I should be in Indianapolis right now, shooting 2021′s hottest new flagship compound bows by day and eating lamb chops at St. Elmos on the company’s dime at night. Instead, I’m at home making mac ‘n cheese for the kids lunch and trying to remember how to divide compound fractions.
A compound bow is guaranteed to take your archery practice to the next level. The ease of using a compound bow means more arrows on target and a lower likelihood of coming home from your next hunting trip empty handed.
Compound bows have innovative characteristics and small details that make them more effective than your ordinary traditional bow. You can comfortably hit the bullseye quickly and more effectively with a compound bow.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at our top 5 best compound bow 2021 for target shooting and hunting. To make it easier, on this table we’ve only listed the most important compound bow specs that you need to choose the best compound bow for you: max speed, draw weight range and handedness.
Compound Bows Price
You can expect to pay somewhere between $65 and $1,000 for a compound bow, depending on its quality and features.
- Inexpensive: Smaller, lighter kids’ compound bows range from $65 to under $150.
- Mid-range: Beginning archers and those buying a compound bow for growing kids may want to get an adjustable compound bow, which allows for greater range in draw weight and draw length. Good-quality adjustable bows are priced from $150 to $400.
- Expensive: High-end compound bows are often made of composite materials, which can help reduce vibration on release. These compound bows can cost $400 to $1000.
In this shopping guide, we’ll take you through the basics of the compound bow, its construction and important features. When you’re ready to buy, check out our top picks in the product list above.
5 Best Compound Bows of 2021:
With a limited budget, the task of finding a high-quality compound bow gets harder, but we have done the extensive research for you, and below we have listed reviews of the top models within different price ranges.
This bow from the Southland Archery Supply (SAS) features a 35″ axle to axle, 30″ draw length, 270 fps, making it one of the best budget options. Its compressed ABS limb spans balance, weight and strength to continue the life of the bow.
For enhanced accuracy, the limbs of this bow are accommodated in place by the back pivoting limb pockets. It highlights a durable aluminum, fiberglass and plastic construction that can withstand being used repeatedly by beginning archers and shooters, including misfires that might break the strings on other bows. It also features an outstanding autumn camouflage color to help you blend in with nature as you hunt, regardless of whether you’re a novice or a professional. This gear definitely is of high quality and offers durability at an extremely affordable price.
If you’re looking for an accurate and powerful bow that is perfect for the beginner, the SAS Rage 70 is the one you need. It comes at a great price and is easy to use.
- Made in the USA
- Accurate bow
- Starter kit available for under $150
- Durable materials
- Not a fast bow
- Harsh and loud shooting
An aluminum riser fan, I’ve struggled with tuning Hoyt Carbon models in the past. Not this year. The RX-4 is quite possibly the perfect combination of length, speed, balance and accuracy.
The new ZTR Cam—the third generation in ZT Cam technology—provides what I feel is Hoyt’s smoothest draw and most stable back wall to date. As the cams roll over, a small, oval, rubberized pad set into the draw-stop arm contacts the inner cable to provide a wall that allows the shooter to fall into anchor, relax and begin the shot process.
When it comes to balance and shootability, the Carbon RX-4 Ultra delivers. After tweaking the Adjustable Grip System to the left a touch to customize fit and feel to my personal preferences, I sent arrows from distances between 20 and 80 yards offhand and through my Spot-Hogg Hooter Shooter. This bow is a tack driver. I credit its accuracy to the perfect riser-to-limb marriage as well as the undeniable performance of the ZTR Cams.
As far as speed, the RX-4 Ultra sent my 384.5-grain Easton HyperSpeed Pro arrows downrange at a respectable 298 fps. At the shot, there is silence. The arrow is just gone. The bow owes this to its pair of Shock Pods, which dampen riser vibration, and its adjustable StealthShot string-suppression system.
- Very affordable all-inclusive kit
- Stealth features
- 8″ brace height
- Great for beginners
- Accessories and arrows of questionable quality
This is a compact and lightweight compound bow that is designed for all types of hunters. The Bear Divergent compound bow offers excellent shootability and speed. The compound bow is powered by a Hybrid Cam system that provides accurate and fast shots up to 338 FPS.
A wonderful feature of the bow is its smooth draw cycle. Thanks to the 75% let-off, sighting become easy when drawing down. It offers a healthy draw length range 25 ½ to 30 inches. This will enable you to adjust the length according to your requirement.
It has offset string suppressors that will decrease the noise and vibration. Furthermore, the brace height of the bow is 6.5 inches; it is not too high or low. This is capable of providing better accuracy and consistency for increased tune and performance.
The best thing about Bear Divergent Compound Bow is its weight. The Divergent compound bow weighs about 3.9 pounds, making it easy to handle and operate. This makes it easy to maneuver, no matter where you are standing on the ground or a tree stand.
- Super light and noiseless bow
- Offers exceptionally smooth draw
- Comes with a wide range of settings
- For some people, short axle might not be a good option
The Black 5 is part of a new series from Prime that includes similar versions offered in axle-to-axle lengths of 31, 33 and 39 inches. All told, the Black Series gives hunters and shooters lots of options. I’ve only spent time behind the Black 5, which has a 35-inch axle-to-axle length, and truth is, it reminds me of Prime’s 2019 Logic CT5. This is a good thing. I loved the CT5.
In true Prime fashion, the Black 5 is built to withstand a nuclear attack, and wide limb pockets married with the 82X Aluminum Swerve Riser provide undeniable balance at full draw. The draw cycle is smooth, and let-off comes with an appreciate sense of easiness.
A first for Prime, the new Roto Cam System allows for super simple draw-length adjustments. The self-contained system of a rotating module means no bow press is required, and the module can be moved in 1/2-inch increments. Let-off can also be set from 65 to 90 percent.
What about accuracy? The Black 5 delivers it in spades. I shot the bow with field points, as well as mechanical and fixed-blade broadheads, out to 80 yards. Money.
- Incredible package with outstanding specs
- Fast shots with unerring accuracy
- Ideal for professional use
- Offers both hand orientations
- Only one finish available currently
- No extras in the package
As a backcountry hunter, your choice of compound bows determines your success rate out there in the wild. PSE ARCHERY Evolve 28 is one of the few bows that accommodate the needs of backcountry hunters at an exceptional level – it was designed with backcountry hunters in mind.
The axle to axle measurement is relatively small, and ideal for hunting and the like. Most people that first experience the compound bow are thrilled with the overall feel and balance. The fit is surprisingly natural, as well.
The compound only weighs 4.1 pounds, and therefore easy to handle. It also explains the exceptional balance and overall feels that you get from the bow. The bow comes at both the 60 and 70 lb draw weight, and as a beginner, you can choose the former.
It has a unique proprietary cam system that you only find in PSE ARCHERY Evolve 28. You can adjust the draw length from 24.5 inches to 30 inches, and claims as much as 90% let-off after the full draw – the best specs so far as you will notice in these best compound bow reviews. You can relax at full draw, and achieving your target is not as hard as it first seems.
- Ideal for backcountry hunters
- A surprisingly natural feel
- Lightweight and only weighs 4.1 pounds
- A let off of up to 90% after a full draw
- Professionals may need something better
Compound Bows Buying Guide
These bows were first developed by Holles Wilbur Allen in 1966 and are generally considered to provide superior accuracy, velocity, and distance compared to other types of bows. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, models, and have different cam set ups, axle to axle measurements, and a lot more. They use a levering system involving cables and pulleys or cams to bend the limbs or ends of the bow. It’s easier to and more convenient to use since the mechanical advantage it provides allows the archer to exert less physical effort when the bow is at full draw. They also attract hunters stalking game since they are easier to use and may come in camouflage design as well.
There are things to consider before getting one. Since you will need a reliable and accurate bow for your shooting, you must invest on a compound bow that will suit your strength and style. Also, you shouldn’t focus on the speed alone. Some people tend to aim for the fastest bow without considering its effects and requirements. If you have no idea what to consider in buying one, then read on. I will tell you what to look for, but first you need to have the basic knowledge of its parts.
Compound Bows Features To Consider
There are many components in a compound bow. Here is a list of the most important. Many beginner bows also come with accessories like a sight, a more advanced arrow rest, a D-loop, and a mechanical draw pull. These are also available for purchase separately.
- Bow riser: This is the largest and most identifiable part of the bow: the long, inward-curving portion of the compound bow that includes the grip.
- Limbs: The top and bottom limbs complete the “bow” shape of the compound bow, extending back from the bow riser. The cams and pulleys are attached to each of these limbs.
- Cam: This provides much of the draw and release control. The bowstring loops around this slightly oblong wheel, which maintains the draw weight and provides a “let-off” once the arrow is released. Most compound bows are either single cam or dual cam.
- Grip: Typically molded into the bow riser, the archer holds the bow at this point.
- Arrow shelf: The arrow rests on this small ledge molded onto the bow riser, typically at the top of the grip.