Longbows have come a long way since their medieval days.
You can find many different kinds on the market that can enhance your archery needs, and they’re great if you like the historical and nostalgic feel of a bow.
What is a longbow?
A longbow can be differentiated from other bows by its classic appearance. It’s got long, thin limbs that create a “D” shape.
It is also tall – usually as tall as the archer using it! While that might seem to make the longbow cumbersome, this type of bow has many advantages.
If you’re interested in a longbow and all its benefits, you might not be sure which one to purchase.
Let’s take a look at the five best longbows on the market and what’s so special about them.
longbowmaker Hungarian Style Handmade Longbow
This is an interesting traditional bow because it has the benefits of both the longbow and recurve bow in one product.
On the one hand, it’s quite long, measuring in at 54 inches.
On the other hand, you can remove its limbs if you want, which is a common adjustment that you can make on a modern recurve bow.
Such characteristics make it an interesting bow to consider. This is why it hits the top spot in our ranking.
- This bow has a range of draw weights available, starting from 20 pounds and moving all the way up to 110 pounds. This makes it versatile for people of all skill levels and ages, which is a nice upgrade on the traditional longbow.
- Its draw weight options also enable you to choose if you want a lower weight for activities such as target practice or higher weights for hunting purposes, making it the best longbow for hunting.
- A nice feature is that you can use the bow whether you’re left-handed or right-handed. This isn’t a feature that usually comes standard in bows on the market.
- The bow comes with an instruction booklet, a cloth bag in which to store the bow, and a string.
- Some users claim that this type of arrow might not be right for everyone. A modern recurve bow that contains an arrow rest might provide greater comfort and ease of use for some archers, especially beginners who might feel that the bow is not user-friendly.
This longbow costs under $110. It’s cost-effective while providing you with all you need in a longbow for archery, while having some nice recurve bow benefits, such as how it’s beautifully designed.
Mandarin Duck Black Hunter 60″ Take Down Long Bow
This Black Hunter longbow is quite impressive.
It’s designed as a throwback to the classic American Hunter Bow design. Let’s take a look at its best features in more detail.
- One of the most impressive things about this longbow is that it has a single bolt and pin system. Usually found on higher-end bows that cost more money, this system enables the limbs to fit properly and stay in position while also giving the bow a sleek and streamlined look just like a one-piece bow.
- It’s a very quiet bow, and this is thanks to the felt padding that’s been put on the riser where the limbs make contact. Remaining silent when hunting is vital, and this bow ensures it, which makes it one of the best hunting longbows.
- Although you need to assemble the bow yourself, it does come with a spanner included making your life a bit easier.
- Its take-down design makes it very easy to transport and use in hunting activities or outdoor target practice. “Takedown” basically means that the bow can be disassembled when required, which also makes it much easier to carry around with you.
- It’s only available for right-handed archers.
- Some users have reported that the string the bow comes with isn’t of the best quality and will probably need to be replaced within a short amount of time.
This longbow is currently unavailable on Amazon, which is quite a letdown because it has many great features.
Southland Archery Supply SAS Pioneer Traditional Wood Long Bow
This bow has a simple, very straightforward design, which is exactly what you want in a longbow. Prepare to feel the thrill of a traditional bow when using it.
- This bow feels strong and looks durable. It’s made out of strong fiberglass and maple wood laminations. The bow’s riser is constructed out of Makore wood as well as Cassia Siamea.
- While hand shock is something that’s common with longbows, this longbow by Southland Archery Supply has minimal hand shock. As you might already know, hand shock is something you want to avoid in archery. It’s when the bow causes vibration during use and can be painful.
- The bow already comes with a string that’s got a nocking point. In addition, the bow has a centered arrow shelf that’s got padding on it to make using the bow a lot more comfortable. Both of these features make the bow very user-friendly, regardless of one’s skill level.
- Although reviews of the product state that the bow is only compatible with right-handed archers, you can choose a left-handed bow on Amazon before checking out with your purchase.
- You don’t require any tools to set it up, so you can start using it immediately.
- While it does come in a variety of draw weights, from 29 pounds all the way up to 60 pounds, this is still not as much as what you’d find in other bows. That means if you want a larger draw weight, you’ll have to buy a new bow. If you’re looking for larger draw weight, it’s best to know right away that this bow isn’t right for you.
- While some reviews of the product list extra features that are included in the pack with the bow, the actual package you buy from Amazon only contains the bow, as some users have reported.
- Some users have stated that they don’t like having the bow’s name in large letters on the front of the bow as that detracts from the traditional appearance of a longbow.
This bow costs under $200. It’s a bit more expensive than the Longbow Maker featured earlier in this guide, but it’s still a bow made with quality in mind.
SAS Gravity 64″ Hunting Longbow Wooden Traditional
This is another great longbow from SAS that’s worth checking out, proving that SAS is the best longbow brand.
- This bow is made of hard maple wood and black fiberglass, which gives it a durable as well as stylish appearance.
- Its limb tips have been reinforced with what’s known as deflex limb design. This means that it gives the archer much more accuracy. In case you don’t know, reflex and deflex refer to where the limb’s pivot point is in relation to the grip’s pivot point.
- It has a radiused shelf. This is a common feature that’s found on bows such as the recurve and longbow. It helps to decrease the amount of bow-to-arrow contact, enabling greater flight.
- Although it’s advertised as being made of wood, some users have explained that the only parts of the bow that are made from wood are the limbs.
This bow costs under $230, so it’s the most expensive longbow on our list so far.
SinoArt Sparrow 54″ Traditional Long Bow
As you can see by looking at it, this is a bow that’s sophisticated and elegant. It’s got thin limbs that are slightly curved while being made of a wood-fiberglass combination.
- This bow is made out of laminated ebony wood, while its limbs are made from laminated maple wood and fiberglass, thus creating a durable product.
- It’s perfect for people with various skills and ages because you can choose a draw weight from 20 pounds to 35 pounds. However, based on this, it is more targeted to younger people who are starting out in archery and not for people who have more experience and want a heavier draw weight.
- The bow comes with a string and arrow rest included in the pack.
- This is only a right-hand bow, which is unfortunate.
This is one of the best traditional longbows and costs between $80 and $85, depending on the size that you choose.
It’s the best longbow for the money that’s great for teens or adults who are just starting out in archery.
Now that we’ve looked at the five best longbows on the market, let’s look at common questions that people might have about longbows.
It’s time to find out just how fast and powerful they can be.
What is the effective range of a longbow?
Sometimes people think that longbows are not as powerful as other bows because they are traditional.
And yet, longbows have quite a far range. Modern bows of this kind can shoot up to 180 meters, which is equivalent to 200 yards.
This is quite impressive if we compare a longbow’s range to the range of other popular bows that are on the market.
A compound bow can hit a target at distances of up to 300-odd yards, while a recurve bow can reach shorter distances.
These are usually around the 30 or 40-yard distance. So, it can be said that a longbow is a good compromise between the two.
Is a recurve bow better than a longbow?
Often, a bow will be considered better than its competitors based on the archer’s personal preferences.
Both the recurve bow and longbow have their pros and cons but it’s worth taking a look at them.
- This type of bow is nice and tall, so it’s perfect for tall archers.
- It’s got an easier release. Since it’s large and its string is spread out more, this creates more friction with the bow and less with your fingers, which makes it easier to use.
- It doesn’t have a high amount of speed. Even though it can hit decent distances, a longbow is more rigid and lacks flexibility, which reduces its potential for shooting fast arrows.
- It’s not adjustable. It’s just a single piece of wood that can’t have its draw weight adjusted. However, as can be seen in some of the longbows that are featured in these longbow reviews, there are takedown models that can be dissembled.
- Greater speed. The recurve bow is shaped with curved tips and these can handle greater amounts of energy. They release the energy into the arrow, allowing arrows to be shot faster.
- You can easily upgrade your recurve bow because its parts can be taken apart and replaced.
- It’s a bit more difficult to shoot than a longbow. This is due to how it’s both thin and short. It collects energy in one area instead of spreading it out all over the bow, which requires a bit more strength on the archer’s part to draw it.
- Since the recurve bow is more difficult to shoot than a longbow, shooting arrows with it can be less accurate, which has the effect of making it more difficult to shoot at further distances. This is why a recurve bow will reach 30 or 40 yards of distance, but not much further.
Which is a more powerful crossbow or longbow?
You obviously want a bow that has power in it to strike your target and possibly even bring down game, so you might wonder which one will give you that power: a longbow or a crossbow.
A quick bit of info: a crossbow is a type of bow that’s built in a horizontal fashion. It shoots bolts instead of arrows.
Both the crossbow and longbow originated during medieval times. Here are the differences between the two that were noticed during those times, as History Hit reports.
A crossbow was easier to shoot and learn than a longbow which required much skill and training.
Even today, the crossbow makes activities easy for people because once it has been cocked it’s easier to keep this bow at full draw.
As an archer or hunter, you don’t have to put in any effort or energy to use it.
However, the training to become skilled at using a longbow was worth it in history because a longbow shot further distances than a crossbow.
Today, that has changed. A modern crossbow can shoot up to distances of 500 yards and you can reach 80 yards when hunting, so this type of bow is right up there as a competitive, powerful bow.
As you can see, some of these differences still apply to the bows today, and they’re worth considering if you’re interested in purchasing either a longbow or crossbow.
How to shoot a longbow?
If you want to shoot a longbow, there are some important steps to follow.
- First, you’ll have to ensure that you wear gloves to protect your fingers against the string that could slap against them.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Longbows are large so they might feel a bit uncomfortable at first, therefore you should bend your knees slightly to maintain your balance. Make sure you’re also wearing proper shoes, such as sneakers, that feel sturdy.
- Hold the string with your fingers. This should be done gently but firmly, and with the use of your index, middle, and ring fingers. The arrow should be placed between your middle and index fingers, as wikiHow reports.
- Choose an anchor point. This tends to be on one’s face, such as by placing your fingertip in the corner of your mouth, and an anchor point is chosen to stabilize your bow against your body. However, whatever position and point you choose, maintain it because consistency is key when shooting arrows accurately. That also means your anchor point should be something really comfortable that you can use again and again.
- Focus on one little spot on your target in front of you and don’t take your eyes away from it. While you’re doing that, raise the bow upwards as you draw it. As its pointing in the direction of your target, you should have it pressed against your anchor point. It’s important to practice this step because at first it will feel quite awkward and clumsy, and you want it to become a smooth movement.
- Just as you are ready to shoot the arrow, relax your fingers so that the string of the bow can move past them. Doing this is an important point to bear in mind because you don’t want your bow to lurch and make you miss your target.
- Wait a few seconds and then release the bow. It’s essential not to wait too long as that can make you lose momentum. Remember, you aren’t expected to shoot with precision as a beginner. It’s all about throwing caution to the wind and practicing to become better at the art that is archery.
How precise is a longbow?
Earlier we touched on the fact that a recurve bow will shoot arrows faster, and this definitely affects how accurate or precise a bow can be.
A longbow isn’t as fast as a recurve bow, and this can cause it to be less accurate when you shoot arrows because it won’t have a fast flight or course, it’s as simple as that.
However, if you’re a beginner, you might find that shooting with a longbow is actually easier and more accurate than shooting with a recurve bow.
This is because of how these types of bows are a bit easier to handle. It’s interesting to note that there are other features that can be just as, if not more, important than speed.
If you are able to hold and shoot a longbow comfortably, this can enhance your overall skill of using the bow.
It can also make you focus more on form and technique, both of which can improve your accuracy.
That said, sometimes speed and power are what you want.
If that’s the most important thing to you, then you might have to move from a longbow to a different kind of bow, such as a compound bow.
Longbows are traditional bows that were made popular by the English who used it during combat in medieval times.
However, it is still around, just in a more modern form. Purchasing a longbow often feels like a nod to the past and it can be very nostalgic.
It can also make you feel that you are going back in time, using a bow that is traditional in the way people during medieval times were using bows.
However, the longbow has come a long way.
As can be seen in this buying guide of the five best longbows on the market, there are many interesting and effective longbows you can purchase online, with some amazing features that are really the combination of history and technology, but without losing the longbow’s simple yet elegant trademark.