So the answer is straightforward, the most powerful modern bow and arrow is a crossbow. That’s it. I’m all done, post finished, we can all go about our day happy with our new-found knowledge.
All joking apart there is so much more to a bow than just “the most powerful.” To understand what is the most powerful bow, we need to decide on what powerful means. If we’re looking for the fastest bow, or more precisely, the speed the arrow travels after release, are we looking for momentum or the arrow’s kinetic energy? All are important depending on the type of archery you’re taking part in.
The overall speed of a bow is measured in feet per second (FPS). Therefore the higher the FPS, the faster the bow – this is the basis for the crossbow being the most powerful. Looking at three variations of bows. Recurve bows tend to have an average FPS between 290 and 330, and Compound bows are slightly higher at 330 to 350 FPS, where the mighty crossbow has on average between 420 to 450 FPS (to read more details about the differences between each of those, read my post on different bows)
What Makes a Bow “Powerful”?
Power is an element that many buyers seek in a bow, especially when purchasing for the first time. However, before a bow’s power is discussed, it is essential to specify what this “power” is and how it is measured. The “power” of a given bow refers to the heaviest “draw weight” or the number of pounds of force required to bring the bow to a full draw, and therefore the amount of energy the bow can shoot.
Speed, Momentum, and Kinetic Energy:
The kinetic energy of any given object is defined as the object’s energy during motion. When applied to archery, work is done by the archer’s muscles, primarily in their arms, by pulling back on the string and flexing the limbs of the bow. This energy is then stored in the bow limbs in the form of potential energy; when this string is released, the energy stored in the bow’s limbs is finally released, mostly being absorbed by the arrow.
What is “Arrow Speed”?
Arrow speed is one of the most critical measurements involved in archery. It refers to the amount of time that a given arrow takes to travel a specific distance. Arrow speed dramatically affects the experience of archery, with some favoring slower shooting styles, for the benefit of reduced noise and a slower pace. In contrast, others prefer the fast-paced excitement of high arrow speed. Either way, this is a fundamental measurement to consider when deciding which product is right for your individual needs and should undoubtedly be taken into account beforehand. When looking for bows, there tend to be ratings; there are currently two organizations that supply FPS or grades for bows.
IBO and ATA are two different rating systems of judging the speed of a given compound bow. The two ratings are calculated using various methods, what remains consistent is that all major bow manufacturers conform to one of these two industry standards.
IBO stands for the International Bowhunters Organization, and this organization created a standard for bows produced through a specific test. A bow’s IBO speed is determined by firing the bow with the maximum pull weight of 80 pounds, plus or minus 2 pounds. The arrow used in this test must be 400 grains or 5 grains per pound of draw weight. This measurement is then taken at the bow’s point-blank range. This score works so that the higher the IBO number, the more powerful the bow.
Alternatively, the Archery Trade Association or “ATA” also offers a different bow standard. The ATA speed of a given bow is calculated by shooting the bow with the maximum pull weight of 70 pounds plus or minus 2 lbs. The arrow used for the test must be 350 grains or 5 grains per pound of draw weight. The draw length is set at 30 inches plus 1/4 inch, unlike the IBO test that does not set a specific draw length.
Bow Set-ups: Are They Important?
Many archers have hotly debated to what extent a bow’s set-up affects the user’s overall experience. While this may not be the be-all and end-all, we still think that set-up is an important aspect of choosing bows, especially for beginners and first-timers. Many factors contribute to a bow’s set-up, including whether or not you decide to use a sight, the specific arrows being used, quivers, and so on. While a different combination of each of these aspects is ideal for each archer, you must find the right set-up for your individual needs. While it may not be as exciting as picking the bow itself, a bow’s set-up can make or break an archery experience and should certainly be considered before any purchase is finalized.
Which Type of Bow is Ideal for Each Use?
Just as bows are very versatile, so too are their applications. As such, you must consider what you are going to be using the bow for when you decide on which bow you are going to purchase, especially so for first-time buyers. For example, for uses such as game hunting, users are more inclined towards choosing a compound bow. Alternatively, when used for applications such as sports, it is far more common for a recurve bow to be used for a variety of reasons. As such, the bow’s application is a vital factor to consider during the buying process of your bow, even more so if it is your first
Examples of High Power Bows:
There are numerous examples of high power bows out there on the market. We have decided to compile a list of some key examples of this bow type. The amount of choice online can sometimes be daunting; we hope our list will make this process far more straightforward.
Bear Cruzer G2 – This impressive bow is undoubtedly a hard hitter in all areas. Its incredible 5-70 pound draw weight makes it a powerful and high-quality bow for any archery enthusiast, whether long-time or a newcomer. For those who are looking for an entry-point into hunting with a bow and arrow, this product could be the perfect choice for you!
BowTech Reign 7 – This sophisticated bow allows for its user to customize and adjust its draw weight by 10-pound increments between 50-70 pounds. This powerful and smooth-shooting bow is an excellent choice for those seeking accuracy from their archery over speed. With its lightweight and easy-to-transport design, this bow has become a favorite for the archer on the go.
Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow – This bow combines speed and power into a single product, it can launch its arrows at over 300 feet per second. Despite its lightweight frame, weighing 3.2 pounds overall, this bow has a draw weight of up to 70 pounds in total. An ideal choice for archers of all experience levels, this bow makes starting in archery easier than ever.
Overall, it is clear that when it comes to purchasing a bow and arrow, especially for newcomers, many factors contribute to this choice, and it is a very individual matter for each person. Regardless, we hope that by running through many of these central factors, including arrow speed, bow power, kinetic energy, etc. We have made this process a clearer, easier decision for each of you. We cannot tell you which product would be ideal for you specifically, but we can help to point you in the areas that may be of particular importance to you. We hope we have turned the process of finding the right bow for you, which can often feel overwhelming, like searching for a needle in a haystack, into a far more straightforward and straightforward process.
Whether it is one of our listed powerful bows or an entirely separate product altogether, we hope that our article has helped to illuminate this journey, filling in common gaps of valuable information that so often are only known by experts. Whether this is regarding bow set-up, bow application, or how bow speed rankings are calculated, we hope that you have gained some new and helpful information through our article. With all of this in mind, now it is in your hands to go forward and ultimately decide which product is the best fit for you. What are you waiting for? There’s no better time than now to begin a lifetime love of archery!