Who invented the compound bow

The classic bow has been around for ages and it has a pretty rudimentary design. Therefore, many people do not wonder who invented it. In contrast, the compound bow was invented fairly recently and it is quite complex. Thus, many people are interested in knowing who invented it. So who invented the compound bow and how?

The compound bow was invented by Holless Wilbur Allen. This post will tell you everything you need to know about this great legend of the world of archery.


Holless Wilbur Allen was a famous American inventor of the last century. He was born in 1909 in the state of Kansas. He lived in Kansas for a while and later shifted to the state of Missouri. While Allen made many inventions, it was not until his fifties that he made his most famous invention – the compound crossbow.

Unlike most inventors who invent stuff accidentally while doing other things, Allen was a full-time inventor. He spent most of his days inventing stuff, building machines, and tinkering with electronics. If he was not inventing, he was somewhere outdoors fishing or hunting.

It was his twin love for inventing stuff and for hunting that saw him create the first modern compound bow. Legend has it that his invention of the compound bow was motivated by the fact that he didn’t have a lot of money. This forced him to build his own hunting bows. However, he didn’t just want to build another classic bow, he wanted something faster and stronger.

This is what led him to invent the compound bow in 1966.

The version of the compound bow he released to the world quickly became one of the bestselling bows. Several months after inventing the compound bow, Allen applied for a patent with the US patent office and got it a little later. His invention revolutionized archery and bow hunting.  It remains one of the bestselling types of bows on the market.

What makes compound bows unique

There are several things that make compound bows unique. Perhaps the biggest thing that makes them unique is their design. The unique design of compound bows makes them work like machines. The design includes pulleys that help generate more power.

Classic bows don’t quite work the same way. The power you generate when shooting a classic bow solely depends on your strength. This is because classic bows have no special design or pulleys to help you generate more power.

The second thing that makes them unique is their appearance. Compound bows tend to be big and mean. Classic bows look a lot tamer compared to quality compound bows. The third and last thing that makes them unique is the fact that they tend to be more accurate than classic bows.

The uniqueness of compound bows shown above is a clear testament that Allen’s invention was a truly significant improvement of the classic bow. In other words, the uniqueness of compound bows shows that the invention of the bow was a truly revolutionary moment.

Invented compound bow

The use of a compound bow today

Compound bows are mainly used for archery and hunting in the modern-day world. They are perfect for both activities. They are perfect for archery because they have three great benefits – they are fast, accurate, and easy to use. Traditional bows do not even come close to what compound bows have to offer.

They are great for hunting because they are accurate over a long distance. Hunting is all about stalking game and targeting them from a long distance so as not to spook them. It is much easier to do this using bows that are accurate over a long distance than using traditional bows. Thus, if you are a newbie to bow-hunting and you are wondering what bow you should pick for hunting, go for a compound bow.

Do you need a license to carry and use Allen’s invention?

Not necessarily. You do not need a license to carry a compound bow. You can go with your compound bow virtually anywhere in the United States without getting into legal trouble. You also do not need a license to practice with a compound bow. So you can get a bow and use it freely to practice without getting into legal trouble.

You only need a license to use a compound bow if you want to use it for hunting. The type of license you need depends on the type of game you want to hunt and the state you are in. So make sure you get the right license when you step out to go hunting with a compound bow (or any other bow for that matter).                                    

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