How Far Can a Compound Bow Shoot

How Far Can a Compound Bow Shoot

Bows are historical weapons that gave birth to archery as a sport. With time, multiple types of bows were created for different purposes. The bow experts categorized the bows into four major types, i.e., recurve, longbow, crossbow, and compound bow.

So if you are looking for an answer to how far a compound bow shoots, it can go for as long as 200 feet or approximately 70 yards at 400 feet per second in a straight line fire.

Moreover, the distance will significantly increase up to 1,000 feet if you shoot the arrow in an arc. But do remember that multiple factors affect the performance of a compound bow which we’ll discuss in this post.

Range of a Compound Bow

The range of a bow refers to how far a target is from your exact location. To be more precise, it’s the killing zone where you have to hit the arrow.

In a hunting game where you have to take down an animal, let’s say a deer, the killing zone is your actual target. It’s usually the heart which is 10 inches in diameter. 

If your target is small in size, you have to close the distance for better accuracy. In fact, you might have to get as close as 40 yards for a target of 10 inches in diameter. For seasoned archers, they can hit the target from 60 yards away, but that range needs scopes for better accuracy. 

Therefore, it’s important to know that you can’t shoot an arrow in a straight line. There are multiple factors that affect the performance of a bow:

1. Arrow’s Speed

The speed of an arrow is the first thing you should consider during archery. There are various types of arrows with different speeds. Basically, the arrow’s head determines the penetration through the air.

Moreover, you should also know that a good arrowhead goes smoothly through the air and penetrates the target well.

You can enhance the efficiency of the arrow by attaching some archery add-ons to the bow. So make sure you keep all the compound bow accessories in the A-frame camper before leaving for the hunting adventure.

2. Grativational Pull 

The biggest external force is the gravitational pull of 9.8 meters per second squared. When you shoot an arrow, it will continuously bend downwards after covering particular meters. Thus, the gravitational pull resists the arrow from going in a straight line.

If we are talking about a compound bow, the arrow can go 300 feet per second. However, if you shoot an arrow in a straight line, it will not cover much distance and will fall on the ground in a matter of seconds.

In fact, if you shoot an arrow standing on the ground, it will fall 5 meters in the first second and almost 20 meters after two seconds. Even if you go to some height and then shoot the arrow, it will fall down in not more than three seconds.

That’s why the expert archers don’t shoot arrows in a straight line. Instead, they shoot in an arc to cover the maximum distance.

3. Shooting an Arrow in Arc

When you shoot an arrow in the arc position, it covers more distance than an arrow shot in a straight line. Why?

First, the arrow takes time to go upwards while covering the initial distance. After that, when the arrow comes down due to gravity, it doesn’t stop covering the distance. That’s how it covers more distance than straight-line archery.

However, shooting an arrow in an arc compromises the accuracy. That’s why the effective range of a compound bow is small.

The compound bow manufacturers display the arrow speed as the determining factor using the International Bowhunting Organization (IBO) standard. The IBO standard uses three major components to examine a bow:

  • 70 lbs draw weight
  • 30 inches draw length
  • Arrow weight: 5 grains per draw weight (in pounds)

The above numbers should remain constant if you want to verify the performance of a bow. However, if the numbers somehow change, the arrow speed and bow range will be different, eventually affecting the distance covered by the arrow.

Moreover, the change in the numbers means you are not drawing the bow at 70 lbs (draw weight), you are not drawing the bow at the maximum length (draw length), or the arrow’s weight is not exactly equal to the IBO standard.

Compound Bow Specs

Let’s discuss the compound bow specs that determine the performance of the arrow.

Draw Weight

It’s the amount of force you need to exert to pull the bowstring. For example, a 50 lbs draw weight will require the same amount of force to pull a 50 lbs dumbbell from the ground. However, the compound bow allows you to easily draw the bowstring by shortening the portion of the draw weight. This technique is known as “let-off.”

Now, the more force you exert on the draw weight, the more power the arrow will receive. It’s similar to when you cast while fishing from a cabin cruiser boat. As a result, the arrow can easily penetrate the air and fall to a farther distance.

Draw Length

It’s the length from the nock of the bow to the maximum extension of the bowstring. It’s also an important factor as it determines how long it will take for an arrow to get accelerated by the draw weight.

Even a minor elongation in the draw length can significantly increase the speed of the arrow. Moreover, you can adjust the draw length in a compound bow and make it suitable for yourself.

Arrow Weight

If the arrow is heavy, it will need more force to get enough power to accelerate. The bowstring works on kinetic energy.

When you draw the weight, the bowstring stores kinetic energy. After that, when you release the string, most of the energy is transferred to the arrow. If you keep the kinetic energy constant by drawing the length at the same amount, a heavier arrow will fall quickly without covering much distance.

Therefore, always check the IBO standard and the above three major components if you are interested in archery.

Final Words

Compound bows allow you to hunt or play archery using the straight-line or arc technique. These bows perform better than the traditional bows. Therefore, equip yourself with a compound bow and make the best of your short-range archery or hunting adventure.