Monday, March 23, 2015

Shakespeare Supreme X16

Shakespeare Model X16 and 
The Supreme X16
by Larry Vienneau 
Shakespeare Model X16 1963-65

Shakespeare, under the direction of Ernie Root, produced excellent competition and target bows. The Model X16 (1963 - 65) was introduced in 1963 as a fine target bow. It was a 66" bow with exotic Benge hardwood and ivory white fiberglass. It came with a feather rest and calf hair arrow plate. It was available in right or left had and in weights of 30-50 lbs.  In 1966 the new Supreme X16 was introduced. The design of Shakespeare Supreme X16 stayed fairly consistent during its production from 1966-1971. Competition bows from the 1960-70 are generally longer AMOs and lower draw weights. A longer bow allows for a smoother draw, less string pinch and stable release. The AMO was 66 inch but in 1970 only it went to 64” inch then back to 66” in 1971. The draw weights fluctuated from year to year but were between 20-50 pounds.
Shakespeare Supreme X16 1967-71
 Shakespeare Supreme X16 was a top flight tournament bow at an entry level price.  Shakespeare produced three models of competition bows; The Professional X10 was their best tournament bow, The Titan X15 was their mid level tournament bow and the Supreme X16 was the entry level model. All three of these models were exquisitely designed. The bow-making art and craftsmanship of Ernie Root is apparent in this beautifully sculpted recurve. His style earned the admiration of the most discriminating archer. The Supreme came in seven draw weights to fit all needs. With excitingly stable shooting ease and pinpoint precision, it easily exceeded any other bow in the price range. Fine features include Exotic and Maple wood riser, white glass, three layer exotic and maple wood. In 1970 Supreme was designed for the Junior Olympics, with lower draw weights and shorter draw lengths.

There really isn’t too much information available on this fine bow. Competition Bows are usually available in auctions and tend to go for a higher price than hunting bows. I think most traditional shooter will benefit from shooting a competition bow in the off season. It is on my “Want List” but as a left-handed shooter has been waiting a long time for a nice example to add to my collection. So I live vicariously through my right handed friend Lewis Kent. He has a great collection and he does a great job restoring bows. He got this beautiful Supreme and was kind enough to share it. Thanks Lewis!! 

Lewis Kent's Supreme X16

UPDATE: March 2015
This article was originally written in May 2013.  I finally found a left handed Supreme X16. Left handed competition bows in good condition are very hard to find. My bow was the first year of production, 1966. I was luck to find a pristine bow, it had no real wear or scuffs but it needed a new rest and string. It is a 40# bow and shoots very well. It matched my 1966 Professional X10. I think the Supreme is an excellent target bow and I could now detect much difference between it and the Professional X10, though it is lighter. It felt just as stable upon release and I had consistent groups and arrow flight. It is now one of my best competition bows.
My luck find: a Lefty Supreme model X-16

Supreme X16 1966-1971

66” AMO (1966-69)

64”AMO (1970)

66”AMO (1971)

Draw weights:

25-50 pounds (1967)

25-45 pounds (1968, 1969)

20-40 pounds (1970)

25-40 pounds (1971)


1 ¾ inch (1967)

2 inch (1968-1971)

Sight window:

 7 inch (1967-1970)

6 ½ inch (1971)

Arrow rest:

Vertical feathers, calf hair plate (1967-69)

Adjustable Plate and Flipper rest (1970-71)

Brace height: 8 ½


Benge and Maple wood riser (1967)  

Maple, Bubinga, and Rosewood (1968- 1971)

Fiberglass: White

Triple tip overlays:

1967 Benge and Maple,

1968-1971 Maple and Bubinga

M16 Stabilizer mount- 1968-1971

© Copyright, Larry Vienneau Jr.
All rights reserved.


  1. Hi my name is Jeff, I have a supreme model x16 for sale.

  2. I got the original wonder bow x15 does anyone know what it's worth ?

  3. I got the original wonder bow x15 does anyone know what it's worth ?

  4. It is impossible to give value without seeing the bow. send photos of full length of bow, front and back of upper and lower limbs, photos of the riser, photo of inscription, and photos of logos. send to