Jess Stuart, who is the bowyer of Sierra Blanca Bows, contacted me about trying his bow's. Jess and I emailed back and forth few time's then talked on the phone for about 30 minutes. Jess let me test drive two of his bow's for about 10 days. This all came about because of a post I put on having the urge to get a new recurve after shooting just a ASL for last decade or so. What follows is my opinion of his bow's in the time that I had with them. The box arrived to my door step, and I quickly got it inside to examine the contents. Inside the box was Two 3-piece Recurve bows, and a small package which contained the hardware, allen wrench, his personal stringer, two strings and a set of Instructions. I quickly assembled the bows and was struck by the beauty and finish. The first picture is them on my dining table. One bow was 58" @43#, the other (brown one) a 54"@49#. The wood in the 58" appears to be Chechen, which to me is beautiful. The 54" had a great brown finish to it, that I loved and reminded me of "old Shakespeare bows".
Few days later, was able to get to a range, to test them. one grip was medium the other was high. To me they both felt about the same. When I first looked at the grip I thought it was little odd, keep in mind been longbow guy for longtime. After I got ahold of the grip, and felt it just melt into my hand, it was comfortable and welded sold. The bows of course needed some tuning which came easy with both having a very nice flemish twist string, they both seem to love an 8" fistmele, as he said in instructions. The arrow shelf on both have a nice radius which offers a clean flight from the bows, which was covered with the velcro type felt material.
Shooting the bow's was a pleasant experience. Jess had on both bow's a nice string nock point which was adjustable. Both bows was fast, quiet and dead in the hand. I shot a multitude of arrows, in varying spine, material included wood, aluminum, and carbon. Both bows was accurate, and can group tighter than I could. I had my nephew (who is new to archery), come by on the third day of shooting them and give them a try. Amazingly, on his third arrow on, he was well within the 4" dot shooting at, and he loved both of the bows. On, the last day I had them, it warmed up to 50 degrees (central Illinois, does that this time of year), and pushed the envelope, in my little range, I was back to 30 yards and shot a few ends, you can see the group with different arrows, in the second picture. I then boxed the bows up, and they are waiting to be returned to Jess as I write this.
Thoughts, take this with a grain of salt,as I said I am a longtime ASL bow guy. But, I think anyone wanting to get a quality recurve bow, should get a hold of him. I almost kept one, but my wife has to have a medical procedure, so cann't afford it now, but when I can I will get one. The bows was smooth to draw out to my 28" draw. No stacking, no finger pinch. I actually, liked and favored the 54" bow more, than the 58". In shooting both, I really did not notice any difference on the string or in feel. Jess is a hidden gem in the bowyer department. I built bows, years ago and understand what it takes to make a great bow, and his quality is on par with many other custom bows I have seen and shot. You can check out his bows at Sierrablancabows.com, or give him a call. Again, if I had the money right now, the 54" brown one would still be on the bow rack. As far as price goes, you need to talk with Jess, but I think you will be shocked (in a good way) at what you get for the price.
Posts: 1309 | From: Decatur, illinois | Registered: Sep 2003
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