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Compound bow

A compound bow is a fast, accurate and powerful bow with which you can shoot true on longer distances. Compound bows use ‘cams’ on the ends of the limbs, making it possible to put a lot more energy into the arrow with less effort, which in turn results in lots of arrow speed. Compound bows are originally designed for hunting but are also used a lot for the sport of archery. Contrary to recurve bows, compound bows aren’t used in the Olympics.

One of the most notable differences between compound bows and other types of bows, is the let-off. Let-off makes it easier to keep your bow drawn back, because a big part of the draw weight drops away after you draw the bow past it’s peak. This effect it caused by the shape of the cams. Different cams will have different shapes and therefore feel different when drawing back. If your bow has 75% let-off and it is a 60 lbs bow, you will be holding 15 lbs when aiming.
As with all other bows, compound bows come in many different draw weights. The maximum draw weight is fixed for many models, but more and more suppliers are making bows whose draw weight can be adjusted very widely. There are bows that are adjustable from 5 to 70 LBS.
To prevent injuries and to be able to learn the technique well, we advise not to choose too heavy a bow or to set the bow too heavy.

Draw Length
The draw length of a compound bow does not work in the same way as with other bows. Where with a recurve bow, you can draw the bow back as far as you need to get to anchor, a compound bow has a set draw length. The big advantage of this is that you can never draw it back too far since there is a ‘draw stop’. Often this is a little rubber or metal bit bolted onto the cam, hitting one of the cables or the limb, preventing the cam from turning any further. The fact that you always put the same amount of energy into the arrow ensures even more accuracy. 

It’s important you pick a bow that fits your draw length, either measure it correctly yourself or go to the store to have it measured.

Different Bow Sizes

Compound bows exist in different shapes or sizes. Which length of bow fits you best comes down to preference for the biggest part. Are you going to shoot target competitions, or maybe 3D shoots? It could even be a combination of both or just recreational use. Most target shooters pick a bow with a longer Axle-to-axle length for stability and forgiveness. A shorter hunting-type bow however, mostly shoots faster and quieter. This makes it easier to manoeuvre through forests easier as well. With 3D archery, long ánd short bows are used.

Check our collection of compound bows
Check our collection of Compound Bowkits

Accessories for compound shooters

Only a bow will get you nowhere. There are a couple accessories you will need to unlock the full potential of your compound. Below we will go through some of the options.

Release and D-Loop
A release is pretty much an essential tool to shoot a compound bow. Using a release aid makes a lot of things easier and more precise. For example, you don’t need to hold and release the string with your fingers, which makes it more comfortable and consistent. A release will attach to the D-loop, mostly using a little hook or a caliper.

There are hand-held releases and releases with a wrist strap. Releases with a wrist strap attach to your wrist using a little belt or velcro straps and is equipped with a trigger, usually operated with your index finger. Hand-held releases are often trigger releases as well, operated with your thumb. There are also back-tension releases in the form of a hinge, or activated by a certain amount of force.

You pretty much always attach your release to a D-loop rather than directly onto the string. This doesn’t only mean that the string lasts longer but it also means the release doesn’t negatively affect the path of the string and with that, the arrow.

Check out our selection of release aids

Sight and Peepsight
A sight is an aid with which you can shoot more precise and consistent. Which sight fits you best depends on what you are going to shoot with your bow and what is your personal preference. There is a lot of variety in sights. Target archers often use a sight with a magnifying scope and a single pin, whereas hunters will regularly shoot with a multi-pin sight. 3D archers like to switch it up and it mostly comes down to preference.

A peep sight is a second aiming device which is mounted in the string of your bow. It’s mostly just an aluminium or plastic peep-hole that gets attached in between the strands of your string. Because you look through this hole to your sight, you have an extra point to align your shot, resulting in even more accuracy.

Check our Target compound sights
Check our Hunting compound sights
Check our collection of peepsights

Arrow rest
You will obviously need an arrow rest to shoot with your compound bow. You’re not meant to shoot from the shelf as you would maybe do with a traditional bow. There are different kinds of arrow rests. There are three main categories:

Launcher style – This is the most used arrow rest by target archers. The arrow is lying on the rest for the whole cycle of the shot and has a path of low resistance. Some rests have prongs where others use a blade.
Containment style – These arrow rests contain the arrow completely or from different sides. This makes sure the arrow is solidly placed and doesn’t fall off the rest when you draw back or lift your bow. Especially useful in a hunting situation but also used by others. Most well known variant of this style is the whisker biscuit but there are also other options available like a brush rest.
Drop Away style – With these rests, the arrow gets supported when you draw back the bow and when you shoot, the fork drops away to give the arrow a clear shot. Initially the arrow will still receive some guidance when being shot, but before the vanes reach the rest, it drops away so nothing obstructs the arrow in its flight.
Infitec Arrow Rest Compound Crux
The Infitec Crux is a great arrow rest for the starting compound archer. The Crux is a blade-rest, meaning the arrow rests on a thin plate. It comes with three plates in different stiffness; to be used with different arrow weights. The arrow rest can be adjusted all around for a perfect fit on your compound bow. Features Infitec Arrow Rest Compound Crux: Type: blade-rest Colours: Black, red or blue Available for left- and right handed bows
AAE Arizona Pro Blade Plus Compound Arrow Rest
The AAE Arizona Pro Blade Plus Rest has been designed with the help of some of the top tournaments compound shooters in the world. This rest has been built to meet their exacting standards for accuracy, durability, and ease of adjustment. Each Pro Blade has been CNC machined to very high tolerances. Features AAE Arizona Pro Blade Plus Compound Arrow RestComponents are Stainless SteelSupplied with the most commonly used launcher blades, the Standard blade .010" is installed and the Wide blade .12" is supplied separately.Micro-adjustable design for setting elevation and windageAdjustable luancher arm for perfect blade angleThe special AAE Hex design ensures that you do not have to adjust the rest again when changing the bladeLaser-etched lines and large lock-down screws make adjustment easy
Trophy Ridge V Con Rest Whisker Biscuit
Maker of the world’s most-popular arrow rest, the original Whisker Biscuit; Trophy Ridge introduces the all-new Whisker Biscuit V ®. The innovative V-Notch naturally centers the arrow using fewer points of contact, eliminating side-to-side arrow movement, resulting in consistent arrow trajectory shot after shot. This rest arrow makes tuning a breeze with its advanced windage adjustment and convenient reference marks giving you incredibly accurate and consistent results time after time. Properties • V notch design centres the arrow with fewer points of contact for increased consistency. • Custom rubber arrow guides for quick and silent arrow loading. • Advanced windage adjustment. • Reference marks allow for controlled adjustment and positioning. • Ambidextrous design suitable for left hand right handed shooters. • Elevation adjustment.
AAE Stinger Arrow Rest
High quality and affordable entry-level arrowrest by AAE. Available in both left- and righthanded version.
Hamskea Hybrid Target Pro MicroTune Arrow Rest
The Hybrid Target Pro™ takes design elements from the proven VersaRest™ platform and puts them in a more streamline package that is 26% lighter. The Zero Tolerance Technology™ is key to ensure that there is no lateral play in the shaft and the rotation action is silky smooth. The launcher shaft rides on two over-sized sealed stainless steel ball bearings that won’t wear out, but continue to rotate smoothly shot after shot. The Hybrid Target Pro™ also adopts adjustment features like Zero Stop Technology™ for the up and down positions of the launcher which makes for an absolute repeatable launcher position ensuring accuracy. The Hybrid Target Pro™ comes with the wide target launcher and backer plate. The baker plate keeps the launcher from bending while used in the cable driven or limb actuated modes. Tunability, is critical for all target archers, the Hybrid Target Pro™ allows for ultimate tunability, the textured spring knob provides multiple adjust positions to change the rotation tension of the launcher shaft. Coupled with the 8 sided, non-slip, compression clamp design for the lever arm and anti-bounce back dampening coil, you have everything you need to maximize your accuracy. To make setup easy and fast, we have introduced the universal limb clamp assembly that can be adjusted to put the patented in-line dampening coil under the exact tension for optimum performance. The cord itself is a heavy duty no-stretch material unlike so many other nylon based materials and is positioned on the limb with a universal rubber nonslip limb pad.
Avalon Tec X Maxx Arrow Rest
This arrow rest by avalon is a so called 'blade rest'. This is by far the most used type of rest in compound target archery. This rest is easily adjustable using thumb screws and you can lock it down with an allen key to make sure nothing changes while shooting. You will get 4 different blades with the rest to make sure you have one that will fit your needs. Also in the package are: spare screws and washers, and even an overdraw adapter for a deeper dive into fine tuning. When changing the settings, you can use the engraving for a reference as to where and how much you are moving the rest. Specifications Avalon Tec X Maxx arrow rest: Type: Blade rest Colors: Black, Grey, Blue, Red Material: Aluminium Adjustment: Micro Adjustable Use: Both RH and LH
Maximal Fall-Away Rest
The Fall-Away arrow rest by Maximal is a verstatile arrow rest for compound bows. The rest is provided with total arrow containment and an easily adjustable timing cord with cord lock. Noise and vibrations are reduced thanks to the rubber cover. In addition, the Fall-Away is vertically and horizontally adjustable. Specifications Maximal Fall-Away Rest: Easily adjustable timing cord with cord lock Material: CNC Aluminium, Stainless steel Weight: 66 grams Available in four colors!
Avalon Tec One Onset Arrow Rest
The Tec One Onset Arrow Rest is a functional arrow rest of Avalon and has a modern design. This all-rounder is available in several colors and for left- and righthanded archers. The height and tension are independently adjustable, which increases flexibility.
AAE Freakshow Compound Blade Rest
The "FREAKSHOW" is the toughest micro-adjustable target rest on the market today. It utilizes Jesse "The FreakShow" Broadwater's unique torque tuning methodology, and it comes in either an extended or standard mount. AAE's proprietary hex alignment launcher blade system is also featured allowing the archer to change out the blade without having to re-adjust their tune. The launcher arm rotates for the exact blade angle preferred. Laser-etched adjustment lines and oversized lock-down machine screws ensure adjustments are visible and rest in secure. The freakshow comes with two different original length launcher blades to help the elite target archer adjust for the perfect tune; standard width in .010" thickness installed and wide width in .012" thickness. Freakshow components are Stainless Steel. Features • Unique indexing system for changing out the launcher blade without having to re-adjust your tune • Launcher arm rotates for blade angle • Laser-etched adjustment lines and oversized lock-down screws • Rest includes a standard .010” and a wide .012” blade
QAD Ultra HDX Arrow Rest
This top of the line UltraRest has all the features of the UltraRest HD, with an eXtreme edge for the die hard hunter! The new modern design and sleek styling of the UltraRest HDX offers eXtreme compatibility, versatility, and even custom colors! If you are the archer that demands nothing but the top of the line, with all the bells and whistles, then the new UltraRest HDX is for you! Features Sleek, curved capture bar for more clearance Total arrow containment Convenient thumbwheel cocks launcher into position (with Timing Cord Lock) Noise-reducing design: laser-cut felt, cam-brake and dampeners Break Away Safety Feature Vertical, horizontal, and overdraw adjustments Precision CNC aluminium, stainless steel, and delrin components Full draw indicator marks

StabilizersMost compound bows have a stabilizer connection bushing. With a stabilizer you can create more balance and stability. It’s for good reason you often see target archers use long stabilizers with lots of weight. It makes aiming more calm and dampens the shock of the bow to a certain point. Is it mandatory to use stabilization? No, it’s not. It just gives you the possibility to enhance precision and shot feel.

There are lots of shapes and sizes for stabilizers. Which one fits you best depends on your usage and preference. Target shooters often use long stabilizers with lots of weight and in hunting and 3d shooting they are mostly a bit shorter.

Check out our stabilizers

Some notes about compound shooting

Let’s start with the most important note. Like we said earlier, a compound bow exerts a huge amount of force. You will easily reach long distances and you are handling a dangerous device. It’s important to check if your situation is suitable to shoot in, not only for yourself but for others too. Shooting at a club often means you are in a safe situation to use your bow. If you are shooting on your own property, make sure you are not putting yourself or others in danger.

A compound bow is a bit more costly than other bows, and on top of that you have to take into account that you need more accessories to be able to properly shoot one. Because of the higher amount of force, the accessories need to meet a certain standard, too, which makes them a bit more expensive.

Service and reparation A high-tech compound bow has a couple points of attention to look out for. Besides the string, it also has cables. The string and cables form an important part of the bow and should be looked after regularly. Wear and tear can have a serious impact on your shooting and you should replace them timely. Replacing a set of strings and cables is not an easy task and should be done with a set of special tools like a bow press. A bow press is a tool that compresses the limbs of a compound bow so that the tension can be taken off the string. When there’s no tension on there anymore you can replace the string, cables, peep sight or other accessories without having to put yourself in nasty situations. A bow press is quite pricy which is one of the reasons people don’t always have them at home.

With a compound bows we recommend using either carbon or aluminum arrows. There are plenty parts to make them suitable for your bow and they are much stronger than most wooden and fiberglass options. Not every bow takes the same arrow, which is why there are different spines and diameters. The perfect arrow does not exist, so we always look at the draw length, draw weight and bow type to decide on a certain arrow. Does this mean you can not shoot if you don’t have the exact arrow you need? Of course you can! It’s just better for your scores and consistency if you have a matching arrow to your setup and configuration. If you are a beginner you can always look at spine charts to figure out which arrow you should shoot, and get started that way.

When shooting a compound bow, you need a strong and durable target. Not all targets are suitable for use with a heavy compound bow, as the arrow carries much more energy than other bow types. The target should therefore be able to withstand the force of the arrow. Like everything else, there are many different kinds and sizes of targets. foam or straw, portable or static, etc. Every purpose has a different target but with a compound bow we advise to get a strong one.