Best Compound Bow for Beginner and Pro Archers
In recent years compound bows have seen a rise in popularity, and with this rise comes an increase in demand. These bows can be fun to shoot and will give you a killer workout of sorts. They’re also the perfect choice for the hunter who is looking for more of a challenge. These days, you’ll find hundreds of models available, which can make it difficult to identify the best compound bow from your run of the mill starter bow.
Compound Bow Buying Guide
Regardless of make and name, all bows will feature similarities that you should consider before you buy. Ask yourself why are you buying a bow? Will you use it mainly for target practice, or are you an avid hunter? Both applications will require different specs. But before you even begin to narrow your choices down to a few models, you’ll need to determine what size will work best for you. This way you will be sure that your final choice will be the best compound bow for you.
The compound bow will draw a certain distance before the string stops. This amount of distance is referred to as the draw length. Most models feature a range of draw length so that they can be adjusted to fit the user for a more comfortable form when shooting. It’s crucial that the user finds the appropriate draw length for many reasons.
To start, if the draw length is too short, it can negatively impact your accuracy because maintaining a reference point for your aim can become too difficult. When the bow is at a full draw, the user will have an anchor point. A draw that’s too short means you’ll have a floating anchor point, which often leads to inconsistency when shooting. It can also cause increased torque which will also affect accuracy.
If the length is too long, the user will naturally end up leaning back in an attempt to properly see through the peep site. This can cause many problems such as poor posture and poor shooting form. The wrong shooting form will only add torque and tension to the bow, which again, will lead to inaccuracy. And even worse, this will probably cause the user’s bow arm to extend too far, placing the inner elbow in the path of the string.
The bow length will be measured from axle to axle. While there is no set length, a hunting bow is usually shot at about thirty inches. A bow used for target shooting will be much longer.
For the beginning archer, we recommend visiting a Bass Pro Shop’s archery department to get measured for the appropriate draw length. Using the correct length will improve your form, accuracy, shot consistency and most importantly, safety.
Next up is draw weight. You must match your strength to a bow’s draw weight. A heavier draw weight will produce faster speeds, however, it’s more important to find a weight that you’ll be able to steadily hold at a full draw without putting too much stress on your body. The draw weight involves the peak amount of weight you’ll pull as the string is drawn back before released. A compound bow features what’s referred to as the let off. The let off is a way to minimize the weight the user will need to use to hold the bow at a full draw. When you’re considering a bow’s draw weight, look for the percentage of let off.
What hunters and target shooters need to consider is the bow’s potential to be drawn back for long periods of time as you’re waiting for the best shot. Shooting in adverse conditions can also be a problem if the draw weight is too hard to hold for a long time or too heavy. Because of this, it’s important that you match the weight to your strength. When you’re testing out a bow, try drawing it for twenty to thirty seconds without shaking. If you’re able to, this means the draw weight is a good choice.
Accuracy is another important factor. Using the draw weight that you’ll be able to hold easily will allow you to have a more accurate and steadier shot.
The modern compound bow is able to shoot upwards of 350 feet per second. A bow that’s able to shoot heavy arrows at faster speeds offers the potential for greater penetration, which is crucial for the hunter. A faster arrow will also shoot flatter, working to improve downrange accuracy.
Noise will also be important to hunters. A bow that is quiet is preferred over a loud one. When you shoot a bow, the energy stored in its working components will be transferred to the arrow. However, some of the energy is lost as vibration. This can result in a loud sound with each shot you take. But thanks to advances in compound bow design, the energy loss is usually minimal. A vibration dampener is an accessory you can buy that also works to absorb any type of leftover vibration.
For the beginner, it’s important to understand the difference between the ready to shoot models and the bare bow. A compound bow is made to use accessories when shooting. Common accessories include a quiver, sight, and arrow rest. Ready to shoot models that are sold as starter packages will have these accessories already installed on the bow. If you purchase a bare bow, then you’ll need to purchase these accessories separately. Either way will work fine, just keep in mind that a bare bow requires some additional work and cash before you can take it out shooting.
How to choose the best compound bow cam style
Over the years, a lot has been written about a bow’s wheels, more commonly referred to as cams. The individual features, shapes, and styles are numerous, but usually, they can be narrowed down to just five major type: binary cams, 1.5 hybrid cams, dual cams, single cams, and round wheels. Each style offers its own set of characteristics that will determine their best application.
Rounded wheeled models are the slowest type of compound bow, however, they’re very smooth and accurate, which is why they’ve become more popular over the years. They’re also relatively quiet, with minimal vibration.
The single cam models feature a round idler wheel. These bows are probably the most popular style, which is why pretty much every bow manufacturer produces this style. Because this type of compound bow features only one cam, they’re very easy to tune.
Dual cam models usually offer faster speed compared to the single cam, but they also often require more maintenance and tuning. Both of the cams must be synchronized in order to maximize shooting potential.
A newer style of cam is the 1.5 hybrid. This style features a combination of both a solo and dual cam. Their speed is often compared to dual cams. This type of compound bow will function the same as a solo, as the idler wheel will be replaced with another cam. But adding the second cam works to offset the movement of the nock when compared to a solo model.
Similar to dual cams, the binary cam offers a unique design. Both of the cams rotate the same amount when shooting and drawing, which makes this system pretty much maintenance free after you initially tune it.
Regardless of the type of cam you choose, there are a number of things to pay close attention to when choosing the exact cam/bow model.
The handle portion of the bow is referred to as the riser. Risers are available in a wide variety of materials, designs, and shapes. Their design and construction will greatly influence the price, performance, and function of the bow. Just like cams, each type of riser will feature many subtle differences, but there are currently three main styles to choose from: straight, deflex, and reflex.
Reflex style risers can be spotted easily. This style curves away from the natural curvature of the limbs. This type produces a faster speed as it works to reduce a bow’s brace height. Most new compound bows will feature a reflex style riser.
The exact opposite of the reflex riser is the deflex riser. This style will follow the curvature of the limbs instead of curving away from it. This will work to increase brace height and can also create slower arrow speed. This style of a riser is more forgiving to shoot and definitely more accurate. They’re also the least common type of riser to use on modern compound bows that are used primarily for hunting.
The straight riser will fall somewhere in between the reflex and deflex styles. Straight risers are technically reflex risers, but they feature a less extreme curvature. They’re also reasonably forgiving and fast. However, like the deflex riser, straight riser models have pretty much disappeared from the bow world.
The materials used for a riser, as well as the size and weight, will affect the bow’s cost. However, it doesn’t really affect the longevity, accuracy, and performance of the bow. There are a couple of common ways that risers are constructed: machined and cast. Some risers are also made from a lightweight carbon fiber, however, these are not very common.
The cast riser is just as reliable, accurate and strong as machined risers, and are usually available for a fraction of the cost. But their weight and size can be a big disadvantage. Cast risers often feature a thicker grip section and are heavier than machined risers.
Off all the riser styles, machined risers are the lightest. These risers feature a smaller grip that will usually fit most hands better compared to a cast riser. However, this style is also pretty expensive to produce.
Finding a Compound Bow That’s Right For You
Choosing the best compound bow for you ultimately boils down to personal preference and will depend mainly on what you’ll be doing with it. Of course, if you’ve never used a bow before, it will take time and practice before you’re able to get a decent shot off. Be sure to look for models that are user-friendly and manageable based on your size and desired application. Price will be a big factor in terms of which model you choose, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Comfort, ease of use, style, and overall power should be at the top of your list.
|Image||Product||Comparison||Price||User rating (out of 5)|
|Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package||Lifetime warranty|
Bow weight of 3 lbs
8-70 lbs draw weight
For adult and teens
|SAS Rage Compound Bow||Lifetime warranty|
Bow weight of 4.4 lbs
55-70 lbs draw weight
For adults and teens
|Apollo Tactical USA Compound Bow Package||Lifetime warranty |
Bow weight of 4 lbs
25-70 lbs draw weight
For adult and teens
|FBA Service Compound Bow M1 package||2 years warranty |
Bow weight of 3.31 lbs
19-70 lbs draw weight
For adult and teens
|AW Pro Compound Right Hand Bow Kit||Warranty not available|
Bow weight of 3.6 lbs
20-70 lbs draw weight
For adult and teens
|RAPTOR Compound Hunting Bow Kit||Lifetime warranty |
Bow weight of 3.6 lbs
30-70 lbs draw weight
For adult and teens
|Bear Archery Cruzer Ready To Hunt Compound Bow Package||Lifetime warranty |
Bow weight of 3.6 lbs
5-70 lbs draw weight
For adult and teens
Apollo Tactical USA Compound Bow Package Review
This Tactical USA compound bow package by Apollo is designed for archers of all ages and comes with everything the beginner needs to get started. It features a number of essential components including a five pin optic sight that’s equipped with a UV light so you can go hunting in the early morning or evening and clearly see your targets. This bow also has a reputation for silent operation, which is why it’s one of the leading models of compound bows among hunters.Click Here to Read the Full Apollo Tactical USA Compound Bow Review
Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Compound Bow Package Review
The Diamond Infinite Edge Pro by Diamond Archery received plenty of positive consumer feedback mainly due to the infinite flexibility, multi-shooter design, high shot accuracy, comfortable feel and the overall quality of the included accessories. This is another package that’s perfect for beginners because it comes loaded with a number of accessories at an affordable price. This compound bow is our top rated product and it has a lot to offer in terms of quality and flexibility.Click Here to Read the Full Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Compound Bow Package Review
SAS Rage Compound Bow Review
The SAS Rage compound bow features parallel positioned split aluminum limbs, machined aluminum risers for improved accuracy, and back pivoting limb pockets which also work to increase shooter accuracy. It also features a number of important accessories such as a D-loop, wrist sling, sight, and arrow shelf. This well-built bow features perfect balance and a comfortable hold and is perfect for archers of all ages.Click Here to Read the Full SAS Rage Compound Bow Review
FBA Service Compound Bow Review
Getting started in archery doesn’t have to be expensive. The FBA service compound bow package M1 by Topoint Archery features a solid and versatile compound bow, with high-performing Gordon Composite limbs and tons of accessories for a total value of almost $200. This package is ideal for the beginner archer and hunter looking for a first compound bow to get started.Click Here to Read the Full SAS Rage Compound Bow Review
AW Pro Compound Right Hand Bow Review
The AW Pro Compound Right Hand Bow package includes a versatile and powerful mid-range bow and all the gear to shoot it right outside of the box. The compound bow is made from rugged aluminium alloy and has impressive stealth features, which makes it an excellent choice for bow hunting. Customers are also generally satisfied with the quality of the included accessories, which can be sometimes low-end on similar entry-level packages. This archery kit is ideal for someone who’s looking to switch from a starter to more professional gear, but at a very affordable price.Click Here to Read the Full AW Pro Compound Right Hand Bow Review
RAPTOR Compound Bow Hunting Kit
The RAPTOR Compound Bow Hunting Kit by Predator Archery is a high-rated, top-selling product with pro features. It has limbs made in USA and fully machined aluminum cams (not plastic as most bows in the same price range). It’s a fast, solid, and accurate weapon (perfect for bow hunting and bow fishing), and it’s very user-friendly. It comes with lifetime warranty and it’s currently on a 34% off limited sale>> Grab it here before this offer ends!Click Here to Read the Full RAPTOR Compound Bow Hunting Kit Review
Bear Cruzer Ready to Hunt Compound Bow
The Bear Cruzer is an incredibly flexible bow, easy to set up and adjust to fit any frame and style. It can be a good first bow for young archers and beginners with room to grow, but won’t disappoint the savvier shooters looking for a high-quality product with top-grade capabilities. The Bear Cruzer is a great hunting bow, as anticipated by the “Ready to Hunt” tag. It’s powerful, lightweight, easy to carry and very quiet, all features that make a difference when you’re in stealth mode trying to drop a deer in its tracks. It also comes with high quality accessories from Trophy Ridge, and all at a very affordable price.Click Here To Read The Full Bear Archery Cruzer Ready To Hunt Compound Bow Review