Archery or bow shooting is both fun and challenging. But, with a compound bow, the challenge that comes with this sport becomes almost insignificant. With the right parts, accessories and tools, your compound bow will help you hit your target consistently without missing.
What Is A Compound Bow ? & Compound Bow Parts
Compound bows come with tons of moving parts, which is not something common with recurve bows and longbows. For the first timer, this can be quite daunting, which is why this section has been dedicated to help you gain basic knowledge about the different compound bow parts.
Consequently, when you step out to buy your archery compound bow, you will not look perplexed when you come across terms such as riser, limbs or other parts of this special archery bow.
So, here are the main compound bow parts and their functions;
- Riser: The middle component of the bow is known as the riser, and it is this component that holds the grip. Other features attached to the riser are the sight and the arrow shelf. Typically, this part of a bow is designed with aluminum material. The riser also features tons of bow accessories such as the quiver and stabilizer.
- Limbs: This part of a bow is found at the bow’s top and bottom. They are designed in form of flexible fiberglass planks, and are typically attached to the riser. It is this component that stores the energy that an archer generates when the bowstring is pulled back.
- Cams: Designed in form of oval or round disks, the cams are located at the ends or tips of the limbs. These components are what set a compound bow apart from the traditional bows. They manipulate the bow’s draw weight mechanically as the archer pulls back the string, which ultimately promotes ease in pulling back the string. The different varieties of cams include soft cams, round wheels, and hard cams.
- Bowstring: This part is what makes it possible for you to launch the arrow. Majority of the bowstrings out there are designed using man-made materials. These materials are not the stretching types and would typically lose tension with the passage of time.
- Cables: This is the component that moves the cams each time the bowstring is pulled back. They run from one cam to the other.
- Cable Slide: This tiny plastic piece component attaches to the cable guard, and mounts to the cable. The component functions together with the guard to prevent the strings/cables from getting on the path of the arrow.
- Brace Heights: This is nothing but the distance between the string and the bow’s grip pivot point. Look at it this way; the brace height is the closeness of the string to the archer’s hand while your bow is at rest.
Necessary Compound Bow Accessories
Bow accessories help you to get more from your compound bow. In fact, your archery bow is not complete without the necessary accessories such as the following;
- Arrow Rest: This accessory helps you to rest your arrow while getting ready to release it. Arrow rest comes in various forms and types. As a beginner, the most suitable type is perhaps the containment rest, usually fashioned for the beginner’s range of compound bows. Other types include the shoot-thru, drop away, and the pressure.
- D-Loop: This is a compound bow accessory designed to encircle your arrow at the string. It is the connection point for a mechanical bow release. It features a piece of chord (short cord). Two knots are used to fasten the chord to the bowstring.
- Sight: The sight is another essential bow accessory and helps in aiming your archery bow. This is attached to the riser and functions in similar manner like they would do in a typical gun. The commonest type of sight is the fixed pin, featuring 3-5 pins. You will also find other varieties of sights in the market. It is difficult to shoot without sights as this device is very helpful.
- Peep: This piece of plastic designed to mimic a doughnut shape is an accessory that you can insert between your bow string’s strands. The peep is where you look through to aim as you pull back the string.
- Release: This is the device worn on the wrist and hand used by the bow-shooter to pull back the bow string. It features a tiny clip that attaches to the string; when you are set to release the arrow, you pull it back, and the trigger opens the clip as you pull it and releases the bowstring. Many archers prefer not to shoot without a release.
- Stabilizer(s): This accessory is optional. It is designed in form of a rod. It is attached to the bow’s front, underneath the grip. It is an accessory that helps steady your bow as you shoot. It also functions to minimize noise and vibration while shooting.
- Quiver: This unit can be either mounted permanently or made detachable. It holds your arrows. There are different designs of quiver. For instance, you will find the design that comes with one or two points that hold contact on your arrow.
- Case: A bow case is not just a protective accessory but also helps in moving your archery tools easily from one point to another. It also adds to the aesthetic appearance of your archery weapon.
How to Shoot a Bow More Accurately
Using a compound bow to shoot works differently from shooting a longbow or recurve. The compound bow involves the use of pulleys in pulling back the bow-string – a process known as “Let Off.” As these pulleys minimize tension on the string, they help promote ease in holding the weapon in an accurate shooting position. Also, you will apply less strength in shooting as a result. For beginners or as a junior, you would need assistance from a savvy or more matured bow shooter.
The Tools You’ll Need
• A Compound bow
• Applicable accessories
Place the arrow through or on the rest to nock it.
Get the sharp colored vane to face upward by rotating the arrow. Locate the bowstring right in the hub of the string loop and press the nick onto it in a firm manner. If you do this correctly, you will hear a click sound, indicating it has been firmly set in place.
Take a standing position that is somewhat perpendicular to your target. There is really not much emphasis on the exact angle. It all depends on what you prefer as an individual and what matters is that you are steadying your body and not twisting it. You will eventually spot your preferred stance as you keep practicing.
Locate the grip right in front of your bow and place your non-dominant hand right there. Ensure that you position your hand right behind the grip; this way, your body will not twist as you draw the bow. This hand functions to provide support to the bow’s weight, so that your dominant hand will get the required resistance to draw the bow.
Keep your arm straight to correctly position your bow before drawing. Then, go ahead and click the release right onto the string loop located at the back of the arrow.
Pull the string back. This can be accomplished more effectively when most of the power emanates from your back muscles. Try to apply smooth motion while pulling – squeeze your shoulder blades to accomplish this. It is important to ensure you are steadying your body and not twisting it.
You should take note that the nock will resolve someplace on the face. For some bow shooters, it is better for this “anchor point” to settle at a low point on their face (this is their preference). On the other hand, some archers want it higher. Whatever that is comfortable for you is just fine, just ensure you are consistent.
Make the target to line up with the pin just as you see things via the peep sight. Remember, you are using your dominant eye to look through the peep sight. Your non-dominant eye should be closed as you line the target up with the pin on top. The bubble must remain right in the middle of the level in the frontward sight. Now, pull back the bow in a straight manner and let go (release) – this action will shoot the arrow.
Whether you are right/left-handed, you can employ the steps above to shoot your compound bow in an accurate manner. A beginner should rely heavily on the tutelage of an experienced archer to make the learning curve shorter.
And, when you want to choose the best compound bow, many factors would come into play such as your budget, the type of game you want to hunt, and your bow shooting level (beginner, intermediate etc). There are tons of brands in the market and you can get overwhelmed except you know what you’re looking for. So, see our comprehensive guide and review on the best bows for your money in 2016.