Types of Archery Bow

As most archery enthusiasts may already know, there are over the course of history four major types of archery bows that have existed.

These bow types have evolved and gone through a lot of changes and development to make them even more precise and accurate when used in the field.

Through the ages, the components, parts, attributes, features and shooting mechanisms of these bow types keep on impressing the archers. 


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From having a fiberglass component to having a carbon fiber-based shooting mechanism, these types of archery bows have not failed to make a mark to their actual users. 

That said, the four major types of bows today are recurve bows, longbows, crossbows, and compound bows.

If you’re asking yourself which of these bow types can elevate your archery bow types, then the article Identify Archery Bow types for you?” should be your go-to source.

Recurve Bows

Many people already know that recurve bows such as hunting recurve bow has the reputation of being a bow composed of limbs that curve away from the archer when they are unstrung. 

What distinguishes these recurve bows from others is that they store more energy, and deliver that energy at a more efficient level compared to other straight-limbed bows through whose mechanisms a greater amount of energy and speed to the arrow is transported.


An added strength of these recurve bows is that they can permit a shorter bow than their simple straight limb bow counterpart for given stated arrow energy.


This is actually the kind of form that’s often preferred by archers in various environments that require long weapons and more arm muscles. Examples of these environments include cumbersome areas, like forest and brush terrain, or when the archer is on horseback. 


Recurve bows are also defined from the various terms and components that compose them, and some of these major parts include the following components: back, arrow rest, belly, bow sight, brace height, grip, limbs, nocking point, riser, string, sling, tab, tiller or thumb ring.


Other attachments that may be installed to these recurve bows include clickers, kissers, plunger buttons, and stabilizers. 

There are now new developments in these recurve bows to adapt to the modern setting. In fact, the modern Olympic-style recurve bow has been developed for the American public and now called the American flatbow, which is composed of rectangular-section limbs that can be extended towards their limb tips. 

For more comprehensive information about the type of person that’s recommended to use recurve bows, you may want to read this resource article, entitled Archery Equipment: Complete list for Beginners. 


It’s easier to describe longbows compared to other types because they appear to be the most common types you see in traditional settings where bows are used. To be more precise, a longbow is, in essence, a bow type that’s not only tall but also roughly equal to the user’s height.


These longbows have limbs that are relatively narrow so that they can have a D-shaped size in cross-section.

Since warfare and ancient civilization days, these longbows have been used for hunting and warfare, but today these longbows are still famously used during archery competitions, mostly in archery clubs in the United States.

This suggests that longbows have the most historical significance and deserve the rich heritage and reputation that it enjoys across time. 

Compound Bows

It was in the 1960s that the first set of compound bows became prominent, popular and largely commercialized.

These original compound bows involved an innovative system of cables, eccentric cams and pull that boost the efficiency, accuracy and output delivery of the archer, giving the archer more power and assist him to hold a heady draw weight when positioned at a full draw. 

What the pulley/cam system in these compound bows specifically do is that they grant the user a strong mechanical advantage, resulting in making the limbs of the compound bows to be stiffer than what archers can engage with recurve bows or longbows. This rigidity makes the compound bow more energy-efficient than other types. 

This strong mix of higher-rigidity and higher-technology construction can dramatically increase the accuracy of the archer but will still reduce the bow’s sensitivity to changes in humidity and temperature.

Of course, not all compound archery bows are created equally.

To learn the type of compound bow that fits your budget, the article Top 10 Compound Archery Bow under $500 will be your ultimate help.


The crossbows as we know them today have their origins traced back to as far as China in ancient times and then to the Greco-Roman and Medieval ages.

Right now, the modern crossbows may already be considered as strongly similar to standard firearms, even though they have a short bow that’s horizontally attached to its muzzle.

These bows are drawn through a crank mechanism which is then attached to the trigger mechanism and locked in place before the archer can fire it. 

You should know, too, that the crossbows made today only have short firing ranges and will need heavier draw weights to reach an efficiency level that matches with compound or recurve bows.

Also, a crossbow is an elastic ranged weapon that consists of a bow-like assembly called a prod, a mainframe called a tiller and it can shoot arrow-like projectiles that are called bolts or quarrels. 

It may even be said that a crossbow’s structure is just a bow mounted on an elongated frame that’s called a tiller or stock attached to a built-in mechanism. Such a mechanism holds the drawn bow string as well as another trigger mechanism that would allow strings to be released. 

Across history, there are many types of crossbows that have been borne, and some of them are the double-shot repeating crossbows, mounted double crossbows, two-connected double bow crossbows, and the Gallo-Roman crossbows.

A Comparative Analysis

Using the right type of bow can render benefits and advantages that are not available in other types.

For example, crossbows are perfect for hunting or enthusiasts that want to feel the adrenaline rush of the arrow but don’t want to miss the convenience of triggering with an actual gun. 

Compound bows, on the other hand, are perfect for those who want to aim a powerful bow without causing excessive muscle fatigue on their arms, even if at first instance the archers would need a significant deal of strength to initially draw the bow. 

Longbows and recurve bows are then used for those who just want a good old reliable bow and arrow weapon to simulate the historical times when they were used by tribal warriors and horsemen.

To get a more elaborate and customized analysis of the kind of archery bow type that suits you best, the source article entitled How To Identify Archery Bow Types Good For You?has the answers you need.

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