Axle-to-Axle, is longer really better?

Discussion in 'General Archery Forum' started by Chris, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. Chris

    Chris Administrator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  2. j3dGuam

    j3dGuam Senior Member

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    Good write up Chris. Thats food for thought. Another thing we got to consider about these short bows is that most of them are sporting some really large cams and wheels some in excess of four inches in diameter. When you look at the total length of these bows you will see that they really aren't as short we like to advertise.
     

  3. ohio Ross guy

    ohio Ross guy Junior Member

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    exactly....if they measured from the bottom of the cam to the top of the idler wheel they would be alot longer.
     
  4. Next Ridge Over

    Next Ridge Over Member

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    I have.

    I think it is the longer riser providing the "longer feel" - not so much the bigger cams - all of the contact points (cable posts) at full draw rotate to a point very close to the axles, meaning that the forces applied (the feel) would be at the axle to axle length, not outside of cam to outside of cam length - there are no forces at the outside of the cam = "no feel".
     
  5. ohio Ross guy

    ohio Ross guy Junior Member

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    there is a feeling of less string angle.the bigger the cams or idler wheel is,the longer the string is going to be....you string doesnt attach to the axle,but it does attach to the cams and if they are bigger ,you get the feel of less string angle and it could feel like a longer ata bow:D
     
  6. Next Ridge Over

    Next Ridge Over Member

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    The string does roll over the top portion of the cam which sits outside the axles. Good point Ross! There are forces out side the axles - not sure what I was thinking. I had to go draw my bow and the minute I did the light came on:eek: :argue: :D

    The length from outside of cam to the axle would act as a momentum arm on each end of the bow and I'm not sure this would contribute to a steady aim/feel. I agree that the bigger cams provide a better string angle and that silky draw but I still feel that the stability and longer axle-axle "feel" comes from the longer riser. Just my opion.

    I do like to shoot them - that is about all I REALLY know. Thanks for keeping me straight:)
     
  7. cchunter

    cchunter Junior Member

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    Axle to Axle Length ??????????

    I have shot both short and long and prefer the longer bow because to me it does feel more forgiving. But I am sure it is because of my shooting ability which is very poor at the moment. The person that shot the high score with the SwitchBack was he an acomplished archer? If so look at Dan Mcarthy he is shooting the long Axle to Axle bow and he is also winning everything. But he like the other person have access to technical and professional help at all times so I am sure there equipment has some edge that the amature archer is not privey to. Not complaining just trying to make point and the point is when an professional makes a shot with what ever type of bow it will certainly be a great shot, with more control and alot less mistakes.