The 10 pound draw weight training bows we use at Golden Gate JOAD are now award winning bows, earning the USA Archery Bronze Award for Outdoor Barebow 😀
We start all of our students off using good quality, light draw weight training bows – typically 25″ Rolan risers with 10 pound limbs from Quintessential. The light bows make it easy to work with students on form rather than strength and have all sorts of advantages. But light draw weight bows can also be a challenge to shoot accurately. While they are easy to shoot they are very challenging to master, magnifying any inconsistencies in form. So it only seemed fair to do what we ask of our archers and see how far it is possible go with one of these bows. Do you need a fancy or higher draw weight bow to earn all 8 of the regular USA Archery Adult Achievement pins? What about the advanced Bronze, Silver and Gold pins? The question was motivating for me personally and fun and challenging to answer. I finally earned my way up from the very first of the outdoor barebow pins through through the last of the 8 regular AAP pins and then on to the Bronze, all using the 10 pound bow. I consider myself a relatively average shooter, so even as a trained and certified instructor I can still use all the motivation I can get to practice more, and to practice smarter – you know, like we teach to all of our students. Although I’ve shot the Silver and Gold scores with the 10 pound bow in practice, I’ve yet to do it at one of our achievement shoots. So I’m still motivated 😀
Now, should you try to earn all the USA Archery Adult Achievement awards with a 10 pound bow? Of course you should! If you want to. I love these bows. But, I have to say, there are some technical as well as form challenges. The bows are fussy, and making the outdoor distance of 50 meters is tough. I have a reasonably long draw length which means I have more than the rated 10 pounds on my fingers at full draw (around 13 pounds), and the long draw length makes for longer power stroke, giving me an arrow speed between 114 – 124 fps, depending on which set of “10 pound” limbs I’m using (they vary). With full length 2000 spine Medallion XR arrows and an under the chin anchor, my “point on distance” (the distance where you can sight off of your arrow tip with it lined up right over the bulls eye) is 50 meters, or somewhere on the target face depending on my bow set up or where the pressure on my bow hand grip is. Your mileage will vary. And keep in mind that the heavier your arrows, the less distance you will get out of the bow. It is a lot harder to shoot accurately when your arrow point has to be up in the clouds to hit 50 meters, which was the case when I shot full length aluminum 1716 arrows and when I shot Super Club arrows, both of which are heavier than the Medallion XR arrows. And I cannot for the life of me get my bow sight low enough to shoot sighted at 50 meters, not even with the sight inverted (between the bow riser and the string, shortening up the sight radius as much as possible to choke up on the sight angle) – hence why I switched to barebow 😀
Now, fun as the 10 pound bow is, if you want to shoot the highest score possible with a bow at 50 meters, it’s not the best tool for the job. A heavier draw weight bow that is within your strength’s ability to dominate will be more forgiving, have a closer point on distance and be possible to tune properly. So, so don’t think of the 10 pounder as a way to earn the highest score possible for a bow. Instead, consider it a challenge for you to shoot the highest possible score you can with a 10 pound bow at which ever distance and target you choose. It is a personal challenge. And a fun one. You can see if your local archery club has some of these fun bows to use (Golden Gate JOAD does, of course) or purchase the Rolan bows and 10 pound limbs from Quintessential Corporation or from Lancaster Archery, where the riser and limbs are listed separately.