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I've always assumed a 7" vs. 6" brace height is a more forgiving shooting bow and less problems with arm contact when wearing heavier clothing while hunting. But as usual, my assumptions are not based on my own experience, but rather on "common knowledge" perpetuated on sites like this and all the other bowhunting media.
But with todays modern compounds, is the difference in shooting forgiveness and sleeve interference that great in that one extra inch of extra BH? I would think the addition of string stoppers would all but eliminate the sleeve contact and I always wear something to compress my sleeve when wearing my heavier hunting clothes anyway.
And as far as forgiveness, I'm sure there is some benefit of the extra inch, especially at longer ranges, but assuming your shooting form is good, is it worth the trade off in loss of speed?
Just weighing the benefits of each and wondering what the thoughts/experiences were from guys who shoot a lot of arrows as well as shoot a lot of different bows and brace heights.
Assuming solid form, I have never seena downside from losing 1" in BH. I have a short DL (27.5"), so it is possible that any downside would more likely be realized with a longer DL. With the advent of string stoppers, the issue of clothing contact has been greatly reduced/eliminated.
You really need to find out for yourself how a bow will suit you. I personally found a huge difference when going under 7" in brace. Under perfect conditions and no pressure I could group and hit anything out to 50yards but with adrenaline pumping in a hunting situation even 20yards became a problem. I tried to perservere but it only made me start to question my own ability and starting doing my head in. The best thing I did was ditch that bow and move on.
My bows have had anywhere from 6"-7 1/4" BH. I have never had an issue with arm contact. If you have a loose fitting shirt, you need to wear an armguard just as you do, regardless of BH, or contact can occur.
As far as forgiveness, that is very subjective. If you have good form, a 6" BH can be just as "forgiving" as a 7" BH.
Another thing to keep in mind is your DL. I have a short DL (26 1/2"), so my power stroke with a 6" BH is less than someone with a 29-30" DL shooting a 7" BH. Theoretically, my 6" BH is actually more "forgiving" than a 7" BH bow shot by someone with a longer DL.
Most good shooters won't see a difference. Most bad shooters will. A forgiving bow is only needed by those that don't exactly shoot all that well.
Serb, you probably can shoot with a 2 inch brace height :) Good point about those with short draw length. I must be shrinking but the shorter my draw length get the better I seem to shoot. Now at 27 I might be a candidate to try something with a shorter BH. Great thoughts folks.
I am shooting a Hoyt Alpahburner this year, 6 1/4" BH, hard cams, and no valley. You'd think it is a recipe for inconsistency, but it is among the best shooting bows I have owned.
I've always been a 7" brace kind of guy- 29" draw- but after talking to Matt and another couple of guys- mutual friends- that are converts to the Alphaburner, I'm wondering myself.
And regarding form, its easy to hold form on the range, but tougher on a talus slope with an animal working in. Would that change anyones mind on the shorter Brace height?
Beendare, good point. Try the bow out with heavy clothing, gloves on both hands and a less than perfect body angle. Then throw in being out of breathe, and see if the short brace bow is still forgiving enough.
If it is go for it. I myself will stick with a 7" brace. That 10 fps is just not worth the chance in my book.
Beendare Excellent point. I wonder if a guy shot with a 6 inch brace height would they have the same accuracy? Would you get the occassional arrow that is outside of the kill zone. If that was the case then, like Rick M says, and I would agree, that extra 10 fps is just not worth the chance.
Do you think you shoot any better with a 6 or 7 inch BH? And what about your bad arrows, any worse with the 6 inch BH.
Good points regarding DL. I was wondering that myself. Maybe the thing to consider is the length of the stroke rather than BH. I have a 28" DL, so would the amount "forgiveness" provided by a 6" BH be about equal as someone with a 29" DL shooting a 7" BH? Don't know how you'd prove it, but it makes sense in MY head.
Of course there would be diminishing returns on either end of the spectrum. I don't think Serb could shoot well with a 2" BH even he only had a 24" DL. ;-)
I've been an advocate for a long time that short draw length people can shoot a short brace height with better accuracy than a longer brace height. 2 cases in point are my daughter and wife. My daughter went from an 8 inch brace to a 5.5 with her 24.5 inch draw and does much better. My wife started with a 5.5 and her new bow is the same. She shoots remarkably well. A good friend has a 27 inch draw and does quite well with a 6 inch brace.
I honestly don't know if I bring up a good point or not.
A few of the 6" bh guys I know are just speed freaks who will do anything for the speed with no regards to forgiving.
I need to ask Gus.....
I was just reading this thread. Everyone makes good points to be considered. as for the "occassional arrow that is outside of the kill" that happens to all of us every once in a while but it's a form issue because the bow/arrow function as a machine IMO. (ie: you just shot 6 arrows in the bullseye and the 7th one is out - not BH related IMO). I think the same princible holds true for the shots under hunting conditions. I haven't noticed a big difference in BH length 6 vs 7 if you could just isolate that one part because most bows with 7+ BH have other features incorporated into the bow (ie: limbs, cam design, bow axle to axle length, etc.etc.) that all help determine how it shoots. I have shot many of the fast bows by many different companies and I think the burner is easier to shoot than other bows with similar BH length. i think the longer limbs, similar cam one their target bow, and longer axle to axle length of the bow both help make it easier to shoot. just my 2 cents to add to the discussion.
"Do you think you shoot any better with a 6 or 7 inch BH? And what about your bad arrows, any worse with the 6 inch BH."
Frankly, my bad arrows are probably better with the 6 1/4" than my 7", but I think that ATA (35" versus 32"), lower let-off (70% versus 80%) and very short valley (no creeping) contribute.
I will say that at my draw length a 6" BH and a 7" BH is slightly noticeable. I can shoot them both nearly as well as the other but the 7" will tend to just ride in my hand better and is a bit harder to torque. Honestly at 31" you can torque an 8" BH nearly as easy as a 6" with sub average form.
You can get good speeds with some higher brace height vows....look at the Bear Attack or their 2011 Carnage....the Attack is 7in brace and 340 IBO while the new Carnage is 245 IBO at 7.25in Brace ..... Jeff
I think axle to axle length has a bigger influence on accuracy and forgivability than brace height. I really notice it on bows less than 35".
I shot a 6-1/2" brace height for a couple years. It was a tack driver on the target range. Shooting out of a treestand with a couple layers of cloths on was a totally different story.
Switched all the way up to an 8" brace height after that. Still shooting it today. MUCH better hunting bow from a treestand. Doubt I'll ever own another hunting bow under 7-1/2" brace.
I'll stike with my longer ATA and brace height. I like the greater margin of error when in hunting situations.
I started shooting a speed bow 2 years ago. Never thought of myself as a true speed freak - i dont shoot 3-d's or tournaments... Just like to hunt and shoot foam in the back yard/basement.
When I was looking at the bow, every post I read about bow's with BH in the 6 range talked about how hard to shoot it would be and how my form would have to be perfect etc etc. I shot it a few times, and every time I was really impressed.
I dont know if it's because it's a 36" ATA bow or what, but I'm more accurate with this thing than any bow I've shot.
I'm intentionally leaving the name of the bow out, dont think it matters. I just think the historical fear of speed bows has tainted people, OR if you are an astonishing shot (I never have been) maybe you would detect a difference between a 6 and 7" BH.
In my experience though, I'm more accurate than ever out to 60, and my 10-40yd "hunting range" I'm more accurate than with other bow's ive owned that were possesing a longer BH. That includes practicing or shooting deer when i'm 25 feet up wearing a ton of winter clothing.
At this point, I just think it comes down to what you adapt to and get used to.
I think the difference in forgivness is going to be found when out hunting, not on the practice range. At that point its too late.
When you're sucking wind from running up a hill and the adrenaline is pumping and you're shooting from your knees while leaning around a tree...that extra inch can make ALOT of difference.
Forgivness has nothing to do with time on string and everything to do with the reflex of the riser.
Short brace bows in the 6" range are hyper critical of grip torque. If you have a super consistant hand placement day in and day out the short brace bows can work.
More good points on BH only being one component of bow forgiveness. A longer ATA may help offset a shorter BH such as the AlphBurner like Gus and Matt shoot at 34-3/4", whatever Will is shooting at 36", and Woody's Speed Zone at 34-1/2" which has a BH of LESS THAN 6".
All of you guys are shooting what are considered short brace height speed bows, but feel they shoot just as well as a slower, longer BH bow. True statement?
No, that isn't their statement. Their words reflect the fact that there are many physical components and geometric factors that correlate to determine a bow's inherent "shootability". Brace height alone will never determine this.
All depends on the shooters form. I personally shoot a 7", but I feel just as comfortable with a 6". My only concern is string slap with heavy clothes.
Keep an open or loose bow hand so you dont torque your bow, and follow through on the shot. Should be right in the boiler room everytime regardless of braceheight.
It depends on the amount of reflex in the bow. A 6" braceheight on a straight riser can be extremely accurate. You can't just make a blanket statement based on the braceheight.
I have 10 late model compounds with brace heights ranging from 6-8 inches. For me brace height makes no difference. If my form is off I miss no matter what bow I'm shooting. A more important factor for me is ATA length; the longer the ATA is the more accurate I shoot.
I believe their statement was they shoot these specific bows well DESPITE them being relatively short BH. Most likely due to other attributes like you mention.
"It depends on the amount of reflex in the bow. A 6" braceheight on a straight riser can be extremely accurate."
The Alphaburner has so much reflect it won't even fit in my bowcase, and still shoots great. Personally, I think this is one of those topics where most guy's sample sizeis small enough it is hard to come to valid conclussions.
"The Alphaburner has so much reflect it won't even fit in my bowcase, and still shoots great. Personally, I think this is one of those topics where most guy's sample sizeis small enough it is hard to come to valid conclussions."
I think also there are so many factors in the platform design affecting shootability that it's difficult to isolate them. Thus validity is hard to come by.
Sorry to disagree with Matt, but the Afterburner was a nightmare to shoot for me.
Of course, I was comparing it to the silky smoothness of an old Q2XL that I dusted off and have been shooting all summer.
The Carbon Matrix was the only bow that really impressed me, this year.
those two bows were built for two different purposes if you ask me. it's like saying you like the speed and road hugging ability of a Dodge Viper or Chevy Corvette but you prefer the gentle floating ride of your mom and dad's Sedan Cadillac. two different machines built for two different outcomes. both are great depending on what the individual is looking for.
For me, yes. my 6" bh bow is a great shooter for me.
Come to think about it though, one of the best shooters (for me at least) was an old Pearson Renegade I had in the early 90's. That bow was, 38" plus ATA I think and probably 8-8.5" BH. Even with fingers I could shoot that bow great.
All that said, since say 2000, of the bow's I have shot all were between 8 and 6 and this one is the best shooter for me.
I keep saying "for me" because this stuff just seems so individual. A grip that works for me wont for someone else and vice versa etc... But, my feelings overall have evolved to: short BH bow's are not harder to shoot so long as you are used to them.
"Forgivness has nothing to do with time on string and everything to do with the reflex of the riser"
I'd have to respectfully disagree with this. Short brace height is partly attributed to heavily reflexed risers, and the longer an arrow stays on the string the greater the possibility of errant shots due to shooter error. So, the two are definately linked.
Even with a neutral riser the arrows time on the string is a major factor if a shooter isn't following through or is trying to peek at the shot or flinching or has target panic.