So I am getting ready to finalize my order for a new ASL and am thinking of going with green glass. Have noticed that a lot of bows that have green glass on the back have white glass on the belly. What is the history of white glass? Is a green or black glass bow with a white belly linked to a particular period of time in modern archery? Does white glass convey some benefit when shooting or is it purely a personal preference?
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Good info from Fred, very interesting.
White glossy glass definately makes a sharp-looking bow which is fine for fancy fun occasions, but I'm with SamM. For hunting I much prefer bows with darker tones. A flash of moving white color in a dull-colored woodsy setting (what a bow limb might look like when being moved or carried) is quite an attention getter and happens to be what deer depend on for a danger warning. Just sayin'.
I wonder if Hill liked white, because it would show up well in his black and white films.
In hot sunny conditions white glass does not absorb the heat and light as much as the darker colors. That is why most of the older target bows used white glass. On a very hot and sunny day, white glass bows wouldn't let down in performance like the darker colored glass bows did. I can't speak for the glass manufactured now, but back in the '50s thru the '80s, the various colors of resin had different hardness too... white was one of the hardest and brown was one of the softest.
Glass color is definitely a personal preference thing. I have a J.D. Berry Vixen that has white glass back and belly. I bought it used so didn't select the glass color. I use it to hunt in the snow. :>)
Actually, I don't think the white glass color is a disadvantage when hunting any other conditions. There's lots of light colored stuff in the woods. I suspect white glass would be less visible to critters when used from a tree stand as well. I doubt any minor differences among the strength of different colors is enough to notice.
A lot of target bows in the 50s and 60s were made with white glass. Have no idea why.
My first Howard Hill longbow was purchased from Hugh Rich, and Shawnee Sports in 1962, It was 69", 72 @28" with white belly, and black radius glass on the back. It was my impression Howard Hill Archery made a lot that way, because Hill was partial to the color. I have several with Green, or Brown on the back and white belly made by NM. I think there is less reflection of sunlight on white than with dark colors, especially if it a mat finish.
The first HH bow I saw in person (1972) was white glass. I had seen pictures of Howard Hill shooting white glass bows so I thought it was a Hill thing. As for which color is faster, I read black was faster according to one of the older bowyers whose name is escaped me. But he made recurves so that might make a difference?
I like the looks of white glass but would not want it on a hunting bow. I have no idea if white glass is faster than black glass since I don't own a white bow; however, my three black HHA bows shoot plenty good for hunting. I would think most people like white glass because it looks good and makes the bow more appealing to them. I can think of no better reason to buy any bow.
My Morning Star has a white belly and it is ok and better than brown, but if I had my druthers it would be green or light grey.
I have a green back / gray belly bow with yew lams that is pretty stunning to me. Unfortunately the craftsmanship looks like someone with MY skills made it. Shoots good. Guess i shouldn't bi*** too loudly.
Thanks everyone. As much as I like the green & white glass look, I woke up this morning with a different approach to the bow. I guess if I need to shoot a white glass bow I can grab one of my wife's. She has 3 black & white Pacific Yew longbows Jay St. Charles made for her in 32#, 37#, and 41# respectively. Her favorite is the 37#. Been shooting the 41# one in the garage this morning and it is pretty sweet despite being only 62" long.
Bob, I've owned a few HHA longbows that were made in the early 50's that had green woven glass on the back.
Sometimes white glass will show streaks under the clear glass.
I find white glass flakier and more prone to splintering than other colors when I am making a bow. I have to be extra careful with it. Once it has been finish sanded, my experience is that it is just as durable and reliable as any other color.
I suspect it takes way more colorant to make glass white than it does to make it any other color. That extra colorant surely changes the property of the glass some, and probably not in a good way.
That said, white bellies are my favorite and most all the bows I make have one.
Deno- you he-man. I wonder if I could borrow your bow to pry my tractor out of the mud? I did some calculations... In order for my bow to pull 73 lbs, I would need a draw length of about 150 inches 😎
I have 3 Hill bows all with black belly glass. About 6 or 7 years ago someone on the Wall was selling a Hill Wesley Special with white belly glass. I couldn't explain why I was smitten with the White belly. It's 70@28 probably 73# @ my draw length. Lately I'm liking the looks of the green belly glass also, but white was an eye catcher for me. Not sure of any benefit for me other than confidence so I'd say it was more personal preference.
One thing I'll say about a white belly is my bow cant is easier to see and adjust for different distances to my target in my periferal vision which really helps my arrow flight. I shoot it every day.
Looks good to me ! I think white glass is faster than black glass. Red trucks are faster than blue trucks...why not ?