We’ve Tested The Best Recurve Bows

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What is a recurve bow?

A recurve bow is what most people think of when they think of a bow and arrow. It is the most simplistic of all archery equipment and has been around for thousands of years. Unlike its more modern counterpart, the compound bow, the recurve bow does not have any pulleys or cables, only a bow and a single string. With no cables or pulleys, there is also no let off, or relaxing of tension when at full draw, so this is the type of bow that most archery purists will prefer. This is also a preferred type of bow for those who do not want a lot of moving parts, and as such additional potential points of failure for the bow.

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What types of recurve bows are out there?

Recurve bows have benefitted from technology much the same way that most other forms of weaponry have. There are still the traditional one piece wooden bows and long bows available that have been used since the dawn of archery, but now there are also recurve bows that are designed to be disassembled in the field, also known as ‘take down’ bows, that can have either a wooden riser or even a skeletal aluminum riser. For purposes of this ‘best of’ list, we will also take a look at youth bow packages and even recurve bows that come as a complete kit, including arrows and accessories.

Our field staff has spent many years shooting recurve bows and now brings you the ‘best of’ list for each of the categories below based on their experience and interviews with hundreds of our readers.

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Wood Riser/Traditional One Piece Recurve Bows

This is the original type of bow most of us think of when we think of a recurve bow, hence the moniker “traditional”. These types of bows are actually functional works of art, at home on the wall for display or in the field drawing back on a deer. These bows are made as a single piece with the riser and limbs all typically made from laminated layers of various woods.

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Take Down Recurve Bows

For those shooters who want more portability of their bows yet still want the functionality of a recurve, a take down bow might be just the answer. These styles of recurve bows allow the user to disassemble the bow very easily to make the entire bow much more compact and easy to transport. These are available with either laminated wood risers or with aluminum risers. Typically the aluminum risers will be a skeletonized design to shave off additional weight. Another advantage the take down bow enjoys is the ability to have multiple limb weights for a single bow. The riser remains the same, but limbs can be purchased for the bow in different weights, allowing for different shooters to enjoy the same bow, or for the bow to grow with a shooter as his or her skill level increases.

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Long Bows

Long bows have been the preferred tool of field archers for thousands of years due to their incredible distance capabilities. In modern times, many shooters still love the feel of a long bow and all of the power it can bring to bear. These bows tend to almost match the height of the shooter which can allow for a long draw, and thus more power harnessed from the limbs. Though some do not consider a long bow as a true recurve, we have included these in this article as they remain very similar in shooting aspects to a true recurve.

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Youth Recurve Bow Packages

The sport of archery is one that can and should be enjoyed by children as well as adults. The below recurve bows are generally best suited to young archers just getting in to the sport, as well as by smaller framed adults. Typically youth bows are going to be offered as a package to make getting started much simpler than having to match arrows to a bow as well as figuring out the best arrow rests. These are not going to be bows that are suitable for hunting anything more than small game, but they are great for getting the next generation of archers started in the sport.

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Ready To Shoot Recurve Combo Packages

For some archers, getting a new bow is a great thing, especially when it comes with everything you need to get started. Many beginners will have a difficult time matching up the proper arrows to their new bow. Purchasing a combo package can take that guess work out of the equation and allow for the archer to start shooting as soon as the bow arrives. These packages are different from the youth combos above as they are going to have a higher draw weight and will be suitable for hunting so long as the draw weight selected is high enough to meet your local hunting regulations.

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What about recurve accessories?

As with most hunting tools, there are accessories that are available to assist the shooter for safety and convenience. Below is a list of the most commonly used accessories for recurve bows that are designed to use with most recurves on the market. Keep in mind that not all accessories will fit every recurve bow, so be sure you check to see how these will work with your specific bow.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>