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A Detailded Guide to Different Types of Bows – which one to choose

Types of Bows

Archery is one of the world’s oldest activities and sports, having been around for a long time. The design of bows has changed throughout the years and this resulted into the creation of different types of bows. These types are invented to fit into different categories that people still use for competitions, hunting, and other recreational activities. While no one uses a bow as a weapon in wars, archery is still a popular leisure activity, used in anything from summer camps to professional competitions. It is also a way of hunting that is more difficult.

Each type of bow variety has its distinct traits, yet they all work on the same basic principle. energy. So, in today’s guide we are going to discuss the 4 different types of bows so that you could decide which one suits your requirements. 

The 4 Different Types Of Bows

Many years ago, people used simple materials to make a bow. In the Modern era, people use cutting-edge materials such as carbon fiber and fiberglass. You’ve most likely shot at least one of the most popular modern varieties of bows, but there are still others to try. If yes, then read on because we will discuss the different types of bows, the purpose of each bow, and the pros and cons of each of them.

1- Longbow

The oldest and simplest type of bow in construction is the longbow. A straight piece of wood carved into a symmetrical, long, thin shape. It was how people made a longbow many years ago. People used animal skin or braided horse tails as a string.  Traditionally people tied a knot in the notches on the ends of the bow to prevent the string from sliding through the end of the limb. Native Americans and ancient Romans used this bow for hunting and combat. Longbows are still used for daily survival by several indigenous cultures across the world.

Nowadays, manufacturers use laminated wood to make longbows. People use synthetic materials as well. For aesthetic purposes, many traditional archers use longbows or recurve bows to build their own with unique wood inlays, fragments of animal bone, or snakeskin.

These types of bows have the same purpose as they did hundreds of years ago. Typically, longbows don’t have sights or arrow rests; instead, they feature an “arrow shelf,” which is a flat area where the arrow resides both at rest and during the full draw. Longbows are uncomplicated, yet they may be strong and shoot arrows at nearly 150 feet per second. According to records, the Welsh used longbows for the first time in 633 AD. According to some records, people used longbows in a battle for the first time in 1298. People used them as a dominant weapon on the battlefield. 

They have significantly less velocity than compound or recurve bows. The bow is not easy to shoot compared to the modern-era bow. You can buy a good quality longbow for less than $200. The best part about the purchase is that, except for arrows, that’s all you need to enjoy shooting.


  • Very Cheap
  • Easy to string a bow
  • Less noise
  • Smooth draw
  • One can use it for hunting
  • Lightweight


  • Shot lack power
  • Require a lot of practice
  • Accuracy is not good.

2- Recurve Bow

A recurve bow is one of those types of bows whose limb and tips are curved towards the target or away from the shooter. There are two types of recurve bows. One is a takedown recurve bow, while the other is a one-piece recurve bow. Takedown refers to the fact that once a string is no longer attached to limb tips, it will break down into three components for travel and adaptation.

The riser of a recurve bow is the central handle that serves as the basis to which the limbs, which frequently detach for travel or storage, are attached. A bowstring that wraps around each limb tip keeps the limbs taut.

The adjustable sight is linked to the riser and has a sight pin, which the archer uses to aim at the target. Stabilizers include long rods extending from the front of the riser and small rods extending to the sides or back aids to balance the bow. The dampers prevent vibration when the arrow is released from the bow.

Your First Recurve Bow Must Have These Qualities:

  • Have a light draw weight, not more than 25lb.
  • Be reasonably priced.
  • Adapt to your draw length.
  • Match your visual dominance.


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Adaptability
  • It can be used for hunting and shooting
  • Cheap bow
  • More Accurate than longbow
  • More powerful than Longbow


3- Compound Bow

The compound bow, developed in the 1960s, has roughly as much in common with conventional bows. Compound bows include “cams” that resemble wheels on either end. This means that the cams take over and handle the labor-intensive lifting for you once the string is roughly halfway or more dragged back. This decrease in draw force is referred to as “letting off.”

The manufacturers of recurve and compound bows use a range of materials. The companies use carbon or aluminum to make a compound bow riser. Recurve and compound bow types employ similar wood laminations for their limbs.

Both limb dampeners and string silencers may be installed on a compound bow to reduce the noise a shot makes. You would anticipate the bow to be silent if it is correctly tuned and you’re shooting an arrow that is precisely the perfect weight for the strength of your bow.

In an ideal situation, with ideal circumstances and measurements, a 70-pound compound bow should outperform a 70-pound recurve bow when pulled to the correct length and weight of the arrow. The compound system of string and cams is more effective at repelling arrows and other projectiles than each alone.


  • Arrows have high power
  • Precise shots.
  • More popular for competitions and hunting
  • Can be upgraded by accessories
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to aim at target


  • Difficult to maintain
  • Expensive

4- Crossbow

A crossbow is an unusual bow with a design that combines a bow and a rifle. Unlike the recurve and compound bows, a person must hold a crossbow vertically. Instead, people hold it close to the body like a rifle. It still projects the arrow using a string. Instead of letting the bowstring go, you can shoot an arrow by pushing a trigger like a gun.

Bowhunters may shoot at targets from a considerable distance while hunting from a treestand or blind. Beginners should avoid utilizing a crossbow due to its speed and strength. Only skilled shooters should use this bow.

A significant advantage of hunting with a crossbow is that you can nearly always have an arrow loaded and ready. Hunters like utilizing a crossbow when undertaking spot-and-stalk hunts or while still hunting.


  • More Accurate shot
  • More powerful shot
  • Good for hunting
  • Affordable price
  • Safety and trigger help prevent misfires
  • You can increase draw weight


  • Unsafe for Beginners and  teenagers 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is archery a sport to learn?

Archery is simple to learn but tough to master. It may be difficult, even if it is entertaining; patience is essential for a long-term career in the sport.

What other pastime is as risk-free as archery?

Archery appears to be one of the safest sports, according to research. Basketball, baseball, and soccer all have injury rates 20 to 45 times higher than archery.

Which archery sins should you avoid?

Never fire over a ridge. Shoot only at a safe range or shooting location with a safe backstop or backdrop.

What is the most important skill in archery?

The fundamental goal of an archer is to hit the target. As a result, to hit the target, you must have a keen sense of accuracy before firing your arrow.

So, Which One is The Recommended Type of Bows

So, as you got the different types of bows but are still confused which type would work best for you. So, don’t worry, here is our recommendation. 

The crossbow is the most powerful and precise hunting bow. Teenagers and beginners should avoid using it. Compared to a recurve bow, a compound bow is more powerful and hits a target precisely. If you can maintain this technically complex bow in good condition, it is the best option to buy; otherwise, a recurve bow may be a better option. If you want a bow packed in bug-out-bag, takedown recurve bow is the option.

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