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» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » Trad History/Collecting » Shakespeare Wonderbow Model 600

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Author Topic: Shakespeare Wonderbow Model 600
BAPilot2
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Gentleman,

I would like help in determining the approximate age of my newly acquired Shakespeare Wonderbow Model 600. The bow is 56" long, 45# draw, and serial number L3562. The riser and limbs appear to be maple laminated with red glass on the back and light gray glass on the belly. It also came with what I believe to be the original string.

(If you do a websearch you can find the pictures of my bow because I bought it off of auction this month.)

It was listed as a recurve but in my opinion it is more of a longbow than recurve.

Does anyone else have one of these bows and if so what is your impression of the bow?

I look forward to all comments and opinions.

Thanks,
A. P.

Posts: 88 | From: DFW, Texas | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
wadde
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I am guessing 1959-1962, after that they used the X15, X24 etc designations on the womderbow. I have a few of them and they are nice shooting bows.
Posts: 924 | From: wisconsin | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BAPilot2
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Wadde,

Thanks for the information. I had no idea the bow was that old. I was guessing late 1960's - early 1970's. For being 50+ years old it is in excellent condition.

The bow has a small tab, which appears to be removable, on left side of the riser for the purpose of being a shelf to shoot from (in a right-handed configuration). I'm assuming that the bow can be shot from either side of the riser (RH or LH). All I would have to do is move the shelf tab if I wanted.

Do you have a bow similar to mine and know of what I am describing?

Posts: 88 | From: DFW, Texas | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
wadde
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Yes I have a few different models of that period. The small plastic shelf can be moved to the other side for left hand shooting. I took it for granted the bow has a leather wrapped grip, right?
Posts: 924 | From: wisconsin | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BAPilot2
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Yes, it does have a leather wrapped grip.

To be honest, now that I know the approximate age of the bow, I am quite impressed with the overall condition. The leather grip is still supple with no dry rot or cracking. The small arrow shelf is complete and intact and doesn't show any signs of plastic degradation. The glass backing does not show any signs of stress cracking or crazing. And with the exception of a few scratches, which are very superficial, and three small dents on the right side of the riser, which are no larger than 2-3 mm each in diameter, the bow is pretty dang nice. It does show a slight discoloration in the gray backing on the belly where it is faintly yellowing. But those are the only things that detract from the overall condition of the bow.

In your opinion is its value worth the $51.02 that I paid for it ($40.72 winning bid + $10.30 shipping)?

In retrospect I guess value is a subjective thing. I think it was a good buy so that in itself answers my question. - LOL

Posts: 88 | From: DFW, Texas | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
wadde
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Actually you did good. In this down economy we are in it is a good time to pick up these vintage bows. If things turn around you will have no trouble doubling your investment. The original varnish finish is usually yellowed on these old bows and that is common. Yours being 56" long is a little out of the norm as most of the Wonderbows were longer than that.I have quite a few of them and they are all longer. They are good shooters. They are smooth drawing bows and don't stack as much as bows from other makers of the same period do. You will enjoy shooting it.
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BAPilot2
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Wadde,

Thanks for the information. I appreciate your insight and thoughts.

To tell you the truth... the only reason I purchased the bow was because I wanted a longbow, or what appeared to be a longbow.

I own three Bear recurves, all from the early 1970's; 58" Grizzly 50#, 60" Black Bear 40#, and a 48" Little Bear 20#. I purchased my first recurve, the Bear Grizzly, three years ago. I kind of bought it on a whim and I really didn't shoot it much so I put it away until recently when something inside me said, "Start shooting traditional and get back to the basics!". So as of this January I have been shooting my Grizzly every chance I get. Launching more than 100 arrows each time I am home, which is 3-4 days/nights a week. I have even started assembling my own arrows.

In February I came across the Little Bear and bought it for $40.00. I got the thing because my step daughter wanted to learn to shoot bows and I didn't want to spend a bunch of money. That little bow shoots great! She loves it!!!

Then I bought the Black Bear and it too shoots really good especially with my own homebuilt arrows.

So, needless to say, I have been bitten by the traditional archery bug! I no longer have any desire to shoot my Mathews LX compound bow. I hope this new acquision will turn out to be a sweet shooter too!!!

Once again thanks for the info. It instills in me a greater appreciation for each bow by knowing their age.

Posts: 88 | From: DFW, Texas | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
wadde
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I tell you what, I shoot only traditional and own lots of different makes and models. I really enjoy the vintage bows and have the option of taking many different ones to the woods. Once you harvest an animal with traditional equipment you will know what that feeling is. It is just so rewarding. As long as I can continue to do it I will. I have not owned a compound bow for 20 years and when I did years ago it was 30% let off. They have come a long way since then. There is just something about hunting with traditional equipment that raises the bar. And using vintage traditional equipment raises the bar further. Just my perspective as there are many. Sounds like you are well on your way to the traditional shooting bug.
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BAPilot2
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As for myself I much prefer the vintage traditional equipment over the newer "traditional" offerings. It seems to me that the current iterations of recurves and longbows, with their space age polymers, phenolic laminates, and fast flight strings, are not being true to form, function, and tradition. Granted, the new bows are impressive and are excellent shooters, but it seems to me that they lack the soul and character that are present in a vintage bow. It seems that the specter of technology pushes the envelope past the original intent and purpose.

Case in point is what has happened to the rise of muzzleloader hunting seasons. Technology, in the form of in-line ignition, using shotgun primer caps, along with sabot encased partition bullets, and ballistic compensating scopes, has made traditional muzzleloader seasons a farce and has highjacked the original basis and intent. I believe the new wave in traditional archery is, in many ways, no different.

That is why I have chosen to seek out the older bows with which to learn and enjoy the elegance and pleasure of "stick, string, and arrow".

My initial intent is to go hog hunting, hopefully soon, with my bow and my wooden arrows. And as my accuracy and proficientcy grows in the next several months I will learn to shoot targets on the fly in hopes of using my bow on our families annual pheasant hunt which takes place in December. I think it would be stupendous to take a pheasant on the wing with an arrow! I know that Fred Bear and others successfully hunted birds with their bows and that is my driving desire and goal for this year. That is the bar I have set for myself.

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theviennneau
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I own the 1959-60 Model 100, 1959-60 Model 500 and 600. the Model 100 is an amazing shooter, fast for it's age. #50 and 182 FPS
here is an article I wrote on them:
http://shakespearearchery.blogspot.com/2013/08/early-shakespeare-bows-model-100-model.html

Posts: 61 | From: fl | Registered: Oct 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
reddogge
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I owned an RH300 in 50#, 62" for a few years and sold it to a good friend. He loves it and although owns a sexier bow keeps coming back the the old Wonderbow. It shoots very fast for an old bow.

--------------------
PBS Reg member 1973
Maryland Bowhunters Society
Traditional Bowhunters of Maryland
Heart of Maryland Bowhunters
NRA

Posts: 4170 | From: Finksburg, MD | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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