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Compound Bow Diagram, Parts of a Compound Bow

Compound Bow Diagram, Parts of a Compound Bow

Compound Bow Diagram

Compound Bow Diagram

Compound Bows come in a variety of sizes, draw weights and draw lengths. The main two marketed bows are for adults and for children. This page will help breakdown the differences in adult and youth bows. We will also go over the different parts of a compound bow.

The main two specifications you should look for are the draw weight and draw length. All compound bows offered at Outdoors Experience will have adjustable draw lengths and draw weights. Below is a chart to help you decide what draw weights you should consider with the appropriate age.

Child Age: 5-7 (10-15 lbs)
Child Age: 7-9 (15-20 lbs)
Child Age: 9-11 (20-30 lbs)
Child Age: 11-13 (30-40 lbs)
Child Age: 13-15 (40-50 lbs)
Youth Age: 15-18 (50-60 lbs)
Small Adult: (40-50 lbs)
Medium Adult: (50-60 lbs)
Large/Athletic Adult: (60-70 lbs)

Most compound bows have an adjustable draw weight of 10 lbs. A 70 lb bow can be adjusted down to 60 lbs, a 60 lb bow can be adjusted down to 50 lbs. Please check the specifications on the particular bow, this may vary depending on the model.

Draw Lengths are the other specification that should be considered. Most of the compound bows on the market today will have an adjustable draw length of anywhere from 5 to 10 inches. This will be a great feature for growing kids.

Here is a great example of a growing kid and a adjustable compound bow. I have a 12 year old boy. I purchased him a Diamond Infinite Edge Compound Bow when he was 9 years old. This bow has an wide range of adjustments for draw length and draw weight. The draw weight can be adjusted from 30-60 lbs. I started him off at 30 lbs at 9 years old. He is now 12 and is pulling 40+ pounds and this bow will go up to 60 lbs. I shouldn't have to purchase him another bow unless we want to upgrade him to a different model.

Now let's go over the parts of a Compound Bow. I will go over the main parts that you should consider first.

1. Brace Height - The brace height is the distance from the "V" of the bow grip to the string in a resting position. Brace Heights can vary from 6" up to 9". The shorter the brace height the less forgiviging a bow will be and the longer the brace height the more forgiving a bow will be. The longer a brace height results in a shorter distance to pull in the draw cycle making it a little easier to draw but usually has less speed. The shorter brace height generally means faster speeds but a harder draw cycle. In my opinion a 7" brace height is optimal for hunting and backyard fun.

2. Draw Weight - As stated the draw length on most bows can be adjusted down 10 lbs. In the diagram you will see the arrows pointing to the limb bolts. This is where the draw length is adjusted. Most manufacturers recommend no more than four complete turns on each bolt (see manufacturers specs for your bow). Typically one complete turn will reduce the draw weight 2.5 lbs. When loosening the limb bolts to reduce the weight be sure to make sure you keep them even. If you turn 2-1/2 on the top then make sure you turn 2-1/2 on the bottom. If you forget or are not sure where you ended then tighten bolt limb bolts back down and start over.

3. Draw Length - The draw length is adjusted on the cam or cams of the bow. The bow featured on this page is a single cam bow and is very simple to adjust the draw length. The adjustments are made on the bottom cam (see picture). There is usually a set screw and a slide to adjust the length with numbers for letter corresponding to the desired draw length (see manufacturers recommendations). If you have a twin or double cam bow then adjustments will need to be made on the top and bottom cam.

4. Strings and Cables - The bow featured on this page consists of a split buss cable and a string. As you can see in the picture the bow goes through the cable slide. There are bows on the market with an additional cable called a control cable. Most bows use a split buss cable and a string only.

5. Cable Rod and slide - The cable rod and slide are designed to keep the string and cable in harmony with each other and offset to allow for clear arrow flight. The bow featured uses a cable rod. There are bows on the market that feature a roller type cable slide but the concept is still the same.

6. Top and Bottom Limb - Both limbs attached to the riser using a limb bolt. The bow featured is a parallel limb model bow.

7. Riser - The riser consists of the limb pockets(where the limb meets the riser with limb bolts), bow sight window, arrow shelf, bow grip and stabilizer mount.

6. Top and Bottom Limb - Both limbs attached to the riser using a limb bolt. The bow featured is a parallel limb model bow.

7. Riser - The riser consist of the limb pockets(where the limb meets the riser with limb bolts), bow sight window, arrow shelf, bow grip and stabilizer mount.

8. Bow Sight Mount - On the top 1/3 of the riser and is used to mount a bow sight to the riser. Some models have multiple holes for mounting your sight.

9. Arrow Shelf - Located at the center of the riser and is used to mount an arrow rest.

9. Bow Grip - Located just below the arrow shelf and is where you would hold the bow with your non dominant hand.

10. Stabilizer Mount - Consists of a standard threaded hole to mount a stabilzer on the bow. Parallel limb bows do not cause as much shock as the older "D" shaped style bows and do not require a heavy or long stabilizer to balance the bow. In my own experience with the newer parallel limb bows most of the vibration or shock is released straight up and straight down reducing the need for a heavy stabilizer.

11. Dampeners - As seen in the picture this bow is equipped with Limb Dampeners and a String Suppressor. The limb dampeners are designed to reduce the vibration of the limbs during the shot. The string suppressor is designed to stop the string in the original resting position to reduce vibration and improve accuracy.

Having bowhunted for 30 years I've seen compound bows come a long way in design. Some would argue that the older bows were more accurate while others would say that the speed of the new shorter bows are best. I am all for new development and getting a better edge on a game animal. In my opinion the new model bows offer speed and accuracy that will result in better shot placement and a cleaner ethical kill.

I believe in a bowhunter's code. Always inspect your gear before heading in the woods. Practice makes perfect. Practice shooting your bow so that you can be effective in the field. I shoot year around to keep my skills ready to hunt. Only take shots that are clean and will result in a ethical kill on the animal. Respect other hunters and remember that we are a community of bowhunters with common goals to protect our rights as hunters. Be proud of our hunting heritage and encourage others to participate!

Brian -