Traditional Archery vs Compound Archery

Archery: Recurve Bow Versus Composite Bow

The bow and arrow projectile weapon remains in use today, usually in the archery sport. Compared to guns, people often find it inconvenient to use. Despite that fact, the bow and arrow still has its appeal, which may be a good reason for you to own or use one. You might wish to purchase a bow and arrow but are unable to decide between a recurve or a composite bow, so read further to avoid missing out on information.

Ancient Hunting and Medieval Warfare

Did you know that it took two million years for humans to invent a bow and arrow after they started making tools? Yes, people began using tools almost 2.5 million years ago, but the bow and arrow only came to be 64,000 years ago. Perhaps, the reason for this is that the projectile weapon has a complex mechanism and requires various raw materials. Its typical design includes a flexible arc, namely the bow, a string which joins its two ends, and the arrows as the projectiles.

The tool made a huge difference in hunting efficiency as people could kill animals without moving in close, thanks to its long-range capabilities. Likewise, it also led to man deviating from other animals which are unable to construct such an advanced weapon. Also, the bow and arrow eventually proved itself to be a powerful asset in warfare, as you see its prowess in the Medieval Era battles. However, by the 16th century, firearms were invented and thus rendered the old weapon obsolete. Finally, the use of the tool declined and, as just as you thought, recreation and sport slowly became its sole purpose.

Recurve Bows

These are the simple bows that you typically see in the movies which horsemen utilize and in the modern Olympic archery sports. The name recurve, is due to the shape of the bow, in which the central portion curves toward the archer, while the end parts face the opposite direction. One good example of this type is the Mongolian recurve bow which could shoot targets at more than 400 meters. Its design is what gives it this firing power and range. Lastly, the recurve bow requires less strength for you to fire a shot, so it is quite beginner-friendly.

Composite Bows

Unlike recurve bows, composite bows are a modern product and function thanks to a system of cables, cams, and pulleys which aid you in holding the excessive weight at full draw. Thus, you have more time to aim without suffering from muscle fatigue, but then again, this requires you to have more strength than a recurve bow would demand. However, these come with the advantage of being more consistent and less affected by temperature and humidity changes, thus enhancing accuracy, distance, and power.


The bow and arrow may no longer be a practical weapon in the modern era, but if you wish to use it for recreation and sports, then you will appreciate it. A recurve bow is ideal if you wish to start out or you wish for a natural archery feel, but a composite bow has a greater peak accuracy and power, at the cost of requiring more strength.