Compound bows are a bit different from your usual english longbows, recurve bows and all other different types of them. Unlike usual bows which are drawn back virtually at any distance, compound bows are made to only drawback so far and stop.
This is known as the draw length. It is controlled by the bow’s mechanical systems. The size of the shooter and the setting of the bow need to correlate. For example, if your physical size shows that you need a draw length of 29in, then it can be said that your length is also 29in. So both the bow and you have the same length.
With so many models on the market today, it’s hard to find the best bow that’s suitable for you. Don’t take the chance in making the wrong decision and buying the wrong device without doing proper research.
How to Choose The Right Compound Bow For You
There are many compound bows out there, how do you know what’s the best device for the money? What do these numbers mean? If you are new to the world of archery, you are most likely to be unfamiliar with the jargon or terminology. Let us make help make this it simpler for you, by follow our guide below.
The number one thing you must know is that a bow, whether modern recurve, primitive selfbow or a modern compound, they all have one thing in common, they’re all considered a short range weapon. Many manufactures advertise compound bows speed ratings in excess of 300fps ( feet per second).
Understand that this number can be very misleading because most manufactures base this number off of a length of 30in with the arrow weighing 5 grains per pound of draw weight at 70 lbs.
Very Few bowhunters can pull 30in of length, especially if they’re using any kind of release aid. Usually talk archers with long arm will have the ability to pull a 30inch length correctly and comfortably.
Today’s compounds offer weight reductions of 65%-80% while at full draw and a high let off. Even with that said, a 70lbs is still a very heavy weight for many archers. A lot of archers including me are more comfortable with a less weight then 70lbs.
The advertise speed by the manufacturer are usually based on them using an arrow that weighs about 5 grains per pound of draw weight, so if you have 70 lbs of draw weight, the arrow should weigh in at 350 grains.
To be able to achieve the speed that has been advertise, you’ll have to be able to draw your device 30inches. As you can see, the number that you see advertise on a device can be very misleading. Now that you understand a bit more how the numbers came about, you’ll have more of advantage when looking for your first bow.
There are two different types of them you can choose from, one being the traditional model and the second the compound bow. Some models that are considered traditional bows are recurve bows, English long bows, and self bows.
Many hunters how uses any kind of traditional bows uses them pretty bare, meaning they shot them without release aids, arrow rest, or sights. A finger tab or a glove is what they usually used to protect to protect their shooting hand. Most traditional models are substantially longer and weigh less than compounds bows. Making them easier to carry.
A lot of the traditional bows has inserts, so stabilizers, arrow rests and sights can be installed in them. The downside of having these additional add-ons is that when you use the sights to aim, you’ll be at full draw.
When doing so while hunting, the hunter will take more time at full draw, so they can focus on a sight pin which can be very strenuous for the archer, which will result in bad accuracy. The veteran hunters are more instinctive and tend to anchor and release all in one motion so they’ll only be in full draw for a brief moment.
Now compound bows are more advance, using a system of cables, strings, and wheels ( or cams ) to helps the archer use the maximum amount of power from the limbs of this device.
They are very popular with hunters when compared to the other models. Compounds are shorter, shoot faster, and comes ready to be fitted with stabilizers, sights, vibration dampeners, arrow rest and release aids.
There are many different types of compound bows that you can choose from, like single cam, cam and ½ , round wheel and hinge limb models. Let quickly go over what these different types of compounds are.
Round wheel compounds bows are the ones that comes with wheels at the tip of each limb and harnessed together by steel or synthetic cables using synthetic string. This type of bow are a bit slower then cam types, but they are none to be more accurate, smoother and shootable.
Hing limbs has a little resemblance to a recruve but has two sets of limbs hinged together that are operated by two cams that are mounted on the handle ( the riser ) of this device, and are connected with cables that runs through the riser. Hing Limb models, even though it may have lots of moving parts, thy are still very accurate and smooth to use.
Twin Cam has a cam at the end of the limbs. These types are tend to be very fast but isn’t as forgiving or as smooth as the other types. One of the big issues twin cams have is cam timing. This is when the 2 cams don’t roll precisely at the same time, which will affect the accuracy of the shot tremendously. When the Cams are perfect and timed, they are very accurate and fast.
Single Cam have a cam on the end of one of its limb and on the other, an idler wheel on the other limb. With this type of mechanic, this product speed will be very similar to a 2 cam product with the accuracy that is similar to a round-wheel bow.
There is a drawback to a single cam bow. During the shot sequence, the nocking point doesn’t follow a travel at a level path, causing the nock to move vertically while the string will move forward. This will affect your accuracy and make single cam bows harder to tune.
Cam & ½ or Hybrid Cam
The Cam & ½ bows will offer 2 cam harnessed together in a way that wil eliminate timing issues caused by Twin Cams. These type of them are one of the most dependable types of compound bow out. They have a very smooth draw with little vibration during the shot. They have very excellent speed, offer level nock travel with wonderful accuracy.
What Does Draw length Mean?
It is very important to look at the draw length when picking out your product. It is important for your comfort and your ability to get an accurate shot. It will affect many things like your control of your shot, your view energy and your speed.
The best way to find the optimal length is to measure your arm span from side to side and then Divide that by 2.5 and you’ll get the best length for you.
What Does Draw Weight Mean?
There are quite a few elements to consider. Most importantly, we recommend that you pick a weight that is the most comfortable and most suitable for you and your specific purpose. Mainly for the purpose of recreational archery, if you get a product that has too much weight, it will just make the sport unenjoyable and leave you unsuccessful.
A good rule to keep in mind when choosing a weight, is to pick a product that requires 75% of your maximum strength. If you get a bow that is heavier then you can handle, you’ll be able to shoot only a few times before you get fatigued, then you will be hesitant to improve and practice your game.
To pick the right one, it would be advisable for you to test out the various bows by drawing the product to its full length without making any abrupt movements, then holding the bow at its full length for about one min. See how you feel with different settings, and try not to shake.
Below is a general guideline for picking the appropriate weight. Everyone is different so please interpreted this chart with the due respect of your physical condition, age, and Body mas Index.
|Very Small Child||55 70||10 15|
|Small Child||70 100||15 25|
|Larger Child||100 130||25 35|
|Small Frame Women||100 130||25 35|
|Medium Frame Women||130 160||30 40|
|Athletic Older Child||130 150||40 50|
|Small Frame Men||120 150||45 55|
|Large Frame Women||160+||45 55|
|Medium Frame Men||150 180||55 65|
|Large Frame Men||180+||65 75|
What is Let Off and Brace Height Mean?
Let Off is the weight attained at full draw. Less let off will achieve marginally higher arrow speed, but you shouldn’t have any major concern regarding this.
Most of them now a days, have some form of changeable let off. A model with short brace achieves more stored energy when fully drawn. This translates to faster arrow speed, but we advise to pick a brace height matching the length of our arms.
What is Bow Length?
New Technological advancements have led to shorter compound bows that weigh less. This results in better portability. The down side of this is the shorter the bow, the more difficult it becomes to hold the product firmly at full draw.
If you are a smaller person, using a longer length product, it may hinder accurate shooting while those that are taller with longer arms can find it uncomfortable using a short bow. If you are using a bow that does not suite you, it will one be very uncomfortable and second will comprise your safety.
What Does FPS Mean
FPS is referred to as feet per second and it is the acceleration of the arrow will reach after leaving the bow. Since there are many factors that comes in to play when it comes to arrow speed such as draw weight, arrow weight and many more. The IBO ( international Bowhunting Organization ) decided to come up with a standard way of measuring FPS speed. As a result, when you see a FPS rating on a product.
You can be sure that it was measured using the IBO standards of measurement. Even with the IBO measuring standard, many factors will still come into play like the current weather conditions, brace height, the aggressiveness of the cams and many more. The rule of thumb is, when looking at FPS rating, know that FPS isn’t the exact number, but just an estimate.
What Is A Good Price To Spend On A Compound Bow
If budget isnt an issue for you, then buying the most expensive compound product would be your best bet. As stated earlier, price isnt always the best indicator for good quality, but be assured though that any compound bow pricing anything above $700 will give you phenomenal quality and performance.
Even thought it might not be the best bow for the money and maybe you could have saved a few hundreds here and there by going for a model from last year. When buying a high price bow, know you are getting quality period.
If you are trying get the best product for the money, but still want to stay in a reasonable price range. A 400-500 dollar price range would be a good place to start. At this range you’ll have a good selection of them that will have great performance and quality such as FPS around 305-330 and an average brace height of about 7”. Some of them that are in this price range are manufactures sweet spot, so you’ll have many selections.
If you are really on a budget or if you are still just want to trying out the sport. You can get a pretty decent product for around 200, but we would recommend to now get anything lower then 150. Anything less you’ll just waste your money and you are better off not getting into the sport.
At this price range you won’t have to many options and would really have to go to older models, maybe 2 – 3 years old or even used bows to get a good one. If you are having issues, don’t worry. We have gathered the guide for the best compound bow for the money and their reviews also.
Now you should have enough info to make a good inform decision on a good product. Take note of our comparison chart and our reviews, also as you decide on your first bow or even if you are upgrading. If you are interested in other types of bows.