Martin Independence Review – a Recurve Bow Inspection


LengthBow WeightDraw WeightTakedown?
Martin Independence

Martin Independence

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52 inches1.4 lbs

How to: choose arrows, draw weight, and tune your recurve
40 to 55 lbs.No

- Includes insert for bow fishing
- Lightweight and compact
- Very accurate
- No bow stringer included
- May be too small for larger archers
- It’s not a takedown bow
Also recommended: Best Martin BowsCompare prices across top hunting gear sellers

Package Contents

Welcome to my review of the Martin Archery Independence, a new bow by Martin Archery for 2014. Part of Martin’s Damon Howatt lineup of bows, each package delivered by Martin includes the following items:

  • The Martin Archery Independence Bow
  • Bow string
  • Arrow rest
  • Owner’s Manual
  • Warranty card

Assembling The Bow

Since this bow is not a takedown bow, the only things required for assembly are stringing the bow and possibly adding on whatever accessories you want to shoot with. The bow does not include a bow stringer, though, so I recommend that you have one on hand. Not only does it make it easier to string the bow, it also makes it safer. Furthermore, neglecting to use a bow stringer to string a bow will void your warranty.

How Powerful and Accurate is the Bow?

martin1The Martin Independence is available in strengths from 40# to 55#, assuming a 28 inch draw length. The bow will draw smoothly back as far as 29 inches, though, allowing you to get a few extra pounds out of the string. The Independence I used for testing was a 50# draw, and I found it very powerful, indeed. I was able to easily bag an alligator gar with this bow, and gars are renowned for having extremely thick skin.

The bow is also very accurate, and is forgiving of poor stance and technique. From 25 yards, I was able to handily maintain ½” groupings of my arrows, and my groupings from 50 yards was about two inches. The only complaint I really have about the bow is the size, since it only comes in 52” AMO length. This compact size is great for bow fishing and other tight spots, but it might be a bit too short of a bow for larger archers.

Is The Bow Suitable For Hunting?

The Independence is designed for bow fishing, but it would certainly be a worthy opponent for any deer or other small- to medium-sized game you might come across. It has inserts for a sight and quiver, but the insert for the bow fishing reel may not make a comfortable spot for a stabilizer. I was not able to take the Independence hunting yet, but I’m sure it would do quite well in the field. It is lightweight and compact, making it ideal for hunting from a ground blind or deer stand.

Is The Bow Suitable For Beginners?

This bow is quite forgiving of the mistakes typical beginners make when learning archery, so it would make an excellent mid-level bow for a beginning archer. I say mid-level simply because of the price tag; there are less expensive bows that a beginner could start to learn on and decide if they want to continue with the sport or not, but this bow has the multi-purpose benefit of allowing the beginner to practice their craft while also having the opportunity to bow fish.

Does This Recurve Accept Accessories?

martin2The Independence comes predrilled for several accessories, including a front insert for a bow fishing reel. You also have a sight and quiver mount, making the Independence very versatile. I usually prefer instinctive, natural shooting, but I still think it is important for a bow to have the inserts for a sight, just in case I want to use a sight or have a beginner use my bow.

Arrows For The Martin Archery Independence

What arrows you use with your bow depends on your personal shooting style and preferences, whether you’re shooting for sport or for hunting. To get some more information on this, please check out our guide on arrow selection.

Is This Bow Comfortable To Hold?

The riser and grip are perfectly sized and shaped for an ergonomic hold, and the bow is quite lightweight. You have very little vibration or hand shock to contend with, and I was able to practice with this bow for several hours without suffering from any fatigue or hand cramping.

Materials And Durability (Riser, Limbs)

This is truly a beautiful bow, with a Bubinga riser and limbs made from Eastern Hard Maple laminated with black fiberglass. The bow is well made, and does not lend itself easily to limb twist.

The Martin Independence is handmade, and is made with extreme care. You can be assured of getting a quality bow when you purchase the Independence, and the bow should last you for years of use.

What String Fits The Independence?

The limb tips are properly reinforced, and the only nick in the armor of this bow is that the included bow string is Dacron instead of a Flemish string. Still, you can easily swap out the strings yourself for a Flemish twist or FastFlight string.

Is The Independence a Heavy Bow?

At a mere 1 pound 4 ounces, this bow is by no means a heavy bow. It is compact and lightweight, and is perfectly sized for archers with smaller frames.

How Loud Is The Bow?

During my shooting of the Independence, I was amazed at just how quiet this bow is. Granted, I always install string silencers on my bows, but I don’t think I’ve ever shot a bow in this price range that was so quiet. Martin’s done an excellent job preparing this bow for the fishing and hunting field.

Recurve Bow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our bow review of the Martin Archery Independence. This compact, lightweight bow is perfect for bow hunting, but it is also an excellent choice for target shooting or hunting. If you have a smaller frame, this bow is exceptionally well-suited to your needs. Take a look at Today's price on the Martin Independence if you’re interested.

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