9 Best Compound Bow Reviews
Archery is a great hobby and we are here to help you find the Best Compound Bows for 2017 out there with our comprehensive reviews. Whether you need a bow for hunting or shooting at targets for sport, a quality compound bow makes archery easy and fun. You can start using a bow from a tender age, but need to pick the best one for your level of strength and fitness. Our reviews for the best in 2017 will help you find the best bow for you no matter your age, gender or arm/ body strength.
Best Compound Bow for the Money in 2017
- Genesis Original Compound Bow
- PSE Prophecy 70-Pound Skullworks Bow
- SAS Siege 55 lb 29” Compound Bow
- Bear Archery Brave Bow Set
- Leader Accessories Compound Bow Hunting Bow
- SAS Rage 70 Lbs 30” Compound Bow
- Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package
- Martin Archery 60 Blade X4 Compound Bow
- PSE 60# Ready To Shoot Break-Up Infinity Bow
We have taken into account what you wish to use the bows for, materials, draw strength, draw length, speed (fps), cam type, noise, left or right handedness and budget. We will also help you learn more about compound bows and how they work, how to use and care for them and give tips on what to look out for when choosing the best bows. Choosing the right Compound Bows can be confusing, we hope our reviews of the best on the market for 2017 will give you the confidence to choose the best one for you.
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Buyers Guide Questions
What is a Compound Bow?
A compound bow is a modern bow design that is smaller than a recurve bow (the type of bow you see in fantasy and medieval movies). It is characterised by a frame shape that looks a little like the edge of the batman logo, what looks like wheels at the end of each arm of the bow and more than one string.
This design allows the bow to be smaller and more compact than a recurve bow and yet still pack a lot of power. It also allows you to achieve greater accuracy and takes a lot of the strain of pulling on the bow string out of archery, allowing you to shoot more arrows for a longer time without getting nearly as tired. As can be seen in our reviews of Compound Bows there are a lot of different styles of bows that can be used for either hunting or target practice.
How do you shoot a Compound Bow?
You shoot a Compound Bow pretty much the way you imagine you should. You place an arrow on the arrow rest on the bow with the sharp end pointing away from you and nock the flights end onto the bow string (there is a groove at the end of the arrow that fits over the bow string).
You take up the correct stance by turning your body side on (90 degrees) to the target you are aiming at. The hand holding the bow is on the side facing the target. You hold the bow vertical (90 degrees) to the ground.
The hand that holds the productis the opposite of your dominant eye. Your dominant eye is the eye your brain prefers to use it is usually the same as your dominant hand (the hand you prefer to write with or do finicky tasks with), but not always.
You can check which eye is dominant by extending an arm in the classic thumbs up or hitchhiking position. Keeping both eyes open, use the thumb to block out a distant object. Now close your left eye. If the object is still blocked out then your right eye is your dominant eye. Close your right eye and open your left you should see that the object is no longer blocked by your thumb confirming that your right eye is dominant. Of course, if the object stays blocked when looking through your left eye but is visible from your right eye then your left eye is dominant.
It is your dominant eye (not your dominant hand) which determines whether you use a left handed or right handed bow. The handedness of the bow does not describe which hand holds the bow, but which hand draws the bow string.
Now that you are standing in the correct stance, with the product in the correct hand, it is time to draw and shoot.
In most cases people shoot compound bows using a release. A release is a strap around your wrist with a trigger that attaches to the bow string. If using a release, attach the release to the bow string. If you are not using a release, you place your first and middle fingers on either side of where the arrow is knocked onto the bow string (this should be the middle of the bow string).
You then pull the string backwards until it is as far back as it can go. The force that you pull against when you start your pull is called the draw weight of the bow. Partly through the draw you will feel the force you are pulling against decrease this is called the let off and is where the cam mechanism of the bows design takes 65% – 75% of the weight away from your draw.
The let off helps you to hold you hold your string back for longer without getting tired and so gives you more time to aim.
You aim the product using the sights (if fitted) or the arrow tip (if no sights are fitted) and then, keeping the bow straight and steady, you release the string (or gently press the trigger on the release).
What’s the difference between a Compound Bow and Recurve Bow?
Recurve bows are the bows you picture when you think of American Indians or Robin Hood. It is made up of a long curved piece of wood with a single string between the ends of the limbs of the bow.
The amount of strength needed to pull back the string of a bow is measured in pounds (e.g. a 30lb bow or a 70lb bow or a number in between). When you draw a recurve bow, you pull back on the string and it causes the bow to bend and the tips of the limbs to move closer together. From the moment you start pulling on the string of the bow you are pulling against the full draw weight of the bow and you have to keep pulling against this whilst you find your aim.
You also start the draw by pulling against the full draw weight of the bow, but around 2/3 of your way through the draw the cam and pulley design of the bow takes a lot of the weight away. This is known as the let off and leaves you only pulling against around 25% of the weight. As you can imagine, this makes the bow feel lighter and places a lot less strain on you whilst you find your aim allowing you to take your time without getting the trembles that will affect (and ruin) your shot.
The let off is why it is easier to shoot more accurately than recurve bows and why you can shoot one for longer without getting nearly as tired as you would when using a recurve type product.
Compound bows also have a level of adjustability allowing you to change the the bow for different users, usually with no more fuss than a few turns of an allen key.
Recurve bows cannot be left strung (with the string in place between the arms of the bow) whilst not in use. This is because the tension will warp the bow and reduce its power. Compound bows can and must be left strung at all times.
What components make up Compound Bows and how do you maintain them?
The best compound bows consists of:
Riser the part of the bow that includes the grip and whish the sights and other parts can be attached
Limbs attached to the riser, these flex when it is drawn and provide the energy that propels the arrow. They are attached to the riser using the
Limb pocket and limb bolt. The limbs rest inside the pocket which is bolted to the riser. Adjusting the bolt affects the draw weight of the bow. Tightening the bolt increases the weight, loosening the bolt decreases the draw weight. NB: it is essential that adjustments be made equally to the upper and lower limbs or the bow will become out of tune and lose accuracy.
Cam and idler / Dual & Binary these are the wheels at the end of the limbs. They are what allows them to remain compact and still produce the heavy draw weight of a much longer recurve bow. They are also what create the let off that makes the compound bow easier to use. Choosing between the options here is technical and relates to the speed of the bow with dual / binary cams being regarded as faster and noisier. A single and idler is regarded as being slower but quieter and less likely to go out of tune.
String The string is used to pull back and propel the arrow. It should be waxed, inspected before use and replaced every 2 3 years.
Arrow rest a support mechanism for the front of the arrow, designed to keep the arrow steady and in place whilst drawing and shooting. Many different designs are available. The arrow rest is bolted to the riser.
Cable guard keeps the extra cables / string in the bow from interfering with the flight of the arrow. It is bolted to the riser and many options are available, from a simple rod to a device with wheels that keep the cables / string firmly positioned.
String suppressor attached to the riser, this is a rod with a rubber tip (or bumper) that stops the travel of the string when you shoot the bow. This is positioned just in front of the string when the bow is not drawn and stops the string from travelling forward past this point when the bow is fired. It helps stop noise and vibration.
String silencer rubber items attached to the string to help reduce noise and vibration when the bow is fired.
Grip on the riser, this is where you hold the bow. Can be customised in many forms and materials to suit the archers preferences.
Wrist sling a small loop of material attached to the riser that goes around the wrist of the hand that holds the bow. Keeps the bow in place if you lose your grip on your shooting hand. Not all bows come with wrist slings, but all can have one attached to the riser.
Sights attaches to the riser and allows you to aim at your target using pins, crosshairs or even a laser dot. Not all bows come with sights, but all can have one attached to the riser. Available in many options.
Peep sight a small plastic donut inserted into the string. You look through the hole of the peep sight and then set the front sights on your target. Greatly improves accuracy and consistency. Not all bows come with peep sights, but all can have one attached to the string.
Stabiliser the bar sticking out the frontis weighted and affects the bows centre of gravity, increasing stability and increasing accuracy. Not all bows come with a stabiliser, but all can have one attached to the riser.
Compound Bows are relatively low maintenance weapons. The riser, limbs and other attachments are sturdy and durable. They only need to be checked occasionally for wear or damage. Any hint of damage is likely to show up immediately as a strange sound when shooting the bow. If you hear such a sound (or feel a strange vibration) thoroughly inspect the bow for damage or, better still, take it to a pro for inspection as the bow might be cracked.
Always check your string to see if it is worn, thread or ragged. If any of the above applies, replace the string. Strings should ideally be replaced every 2 3 years or every 2000 3000 shots, whichever comes first. Apply bowstring wax to the string on a regular basis (weekly if shooting often). Use soft wax only, dont try to rub hard wax into the string.
NEVER Dry Fire the bow (i.e. fire it without an arrow) as this can damage the string, the cam system and you! Consider having your bows serviced yearly by a professional especially if you shoot often.
How do you choose the best Compound Bow?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best compound bow that is just right for you.
First and foremost you have to make sure that you choose the correct handed bow. Remember, the handedness of the bow does not describe which hand holds the bow. Instead, it describes which eye is your dominant eye (we describe how to check this in How do you shoot a compound bow) and therefore which hand is used to draw the bow string.
You will need to make sure you get this one right your dominant eye is not always the same as your dominant hand, so make sure you check before you buy rather than just going on which hand you use to write with. If you get it wrong your shooting will not be accurate and you will just get frustrated!
Draw weight and length
These factors relate to your size and strength. The length you need can be checked by measuring your arm-span index finger to index finger. Then divide that measurement by 2.5. The result is your ideal draw length. If the bow cannot accommodate your length you will feel uncomfortable drawing it and will be unable to get into the correct stance which will result in you being unable to shoot accurately. Remember that if you are buying for a growing youngster it is a good idea to get a bow that offers a wide range of lengths so that the youngster will not outgrow the bow too quickly.
The draw weight of the bow is determined by your strength. The higher the weight, the faster the bows shoot the arrow and the harder the impact on the target which is important for hunting. But it doesnt help if you buy a bow with a draw weight of 50lb 70lb if you struggle to (or are unable to) draw it and get tired after shooting it only once or twice. Practice picking up some heavy objects from the ground and pulling them up to your chest only using your arm muscles. This should give you a good idea of the weight that you can handle comfortably and make sure that it is within the weight range offered by the bow you wish to buy.
This is especially important if you plan to hunt with your bow. A higher speed means a stronger impact and increases the chance of a kill. The bigger the game you hunt, the faster your bow should be.
All other factors in a bow are accessories and can generally be replaced and improved upon by looking for and buying alternatives. The sights, arrow rests, stabilisers, tube sights, slings, etc. are not permanently fixed to the bow and can usually be replaced quite quickly and easily if you find that they dont work for you.
These accessories can be quite pricey, though. So if you are just getting started then it is perhaps best to get a bow with all the accessories included (often called RTS ready to shoot- or RTH ready to hunt) so that you can get a feel for the kit and whether or not you like archery before spending a lot of money on the supporting accessories.
If, on the other hand, you are an experienced archer then you probably know what accessories work for you and buying one with all the extra bits included will simply not make sense for you.
What we are saying is that you should pay attention to your handedness (your dominant eye), your draw length and your physical strength. After that, you need to think about what you plan to use the bows for if you plan to hunt with the bow then you should look for the fastest bow appropriate for your intended prey. These are the things you should consider when buying compound bows.
Technical considerations are not important except to people who are already proficient archers / hunters and have developed their own preferences in this regard. Finally, the extras should be tertiary considerations and have little influence on your buying decision.
Whether you are taking your first tentative steps into the world of archery, or a seasoned professional, the Compound Bow is the perfect tool. It is great, not only for target practice, but for hunting too. In our reviews we covered the Best Compound Bows for both beginners and seasoned users, so whether you are buying a Compound Bow for your son or daughter or you need one for hunting our reviews have covered your needs. Choosing the Best Compound Bow for you has never been easier with our list of the 9 Best Compound Bows for 2017 available at online for you to consider.
The Genesis Original Bow gets our top pick of all the bows reviewed because of its amazing versatility and adjustability. You can buy these bows for your child to learn archery with and they will never outgrow it and always be able to use it on the range to hone their skills and practice their technique.
It is the ultimate and best starter bow, useable by all ages, sizes and fitness levels. Its single cam design minimises tuning issues. It is an incredibly accommodating quality bow for beginners to seasoned users. No wonder it has been made the Official bow of the National Archery in the School Program (NASP)!
The PSE Prophecy 70 pound Skullworks bow holds the distinction of being the fastest single cam bow delivering an amazing 340 fps of speed at its maximum 70lb draw weight. It allows for draw lengths of 25 30 and its speed derives partly from its innovative past-parallel split limb technology. The single cam design reduces any likelihood of tuning problems to almost zero.
Our reviews show that it is the ultimate hunting bow and so qualifies as our premium choice, delivering a knock down blow to any creature you get into your sights.
The SAS Siege 55 lb 29” Compound Bow is our choice, from our reviews, for great value, not only because it is a competent bow for hunting and target shooting, but also because it comes pretty much RTS (ready to shoot) with an accessory package that includes a with 5-pin Bow Sight and Sight Light, an Arrow Rest, a Stabilizer, a Bow Sling, a Tube Peep Sight and Paper Targets.
This all combines into a package that offers you the best bang (or twang) for your buck and gets you into archery without having to shop around for all those extra accessories needed to make your bow complete.