Like all products on the market, the compound bow has its advantages and disadvantages. In both makes of the bow and final outcome when the product is in use, there are positives as well as negatives.
Advantages of the Structure of the Compound bow
Drawing the bow causes the weight of the draw to peak and then “let off”. The term “let off” is used to describe the events surrounding the cam as it rolls completely over. Let off is most often 65%-80% of the peak weight with one exception. Concept Archery, a compound bow manufacturer, produces 99% let off. When “let off” occurs, the drawn string causes the cam to turn which results in the bending of the limb. When the cam turns completely around then less force is needed to keep the limb crooked…the “let off”. The better the “let off”, the easier it is for the archer to draw the bow as far back as possible and take the time to aim properly at the target.
Another advantage of the compound bow over the long bow is its ability to hold up to the elements. Because it is make of man-made materials it can better withstand changes in temperature and humidity.
Compound bows also contain rubber blocks that that provide a wall for the archer to draw up against. Called draw-stops, these rubber blocks can be modified to suit the archer’s most effective draw length. As a result, a consistent force can be placed on the arrow that exactly the same for every shot. This increases accuracy.
The way cams are designed can also control the speed at which the arrow accelerates. A “soft cam” causes a slower acceleration of the arrow. It is better for beginners to start out with the “soft cam” and slowly graduate up to a “hard cam” which shoots arrows out at a very high rate of acceleration.
There is a pulley mechanism that uses one cam at the bottom of the bow and a simple balanced wheel at the top. As a result, cables are not needed and a single string can be used. The advantage of this single string bow is its speed, up to 100-m/sec./315 fps.
Disadvantages of the Structure of the Compound bow
While there is no better bow made, to a purist or a naturalist, this mechanical monstrosity ruins the concept of archery as it as been know throughout history. The purist sees nothing more beautiful than a long bow made out of natural wood. Its form is truly back to nature, and how the ancients themselves manufactured this simple hunting tool.
Advantages of Using a Compound bow
There is a special release mechanism that can be used in conjunction with the compound bow that provides a steadier release than one’s fingers. This release device attaches to the bow near the arrow. Using a trigger on this device, the archer is able to release the string with a stead pressure and motion.
If you compete in tournaments with the compound bow the official rules allow the use of a target scope. The scope will magnify the target allowing for a more accurate shot. With the standard long bow this device is not allowed during competition.
Because of stabilizers attached to the compound bow, the archer is able to shoot the arrow with less movement of the shaft.
Disadvantages of Using a Compound bow
Due to the materials used on the compound bow, it is very lightweight. As a result the compound bow is more sensitive to and archers stance and draw on the string. A minimal fault in the archer’s form can result in a twisting of the bow when the arrow is released. This will result in movement of the arrow from left to right.