Choosing a great compound bow for your needs and desires that doesn’t render you broke is quite possible. There are many affordable compound bows on the market today. Whether you are a beginner or a professional archer there is an affordable bow for you under $500. You just have to know where to look for the best hunting bows.
Determining The Correct Compound Hunting Bow For You
There are several aspects of choosing a bow that you need to know before going into a store and purchasing your first hunting bow. Please take a few minutes to review these crucial elements of fitting a bow to your body type and style.
Typically people have one eye that is more dominant than the other one. This is the eye that you will most likely use when sighting. One way to determine your dominant eye is to make a ‘v’ with your fingers and focus on an object in front of you. Close one eye and look through the ‘v’ at the object. Take note of what you see. Then close the other eye and again look through your ‘v’ and see if you can tell the difference.
It is important to adjust the bow to you, not the other way around. When you shoot a bow, an arrow should be shot from the bows full draw length. Which means that the bow is fully extended. Now for shorter people they typically need less draw length, likewise, taller people require more draw length. Often times people will set their draw draw length too long. Improper draw length will result in poor shooting and inaccuracy.
It could also cause pain while shooting. In order to determine your draw length you should measure your arm span and divide that by 2.5, the remaining number should be your proper draw length. If you are unsure about your draw length or how to set it properly please talk to a professional or your local bow dealer.
Righty or Lefty
Typically a bow will be designed for a left handed or right handed person. However, if you have never shot a bow or a gun before and your eye dominance doesn’t match your hand dominance, you can choose to get a bow that matches your eye dominance and still learn to use it fairly easily. However, if you have shot a gun or a bow before, it maybe hard to make that adjustment. Be sure to go with the bow that feels comfortable for you and the way you will be shooting.
Axle to Axle Length
A bow’s axle to axle length is the length from one wheel axle to the next one. Most people prefer the smaller 32” bows. A bow with an axle to axle length of 34” is normally used for hunting or competitive use. Also, a bow that is 36” is typically only used in competition. I recommend for beginners to get a 32” axle to axle length. If you are a hunter or shoot competitively then go with a 34” or 36”. Keep in mind that a longer a bow and the more weight it is, typically the more stable and accurate in will shot.
Selecting the proper draw weight for your bow will help you to steadily shoot your bow with more accuracy. On average your bow weight should be: for a small child the weight of the frame should be 10-25 lbs, for an older child or small framed women the weight should be between 25-35 lbs, for a medium to large frame woman the weight will be 30-55lbs and for older boys and men the weight should be between 40-65 lbs. It’s crucial that you properly fit you bow to your body type.
Suggested Draw Weight Chart
|Archer's Weight||Suggested Draw Weight|
|Small Children (70-100 lbs)||10-15 lbs|
|Larger Children (100-130 lbs)||15-25 lbs|
|Small-Frame Famale (100-130 lbs)||25-35 lbs|
|Medium-Frame Famale (130-160 lbs)||25-35 lbs|
|Small-Frame Male (100-130 lbs)||30-45 lbs|
|Medium-Frame Male (150-180 lbs)||45-55 lbs|
|Large-Frame Famales (160+ lbs)||30-45 lbs|
|Large-Frame Male (180+ lbs)||45-60 lbs|
What To Look For In A Compound Hunting Bow
- Easy to maintain: You want a bow that you can maintain and take care of easily. Inspect it frequently to make sure it is proper order. Never dry fire your bow and be sure to wax the string on occasions.
- Frame: You want a solid frame that will fit you. Most frames are made of aluminium, magnesium alloy or aluminum alloy. Be sure to check with your bow dealer to make sure you are buying a frame that fits your body type and arm span.
- Sights: Sights are a device on a compound bow that help you aim and shoot the bow from a distance. They usually are a set of pins and are built in to the bow. These pins can be adjusted for different distances.
- Peep site: A peep site is a nice feature to have on a compound bow.
- Arrow rests: An arrow rest is meant to cradle and keep your arrow straight. There are some rests that come standard, however you can always upgrade or custom a bow with a better arrow rest. Be sure to use an arrow rest that feels natural to you and holds your arrow steady.
- String Silencer: Some bows come with a string silencer while others do not. You can add a string silencer to your bow if you like. Silencers are great for hunters who don’t want to scare away their prey.
- Case: When buying a new bow sometimes a case is included. If a case is not included I highly recommended buying a case for your compound bow to protect it from being damaged.
- Spare Parts: Some compound bows come with spare parts this is great for repairing or replacing parts that get a lot of wear and tear.
- Waxed String (extra wax): Some bows may come with their string already waxed or extra wax to use. If the bow that you want to purchase does not be sure to buy wax for your bow.
Review Of Compound Hunting Bows For Less Than $500
There are many compound bows on the market. I took 5 bows under $500 and reviewed them below for you. Be sure to check them out for yourself.
1. Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package
This compound bow from Diamond is a great bow for any age. Also, Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow is reasonable priced. What makes this bow quite amazing is that you can easily adjust the draw weight yourself, allowing a child or a grown man to use it with ease. The draw weight can adjust from 5lbs to 70 lbs. The Infinite Edge Pro Bow also features an extended draw for those who need a longer draw.
It comes with a 3 pin tundra sight, a good arrow rest and a comfortable wrist sling. This is also a multi-shooter bow. You can choose either a left-handed or right-handed bow with this design.The only downside is this is not a speed bow which some hunters prefer. It is fast but not considered a speed bow. Overall, this a great buy that is easy to maintain and great for any age. My favorite feature is the adjustability of this bow.
2. PSE Ready to Shoot Stinger X 40# Stiletto Compound Bow
This bow from PSE is great for older youth or women hunters. The PSE Ready to Shoot Stinger X 40# Stiletto compound bow is a fully adjustable, high performance bow. The draw length is adjustable from 21 inches to 30 inches. It also has a great grow with you adjustable draw weight. It’s peak draw weight is 50lbs. The axle to axle length is 32 and half inches. This compound bow also features Gemini sights and a Whisker Biscuit arrow rest. The only downside is this bow is not made for men. Overall, this is a light, durable and great hunting bow for women that is affordable.
3. Martin Archery 60 Blade X4 Compound Bow
The Martin Archery 60 Blade X4 compound bow is great for performance, speed and durability. It has an adjustable draw weight from 45 lbs to 70 lbs. The axle to axle length is 31.5 inches. The draw length is adjustable from 26 inches to 32 inches. The overall speed of this compound bow is 320 FPS. This is an affordable bow that grows with you and can easily be adjusted for another person. You may want to switch out the bow string, which is a hammer string and is not the most durable.However, overall this is a sound bow for the price.
4. PSE Ready To Shoot Surge Bow Package with Right Hand 60# Draw
This PSE compound bow is a ready to shoot bow that is stable, lightweight and fast. It features a peep sight, with Gemini sights, and a Whisker Biscuit arrow rest. It has an axle to axle length of 32 and a half inches. This PSE bow also has a draw length that is quite adjustable from 19.5 inches to 30 inches. This is one of the most adjustable and efficient single cam bows ever. This bow is not super quiet however.You maybe able to by a bow slilencer for it. Overall this compound is durable and well-made. It’s worth every penny.
5. Bear Bow Cruzer Left Hand Shadow 5-70 lbs Package Ready to Hunt #14737
The Bear Bow Cruzer Shadow compound bow is a highly adjustable, well-made bow. It has a draw length that adjusts from 12 inches to 30 inches. It has a draw weight that adjusts from 5lbs to 70 lbs. This bow is quite suitable for all ages. This is a well-rounded compound bow. The Bear Cruzer comes completely rigged and ready to shoot. This particular model comes only in left-handed. However, Bear Bow Cruzer makes right-handed models as well. If you are look for a great bow that is easy to maintain, easy to adjust and affordable this is an excellent choice.
Choosing an affordable compound hunting bow that fits you and your archery needs is not hard. You just need to know how to fit a bow to your body type before you start searching. Be aware of the draw weight, draw lengths and axle to axle lengths you are looking for. I highly recommend, especially for beginners to start with a less expensive bow. As you learn how to shoot and hunt you will understand compound bows better and may want to change to a more customized bow.
All of the above compound bows that I reviewed are under $500 and work just as a great as any expensive, customized compound bow. My favorite from the above reviews, I would have to say is the Diamond compound bow. I love how flexible and adjustable it is. It’s also quite easy to use for any skill level. This bow grows with you and your level with such ease. The fact that it is a multi-shooter bow with great sights, and has great flexibility makes it a great purchase for the price.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article, please share with your friends and feel free to comment below. Have fun shooting and be safe everyone!