Differences between Recurve and Compound Crossbow

Recurve vs Compound Crossbow

A crossbow consists of a bow and a barrel. It can be recharged mechanically or automatically. However, these characteristics do not make the crossbow a hybrid weapon. It is above all an arrow and precision weapon which has a reduced rate of fire.

Indeed, it is a tool combining multiple mechanisms of the bow as well as the rifle. It is a precision weapon with a reduced rate of fire. This powerful string weapon advantage is that it is silent. Coming in different variants, a crossbow can be compound or recurve.

Available in several variants, a crossbow can be recurve or compound. Discover in this post, the details that differentiate these two models.

What is a compound crossbow?

A compound or compound crossbow is the combination of the traditional crossbow and the compound bow. This shooting weapon resembles its ancestor by reducing the force essential to arming the rope. By increasing the speed at which the tile is thrown, it is closer to the compound bow.

Currently, compound crossbows are used for hunting, except some of the Europe countries. They are now used for target shooting games. Typically, a pulley crossbow has a power of around 150 pounds for a projectile speed of up to 350-420FPS feet / second. The length of the projectile is approximately 14 to 22 inches for a total weight of approximately 30 to 35 grams.

What is a recurve crossbow?

A recurve crossbow, as the name suggests, is a crossbow with inverted curves at the ends of the arms of the bow without the pulleys. Unlike a traditional or compound crossbow, this model is significantly larger. With fewer moving parts, a recurve crossbow makes it easier to change the shooting rope.

Equipped with a simple operating system, this weapon is devoid of pulley cables, unlike a so-called compound pulley crossbow. Thus, this model is easier to maintain than the pulley one.

The details that differentiate a recurve crossbow from a pulley one

The pulley mechanism forms the main difference between a compound crossbow and a recurve crossbow. Pulley crossbows are generally oval or round, located at the end of the branches. While for recurved crossbows, the string is immediately sealed to these branches.

The advantage of the pulley system is that it offers a reduction in the effort provided when stretching the rope similar to the principle of the hoist. This mechanism then gives the possibility to whoever uses it an easier arming of his crossbow. It is in terms of power that the difference between a recurve crossbow and a pulley crossbow is felt.

The power required for crossbows

Crossbows are classified according to their power between 50 and 260 pounds. This tension, once exerted on the rope, manages to propel the tile at a maximum speed of 130 m / s. If you are thinking of going on a deer hunting trip, you will need a model that can reach 200 pounds. Pulley or recurve models can achieve this power very well.

However, it should be noted that hunting of this type is prohibited in some European Countries. To test the performance of your crossbow, you will therefore have to go to America, Africa in the countries of Eastern Europe or Russia.

With such power, the bolt can easily stab a large game if you shoot sideways into a vital organ. Using a caliper, a fairly muscular hunter would manage to manually cock a crossbow with a power of 150 pounds.

With this pulley system, manufacturers can reduce the traction weight by 50%. This arming aid makes it easy to bend the rope of a very powerful crossbow model. The pulleys also allow the arrows to reach a very fast firing speed.

Difference in power

The difference between a recurve crossbow and a pulley crossbow is also felt in its power. Comparison made, the compound model is more powerful than the other. This power is associated with the branches of the compound crossbow which are significantly stiffer in the single-branch version or more flexible in the double-branch version than those of a Recurve crossbow.

This elasticity of the branches gives more energy in the throw of the tile. The pulley system also plays an important role in cocking the crossbow, as it makes it easier to cock the string. Arrows of the same weight thrown with a compound crossbow will reach a higher speed than those thrown with a recurve crossbow.

Note that the line speed record is held by a bolt shot with a compound crossbow.

Difference from mechanical point of view

From a mechanical point of view, a recurve crossbow is easier to use than a compound crossbow. This simplicity in the mechanism plays in favor of the operation of this crossbow.

As the recurve model is not equipped with any cables unlike the pulley crossbow. Its maintenance is therefore easier to ensure, without specialized tools. Indeed, if you break a shooting rope for example, you can repair it yourself. This is not the case with a pulley crossbow. If you break your string, you will need an arch press, or find an bow compression system such as clamp, jack or other hydraulic press, but also a specialized technician for the repair.

Difference from the aesthetic point of view

From an aesthetic point of view, recurve crossbows are longer than compound crossbows, and some models are removable with the string in place. This makes it easier to transport pulley models, unlike recurves. This small size also allows a compound crossbow to be easily handled in rather narrow places.

The new trend is ultra compact bows with large pulleys. We also see on the market of compound crossbows appearing versions with reverse bow of which Barnett is the first to have launched the concept. Since then, the largest manufacturers of crossbows such as CenterPoint, Ten Point or Ravin have followed this trend by each releasing their own ultra-compact reverse-arc compound crossbow.

To learn more about crossbows I suggest you go to our hunting section which has guides and product reviews that will help you find the perfect crossbow for you.

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