38/40 limbs. It allows me to use a higher poundage which is still a challenge, but it still gives me a break from the 45.

Another thing I want to mention is draw distance. 28 inches is the standard but some people are a lot taller and pull a longer distance and thus use longer arrows. On Seahawk I use 32.5 inch arrows. That 4.5 inches longer and amounts to roughly 30% more power... So that 45 lb bow gets closer to 58 lbs if you pull it the distance I do.

Other bows and archery equipment I look forward to getting someday...

A Japanese Yumi Bow

A Korean Shortbow

A Pyramid Bow

Ivory, Bone or Horn Mongolian Thumb Ring (for Mongolian Draws / Mongolian Releases)

Unusual Arrowheads made from Ivory, Bone, Flint, etc. Because I love traditional archery.

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