Real customers giving their honest opinions.
And check out some of our customer's finished DIY bows.
Steve H. - California
"The bow came in Friday and she was just awesome! Thank you so much for the extras also! I drank the Mead Kool-Aid and its was intoxicating! I am ruined! But it's for the better though. The performance this bow delivered exceeded my expectations!!!" I shot it I was so impressed I immediately put in a order for a sinew composite horse bow and a recurve! Dave’s spirit is definitely in every bow he builds! Purchase one of Dave’s bows and I promise you will not be disappointed.
C. Davis - Suwanee, GA
Received the kit, assembled the bow and just shot it. Fan-Tas-Tic!! I’m going to cover the handle and siyah/limb joints with leather. Will send pics when I’m done. Thanks for all of this."
Kjartan - Norway
"Hey dave, I've got the chance to shoot the bow for the first time today, and it is a marvel. I can't overstate how happy with it I am. It's as if it was made for just me, I've been shooting it for a couple of hundred shots today, and I've yet to miss my 5 inch target at 15-20 meters. I am so incredibly impressed with the bow, and it fills me with joy shooting it."
All the best,
Larry R. - Chichester, United Kingdom
"I just received my Horsebow from Mead Longbows. I was a little concerned about it arriving in good condition as I am in the UK and -well, thats a long way and a lot of handling. Fear not, Dave Mead applied the same smart thinking to the box as he has to his bows…a Triangular plywood box that prevents parcel companies stacking others on top of it. Genius. He is already my hero before I have even opened the box!
The Bow is a thing of simple beauty just to look at (I am a wooden boat builder and have a thing about workmanlike simplicity). There is no bling to fool the eye and the woodwork and construction are just spot on. In boat building we have a saying “if it looks right then it’ll be right”. That applies here. Picking it up, the balance is spot on and it’s just begging to be shot. I am a sighted re-curve Archer with a growing affection (now bordering on fanaticism!) for traditional archery and this slaked my thirst for sure. I took it to my club where we have really experienced English Longbow archers and they loved it even before they shot it. I know now they respected its look and feel, yet expected a moderate performance. Not so … it was an outstanding performance, "this is amazing”- "look how it spits those arrows” - “what a cast from this bow” - “ Larry that's a really nice bow” “tell me all about it pls etc etc” .. Praise indeed as these Archers have been shooting for 40 yrs plus.
My turn - Now bear in mind I shoot a sighted bow…. I shot it instinctively, slight cant, both eyes open and right on the Target Butt gradually moving in to the middle. I can’t explain why, but I did not ‘remember’ to shoot instinctively, I just did, it’s that sort of bow. Straight flight, zero hand shock, quiet and no limb stacking. I always wear an arm guard but there was no string slap either.
Dave - people have been designing bows since Adam was a boy… yet this is one where all the planets aligned. It should be three times the price, but having spoken to the man himself (had to ring him) I can see why it’s not. This man is a master bowyer, archers friend, that's what makes him tick. Its all about the Archery, not about the money. Watch the videos and you can see who you are dealing with. I am going to put my self build Mead Horsebow together this weekend. I know it will be a joy and I will wish I could build it all over again."
(Larry ordered one Custom Finished Horse Bow and one Horse Bow Kit)
L.C. Green - Alabama
"I chose Mead Longbows mainly because I’d developed a curiosity in working with bamboo. I started following Dave on social media, watched nearly all of his You Tube videos and became intrigued with his skill. I’ve been making primitive bows for years. I’ve researched, studied and have a good understanding of the craft, but Dave is unique. There’s an organic appeal to his work, which to me reflects his character as a bowyer and as a man.
I decided on the three-day course because I didn’t want to rush this. It was obvious from my research, that he had developed a good working knowledge with tried and true techniques. I wanted to soak up as much of that as I could, so I opted for the longer class. I’m self-taught. I have all the books, I’ve watched all the videos but I have never seen anyone work with bamboo, this is different than any other wood. I knew I needed a hands-on experience with a knowledgeable instructor to give me what I was looking for.
I arrived at his location, introductions were made and school was immediately in session. We talked for bit and discussed my background in bow building, helping David gain insight into my knowledge and skill. He then laid out a basic itinerary for the three-day course. Every minute aspect… Siyahs, handles and limbs were explained in a step-by-step approach, with detail. As we worked together, I found it especially helpful that he also worked on a bow as he instructed me. A few times, he had to take over my build just enough to correct mishaps and errors. The one thing that really stands out is the tillering process of the bamboo limbs; much different than wood/self bow tiller. That experience alone was worth the trip.
The end product is a beautiful, 45# @ 29-30” bamboo, horsebow that is light, extremely quick and accurate.
The whole experience has restored my passion for building. While it has always been a hobby, I mainly just enjoyed the aspects of working with wood. My time with Dave has broadened my view and deepened my understanding. Looking forward to returning for more instruction. I’m not only building as a hobby now. This course has given me the desire to hunt. Can’t go wrong with this guy. Hands down, you get what you pay for and so much more."
Coach Mike - El Paso, TX
"Wanted you to know that my "Bamboo Bambino" is working great. I even made a set of bamboo arrows to complement the the natural theme. One of my archery friends purchased one of those $80 Chinese bows to compare with your natural "composite" bows and was astonished at the speed and smooth draw of mine. He could of invested just a little more and got the "REAL" thing...! I am very pleased with my bow and re watched your Tube Videos over and over. Would some day like to meet you in person and perhaps make a build on one of you new deflex bows. You are to be commended for making available a piece of history that can be enjoyed by many at a very affordable price. BTW...My friend was very disappointed with his Chinese purchase as the hand shock was considerable and "twang" very noticeable....!! Thanks again for allowing me to be a part of "Team Mead" in the world of Primitive Archery."
Jacob Matern - Athol, MA
"I want to start out by saying that I received my bow on Monday and...just....wow. It is absolutely fantastic! I added a thin stacked leather arrow shelf (inspired by Nick Tomihama) and wrapped the handle with suede leather lace (I may change this later). This bow is the best performing and most pleasant to shoot that I have ever had! From the first shot I was amazed at the perfectly straight, bullet-like trajectory. I haven't even tuned my arrows to it yet! I watched all of your videos (and others' reviews of your bows) while I impatiently waited for it's arrival and thought I knew what to expect...but I was still amazed at the performance of it and just the pure joy I felt shot after shot! You do fantastic work my friend! If I had any less self control I would just keep ordering bows from you and would cover my living room wall with them! Haha. They are as beautiful and unique as they are deadly!"
Dan Wolff - Olympia, WA
"Shot my new Mead Longbows primitive bow against my modern recurve (Archery Craft, Toronto) this morning and here's my review:
The Mead bow shot cleanly, almost soundlessly, fast and I had energy for more. Slightly lower power didn't matter as I was able to loft arrows almost twice as quickly as with the classic recurve but with the same accuracy. Plus, if you hit the target (yes, I know there are no bullseyes in this pic) you feel like you actually accomplished something.
As I shot I found myself picking up the primitive bow more and more. No handshock, almost no sound. Or as Mark put it, "wow, that sounds like one of those bows in the movies." By comparison, the Archery Craft bow sounds like someone plucking a double bass string in your ear. And it hurts. I like walking away from a shooting session without a strained wrist.
Thanks, Mead Longbows, This is my new favorite bow now and I am a convert to primitive archery, it's instinctive and it feels good, and that's what it's all about. I'm saving up to buy another bow from you."
Ron Sanders MD (ret) - Lake Charles, LA
"Thank you, Dave, on my behalf and that of the archery community!
I've owned many high-end bows and none have shot better than your Horse Bow. As a matter of fact , most haven't shot nearly as well, including laminated longbows I produced commercially many years ago ! There is NO hand shock and string noise level doesn't require silencers and I can't honestly say that about ANY other bow I've ever shot. The physical weight is unbelievably low.
At my short draw length of 24 1/2 - 25 inches, a 480 grain arrow MOVES !!! My point - on is 22 yds and 30 yds is just a bit more than an arrow diameter high. That's all I need for hunting and stump shooting.
My health is challenged significantly... body-wide cancer...so I must be choosy about how I spend my time. Dave's bow is what I'll use exclusively for my remaining time and it will accompany me Viking - style on the Final Journey.
Do yourself a favor..try this bow."
"Picked up the bow today, it looks beautiful! I am greatly impressed with your workmanship, and also all that goes into all of the information and care in the longevity of these bows long after they leave your control. A light and deadly little bow, smooth draw with no stack, snappy release and drives those arrows deep into a round bale of hay. Thank you for your excellent work!"
"I just wanted to give a huge thanks to Dave Mead for the incredible target bow I bought. It's quick as a whip and so much more fun than my 50# hickory longbow. The quick shipment before me moved to my new duty station was greatly appreciated."
"I had an unexpected gift of a free afternoon, so I unpacked and attacked the kit Dav-o sent out. To say the finish work on the parts kit was lacking would be an understatement. But don't get me wrong, it is JUST cosmetics! (You want pretty, then pay a pretty price, this kit is a smoking steal!) I screwed around cleaning up tool marks and refining details until I finally HAD to start following the video instructions. I photo/video documented the process and further used up time, and still was shooting the first arrows in just over 3 1/2 hours.
I chose to make it a solid bow and not a take-down and dithered around changing some of the mating surfaces between limb and riser. I did NOT modify the limbs, riser, angles, or any critical.design feature. I am a bowyer with 15 years experience and several hundred self-bows worth of experience. What I did were refinements and unless you have serious experience, just assemble what you get. David's kits, if they are like mine, will be fine AS IS. My 26 inch draw was just fine and she vomited arrows with some serious heat! Makes me wanna go find my chronograph and see just what speeds I am getting. No doubt this would push a single blade broadhead through the boiler room of any and all North American game. I would not hesitate to carry this for anything from squirrels to elk."
"I recently built one of the DIY kits from Mead Longbows. This style of bow has interested me for a long time, but back when I was shooting often they were always expensive and I was more interested in learning to make bows. So when I saw Dave's DIY kit I knew I needed to make one. He does a great job with his video instructions, and it is a really unique bow. I love that he utilizes bamboo so well for the limbs, and having it be a folding takedown is nifty when packing for trips. The version I have is one of the original ones, which he has replaced with a newer geometry that is more efficient, as well as a longbow like version."
"The bow kit was awesome and I plan on getting to a point where I'm able to make a bow from a stave. It shoots great!
I'm thrilled with the bow. Thank you so much for the quality product and personal service."
"Thanks to Dave for all his help and support. I'm very happy with the end results.really enjoyed this project!"
"I live near Berea, Ky and every year I look forward to attending some of the Berea Learnshops. I am an elementary school visual arts teacher, and the Berea classes remind me of the thrill I want to give my students by creating something new, a great rejuvenating jolt right before I start a new school year. This year I spied a class on Turkish Horsebow making, and another on making primitive arrows- how cool! I could tie this into our phys. Ed. Unit on archery, and with our fifth grade social studies about Native America-you know, collaborating with other classes and strengthening learning, teacher brownie points! And.... let's face it, this looked like fun! I knew I was in good hands with Dave Mead from the moment I arrived. After 24 years of teaching you can't help but notice how classes are presented and organized to you, and he did a great job. Our first task after an introduction on bows and bow making was to get to work sanding the carefully shaped pieces in the end of the bows. He had correctly assessed the time limitations to give us the most steps in making that could fit in the class time allowed. He had prepared with well thought out 'kits' to assemble each bow, while still keeping the steps challenging and engaging. We started in on several hours of hard, careful work. He demonstrated and explained well, he helped patiently, he did not rush or allow any feelings of frustration or worry about going too slow to creep in, he kept us all engaged in a light patter that effortlessly returned to the the task at hand as needed. My teacher brain observed that, with all our differences in skill and ability to pay attention, it would have been easy for the 3 hour session to devolve into 'herding cats', but he kept us all on task pleasantly and easily, and we all successfully made really nice, very functional bows AND had time for some archery instruction, at which he is also a master. The next day I returned confident that I would have an equally pleasant, informative and successful session to make arrows, and I was not disappointed.Dave Mead teaches with careful, well thought out intention, maintains a very positive learning culture, and as you talk with him, you realize he has a great depth of knowledge in his subject, he has made different kinds of bows for years, he looked to history and local, inexpensive materials to synthesize a very functional, affordable replica of the legendary Turkish horse bows that can actually break down into smaller parts for transport! He actively competes and is a master archer, and teaches that skill as well. I would with great confidence recommend anyone, child or adult, who is interested in archery to learn both making and using bows from him. I intend to continue learning from him and to move into actual horseback archery over time."
"The bow I bought from you is awesome!"
"Love the bow. It's the easiest one to shoot ever and has that amazing speed."
(James attended one of my private bow building workshops.)
"I just finished my bow and took the first few shots. Feeling good and stable and fast! Thanks Dave you da man!"
"Dave, this bow is awesome! It's so accurate, sturdy, light weight, and looks amazing."
"This thing is awesome! Also I have shown this bow and your handmade arrows to many people the response is awesome good stuff my friend!"
"I was delighted when I opened the package and held my very first horse bow. It is just as bowyer Dave Mead advertises it to be and more. It is unbelievably light , maneuverable and stable. The cast is amazing at 43 # and 26 inches draw. The 500 grain bamboo arrow that came with the bow... with broadhead... flies like a dart at all distances and delivers plenty of punch. That arrow consistently flies 200 plus yards. I'm using a non-mechanical release of the type "backyard bowyer " shows on You Tube and it works like a charm, providing more draw power and an extremely solid anchor, unlike my old - man's hands. Finishing my bow has been great fun . I'll finish my remaining hunting years with this great little bow.
My bow will be in the Arkansas woods with me for all of February. I'll send photos of everything the bow kills ASAP. Dave is extremely knowledgeable, friendly and promptly responds to questions. My next goal is to get my hands on one of Dave's sinew - backed horse bows . Dave sinews his bows for performance and not just extension strength.
Thanks, Dave , for making your horse bows affordable. Never thought I could afford one before Mead Longbows came along. Do yourself a favor... buy Dave's bow. You won't regret it."
Gary Gibson - Wisconsin
"I was shooting my horsebow last night. Three shot groups inside 2” at 18 yds. What is interesting to me is that as I’ve shot it in, probably have 250-300 shots thru her, it keeps getting better (more consistent). It’s just a really well designed bow. Can’t wait to sling some sinew powered cane arrows this fall."
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Andrew - Glasgow KY "Dave thank you man for making one of the world's best primitive bows it was great! I just don't have the words to describe how great a feeling it was . The arrow buried right up to the feathers almost came out the other side. I hope you enjoy the videos sorry for the quality I only had a cell phone but I will make sure and send you some feathers this was awesome could not have done it without you!
Larry Ross - Arkansas
"Just wanted to let you know how pleased I am with my horse bow. I must admit I was skeptical of your claims, but it didn’t take many shots for me to be convinced that you are on to something special with your bamboo bows. After playing making bows for 20+ years, I can make a pretty good straight limbed osage self bow, but what I can’t do is make one shorter than 5 feet that I can shoot accurately (with a 30" draw length). I can’t explain why, but for some reason I’m just about as accurate with your 50 inch horse bow as I am with my 5 1/2 foot osage bow. Maybe it’s just mental but it’s none the less real. One of my favorite times of the year is spring turkey season. Bowhunting turkeys with my osage bows has meant waiting in a blind since it’s difficult to hide sitting on the ground and still be able to shoot a 5 1/2 foot bow. Your 50 inch bow has freed me from the blind and allowed me to be much more flexible. It’s always easier calling turkeys from some place they already want to go and with a short bow that I can shoot sitting with my butt on the ground, I’m able to quickly move as necessary. This fall I’ll hunt deer and hogs with the horse bow. I expect to hunt a lot more from the ground and not be limited to locations with climbable trees. Without the requirement of carrying a tree stand, I’ll be able to range much further and access areas that were previously unreachable. Thanks."
(Larry successfully harvested 2 wild pigs last season and so far 1 turkey in the 2018 season. Congrats to Larry and thanks for sharing!)
Larry Ross successful Turkey harvest with bamboo horse bow.
Congrats to Andrew from KY for his 1st whitetail harvest with bamboo horse bow! Complete pass through! Nice work man! Watch his video below.
Customer Larry Ross strikes again! Nov 2018 Deer harvest
"Dave I hunted this week in Louisiana. Other than 2 spikes this was the only buck that presented a shot opportunity. Complete pass through. 43 pound bamboo horse bow, 600 grain bamboo arrow.
"I am a bowmaker/hobbyist and bowhunter with plenty years of experience. I do not live near good bow wood to harvest. I love making bows for my personal use, and I have to turn to the web as a source for material. Over the years I can say I have tried just about every bow kit/u finish/u complete whatchama call it bow out there. None of them worked out as described. n most cases they were just boards of wood that I could have bought from the lumber yard. The few that did end up as a functional bow is only because of my previous bow making experience. They had to be left extremely long due to the questionable grain in the board/blank. They lacked performance, were painful to shoot and I was typically bored after a dozen shots by their performance and ghastly size....finding myself back on the web looking for hopefully a better option for my next project. Sooooooo after buying and building Dave's Diy horsebow kit I can honestly say number one I am embarrassed on how much money I wasted on previous so called "bow kits" and wish I had just spent the money on one of these horse bows years ago. They seemed too good to be true....man was I wrong. They have proven themselves over the years and now that I have built one all I can say is AMAZING! It is so much smaller than any bow I have ever owned, but draws so smooth like a longbow. There is no pain, you feel nothing when you shoot it, yet it delivers with incredible speed and flat trajectory. I can see why instinctive archery is so much easier with a FASTER bow. It hits where you look....follows your eyes. It took me an hour to build, then I spent a couple hours customizing (prettying it up) and was shooting it that afternoon. It is the fastest and sweetest bow I own. I got the target model which was only $139 when I got mine his price has increased slightly since (economics 101) and it actually draws around 41 pounds but shoots my same heavy arrows spined for a 60 pound bow like it is a 60 pound bow....quite amazing! Don't take my word for it, go waste some money on some wood, then go back to his site and get a real bow. Most all other places you are just another order to them. He is one man that cares about each bow he builds, I can tell that. And with his low prices he wants everyone to have a chance to own one. It is very impressive if you think about it....he is making from scratch an amazing unique bow in such a way that he can then dissassemble it so that you/me/we can successfully enjoy the process of building it. I already put in an order for a sinew horse bow of his....can't wait to see how sweet it is, but I know the wait will be worth it. In the meantime I have my Diy horsebow to keep me company! Thank you Dave for making these affordable, I hope you can keep it up! Maybe this will help people sift through some of the garbage out there and find you on the web. Until now there was no way to afford an all natural real asiatic stlye bow that will perform like they should. Your bow is a gem, thank you!"
UPDATE: 1/19 received my sinew composite before Christmas and WOW! Nothing compares, I look for excuses to go shoot it every day. Its so different, special, hard to explain -Thank you!!"
Recent Mead Archery bow building workshop hosted by American Survival Co. in Arkansas.
I first purchased the “father & son” bamboo horse bow “you finish” package. My son and I completely enjoy shooting these light fast primitive bows. Dave’s bamboo horse bows capture what archery and bows should be about. Functional and extremely effective handmade tools that maintain the ancient relationship of man and bow. My interest in archery has always been primitive bows. I live in South Florida amongst technology obsessed people who need an app to do anything or have to have Alexa do something for them. When you go to an archery range here with primitive equipment you are the oddball. People have the sad belief that the technology of compound bows, ultrahigh velocity arrows, arrow releases and special sighting systems make them better archers. The only thing archery technology does, is take you further away from the Zen like “mind body connection” of instinctive archery. Everything Dave does and builds is in tune with the ancient methods. Our ancestors were able to provide and survive for untold thousands of years with primitive bows and arrows. Back in May 2018 I received an email from Dave about a sale for the sinew composite horse bow for previous customers. Because of the enjoyment my son and I get from our horse bows I immediately jumped on the offer. Last month I received my bow. Dave had some health issues and the bow took over a year to build. It was worth the wait! The sinew backing takes the bamboo horse bow to an entirely new level of performance. The sinew backing makes the limbs of my horse bow have a very nice reflex unstrung translating to fast arrow speed. Although the bow is 33 lbs. at my 29.5” draw the arrows penetrate like 45 lb. bows I own. I choose to have my sinew composite horse bow backed with a copperhead snake skin and leave the siyahs natural color. With the craftmanship, fit and finish that Dave used to build my sinew composite horse bow, my best description is “primitive perfection.” Anybody who would like to have a primitive sinew bamboo horse bow should place and order, you won’t be disappointed!
Coconut Creek, Fl
I have been enjoying my self assembled Mead Horse Bow for almost 2 years now and am finally getting to let you know what a real joy it has been. I have been impressed from day one at the speed accuracy and power and have tried a number of archery styles including European (right hand3 finger draw over left knuckle) and Asian (right thumb draw over left thumb on bow hand) using a thumb ring. What a BLAST!!! My accuracy using the Asian style has surprised me. The ease of draw would have led me to believe that the arrow speed would be unimpressive. What a faulty assumption that was. I had believed that at my age (67) that a bow with this much power and speed would be beyond me. Another faulty assumption. I honestly have not had this much fun in years. I am attaching a few pics of the finished product, note that the back is decorated with Canadian Salmon skin.