Martin Archery Locust Review – a Recurve Bow Inspection


LengthBow WeightDraw WeightTakedown?
Martin Archery Locust

Martin Archery Locust

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How to: choose arrows, draw weight, and tune your recurve
40 to 55 lbs.Yes

- Beautiful design
- Very powerful and accurate
- Simple, barebones recurve action
- Not predrilled for accessories
- No bowstringer included
- No arrow rest included
Also recommended: Best Martin BowsCompare prices across top hunting gear sellers

Martin Archery builds some of the best recurve bows in the industry, and I was excited to get my hands on some of their latest offerings, including the bare-bones Locust. This simple recurve is beautifully crafted with a distinctive zebra and maple wood riser with the traditional dark Martin limbs, and is available in both left- and right-handed varieties from 40# to 55#. Let’s see how well the new recurve performs and stands up to the Martin name.

What Do I Get With The Bow?

When you receive your Martin Archery Locust Recurve Bow, you should find the following items in the box:

  • The Martin Archery Locust bow, including limbs and riser
  • Assembly hardware
  • A bowstring
  • The Martin Archery 2015 product catalog

Unfortunately, you won’t find a bowstringer or appropriate Allen wrench in the box for assembly; you’ll have to purchase these items separately if you don’t already have them.

How Hard Is The Bow To Assemble?

Assembly of the Locust is pretty straightforward, since it’s a simple down-to-earth recurve. You just attach the limbs to the riser, and then string the bow. You will need a proper-sized Allen wrench, so I recommend having a set of Allen wrenches on hand before you begin. You should also make sure you have a bowstringer, because one is not included. Stringing a bow without using a stringer is like trying to change a flat tire with a crescent wrench; you can probably pull it off, but it’s much easier, safer, and just all-around better to use the right tools for the job.

Can I Install Sights Or Any Other Accessories On The Locust?

locustThis recurve is designed for shooting off-the-shelf, so it doesn’t come with an arrow rest. On top of that, the bow is not predrilled for accessories, so you won’t be able to use sights, stabilizers, or Berger buttons with the Locust unless you have your bow technician modify the bow to install them.

What you can do, if you don’t want to shoot off the shelf, is install a stick-on arrow rest. Since vaned arrows tend not to shoot so well off the shelf, this may be something you want to do. Once you’ve got your bow assembled and have installed an arrow rest, if you want one, you should make sure you properly tune your bow before you start target shooting. If you’ve never tuned a bow before, check out our four-part guide to the whole process.

Is The Martin Archery Locust Accurate And Powerful?

With an AMO length of 58 inches and available draw weights from 40# up to 55#, the Martin Archery Locust is almost as powerful as you could ever wish for. It is, at a minimum, the right draw weight for most small- to medium-game hunting purposes, and is definitely powerful enough for target and even competition archery. But what about its accuracy?

The Locust is, like most Martin bows, absolutely beautiful in form and function. From 40 yards, I was able to instinctively shoot 2-inch groupings with ease. If I’d modified the bow to use a sight and stabilizer, I imagine I could have narrowed that grouping down even more. As it is, the Locust is quite accurate and easy to use.

Can I Use The Locust For Hunting?

With a minimum draw weight of 40 pounds and its 58″ AMO length, the Martin Archery Locust is perfectly designed for traditional hunting and offers plenty of clearance for moving through brush or sticks. Since it’s a bare-bones recurve, you have less things to worry about in the field, assuming you have the right skill level to hunt without those new-fangled accessories like fancy sights, Berger buttons, or stabilizers.

I chose a 55# Locust for my testing purposes, and was able to easily harvest a 12-point buck with the bow this season. This bow is strong enough that I expect it to perform well for any types of hunting, even black bear. Technically, it’s powerful enough to tackle a grizzly bear, but I’m not quite crazy enough to hunt those with a bow.
link to beginner's buying guide

Can Beginners Use This Recurve?

Weighted for older youth as well as adult archers, the usability of the Locust for beginners depends on how old the beginner is. If you’re a teenager or adult who is new to archery, the Locust can be a good choice. It is forgiving of poor form and technique, but the inability to add accessories to the recurve without voiding the bow’s warranty might force this particular recurve out of the running for a beginner’s bow.

What Are The Best Arrows To Use With The Locust?

Choosing arrows is a very personal thing, and depends on what you plan to use the bow for. You should definitely take a read through our guide to selecting arrows, and then make your choice according to what you learn there.

How Long-Lasting Are The Limbs And Riser On The Bow?

The zebra and maple riser is very durable and long-lasting, and Martin’s traditional dark limbs are among the best in the business. As long as you properly care for the bow, such as by unstringing it and taking it down when you’re done using it, the Locust shouldn’t suffer from any problems with limb twist or other challenges. It’s a very well-built bow, and should provide years of target shooting and hunting usefulness.

What Strings Will Fit The Martin Archery Locust?

The Martin Archery Locust accepts any 58“ AMO strings, and the limb tips are reinforced for use with Flemish or Fastflight strings. So in answer to that question, just about any strings will work perfectly fine with the Locust, as long as they’re 58” in length.

Is This A Heavy Bow?

The specifications for the Locust don’t provide the weight of the bow, but I would estimate it at under three pounds. This bow is definitely not heavy or bulky, and is quite easy to carry in the field. It also maneuvers well through brush and woods, and swings about easily in a tree stand.

How Silent Is The Locust?

Using string silencers, my Martin Archery Locust is practically silent when I shoot. There is little to no hand shock or vibration, and the bow is a dream to use. I’ve spent hours upon hours shooting the Locust, without any problems of fatigue or cramping, and it’s remained quiet throughout it all.

Recurve Bow Summary

Thanks for reading my review of the 2015 Martin Archery Locust. This new barebones bow is perfect for anybody who enjoys traditional, instinctive shooting. If you like using accessories, though, you may want to consider a different model. Take a look at Today's price on the Martin Locust if you’re interested.

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