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Everything you need to know about Compound Bow

July 4, 2021| Archery

In this topic, we’ll be covering all the different parts and terms of a compound bow, we’ll be going through different parts; why they are needed; what they do and why they are important?  So, let’s jump right into it.

Before diving into the details, here’s a quick list of all the important parts that we’ll be discussing today. 

Components of a Compound Bow


The first part of a bow that you need to get familiar with is the cam. now some bows have a single cam system some bows have a dual cam system a dual cam bow uses two eccentric cams which are identical to one another there will be one on the top and one on the bottom a single cam system uses a single large cam on the bottom limb and an idler wheel on

The top some advantages of the single cam system include a quieter bow which is very important for bow hunters and not having to worry about it going out of tune as often as dual cam systems do now the opposite is true if we look at a dual cam system they’re going to be faster so that’s an advantage but the disadvantage it’s going to be a little louder than your single cam system and it will need more attention to tuning next.

Bow Strings

Let’s talk about bow strings and cables for the longest time i didn’t understand the difference between string and cables and I’m going to break it all down for you right now your bow string is the string that you physically pull on and is ultimately what propels the arrow forward out of the bow cable. On the other hand work directly with the bow’s cam system as the shot is executed they’re similar but very different at the same time.

Read More: Things to Consider before buying a Compound Bow

The Riser

The riser is the middle portion of the bow which contains the grip and is attached to the bow’s limbs. Most of the compound bow risers are made out of aluminum and they typically have these crazy cut out patterns and designs that are really aimed at decreasing the overall weight of the bow. In recent years carbon fiber bow risers have become increasingly popular because they’re even lighter in weight than aluminum while still maintaining good strength and durability. 


Limbs are the main component of the bow and this is what gives the bows their overall shape. Limbs are what connects the cam system to the bow’s riser. The limb pocket holds the bow limb securely in place and the limb bolt is what connects the limb pocket to the riser of the bow; most limb bolts use a standard allen wrench to adjust them.

Adequately,  this is how you will increase or decrease the poundage of your bow and when you are messing with these limb bolts you need to make sure that you adjust the top and bottom perfectly equal or as perfectly as possible. If they aren’t perfectly in tune with each other you can end up having a lot of tuning issues with your bow.

Read More: Long Bow vs Recurve Bow vs Compound Bow

Brace Height

Brace Height is another really important thing to understand when you are actually purchasing a bow. It’s one of those specs that you’ll want to be able to identify and know what’s going on with it. A brace height is the measured distance between the throat of the bow grip so the deepest part and the string. Brace height is often used as an indicator of both speed and forgiveness brace heights that are six and a half inches or less are generally considered less forgiving so they will be fast but they’re going to really exacerbate any flaws in the archer’s form longer brace heights on the other hand so you’re looking at six and a half or over are going to be a little more stabilizing for the archer but a little slower at the same time. 

Read More: What is Brace Height in Compound Bows?


Axle this is another big one that you want to pay attention to when you are looking to buy a bow. Axle to axle length is the distance between the axles that run through the cams and limbs while the bow is at rest. The longer the axle to axle length the more stable that bow is going to be i prefer a bow that has a longer axle to axle length

So in general anywhere from 28 to 30 or 31 is considered a relatively short axle to axle once you hit 32 33 34 even 35 are longer axle to axles. Especially when we’re talking about hunters; now target archers will go much longer than that even up to 42 inches axle to axle but since i am a hunter that is what i’m focused on

The biggest downside to having a long axle to axle from a hunting perspective is just the fact that you have to carry around more weight. This makes it harder to maneuver when you are in a tree stand or a hunting saddle or a ground blind or if you’re hunting elk or mule deer and you are hiking around the mountain. You don’t want to have more weight to lug around so it’s another balancing act between having a bow with a long enough axle to really stabilize your shot. But also not too long is that you’re carrying a lot of extra weight and it becomes really cumbersome to have actually out with you on the hunt and you need to have it with you on the hunt.

Read More: Compound Bow Shooting Tips for Beginners

Let’s dive into some smaller aspects of a compound bow; string suppressors or string silencers.

String Suppressors or String Silencers

They are small rubbery items that you’ll see attached to the string, attached to the bow limbs and their job is really to dampen the sound and quieten the bow. Speed knocks are added to the bow string in strategic spots to give it a little more power and produce faster aero speeds. You won’t always find speed knocks in the exact same location depending on your bow manufacturer and your string manufacturer. But just know they’re there and that’s what they’re for.  

The Center Serving:

The center serving is found in the middle of your bow string and it’s the portion of the string covered by serving material. The idea behind this is to make it more durable and tougher than the regular bow string material; the cable guard pulls the cables off to the side in order to provide clearance for the arrow. 

The arrow shelf is found directly above the grip of the bow within the riser and this is where you will mount your arrow rest and last but not least the string suppressor most bows nowadays come with a string suppressor installed from the factory these are designed to stop the bow string as it comes forward after the stop to reduce noise and vibration. 

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