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We offer historical Asiatic archery products, including fitted thumb rings customized to the individual archer. We also offer a variety of accessories, tools, and exotic replicas. 

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Stay abreast of the latest sales, discounts, news, product releases, projects, and guides here on our blog. 

New Carved Ring Patterns

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Our four carving patterns, from left to right: Paisley, Islamic Star, Islamic Knot, and Weave. Finishes are, from left to right: Copper, Bronze, and Silver.

Our four carving patterns, from left to right: Paisley, Islamic Star, Islamic Knot, and Weave. Finishes are, from left to right: Copper, Bronze, and Silver.

If you didn’t know, we offer a variety of metallic finishes and carved patterns to embellish our standard polymer rings. And we just added two new patterns, check them out!

Lets have a chat about ring design

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Lets have a chat about ring design. Here at CTR, we have what is very likely the broadest catalogue of Asiatic ring designs in the world. That brings with it unique insights regarding ring design and function, but also presents a real challenge to our customers: which ring do you actually want and why?

If you’re relatively new to Asiatic archery, or are moving over to a historically authentic from one of the popular modern “Southeast Asian” style rings, the short answer is we strongly recommend you start with our popular Chinese Spur style ring. One of our leather ring inserts makes for a nice comfort and grip enhancing addition. So if that recommendation is all you came here for, go for it, this is the TL;DR answer.

For those interested in the dynamics at play though, lets start by looking at the the popular “Southeast Asian” style of our competitors. (yes, by popular demand and for the sake of a complete collection we do offer our interpretation of the style as well) What makes this design popular? Well the short answer is that it is very comfortable with low-poundage bows, and it is very easy to use particularly as it is designed for and encourages a “death grip” on the thumb. This over-curling of the thumb is very natural if you're a beginner, as there is a lot to concentrate on and there is a very real fear that the string will slip off the ring. So this style adapts to that, encouraging and even in some cases requiring one to fully curl their thumb and pinch the ring and string and arrow as much as possible. The release this produces is generally not as fast and clean as a more advanced ring style, however the real problem comes about when heavier bows are drawn.

You see this style does another thing, and that is load greater than 50% of the force of drawing the bow on the thumb pad. It does this by positioning the string fairly far away from the knuckle joint. On low poundage bows and for newcomers this is very comfortable, because we are all used to loading force on the pads of our thumbs, we do it every day. At higher poundages though, this rapidly exceeds the thumb and index finger's strength to retain the arrow, and begins to over-burden the pad of the thumb itself causing pain.

More advanced ring designs shift much of this load off the pad of the thumb, and onto the sides of the knuckle which can, with practice, bear vastly more force and allows the comfortable drawing of much much heavier bows. 60-80% of the draw force should be borne by the sides of the knuckle, Adam Karpowicz has noted this as well. And designs of antiquity virtually all follow this rule. Don't believe me? Note Turkish designs. Look at how little meat is there to cover the thumb's pad, it couldn't possibly be bearing the majority of the force, really it is there simply to kick the thumb out of the way upon release.

Okay, so we've established where force should be loaded on the thumb, but how does this affect the archer's dynamics? Well there are a couple things. First, the #1 form fault I see is over-curling of the thumb, the string should not be “cornered” in the thumb, it should be gently balanced on the ring, neither driving into the soft flesh of the thumb nor slipping off and releasing the string. It is worth noting that rotation of the wrist and pressing of the index finger into the string and arrow gently is part of this balance. This sense of balance is the primary skill to be learned when it comes to shooting rings. Put simply, you should be grabbing the tip of your thumb with your index finger a LOT less than you may think. If you really want to feel how a fast snappy ring should behave, one that is unforgiving of form faults but is a great teacher, I can't recommend our Turkish style ring highly enough. It will not only enforce the opening of the thumb and a gentle balanced hold of the string, it will also quickly teach you the ills of another form fault: excess retained tension in the thumb.

This brings me nicely around to our Gao Ying style ring. It has a string guard, but if you read The Way of Archery, you'll note Gao's guard was added with the intent of protecting the string from the thin side walls. THIS IS NOT A BEGINNER'S STYLE OF RING. The release angle is in fact quite aggressive and the shelf upon which it sits quite narrow. Whereas most great ring designs allow the string to provide feedback, this design protects the thumb and makes the over-curling side of balance difficult to feel. While a beginner certainly can learn on this style of ring, the consequence for bad form is longer term discomfort, namely the area around the tendon relief begin to cause discomfort as the ring is inappropriately driven rearward into the thumb, rather than an instant and obvious need of correction. In essence, the ring is adequately comfortable when used incorrectly to make the archer think the flaw lies with the design rather than their form if that makes sense.

This permits me to circle nicely back around to the Chinese Spur style ring. It uses the arrow to help position the string on the ring, providing a consistent index point. If the archer curls the thumb too hard, driving the string backward toward the thumb, this will provide immediate feedback causing the ring to twist on the thumb. This painless feedback is perfect for teaching balance without the discomfort of learning on something like our very popular Ottoman style ring. Our Ottoman style appears visually similar to our Chinese Spur style ring, however there are numerous subtle tweaks, aside from the obvious spur, to accommodate the slightly different ways in which these two rings load force on the thumb.

There is no reason why the Chinese Spur style ring is necessarily for beginners, far from it actually. It is the style we recommend users learn on, but they can also happily use it forever to no disadvantage.

What of our other designs? Well the Byzantine is our earliest design still in our catalogue. It is beautiful, but a bit of an anachronism. While perfectly fine on lower poundage bows, it offers minimal support for the sides of the thumb and a fairly steep release angle. Historical examples are even thinner than ours. My longstanding hypothesis on this ring, which is widely held by others here at CTR, is that the design was meant for use in warfare to be worn OVER gloves, and its slim design was meant to minimize interference when transitioning from the bow to polearms or the like. If you were looking for a piece of functional jewelry, this ring would be my first choice.

The Sarmatian is another odd duck, not as slim as the Byzantine, but still unusually thin. In some regards, I think of it as a transitional ring. To my knowledge it is the oldest metal archer's ring ever found, and one of the oldest archer's rings ever found flat out. (technically Nubian rings predate it, however are made of stone) It is very likely, being an early ring design, that it is not as technologically advanced as some later designs. Whether it was meant to be paired with a glove or the like we'll never know, however I suspect the rear loop was meant to be used with a leather thong tied around the wrist thus moving some of the force off the thumb entirely.

The Tongue rings are odd, but appear to act much like a very gentle thumb protector, barely discouraging the string from shifting rearward. The long tongue ring in particular does encourage clarance between the thumb tip and the string, so if you have issues with retained tension in the thumb, this ring might be treatment rather than cure.

Our Mughal style ring is as much an exercise in style as it is one in ring design. Being fully contoured it requires an expert sense of balance to use. It is both robust and elegant, and offers something of a “choose-your-own-aventure” in terms of string positioning and the thumb pad/knuckle force spit. If you can comfortably use this ring on a powerful bow, you've very likely mastered the use of rings.

And, finally, there is our Sugakji or Korean Male style thumb ring. This ring loads ALL the force onto the thumb's knuckle, and does so with the aid of a wedge of some form. Sometimes these are made of rubber, but traditionally they were made of leather. Thus the ring is able to effectively “shrink” once slipped over the knuckle, providing a very secure and comfortable fit.

And this segues nicely into the use of leather with rings, the final thing I want to touch on here. I can't recommend the addition of leather to your ring highly enough. While made for the Sugakji, most of our ring styles can have their fit snugged up with either the korean leather inserts or a kulak. But their utility goes beyond that. The kulak can act as a mild string protector on many of our ring designs, further increasing comfort. They also remain grippy when wet, which is incredibly helpful as you start to perspire when shooting. While some traditional styles of ring are found with leather, others are not but this doesn't mean they didn't use them. In TWOA for example, leather not pictured was referenced in use with traditional designs. It seems likely that many if not most rings involved some use of leather for comfort and function, and we shouldn't shy away from it simply because we have not found them depicted that way yet. Archers of antiquity faced the same challenges we do today.

I hope that serves as a brief overview of ring design, and some of the functions behind it. One could write volumes on the subject, but I hope for now this brief overview will suffice.

Collector's Pack

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Here at CTR we have one of if not the largest collections of historical ring designs available for sale. In recognition of that, we’re pleased to offer an Ultimate Collector’s Pack which puts all these ring styles together in one place. Included in that are 13 different rings:


TRMT - Manchu Thick
TR5 - Byzantine
TR6 - Ottoman
TR7 - Hybrid
TR9L - Tongue Long
TR10 - Chinese Spur
TR11 - Turkish
TR12 - Sarmatian
TR13 - Korean Male
TR14 - Southeast Asian
TR15 - Mughal
TR16 - Chinese Tongue-Spur
TR17 - Ming Chinese (Gao Ying)

Gao Ying's Ring

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Our interpretation of a Gao Ying Four Victory Ring

Our interpretation of a Gao Ying Four Victory Ring

With the huge popularity of Justin Ma and Jie Tian’s translation for Gao Ying’s military manual, there has come a demand for a ring designed based on the book’s descriptions and drawings. We just had to take up the challenge!

The result we think has good fidelity to the original, and offers a great shooting experience. I would describe this as an intermediate level ring. On the one hand, the “two prong guard” can encourage over-gripping and excessive retained tension in the thumb, both basic form faults. On the other hand the large load bearing surfaces on the sides and the relief for the thumb’s tendon provide excellent comfort. Despite the aggressive release angle though, the ring is exceptionally docile and easy to manage. It is definitely one of our all-time favorites!

Our interpretation of “Gao’s Four Victory Ring,” shown here next to some of the source material from which we derived it. A big thanks to Jie Tian and Justin Ma for writing this book. (ref. Tian, J. & Ma, J. (2015) 978-0764347917)

Our interpretation of “Gao’s Four Victory Ring,” shown here next to some of the source material from which we derived it. A big thanks to Jie Tian and Justin Ma for writing this book. (ref. Tian, J. & Ma, J. (2015) 978-0764347917)

Product Spotlight - Ring Decoration

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One of our Chinese Spur rings in Nocturnal Blue given a copper coating and weave pattern carving

One of our Chinese Spur rings in Nocturnal Blue given a copper coating and weave pattern carving

Love our ring designs, but want something with a little more spice? Well our custom ring decoration is exactly that! We currently offer two standard metallic coatings, bronze and copper, which look a lot like media blasted metal. It makes for beautiful rings, and you can leave it at that, but we also offer carving. This carving is available only on our coated polymer rings, and as you can see above is very dramatic. We offer two standard styles, weave and paisley.

For teams, vendors, groups, etc we can also offer a high level of customization in an exclusive production run of rings. This includes custom carvings, as well as custom colors. Want electric blue rings with a team logo on the inside of the thumb pad or on the band? We can do that. Message us to inquire!

Just a few of the different coatings we can offer in custom production runs. Seen at center is a real favorite of ours which changes color depending on what angle it is viewed.

Just a few of the different coatings we can offer in custom production runs. Seen at center is a real favorite of ours which changes color depending on what angle it is viewed.

Out of Office 11/22/18 - 11/25/18

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We will be out of the office for the Thanksgiving holiday, 11/22/18 - 11/25/18, so will be unable to ship orders or respond to inquiries. During this time we’ll have the coupon code TURKEY2018 active, so customers who enter it at checkout can get a 5% discount on all orders. Happy holidays everyone!

Custom Ring Design

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A recombination of our tongue and chinese spur rings in solid copper.

A recombination of our tongue and chinese spur rings in solid copper.

We do, on occasion, get requests for fully bespoke ring designs.The challenge of such things is the initial design and development work, once that is complete we can manufacture a virtually unlimited number of that ring in any size or applicable material. This ring was borne of just such a request: the combination of our short tongue with our spur ring, to be manufactured in solid mirror polish copper. And, if I do say so myself, I think it came out absolutely beautifully. Fresh off the polisher, it has that perfectly light pink look of raw copper, not yet darkened by oxidation.

A recombination of our tongue and chinese spur rings in solid copper.

A recombination of our tongue and chinese spur rings in solid copper.

World's Largest Thumb Ring

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The world’s largest thumb ring, shown here in our Mughal style. For size comparison is one of our Ottoman rings with our copper coating.

The world’s largest thumb ring, shown here in our Mughal style. For size comparison is one of our Ottoman rings with our copper coating.

Not satisfied with simply having the broadest selection of historical thumb ring designs available, we also wanted the biggest. And here it is, the largest archer’s thumb ring ever made. (to our knowledge) At over 30 centimeters long, this ring is about ten times the size of a ring you’d typically order/wear. If you wanted to draw a very large bow with your leg, instead of your thumb, it’d be about the right size to go around your thigh.

What was the point of this? Absolutely none. But it was fun, funny, and get out there and shoot!

Out of Office

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Due to the American holiday, we'll all be out of the office from 9.1.18-9.3.18. All orders will be filled/inquiries responded to as normal when service resumes 9.4.18. As a thank you we're offer a 15% discount for those who use this discount code (CM8SMHV) while we're on holiday. This discount applies only to orders placed on the above dates, and is not retroactively applicable. 

Thanks everyone. Get out there and shoot! :D 

Mughal Ring

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Our Mughal Ring

Our Mughal Ring

Our latest design, the Mughal Ring. Swooping curves all around, but for a break at the back, this design allows for a broad range of string positioning depending on the shooter's tastes along with a fast clean release. Whether it is because you love the style, or want the fully rounded form for individual string placement, this really is one to try. 

Sword Games

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A beautiful and fully functional katana with differentially hardened blade, ray skin handles, tight wrapping, and lacquered saya. 

A beautiful and fully functional katana with differentially hardened blade, ray skin handles, tight wrapping, and lacquered saya. 

Those of us with an affinity for historical archery tend to share a broader love of historical weaponry. Be that armour, shields, black powder firearms, spears, or swords. This story begins when one of us was browsing available swords and discovered that a fully functional through-hardened katana could be had for a mere 50$, deferentially hardened (real hamon) with ray skin handles and other flourishes for 100$, and folded "damascus" for 200$. Clearly, this newfound information needed to be put to work. 

Showing off the differential hardening aka hamon, would you believe this blade was only 100$?

Showing off the differential hardening aka hamon, would you believe this blade was only 100$?

Test cutting is fun, and I suspect common practice among those who've bought a functional sword, but you can only hack so many water bottles or expensive tatami mats before it becomes cost-prohibitive and, dare I say it, boring. I liken it to target shooting in any variety of disciplines, sure you can spend endless hours refining form and fighting for those slim gains in precision, but eventually you want to spice things up with novel scenarios, targets, action, and competition. 

The answer came from the background some of us have in competitive pistol shooting. Borrowing elements of the target stands and overall competition setup, we set to work. 

A sword obviously has a lot more momentum than a 9mm pistol round, so instead of strapping we opted for a single 2x4 as the upright in the center of a four foot long segment. The method of assembly is simple. Cut four pieces each two feet long, add two ends, and a loose vertical in between them and dry fit. When you're happy with the fit, a cordless impact, screw gun, or your screw driving weapon of choice can quickly and easily zip the whole assembly together with two exterior grade deck screws per join. The vertical in the center can then be withdrawn leaving a modular "foot" that can accept any sort of target which can be mounted atop a segment of 2x4. With two people working, a dozen of these can be knocked out in an evening for perhaps 20$ or less. 

From there we need to build targets themselves. These days cardboard is perpetually coming and going from online orders and so on, it seems in endless supply and we recycle it by the truckload. Breaking it all down is a time consuming process, so lets put it to work. After all, shredding is part of the cardboard recycling process, what harm will a little extra breaking-down do? So we zipped together some clamp stands which use two boards in a T shape and a few screws to clamp a sheet of cardboard. With a cordless impact, zipping these open and closed to swap cardboard sheets takes a few seconds. Wanting some variety though, we also decided to make a pool-noodle stand, a cutting target more akin to a tatami mat while costing vastly less, but surprisingly challenging to defeat. And, finally, we created a platform stand where free standing objects, namely water bottles, could be placed for cutting. Understand this was all zipped together in the span of an evening with scrap material we had laying around, thus it represents just a fraction of the possible diversity of targets. What about a linked-stage for example, where the cutting of one target would release another target held on the end of a string which would begin swinging? A rolling ball target like in Bladesports? Or how about a free hanging rope? Or what about a combined stage where one starts with a bow or spear and then transitions to sword? The possibilities are truly endless. 

If you look closely, you can see both pieces of the cut Gatorade® bottle still in the air. 

If you look closely, you can see both pieces of the cut Gatorade® bottle still in the air. 

It is worth noting at this point that swords are weapons and, like all weapons, are incredibly dangerous. Safe use and handling practices should be observed, and everyone who is not cutting should keep a reasonable distance and remain in a safe direction. This all should be fairly obvious, but a few sentences are cheap while injuries incredibly costly, so it bears mentioning. Less obvious is the importance of "real swords." Many of the cheap, often "stainless steel" swords out there are not suitable for cutting. This is less because of poor grinds or edge retention, and more due to fragility; should a piece of a sword blade part company from the remainder of the blade or handle, an extremely dangerous event has occurred. 

A perfectly, precisely, decapitated mouthwash bottle. If you have one of these bottles laying around, look at how thick the plastic is at the mouth where it was cut. We were all amazed. The bottle was cut and left standing so perfectly, initially it was thought to be a miss. 

A perfectly, precisely, decapitated mouthwash bottle. If you have one of these bottles laying around, look at how thick the plastic is at the mouth where it was cut. We were all amazed. The bottle was cut and left standing so perfectly, initially it was thought to be a miss. 

How to score, how does it work, and what is it like? Smartphones being ubiquitous, someone pulls up a stopwatch app, and times as the person makes their way through the course. A completed cut adds no time. Each partial cut or uncut target adds to the person's time. At the end the lowest time wins. This is entertaining for hours on end as friends compete and new clever and challenging scenarios are set up. 

Cardboard silhouettes provide great sport, but errors in blade alignment become readily apparent.  

Cardboard silhouettes provide great sport, but errors in blade alignment become readily apparent.  

Graphite Ring Finish

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Our  Southeast Asian  ring with a graphite finish. 

Our Southeast Asian ring with a graphite finish. 

We're now offering an optional graphite finish for our polymer rings. This coating is applied on top of our polymer rings, providing a gray metallic lustre. Pictures really struggle to capture it. The question that immediately follows with any coating is "will it wear off?" In this case, the coating is quite abrasion resistant, but ultimately nothing can survive major abrasion of the ring. This can be taken as a feature though, applying the coating on rings of contrasting color resulting in an even more beautiful and exotic "weathered" appearance. For this effect to appear at its best, we recommend our metallic gold or metallic copper polymer rings as a base. 

Interesting in adding rings of this type to your collection? Get in touch with us using the contact form at the top right of the page or check out with a free Special Materials ring. 

Our  Southeast Asian  ring with a graphite finish. 

Our Southeast Asian ring with a graphite finish. 

Product Introduction - Southeast Asian Ring

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The history of this ring is a little murky. While it is popular today, we couldn't find an example over 200 years old. The style also seems to have popped up as far west as India. While the origins of the style are a bit hard to pin down, it's features are not. These rings all feature a pronounced lip, extended curving "tongue," a generous internal pad to distribute the load around the tendon, and tend to place a higher ratio of load on the thumb pad rather than on the knuckle. The result is a ring which many beginners find very comfortable and easy to use, particularly at lower poundages. 

Tong-ah/Majra/Solenarion

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Our Majra seen here with our copper Ottoman ring and AF Turkish bow. 

Our Majra seen here with our copper Ottoman ring and AF Turkish bow. 

What was top secret military technology centuries ago, you can now purchase online. This tool has had many names across different cultures including Majra, Nawak, Tongjian, Tong-ah, and Solenarion. The basic premise is an overdraw device in the form of a channel down which a shortened arrow can ride. Unlike the Turkish Siper, which allows the use of an arrow a few inches shorter, the Majra allows use of veritable crossbow bolts. Why you might ask? When researching this project we came across a variety of different explanations and hypotheses, mostly centered around reusing shorter projectiles or increased projectile velocity. 

We manufacture these in house from poplar, selected because of its mechanical properties, strength and low mass. Each is cut from a single piece, finished with multiple coats of a durable varnish, and has a reinforcing eyelet. A leather finger loop completes the package. 

Product Introduction: Turkish Siper

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Our Turkish Siper shown here with a lightning strike walnut plate 

Our Turkish Siper shown here with a lightning strike walnut plate 

King of the overdraw devices, the famous Turkish Siper. The longest flight shots of antiquity were almost certainly done off one, the markers of which still stand in Istanbul today. For those who don't know, the Siper is an overdraw device, worn on the hand, which allows the shooter to draw an arrow shorter than their draw length. This reduction in arrow mass contributes to increased arrow velocity and in turn greater range. Check out all the details on the PRODUCT PAGE

Bow Performance Project - English Longbow

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This is a big one, the long standing debate on the merits of the the famed English Longbow/Warbow versus the Asiatic composite bow. Perhaps before setting out on this comparison though I should note a simple reality and associated reasonable expectation: while there are a lot of hotly disputed details, the English Longbow is broadly a single style/type of bow with singular morphology and construction. This contrasts greatly with Asiatic composite bows which (arguably) exist in a significant military context over a much broader span of time, space, function, material, and style. Thus it should be expected that the EWB can not exceed the composite bow in all categories simultaneously. There is also the very reasonable argument that the EWB is a tiny fraction of the manufacturing cost and complexity of a composite bow, which given that war is an economic entity as much as a technological one is a non-trivial detail.

The English Warbow Society has been an invaluable resource for the research of this article, and the majority of specifications have been drawn from their publications. For example, while immensely powerful, EWBs may have operated in the range of approximately 10GPP. 

To this end we sourced an English Warbow from a very polite and well reviewed gentleman ArcheyBowman. We liked it so much a second longbow in a more everyday poundage was also acquired. What can I say, they're massive, unwieldy, and yet beautiful, elegant, simple, and fun to shoot. There is just something about them. We're no stranger to stickbows here at CTR, but there is just something about these longbows that sets them apart and gives them a magic all their own. 

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The warbow is nominally 90#s@32", 76" long overall, made from a solid piece of hickory with horn nocks, bears the famous compass tiller, 5/8ths cross sectional-ratio, and conforms to all specs from the English Longbow Society for Proper Longbows. Actual length tip to tip is 77-3/4", 75" nock to nock. Mass is .775 kilos. After a bit of shooting, the F/D testing, etc the bow seems to have settled at 1-1/8" set. 

The longbow is nominally 55#@32", 76" long overall, hickory backed curly oak, and bares the same style albeit considerably smaller. Actual length tip to tip is 76-3/4", 74-1/2" nock to nock. Mass is .6 kilos. If that number jumped out at you, you're not alone. There is a lot going on here, but if we assume a poundage to bow mass ratio of 116.13 (that of the warbow), based on its mass this longbow should project out to 70 pounds not 55. Before you finger the oak, it is worth noting that the RELATIVE DENSITY of hickory is actually very comparable to that of oak. (hickory is nominally higher, but likely insignificant) It is hard to say if this increased mass will show up when we chrono, I personally was surprised the bow wasn't lighter as the tips and nocks are much smaller, however what I can say is that due to being laminated this bow has taken zero set. 

The force-draw curves of both these bows are subtly different from that of the Asiatic composite bows. Whereas the Asiatic bows climb quickly in early draw weight, level out in the middle, and climb again toward the end of the draw, the longbows are quite linear. To my surprise though, that linearity is continued all the way to full draw. I had anticipated a draw curve which looked more like an exponential growth curve, but it just didn't materialize. As a result, slopes and % gained in the last 2" are both right in the middle of the pack for both bows. No stacking here. And no stacking on a bow which is almost 100 pounds is an unexpected but very pleasant surprise. (we're not EWB experts here remember)

As we get to stored energy, things get even more interesting. There was definitely the expectation that, given no recurve or complex limb geometry, these bows would simply store less energy for their draw weight. Not true. The warbow is less than 3 foot pounds shy of storing 1:1 foot pounds to pounds draw force. The longbow ends up 3 pounds over. Again we're impressed. Another interesting note is that the warbow has 50% more poundage than the JZW Manchu (90 versus 60), both bows are ostensibly drawn to their safe physical/mechanical limits, both bows are quite heavy, both bows were designed to fire arrows of comparable (high) mass, and yet the warbow stores only 5 more foot pounds of energy at full draw. Apples to oranges? I think quite the opposite actually, two different bows from different ends of the same continent designed to do essentially the same thing: fire extremely heavy arrows at medium velocity against armored opponents. 

The Stored Energy/Poundage curve tells more of the story. Both bows start out toward the bottom of the pack, and just never claw it back. In a field of bows with levers on the ends resulting in fat mid-range power bands, I'm just impressed neither were at the bottom. The Warbow managed to beat out the lowest performer in this category we've ever tested, the Elong Yuan, by just a whisker. The longbow actually managed to finish in the middle of the pack, beating out quite a few other bows. In both cases though, this is attributable to the other bows beginning to stack rather than the longbows gaining efficiency toward the end of the draw. Had we run these tests at only 29", the Warbow would have been stone dead last and the Longbow only would have beaten the Elong Yuan and Grozer. Fair is fair though, and more than a few of us were both surprised and impressed. As long standing "Asiatic elitists" confident in the superiority of our advanced bow designs, the fact that these much simpler bows are contenders came as a real surprise. 

There is one final hurdle: the chrono. Surprisingly though, the JZW Manchu actually has the highest mass, so we may be in for a surprise there as well. There is also a question of safe minimum GPP. In the world of Asiatic bows, GPP is a real focus for reasons of bow durability/longevity. Surprisingly, speaking to the bowyer who supplied these two bows however, it doesn't seem to be as much of an issue. He must have sold hundreds of bows by now, but in our conversations revealed a very low failure rate and little concern for GPP. Perhaps I've simply not found the right source, but technical data on English longbows seems to be pretty scarce. 10GPP doesn't seem uncommon, and 3-4GPP in flight shooting is often mentioned as well, without the expected disclaimers of short bow life. Given historical arrow and draw weights, 10GPP even starts to sound conservative. Is the wood or the bow design itself better able to reabsorb excess energy than modern laminates? Are the bows just extremely efficient for their physical mass? What is a safe efficiency level? And lets remember something else important: efficiency doesn't scale. If your bow is 70% efficient and stores 20 foot pounds, it'll have to reabsorb 6 foot pounds. If your bow stores 200 foot pounds and is 70% efficient, it'll have to reabsorb 60 foot pounds. Modern glass and carbon composite Asiatic bows use the same glass and carbon laminates and vary core thickness to adjust poundage (for the most part). They also often fail at the glue joints. This means, despite identical efficiency, essentially the same working material and weak points have to absorb an order of magnitude more energy. This might have something to do with why very few Asiatic bowyers will make modern composite bows at any serious poundage. A notable exception is YMG, whose bows' performance and durability are legend, and they are far and away my favorite brand of bow. If you'll pardon the mild digression, the point is that EWBs are much more cost effective to manufacture, so are available at much more accessible prices in authentic materials and likewise should be expected to perform on par with their historical counterparts. So if a warbow is 180 pounds and shoots a 1750 grain arrow, that is 10GPP on the nose at the upper limits of poundage. 

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*UPDATE* 
After all this testing was completed and I was shooting the hickory backed figured oak bow, I draw and hear that dreaded "pop." The bow had pulled up a nasty splinter on the back, of course right at a grain boundary. It is important to understand that bows break, particularly bows made from natural materials, it is just part of the game. The question isn't whether or not the bow broke, but how the bowyer handles it. In this case I messaged the bowyer, and there was never a moment's question about whether or not the bow would be replaced. Within an hour of the pop, a new bow my choice was on it's way to me. It really doesn't get much better than that. 

I confess though, the bow is stunningly beautiful and I have trouble letting go. After some debate, I pulled out the bow on a tillering block to raise the splinter, worked some glue underneath it, and then firmly wrapped the affected area. When that cured I unwrapped it, scraped it, applied a paper backing to the area to transfer some of the strain and hold the splinter, and finally wrapped it again. I don't think it'll save the bow, but I'm hoping I can get a couple arrows throw the chrono at least. It is a real shame because it is just a stunner. Pictures don't do it justice. 

Leather insert for Sugakji

Silent Thunder Ordnance

Our Sugakji, aka Korean Male thumb ring. Shown here in Silver Gray with the leather loop meant to tighten fit on the thumb. 

Our Sugakji, aka Korean Male thumb ring. Shown here in Silver Gray with the leather loop meant to tighten fit on the thumb. 

This is a simple and easy project to add a leather wedge to your Korean Male thumb ring. Really this project only requires a knife, cutting surface, and a ring but a straight edge, cutting mat, and rotary knife can make getting clean results a little easier. 

Tools of the trade. The rotary knife and straightedge are for flourish, a sharp knife and cutting surface are really all that is required. 

Tools of the trade. The rotary knife and straightedge are for flourish, a sharp knife and cutting surface are really all that is required. 

Step one is laying things out. You'll want leather which is about 1-1.5mm thick and reasonably soft/flexible. You'll want a strip about twice to 2.5 times as long as the ring, and of equal width. This is then to be tapered so that at its thin end it is 1/3rd the width as it's thick end. 

The leather strip should be 1/3rd the width at its thin end, and the full width of the ring at its thick end. The entire strip should be twice to two and a half times the length of the ring. 

The leather strip should be 1/3rd the width at its thin end, and the full width of the ring at its thick end. The entire strip should be twice to two and a half times the length of the ring. 

At the thick end cut a slot into which the thin end may be inserted. Pass the leather through the ring, and then insert the thin end into said slot. The result should form a loop. The overlay of thin end onto thick can be used to further increase the "wedge" capability of the leather. This loop shape can now be secured either with stitching, or a little leather adhesive. 

Cut a small slot to insert the narrow end into the wide end. A stitch or leather adhesive will then make it permenant. 

Cut a small slot to insert the narrow end into the wide end. A stitch or leather adhesive will then make it permenant. 

And just like that, you're done. Rotate the loop to the narrow part in order to insert you thumb in the ring. Once in position slide the loop around until the leather comfortably secures your thumb in place. Easy as that. 

Our Sugakji, aka Korean Male thumb ring. Shown here in Silver Gray with the leather loop meant to tighten fit on the thumb. 

Our Sugakji, aka Korean Male thumb ring. Shown here in Silver Gray with the leather loop meant to tighten fit on the thumb. 

Product Introduction - Korean Male Ring Sugakji

Silent Thunder Ordnance

Our Korean Male thumb ring, also known as a Sugakji, shown here in metallic gold and metallic silver. 

Our Korean Male thumb ring, also known as a Sugakji, shown here in metallic gold and metallic silver. 

We're pleased to introduce our adaptation of another iconic and exotic ring, the Korean Male style thumb ring or Sugakji. With this style the thumb is still inserted and rotated to lock in an eccentric aperture, but the string is borne by the beak like projection, and the index finger wrapped around it to hold. Release is accomplished by simply relaxing the hand. This is a remarkably comfortable style ring to shoot, once you get the hang of it. Part of this is due to the use of a leather, cloth, or rubber "wedge" used to tighten fit once the thumb is inserted. Combine this with a relatively large bearing surface to distribute force over much more of the thumb, and it shouldn't be any surprise just how comfortable this ring is to shoot. 

*RETRACTED* Elong Outdoor Yuan/Mongolian Bow

Silent Thunder Ordnance

*RETRACTED* Elong Outdoor Yuan Bow

*RETRACTED* Elong Outdoor Yuan Bow

It has come to our attention through conversations with other vendors that that this bow, provided as a sample by Elong Outdoor, was very likely "cherrypicked" and is not representative of this product. Due to this, and other issues with the vendor, we will not be carrying the Elong Outdoor mongol/yuan/crab all-plastic bows and will be removing their datasets from our bow analyses. Our sincere apologies to any customers who may have been mislead and made a purchase decision based on our review.