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Newcomer question - best bow for the money

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  • ladylilion
    Greetings, I have been in the SCA for a few years now and have an interest in archery. I am quite new to archery, but I have enjoyed a bit of target archery
    Message 1 of 15 , Nov 8, 2005
      Greetings,

      I have been in the SCA for a few years now and have an interest in
      archery. I am quite new to archery, but I have enjoyed a bit of
      target archery with borrowed equipment. At this point, I need to get
      a bow of my own. I know that I need about a 30# pull and, as I am
      quite tall, I think a longer bow will be best. I have used both a
      very nice 66 inch recurve and a $30 ebay 62 inch longbow, both 30#
      and really had about the same ability with each. (Which wasn't that
      good to be honest, but it was fun.)

      Frankly, my biggest problem at the moment is price. I can find a
      perfectly good recurve on-line for around $250 (the lower-priced
      Martin bows) but really I hesitate to spend that much money for
      something I may wind up only dabbling in. I would prefer to spend in
      the neighborhood of $100 or less. In that price range I could buy a
      used older recurve somewhere like ebay, but sight-unseen I hate to
      risk even that much money, or I could buy a new take-down bow or a
      lower-priced longbow. There are links on this group to two merchants
      with longbows in my range. I have considered the garage-sale/pawn-
      shop route, but the light poundage in a longer length bow seems to be
      difficult to find.

      I suppose my question is: If I have only $100 to $150 (at the
      outside) to spend, should I buy a used recurve, a new take-down or a
      new cheaper longbow? Also, if longbow is the answer, which type of
      longbow would be better for a novice archer? There appear to be
      several types.

      If anyone wants to comment on the cheaper longbows offered by
      merchants in the link section, but do not want to do so on the board,
      I'd appreciate an email.

      Thank you very much.
      Lilion
    • Lord Caedmon Wilson
      Greetings, Lilion. Is there an archery practice near you? If there is, I recommend making use of a loaner bow until you decide to commit more time and
      Message 2 of 15 , Nov 9, 2005
        Greetings, Lilion.

        Is there an archery practice near you? If there is, I recommend
        making use of a loaner bow until you decide to commit more time and
        resources to archery. Many marshals out there have built up a
        collection of bows they loan out at practices.

        --
        Lord Caedmon Wilson

        Oaken Regional Youth Combat Marshal

        Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabris, ad caput tuum
        saxum immane mittam.
      • ladylilion
        ... I am in Calontir, in the Shire of Wyvern Cliffe. I haven t checked out neighboring shires, but our group doesn t really have any loner equipment,
        Message 3 of 15 , Nov 9, 2005
          --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Lord Caedmon Wilson
          <caedmon.wilson@g...> wrote:
          >
          > Greetings, Lilion.
          >
          > Is there an archery practice near you? If there is, I recommend
          > making use of a loaner bow until you decide to commit more time and
          > resources to archery. Many marshals out there have built up a
          > collection of bows they loan out at practices.
          >
          > --
          > Lord Caedmon Wilson
          >
          > Oaken Regional Youth Combat Marshal
          >
          > Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabris, ad caput tuum
          > saxum immane mittam.
          >
          I am in Calontir, in the Shire of Wyvern Cliffe. I haven't checked
          out neighboring shires, but our group doesn't really have any loner
          equipment, certianly not with the right weight and length for me.
          There are not a lot of us and even fewer into archery. Our marshal
          is still in training. I have used his bows, but since they are the
          ones he actually uses, I can't keep doing that. At this point, I
          really need a bow of my own. I like the idea of longbows, although I
          hear they are harder to master. The price of the take down bows is
          somewhat compelling. Can I use a takedown for competitions at all?

          If I had the money, I'd probably go with the lower-priced new
          recurves. I especially like this
          one...http://www.archeryweb.com/bonniebowman/recurve.html#victory
          the size and lower pound pull is exactly what I would like. (Okay,
          that it's just really pretty doesn't hurt.) Pity it's about 3x what
          I want to pay. I just am not sure enough of my interest to spend
          that much yet.

          Should I decide to empty the bank account...does anyone have any
          practical experience with the Victory recurve?

          Again, thanks to you all for any help you may give.
          Lilion
        • ladylilion
          I apologise for the bad link in my last post. http://www.archeryweb.com/bonniebowman/recurve.html#victory That should be a good link. Lilion
          Message 4 of 15 , Nov 9, 2005
            I apologise for the bad link in my last post.


            http://www.archeryweb.com/bonniebowman/recurve.html#victory

            That should be a good link.
            Lilion
          • Lord Caedmon Wilson
            If money is no object, have you considred a crossbow as your bow of choice? *grin* -- Lord Caedmon Wilson Oaken Regional Youth Combat Marshal Catapultam habeo.
            Message 5 of 15 , Nov 9, 2005
              If money is no object, have you considred a crossbow as your bow of choice?

              *grin*

              --
              Lord Caedmon Wilson

              Oaken Regional Youth Combat Marshal

              Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabris, ad caput tuum
              saxum immane mittam.
            • ladylilion
              Actually, yes. Unfortunately, money is THE object! LOL Lilion ... choice?
              Message 6 of 15 , Nov 9, 2005
                Actually, yes. Unfortunately, money is THE object! LOL

                Lilion

                --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Lord Caedmon Wilson
                <caedmon.wilson@g...> wrote:
                >
                > If money is no object, have you considred a crossbow as your bow of
                choice?
                >
                > *grin*
                >
                > --
                > Lord Caedmon Wilson
                >
                > Oaken Regional Youth Combat Marshal
                >
                > Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabris, ad caput tuum
                > saxum immane mittam.
                >
              • James Koch
                Lilion, ... At risk of ruffling a few feathers, I d go with the longbow or any period design before I d buy a modern recurve. It might take a bit longer to
                Message 7 of 15 , Nov 9, 2005
                  Lilion,
                  >
                  At risk of ruffling a few feathers, I'd go with the longbow or any period
                  design before I'd buy a modern recurve. It might take a bit longer to
                  master, but learning to shoot well is work either way. So if you are going
                  to invest the money and time, go with the most authentic equipment you can
                  afford. Also, if you shoot a 30# bow without too much difficulty, you
                  might want to consider buying one drawing 35#. Of course if you have long
                  arms, you may already be getting more than 30# out of the bows you are
                  shooting. Purchase good arrows. Buy at least 2 dozen matched arrows at one
                  time. When you are starting out you will lose and break them fairly quickly.
                  >
                  Jim Koch (Gladius The Alchemist)
                  >
                  >
                  > At 11:23 AM 11/9/2005, you wrote:
                  >--- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, Lord Caedmon Wilson
                  ><caedmon.wilson@g...> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Greetings, Lilion.
                  > >
                  > > Is there an archery practice near you? If there is, I recommend
                  > > making use of a loaner bow until you decide to commit more time and
                  > > resources to archery. Many marshals out there have built up a
                  > > collection of bows they loan out at practices.
                  > >
                  > > --
                  > > Lord Caedmon Wilson
                  > >
                  > > Oaken Regional Youth Combat Marshal
                  > >
                  > > Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabris, ad caput tuum
                  > > saxum immane mittam.
                  > >
                  >I am in Calontir, in the Shire of Wyvern Cliffe. I haven't checked
                  >out neighboring shires, but our group doesn't really have any loner
                  >equipment, certianly not with the right weight and length for me.
                  >There are not a lot of us and even fewer into archery. Our marshal
                  >is still in training. I have used his bows, but since they are the
                  >ones he actually uses, I can't keep doing that. At this point, I
                  >really need a bow of my own. I like the idea of longbows, although I
                  >hear they are harder to master. The price of the take down bows is
                  >somewhat compelling. Can I use a takedown for competitions at all?
                  >
                  >If I had the money, I'd probably go with the lower-priced new
                  >recurves. I especially like this
                  >one...http://www.archeryweb.com/bonniebowman/recurve.html#victory
                  >the size and lower pound pull is exactly what I would like. (Okay,
                  >that it's just really pretty doesn't hurt.) Pity it's about 3x what
                  >I want to pay. I just am not sure enough of my interest to spend
                  >that much yet.
                  >
                  >Should I decide to empty the bank account...does anyone have any
                  >practical experience with the Victory recurve?
                  >
                  >Again, thanks to you all for any help you may give.
                  >Lilion
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
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                  >Get Medieval at Mad Macsen's http://www.medievalmart.com/
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                  >
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                  >
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                • Cian of Storvik
                  Best bows for the money... I also would encourage you to go traditional as Gladius has. The bow you become accustomed to shooting is the one you will shoot
                  Message 8 of 15 , Nov 9, 2005
                    Best bows for the money...
                    I also would encourage you to go traditional as Gladius has. The bow
                    you become accustomed to shooting is the one you will shoot well.
                    Ragi and others (myself included) will tell you that good arrows are
                    more important then the bow. (There are a few REALLY bad bows out
                    there)

                    You will get a great deal of satisfaction from shooting a
                    traditional bow. As far as suggestions for inexpensive bows;
                    You might be able to find a decent bow at a thrift store or flea
                    market, but as you are not exactly trained what to look for, you
                    will most likely be buying a piece of junk if you go that route
                    (twisted limbs, delaminations, and cracked risers are all very
                    common with yard sale purchased bows.) People stack their bows in
                    corners, pile junk on top of them, and generally use and abuse them,
                    then cast them aside before trying to sell you it.
                    As far as new, lowest in price is Woodbows.com and Fairebows (period
                    or near period style long bows). They sell bows that are made of oak
                    for $35-$100. But I warn you that oak is a notoriously poor wood for
                    a bow because it doesn't have the proper elasticity required to
                    prevent string follow or fracture from the slightest overdraw. Some
                    people highly recommend them, but my guess is that they've never
                    shot a decent longbow. Comparatively oak also imparts very bad hand
                    shock upon release and cast is not as good as finer woods like ashe,
                    yew and lemonwood.
                    The next in price I would suggest is PSE Buckeye. This is a take-
                    down recurve bow (the limbs come off and make it very portable).
                    This is a modern style, non-traditional, entry level recurve. They
                    cost in the $80-$105 range and come in weights upto 35 lbs. from
                    WomenWhoHunt.com. The benefit of recurves is that they tend to be a
                    bit kinder on poor releases and do not have the same stacking issues
                    that longbows have.
                    Above the Buckeye is Krymson Archer Bows. I believe he's on this
                    list in fact, and sells traditional bows similar to Woodbows and
                    Fairbows, but he makes them out of hickory. Hickory still imparts a
                    great deal of hand-shock as oak, but the bows are sturdier and don't
                    require backings. I've shot a $55 self hickory flat limbed american
                    style bow (shelfless) , and it shot as well as my $400 english bow
                    (but with a bit more handshock). More importantly, he sells several
                    recurves which are very attractive in appearance. I believe his bows
                    start around $100 and are upwards of $200. But this falls within
                    your price requirement.

                    Next up in price (Or about the same) from there is the Samick SKB
                    (Samick Korean Bow). This is another recurve, but it is shelfless
                    and so I believe it counts as a traditional bow in some Kingdoms.
                    The Samick SKB costs around $150 from most retailers (maybe a little
                    less from WHH), and has had good reviews from what I've read.
                    (Basically people are surprised a $150 bow can shoot so well and
                    look so good). The SKB is made of laminations of Fiberglass,
                    rosewood and walnut, and has the advantages; since it is fiberglass,
                    of not succumbing to string follow, cold/hot temps, and drop off
                    from extented holds, etc. It further has the benefits of being a
                    recurve, which all tends to eliminate stacking, and improve release.
                    SKB's come in 30,40 and 50# draw weights at 28".
                    The only negative with the SKB (or any traditional bow I've
                    mentioned above) is that it is very important to buy the right spine
                    of arrows for your draw length and bow weight.
                    Anyhow, those are my recommendations.
                    -Cian the opinionated
                  • jameswolfden
                    While oak is not a premium bow wood like yew or osage orange, I would disagree with notoriously poor. Much of this depends on designing the right bow for the
                    Message 9 of 15 , Nov 9, 2005
                      While oak is not a premium bow wood like yew or osage orange, I would
                      disagree with notoriously poor. Much of this depends on designing the right
                      bow for the right type of wood. The english style longbow works best with
                      yew. Even lemonwood or ash is dramatically inferior to it. They are just
                      cheaper and easier to work with. Okay, looks like lemonwood is only cheaper
                      in the UK not the US.

                      I have built two very good oak boardbows that had little string follow or
                      handshock. Neither had any backing. I built a 50 pound bow for myself and a
                      much lighter bow for my wife. I don't know how well they would work on
                      distance shooting but on Royal Rounds they work great. The heavier bow did
                      have to be retired after two years when the string cut up into the bow at the
                      nock.

                      The other bow is about 26 pounds at my drawlength. It is 72" long which helps
                      reduce the handshock. As mentioned, it is a flatbow design which helps
                      reduce the string follow compared to the cross-section of an english longbow.
                      String follow is about 1.5 inches I am guessing. At 30 yards, I have the tip of
                      arrow in line with the bottom of red so I can't really complain about the cast.
                      One of the problems I encountered with the 50 pounder was that I was aiming
                      in the grass for 40, 30, and 20 until I shifted to a different anchor.

                      Recently I purchased a takedown longbow made of bamboo-backed IPE. I
                      heard great things about IPE from a number of bowyers. Great cast, fast bow.
                      For the first couple of hundred shots, the bow was a sweet shooter. But after
                      that I noticed a number of problems including some delamination near the
                      handle on the lower limb. I fixed it up but the lower limb took a serious string
                      follow robbing me of cast, power, and consistency. I borrowed my wife's bow
                      to finish off the season.

                      I have had some success with ash and look forward to trying hickory, elm, and
                      yew some day but my most successful bows have been with oak. I think the
                      real problem with some of the low cost bows is not the wood but rather the
                      time (and shortcuts) taken to get the bow out at an affordable cost. The catch
                      side of that is that paying more does not guarantee higher quality.

                      James Wolfden



                      --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "Cian of Storvik" <firespiter@y...>
                      wrote:
                      >

                      > for $35-$100. But I warn you that oak is a notoriously poor wood for
                      > a bow because it doesn't have the proper elasticity required to
                      > prevent string follow or fracture from the slightest overdraw. Some
                      > people highly recommend them, but my guess is that they've never
                      > shot a decent longbow. Comparatively oak also imparts very bad hand
                      > shock upon release and cast is not as good as finer woods like ashe,
                      > yew and lemonwood.
                    • John edgerton
                      What is IPE ? Jon On Wednesday, November 9, 2005, at 05:30 PM, jameswolfden wrote: misc deleted ... misc deleted
                      Message 10 of 15 , Nov 9, 2005
                        What is "IPE"?

                        Jon
                        On Wednesday, November 9, 2005, at 05:30 PM, jameswolfden wrote:
                        misc deleted
                        >
                        > Recently I purchased a takedown longbow made of bamboo-backed IPE. I
                        > heard great things about IPE from a number of bowyers. Great cast,
                        > fast bow.
                        > For the first couple of hundred shots, the bow was a sweet shooter.
                        > But after
                        > that I noticed a number of problems including some delamination near
                        > the
                        > handle on the lower limb. I fixed it up but the lower limb took a
                        > serious string
                        > follow robbing me of cast, power, and consistency. I borrowed my
                        > wife's bow
                        > to finish off the season.
                        misc deleted

                        > James Wolfden
                      • Dan Martin
                        I keep hearing you folks talk down oak. I own two white oak bows that I have been shooting and killing game with for over 20yrs. I dont shoot english long bow
                        Message 11 of 15 , Nov 9, 2005
                          I keep hearing you folks talk down oak. I own two white oak bows that I have been shooting and killing game with for over 20yrs. I dont shoot english long bow but wood quality is wood quality. I shoot a self bow and a home made recurve.
                          if you are in an area like Oklahoma or Texas where it gets really hot and hard cold with a lot of moisture oak is really hard to beat. I have shattered bows over the years but never an oak bow. Lemonwood is a beuitiful bow and I will not argue that point like mine. but oak is tough and can take abuse. Carried my short oak to Samalia and Iraq. My son has it there now.
                          Not attacking but if you talk to people in the SW you will find we are proud of oak bows. Yew I have never had grate luck with. Osage is just to high down here.
                          You will find when it come to bows everyone has an opionion and most of us are wrong.
                          You folks can help me also maybe. Im a die hard long and self bow man. Been shooting them for over 35yrs now. In process of buying a Renigade Compound bow. Off shoot of a Martin but you can ajust string. Are they worth the money I was going PSE but not fond of plastic.
                          Only reason Im going to the compound bow going back into compittion just for fun so I can get my SAL boys to shooting and Im going to shoot long bow and compound.
                          Shoot wise nuthing is better than a hunting shoot. Moving targets and everyone has fun you dont have to be all that good because you are shooting at moc ups of game and not circles. Had the hardest time getting my boys to stop shooting at circles. If your just target shooting n big deal folks but if you want to hunt get away from the circles they will kill your shot. You will look for bullseyes on the deer. God forgot to put them on ha.
                          Dont let me scare you off few things are as much fun as shooting a bow. carried one for 21yrs in the military and had a ball with it my whole carrer. Plus the bonus of being quiet.
                          Im in the process of making a heavy crossbow right now. After christmas we are going to make a battering ram and a catapult. We have a 20.000 milimeter range to shoot on. Artillery range so we wont hurt anything aside from a few rattlesnakes and to late in the year for that.
                          I dont write in much but i do enjoy reading. I was really afraid for awhile that my sport was dieing. For a long time we didnt see young folks coming up and taking up the sport. Be it primitive compound compitition or speed target it doesnt matter we keep archcery alive. thank all of you for that.
                          blackwaterincorp@...
                          dan martin
                          jameswolfden <jameswolfden@...> wrote:
                          While oak is not a premium bow wood like yew or osage orange, I would
                          disagree with notoriously poor. Much of this depends on designing the right
                          bow for the right type of wood. The english style longbow works best with
                          yew. Even lemonwood or ash is dramatically inferior to it. They are just
                          cheaper and easier to work with. Okay, looks like lemonwood is only cheaper
                          in the UK not the US.

                          I have built two very good oak boardbows that had little string follow or
                          handshock. Neither had any backing. I built a 50 pound bow for myself and a
                          much lighter bow for my wife. I don't know how well they would work on
                          distance shooting but on Royal Rounds they work great. The heavier bow did
                          have to be retired after two years when the string cut up into the bow at the
                          nock.

                          The other bow is about 26 pounds at my drawlength. It is 72" long which helps
                          reduce the handshock. As mentioned, it is a flatbow design which helps
                          reduce the string follow compared to the cross-section of an english longbow.
                          String follow is about 1.5 inches I am guessing. At 30 yards, I have the tip of
                          arrow in line with the bottom of red so I can't really complain about the cast.
                          One of the problems I encountered with the 50 pounder was that I was aiming
                          in the grass for 40, 30, and 20 until I shifted to a different anchor.

                          Recently I purchased a takedown longbow made of bamboo-backed IPE. I
                          heard great things about IPE from a number of bowyers. Great cast, fast bow.
                          For the first couple of hundred shots, the bow was a sweet shooter. But after
                          that I noticed a number of problems including some delamination near the
                          handle on the lower limb. I fixed it up but the lower limb took a serious string
                          follow robbing me of cast, power, and consistency. I borrowed my wife's bow
                          to finish off the season.

                          I have had some success with ash and look forward to trying hickory, elm, and
                          yew some day but my most successful bows have been with oak. I think the
                          real problem with some of the low cost bows is not the wood but rather the
                          time (and shortcuts) taken to get the bow out at an affordable cost. The catch
                          side of that is that paying more does not guarantee higher quality.

                          James Wolfden



                          --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "Cian of Storvik"
                          wrote:
                          >

                          > for $35-$100. But I warn you that oak is a notoriously poor wood for
                          > a bow because it doesn't have the proper elasticity required to
                          > prevent string follow or fracture from the slightest overdraw. Some
                          > people highly recommend them, but my guess is that they've never
                          > shot a decent longbow. Comparatively oak also imparts very bad hand
                          > shock upon release and cast is not as good as finer woods like ashe,
                          > yew and lemonwood.





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                        • jameswolfden
                          IPE is a Brazilian Walnut. It is mainly used for flooring. James
                          Message 12 of 15 , Nov 9, 2005
                            IPE is a Brazilian Walnut. It is mainly used for flooring.

                            James

                            --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, John edgerton
                            <sirjon1@p...> wrote:
                            >
                            > What is "IPE"?
                            >
                            > Jon
                          • roguenad2000
                            ... Well, seeing as I run Fairebows, I feel I am qualified to talk about what we normaly stock :) Yes, I do carry Red Oak english long bows. And I have to
                            Message 13 of 15 , Nov 11, 2005
                              --- In SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com, "Cian of Storvik"
                              <firespiter@y...> wrote:

                              > As far as new, lowest in price is Woodbows.com and Fairebows
                              > (period or near period style long bows). They sell bows that
                              > are made of oak for $35-$100. But I warn you that oak is a
                              > notoriously poor wood for a bow because it doesn't have the
                              > proper elasticity required to prevent string follow or fracture
                              > from the slightest overdraw. Some people highly recommend them,
                              > but my guess is that they've never shot a decent longbow.

                              Well, seeing as I run Fairebows, I feel I am qualified to talk about
                              what we normaly stock :)

                              Yes, I do carry Red Oak english long bows. And I have to agree with
                              you that they are not my first choice, but since people keep asking
                              for them I normaly have a few in stock. It seems to be people that
                              buy these are only looking at the price tag.

                              My Best selling period bows are Hickory Selfbows. They go for $150,
                              That is finshed with a leather wrap on the grip, and a dacron
                              Flemish twist string. They are avalible in a variety of weights.
                              The most popular seem to be in the 30# - 45# range.

                              I also carry more expensive bows. I have hickory backed ash,
                              Bubinga, and Ipe English long bows just to name a few. Not to
                              mention a wide selection of Bamboo backed flat bows.

                              My personal bow is a Bambo backed Ossage flat bow.

                              I have to agree with Cain, Go with a period bow. If you are going to
                              learn to shoot and you want to be doing period shooting, you might
                              as well learn to shoot with Period equipment.

                              Nad
                            • ladylilion
                              I wanted to thank everyone who offered their input. As I ve discovered that I am left-eye dominant but extremely right handed, I ve decided to just buy a
                              Message 14 of 15 , Nov 12, 2005
                                I wanted to thank everyone who offered their input. As I've
                                discovered that I am left-eye dominant but extremely right handed,
                                I've decided to just buy a cheap little fiberglass longbow that can be
                                shot with either hand to practice with. I never even knew about eye
                                dominance, I've always shot right handed. But then again, my aim
                                stinks, so maybe that's the problem. ;-) In any event, I'll certainly
                                keep all the advice in mind when I get a better bow a few months down
                                the line. Thanks again, you were all very helpful.
                                Lilion
                              • Carolus von Eulenhorst
                                This is a fine choice for someone who wants to experiment with the sport first. Carolus ... -- No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG
                                Message 15 of 15 , Nov 13, 2005
                                  This is a fine choice for someone who wants to experiment with the sport first.
                                  Carolus

                                  At 06:15 PM 11/12/2005, you wrote:

                                  >I wanted to thank everyone who offered their input. As I've
                                  >discovered that I am left-eye dominant but extremely right handed,
                                  >I've decided to just buy a cheap little fiberglass longbow that can be
                                  >shot with either hand to practice with. I never even knew about eye
                                  >dominance, I've always shot right handed. But then again, my aim
                                  >stinks, so maybe that's the problem. ;-) In any event, I'll certainly
                                  >keep all the advice in mind when I get a better bow a few months down
                                  >the line. Thanks again, you were all very helpful.
                                  >Lilion
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
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                                  >--
                                  >No virus found in this incoming message.
                                  >Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
                                  >Version: 7.1.362 / Virus Database: 267.12.8/166 - Release Date: 11/10/2005


                                  --
                                  No virus found in this outgoing message.
                                  Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
                                  Version: 7.1.362 / Virus Database: 267.12.8/166 - Release Date: 11/10/2005
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