Before about the 1950s, there were only two choices for people who loved archery – recurve bows and longbows. Which one you used depended on what you were going to use the bow to do. Target practicers used either type of bow, according to their personal preferences, while hunters generally chose recurve bows for their extra power – better for felling deer and other large animals. However, the popularity of the compound bow changed things.
Compound bows don’t look a lot like most other bows. They’re strung using not one string with loops at the end, but with a continuous loop. A pair of pulleys multiply the force available to propel the arrow. One or more of these pulleys is also a cam that allows archers to relieve most of the tension in their arms once the bow is drawn. That means that there’s no straining to hold the arrow in position. A truer shot is thus possible with a compound bow than with a recurve or a longbow.
Compound bows also give the archer the ability to adjust the strength of their bows. Instead of choosing a different bow for every draw strength, which we must do if we want to use a recurve or a longbow, we can adjust a compound bow to certain tolerances. Just changing the cams and pulleys a little means that a different strength is created. More than one person can use the bow. Just set it differently according to strength and size. That’s something that we can’t do with any other kind of bow.
Of course, compound bows have their own problems. It’s hard to string and unstring one of these bows, which can be a little surprising for people who are used to other types. Generally, you unstring your longbow or recurve bow to take the tension off and preserve the limbs. Compound bows, on the other hand, can be strung or unstrung only with the use of special clamps that hold them in position. If you try to do this without the right tools, you could really hurt yourself!
Right now, compound bows are probably the most advanced bows out there. They offer a lot more potential power than either longbows or recurves, and they’re adjustable. This is a real improvement over single strength bows. Plus, the ability of these bows to release tension on the arms of the archer makes it much easier to get a steady aim and hit the target. These bows are very popular with hunters, since they’re shorter than even recurve bows, and keep the bow from being tangled in growth. That reduces inconvenience and noise. Plus, the additional power makes efficient hunting easier. If you haven’t tried a compound bow, be sure to check one out and see how it works differently than the ones you’re used to.