Types of Bows

The composite bow is a regular bow, able to store more energy because it is made from two or more types of materials. The back of the bow is made of a material that resists being stretched, while the front is made of a material which resists being compressed. The two materials work together to make a stronger bow that can store more energy.

The longbow is a bow that is longer than normal. In the past, archers have used longbows that were taller than the archers themselves. The added length increases the distance you can draw the string, allowing you to store more energy, which makes the arrow go farther. Archers would use the bow to deliver a shower of unaimed arrows upon the advancing enemy. The longbow has very narrow limbs, and is very light and stable; it can be easily shot while held at an angle.
A recurve bow has tips that curve away from the archer, and is usually also a composite bow. It allows more spring force over the first few inches of draw, and more energy to be stored. It is the most commonly used bow in the Olympics and among sporting archers.
A compound bow uses mechanical levers, pulleys, or cams to produce more stored energy with less work done. Another benefit of the compound bow is that the archer does not have to hold the full 'pull weight' when the bowstring is drawn back; eccentric cams at the tips allow a hunter to hold the bow at full draw for a longer period of time.
A crossbow sits sideways on a frame, and sometimes uses a mechanical winch to draw the limbs, which might be spring steel; these can store a large quantity of energy. The rifle-like body allows careful aiming of the short arrows. Crossbows can come in a variety of types.


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