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Types of Traditional Bows to Buy for Hunting

The diversity of bows available in traditional archery is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the sport. They differ in appearance, structure, and functionality. If one traditional bow does not appeal to you, try another until you discover one that does.

Traditional bows are all made up of a bow with a single bowstring connected at the limb tips, notwithstanding their differences in form. Archers draw the string and release it by hand, increasing the draw weight as they pull further.

Let’s look at the most common forms of traditional bows.

LONGBOW

The Longbow is the classic bow that is perhaps the second most popular. When strung, its limbs gradually bend back toward the archer, producing the letter “D.” The bowstring does not touch the limbs after looping around the grooved limb tips.

The grip on a longbow is very straight, with little contouring to accommodate your hand. Longbows have limbs that are narrow yet thick, and most are 60 inches or longer.

The longbow creates greater hand stress than a recurve bow because its limbs are thick and thin. When firing the bow, the vibrations will be felt in the grip.

Longbows, like recurves, can have one-piece or three-piece takedowns and are often constructed of many layers of wood and fibreglass. A tiny cutout in the riser serves as an arrow shelf in the majority of cases. Others require archers to rest their arrow on their riser-gripping hand.

Longbows with broader limbs that do not curve out to their tips are known as hybrid longbows or flatbows. Their limbs bend as they leave the riser, but then straighten out when they reach the tips.

SELF BOW

Longbows, like recurves, can have one-piece or three-piece takedowns and are often constructed of many layers of wood and fibreglass. A tiny cutout in the riser serves as an arrow shelf in the majority of cases. Others require archers to rest their arrow on their riser-gripping hand.

Longbows with broader limbs that do not curve out to their tips are known as hybrid longbows or flatbows. Their limbs bend as they leave the riser, but then straighten out when they reach the tips.

Although some self bows have an arrow shelf carved into the riser, most require the archer to lay the arrow atop their bow-gripping hand. Leather is wrapped around the centre of certain self bows to act as a grip. Others have limited wood shaping to provide a grip.

Because self bows require long limbs to create power from a single piece of wood, they often measure 60 inches or more. Because these bows are sensitive to variations in temperature and humidity, they should never be stored strung.

HORSE BOW

Horse bows are tiny bows that are used to practise archery while riding a horse. 

The horse bow is the shortest of the classic bows, measuring less than 30 inches in length. These bows were designed to be shot by horse-mounted archers, as the name indicates. They’re agile, have a small draw weight, and may be fired left-handed or right-handed, with the arrow generally resting on the archer’s gripping hand.

Horse bows feature a distinctive construction known as “double reflex,” which means the limbs bend away from the archer at the riser, then curl back toward the archer before straightening out at the tips when strung. Unstrung, a horse bow resembles the letter “U.”

Most modern horse bows are composed of laminated wood parts. Horse bows were made of a variety of materials, including bone, wood, and horn, and were held together by natural glues and sinew.

RECURVE

Traditional recurve bows feature two removable limbs and a wooden riser.

The most popular traditional bow is the recurve. The limbs of a recurve bow curve back toward the archer from the riser when strung, then curve back toward the archer at the tips so they’re parallel to the riser. The bowstring lies against the limbs for a few of inches after looping over the tips into the string grooves, which distinguishes recurves from other conventional bows.

Recurve bows have a thick riser with a contoured grip that fits the hand well. Their limbs are generally composed of laminated wood, fibreglass, and/or carbon and are broad and flat.

The arrow is usually shot from a shelf slightly above the grip on traditional recurve bows. To shield the shelf from arrows, archers generally place a piece of fur or leather on top of it. Others, on the other hand, dislike shooting off the shelf. Instead, an arrow rest is added to the riser immediately above the shelf.

Target shooting and bowhunting are popular with recurves. They are available in lengths ranging from 48 to 72 inches and weights ranging from the teens to 60 pounds.

Some recurves are broken down into three sections, with the limbs bolted to the riser. These takedown recurves are popular among archers who enjoy shooting limbs with varying draw weights and for touring.

MODERN RECURVE

Metal risers are used on modern recurves. Modern recurves are similar to classic recurves in terms of design and look, with the exception of metal risers. Modern recurves are all takedown bows, and many of them have carbon fibre limbs.

Some archers utilise the contemporary recurve’s shelf as an arrow rest, while others use cushion plunger arrow rests. The cushion plunger is held in place by a spring, which maintains it pushed against the rest’s arrow. When the arrow is shot, this mechanism softens the natural bending of the arrow, allowing it to fly more consistently straight.

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