Compound Bows

Recounting the history of archery is not only the story of the arrow and bow, but a journey through the evolution of human society. Bowed tools have helped feed and clothe us, as well as aid in the conquest of nations. While you're no longer going to be able to invade the Babylonians with a bow and some arrows, archery is as popular as ever, both for hunting and target shooting. New material, designs, and technology have made today's bows more lightweight and efficient than ever before. When it comes to choosing which to buy, consider what your main purpose is. If you plan to hunt, you'll need a heavy strong bow, but if you just want to shoot targets, a lightweight bow would better suit you. But that's not all there is to choosing a bow. This guide will discuss the many aspects involved in choosing a good bow, including specifications on construction and design as well as size and style. Note that this article only deals with compound bows, a new form of the bow invented in the 60s. It is an advanced model of the traditional wooden longbow or recurve, which are both usually made of wood and are sensitive to climactic changes such as heat and humidity. Compound bows are constructed with aluminum or fiberglass composites, making them strong, lightweight, and more accurate.


When looking at a bow you will notice two wheels at either end of the draw string called cams. These cams help balance the force generated by the drawstring being pulled back and they also control the speed at which you can draw. Thus, they can either make the bow easier to pull or harder. An easily drawn bow stores little energy while a hard to draw bow will generate much more energy. Obviously, this will make a big difference in the bow's performance depending on what activities you plan to perform with the bow. * '''For Target Shooting '''bows'>recurve bows are also recommended for the recreational target shooter. * '''For Hunting''' bow'>aggressive cam" will provide excellent power. The above mentioned cam types, soft and aggressive, are of the twobow'>single cam", which uses one wheel instead of two as the name implies. Why get this type of bow rather than the others? First off, it has a few advantages. * A single cam system is more likely to maintain its integrity over time. Things like heat and continuous stretching will affect the cams naturally. However, these forces can cause uneven wear on dual-cam systems, which in turn will cause an unbalanced draw. In the end, your arrow's flight will suffer. * With a single cam, there is no problem remaining in tune with another cam, thus you can expect a more accurate shot for a longer time. However, when tuning, it is more difficult to start. * Single cams are also quieter, which is a definite benefit for hunters. * A drawback to single cams is that the notch for nocking the arrow does not maintain a consistent travel level through the shot so your arrow can move vertically. This will throw your shot off course. Hybrid cams are relatively new, but offer several benefits. They are quiet, fast, and smooth. Plus they eliminate vibration and timing issues frequently encountered with dual cam systems.

Limb Style

Limbs are the two flexible arms that extend from the center portion of the bow up to the cams which are located at the ends of these limbs. With compound bows, the limbs are designed to be very stiff, which makes them generate more power than a traditional bow. They are typically constructed of lightweight carbon fiber composite and they can be designed in two ways: standard or split. As the titles suggest, a split limb consists of two pieces and the standard limb is a single piece. For a lighter and quieter bow, split limbs are the preferred choice.

Bow Dimensions

The speed and strength of an arrow trajectory depends on several factors, mostly those dealing with dimensions: your arm length, the bow length, and even your weight and abilities. You will typically hear about the following terms when referring to compound bows. * '''Bow Length''' A bow's length is measured from the top cam to the bottom cam and it is measured in inches. Choosing the proper length is critical for optimum maneuverability and stability. * '''Draw Weight''' This is the amount of strength it takes you to draw to string back and it is measured in pounds. The draw weight has a lot to do with the user's weight and strength as well as the cam type on the bow. * '''Draw Length''' The measure from hand to hand in a flexed, ready to shoot position, is the draw length. The length of the draw determines how fast your arrow will be shot. Like a rubber band, the more you pull it, the farther and faster it flies. It must be matched with the proper draw weight to get optimum results. Now that the jargon has been made clear, let's discuss the specifics: how to go about choosing the right length and draw weight. The bow can be short and light (32 inches) or long and heavy (48 inches). The longer the bow, the more accurate it will be, which is ideal for target shooters. For hunters, maneuvering through branches and the like, a short bow will be easier to move around and lighter, but it will also be less stable and accurate. Most users will have to come to a compromise about which factors are most important to them. Beginners should start with something between 38 and 44 inches. ! On to the draw weight and length. The length is really a matter of how long your arm is, and you will have to measure that yourself. You want to be able to draw the string comfortably at a full extension (back to the corner of your mouth) for at least 15 seconds. As for the draw weight, 50 to 70 pounds is adequate for an adult. Juniors have special bows built to compensate the draw weight to suit their muscle capacity. The trick to finding the right weight has to do with how comfortable you feel when drawing the string.


Risers are the part of the bow that you grip. They come in two varieties: reflex. A reflex riser is slower but is more forgiving to shoot. They are constructed of some form of aluminum or magnesium. Machined aluminum can be anodized which helps the paint last longer than that on a cast handle. Magnesium is heavier than machined aluminum risers, they are typically quieter. Don't forget to prepare for the elements, and make sure that you have plenty of gear for Camping and Hiking such as GPS, tents, and boots

Top Manufacturers

* Alpine * Bowtech * Browning * High Country * Mirage * Parker * PSE * Redhead * Reflex

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