How a Compound Bow Works

Understand About How a Compound Bow Works

How a Compound Bow Works

A compound bow is a modern bow used in archery comprising of a levering system of pulleys and cables. This article will explain how a compound bow works that can give you more understanding about the components in the compound bow that you can use as the references. 

This bow was made as a modification of the older longbows and recurve bows which required a lot of effort on the part of the archer to draw the string and to further hold it. With the pulley system, the compound bows are used in an easier way and with comfort to do archery as well leading to improved accuracy as well as better velocity. 

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The compound bow makes it easier and better to use a bow giving the archer a better sense of accomplishment having hit the arrow at the right spot. This invention of Holless Wilbur Allen has blessed the world with a better bow which is apparently the only one that we get to see these days owing to its brilliance.

For this invention, Holless Wilbur Allen has also earned a place of honor in the Archery Hall of Fame in Springfield, Missouri. This bow works on the basic mechanism of all other bows, however, has been made more efficient by employing simple science theories. 

The basic manner in which a bow works is to convert the force applied by the archer into the arrow released to hit the target. The player pulls back the string which has an arrow on it which results in the bent limb of the bow. This arrow is then released along with the string which transfers the force applied earlier into the arrow bringing the bow in its initial position. The kinetic energy which is applied to arrow gets exchanged with the potential energy by which the bow springs the arrow.

There is surely some loss of energy that occurs in the process since the amount of energy applied by the archer on the bow is slightly more than the energy with which the arrow finally gets launched. This is the basic mechanism behind a compound bow.

The speed secret of how a compound bow works

The conventional longbow was not equipped with pulleys and channels and hence it required a lot of force for drawing the bowstring which escalated as the string was to be held constant.

These bows were capable of launching the arrow with a speed of 200 feet per second or less. However, the compound bow is capable of launching an arrow at approximately a speed of 370 feet per second. 

The reason for this better speed is that the draw cycle of a compound bow is not linear which allows the user to exert lesser force at the same time giving him/her an opportunity to take their time to aim and concentrate well there. In this bow, the major force rests in the front of the bow and lesser of it is present at the back which helps to give speed to the arrow. In a compound bow, two pulleys are connected so when one moves the other moves with the same force but with a smaller string. Since it is moved for a shorter distance but with the same force, the speed gets ameliorated. 

How a compound bow works and how do it make it easier to shoot?

 Compound bows are equipped with cams or noncircular wheels, which change the force that is required by the archer to draw the string of the bow. The longbows or recurve bows demand energy on a growing scale and reach the peak later. However, in the compound bow, lesser energy is required to reach the peak point and then there is a let-off with the archer not supposed to increase the amount of force applied to keep the string constant. This also helps to store more energy in the bow making the arrow go ahead with a higher velocity. Even though the entire energy applied and stored by the archer is not the exact same by which then the arrow is released, it is still better than other bows. 

There are two cams present of which the radii are changed when the archer draws the string of the bow. As the gear ratio is maximized it multiplies the amount of force that you exert on it, making it more than the force stored in the limbs also and allows a let off. At the end there is also a back wall which stops the string being pulled further when it is at the maximum level. There is a feature to adjust the draw stops keeping it in sync with the archers optimum draw length so that the archer is able to use the same anchor point each time making the performance consistent. 

The presence of a hard cam and a soft cam as per the requirement of the archer makes the compound bow further advantageous. The design of the cam is in direct control of the acceleration of the bow, using a soft cam accelerates the bow more gently as compared to the hard cam. This can be changed as generally, the beginners make use of the hard cam and then get it changed into a soft cam when they have earned experience. 


This is in a nutshell how a compound bow works and what advantages it has over the recurve or longbows which were the only existing bows for over 700 years and were also used in wars.

Compound bows have made it easier for the archer to go ahead with a wonderful archery round as they have not only reduced the amount of force required at the end of the archer but have also made the gaming experience better by rendering the shots efficient giving them a good velocity.

Thinking back of recurve bows and longbows, the game of archery would never have been what it is in the present day have this invention not been made. People would still have been pointing bows in the sky and then bringing it forward rather than directly being able to point the arrow where the target lies and focusing nicely. it is hoped that this article explain about how a compound bow works that can give information about compound bow.

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