Each a part of a compound bow is a chunk of a puzzle, and when all of the items match collectively, you get a instrument that produces accuracy, velocity, and a balanced really feel. Realizing these elements, their location on the bow, and their function is useful for diagnosing points you may need along with your bow, and for evaluating new compound bows you would possibly need to purchase. 

The Components of a Compound Bow

  • Riser
  • Arrow Shelf 
  • Grip 
  • Limb Pockets 
  • Limbs 
  • Cam
  • Axles
  • Cam Modules 
  • Limb or Cable Stops 
  • Bowstring 
  • D-Loop
  • Pace Nock 
  • Cables 
  • Cable Slider/Curler Gaurd 
  • String Cease 

The Riser

The riser is the centerpiece of a bow. It’s a part of the compound bow that you just maintain and the place the limbs are connected. There are reflex risers (that curve inward) and deflex risers (that curve outward). Some are fabricated from carbon and a few are created from aluminum. Primarily based on the bow’s design risers might be lengthy or brief.

Components of a Compound Bow Riser

Arrow Shelf

The arrow shelf extends out from the principle physique of the riser, normally across the riser’s midpoint, and it’s the place the launcher arm of the remaining falls. Your arrow will relaxation on an arrow relaxation throughout the arrow shelf. 


That is the half you maintain onto. Some grips are “direct-to-riser,” or machined into the riser itself, and others are molded from plastic or carved from wooden to suit over the riser. 

Limb Pockets

Sometimes fabricated from aluminum or high-grade plastic, the limb pockets join the limbs (under) to the riser with a single limb screw. This screw might be turned clockwise and counterclockwise to regulate the bow’s draw weight primarily based on the producer’s settings.  


As you pull the string again, the limbs flex inward to provide the bow energy, and on the shot, these limbs return to their stationary place, transferring their power to the cams, bowstring, and the arrow. Limbs should be sturdy and are sometimes created from carbon, fiberglass, and different strong supplies. Compound bows are made with single limbs or cut up limbs. Primarily based on the producer’s configuration, limbs might be set at completely different angles, resembling parallel or past parallel. 


An illustration showing a compound bow cam and limb.

The cam is the bow’s engine. Cams sit between the limbs on the prime and backside of the bow. They appear to be curved wheels. Some might be greater than others and there are completely different sorts of cam configurations. (Some bows can have a single cam with an loafer wheel, a twin cam, or a hybrid cam, however most searching bows in the present day have twin cams.)

Their essential job is to let stress off at a sure level in the course of the draw cycle, lowering the quantity of power it takes to carry a bow again. With the cams engaged, the archer solely has to carry a sure share—normally 70, 80, or 85 p.c—of the bow’s full draw weight.

Components of a Compound Bow Cam 

Cam Modules

Many compound bows have cam modules permitting the shooter to alter the bow’s draw size in 1/2-inch increments and not using a bow press. There are compound bows (draw-length-specific) that come at a set draw size, and if the archer desires to alter that draw size, they’ll want to purchase a brand new cam module.

Limb or Cable Stops

Limbs or cable stops are arms or studded posts on the cams that contact the internal cable or prime and backside limb to cease the string on the appropriate draw-length setting. 


The axles are what the cams activate. They’re additionally used as factors to measure the bow’s axle-to-axle—or ATA—dimension. The gap between axles on a compound bow sometimes influences how the bow will really feel to the archer. Longer ATA bows are likely to have a smoother draw cycle and are a bit slower (by way of how briskly the arrow travels) than shorter ATA bows. Shorter ATA bows are typically quicker and are extra maneuverable in a blind, nevertheless, they don’t have as clean a draw cycle as longer ATA bows. 


The bowstring is a string that the archer pulls again to shoot the bow. It makes contact with the arrow on the knock.

Components of a Compound Bowstring 


A twine tied to the bowstring serves as a degree to knock an arrow and permits the archer to connect a launch support.

Pace Nock

Small weights, normally coated in a rubberized materials, which are connected to the bowstring to scale back residual bowstring oscillation and enhance the bow’s efficiency. 

Peep Sight

The peep sight is a small disc with a gap within the center that will get threaded to the bow string. An archer will align the peep sight to the bow sight to intention the bow. 

An illustration showing the parts of a bow string


Typically confused with the bowstring, cables run from cam to cam, by means of the bow’s cable slide or curler guard, and by no means contact the arrow. 

Cable Slide/Curler Guard

Cable slides and curler guards direct cables and preserve them from coming contact with one another because the bow is drawn. Most compound bow designers in the present day use curler guards as an alternative of cable slides. Curler Guards create much less friction and enhance the longevity of the cables.

String Cease

The string cease is a rubberized pad normally connected to an aluminum, carbon, or high-grade plastic rod that runs out from the again of the riser towards the string. The rubber pad stops the dashing bowstring.

Components of a Compound Bow: Equipment

  • Sight 
  • Relaxation 
  • Stabilizer
  • Quiver 


The sight is used along side the rear peep-sight to intention an arrow. Sights are sometimes created from a round or oval-shaped housing that accommodates pins in numerous configurations. Some sights are adjustable for various ranges whereas others use a number of mounted pins. All bow sights connect to a bar that attaches to the riser. 


There are drop-away rests and whisker biscuits. A drop-away relaxation holds the arrow in the course of the draw cycle, after which drops out of the way in which because the arrow flies out of the bow. There are cable-driven and limb-driven drop-away rests obtainable—every utilizing a distinct a part of a compound bow to operate. Whisker biscuits don’t have any transferring elements. as an alternative, they use bristles going through inward to carry the shaft of an arrow in place. Each drop-away rests and whisker biscuits mount to the riser. 


The stabilizer helps stability the bow and dampens noise and vibration throughout a shot. Stabilizers screw into the riser in a threaded gap that’s sometimes set according to the string cease. 


A bow-mounted quiver holds additional arrows safely and securely. They’re mounted to the riser.

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