Everyone loves the SAS brand, but they make so many recurve bows that you may not know which is the right choice for you. In fact, SAS makes all these different models precisely to meet the needs of different people, whether it's their height, experience level or archery goals. Because it's one of their best starter bows, we decided to go through a full SAS Courage takedown recurve bow review to show you the advantages and disadvantages of this particular model.
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What’s Included in the Package?
The SAS Courage is a takedown recurve bow, so it has several components that come together to create the bow. These include:
- Riser: The Courage's riser, the main part of the bow where the grip is, is made of Bintangor, Makore and Chuglam hardwood.
- Limbs: The limbs are separate from the riser and must be attached. They're made of laminated maple and Makore wood and faced with fiberglass.
- Dacron bowstring: SAS includes a bowstring in the package, though you will have to string the bow yourself.
The Courage is a basic starter bow and doesn't come with a whole lot else, but SAS does include a rug rest. Basically, this allows you to shoot straight from the shelf of the riser while minimizing friction on your arrows. It's nice that it comes already installed since you can start shooting right away without having to install another rest. Just grab your archery target and go shoot.
Assembling the SAS Courage Takedown Recurve Bow
The SAS Courage is a takedown recurve bow, so it does require a bit of assembly. This is pretty simple, though.
First, attach the limbs to either end of the riser. Do this by inserting each into the appropriate limb pocket. Check that they're flush with the riser, then tighten the Allen screws on either limb until they're securely fastened.
The last step is stringing the bow. You'll need a bowstringer for this, which hooks onto each limb and allows you to use your foot to put tension on the limbs while you slide on the bowstring. If you don't know how to do this, make sure you read into it or watch the video below since stringing a recurve bow can be tricky.
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Features / Specifications
The SAS Courage is available with a draw weight of 29 pounds at the low end and 65 at the high end. The limbs are available in five-pound increments, so you can calibrate them to your personal strength and experience level. Plus, since it's a takedown bow, you can change out the limbs for higher or lower draw weights as needed.
The SAS Courage is 60 inches long. This is about standard but a little shorter than many other recurve bows that come in at 62 inches. This makes it compact and easier to practice your form on.
However, this also means the draw length, or the distance you have to pull back the bowstring to reach full draw, is a little shorter. In some ways, this is good as it opens up the bow for shorter people including women and teenagers. Specifically, the Courage is recommended for those around 5'8". Especially tall men, though, those approaching six feet or taller, will likely need a larger bow.
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Pros and Cons of the SAS Courage Takedown Recurve Bow
What We Like
High Draw Weights Available
The SAS Courage has available draw weights all the way up to 65 pounds, making it one of the most powerful takedown recurves on the market. Considering most states require a minimum of 40 pounds for bowhunting, 65 is more than enough to hunt mature bucks and even big game like elk and moose.
Plus, if 65 pounds or even 40 pounds is too much for you, you can start lower and then work your way up thanks to the takedown design. The limbs can be changed out for more or less power in increments of five pounds.
Good for Smaller Archers
A lot of takedown recurves tend to be on the large side, usually 62 inches long or more. This makes them harder for beginners to manage, especially if they're shorter than 5'10" or so. The longer design means there's more rotational torque after the shot, so it takes more effort to maintain proper form and shoot accurately. The Courage's shorter AMO length makes it a better starter bow for learning form on.
Shoot From the Shelf
Thanks to the rug rest that comes with the SAS Courage, you don't need a separate arrow rest. Instead, you can shoot arrows directly from the shelf, which helps prevent archer's paradox, something that can be a bit difficult for beginners. In other words, the Courage is a good bow for learning instinctive aiming.
Right- and Left-Handed
The Courage has versions for both right- and left-handed people. You should definitely get the one that matches your handedness because using the incorrectly oriented bow increases the chances of painful wrist slap. It also makes it a lot harder to shoot correctly.
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What We Don’t Like
No Bushings or Accessories
The Courage is definitely a starter bow, and SAS clearly didn't think you'd end up using it with advanced accessories because they didn't include any much less the threaded bushings necessary to attach them in the future. That means no stabilizers, sights or quivers.
Now, these accessories aren't necessary for archery or even bowhunting, and if you're interested in traditional archery, you likely enjoy this minimalist approach anyway. Just keep it in mind in case you're interested in aftermarket equipment.
High Draw Weights for a Starter Bow
We consider it a pro that the SAS Courage has draw weights available up to 65 pounds since this is good for serious bowhunting and target shooting applications. However, we found that the low end of the draw weight range is a bit high with the lowest limbs available coming in at 29 pounds.
This is actually still enough for hunting assuming there is not a higher legal minimum, but it can still be too much for absolute beginners to handle. We would recommend you have a decent amount of upper body strength, and consider shooting a borrowed bow on the range a few times first.
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SAS Courage Takedown Recurve Bow Quality
The SAS Courage is admittedly a value starter bow, and SAS cut costs in some places. The riser is made of less expensive woods like Bintangor, Makore and Chuglam. These are still tough and durable, and the riser is high-quality for an inexpensive takedown model.
The limbs on the Courage are surprisingly high-quality for the price. We found the maple-makore lamination to be particularly flexible yet durable while the fiberglass facing is tough but lightweight. This means you get more consistent tension, so it's easier to learn.
The grip on the SAS Courage is similar to other takedown recurves like the Samick Sage. It's easy to hold and intuitive. Plus, the wood design makes it warmer than other metal grips if you're hunting with it in cold weather.
The Courage comes with a basic bowstring that's functional, but it may stretch after repeated use. Once you have your sea legs, we recommend upgrading the string to a FastFlight model.
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Is the SAS Courage Takedown Recurve Bow Good for Beginners?
The SAS Courage is a great recurve bow for beginners. The takedown design allows you to start with a manageable draw weight and then work your way up. Plus, we love that the shorter AMO length makes it easier to master correct shooting form.
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Is the SAS Courage Takedown Recurve Bow Good for Kids?
The SAS Courage is an adult bow and not a good option for kids except perhaps teenagers who are mostly grown. It's recommended for shooters around 5'8", so it's too big for young children to shoot. They should consider one of our top picks for best youth recurve bow instead.
Is the SAS Courage Takedown Recurve Bow Good for Hunting?
The SAS Courage is one of the best takedown recurve bows for beginners who want to start bowhunting right away. This is because you can get it in a powerful draw weight up to 65 pounds, which is more than enough for deer hunting, but the smaller size makes it a bit more manageable and accurate.
Of course, if you are going to use this bow for hunting, you will want to outfit it with string silencers.
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The SAS Courage vs the Samick Sage
Made by the same company, the SAS Courage is similar to the famous Samick Sage, often considered the king of takedown recurve bows. The main differences are that the Courage is a bit smaller but also available at 65 pounds of draw weight, even more than the Sage's 60-pound maximum. In other words, the Courage might be a better choice if you have more upper body strength and want to start bowhunting right off the bat.
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The SAS Courage vs the Southwest Archery Spyder
The Spyder is a Samick Sage clone and therefore similar to the Courage as well. However, the Spyder has a lower range of draw weights, available as low as 20 pounds. In other words, while the Courage might be the better option for trophy hunting with little experience, the Spyder is better for those who need to start light and work their way up to more power.
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The SAS Courage vs the Bear Grizzly
The SAS Courage is primarily a starter bow that you can use to learn proper archery techniques, whether for target shooting or bowhunting. The Bear Grizzly is a high-quality single-piece bow for those who are serious about archery. Since it isn't a takedown model, you can't change the draw weight on the Grizzly, so if you think you'll want to increase your power after learning proper form, the Courage may be the better way to go.
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Wrapping Up the SAS Courage Takedown Recurve Bow Review
With a relatively short AMO length but serious power, the SAS Courage is a great starter bow for those interested in bowhunting. The construction is high-quality, and you can upgrade the limbs after you learn proper form to give you the power necessary to take down big game. When you look at all of the advantages of this recurve, you can see why it made our list of the best recurve bows available today.
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