The Ultimate Guide To Finding The Best Compound Bow

The Ultimate Guide To Finding The Best Compound Bow

No matter where your skills lie as a shooter, whether you’re a complete amateur or have years of archery experience behind you, you likely already understand the importance of choosing the right bow.

Choosing the best starter compound bow or one that’s a little more advanced can make a world of difference in your experience, so it’s not a decision to be made lightly.

Finding your way through the world of archery bows and accessories can be a confusing time, as there are thousands of options out there and many different specifications and features to choose from.  We believe that finding the best compound bow shouldn’t be a chore, so we’ve tried to make it easier to do so with this buyer’s guide.

We’re here to show you everything from what features you should look for when buying a bow to some of the top compound bows in all different price ranges. With the right bow by your side, you’ll find archery to be even more enjoyable, will have a more precise shot, and will never tire of using your trusty device.

The Importance Of Choosing The Right Bow

Anyone who’s ever shot an arrow before will be able to tell you that half of this sport depends on the quality of the bow you’re using.

While it’s essential to learn the skills and practice to improve on them, working with a bow that’s poor quality, doesn’t suit your height or draw requirements, or just downright difficult to operate will significantly impact the success of your shot.

Recurve Bow Vs Compound Bow

Compound bows are unique in the world of archery and they’re usually the next place that beginners go to after they’ve mastered how to shoot. However, choosing the right bow means looking at all the finer details from which eye of yours is dominant to picking one with the right draw length to suit your physical requirements.

One of the best things about the modern compound bows of today is that many of them are adjustable.

You’re able to change the draw weight to grow with you as your skills do, can add or remove certain parts and replace them for accessories that meet your preferences, and adjust the length so that different bowmen can all use the same bow.

With such a huge range of flexibility available from just one device, compound bows are better value and more versatile than ever before.

With the right compound bow, you’ll be giving yourself the best chance to make the perfect shot and will be able to practice your skills with ease.

Whether you prefer to practice archery for hunting, fishing, target practice, or just as challenging fun, the entire process will be a lot more enjoyable and successful when you pick the best compound bow for your specific circumstances.

What Features To Look For In Your Next Compound Bow

Shopping for a compound bow can be downright confusing, especially if you’re new to the sport and have yet to understand the lingo. There’s never a one size fits all approach to buying a bow and accessories as we all have different needs, physical requirements, and skill levels that can each impact on the final bow we decide on.

Many people are firmly stuck on particular bow manufacturers and choose not to look around at other brands, however, archery is one area where there are so many great, unknown companies capable of making quality bows.

It’s always best to consider all the options so you have a greater range of bows to choose from. Here are some common features of bows and how you can navigate through the specifications to find one that’s right for you.

Size

Compound bows come in many different sizes and it’s common for them to relate to certain age groups or skill levels. Some people prefer using a more compact bow whereas others like the weight and feel of a heavyweight bow. Be sure that the weight of your bow isn’t too much for you to easily carry, though, as this will impact your shot.

Draw

The size of a bow can usually be measured by the draw length and this will be shown to you in inches.

Man drawing a compound bow.

The draw length should match your arm span divided by 2.5, but a professional archery store will also be able to measure you up. This should be as exact as possible, allowing for some adjustments; otherwise, the bow will be too short or too long to operate.

Material

There are many different parts of a bow all made from different materials, so it’s a matter of preference and budget. The riser of a bow is usually constructed of aluminum alloy, carbon fiber, or magnesium alloy.

Weight

The draw weight of a bow refers to how much pulling force the bow needs to pull the string back. A draw weight can change as the bow is pulled and rises and then falls during the pulling process. This number is shown in pounds and usually within a certain range, with the highest number being what you can expect at the peak of the draw.

Attachments

Many compound bows come with accessory kits that allow you to get straight into the action, including arrows, sights, and peeps. However, when purchasing packages it’s usual for some of the accessories to be of a lesser quality so many archers prefer to choose their own attachments to add to the bow.

Our Picks For Best Compound Bow

With literally hundreds of compound bows available, we thought it would be best to sort them into their respective price ranges so you can easily find one in your budget. These are some of the best compound bows for the money and all with many happy customers that confirm their quality and ease of use.

By working through countless compound bow reviews we’ve taken the hard work out of your search so you can narrow down the hunt and find the best for you.

Best Compound Bow Under $100

Whether you’re just starting out with archery or need to upgrade your bow on a budget, there’s no need to miss out just because you don’t have a lot of spare cash. These are some of the best value compound bow options out there that won’t cost more than $100.

Winner: Southland Archery Supply Siege Bow

If you’ve ever shot a bow before there’s no doubt you know the Southland Archery Supply name, as SAS have been making quality bows in all price ranges for years. Their Siege is hands down the best you will find for this small price tag and it ticks all of the boxes that the modern bowman looks for when shopping on a budget.

With a 29” draw length and an axle to axle width of 41.5” it’s capable of suiting more users. This bow has a draw weight of 40-55lbs and is a serious contender in terms of power, so it’s best used for adults only.

Coming in silver, black, or camo, every style is sleek and sophisticated, and as soon as you hold it in your hands you’ll be shocked at just how little it costs.

SAS Siege 55 lb Compound Target Bow

source: southlandarchery.com

You’ll be able to reach a maximum speed of 270FPS so it’s great for most uses from hunting to target practice, and it works best with 30” arrows. With these speeds and construction, this is ideal for anyone looking for a starter bow or as something to use as a backup if you have a little more experience.

Although the bow does come with a sight there are a few customers who’ve replaced it, and this will depend on your experience and needs for a better quality sight. Those who are new to archery will find it great to practice on and can spend a year or so with it until they move up to something more serious.

SAS are well known for their archery products and it’s no surprise when you see just how smoothly the Siege Compound Bow fires.

It makes the perfect base to add all the bells and whistles you could ever need, or leave it as is and enjoy practicing on a quality bow. Whichever way you use it, you won’t be disappointed with the SAS Siege Compound Bow, and especially when you pay under $100 for it.


Runner-Up: Crosman Elkhorn Jr. Compound Bow

The Crosman range of bows are more suited to younger bowmen, and this one, in particular, has been built with the pre-teen user in mind. However, just because they’re made for younger people that doesn’t mean anything has been taken away from their quality, and at such a low price you might be surprised how well they handle.

The Elkhorn Jr. Compound Bow comes with everything you need to get your child into archery, including two arrows, sights, and arrow rests. Made with durable and heavyweight composite limbs, this is stronger than you might think when you see the price tag, and it’s lightweight enough for your child to easily aim with precision.

Designed to look and feel just like an adult bow, your child will have hours of fun using this device and build their skills up until they’re ready to move to something more powerful.

The 17-21lbs draw weight makes it a great choice for pre-teen users who are ready for more power than a child’s bow, so be sure you’re choosing the right size for your child.

Crosman Elkhorn Jr. Compound Bow

source: crosman.com

With an 8” brace height, the Elkhorn Jr. Compound Bow is extremely forgiving when they take their shot, so they’ll feel as though they know what they’re doing from the very first use. Don’t go expecting something professionally made, though, as this is one of the cheapest options available only intended to be a starter bow for your child.

If you’re looking for the best starter compound bow and don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on something your child will outgrow, this is certainly one to consider.

As one of the best youth compound bow options on the market, the Elkhorn Jr. will surely ignite a passion for archery within your child and lead them to a lifelong love for this amazing hobby.


Best Compound Bow Under $250

Some top of the line bows can easily cost thousands of dollars and are out of the reach of most everyday archers, but we’ve found some top quality and smooth shooting bows that won’t cost more than $250. These bows represent some of the best on the market, and any archer would be proud to call on their own.

Winner: Raptor Compound Hunting Bow Kit

Although you’re spending a little more, the Raptor Compound Hunting Bow comes with a lot more than just a quality bow as you’re getting an entire kit with it. This hunting bow kit comes with a quality bow that’s capable of a 30-70lbs pull and an adjustable 24.5 – 31” draw length that makes it versatile enough for all kinds of uses and all kinds of archers.

Raptor is known for taking their time to create their bows and accessories, and that will be evident once you hold this in your hands.

The kit comes with a 5 pin sight with light and level, stabilizer, pre-installed peep sight and loop, and a Whisker biscuit style rest.

Some of the reviews claim that the accessories are probably the worst thing about this kit, and nowhere near as impressive as the bow, but it will depend on your experience.

One of the best things about this bow is how it’s been designed to operate with minimal effort, giving you 75% of the weight let off.

This means if you’re pulling 70lbs you only need the strength to hold 17.5lbs which means you can be capable of so much more with the Raptor Compound Bow.

Predator Archery RAPTOR Compound Hunting Bow

This bow is one of the most versatile on the market and will be able to handle anything you throw at it. Whether you want to use it for bowfishing, target practice, or hunting, you won’t be disappointed. The speeds capable are around 315FPS when you use the right arrows, so it’s a lot faster than others you’ll find.

If you’re happy to spend a little more to get something powerful and smooth, you won’t want to pass up the Raptor Compound Hunting Bow Kit. Thought the rest of the package might not be as impressive as the bow itself, it still comes in at an exceptional value for something of such great quality and versatility.


Runner-Up: Southland Archery Supply Compound Bow

On the cheaper end of the scale for this price range comes the Southland Archery Supply Rage Compound Bow, and if their other products are anything to go by then you’ll be impressed by what comes in this compact package.

SAS has made another great bow here with compressed ABS limbs that give it a longer life than its competition, meaning your investment goes a lot further.

The SAS Rage Compound Bow has a weight of around 4.4lbs so it’s relatively easy to handle for something of this quality.

The draw length ranges from 25 – 31” which makes it ideal for a number of uses and different bowmen, which means it’s one of the more versatile on the market in this price range.

Setup of this bow is relatively straightforward even if there are no instructions in the packaging, so it’s great for people with little experience in archery.

You might want to make some adjustments or replace accessories as some reviews claim they’re less than ideal quality when compared to the rest of the bow, but it’s been made so you can adapt it to your needs.

SAS Rage 70 Lbs 30'' Compound Bow

You are given the option to buy the bow online or one with all the accessories, so in terms of smart investments, it might be best to just go with the bow. With the complete package, it’s almost at the $250 mark and if you’re having to replace bits and pieces you might be better off leaving them behind.

No matter how you like to use your bow, you’ll be impressed by the smoothness and speeds that the Rage Compound Bow can achieve. With a recorded speed of 270FPS it’s pretty impressive and considering that it takes 70lbs of force when you pull, you barely exert any energy at all when you’re taking your shot.


Second Runner-Up: Leader Accessories Compound Bow

Another of the more affordable bows in the higher price range comes from Leader Accessories with their Compound Bow, and this is great for users of all ages and physical requirements.

With an adjustable draw length of 25 – 31”, which is easily adjusted without the need for any complicated equipment, you’ll be able to use this bow for a number of purposes and even share with the rest of the family.

The Leader Accessories Compound Bow has been designed for hunting, but it also does just as well for bowfishing and target practice.

When you purchase this bow you have the option of just the device itself or upgrading to a full kit which includes arrows, peep sight, and D string loop among others.

Although you do get some accessories with the added package, many users state that they replaced the sight as it wasn’t very good quality and was made of a flimsy plastic.

This minor adjustment made the bow far better to operate and really added to its overall worth so it’s a small thing that can have a huge effect overall.

Some user found this a little on the heavy side so it really depends on what you’re comfortable with.

Leader Accessories Compound Bow.

source: leaderaccessories.com

This bow is ideal for beginners and experts alike thanks to how easily it sets up and pulls, and would make a great gift for someone looking to get into archery.

The instructions aren’t that detailed so if you’re a complete beginner it might be worthwhile taking it to a shop and having it set up correctly for you to suit your needs.

In terms of value for money, you won’t find much better than the Leader Accessories Compound Bow. With 50 – 70lbs of draw weight it’s powerful enough for any use, and you’ll be able to reach speeds of up to 310FPS with the right arrows. When compared to others in this price range, it’s certainly tough to beat.


The Final Say

Compound bows are one of those amazing devices that can be used by people of all ages, skill levels, and backgrounds. As one of the most loved sports in America, archery can have so many uses for us and offers a challenging and satisfying way to build on your own skills and get out into the great outdoors.

With literally thousands of options out there you really need to narrow down your search so you can find something specific to suit. Whether you’re looking for the best compound bow for beginners or something more serious, you absolutely have to take the time to read through and understand how the specifications can impact on the end result.

Man shooting compound bow.

When you’ve got the right bow for you, you’ll notice an instant improvement in your shot and will be motivated to keep building on your skills. Depending on your budget, there are some excellent choices out there after reading through the best compound bow reviews, so follow our advice to lead you in the right direction.

The world of archery can be a confusing one to navigate through and the terminology used can be tough even for the experts. The wheels, cams, sights, draw lengths, limbs and stabilizers are just some of the terms you’ll need to better understand in order to shop for the best compound bow, but once you’ve found it there’ll be no looking back.

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