Types of Bows for Archery – How Much Do You Know?

Bows for archery are categorized in several ways based on construction and function. Even though regional law instruction for the bows for archery may vary, but the construction, size, and design factors decide the categorization of bows mainly.

For example, some of the bows are categorized based on string-pulling.

Some other types are categorized based on their shape. Design features of bows for archery are taken into consideration for categorization. Here the force of the archer may be less on the bow is taken into consideration for categorization.


Even we see many categorizations of bows for archery, most of them remain the same in terms of construction. For our clear and simple understanding purposes, the bow for archery is categorized into two major types.

The first one is the archer to pull the string

The second one is the bows’ mechanism to pull the string.



Based on construction

Bows for archery, mostly archer pull the string, that is classified based on construction materials are

Self bows

Laminated bows

Composite bows


Based on shape

recurve bow,

longbow, and



Different types of bows for archery

Recurve type

This type is ideally suitable for both beginners and experienced persons. Recurve type is an ancient bow used yesteryears. Roughly, these bows data back to 800 B.C. Recurve bows are valuable in terms of use, features, merits, and functionality. This bow type is reliable and was proved one by many archers. The success ratio is big when compared to other bow types.


The best part of recurve type is the bend in the limbs, which provides more energy for the user to release. This energy is more when compared to the straight-limbed bows for archery. The recurve type has a lot of power to be released into the shot.


The fiberglass, carbon, or wood layers are used to make recurve bows. So, experienced archers or professionals warn beginners to use the bows for dry firing. For your understanding, firing without an arrow is dry firing. If an archer tries the bow for dry firing, he has to settle with loss or damage.


The Recurve bow is used in Olympics sports. The bow is the best sport shooting type. The recurve has an aesthetic design and in the past horseman used it extensively. Due to its simple design and feature, beginners find it a better bow to be used in many places.

What are the advantages of Recurve bow?

  • An archer shall make an easy and fast shot.
  • A user can travel easily with the Recurve bow.
  • Due to its lightweight feature, the user feels comfortable carrying it.
  • The classic curved design of recurve bow entices many users.



Disadvantages of Recurve bow

  • Accuracy level is limited
  • Shots with a shallower depth are not fruitful
  • Not easy to pull back.




A long wooden bow since from Medieval period is Longbow. It has strings on both ends. The simplicity of Longbow attracts many users to use it. You cannot find any advanced features in the bow, and so many users or archers find it difficult to use the bow as they like. The archers find it tough to use the longbow. When compared with other types of bows for archery, the longbow does not seem to be compatible with many users.


A long draw is possible with the longbow due to its height. More the height, the draw weight is also increased. A longbow in common requires to strengthen and powerful archers with massive power. These types of bows are often used for target shooting. A majority of skilled archers use longbows for their hunting purposes. Longbow helps gamers to rule the show with many wins. Irrespective of the game type, the archers win the title by using the longbow.


Let us see the advantages of Longbow

  • The learners or beginners shall use the longbow to thier convenience and be easy to learn. The forgiving bow puts the user in comfortable status during the use.
  • Secondly, the accuracy of the task is fulfilled by the longbow.
  • A larger pull is possible by using the longbow. Many experienced hunters make use of the features of the longbow during the task of hunting.
  • An excellent advantage of the longbow is its durable feature, which gives an edge for you when you use other types of bows for archery.
  • As far as design and functionality are concerned, the longbow is simple to use.
  • The Performance feature of the bow is extraordinary.


What are the major disadvantages?

  • The use of the longbow takes a longer time to shoot when compared to other types.
  • The use who travels a long distance does not find it a convenient type to carry. It is not compatible for the hunters to carry it for a long distance.
  • The archer strength is heavily required by using the bow.




Crossbows are introduced in the 19th century and look like a firearm. The various designs of a crossbow, especially round design are popular and has been found in China. In those days, the person who used the crossbow is given high regard in the military. The crossbow belongs to the traditional type of archery. The trigger release mechanism of the crossbow adds value to the user. This mechanism gives good support to the user in any field.


The point-and-shoot method is a successful and popular technique for hunters and other gamers. You can use this technique in the crossbow, and hence it differs from other types of bows. It does not mean that you shall not found it in other types, but in crossbows, it is easier still.


The three main features of the crossbow are power, distance, and accuracy make the crossbow strong, reliable, and popular. Many archers use the crossbow in competitions across the globe. The easy-to-use nature of the crossbow elevates its status higher among the users. The archers hit the target even from a long distance so accurately. The hunters shall use the crossbow without any fear of attacking the target.


Professional hunters never miss the crossbow due to its advantages. The quiet feature of the crossbow makes it so popular among hunters. The crossbow does not make any sound when an arrow is released. This is why many hunters go behind without a second thought.


Advantages of crossbow

  • An exact, accurate, and perfect shot is possible by crossbow
  • Fastest shot by the user.
  • Longarm span does not require
  • Archer need not use full strength.
  • A long preparation is not required to shot at a target due to its precise shots.



  • Not a compatible one to travel with
  • Unbiased experienced
  • Requires security at home and maybe dangerous.
  • Expensive product
  • Not a good product for hunting, and it is heavy and loud.



Reflex Bow

Yet another recurve type is the Reflex bow. A sharper curve of the reflex bow is a unique feature. A C-shaped curve is viewed by the user. This bow is used in Indian traditional archery. You shall not use the bow in any form of the competitions. The popularity of the reflex bow was its usage in warfare in the olden days. The lightweight of the bow enhances its use further among the hunters.


Unlike other bow types, the reflex bow does not have any versatile features. Another reason for its minimal use by the hunters is that the bow does not work with the high pressure of the hunters.


Due to its lightweight property and simple mechanism, the bow has been used by learners in the field. Even Amateur shooters can use this bow for their tasks. This bow is suitable for users that have small frames. Young girls and boys can use the bow without a second thought.


The main disadvantage of the Reflex bow is the user may miss the target. Why? The bow can curve away at the time of drawing the arrow. When it curves, the weight is added to other parts of the bow thereby making the process unstable.


Secondly, it produces a lot of noise when an arrow is released. Hence, professional hunters never like the bow for their professional hunting task. Instead, they prefer some other bows for their targets. However, this is suited well for competition archery purposes.


The Compound Bow

This bow is a major type used by archers across the globe. It is a popular choice of a hunter for hunting purposes. The reason for its major use is the archer shall not exert less pressure to pull the string. The compound bow was invented in the 60’s period. Though it resembles a traditional look by the users, now it has gained a modern look by the latest engineering techniques. This bow type is regarded as the latest model of the latest people. The bow has been regarded as the most latest type among the users.


The compound bow is considered a great one as far as technology is considered. The archer does not need to put major effort into using the bow. Only a little effort is required by the archer to heavyweights holding. If an archer gets the knack of holding the bow, other tasks may not be so tough. The user shall aim the target further without any major efforts once he gets hold of the bow so correctly.


Due to the composite material making, the compound bow gives a traditional look to the user. Flex and strength of the bow changes to the tune of the weather. However, the compound bow is durable, strong, and comfortable for the user. You can use the compound bow for a long time. This type of bow can be used for long-distance targets with simple efforts. The hunters who proceed to wild games never miss compound bow for their accuracies.


Due to the features and merits of the compound bow, it is no doubt that it will be existing in the coming years.



Let us see the Common Specialist Bows as follows

  • Horse bows
  • Mounted archers use the horse hows majorly. Native American Indians have used these bows.


  • Flight Bows
  • Flight bows can hit the farthest target.
  • Survival Bows
  • These bows are an offshoot of the prepper type. These types of bows are used by post-apocalyptic people.


  • Yumi Bow
  • Made of bamboo and has an asymmetrical design. This bow has special features and merits.


  • Flatbows
  • Flat and rectangular limbs are major features of Flatbows. The accuracy level of the Flatbows is topnotch and considered best by many hunters.


  • Barebow
  • An original without any additional features now is barebow. The skilled hunters can use these bows for their targets.


  • Takedown
  • Takedown bows are easily disassembled. These bows are made of fiberglass. Risers. The bow’s draw weight is changed by limbs changing.


The above different types of bows for archery give a tremendous result for different purposes. Either you shall go for hunting purposes, or competition, you can prefer the perfect bow that makes you satisfied.


Whatever the bow for archery you, shall have to practice to win the battle. Selecting a bow for archery does not limit to the skill of the person alone.


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