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Product Review, Samick SKB 50, poor man's horsebow

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  • aelric_southlake
    Greetings, purchased a Samick SKB 50 recently and thought I d mention it, see if any others out there have one, or have thoughts, etc. I ve been shooting a
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 25, 2013
      Greetings, purchased a Samick SKB 50 recently and thought I'd mention it, see if any others out there have one, or have thoughts, etc.

      I've been shooting a hickory (no shelf) longbow for some time, and have really wanted a horsebow (Mongolian, Turkish, whatever), mainly for variety's sake, and to see if I could develop some skill with a bow of a very different kind of cast.

      I'd seen the "SKB 50," and its carbon limbed brother the "Mind 50" in the Lancaster Archery catalog, liked the profile of it, saw some vids on YouTube about it, and especially liked the price.


      I figured it was worth a try, and after shooting it a while I've decided it's a good archery value.

      {WARNING: long winded rambling ahead, skimming advised}

      Obviously it's not a period horse bow of the "Magyar" type - no syhas. But I didn't want to shell out those kind of bucks just yet. It's what you'd call a Korean horse bow-ish type of affair. It is basically a modern recurve limb design set in a cupid's bow/Korean bow profile.

      The PROs: It REALLY zips. Fast. Mine is a 50 pound draw weight, but I've tried a 35 pound too. I don't know much about this style of bow, but I think that's the nature of this style? Coming from a self longbow, I could really see the difference. I draw to the cheek, shoot one finger above, two below the arrow nock (self nocks). I'd like to try thumb release at some point with some real instruction. But I digress...

      It is a very simple and very pretty bow. And it weighs NOTHING. The ultimate back-pack bow.

      It comes with a rubber handle that you can tape/glue on. I didn't, and likely won't (though using the grip might help with something I'll explain in the CONs). That grip looks too modern for me. I'll probably end up putting a leather grip on it. which leads to...

      The CONs: There's a bit of handshock. Though the more I work with it, the less it occurs in intensity/frequency. I think it requires a different approach (obviously) than the longbow, or even modern recurves - I'd like to work with someone at some point who is experienced with the shorter bows.

      The belly of the handle section is cut square-ish. Took my hand some getting used to. Would've been nice if that area were rounded - for those who don't want the rubber handle.

      The logo on the lower limb, belly side is kinda ugly (read: screamingly modern, but they aren't making this for reenactors). Great that there aren't any graphics on the back of the bow - that's a plus for me. And I realize that if one were just going to use this in a more modern, sporting situation, and not be contemplating bringing it to a medieval event, one wouldn't even notice the logo. But... it's there.

      I'll probably paint the belly side of the limbs to cover the logo, if I bring it to an event.

      Note: Though it's a recurve, it feels NOTHING like my 62 inch modern take-down. The draw is smooth, no issues there, but you FEEL the bow working, feel it wanting to go this way, or that - and that's something they've engineered out of modern recurve design (which is obviously great for modern target archery). This is neither a pro or a con - though I think it's a "pro," cuz it's a part of the fun and experience of shooting a more "primitive" design.

      I chose this bow over a similar inexpensive one made by Ragim, because the Samick does not have an arrow shelf. I figure that even if the materials of its construction aren't period, at least the method of shooting stays true to what I consider to be the essence of primitive/ancient/medieval archery.

      I'd really like to see someone familiar with horsebows shoot it, and weigh in on its abilities. I'll be trying to make it to some events this Spring and Summer, and hopefully others can shoot it too.

      In the end, not the most forgiving, but a fun, fast, and interesting bow for a great price.

      ~ Aelric S., West K.
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