Compound Bow

A compound bow is a type of bow that uses a system of pulleys and cables to improve its performance and accuracy. The compound bow is a relatively modern invention, having been first introduced in the 1960s, and has since become the most popular type of bow used in archery.

How does a Compound Bow Work

The basic principle of a compound bow is similar to that of a traditional bow. When the archer pulls back on the bowstring, the limbs of the bow bend and store energy. When the archer releases the string, the limbs snap back to their original position, transferring the energy to the arrow and propelling it forward.

However, the key difference with a compound bow is that it uses a system of pulleys and cables to reduce the amount of force required to hold the bowstring at full draw. This allows the archer to hold the bow steady for longer periods of time, which can lead to more accurate shots.

The pulley system also provides a "let-off" point, where the weight of the draw is reduced significantly, making it easier to hold steady and take the shot. The amount of let-off can be adjusted on most compound bows, depending on the archer's preference.

Components of a Compound Bow

As mentioned earlier, a compound bow is made up of several key components, including:


The riser is the central part of the bow where the archer grips the bow. It is typically made of lightweight materials such as aluminum or magnesium, and it serves as the platform for attaching the other components of the bow.


The limbs of a compound bow are the upper and lower parts of the bow that are responsible for storing and releasing energy. They are usually made of materials such as fiberglass or carbon fiber, and they are attached to the riser with bolts or screws.


The cams, also known as pulleys, are located at the tips of the limbs. They play a crucial role in reducing the amount of force required to hold the bowstring at full draw and provide a smoother draw cycle.

There are several types of cam systems, including single cam, dual cam, and hybrid cam. Each system has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, depending on the archer's needs and preferences.

Bowstrings and Cables

The bowstrings and cables are what connect the limbs and cams, transferring the energy stored in the limbs to the arrow. The bowstring is typically made of a high-strength material such as Kevlar or Dyneema, while the cables are thicker and stronger to balance the weight distribution of the bow.


There are several accessories that can be added to a compound bow to enhance its performance and accuracy, including sights, arrow rests, stabilizers, and quivers. These accessories are not necessary for shooting a compound bow, but they can help to improve the archer's experience and accuracy.

Advantages of a Compound Bow

The compound bow offers several advantages over traditional bows, including:

  • Higher accuracy
  • Increased power
  • Reduced draw weight
  • Adjustability

These advantages make the compound bow a popular choice for archers of all levels, from beginners to professionals. With its advanced technology and sleek design, the compound bow has become the go-to choice for hunters, sport shooters, and archery enthusiasts alike.