Barebow versus Traditional- Part 3

By Mark V. Lonsdale

For those of you new to archery or barebow shooting, “Barebow” is now a very popular form of competition archery and growing every day. So what is the difference between traditional archery and barebow?

For me, traditional archery has been centered around my Black Widow bows, such as my PMA-III and PSR-II, shooting off the shelf with no sights. This is a pure form of traditional barebow archery.

Black Widow PMA III takedown recurve

Now, the type of barebow this series of articles is centered around is the barebow division being shot in events such as the Vegas Shoot and Lancaster Archery Classic. For this, and going by the World Archery rules, an archer can shoot his or her Olympic target bow, less the sights, clicker, and long stabilizers.

The rules require that the entire bow must fit through a 12.2 cm ring (4.75”) – or the same size as the gold on a target. This still allows for stabilizer weights but they must be below the rest and sit close to the riser. In this manner they will still fit through the 12.2 cm ring while giving the bow vertical balance and stability after the shot.

An example of a Hoyt riser weight designed for the Hoyt Xceed riser.
Stock image of riser weight installed, thanks to Hoyt Archery

For this project I selected the Hoyt Xceed 25″ riser and Hoyt Carbon Velos Long limbs. These both arrived this week. The first step was to assemble the bow, after reading the owners manual, and then string it to get the initial stretch or creep out of the string. I do this before putting twists in the string just to give the strands a chance to stretch equally.

With no twists, this produced a brace height of 8 inches, but the Hoyt manual recommends 8.75″-9′.5″ for a 70″ bow with long limbs. The next day, 20 twists produced a brace height of 8.5″; 30 twists measured 8 5/8″; 40 twists 8.75″ and 45 twists 9.0″ — so have settled on 9.0″ for now. As you know, it will take at least a 100 arrows for the string to settle down – so that is next on the list.

Initially I will be running a Beiter plunger and Hoyt Super rest, but plan to go to a Zniper rest when it arrives from Lancaster.

Hoyt Xceed riser with Hoyt Super Rest and Beiter plunger

Fortunately this form of barebow competition shooting has been around long enough for others to have done significant experimenting in real world competitions, and then generated a good number of books and videos. So rather than “re-invent the wheel” I am taking the advice of past and present barebow champions, plus watching the videos from the 2019 Lancaster and Vegas shoots.

More to follow….

Black Widow PL-V 66″ Longbow

Always a great day when the big brown truck pulls up to the house. This time delivering my new Black Widow PL-V Take-down Longbow

Black Widow 3 weeks ahead of schedule and UPS on time.
New Black Widow PL-V Ironwood Take-down 66″ Longbow with Beaver grip. This one is 40# @ 30″

Black Widow PL-V 66″ Take-down Longbow

Stay tuned for initial test report tomorrow…….