Compound Bows for Beginners

In an earlier post, I have mentioned briefly the different types of bows used in archery. Now, I will unpack that information a bit more.

Let’s take a look at compound bows.

Compound bows earned their name because the energy moving the arrow is compounded when the string is released. Due to this extra force, compound bows are typically used with something called a trigger release, which holds and releases the string for you when you pull the trigger. Typical accessories include a multi-pin sight, which means that the sight has multiple dots for you to place over the target depending on what distance you are shooting from.

Compound bows are split into two groups: target and hunting. Target compound bows tend to be longer and weigh more than hunting compounds. This is because hunting bows need to be compact and portable, whereas the target compounds are more stabilized due to the extra length and weight which helps the shooters hit smaller targets. Hunting compound bows typically have a higher draw weight (the weight you pull when you pull the string back) than target compounds so the arrows have enough force to kill efficiently their targets.

Hunting compound shooters pull back weights up to 70 pounds on their bows! In order to achieve this, compound bows are built with something called let-off. This means that, when the string comes back to a certain point, the weight lets off so it isn’t felt for the rest of the draw. This is an important distinction from recurve bows, because recurve shooters have to hold back the draw weight the entire time. The let-off allows hunters extra time to aim their bows without their arms getting tired.

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