How Does a Compound Bow Work?


Quick Answer

A compound bow is based on a pulley and lever system; as the string is drawn back, the pulleys rotate until the pulley radius is doubled at full draw. Today's compound bows are more efficient and return a higher level of energy than they take to draw.

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Full Answer

The compound bow was first introduced in 1966, and its increasing popularity in the United States has made it the predominant bow choice for archers. The pulley/cam system makes for stiffer limbs than a recurve or long bow, providing more energy and better accuracy while being less temperamental to changes in temperature and humidity.

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