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Home  -->  Bow Information

Bow Information


Draw Length
Most all of the more modern bows have some sort of draw length adjustment.  The draw length listed is the draw length that the bow is shipped in.  If the bow uses modules to change the draw length it will be listed, however if the modules are not included you may have trouble finding those modules on your own. Bows that have a loop and post draw length system or a slot system can be adjusted with the aide of a bow press.  Any archery proshop could adjust that for you or you could do it yourself with a portable press.
 
Peak Draw Weight
All the bows listed here give the peak draw weight.  The peak draw weight is the maximum draw weight of that bow. The Maximum draw weight is achieved by screwing the limb bolts clockwise until the limb bottoms out or you cannot screw in the limb bolt any more.  From that position you can safely turn the bow down 15lbs.
 
% Let Off

Percentage of let off refers to the amount of holding weight at full draw.  The higher the percentage of let off the less weight you will be holding at full draw. 

For instance the holding weight for a 50lb peak draw weight bow would be:
- 25lbs at 50% let off
- 17.5lbs at 65% let off
- 10lbs at 80% let off

Keep in mind that it is easier for a finger shooter to consistently release the string with more poundage on the fingers.  A release shooter needs not be concerned with the holding weight of a bow.

 
Brace Height

 

Brace height refers to the distance from the grip to the string. 

Generally the shorter the brace height(6"- 8") the faster shooting the bow is.  Generally the longer the brace height(8"-10") the easier it is not to hit your bow arm while shooting.

 
Bow Weight
The Bow Weight refers to the actual weight of the bow without accessories.  Today's bows come as lite as 3.25 lbs.  The average weight of bows that are being built today is around 4 lbs.  The average weight of bows 5 years ago or older was around 5 to 5.5 lbs.  The weight of a bow may be important to a hunter that wants to carry the least amount into the woods.  A target or recreational shooter might want a little more weight for stability.
 
Axel to Axel
Axle to Axle length refers to the length of the bow measured at rest from one wheel axle to the other.  Today, shorter bows are being built for hunting purposes.  It is not uncommon to find many new bows to choose from in the 34" range or shorter for hunting.  A hunter would find a short bow generally easier to maneuver in the woods and in a tree stand.  A target or recreational archer would find no benefit to an extremely short bow.  The Average length of bows today is roughly 38" for hunting bows and 39" and up for target bows.  Not too long ago the average length of bows for all purposes was 40"- 45".
 
Riser Style
Basically there are three styles of bow risers, deflex, straight and reflex. A reflex riser would produce the lowest brace height and the fastest speeds and would be best suited for hunters and outdoor target archers.  Deflex risers would produce the longer brace heights and lower speeds and would best be suited for indoor target archers.  Straight risers are a compromise of the two other types and found on most bow designs. Beyond the style is the material the bows are made of and the process they are created with.  Risers are either made out of wood, aluminum or aluminum/magnesium alloy.  If they are a metal riser they can either be cast, forged or machined.
 
Limb Style
Bow limbs have been made from many materials over time but the most common are wood, fiberglass,  and carbon or graphite.  What is important about limbs is that since these are the hardest working parts of your bow, durability is important.  About eight years ago most all limbs were made from a wood core covered with a fiberglass laminate both on the face and back of the limb.  Up until that time the only good matched bow limbs were crafted that way.   However since wood can conduct moisture for instance the moisture in a limb could freeze,  It was possible for limbs to react differently in diverse weather conditions.  This problem was eliminated with the creation of matched fiberglass and carbon limbs.  The limbs conduct no moisture and are barely affected by any weather conditions.  Their  useful life is much greater than wood laminated limbs and tend to be much more predictable and consistent.   
 
Wheel Style

For the purpose of simplifying the many degrees of wheel style we have categorized our used bows into 4 types; round, soft cam, hard cam, and one cam.

The Round Wheel - This wheel is the type found on bows that would be best used for recreational or indoor target shooting.  They are the smoothest to draw with very gradual transitions from rest to peak weight and from peak weight to let off.  They are however the slowest of the wheel designs and produce a slower arrow speed than any other wheel.  They can come in any type of let off.

The Soft Cam - This wheel is found on most bows and produces a slightly harder pull relative to a round wheel design and faster arrow speeds.  They can come in any type of let off.

The Hard Cam - This wheel is the fastest wheel design there is and produces the hardest pull along with sharp transitions from rest to peak weights and from peak to holding weights.  They are generally used on hunting or outdoor target bows.  They can come in any type of let off.

The One Cam - These are the newest wheel designs.  They are generally quieter shooting than any two cam bow.  They don't need to be timed like other two cam bows.  They have sharp transitions from rest to peak weights and from peak weights to holding weights.  They usually have a hard stop at the back end of the draw for a positive draw length.  They are found on all types of bows from hunting to target.  They can come in any type of let off.

 
Cable Type
Compound bows use pulleys or wheels to load the limbs and produce a let off.  These wheels are connected with a set of cables.  These cables can be made of plastic coated steel,  fast flight or other synthetic materials.  We have categorized cables as either steel or synthetic to simplify the types.  In general steel cables are more durable but a bit more noisy, costly, and harder to replace. Steel cables quite possibly could last the lifetime of the bow.   Synthetic cables are cheaper, quieter, more easily adjustable for length and easier to replace.  Synthetic cables do however need to be waxed like a bowstring to keep fraying down.  Synthetic cables should generally be replaced every two years. 

String Type
Bowstrings have been made of many materials over time but the two types of materials that have been most common are Dacron and Fast Flight.  Dacron is material that has some give or stretch in it when shot and tends to stretch more in overall length over time than Fast Flight.  Fast Flight is an improvement on Dacron in that it stretches less in overall length over time and is near non stretching during the cycle of a shot delivering more of the bows stored energy to the arrow producing faster arrow speeds.  Because of the near non stretching properties of Fast Flight the bows that use it are built stronger to handle the extra performance.


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