What Are the Two Most Common Types of Crossbows?

What Are the Two Most Common Types of Crossbows
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Crossbows are one of the earliest weapons invented by men, and they were used in wars since 6 BC. Nowadays, the crossbow retains some of its popularity in hunting, and most hunters appreciate their craftsmanship.

The recent models of crossbows have a fixed bow, allowing them to remain loaded. They can be used with traditional arrows, but also with rocks and specially made bullets. Here’s some insight into the most common types of crossbows and how they work.

Compound crossbows

One of the most popular types is the compound crossbow. The compound crossbow can be distinguished by having a look at its string. Usually, they have pulleys to draw the string up, which allows a let off – this let off helps you maximize the energy.

They also have a shorter limb, which is useful for hunters who are in tight spots. However, the compound crossbow has the mechanism in the front, which might make you slower when you aim.

Recurve crossbows

The other type of crossbow that is very popular is a recurve crossbow. They are lighter compared to compound crossbows, making it the perfect weapon if you have a long way to walk.

Additionally, they are quieter and much easier to maintain as all you need to do is lube the rail and clean the trigger. This type does not require you to have a bow press – thus, you can easily change your string while hunting with minimal effort.

On the opposite side, they are longer, more challenging to use in tight spots, and harder to cock. Despite these disadvantages, they are usually more affordable than compound crossbows.

Compound versus Recurve – which one is better?

The two models do have a series of differences. The main one is that the recurve type maintains some of the traditional crossbow features, while compound crossbows have a mechanical advantage due to the cams and cables involved.

If you are looking for a powerful crossbow that can fire at high velocities, then compound crossbows are substantially better. The compound crossbows have a heavier arrow, which means that your arrows will go further than the recurve type, and it will go deeper into your prey.

One important aspect of hunting is accuracy. While power and velocity are undoubtfully necessary, they do not make much difference if your weapon lacks accuracy.

Shot placement is crucial as it allows you to hit your target successfully. From this perspective, a recurve bow scores higher – the main reason is because of its simplicity.

The compound crossbow has a mechanical part of cams and cables, weakening the accuracy, especially if the cams are out of tune, which means you need to take your weapon to a technician.

A recurve crossbow has no such mechanism, as the tension from the bowstring remains equally the same without being influenced.

In terms of durability, both types have their caveats. The compound crossbow has more moving parts, which means that many things can go easily wrong.

What Are the Two Most Common Types of Crossbows

The recurve crossbows have fewer parts, but you might need to replace the string every hundred shots or so. The main difference is that it is easier to replace a bowstring rather than fix the cam, but this might be up to personal preferences.

If you are hunting in tight spots or you usually travel quite a long distance, size is a crucial determinant in choosing the best crossbow.

A heavy weapon can make your travel quite tiring, and it makes it almost impossible to hunt in tight spots. If this is the case, you might want to consider a compound crossbow, as it is significantly smaller than other types. They are lighter and smaller, making hunting more comfortable.

One last aspect to be considered is the noise, which is especially important if you are a beginner. A professional does not need to worry much about the noise, since by the time the deer hears it, the arrow has already hit them.

But beginners might want to get the chance for a second shot. This can be easy to do with an extremely quiet weapon, such as a compound. Thus, if you want to have a second chance, go for a compound crossbow, not a recurve crossbow – the latter is significantly noisier.

Wrapping up

So, what are the two most common types of crossbows? The most common types of crossbows are compound and recurve. They have quite a few differences. However, it is challenging to state which one is better as they are specially designed to fit different purposes and needs. Therefore, it is all down to your preferences and needs.

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