What is a Recurve Crossbow?

Category Crossbows

crossbow-parts-recurveAny avid hunter or arms enthusiast would have played with the idea of shifting from their usual array of guns and bullets to a more natural bow or crossbow.

But the dilemma of anyone considering shifting to bows is that they tend to be unaware of the differences in the kind of equipment that one can use. It is very important to know the different kinds of crossbows available and what their advantages and disadvantages are in terms of functions.

What is a Recurve Crossbow?

Today, we are going to take a look at the recurve crossbow. This design is probably the oldest blueprint for crossbows as its original bow was basically patterned from the original recurve longbow.

The term recurve pertains to the small “curves” at the end of the bow that point away from the shooter. Those curves function both as a strain and a lock so that the string will not flick out of the bow once fired.

This kind of crossbow has been around for ages as their design was patterned from the early long bows of China, Greece and Egypt. What they did was to shorten the recurve long bows and mounted them on handles with locks and triggers.

Most ancient recurve crossbows were found in drier places where harder but flexible wood were available for use. The ancient shooters preferred the recurve bows because they were shorter than the straight bows and it allowed them to shoot while on the move or when riding horses.


Excalibur-Ibex-SMF-150x150Modern day recurve crossbows are still being produced for hunting and sport shooting. They still retain the recurve design on its main bow but manufacturers have included more modern features such as stabilization, scopes, cocks and sights.

The modern day recurve crossbows are now usually made from carbon fiber, wood, aluminum or magnesium alloy. Modern recurve crossbows are also the staple design for professional shooting such as those being use in the Olympics.

What are the Differences between Recurve and Compound Crossbows?

The difference of the recurve crossbow with its counterpart compound crossbow is generally in size and strength. A recurve crossbow has a longer bow and has a longer draw length.

This allows more acceleration for the projectile you use be it a bolt or a full arrow. The compound crossbow has a shorter bow but it gives an advantage in the reloading speed because of the shorter draw length.

Another difference between the two crossbows is the sound they make. recurve crossbows tend to be louder because of the length while compound crossbows can be as quiet as they can get depending on the technology and design you use.

For hunting, sound is an advantage as it could help you keep your prey at a safe distance and not worry about giving away your presence. On the other hand, the recurve crossbow offers more power and shot speed. The impact on your prey will determine if you can make the kill in one shot or not. It can also cover longer ranges with its power and projectile acceleration.

However, among the disadvantages of recurve crossbows have something to do with their draw length. Because of the length of the bow, it applies more strain to the string. This means using less durable strings could mean there is more need to replace them often. The size of recurve crossbows also give a slight drawback as it means more weight to carry while you are on the prowl for prey.

In between choosing for the kind of crossbow you would want to start with, a recurve crossbow offers power and projectile speed ensuring that one-shot-kill. It does, however, lack in weight and of course the strain on its string.

If you plan on getting a crossbow for professional shooting on a range, the recurve crossbow might be the ideal choice as starter crossbow for you with its straight power and acceleration to cover longer distances on the shooting range.

But it would not be advisable for long hunting trips that would demand you to carry the crossbow on walks and treks as the heavier weight would become a tiresome burden for you in the long run.

Overall, a recurve crossbow is a great first try, most especially when shifting from guns. There are many recurve crossbow designs and makes out there with great functions and technology that can suit whatever your need will be.

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