Border Bows Ghillie Dhu Recurve

 52" ,50# @28"

Border Archery Ltd

Phone: 01573 410 295

Skype: borderbows

Sales/Technical/General Enquiries:

The Ghillie Dhu is a modern version of a Horse bow, from Border Archery in Scotland . It is a super short  recurve with massive limb hooks that are shaped past 90 Deg. ,allowing for a totally different experience in shooting.  The Ghillie Dhu  can be hung on a branch by the limb tip, if you desire, making it a very convenient bow for hunting and sitting in bush blinds.
 There is no glass fiber in the Ghillie Dhu, it has bamboo limb cores, {others available} and Borders own Carbon fiber laminates. It is also available without an arrow shelf, to be used with a thumb ring.

The Ghillie Dhu is a super compact bow , allowing it to be used in the tightest of places with ease, and because of the massive limb hooks finger pinch is comparable to a much longer bow as those tips unfold.
 It's standing height is a mere 42" when  unstrung and 44"  when strung. It takes a string measuring 48" , making it an actual AMO / ATA bow length of 51". Border bow length's are not measured by AMO / ATA standards. Stringing the Ghillie Dhu is intimidating at first, however it is actually one of the easiest bows to string and unstring, but a stringer is absolutely necessary with these bows. Don't even consider not using a stringer.

I have always liked short bows, and this one is such a delight to use in the places I like to hunt . It is so maneuverable , even in waist deep marsh grasses and in a blind it is so easy to shoot. I find that I shoot the Ghillie Dhu as well as any other bow I hunt with , but I also have a preference for short bows , and only draw 27" , and shoot 3 fingers under.

When it comes to fit, finish and workmanship this is a typical Border bow. Flawless . If it isn't flawless it does not leave Border's shop.  The Gjhillie Dhu I first received was one of the very first made, and quite possibly still a prototype. After shooting and hunting with it all last fall I was starting this review and doing a draw force curve, when at approximately 24" the upper limb let go with a bang.  When I realized I was still intact, unlike the bow , I could see  1 of the bamboo limb cores had sheared from tip to fade. The lamination appeared to be at fault, and actually resembled a dry rot condition like I have seen in Cedar planks along it's entire length. The glue lines on either side remained tight and perfect, it was the actual lamination that split along it's center line . Bamboo and any natural material can and will have hidden flaws that in spite of the most careful inspection remain hidden until they decide to make themselves known. This can and does happen to every bowyer at some point . Border is a very reputable shop and does not want to hide this little set back . A second bow has been in my hands for about 8 month's now and I am pleased to say it is in perfect condition . In no way do I believe this set back was a design or workmanship caused failure. It was a failure of natural materials beyond Borders control.

Because of the very short size of this bow I am not drawing it past 28" . A longer version is available for longer draws. Sid has told me the longer 56" version is also a bit better performing  than my 52" . I am very  pleased with the performance I see from this bow. I will not be shooting light arrows from it, as to me this is a hunting bow and I am in the heavy arrow camp for hunting .

Shooting this little bow is a very nice experience, and I seem to be accurate with it. There is no shock, it is certainly hunting quiet with a single set of beaver ball silencers. It does have a bit of low pitched hum after the shot that is noticeable when shooting, but not noticeable from a couple feet away .  it is there so I need to state it, however I must also say it is not a concern at all for hunting and I am quite happy with it .

  Draw Length   Pounds

Weight gain

 Arrow |Weight    FPS   Arrow weight   FPSArrow weight   FPS   
  9   4.32                
  10   7.34                
  11   11.82                
  12   15.48                
  13   18.56                
  14   21.30                
  15   23.92                
  16   26.94                
  17   29.25                
  18   31.62                
  19   34.09                
  20   36.14                
  21   38.14                
  22   39.95                
  23   41.52                
  24   43.04                
  25   44.79                
  26   46.15     NA     494   167   680   144  
  27   47.89     NA     494   175   680   152  
  28   49.85     NA     494   180   680   158  


I love the small pistol grip with it's slight palm swell. It settles into my hand consistently without any thought or adjustments. The draw is very nice to feel and the weight comes early in the draw, typical of good performing bows like we are used to from Border's shop. I can not think of anything I would change on this little bow . It does everything I want from it , it has perfect workmanship  , fantastic eye candy, and shoots very well for me . I can shoot it in the tent style ground blinds without worrying about hitting the roof, walls, etc.  or shoot it from a canoe, sitting on the ground under a tree . The massive recurved tips allow it to be hung from a branch by the tip making it effortless and silent to pick up when needed . If you like short bows like I do the Ghillie Dhu is a sweet little bow to have .


Pete Ward

"Welcome to my outdoor world