Samick Journey Takedown Recurve » Bow Review

Going on a Journey? Maybe it involves hunting, field or target archery. Need a good bow to take? Well you might want to take a look at the Samick Journey as purely by name it will fit exactly with what you need, however you can also assemble and disassemble it without any tools, so that is always going to be a bonus.

This is the slightly taller (longer) brother of the universally popular Samick Sage, and I’m going to give you the low-down on the good and the bad when it comes to this bow (although to be honest, it's exactly the same as the Samick Sage but bigger).

Scores

Riser

Limbs

Assembly

Accessories

Shooting

Styling

Overall

Pros

  • Wide range of draw weights
  • Left and right hand models
  • Takedown (Tool Free)
  • Reinforced limb tips for high performance string upgrades

Cons

  • String upgrade recommended for experienced archers
  • String silencer recommended for hunters

Our Verdict

This is a taller version of the Samick Sage, it’s the same bow in the same package but it simply has longer limbs to give it a 64” AMO length and increase the maximum draw for taller archers or archers who want a more forgiving bow. Everything we say about the Sage in our Sage review applies here, so check that out before you make a decision.

Key Features

Draw weights (lbs):

30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60

Brace height (inches):

7.5-8.25

Weight (lbs):

3.4

AMO Length (inches):

64

Max Draw (inches):

32 (estimated)

Riser:

Wood, laminated olive dymondwood and hard maple​

Arrow Shelf:

Cut Past Center

Limbs:

Laminated hard maple inner with black fiberglass coating

Price Range:

Low

Handedness:

Left and Right handed models available

Video Reviews

Review by Black Owl showing bow assembly, how to string it, closeups of the bow components and some shooting with 30lbs limbs at a distance of about 15m.

In-Depth Review

Riser » 4.5/5

The riser on the Journey is the same riser featured on the Samick Sage, they’re the same size and most probably exactly the same riser, a combination of Maple and Dymondwood which gives a durable 2 tone semi-gloss finish that looks the business. The grip is comfy grip but is pure wood and has no materials added, thermal or otherwise. But wood doesn’t feel as cold as metal due to its differing thermal properties so that isn’t going to be much of an issue.

The riser has a cut-past center shelf which allows for a lower angle between the string and the bow, i.e. the string can apply force directly in a straight line to the arrow without the arrow having to deviate to go around the riser, this give a more efficient delivery of power than a bow with a cut to center and also helps make the bow easier to tune and more forgiving as far as arrow selection is concerned. You also have the option of being able to shoot off the shelf or fitting an arrow rest to this bow.

The riser for this bow also comes in both left and right handed variations.

Left or Right Handed Bow?


For clarity, the hand you use to draw the string defines the handedness of the bow you want, i.e. if you pull the string with your right hand, you want a right handed bow, and vice versa.

Limbs » 4/5

We’ve seen the limbs for the Journey available in draw weights from 30lbs up to 60lbs and as they’re easy to change this makes it an ideal bow for the beginner who wants to start on a low draw weight and progress up the scale as they become more experienced.

It’s even possible to interchange them with the limbs from the Samick Sage giving your more availability options if you find you can comfortably shoot with a 62” AMO length.

Laminated hard maple surrounded with matte black fiberglass with reinforced phenolic plastic bow tips for durability when using upgraded bow strings.

There are less reports of quality issues available for the Journey bow, as it’s overall a less popular model as more people opt for the Sage. However there can be no doubt that as they are made from the same parts, the same small percentage of issues will exist with some bows and limbs so as always I’d suggest you make sure to purchase from a large retailer with good customer service in case you need to return for a warranty or retailer replacement.

Shooting » 4/5

This bow gives a smooth draw and will be more forgiving than it’s shorter Samick Sage sibling. The forgiveness comes mainly from the length of the limbs, you’ll find this reasoning played out when you see trick archers, they tend to use longbows as the longer the limb the more room for movement in the shot.

Again like the Sage fitting the bow with an upgraded string will result in a speedier shot that should improve your accuracy and allow you to shoot slightly longer distance however this is an upgrade you may not really even appreciate as a beginner and may be best saved for the more experienced archer who would feel the benefits.The bow string sound may be a little loud for some hunters who like their bows to be whisper quiet so as not to disturb prey but this is easily remedied by the addition of a silencer to the string.

Styling » 5/5

2 tone dymondwood and maple riser and matte black limbs make the Journey a handsome quality wooden bow.

Assembly » 4.5/5

In the box much like the Samick Sage, unless you’ve customised your order and added extra bits you’ll normally only receive the limbs, the riser and string and a manufacturers warranty card.

Attachment of the limbs is done by first sliding them into a pocket and then using your fingers to screw in the tighteners. It takes a few turns to get them fully secure so assembly isn’t snap on or snap off like an ILF limb however it’s pretty simple and won’t take you more than a few minutes. There are also no tools involved in the process, so the bow is easy to takedown and put-up anywhere.

Accessories » 4/5

The Journey comes with pre-installed fitments for an arrow-rest, plunger, stabilizer, sight, quiver and you can even fit a bowfishing reel, but we must add but none of these are normally supplied in the package unless you’ve ordered them specifically.

String

The Journey as the Sage comes supplied with decent quality Dacron string that is fine for the beginner and will last for many thousands of shots which will be plenty to get you from beginner to experienced archer status. The string can be improved by upgrading to something higher performance like a FastFlight and due to the protective plastic on the ends of the limbs this is fully supported by the Journey.

Stringer

If you order the Journey in a package that contains a stringer or standalone and a stringer is supplied you’ll be fine however if you didn’t this isn’t a major issue as they’re available for around $10.

"How does it compare?"

Samick Sage

The Sage is the same bow as the Journey, albeit with shorter limbs to give it an AMO length of 62", it comes with all the same features and styling as the Journey, but that shorter limb length may make for a bow that is easier to handle if you have a shorter draw.

Southwest Archery Spyder (XL)

The ‘Sage killer’ or 'Sage v2' is designed by the same people (but not sold by the same company) and it lives upto the name, it’s lighter, more polished and has slightly better build quality than the Journey. A good looking bow with a wide range of draw weights and also available in 62" or 64" AMO lengths, a very affordable price point and limbs that can be interchanged with those from the Samick. The only place where the Journey betters it is that you can’t assemble the Spyder or take it down without the supplied tool.

PSE Razorback

From the largest US archery manufacturer comes a great beginner bow available for juniors (PSE Jr Razorback) but only up-to 35 lbs draw for adults, that draw weight should be fine whilst you are learning, but if you want to go higher you'll be stuck with the Razorback. Another downside to this bow (for some) may be the white limbs with the PSE logo making it look like a target shooters bow.

Martin Jaguar Elite

The Jaguar has a metal riser with a thermal grip, the riser is made from aluminium and magnesium that makes this bow lighter than the Journey which is a plus point when you are starting out as your muscles will tire more quickly from a heavier bow. The issues with this one are firstly for lefties, you can only get it in the right hard version, the supplied arrow rest is a little on the flimsy side (although this can easily be replaced) and the assembly and disassembly requires locating bolts inside the riser with the screws which can be a little fiddly.

SAS Courage

A decent quality traditional takedown barebow. The Courage comes in a range of draw weights, is light, nice to look at and is supplied with a 3 year limited manufacturer warranty and a furry ‘rug’ style stick on arrow rest. All the necessary fitment points for quiver/sight, stabilizer and arrow rest are pre-installed on the latest iteration of this bow. As a beginner though, you may want to look at something with a longer AMO length for an easier experience as this one only comes in at 60”.

About the Manufacturer

Samick are a Korean company that originally made Pianos and back in 1975 started an archery bow manufacturing department, possibly due to some of the manufacturing skill crossover involved in the production of both pieces of kit. Samick Sports Co Ltd is how as an archer you’ll know them today as they are one of the leading distributors of archery equipment worldwide with over 50 countries on their client list and they make bows for all levels of archer.

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About the Author David James

I've had a love of shooting since I was a kid. My parents used to tell me I'd never stop bugging them to let me have a real bow and arrow! That desire never really went away and now I own lots and lots of different things you can shoot with, bows, rifles, catapults, you name it I've probably got one. and I still love to shoot them. Please let me know what you think of my work, comment, like, rant, speak up!

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