Axle-to-Axle, is longer really better?
Everyone has always said longer axle-to-axle bows are more forgiving. With a lot of the bows getting shorter, I was wondering what makes longer more forgiving. Is this in fact true, let's look at some things to figure out why or why not.
A longer A-to-A bow has more weight further from the pivot point thus making it harder to cant the bow and/or helping it balance better. Maybe even help keep it level during the shot.
Depending on draw length, the longer bow will have less steep string angle. Is this better, is it really an issue if your shooting a release? With most companies developing level nock travel cams, is this an issue? And what makes a 40" bow better than a 38" bow. Can you see a difference in score on a 300, Field, Fita round?
Todays short axles bows have much longer risers than the majority of older bows. You also have more weight. This should negate the weight and balance issue between long and so called short bows.
Many people that shoot the shorter bows state that they hold or aim like a long axle bow. I think there are two factors creating this feeling.
First the parallel limb creates a ridge frame at full draw that is much different than the older style bows with short risers and long limbs.
Second, the long risers; Some are 25" or more. By having mass weight farther from the pivot point or grip, this gives the shooter the feel and balance of a long axle bow in a much shorter package.
Another thought is the new shorter limbs. The old bows had short riser and long limbs. Long limbs would mean more flexiblity. To me this means more chance of torquing the bow. The short parallel limbs make it harder to torque because they do not flex as easily. I'm not saying it can't be done, it's just easier to have no torque on the parallel system versus the traditional limbed bows.
Ten years ago, a 38" bow would have been called extremely short. Yet today we are seeing some very high scores being shot with 38" and less bows. Today the 38" is consider long by many people.
If a long axle bow is necessary to be accurate, then how is it that Chris White broke a double 70m record shooting a Mathews Switchback. This guy can probably shoot any bow he chooses. Why would he compete with this short bow if a longer bow shoot better? The answer is he wouldn't. Chris White also has a long draw length of greater than 30". Which also would be considered taboo by some on such a short axle bow.
Tournament scores and records are being broken today with bows the defy the notion that longer is better. Many of the top scores are being recorded on bows that 5 years ago were considered too short to shoot accurately. I think proven scores and new bow technology is forcing people to re-think the longer is better mentality.