If you are thinking about buying archery bows online, there are a few things YOU MUST KNOW first.

Archery continues to grow in popularity and every year new people start looking at archery bows online. For many whoever, the problem is that this is where their curiosity stops. Once they starting looking at archery bows online they realize it’s more complex than just picking out a cool looking bow online.

You can buy archery bows online if you learn a little about the different types of archery and bows.

Some who have never participated in archery wonder if they can even buy archery bows online. The answer is yes you can, but you need to know a few things first. If you randomly purchase a bow online (or buy one just based on looks) without understanding what you need, there is a good chance you will end up with a bow that you can’t shoot. The purpose of this article is simplifying what you need to know about buying archery bows online and by the time you are finished reading, you should be able to make a confident purchase.

What You Need To Know First

1.What type of archery do you want to participate in?

If you are considering buying archery bows online, the first thing you need to know is what type of archery you want to participate in. The reason you should know this first is because there are some big differences between these two types of archery and the bows and accessories used for each.

The two main types of archery

1. Bowhunting
2. Target


Bowhunting is the oldest form of archery and it is still enjoyed by many hunters today. If you already hunt with firearms, you may be looking to branch out and get into bowhunting.

It also possible you want to start hunting and are thinking about starting out with a bow.

It’s one of the most exciting and challenging forms of hunting. Some rifle hunters wonder why they should invest the time necessary to learn archery, just so they can bow hunt.

One of the biggest perks of bowhunting is that archery season starts earlier than rifle season. This means you have the woods to yourself and a good chance at bringing home a big one. Once rifle season starts, everybody and their moms are out in the woods.

That being said, bowhunting takes a lot of time and practice. It’s thrilling to get within 30 yards of a whitetail buck or bull elk, but don’t let the distance make you think bowhunting is easy. (It’s hard to even draw your bow with a buck that close!)

Most types of bows can be used for bowhunting, but compound bows are the most widely used. Some states do have regulations concerning bowhunting and things like draw weight, which affects the speed of your arrows. If you are interested in bowhunting, check out this page on state regulations for bowhunting before making a purchase.


Target Archerytarget archery

Target archery, like the name suggests, is shooting arrows at a stationary target. You can participate in target archery  for recreation or competitively.

Target archery is highly competitive sport worldwide and is also an Olympic event that has grown in popularity. There are also different types of target archery, which primarily involve changing the target or terrain you are shooting on.

What’s Involved in Target Archery?

Regular target archery can take place indoor or outdoor, and competitions involve shooting a target a one or several different fixed distances. Targets for indoor competitions are placed at 18 meters. (Nearly 20 yards-you will need to acquaint yourself with the metric measurements if you want to compete in target archery…that is what they use, even in America. That’s all I will say about that…)

Outdoor archery competitions usually involved shooting several targets at different fixed distances ranging from 30-90 meters. The standard Olympic distance is 70 meters. You compete by shooting at a target with 10 circular rings which get smaller as you move toward the center.

There is some variation in scoring depending on the rules being followed, but a value is typically assigned to each ring. For example on the official FITA target, the center ring, also called X is assigned a value of 10. The further away from X you are, the smaller your score value will be.

Field Archery

Field archery is another form of competition target archery and is especially popular with bowhunters. This type of archery involves shooting at targets many different distances in places like the woods or rougher terrain areas.

These competitions offer the challenge of many changing variables. You may be shooting up a hill at an elevated target, or down off a cliff at the target. In the woods, you may have the challenge of dim or changing lighting conditions. If you are thinking about bowhunting, this can be a great way to stay prepared in the offseason.

Most types of bows can be used for target archery, however, if you are competing in a competition, it will be for one bow type, and there will likely be rules on things like draw weight, and the bow accessories that can be used. This is something you will want to inquire about if you have a local archery club and are thinking about competing. You can read more about the types of archery here.

2.What Type of Bow Should You Get?

If you are looking into buying archery bows online, the next step after you’ve considered the kinds of archery is to decide on the type of bow you need. The 3 major type of bows are recurve, compound, and longbows. The majority of archers shoot either a compound or recurve, and if you are new to archery, I would recommend you stick with one these.

The two main types of bowsrecurve and compound bow difference

1. Recurve
2. Compound

If you’ve never shot a bow before and are interested in bowhunting, you need to start with a compound bow.

Most archery authorities seem to avoid recommending one type of bow over another for beginners.

I understand being hesitant to recommend one or the other for target archery, but not for bowhunting.

Here’s why- Compound bows have been designed for hunting for many years now. i.e., things like left off. This was designed to help hold at full draw for a long time while you are waiting to get a good shot at the animal.

Compounds are much shorter than recurves which means you can shoot them in blinds and tree stands easier. The biggest reason, however, is that it’s easier to become proficient with a compound bow.

Recurve Bows

Starting out with a recurve bow is good options for new archers if you aren’t considering bowhunting. Many archery coaches recommend starting with a recurve if you are learning archery for the first time. There are several reasons for this.

1. Easier to get started. (Set up and they are often less expensive than compound bows.)
2. Fewer accessories needed
3. Help you to learn the basic shooting form.

Buying a recurve bow online.
If you are considering buying a recurve bow online, there are a few things that will help you in making your decision.

Types of Recurve Bows-learn how to shoot a recurve bow

  1. Traditional

  2. Olympic

Tradition Recurve Bow

Traditional recurve bows are great options for beginning target archers. You can get a recurve bow online that is affordable and good quality. You can read my recommendation here.

The most affordable traditional recurve bow online will be takedown recurve bow which is a bow in three pieces, the riser, and upper and lower limb. (This makes these great for traveling)

Take down recurve risers are either made from wood or aluminum, and the limbs are usually a laminated wood with fiberglass outer layer. Take down recurves will also come with a bowstring which is generally made from strands of dacron. You can read more about bowstrings here.

Olympic Style Recurve Bow

While you can buy Olympic style recurve bows online, I would not recommend doing so. First, these types of bows much more expensive than tradition style recurves. Second, you are better off buying an Olympic recurve bow online if you are serious about competitive target archery and know a little more about what you want in a target bow.

Issues buying recurve bows online

They aren’t a lot of issues you need to know about when purchasing a recurve bow online. They are primarily just the general issues of using a recurve bow.

One of the biggest positives of buying a recurve bow online is that there is not a lot of set up needed before you can shoot it. The only thing you need to learn to set up your bow is how to string it and how to install the nocking point, which are both easy to do.


Accessories for recurve bows online

One of the reasons the traditional recurve is good for beginners is because you can shoot it with no additional accessories. This is referred to as barebow. There are a few accessories which are necessary and others which will make your shooting experience more enjoyable.

Setup Accessories-

  • Bow Square– If you want to buy a recurve bow online and set it up yourself, a bow square is a worthwhile investment. Here is one of the best available and it is inexpensive.
  • Serving thread or nocking points– The bow square is needed to install your nocking point. You can use serving thread for a nocking point or metal nocks.

Shooting Accessories-

  • Arrows– Of course you will need arrows to shoot. Practice arrows do not have to be really expensive when you are starting out. One issue with arrows used for recurve bows is that you need feather fletchings. The reason for this is because the fletchings will come into contact with the riser or rest when you shoot with a recurve and real feathers will lie down and not interfere with the arrow flight.
  • Arrow rest– Recurve bows can be shot of the shelf or riser. When you shoot this way, it’s good to put on a hair rest or some other material to preserve the arrow. Most takedown recurves are also drilled to accept different types of arrow rests if you want to use those.
  • Target– A target is as necessary a the arrows. A field point bag will be the best way to go. You read about my recommended target here.
  • Arm Guard– Arm guards are also needed when shooting a recurve bow.

Compound Bows

transfering compound bowCompound bows are the most widely used bow today. Since compound bows were patented in 1969, they have improved in their performance and usability every year. The improvements with compound bows relate to the weight, speed, smoothness, and reliability. Many of these improvements are possible because of new metals and other materials available.

Compound bows have become extremely light and extremely fast. Additionally, one of the most significant features of the compound bow is let off. Let off is the percentage of weight needed to hold the bow at full draw.

The percentage of let off a bow has depends on the bow. For instance, if you are looking at a 60-pound bow with 50 percent let off, that means the draw weight at full draw is only 30 pounds. Compound bows can have let off because of they

Can The Draw Length on a Bow Be Adjusted?Compound bows have a pulley system of cams, wheels, and cables. This means they can have extremely high draw weights with very short limbs. Limbs with high draw weights would not be bendable with a single bowstring. They require the mechanical advantage provided by the pulley system.

This also means the bowstring is under tremendous tension and it requires a bow press, which compresses the limbs, to be taken off and put on. If you are wanting to learn how to shoot a compound bow, you can read this article to learn how to shoot a compound bow .

Issues buying compound bows online

The issues with buying a compound bow online primarily have to do with getting the right size bow for you. Compound bows will have a draw weight and draw length range. You need to figure out what your draw weight and draw length are and then you can easily purchase a bow with the appropriate range.

Accessories for compound bows online.

All compound bow accessories can be purchase online. The only issue is knowing what you need. There are some compound bows that come with these accessories. They may label the bow as “set up” but it won’t actually be set up at all. Setting up a compound bow means that you are adjusting everything for you. The package bows can be a good bow for a beginner but it will set up after buying it.

Compound bows are more complicated to set up but it is something you can do on your own if you learn how. If it is your first bow, it’s a good idea to visit your local archery shop and see if they can help you set it up.

Set up accessories

  • Bow SquareA bow square is really a necessary piece of equipment with any type of bow. It will help you install your nocking point, D-loop, and arrow rest.

Shooting Accessories

  • Bow sight– Most compound archers make use of bowsights and it will make your learning experience much more enjoyable. You can check out my recommended compound bowsight here and learn how to sight in your bow here.
  • Arrow restA good arrow rest will help you shoot accurately. You can check out my recommended arrow rest here.
  • Release Aid– Compound bows can be shot with a release aid which will help you with consistent, accurate releases. Check out the best compound bow release aid here.







Author: Kasey Jones

Published: June 26, 2018

Category: Archery