"Bow Review"

Border Archery ,Scotland

"GRIFFON GL" Longbow



66" 50# @ 28"
The Griffon deflexed / reflexed longbow is available in bow lengths from 64" to 70" in a 1 or 2 piece option. 

Border Archery Ltd.
Scotland TD3 6LG
Phone (0044)(0) 1573 410 295
Fax (0044)(0) 1573 410 540
 Email Us
Read the Border "Hawk" Longbow Review
Read the Black Douglas Review
Power Point longbow Presentation 
2010 Rev 2 Border price list


For those not familiar with Border Archery, these fine bows come from Scotland, with a long history in Bow making. Border Archery has been making quality bows in Scotland since 1940. During that time the Company has had various names.

These are:
Border Archery Ltd 1975 to date
a direct descendant of:
Border Bows 1973-75
Kings of Kelso 1969-73
Royal Scots Bows 1963-69
Galloway Bows started 1940

As you can see Border Archery is not a new kid on the block. They have been in business for 67 years and are well known in the archery world both in Europe and North America. Today Border Archery is a modern company with 14 full time employees, and uses the latest in todayís technology to produce state of the art bows. Border Archery makes every effort to ensure that the exotic woods that they use are sourced from sustainable forestry practice.

Sid and Ann Ball are the owners of Border archery, and will gladly work with you to make sure your bow is exactly what you want.

Border Updated Nov 2010:

 The folks at Border have been busy in R&D ,developing some exciting new bows and limbs. We now have the D/R "Hawk" longbow,in a Hunter and Tournament version, as well as the HexV recurve program that has been aplied to the 1 piece recurves.  There are ILF longbow limbs about to be introduced , A Black Douglas ILF version is now available also.I expect that in the very near future we will also see Metal Risers in ILF, coming out of the new CNC machine in the Border shop. Sid advises me they will soon have an updated website,with all the details.look for this early in the new year.

 There is nothing new to say about the wonderfull shooting Griffon. It has been trouble free, and a joy to shoot.The feedback I get from those of you that  read the review and purchased a Griffon has been nothing but praise and satisfaction with their purchase.




The Griffon GL longbow has been with me for many weeks now and I feel I am at the point where I can write this review. This bow has a few more features than the standard Griffon. It has the new GL option, which is a double carbon limb and wood veneers and replaces the old model Griffon and Black Griffon. This bow has Indonesian Rosewood veneers and matching riser. 



The core is Black Walnut between Bamboos. This bow is one of the nicest bows I have had the pleasure to shoot. Its lightweight is a delight to carry. It is not cut past center, making it a legal bow for true longbow shoots like N.A.L.S., the North American Longbow Safari, an event I will be shooting the Griffon at this year. If you attend this or any other 3D shoots this year and see me, just ask and you can take it for a test drive.

{The Griffon GL and any other Border longbow may be ordered cut past center if you prefer.}

The workmanship is flawless on the Griffon. Every glue line is perfect, and you cannot find a mark anywhere .The finish is perfectly applied like it was on fine furniture. The standard grip is a lightly contoured low wrist style with a matching fine leather wrap that is cut away on the backside to show more of the riser. This is a bow with simple lines that are wonderful to look at and hold.


Being a 66" bow it was a different feeling for me to get used to and the low grip also was different, and I like it. The long 66" bow has a very nice draw with lots of early weight, something that is always a sign of good performance. The length is also a bit of an advantage for shooting accuracy, and the Griffon GL is certainly an easy and accurate bow to shoot. I had very little difficulty in finding an arrow to shoot very well from it. The speeds as you will see in the chart below are very impressive, and the shot is pleasant to say the least. I have found that most longbows shoot best for me with a brace of 7 1/4", but the GL is doing a very good job at 6 " to 6 1/2" brace height. For me this means I can take all of its performance and don't have to sacrifice any to extra brace height.

Shooting light arrows of 8GR/pound it is very fast and has only a hint of what could be perceived as shock. With heavy arrows of 10 gr/pound or more the shock, if that is what it is, has gone and there are no vibrations at all. I don't really even like to use the word shock as it is so minor it is not really noticeable to most shooters or myself.  It is better said that the bow is shock free and it has a very slight feel when you shoot it.

It is no secret I like short bows, however I have developed a real respect for the finer qualities a longer bow has after shooting the Griffon GL.


This is the first longbow I shot with carbon that is not on the outside that does not have to much shock and vibration with just average to good performance. It has lots of performance at my draw length of 27" and it virtually screams at 30" when my friend shoots it. I do like black limbs, however after receiving this beauty with the fine dark Indonesian Rosewood veneers I wish they were on my other bows. They do take away the speed a bit according to Sid at Border, but only by a couple FPS. Considering this bow has lots of speed to burn it can easily give up a bit in order to show off the fine wood veneers it sports.

During the time I have had the Griffon GL many archers at the lanes have shot it and it is always a popular choice for the other fellows there to test shoot. They are always surprised at the performance of the Griffon GL when they shoot it.

 The feedback I have been getting is always very good. Like me they seem to find it easy to discover the bows great shooting qualities. I seem to be hearing the same thoughts I have when shooters test the Griffon GL. All are positive. The shooters that prefer a Hill style bow really take to the Griffon GL with it's pleasant shooting, silent accuracy. Everyone notices the exquisite workmanship, and most do not believe me it is a double carbon limb bow until I show them the carbon laminations.. I had to look very closely in good light to see the carbon under the veneers on the limb edges.

 Chronographing was done in 1 session.

 All shots taken were with a Cavalier Elite Cordovan Tab, with 3 fingers under the arrow.

 A fresh Battery and new lights were used.

 All arrows were marked for length, and the draws were witnessed/coached by Pat ,my wife to ensure an accurate draw length for each shot.


AMO Draw length

 Draw weight

















































































  7 1/4












































































































































































































































*DF97 10 strand  string was not supplied with this bow.The Bow came with the 16 strand FF string.
Griffon GL Draw Force Curve
Click here to see a larger photo of  grip options

{Border bows can be ordered with other grip styles, sizes .}

This is where I will have to point out a couple things that I feel can be improved on.


 The first is the string that came with the bow. It is a 16 strand Fast Flyte Flemish twist that did not do the bow justice, and had uneven twists in it. I have replaced it with a 10-strand DF97 string from Bear Hawk Archery.


Sid  has informed me that he has addressed the string issue and has DF 97 on order for future bows.


The next thing is the bow was not ready to shoot when I opened the box. There was no string nock and the shelf and side plate did not have any material on them. Most of us have our preferred material that we like, but as I told Sid we want to be able to shoot it  as soon as we open the box.


Sid has also informed me that each new bow will now come with shelf/rest material and a string nock.


The final item is the limb tip reinforcing .It is a finely shaped and good-looking opaque overlay that allows you to see the carbon weave under it. I would prefer to see a tip overlay that you cannot see thru, and this is available for the asking. Also the tip overlay is stopped with an abrupt, but thin line rather than fading into the limb. This is only noticeable up close, and must be like this when the veneers are ordered. On black limbs they are faded into the surface.



I hope that I did not nit-pick the Griffon too much as I wrote this review. I am very impressed with it, and really do think it is a superior bow to many other longbows.

When it comes to workmanship, design and shooting quality the Border Griffon GL is a truly wonderful bow. Since I received the Griffon to test it has been with me on every trip to the lanes. If spring would arrive I would be able to shoot it at some longer outdoor targets and 3D ranges but they are still under a foot of snow so this will have to wait. The Griffon GL certainly meets and exceeds the high expectations I have for a bow from Border Archery. I cannot wait to shoot some 3D and target competitions with it this summer.


Communications with Sid have been excellent and the delivery time is quite fast from the date of order to receiving it. Shipping by mail from Scotland to my house in Alberta was only a week, and much faster than I expected.


The Griffon GL came with a custom Border case/sock that is made with heavy nylon type material and fleece lining that will provide very good protection for many years.


To sum up my feelings I believe the Border Archery Griffon GL is an exceptional longbow .It has it all, with it's fine craftsmanship, beautiful looks and excellent performance. It is a very easy bow to like, and after taking the first few shots from it I knew that this was going to be a bow I will be shooting a lot this season. Border Archery has an excellent reputation for quality bows and after my experience with the Griffon GL I understand why so many archers have such high regard for their bows. The reputation Border Archery has is well deserved.
Pete Ward
"Welcome to my outdoor world"
Quotes from Sid at Border Archery in response to some of my questions.
" To address your points we are truly a custom bow company and the customer can have what he wants"
" We are prepared to tailor any of our bows to the customers preferences providing those wishes do not risk the bow ,itís performance, or our reputation "
"We can cut the bows past centre up to the point where we think that it may compromise strength!"
" our warranty is one year on materials and workmanship. As any other warranty would be. Also to the original owner and if they come direct to us with the problem and have an accident for any reason we will replace or repair like with like at very favourable rates (a significant discount to the current pricelists). We call this our crash replacement service. This is a loyalty service we offer for original owners."
"The Griffon and Osprey longbows are available in a take apart option"
For those that have asked me for the US prices for Border  bows I have Sids US price list available here.
Click here to see it.

Update August 2007 By Brian Rice


I had the distinct pleasure of carrying the Border Griffon GL Review bow Bear hunting this past spring.  The first time Pete let me shoot it I fell in love with it.  It is Such a SMOOTH, SWEET shooter with LOTS of horsepower to spare.  The Griffon is definitely one of the sweetest shooting mild D/R  bows I have ever had the privilege of shooting.  I own another  high quality D/R longbow of the same length and very close in poundage, so I had a very good benchmark to compare this bow to. 


During our winter D.A.R.T. League I was shooting the Griffon more than not instead of one of my own bows.  I made the comment that if Pete wanted me to get it bloody for him in the spring that I was his man.  I went over to Peteís to pick up some barrels he was giving me to use for Bait stations when he asked me if I would still like to get that Griffon Bloody.  After an answer similar to ďis the Pope CatholicĒ he handed me the Griffon in itís case and told me to kill a bear with it.


  I had been planning on hunting with my own D/R Longbow, so the transition into tuning a hunting arrow with the Griffon was a short trip for me.  I used a 30Ē Carbon Express Heritage 250 with regular inserts and a 200-grain Ace head stuffed with a 100-grain insert.  To say those arrows out of the Griffon rocked the target bag I shoot at would be an understatement. 


  I prefer the feel of shooting the Griffon naked (NO BOW QUIVER), but opted to hunt with a slip on longbow quiver attached for the convenience factor, since I was packing in half a mile and carrying lots of bait and such on each trip into the bush.  Not carrying an extra piece of gear like a side or back quiver was just a no-brainer.  I spent several hours with the Griffon in hand anxiously waiting for a shot at a BIG BRUIN.  I passed on MANY smaller bears but know that if the big guy had shown up this season, the Griffon would have done itís part to seal the deal. 


 I only took one hunting shot with the Griffon, and it was one of the best shots I have ever made.  I had a hare come around during a really slow time while sitting bait one night, and I decided to see if those tiny ACE heads were enough to stop a dangerous critter like a hare.  The only problem was that he was about 25 yards out and the only way I could get a shot at him was to shoot thru a small hole in the spruce canopy.  I had a hole a bit smaller than a piece of notebook paper to shoot thru, and that hole was half way between me and the dreaded hare. 


 I had shot the Griffon so much and was so comfortable with it that I was confident I could make the shot.  That hare didnít have a chance.  I actually drew the bow anchored wile being able to see the hare and then bent my knees a bit to lower my line of site to a point above the hare and threaded the need and dropped the arrow right into him.  It was a SHORT blood trail. 

I canít say enough about how pleasurable the Griffon is to shoot and shoot well.  I donít regret not pulling the string on one of the smaller bears I passed on this season, but I do regret not giving the Griffon the chance taste bear blood.  I would like to thank Sid for building a WONDERFUL bow and Pete for so graciously allowing this transplanted hillbilly a chance to hunt with such a fine bow.

 Brian Rice