Having the helpful knowledge of the bow anatomy and usage features will help you in your buying decision so you can pick the best bow for your hunting needs.

Compound Bow Buying Guide - For Beginners-choose-compound-bow-jpg

The Choice

For every archer, buying a compound bow will be an individual experience shaped by personal shooting style and skill level. While there are numerous factors that go into choosing the right compound bow for your particular needs, there are some guidelines that will help jump start your search.

There are advantages and disadvantages of solid vs. split limb bows, none of which can be proven or dis-proven.

Draw Length
The draw length of your new compound bow should be based on size, your size. Shooting a bow with a draw length that is too big will prove highly ineffective. It might give you more speed, but you will ultimately be uncomfortable while shooting and might give up some control over the arrow.

The let off on a compound bow is the reduction of force necessary to draw the string to maximum draw length after the maximum amount of draw force has been reached. When looking at compound bow specifications notice the let off is noted as a percentage. Most modern compound bows have let offs in excess of 75%. In a situation where the draw weight is 70# and an 80% let off, there will only be 14lbs to draw back and hold. Hunters and archers will notice that it is much easier to hold and aim with the higher let offs.

Axle - to - Axle
When you are choosing your next compound bow, axle-to-axle length is going to be a decision you have to make. Compound bows can be broken down into 3 different ranges: Short, Mid Axle, and Long. Each of these categories have particular situations where they are more effective than the others, so axle length is a fairly subjective choice.

  • Short Axle Bows - Under 32". The short axle bows are ideal for hunters who are shooting from a treestand and want a lightweight, functional, and compact bow. This type of bow will generally require a higher skill level for long range shooting and are used with a mechanical release.

  • Mid Axle Bows - 32" to 38". Most weekend warrior hunters will use bows that fall in this axle length category since it is the most versatile of the sizes. It gives archers increased accuracy when shooting longer distances and it is not too large that it's cumbersome. This is a good size for tree stand and ground hunters, recreational shooters, and even newcomers.

  • Long Axle Bow - Over 38". The long axle bows are also called finger shooters because they have a wider angle at full drawback easing the pressure on your finger. This category of bows is generally reserved for competition shooters rather than hunters since they are large for tree stand hunting. However, many ground archers like the stability provided by long axle bows.

Brace Height
Brace Height, as defined, is the distance between the string and the pivot point of the grip. The height of the brace is directly correlated to the length of the drawback and ultimately greater energy. The shorter the brace height, the more work is needed on the drawback since the distance will be greater. Conversely, a longer brace height requires less work to reach the maximum draw length. You will commonly find that the compound bows with a shorter brace height will be faster. Regardless, that does not necessarily mean it is the right fit for you.

Choosing the right compound bow is a personal decision and at times can be very challenging. The best advice is to do your research and make an informed decision based on your skill level, specific needs, and comfort level.
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