Compound bow vs Recurve bow – (Which One is Better?)

Puzzled about the selection of a suitable bow for yourself? Compound vs recurve bow, which one is better? It might be difficult to decide as both tools are highly efficient in nature and alleviate your performance and skills to a great extent. However, both have their own associated pros and cons.

Compound bows are associated with extraordinary accuracy, precision and offer remarkable adjustability that allows you to tune them according to your requirements. However, they lack portability. In contrast, the recurve bows are characterized by a low noise profile and are highly portable in nature. But, they are not as accurate. So, in order to aid you in the selection, this article addresses the question compound vs traditional bow, which one is better.

Compound VS Recurve Bows

Compound Bow VS Recurve Bows


Compounds Bows

Compound bow

These tools feature contemporary construction and are more user-friendly than other recurve counterparts. The reason for this is their ergonomic design and advanced attributes that make it easier to draw the bow and aim at the target without exerting much effort.

The best part about these bows is their let-off feature, which relieves the user from exerting additional(full) force while drawing the bow. For example, if you are using a 70-pound compound bow with 50% let-off, you only need to hold 35 pounds of weight before releasing the arrow.

However, the arrow would still be released with the original force, i.e., 70 pounds. This enables the archers to aim with similar accuracy each time. The accuracy while shooting varies depending on the slot used for aiming along with the position of fingers.

It is also dependent on the force exerted by the archer while drawing the bow and releasing the arrow. One major advantage of the compound bows is the minimum effort requirement while drawing the bow and achieving similar accuracy each time to make a shot.

Recurve Bows

recurve bow

Recurve bows are different from their previously mentioned counterparts and feature a traditional design. However, it is still different from longbows that are characterized by D-shape construction. The recurve bows display a curved design that is close to the archer near the riser and moves away from them at the ends. These bows offer additional power and are generally simpler than their other counterparts.

However, the accuracy might vary after each shot while hunting with a recurve bow. The reason for this is the absence of cams and specific slots that allow the archers to monitor their shooting position. Thus, requiring them to rely on their skills and instincts to calculate the releasing point each time to ensure accuracy.

Moreover, these bows also lack let-off features, and archers have to bear the whole weight while drawing the bow and releasing the arrow to achieve the desired results.

Read Next: Best Recurve Bows

Compound Bows vs Recurve Bows: What is the Difference?

The Main Difference Between a Compound Bows vs and an Recurve Bows. Both compounds and recurve bows have their own advantages and disadvantages and, thus, must be carefully considered before purchase. The choice of a suitable bow highly depends on your requirement for the tool and the features offered by the system. Below mentioned are the major differences between both the above-mentioned products for your convenience.

Accuracy Of Compound bow vs Recurve bow

Accuracy is highly significant while shooting. The accuracy offered by both compound and recurve bows varies significantly. The reason for this is the differences in their construction and associated features. The compound bows are incorporated with clams and slots that allow the archers to monitor the drawing point each time before releasing the arrow. This helps in measuring the correct distance and achieving similar accuracy in each shot.

As mentioned earlier, the shooting accuracy is highly dependent on the slot, finger position, and force exerted by the archer. Any change in the following can highly impact the accuracy. So, due to the inclusion of clams and slots in compound bows alongside the inclusion of the let-off feature, it becomes possible to achieve almost similar accuracy each time. In contrast, recurve bows are not comparable to their previously mentioned counterpart in this aspect.

These bows do not contain any clam or slot, and thus, archers have to rely on their own abilities to achieve the desired results. Along with this, the absence of the let-off feature requires the archers to exert additional force while drawing the bow, thus, making it difficult to keep the fingers in a similar position each time. Hence, leading to changes in accuracy each time the arrow is released.

Noise of Compound bow vs. Recurve bow

In terms of noise, both compound and recurve bows are neck-to-neck with each other. Both tools are integrated with string silencers and limb dampeners that are responsible for reducing the noise generated by the bow where the arrow is released.

These silencers provide ultra-quiet working conditions and prevent the archers from getting distracted during the process. Thus, if you are using a similar weight and the bow is tuned properly, both bows can provide equal noise cancelation effects without impacting the performance in any aspect.

Portability of Compound bow vs. Recurve bow

Recurve bows take the crown in terms of portability. Not only are they lightweight and compact in nature, but they can also be disintegrated into various components for ease of use. Thus, enabling the users to carry them from one place to another without any inconvenience.

Contrary to this, compound bows are larger in size and can not be separated into various parts and components for portability. So, you might face difficulty in carrying them around. However, they are worth the investment considering the accuracy and acceleration offered by these tools.

Adjustability of Compound bow vs. Recurve bow

Adjustability is a major difference between recurve and compound bows and varies significantly in both units. Additional limbs can be integrated into the pre-assembled recurve bows to accelerate and decelerate their power.

However, changing the limbs can only improve the power and does not offer adjustability in this regard. However, there are other compound bows available in the market as well that allow you to adjust the draw length and weight depending on the requirement. Thus, enabling you to perform to the fullest.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best draw weight for a compound bow?

The draw weight of a compound bow varies with the body type, weight, and individual height. The majority of the women and large-frame boys are capable of handling draw weight between 30 to 50 pounds. Similarly, the majority of the males weighing between 160 to 190 pounds are capable of drawing weight up to 65 pounds without impacting the performance or shooting accuracy.

Are compound bows better than recurve?

Both compound and recurve bows have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, if weighed on the basis of pros and cons, the compound bow takes the crown due to its remarkable accuracy, negligible maintenance, low sound profile, and hassle-free adjustability. However, they lag behind their competitors in terms of portability, which makes them difficult to carry around from one place to another.

How far can a compound bow shoot?

A good compound bow can shoot between the range of around 30 to 60 yards without impacting the accuracy and precision. Similarly, the maximum shooting range can be increased up to 1000 feet by exerting additional effort. However, the majority of the archers prefer shooting within the effective shooting range to achieve the best of both worlds.

What is the suitable bow poundage for hunting a deer?

The ability of a bow to kill a target highly depends on the kinetic energy, which is measured in pounds. Professionals recommend generating 40 to 50 pounds of kinetic energy in order to kill tougher targets like deer that are agile in nature and difficult to shoot. So, 40 pounds is the best bow draw weight for deers. We assure you will not feel any difficulty while hunting deer in this range.

What is the fastest compound bow?

PSE Xpedite (354 FPS) is the fastest compound bow available in the market. It also offers remarkable accuracy and precision while shooting and enables you to make required adjustments without any inconvenience. This is followed by BowTech Realm SR6 with a speed of 349.1 feet per second and BowTech RPM 360, possessing a speed of 347.45 feet per second.

Wrapping Up

Compound and recurve bows are highly efficient tools that offer remarkable attributes and improve the shooting performance of both professional and novice archers. Though both display similar performance in terms of noise reduction, their abilities vary greatly when it comes to accuracy and portability.

While compound bows are more accurate, they are larger in size and difficult to carry around. In contrast, the recurve bows are highly portable in nature and can be dismembered into various components; however, they lack accuracy and are not as precise as their compound competitor. So, the selection of suitable tools depends on your requirements and the features offered by the system.

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