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What are the differences between bows in archery? Long Bow, Recurve Bow and Compound Bow

December 14, 2020| Archery

Archery has been a long-hauled sport started from the earliest of centuries being used for battleship and currently, played as a sport. It is outgrowing other outdoor sports in major parts of the countries among hunting, trekking, or others.

If you have got yourself here, then you must be starting out as an Archery Beginner and wandering out the types of bows, differences, similarities between them, and which one to start with.

Ever since the rejuvenation of Archery and up till now, the bows have changed a lot as they aren’t what they were used to be. The Modern bows are constructed from high-quality tech-materials such as fiberglass and carbon fiber that are equipped with advanced shooting mechanisms and extensive features.

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What is a Long Bow?

Long BOw

Long Bow or Traditional Bows are something that have been used as a popular weapon since the 16th century to attack enemies from a distance.

The structure not as much as changed; consists of a long curved piece of wood and a bowstring that transfers the energy from the bow to arrow.

Shooting with a Long Bow even being easy requires a lot of training to be perfect.

The arrow rest as in the modern bows in Long Bows is missing, which makes it tough for a nice hit and needs constant practice. Traditional/Long Bow has one of the simplest structures among the variety that is available in the market now but with its charms; longbows still need a lot of practice for expert handling.

Tid Bits: Log Bows are simple to shoot in terms of their construction, forms, and use. Longbows tend to have a narrow and precise shooting range and aiming range implying that the arrow sideways intent is lesser as compared to the recurve or compound bows (Will talk about that later).

What are the Parts of a Long Bow?

Following are the parts of a Long Bow:

  • Lower Limb
  • Grip
  • Upper Limb
  • String Silencer
  • Knocking Point
  • Serving
  • String
  • String Groove
Long bow parts

Image Credits: https://www.hunter-ed.com/

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a LongBow?

Advantages of a Long Bow:

  • Friendly for Beginners
  • Allows an easier release for beginners
  • Nostalgic flashbacks to the history
  • Sneaking Shots
  • Easy for Tall Archer’s

Disadvantages of a Long Bow

  • Less Mobility
  • Troubles During Release
  • Needs more practice and strength for Perfect Releases
  • Less Speed and Accuracy than a Recurve Bow

In detail: Long Bow vs Recurve Bow

What is a Recurve Bow?

Following the footsteps of a Long Bow and evolutionary processes comes a recurve bow. Recurve bow has also been used by archers in the history within the armed bottles for firing shots from short to medium range.

The name arises from its rounded or curved limbs style which has its own benefit of pulling the bow. This makes the pulling easier than a longbow providing a steady position. Recurve bow has an ideal anchor position which makes it suitable for beginners as well.

The recurve bow is equipped with an arrow rest, unlike in longbow, which provides the archer in stabilization and aiming of the arrow. Technically, they shoot faster and are more accurate than a Long-Bow because of the arrow rest.

Recurve bows align with Compound and Crossbows in terms of modern construction, which ensures its portability by disassembling.

What are the parts of a Recurve Bow?

  • Lower Limb
  • Grip
  • Arrow Rest
  • Sight Bow
  • Upper Limb
  • Serving
  • Knocking Point
  • String
  • String Groove

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a Recurve Bow?

Advantages of a Recurve Bow

Recurve Bow is a self-reliant hunting and battle bow with the use of some technological and futuristic features. Whereas a Traditional bow takes more passion and practice than Long Bows, a recurve bow is rather easy.

  • Lighter and easier to carry
  • Fewer mechanisms to upkeep
  • Traditional sportsmanship

Disadvantages of a Recurve Bow

  • Requires more upper body strength to draw and hold
  • Must be closer to your target
  • Requires more practice

What is a Compound Bow?

compound bow

A compound bow follows the latest architectural and technical standards that comes with little to many modifications, technically. It is one of the finest ways to get into archery and bowhunting. It comes with rigid and technical parts stuffed into one small piece which can be an illusion to who set eyes on it but in reality, its actually just beneficial to the archer.

Being one of the most complicated has wheels at the ends of its limbs which allows a compound force within the bow while drawn. They are very easy to use and doesn’t require much accuracy to go for a bulls eye. Apart from these preliminary benefits, it has a great shooting power.

What are the Parts of a Compound Bow?

  • Upper Limb
  • Limb Bolt
  • Bow Sight
  • Grip
  • Stabilizer
  • Lower Limb
  • Arrows in Quiver
  • Cam
  • Cables
  • Bow String
  • Knocking Loop
  • Cable Guard
  • Peep Sight
  • Idler Cam

Compound Bow parts

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a Compound Bow?

Advantages of a Compound Bow

For a perfect release that is just bull’s eye, is much easier on a Compound Bow than on a Recurve Bow or a Long Bow. Since they are pretty handy, they don’t require much physical strength and allows great accuracy and power shot even for newbies/beginners.

They have an exquisitely modern feel which makes it deselected for those who are looking for a traditional archery experience. As said, “With great power, comes great responsibility”; which fits perfectly here. For the compound bow to be running perfectly, it has to maintained and tuned properly which actually demands an expertise level of skills.  Complex the mechanism of machine; higher set of skills needed for its running.

  • More accuracy and power
  • Greater distance from the target
  • More customization and add-ons
  • Requires less upper body strength

Disadvantages of a Compound Bow

  • Heavier than a traditional bow
  • More maintenance
  • Draw length is more important

Related: Everything you need to know about compound bows

Related: Compound bow shooting Tips for Beginners

Related: Things to know about before buying a Compound Bow


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