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Types of Target-Shooting Compound Bows

Compound bows are equipped with pulleys, levers and wheels that provide a mechanical advantage over traditional wooden bows. In 1966, Holless Wilbur Allen invented the compound bow as a means to shoot faster arrows at white-tailed deer. Compound bows are frequently used by competitive target shooters and hunters who seek faster arrow speed and a more efficient string-pull.


Compound bows come with double-cams, a single-cam, a hybrid cam or a binary cam-system; all of these are used for target shooting. The cams are pulleys that provide mechanical advantage. A single-cam bow requires the least maintenance of all the types, largely because it is comprised of fewer moving parts.


Target bows are generally longer than hunting bows. The extra length provides greater accuracy, which is vital for target shooting and competitions. The comparably short compound bow is more easily carried through backcountry vegetation than a long bow. Longer bows are usually preferred for long-distance target shooting.


Stabilizers help reduce vibration and balance the bow. The stabilizers on longer bows tend to catch on vegetation; these bows are not usually the preferred choice of hunters. Longer bows with stabilizers are acceptable in target shooting, because maneuverability through vegetation is not an issue.

Draw Weight

Compound bows used for target shooting are generally heavier than those used for hunting. The pull weight is usually about 40 to 50 lbs. for target shooting, and about 60 to 70 lbs. for hunting. An archer shoots numerous arrows when he is engaged in target work. A ighter draw-weight is preferred in such scenarios. A hunter might take only one or two shots per day; he need not be overly concerned about a heavy draw-weight.

About the Author

Jen Morel has worked in the newspaper industry since 2007. An experienced backpacker, she is a contributor to "AMC Outdoors" and other hiking/environmental magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in cognitive science and philosophy.

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