Ron Palmer Traditional English Longbow 35#@28"

Reviewed by Steve
Jan 15, 2019
Home > Bow Reviews > Ron Palmer Traditional English Longbow 35#@28"

Ron Palmer has been making bows for almost 73 years, he offers a guarantee like no other bowyer, his bows are guaranteed for life – he stresses that this is his life (as he does so you will notice the wry smile – Ron is almost 90!), so if something goes wrong he will fix it, the fact that he hardly ever has to come through on this warranty is a testament to the sturdiness and longevity of his bows. I have met folks shooting bows of his over 20 years old.

This little fellow is almost 12 years old and was made for my wife as a 35# draw weight bow. All these years later and it weighs 34.5# on my scales at 28”.
Lemonwood with a center lamination of Greenheart and backed with Hickory, the string is 10 strands of Dacron. It is 72” from nock to nock which are made from Buffalo horn by Ron, in fact you can tell a Palmer bow at 100 yards by his distinctive carved nock. The grip is also one of the things I like about his bows, it is stitched so very tight and the quality of the leather is good. There is a mother of pearl strike plate on both sides of the bow so it can be shot both left and right handed.
The finish is excellent and the tiller is in the Victorian style of a Traditional English Longbow with a classic “D” shape.

For those brought up shooting English Longbows hand shock is not something even considered, it’s just something that happens when you shoot a bow and is neither noticed nor remarked upon, however for those unused to shooting such bows it will be the first thing you notice when loosing an arrow from an English longbow. As each ELB is custom made and is free from glass or unnatural elements they are all different, each will have it’s own character and quirks, it is after all just a bit of wood. That being the case some will have mighty hand shock and some will be more gentle depending on firstly the wood, the tiller and thirdly the bowyers skill, there will in almost every case be hand shock, it has to be accepted.
Given the above then, there is great surprise to find this bow has very little hand shock indeed, for me shooting an ELB is always a joy, perhaps because I shot them exclusively for the first fifteen years of my archery life.

Closer inspection of this bow reveals that the center lamination of Greenheart is tapered toward the nocks, providing power toward the middle of the bow but letting the Lemonwood and Hickory take the whip at the ends, throughout the bow you can see the attention to detail. Originally constructed from a short billet which was split down the center providing two identical halves, these were joined in the handle with a slight forward angle, by the time it was tillered some of this was lost but enough remained to “ build in” some extra speed and despite the limbs having taken a slight set the bow is still an excellent shooter.

Over the chrono this is what I got

445gn      12.89gn/#      138fps
500gn      14.49gn/#      135fps
530gn      15.36gn/#      130fps
565gn      16.37gn/#      124fps

I have used the same standard arrow weights as used in all the bow tests so that comparisons can be made, having said that most of these particular arrows are too heavy for this bow so the speed must be taken in context of it's light draw weight, a much more suitable weight would be a 5/16"arrow at around 350-375grn from which you would get a very respectable 146fps.

All the arrows were shot at 28" draw. The test was conducted with 12 shots with each arrow, the 2 highest and 2 lowest readings were discarded and the rest averaged.

You can not guarantee that a bow will never break because you cannot see inside it and a bit of wood is always just a bit of wood, however in Rons’ hands a piece of wood can become both a work of art and a lethal weapon.

Ron Palmer 35%4028


Features & Design

A traditional English Longbow, Victorian Style in classic "D" shape, a proper hand crafted bow by a craftsman who has probably forgotten more about archery than most folks ever get to know.


This bow is as fast as this particular piece of wood allow, but for a small bow it zips them out.

Value for Money

Without a doubt incredible value.


This bow makes the grade on value alone, however the performance and attention to detail means this bow scores big for what it is.

Essential Details

Price : £130

Ron Palmer 35%4028

The forward set of the limbs at the handle can be seen whilst the bow is at rest, once strung it is imperceptible.

Ron Palmer 35%4028


Ron Palmer 35%4028

The center Lamination tapers away at the nocks which adds beauty to the whole bow, this isn't just a chunk of wood slapped in the middle, this lamination has a function to perform.

Ron Palmer 35%4028

A mother of Pearl strike plate on both sides of the bow mean it can be shot both left or right handed.

Ron Palmer 35%4028

Ron Palmer nocks - no question.

Steve and Andy

Steve Nicholson and Andy Gilfrin, are real archers interested in the best archery suppliers have to offer. In our search for the very best bow, arrows and equipment we have shot, used and worn pretty much everything on offer.

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