If you ever had the question “What is a compound bow?” you came to the right place!
While I mentioned the compound bow in my article about bow types, I didn’t really explain in detail what this futuristic bow is really all about:
Like all other bows, compound bows, like the PSE Stinger Compound Bow, have different draw weights.
Draw weight is the force you have to use to fully draw the bow.
A bow with 20 LBS is much easier to draw than a bow with 50+ LBS.
The higher the draw weight the faster the arrow will fly and the stronger will its “punch on impact” become.
If you want to hunt big game (e.g. deer), you need a bow with a high enough draw weight.
I usually would say that you will be fine with a draw weight of 40 LBS to hunt deer (use a broadhead for hunting big game), but you always have to make sure what the law in your state says, as this can vary from state to state.
But what if you are just not strong enough to draw and then hold the string back for a while to get a good aim?
This is where the compound bow can help you out:
The first few inches you will have to manually draw the string back with all your strength, but then it suddenly gets easier and easier to draw the bow, until you are in full draw and hardly even feel the weight you are actually holding anymore.
This is what makes the compound bow so special.
But how does it work?
Take a closer look at the compound bow and you will notice a levering system that looks rather complicated at first.
The string is winding back and forth around a few pulleys. Those “pulleys” are usually called “cams” when we talk about compound bows.
You most likely have seen and used pulleys before to lift heavier things up, which would have been impossible to lift with your body strength.
The compound bow uses the same trick:
After a short time, when you have begun drawing the bow, the pulleys kick in and do most of the work for you.
That’s why you can often see compound bow archers stand quite long in full draw before they let an arrow fly.
Most compound bows have a “let off” of 75%!
There are bows with more or less, though.
So when you use a compound bow and are in full draw, you actually only have to hold 75% from its original draw weight!
Isn’t that fantastic?
I think it is great! It can make your live as an archer so much easier.
Compound bows not only have the pulley system that seperates them from longbows or recurve bows.
Their stabilizers, arrow rests, scopes and sights usually look and function differently as well and are specially designed for compound bows.
Additionally, most compound archers use a mechanical release instead of just using their fingers to draw and release the bowsting.
Mechanical releases get attached to the bowstring and will release the bowstring when the trigger of the release is pulled/pushed.
While they are most common under compound archers, there are recurve bow archers who like using mechanical releases, too.
Learn more about mechanical releases in my article “What Is A Mechanical Release?“!
But you have to be sure that you will practice archery for a long time, and won’t stop after a week or two.
Compound bows are usually more expensive than their brothers, so it would be a waste of money to buy one without using it for a longer time.
No matter with which bow you start, you need to learn how to handle your bow correctly.
Therefore, head over to my archery training to make yourself familiar with all the steps you need to succeed in archery.
Don’t pick a draw weight that is too high.
If you struggle to draw the bow, choose a bow with a lower draw weight.
You have to be able to draw the bow without bending your body backwards or sideways.
If it looks like this, your bow is too strong for you:
I know, this video is a bit funny but please take my advice seriously and don’t overestimate yourself.
While there are several health benefits of archery, you can hurt yourself quickly when you do something wrong and don’t stay away from the most common archery mistakes.
The question “What is a compound bow?” has been answered and now I would like to hear from you which bow you prefer.
I personally like the longbow and the recurve bow the best.
I have shot with many different compound bows (borrowed and rented), and I really like the feeling of them, but I haven’t bought one so far.
Crossbows are great fun, too, if you want to mix it up a bit.
If you want to try a compound bow that is well suitable for beginners and advanced archers, I would like to recommend the PSE Stinger Compound Bow to you. Have a look and give it a try!
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments, which is your favorite bow type and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me below.
I will answer very quickly.