Anna Catling – Technical Raven Test!

Anna Catling gets technical with her assesment of the Bodnik Raven Longbow!

wp_20161228_11_21_21_proIn the second part of my bow review I get a bit more technical!
I am testing four bows and my Bodnik Raven to see how they compare (not compete!).
The Bows I am using are a Bickerstaffe Longbow with a 35lb draw weight, a KG Outlaw flatbow with a 40lb draw weight, a Ragim Squirrel with a 25lb draw weight and a Bodnik Horsebow Express with a 35lb draw weight.


I hope to get some understanding of the performance of the bows I am testing and to try and understand whether my Bodnik Raven is really as good as I think it is. Not just for the reasons that I explained in my previous blog but by actually working out the numbers.
I’m no mathmatician so I don’t expect my results to be precise but the point of what I am doing is to make comparisions which may not be accurate but give a rough idea of the differences between the bows and some understanding of where the Raven stands among these other bows.


For the first test I have used an arrow speed meter with the following results…

Bodnik Raven 32lb – 147 FPS

Ragim Squirrel flatbow 25lb – 118 FPS

KG Outlaw flatbow 40lb – 150 FPS

Bickerstaffe Longbow 35lb – 142 FPS

Bodnik Horsebow Express 35lb – 140 FPS

The results are in FPS (Feet per second) and give us an idea of how fast the arrows fly from each bow. The draw weight of each bow is different as is the type of bow so a direct comparision is not being made here. However, the Raven is starting to look very good!
It has the second lowest draw weight but the second highest arrow speed!
The highest arrow speed comes from the 40lb flatbow which has a much higher draw weight.


The arrow speed has given an interesting result but I can also investigate further by creating a force/draw curve graph for each bow (see below). That means drawing each bow an inch at a time and then measuring the poundage.
The graphs have the draw weight in pounds to the left (vertical) and the displacement or distance that the bow is drawn in inches at the bottom (horizontal).
The graph for the Horsebow is not surprising for a short limbed bow as the progress of the curve shows that the ratio of poundage to inches increases as the bow is drawn.
The other three bows show a more direct path with two of them becoming heavier toward the end.
The graph that stands out for me however, is the Raven. The curve shows that the ratio of poundage to inches is less as the bow is drawn.

In the previous review I talked about how the bow felt natural from first use and that I was able to take the Raven to a tournement and claim a new record despite having had little practice with the bow. I think that the graph results go some way to explaining why. The bow is able to stay light on the fingers while achieving a great arrow speed.


In conclusion, the bows mentioned here were not picked to compete but compare. The Horsebow for instance is what it is. A short, delicate limbed bow that is lovely to shoot but maybe not the best choice for competition (unless there are horses involved!) While the Raven packs a lot of punch for the pound and is ideal for winning those competitions.


Anna uses the following Bearpaw & Bodnik equipment:
Bodnik Raven
Whisper String
Bearpaw Premium Spruce shafts
Armguard “Brandy”