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Best Inexpensive Bows?? Are there Any?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Nalapombu, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. Nalapombu

    Nalapombu Millennium Member

    Likes Received:
    Oct 21, 1999
    Spring, TEXAS....USA
    Hey all,

    I have been looking at compound bows for the upcoming hunting season. I think I would like to get back into hunting and I am going to need a bow.

    I have a good friend that has been bow hunting his entire life with his dad and brothers. They have owned and shot darn near every bow you can name. Well he bought a new bow last week and he LOVES it. He says it's by FAR the fastest and smoothest bow he has ever shot. He bought a Mathews Switchback XT.

    Naturally I wanted to know more. I went to look at them. They are nice, no question about it. The problem is that they are almost $800!! No WAY I can afford to buy something like that. By the time you rigged it up and bought arrows you'd be into it for over $1,000!!! That's TOO MUCH for me.

    So I have been perusing the NET for write ups about bows. I also went and looked at bows a few days ago. I like the bows that are short and have the parallel limb setup. I would love to have a bow that performed close to the Mathews Switchback XT. That's prolly wishful thinking though.

    I thought the Bowtech bows were really nice and to my dismay, they were all expensive. The most affordable bow they had was the TomKat at $500. I have also seen a LOT of things written about the new Martin Bengal at $399. The Bear Bows have also been making some heads turn.

    If someone gave you $500, what bow would you buy for yourself? Why? Are there any low cost bows that perform close to the Switchback XT? What are some of the lower cost bows that you would recommend?
    Any information you can share would be really helpful and appreciated.

    Thanks for the help and time.

  2. noway


    Likes Received:
    Dec 14, 2000
    Davie "Cowboy" , FL
    Good questions.

    I got out of the compound bow market due to the prices of bows and accessories being very high.


    $30 for string/cables
    $50-100 for sights
    $50-80 for release


    now I own 4 recurves and shoot a nice Bear Kodiak that was bought new for right at $300.00 and some change. NO extra monies on accessores, and other than it's limited in distance it does the exact same thing as any other bow with training wheels ( compound ) ;)

    So does a $1K compound bow works better than a $390 one? Will I'l leave that answer to somebody that owns both, but when I had a compound I did fine with mine and it was barebones shelf prices at right around 370.00 plus add on about $200.oo and so on d-loop,release,3 pin site,etc....

    {If someone gave you $500}

    I know you mean compound, but if somebody gave me $500.00 bills I would invest that into Custom recurve or a Bear Takedown recurve.

    just my 2cts.

  3. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Likes Received:
    Jul 26, 2002
    + 1 On the recurves.

    I use both Martin Howatt Hunter, and Bear Kodiak Hunter/Kodiak Magnum. Any of these three can be had for $400.00/450.00

    I don't like compounds, but i know that Darton, (if their still around), used to make VERY good ones. But that was when they were making compounds with real wooden limbs ;) I have a 1985 ( the year) Darton compound, hangin here on the wall, with maple laminated limbs. Killed one deer with it. Just didn't like it. Had to stay with the recurves. Just as effective, and much simpler.

    ***Edit Note***
    Since you sound a little 'bent' on the compunds.....
    I guess they are still in business. Man the way they've change since 1985! ;)

    Here is their link:

    Good luck to ya, what ever you decide.
    Have Fun!

  4. lakota222


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    May 26, 2004
    Socialist States of America
    I have a PSE Nova. I paid 130.00 bucks for it. With quiver, sight and rest I have about 225.00 invested. It is 37" axle to axle. It lacks paralell limbs and glitzy camo paint jobs, harmonic dampeners and string supressors, but inside 30 yards it is a no frills deer slayer. I am very happy with it. So I guess if I had 500.00 to spend, I would buy my PSE and accessories, and use the other 275.00 on a nice Summit Climbing tree stand, or some high quality arrows or scent containing clothing or what not.

    I'm sure that if I was a competitive shooter, that a high dollar bow would be the ticket, but for an average hunter such as myself, I doubt I could see that much difference between my clunker PSE and a Matthews.

    Just my opinion!
  5. gruntmedik

    gruntmedik Honk Honk CLM

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    Jan 2, 2005
    Taylorsville, KY
    I shoot a Mathews Outback, and prior to that a Hoyt Raptor. Both nice bows, but not cheap. I have seen Parker Bows at our local Dick's Sporting Goods sold as a kit--bow, sight, rest, quiver, arrows, for right around $500. I don't recall which model they were, but they were around 35" ATA, and were not the heaviest bow i have picked up. Might give one a try.
  6. WIG19

    WIG19 Light left on

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    Oct 27, 2003
    Renegade State
    Fishing buddy is the Warranty dept at Mathews; if you ever get up in this neck of the woods you should stop by their factory in Sparta, WI - 'bout 10 minutes from here. Spendy? Yes, no question. But good support & people at the other end of the phone.

    The Outback has been the raffle item of choice at our bass club's open tournament that we host each year. Good stuff but, again, pretty spendy. Probably why we sell a trainload of tickets, 'cause that makes it cheap for the winner.

  7. GeorgiaGlockMan

    GeorgiaGlockMan Aggie in Exile.

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    Nov 18, 2003
    Bad-Lands Ranch
    Reflex makes some nice looking bows for the price.

    They are made by Hoyt.

    Good luck with your quest.

    Bow hunting sure is alot of fun.

    Our season opens here in GA in 29 days. I can't wait.
  8. A_Swede_17_1911


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    May 28, 2001
    Springfield Or USA
    I shoot, a Bow Tech, and I love it. I shot a entry level Browning before that and really liked that bow too.

    I would look for a bow that is not entry level, or high end. Look for a Mid Range bow, that is forgiving. I would look for something with a 34-36" Axle to Axle length, that is the lenght measured in a straight line from the axles on the cams.

    Also with a brace height some were in the area of 7-8", this is the measurement from the riser to the string in a staight line. The shorter the height the faster the bow, but longer the height the more forgiving easier to shoot the bow is.

    I would look for a bow that is a fast bow but forgiveing, that way you can shoot it consistanly.

    I like bow techs, if you buy one you wont have to buy a bow for quite a while. Mathews makes a good bow too.

    Also the Darton would be a good choice, I know that in NC the bows made by Parker were popular.

    Martin, makes a good bow as well. They have been around forever and make good equipment.
  9. punkture


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    Nov 24, 2003
    shooting traditional is cheaper and to some, myself included, gives a satisfaction that compounds just can't provide. my local bass pro shop stocks recurves and every now and then they have a long bow or two. they have a range you can try out their bows before buying. i'd suggest shooting various long bows, recurves, and if you so desire some compounds to see what you prefer. i shoot recurves, instictively, for what its worth and absolutely love it.
  10. BuckeyePPC


    Likes Received:
    Jun 26, 2001
    SE AZ
    I went through this a little while back. Then came an issue of Field & Stream that compared compound bows. They had pros and cons of each one. I liked the review and especially the price range of the Fred Bear bow. I took a trip to Cabelas near me and tried it out. It fit like a glove and was almost out the door with me when I checked out another inexpensive bow. A Fred Bear Realtree that I liked even better. It was on sale for well under $300. Took it to an archery range and had the bowsmith set it up for me. At 20 yards I was putting 4 of 5 arrows in one hole.

    I was at the archery range this past weekend and was next to some guys going to hunt in Africa. One guy had a great, high end bow but was so worried about the distances he would be shooting that he cranked the draw weight up to 80 lbs. Then he put a bunch of sound dampeners on the string. He had a heck of a time pulling the string back and was quite disappointed when the speed and accuracy just wasn't there. The bowsmith and his buddies tried to tell him to drop down on the draw weight and take some of the stuff off his string. But the guy didn't listen and ended up frustrated and worrying that the thousands he spent for this hunt would be wasted.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is to find one that fits you and get an expert to set it up for you. Check out the Field and Stream magazine online and do a search for compound bows. Good luck !!
  11. gatorfish


    Likes Received:
    May 16, 2003
    2007 Martin Bengal $399.
  12. wolfy692005

    wolfy692005 pro tinkerer

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    Nov 13, 2005
    back in FL, near Orlando
    i have shot hoyt, high country, bear, jennings, martin, browning.. all have great bows, both desent priced and high.. the differences between the decent and the high, you will never notice unless you are shooting compition and some not even then,. pick a decent manufacture, go to a shop that has many, pick up a lot of them and pick the one that fits you the best.. the draw weight, length can be adjusted and all the bells and whistles can be added later.. get decent arrows, cause you can have the best bow in the world with crappy arrows, and all you will really have is crappy arrow flight.
    hope this helps a little