Lazy Beginner’s Compound Bow Guide

A compound bow guide is a ‘must have’ if you’re just starting out. Here you’ll discover who invented the compound bow, how a compound bow works, is this bow the right one for me. We’ll also look at the best starter bows including the Diamond Archery Infinite Edge, the Quest Radical and the Leader Accessories compound bow.

compound bow guideStories like “Robin Hood” and “The Hunger Games” feed our fascination for archery, not to mention the many epic films where we see armies battling against each other using bows and arrows.

Then, of course, there’s the idea of roughing it in the wild and surviving on wild game or fish, a la motion pictures such as “The Revenant” or “The Grey” using a trusty compound bow.

Here we go…

If you get a bow that’s too rigid or hard to draw, you might have a tougher time learning. The same can be said if you end up with one that’s too difficult to aim.

You would also want a bow that’s durable and functional and, as you may be investing a sizeable amount of money in a good-quality compound bow, you’ll be wanting it to last you for quite a while to say the least. 

If you’re on the lookout for a compound bow, here’s a resource where you’ll learn about the origin of the compound bow and what factors you must consider to get an outstanding bow.

Who Invented the Compound Bow?

Bows and arrows have existed for ages however, you’ll be surprised to find out that the compound bow was only invented in 1966. The type of bow we know today was developed in 1966 by Holless Wilbur Allen in North Kansas City, Missouri.

Allen sawed off both ends of a conventional recurve bow and replaced them with pulleys. He experimented with different designs until he found one that worked to his liking and applied for a US patent for his design which was granted in 1969. 

He then collaborated with Tom Jennings, a bow-maker, and began manufacturing the first compound bows ever to be known.

compound bowThis bow utilizes a levering system to bend the limbs. This type of system typically comprises cables, cams, and pulleys and gives users a mechanical advantage. 

This is because the limbs of a compound bow are a lot stiffer when compared with those of a recurve bow or longbow.

The rigidity of these limbs makes it more energy-efficient than other bow types as less energy is required for limb movement.

Also, the technology used in the design and construction increases their accuracy through the reduction of bow sensitivity to temperature and humidity fluctuations.

Compound bows are typically used for hunting and target practice and have continued to become increasingly popular across the world, owing to their ease of use.

How Does a Compound Bow Work?

Generally speaking, compound bows are commonly used for target archery and hunting.

They have a pulley and cam system that provides the archer with a distinct improvement over other bows. Also, its limbs are significantly more rigid than the limbs of a longbow or recurve bow.

This extra rigidness basically results in the compound bow being more powerful than other bows as well as being more accurate.

The bow’s unique system also benefits “let-off.”

Neither of the two cams are perfectly round and as you draw the string they rotate and their radii varies.

These cams have two tracks, connecting to the opposing limb or cam via cables is the first or inner track, then you have the external track where the bowstring runs through.

As you draw the string the proportion of bowstring pay-out and cable take-up in comparison to the weight of the limbs and the cam leverage alters.

Varying draw profiles can be utilized by ‘adjusting’ the cam track shapes.

You can have a soft draw with a lazy build up tp maximum weight, a slow let-off and a longer valley at the finish or, a harder draw with a quick build up to maximum draw strength, an extended plain whilst maintaining weight and a short valley let-off.

The resulting let-off is a product of the cam profile moving through the center to a situation not dissimilar to a cam-lock.

When the draw-stops or draw-length components are discarded on some compound bows, the will lock up by themselves when fully drawn.This usually results in the need for special archery gear to unlock them.

There are some compound bows out there that provide 70% to 85% let-off when fully drawn. With this option you’re able to relax and focus on what what you should be doing without worrying about anything else.

What Compound Bow is Right for Me?

To find the right compound bow to work with, you need to answer the following questions:

Which eye is your dominant eye?

While it’s entirely possible to shoot wrong-handed (i.e., right-handed even if you’re left-eye dominant and vice versa), you’ll be a better and more accurate shooter if you master the skill based on your dominant eye.

What is your ideal draw length?

Knowing your optimum draw length would ensure ease of use and better performance. Pro shops usually have measuring bows to help you determine yours.

Do you know your anchor point?

Your anchor point is the point of your face where your draw hand comes to stop or rest when it is at full draw. This is more a matter of personal preference and comfort than anything else. However, most shooters set the anchor point close to the corner of their mouth.

What is your draw weight?

The draw weight refers to the maximum number of pounds you need to pull to bring your bow to a full draw. The rule of thumb here is to best pick a weight you can draw with relative ease even in not-so-ideal conditions.

There are many other factors to consider aside from the above, such as your let-off and brace height.

Let-off is the reduction in holding weight resulting from the affect of pulleys and cams used in the unique design of a compound bow. Brace height is the distance from the string to the pivot point of the bow’s grip. 

Best Starter Compound Bows

There are a lot of excellent compound bows in the market. As a beginner, you might want to consider the following models:

Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro

  • The Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro is a highly flexible beginner bow. It features an adjustable draw length that’ll suit men and women of different heights and even teenagers. The accessories are quite basic, so it’ll make for a good starter bow.

Quest Radical

  • Another highly adjustable option is the Quest Radical. The draw length can be adjusted from 17.5 inches to 30 inches, so it can accommodate almost anyone. It comes with a complete set of accessories, including the arrow rest, quiver, and sight.

Leader Accessories Compound Bow

  • The Leader Accessories Compound Bow is a certified starter bow. It comes as a complete kit comprising the sight, arrow rest, and quiver. If you opt for the upgraded version, you also get a wrist strap and a full set of arrows — all at an affordable price.

Achieve your archery goals to master this great bow by choosing the best starter bow that you can afford to buy and that best suits you.

I wish you good luck!