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Elswood Bowmen The friendly St Albans archery club Compound Bow

The compound bow was originally invented for hunting and is shorter than a recurve or flat bow, making it easier to use in undergrowth or among trees.


The bow has cams at each end that are turned when the bow is drawn.  These cams pull on cables connected to the opposite limbs.  As the bow is drawn the cams cause the draw weight to go through a ‘hump’ with an average 60% reduction at full draw.  Consequently an archer using a 40lb bow would only be holding 16lb at full draw, making it easier to hold and aim.


As the bow is shorter there is a tighter angle where the arrow fits the string, making it difficult to hold with fingers and is therefore is usually used with a release aid.  Release aids come in various forms, rope or clipper, held in the hand or on a wrist strap and triggered with a thumb or finger.


The use of magnifying sights is permitted as well as a rear ‘peep’ sight in the string.  The combination of all these makes the compound bow more powerful and easier to shoot accurately.