Types of Bows

There are several different types of bows in archery and you can get as in-depth and as specialized as you want.  Right here, I’m just going to cover several different kinds of bows that are available.  I will try to make this rather in-depth, but there are always more kinds than any one person could know.

Traditional Archery

The two main categories of traditional bows are the long bow and the recurve.  A long bow is actually defined as a bow where the string doesn’t touch the bow anywhere except the two points where it is attached.  A recurve bow normally has the string touch it close to both ends.  Some modern longbows have a design that can make them look like a recurve bow until they are strung.

Stick bow is the general name for traditional bows that are made from a single piece of wood.  There are many different kinds of wood that you can use to make a bow.  The stick bow is very popular for those who like primitive archery and for many traditional archers.

The laminated bow is made from layers of different materials that combine to create a bow.  The older bows were made with sinew, horn, hair, skins, and many other things.  Modern laminated bows are made with several layers of wood, carbon fibers, and glues.  The average speed of most traditional bows is between 150 – 200 feet per second.

The Compound Bow

The modern bow, it’s completely changed the sport of archery forever.  The introduction of the cams at both ends creates the ability to pull the bow back at a lighter weight and shoot it at a faster speed.  The let off is how much difference there exists between the force the bow exerts on the arrow and the force it takes to hold the bow at full draw.  The average speed of most compound bows is between 300-500 feet per second.

The Crossbow

The crossbow has been considered by many to not be a bow, but it is still included by many when talking about types of bows.  The crossbow is a bow that’s fixed perpendicular on a gun stock shaped item.  These have the ability to have a very high draw weight and once it is drawn and loaded, you just shoot it like a gun.

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