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The compound bow is a piece of archery equipment that has been designed specifically with the archer in mind. It is distinguishable from what would be considered the traditional kinds of bows such as longbows and recurve bows by the series of cams, pulleys, cables and wheels that work together to help when pulling back and holding the bowstring.
Here at Total Compound Bows you will find reviews of a large number of bows by all of the leading bow manufacturers. To get to the reviews plus details on how to buy a compound bow simply follow the links on the manufacturers logo.
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When the bow string is drawn back, energy is stored waiting to be released in an action that will propel an arrow at great speed. Without the cams, pulleys and cable system of compound bows the weight required to hold back such energy would exhaust an archer after only a couple of shots. Compound bows are designed so that as the string is drawn back, the weight actually decreases or “lets off” at full draw. This then means that the string can be held at full draw for longer periods of time than would be achievable with a recurve bow.
Another feature of compound bows also has to do with the cams on the bow. Due to the cams the bow comes to a stop at full draw which means that the bow itself must be fitted to the individual using it. This fitting is done in terms of the draw length of the bow. With compound bows the draw length and the draw weight can be adjusted so that the bow best suits the person who bought it.
Essentially all compound bows have the same goal, namely to fire an arrow as quickly and as accurately as possible. But that’s where any similarity between the compound bows of individual makers ends. In their effort to produce the quietest, most accurate and lightest bow on the market each bow company has developed their own pieces of equipment that are meant to give their bow the edge, although they all tend to do the same thing in the end, they just have a different name for their bit.
In the end, remember, a compound bow is a relatively simple machine. It’s a string mounted tightly between two solid limbs that, when pulled back and released hurls an arrow at high speed. The number of moving parts are not really that great and the variable factors are great. In between, the most important point is that the bow feels right in your hands and that it is set up to suit you.
Now some terms that you will come across when buying a compound bow. These terms are commonly used to describe various features about the bow and what the bow can do. They may sound confusing but hopefully this explanation will help to unravel some of the jargon.
Draw Length – When drawing back the string of a compound bow it is only possible to take it back to a certain length before it stops. This point is the full-draw position and the distance at which it can be taken back is called the draw length. The bow can only be shot for the draw length for which it has been set up although it is possible to alter the draw length by modifying the setup of the bow.
Draw Weight – The draw weight refers to the maximum amount of force that will be on the bow’s limbs when the bow is at full draw. The maximum draw weight is dependent on the limbs and what pressure they can withstand. The higher the draw weight, the harder it will be to take the bow back to full-draw. The smaller or lighter you are, the lower draw weight you will require.
Brace Height – This is a measurement that can tell you how fast the bow will shoot. The brace height measures the distance between the pivot point of the bow’s grip and the string. Essentially, the shorter the brace height the faster the bow. Similarly, the shorter the brace height the less forgiving the bow will be and more difficult to shoot accurately.
Axle To Axle Length – As the phrase suggests, this is the measurement taken from the axle of one cam to the other.
Bow Riser – The bow riser is the center portion of the compound bow that comprises the hand grip, anchor points for the bow limbs and mounting holes for the arrow rest, sights, cable guard and overdraw.
Bow Limbs – The limbs of the bow join the riser to the cams and flex to provide that movement as the bow is being draw back.
Cams – The cams are the wheels that allow the cables to work during the draw producing the distinguishing let-off at full-draw. There are 4 different types of cam systems available with differing attributes, they are: single cams, hybrid cams, twin cams and binary cams.
IBO Speed – When listing the specifications of a compound bow, one of the measurements quoted is the IBO speed and this measurement is quoted in f.p.s. The IBO speed is a measurement system using the International Bowhunting Organization Standards that gives the maximum speed the bow is capable of firing an arrow at, measured in feet per second. In short, the IBO speed is not really an accurate indication of the speeds that are achievable out in the field.
Always be on the lookout for the newest releases of compound bows that each manufacturer is coming out with. This is the opportunity to find out the direction the industry is headed and the way in which each manufacturer is hoping to gain their edge over the opposition.
A number of archery stores offer latest release compound bows as part of compound bow packages which works out to be a great way for a newcomer to buy their first lot of equipment. What you might find included in a compound bow package is the bow, some arrows, a quiver and perhaps some added equipment such as a stabilizer, a release aid, string suppressors. Each bow manufacturer might include a different set of equipment to create a deal that will help get you started.
It is also possible to buy just about any brand or model of used compound bow through out online store. Simply follow through to the manufacturer that most appeals to you and check out the range for some of the cheapest compound bows available.
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