O L Adcock ACS 64" 43#@28"
As a self confessed bow addict, many bows have come and gone from my possession. Most of the time I regret selling a bow but the money raised or the trade made tends to make up for it as I usually end up with something better, if not straight away some where down the line. There are a few however that I really do regret letting go of and this bow is one of them. O.L. Adcock is a bowyer of some considerable reputation, he had been making bows of high quality for some time but then came up with the patented ACS limb design to squeeze even more power from his longbow limbs. Adcock bows very rarely come up for sale, firstly because they are so good and secondly because while he still makes bows, he makes so few that there is no waiting list to buy what so ever, you just have to be lucky enough to want the particular one he might make at that point in time.
I won't bore you with the full history, which you can read elsewhere, but in brief it goes something like this, Adcock was making bows and then came up with a revolutionary limb design, he patented it and started making them, he couldn't make enough so went in to partnership with John Havard, forming A&H in the process, to up production. O.L. then left A&H and now both A&H and O.L. make bows with the ACS limb design. Why is this of interest, well because when you have an ACS you need to be able to put it in the relevant time period. So now we come to the actual bow for review which in relation to the chronology is pre A&H, made by O.L. Adcock.
I first got this about 2 years ago and while I loved it at the time I was shooting a much higher poundage. Within a few weeks of owning it I knew I wasn't going to shoot it much and I had the fortune to know somebody who had another Adcock original of higher poundage which he didn't shoot either, so we swapped. Zip forward 2 years and I had the chance to shoot it again, having dropped poundage in the mean time shooting it again was a revelation and I had to get it back. As it happens he didn't shoot it much and so while he knew it was something special I did manage to get him to part with it again, although it was a rather bitter sweet moment as I had to sell the only bow I have ever owned from new to fund it.
I have to be honest details in terms of the woods are a little hard to come by, I have emailed O.L asking if he can help as the bow has a serial number, but he is a busy man so we will just have to be patient on that. However there is still plenty to mention on the looks department. Firstly it has a longbow style low grip, it's not immediately obvious as the arrow shelf does come back a little which make it look as if the hand position is forward but when holding the bow it feels very much like a standard longbow. The riser is 14" long but the sight window seems to be a little small, there has been some work to make it bigger as the top limb has a small section cut out to make it larger, this means that the top and bottom limbs and fittings are different so you won't get mixed up putting them on.
The limbs themselves are needle thin, tapering from the riser to some of the thinnest limbs I have ever seen on a bow. Two layers of carbon sandwich 3 laminations of bamboo provide all the power, the end of the limbs have the ACS curve but it doesn't seem as pronounced as it does on other limbs I have seen. The bow is set off nicely with gold washers which give it a really nice over all look.
So how does it shoot...
I had the opportunity to shoot the bow at the weekend, I had a 3D shoot to attend and decided to give this a run out. Normally a review test will last a few hours shooting at a few targets because entering a competition with a bow you have hardly shoot puts you at an instant disadvantage, however I had total faith in this bow. First thing I noticed was that it didn't seem to be cut as far past centre as other ACS I own this meant that my normal arrows were not going where I needed them too. I started to cant the bow a little and that pulled the arrows over in to the centre, this was no bad thing as the longbow grip felt more comfortable that way anyway.
As it was a competition I didn't get the chance to test it on a Chronograph, I will do that in the next week or two and update the review, however early indications are that it is fast. I was expecting it to perform that way but I think I might have over estimated it a little as it was down slightly on the 47# I normally shoot and I was having to aim a tad higher than normal. But that is not a criticism as this bow is 4# lighter.
It took 10 or so targets to get things right, mainly to the different hand position. The bow is super smooth to draw and the fact there is no hand shock or vibration will go without saying for such a bow. I measured the bow on the bow scales it came in bang on the 43# at 28".
I love this bow, not just for what it is but for how it shoots. It's a little on the light side for me as I normally shoot around 45#, not much difference but when you shoot week in, week out as I do you get used to a bow and do notice even the smallest drop in power. That's not to say this bow cannot send an arrow at a rate of knots and as I mentioned it didn't take long to adjust to it, but the other issue for me is the longbow grip which I don't tend to get on too well with.
I won't be letting it go for a second time....
Features & Design
Looks great the addition of gold bolt washers and the top limb being cut away for part of the sight window make this a great looking bow.
Fantastic, wonderfully smooth to draw but bags of power.
Value for Money
You simply cannot buy these bows, O L Adcock bows are so exclusive that there isn't even a waiting list. I shoud be in prison because the amount I paid for it is frankly criminal.
Should be in a museum or private collection, how I come to own it I will never know. But this bow demands to be shot and so it will be. Unfortunately it's unlikely most people will never get to shoot one let alone own one.