A new ILF bow

My new bow arrived on Tuesday, it is an ILF bow. ILF stands for International Limb Fixture although on the web I also saw it as International Limb Fitting. Maybe someone who has the definite skinny on this can clarify with a comment. I found the Questions and Answer section of Sky Archery to be helpful in this regard.

Sky archery was owned by Earl and Ann Hoyt. It is the business he founded after selling Hoyt Archery to Easton. Interestingly my father used to shoot with Ann Hoyt, I believe then Ann Weber Corby and frequented the archery shop she worked at in New Jersey, Robin Hood Archery. Earl Hoyt Jr is the person who introduced the ILF system. (There is a very good and interesting interview of Ann, her life  with archery, Earl and the businesses they ran. Click on the picture of Ann below to read it.)

Earl and Ann Hoyt

ILF bows have interchangeable limbs and risers, which means you can use different brand limbs with different brand risers. You can also have different size and weight combinations depending on what you want in a bow or your physical requirements, draw length, etc.

ILF bows are primarily used by target archers although there is a contingent of archers who hunt with them. If you watch the Olympics in London this summer, the Olympic archers will be shooting ILF bows.

I wanted an ILF bow as a field bow and as a way to introduce myself to target archery. I wanted the increased accuracy that comes from modern materials and design, I wanted to be able to use a modern low stretch string and I wanted to increase the consistency of my setup. My draw length was long enough to allow me to use long limbs which meant a 70 inch bow, it also meant a smooth draw which I was attracted to.

For my first ILF bow I purchased a 25 inch Hoyt Horizon riser with 26 pound Win and Win Sebastian Flute Wood Recurve Limbs, I put on it the scale and at my draw length it weighed in at 31 pounds. I can adjust the draw weight 10 %.

Hoyt Horizon Riser with 8 oz counterbalance weight (dates on all these photos are totally incorrect)

Being new to this type of bow one of the things I noticed was the increased physical weight compared to my dad’s old Hoyt (1960’s) which I shoot religiously and love. My dad’s one piece 35 pound Hoyt weighs in at just over a pound (17.55 oz ) , my new bow with limbs, and accessories to include an 8 oz front counterbalance, weighs in at 4.2 lbs which is lighter than my compound bow but having gotten used to my light Hoyt it is a bit tiresome after many ends, however the increased weight does add steadiness in hand. I”m sure I will get used to it.

I opted for the blackout in color. The blackout is matte and has a slightly textured finish, mind you it is all very even and well done. See pics:

Finish of the Blackout Hoyt Horizon – Date on photos is incorrect.

As far as performance I can’t comment in comparison to other ILF bows what I can say though is that I was more  consistent and grouped my arrows better right out of the box. In fairness this is also a bit lighter bow than what I’m usually shooting which could also be the reason or part of the reason for these results.

Full Draw

Either way I am enjoying getting to know this bow, there’s a lot that is brand new and I’m still figuring out, like tuning, plungers, adjusting center shot which at times is frustrating but have always found generous help and great knowledge in the online archery forums which makes it all easier.


4 thoughts on “A new ILF bow

  1. Hey, Charles, I like your your writing of the old and the new, history with present, archers now and before. I’m impressed with your description of the ILF system. It seems that bows have evolved more in the past 50 years than in the past one hundred thousand. And, of course, I am delighted to see that you have included a bit of recent history when you mention Ann Hoyt who I always knew by her maiden name, Ann Weber. I wish you much joy, friendships and adventures as you progress in the fascinating world of archery. Dad.

  2. Hey Dad, I really enjoyed reading up on Ann Weber/Hoyt. Archery was certainly a mainstay in her life, great to read some archery history through her involvement and 2 marriages to archers.

  3. I wish I would have got to known Earl and Ann better. They always said to come over and shoot there outdoor range at the farm. We were neighbors out in Marthasville, Mo where they owned several hundred acres. I did have the privilege to see both of them in action during some target shooting at tourments at Busch Wildlife shoots. They were an amazing couple!!!

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