Buying A Used Compound Bow

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Most experienced bow hunters are well aware that, just like car manufacturers, bow manufacturers present the shooting public with new models every year that their advertising touts as being far superior to last year’s model. However, because bow manufacturers have to do something to convince archers to fork over their hard earned cash in order to purchase a new bow and thus, their answer to this dilemma is to design new models in order to make them a little faster or, to occasionally introduce new materials such as risers made from carbon.

But, because the archery market is so limited, it is often difficult for bow manufacturers to sell enough new bows each year to stay in business and therefore, they must necessarily charge increasingly high prices for their new models in order to remain viable; especially in the present economy.

Consequently, while there are some archers who feel that they absolutely must purchase a new bow each year in order to keep up with the new advances in bow technology, the fact is that there is a large supply of used compound bows on the market that are still excellent hunting tools and, they are often available at significantly reduced prices!

Thus, you spend an exorbitant amount of money on a new bow, you might want to consider purchasing a used bow instead and spend the difference on a new sight, a new arrow rest, a new stabilizer, or a new set of broadheads.

Things you need to know if you’ve decided to buy a used compound bow

Yes, used compound bows will be, normally, more affordable that their new counterparts. But are they always a good choice? What are the downsides of buying a used compound bow? We’ll got through these and other considerations within this article, so read on if you’re eager to find out.

Used compound bows: beware of hidden damage

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Due to the recent downturn in the U.S. economy, many archers no longer have the expendable income that they once did and thus, purchasing a new compound bow is sometimes a difficult proposition. Plus, when you factor in the ever increasing cost of new bow technology, often times, purchasing one of the latest, top-end, models is simply out of reach of the average archer.

But, just like new cars, new bows tend to lose much of their value as soon as they leave the shop and thus, a lightly-used bow only one to three years old can often be purchased for half of what it cost new on the pro-shop rack. However, the fact is that modern compound bows are so well made that they last virtually forever and, because most major bow manufacturers will stand behind their previous models indefinitely, it goes without saying that you are losing nothing in the area of dependability when purchasing a used compound bow.

Furthermore, a used bow will already have had any potential problems flagged but, just to be certain, you should give it your own inspection to make sure that there is no hidden damage and, if you do not feel qualified to make the inspection yourself, then you should consider having a bow technician go over it for you.​

Most archery pro-shops accept trade-ins and thus, local archery shops are an excellent place to shop for a used bow because there is usually a technician on hand that can tell you all about the bow and inspect it for you. Plus, most pro-shops will allow you to shoot the bow before purchasing it and, that way you can determine whether or not the bow fits you.

One size does not fit all

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However, it is also important that you not get so excited over what appears to be a good deal that you fail to notice whether or not the bow’s draw length and draw weight are correct for you. Thus, when purchasing a used compound bow, it is imperative that you know your draw length as well as the maximum draw weight that you can comfortably draw because, no matter how good the deal my appear, it is not a good deal if the bow does not fit you!

But, having said that, you should also be aware that most new compound bows now incorporate adjustment systems that enable both the draw length and the draw weight to be adjusted over a wide range so that they can accommodate a wide range of archers of different statures. Whereas, many older compound bows are draw length specific and thus, in order to change the draw length, you also have to purchase an additional set of cams which can be hard to come by.

In addition, many older compound bows only have a ten to fifteen pound draw weight adjustment range which is accomplished by loosening the limb bolts a given number of turns which can increase the noise the bow generates when fired.

Accessories: a hit or miss

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Then, there is the issue of accessories. While some used compound bows have no accessories mounted on them, others are either partially or completely outfitted and these additional accessories can drive the cost of the bow up considerably. However, this can be either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your preferences.

For instance, if you choose to purchase a bare bow, not only are they generally cheaper than a fully outfitted bow, you have the option of outfitting it with all of the latest accessories that appeal to you. But, if you purchase one that is fully outfitted, then you are stuck with the accessories that came with the bow unless you decide to remove and replace them which defeats the purpose of purchasing a fully outfitted bow unless you can sell them to another archer.

Buying a used compound bow: is it worth it?

So, all things considered, unless you are one of those archers who absolutely requires the latest bow technology, purchasing a used compound bow can be a very wise decision; especially if you purchase one that is no more than three years old. But, you should also make certain that the bow is in good condition with no problems that will need to be addressed after your purchase such as replacing the strings and/or cables or replacing a cracked limb or a bent cam axle due to an accidental dry fire. However, as long as the bow fits you, you are happy with any accessories than may be installed on it, and it’s cost is within your budget, then there is no reason not to purchase a used compound bow since doing so can save you a considerable amount of money!

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