Sitka Gear
60 pound to 50 pounds
Contributors to this thread:
lame crowndip 17-Feb-23
Bowfreak 17-Feb-23
molsonarcher 17-Feb-23
Boris 17-Feb-23
Matt 17-Feb-23
Mhg825 17-Feb-23
x-man 17-Feb-23
APauls 17-Feb-23
12yards 17-Feb-23
scentman 17-Feb-23
Longsprings 17-Feb-23
greenmountain 17-Feb-23
Bigdog 21 17-Feb-23
Lewis 17-Feb-23
Corax_latrans 17-Feb-23
tm 17-Feb-23
timex 17-Feb-23
grape 17-Feb-23
butcherboy 17-Feb-23
PECO2 17-Feb-23
Buffalo1 17-Feb-23
pav 17-Feb-23
Arrownoob 17-Feb-23
lame crowndip 18-Feb-23
Boris 18-Feb-23
molsonarcher 18-Feb-23
Charlie Rehor 18-Feb-23
x-man 18-Feb-23
ahunter76 18-Feb-23
WhattheFOC 18-Feb-23
Beendare 19-Feb-23
APauls 19-Feb-23
WhattheFOC 19-Feb-23
lame crowndip 04-Apr-23
Groundhunter 04-Apr-23
Bobbinhood 04-Apr-23
drycreek 04-Apr-23
pav 04-Apr-23
Kind folks...I'm still struggling with some health issues and trying to avoid using a crossbow. I have a 60 pound mathews z7 that I've had a long time ( moose, deer, antelope, coyote and other stuff). I asked mathews and they said I could safely reduce the draw weight to 50 pounds. How will performance be effected? Thanks

From: Bowfreak
You will probably lose about 20fps on speed. Pick the right arrow and broadhead and continue hunting.

From: molsonarcher
My father has had to do basically the same thing. 60 down to 50 with an older Mathews (Drenalin i think)

You will most likely lose more than 20fps, but the bow will be fine. As said above, the right arrow/broadhead will make the most difference. I would test a few combinations and see what performs well in flight and penetration.

Some of the expandables will reliably function at the reduced performance of the bow, but only testing will prove which ones.

I personally would be looking for an arrow with a little more weight and a fixed broadhead, but even with reducing your poundage, you have enough bow to kill effectively at reasonable distances.

From: Boris
I have a Hoyt Charger. 60-70. Getting to much for me also. I got new limbs . They are 50-60. I have it set at 57. Shotting a GT at 400 gr. getting 264 fps.

From: Matt
If Matthews makes 50# limbs for the bow, it may be worth exploring the internet to see if there is any data around whether a 50# at 50# is more efficient than a 60# at 50#.

From: Mhg825
Did the same for myself.barnsdale limbs are awesome.

From: x-man
I've done the same thing after two shoulder surgeries. As a former pro shop owner, I have several limbs & cams on hand for the bows I shoot. You won't notice any real speed differences with 60# limbs at 50# compared to 50# limbs at 50#. The real notable difference is in the shot noise and vibration. The more pre-load the limbs have the less noise and vibration there is at the shot.

Although most wouldn't notice, the very best performance and noise control for my setup was to use 70# limbs with a cam set at 1" longer than my DL, then, short strung down to my DL and backed off to 50#.

I wouldn't recommend going through the several weeks I spent fine tuning to find the best possible combination but, I'm happy to share my results.

From: APauls
Vicki Cianciarulo has no problems killing anything in NA with 50 pounds.

From: 12yards
I went down to 60# in 2007 due to painful shoulders from arthritis. In 2017 I tweeked my bow shoulder some more and started going down from 60#. Bought a 50# bow in 2018. Now I hunt with my 60# Elite Synergy turned down most of the way and a 50# Synergy. My draw length is 29.5" though so even a 50# bow is plenty fast to pass through a deer. I did switch to Magnus Stinger broadheads and am more careful about shot angles. But still getting a lot of pass throughs at 50#s. BTW, turning your bow down will not cause poor performance. My turned down Synergy performs great.

From: scentman
Yes arrow and broadhead, possibly distance added to equation... Shemane Nugent was touting Magnus broadheads with her lower poundage bow after a nice buck she took on the show. Take care of yourself and get better, stay in the game as long as you feel comfortable, been there bud. scentman

From: Longsprings
Good news , i did this wirh a z9 mathews

Victory 4mm arrows with 90grain inserts on the front end with fixed blade broadhead , had to resight everything in Killed a moose , a whitetail buck and a doe all this fall.

It will work

It is interesting to note that recurve shooters of old found they were most accurate with bows in the 40# range shot better and got more game than those who shot very heavy draw weights. It stands to reason that modern compound bow in the 50# class will out perform a 60# vintage bow. Sometimes we need to adjust our thinking.

From: Bigdog 21
40 is plenty. Trad bows shooting 550 gr at 180 fps get pass threw on elk. Just don't use mechanical are step angle heads.

From: Lewis
Been there done that I got in touch with elite and they shipped 50 lbs limbs for my Synergy and I was off to the races.Good Luck Lewis

“Vicki Cianciarulo has no problems killing anything in NA with 50 pounds.”

With the power output of a compound, there’s no reason she should, is there?? Depending on your draw length, #50 has done it all in NA; I think Fred Eichler perhaps most recently.

People must run into trouble when they try to get too much speed out of the deal or use a mechanically disadvantaged broadhead….

From: tm
Do yourself a favor and look at the new Mathews Image or something similar. You might be surprised how much performance you get with newer models. They also seem easier to draw for me, so you can possibly draw more weight than you think. I personally don't like the added draw length that comes with reducing poundage unless you adjust the string length and cables.

From: timex
Perhaps just me & how I shoot , I dropped my onieda phoenix from 60 to 50 my field points didn't change but my broadhead ( fixed 2 edge) point of impact moved left slightly. I switched from 125 grain field points to 145 and switched from short to long broadhead adapters and everything straightened back out without making any adjustments to the bow other than my 30,40,50 yard pin gaps.

From: grape
Killed a lot of deer with 180 fps American Archery compound.

From: butcherboy
I switched out limbs on my Hoyt Carbon Element a couple of years ago. Went from 60-70 down to 55-65. It was set at 73# and now it’s at 63#. I mostly shoot my longbow now which is 45#.

From: PECO2
All good advice given. You will be fine. My wife has killed several deer with her Martin Leopard compound set at 40# draw, and a short draw length.

From: Buffalo1
Several years ago I was trying to make a decision about decreasing poundage from 62 to 50#. I talked with three well-known, reputable P&Y members at a P&Y Convention. They had all been shooting 50# for several years. They had all been successful with 50#.

Their advice had common threads;

1. Continue to shoot 400 spine shafts- don't use 500 spine shafts 2. Shoot super sharp COC BH's (I prefer 2-blade for better penetration)- avoid mechanicals !! 3. Keep shot distance to a max of 30 yds 4. Take only conservative, vital zone shots

I took their advice and it was and has been spot on. I have killed several 750# African games and several North American animals with no issues.

Best of luck to you on your decrease in poundage

From: pav
@lame crowndip:

The last bow Dad hunted with was a right-handed Z7...and he dropped to 40-50lb limbs. He had shoulder surgery a couple years before he passed and that put an end to his vertical bowhunting. He gave the Z7 to my son, who converted back to the original 50-60lb limbs. I still have the 40-50lb limbs and turrets...and have zero use for them. If you want to give them a try...PM me your mailing address and I'll ship them to you at no cost. I'd much rather have a bowhunter get some use out of these limbs than let them sit in the box. I think Dad would feel the same...

From: Arrownoob
Pay attention to your limb driven rest. You might need to move the string if you crank a different weight.

Thanks to everyone that offers constructive comments. This has been a real struggle and continues to be so. I've been a left handed shooter since 88 when I took the dominant eye thing to heart. I had rotator cuff surgery on my left shoulder in 02 and promptly got a staph infection that almost killed me. Six surgeries later I started to heal and pretty much got shooting back. Five years ago I had a mini stroke that caused my left eye to go from 20/15 to 20/200 in a week. I tried to shoot right handed but a lot of the muscle on top of my left shoulder was destroyed that makes having a good bow arm almost impossible. Tough times, but I'll get through it. Thanks again

From: Boris
With the advances in archery equipment. You can shoot lighter weight and still get the job done. I have an archery shop owner friend that shoots 42 lbs. with rage broadheads. complete pass throughs every time.

From: molsonarcher

Thats a great offer for the OP! I hope he takes you up on it.

One other related option. I recently switched from an index finger release to a thumb release and the thumb release is easier to draw than the index release.

From: x-man
Charlie is right. A hand held thumb release is easier to draw. Your draw hand comes back thumb-down with the back of your hand against your cheek. This puts less strain on those shoulder muscles.

Definitely take PAV up on his offer. You can turn those 50# limbs down to 40# and shoot easier to build strength, and rest assured that you'll still kill deer at 40# if you need to.

From: ahunter76

ahunter76's embedded Photo
ahunter76's embedded Photo
I did this with a compound & it worked just fine. Now, that being said I am very old & bowhunted biggame 20 years b/4 compounds became the craze. I have arrowed Elk, Black Bears, many Whitetails & a hog with 53# recurve, a 2117 Aluminum arrow with a 125 gr 3 blade head... The Bear pictured was with 53#s also. Complete pass thru & he was a big fall Bear (19" & est 500#s + & rug is 6'4" nose to tail)

From: WhattheFOC
“42 lbs. with rage broadheads. complete pass throughs every time”


Props to you Crowndip for fighting the good battle. Respect!! We will all be there at some point - my turn isn’t that far off.

From: Beendare
( Stating the obvious)

It took a few years shooting a relatively whimpy recurve to realize there is way more energy in a bow than we need. I shot 80# compounds for decades thinking I needed it. Nope…overkill

For two years I shot a 47# recurve, 553g arrow and 10 of 12 critters were pass thrus.. in fact most died in sight and didnt know they were hit…inc an 800# moose. Its been an eye opener for me. Plenty of energy in a 50# compound…just use good archery fundamentals, BH tune and use an efficient BH.


From: APauls
Sorry but I’m going to call BS when a person says “I shoot Rage and get a pass through every time.”

I’m in the party that says 50# is plenty but I shoot 70# and don’t pass through with a rage every time with 430-450grn arrows. Heck at 70# with fixed heads I don’t pass through every time. A perfect shot can hit the opposite shoulder and stop right there.

From: WhattheFOC
I can promise you that I have never, nor will I ever, have a pass thru with a Rage.

Waaay too many experts on tv who get 6” of penetration. They’re sponsored - but I’m not.

Pav...the 50 pound limbs are on the Z7 and at 50 pounds it feels just smoooooth. If anyone tries to tell you that right and left handed limbs are not interchangeable they don't know what they're talking about. Pav....thanks a bunch.

From: Groundhunter
42lbs and complete pass thru.... with a rage just don't believe that.

Worked in too many camps and been on lots of recoveries.

From: Bobbinhood
I am shooting 49# Longbow and I've had pass throughs on the last 5 deer/Antelope I shot! I shoot 125 gn. Zwickys Easkimo's and have never had a problem! As long as I let them get close and shot placement is proper, dead animals! Good Luck this year!

From: drycreek
Kudos to pav for helping a brother out and good luck to crowndip with your “new” bow.

From: pav
Very glad to hear the limbs worked out well for you Dennis. Have a great 2023 season!!!

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