Composite Bow: Ultimate Guide

The History of Composite Bow

The evolution of the Composite Bow is a story that spans centuries, but many people are unaware of its origins. These bows have been used in warfare for millennia and were seen as being superior to simple bows.

They are still made today for both military purposes and hunting. This article will explore the history of Composite Bows so you can learn more about them!

Composite bows are made from several materials which include wood, sinew and horn. Since the bow is constructed by binding together such materials, it becomes solid and durable, while at the same time flexible.

The combination of different types of material produces a distinctive visual appeal that enhances the beauty of the weapon.

Composite bows were developed about 2,500 years ago in Egypt by the Hyksos people; they were used to defeat the Assyrians who considered themselves invincible with their huge wooden and bronze weapons.

The enemy was surprised when they saw for the first time how fast an arrow could fly, and how dangerous it could be. The Hyksos’ archers were able to shoot accurately at a distance of more than 100 meters.

With the help of Egyptian craftsmen, composite bows spread through Greece, Persia and throughout Europe. They became one of the most used weapons on the battlefield; however, they were rarely used in hunting.

The greatest development of composite bows came during the Middle Ages when the Mongols conquered the world.

Genghis Khan organized archery contests throughout his Empire and promoted a new type of bow that was made more efficient by adding horn into its construction.

Such bows were also used in China, Japan and Korea where they can still be found today. These bows were not mass produced, but they were made to order for individuals, which meant that each one was unique and would likely be customized based on its user’s preferences.


The design of the composite bow has not changed much over time, even though improvements in materials and technology have led to an increase in their overall power.

These bows are composed of wood cores that were covered with animal hide or sinew on either side which would be reinforced by glues made from plants or tree resin.

The bowstrings were made from animal tendons, which was a predecessor to modern-day Dacron.

Advantages Of A Composite Bow

Composite bows have some major advantages over traditional longbows and recurve bows: they are generally shorter in length making it easier for users to carry them into the field, they require less energy to shoot since they have a stiffer riser which results in more stored energy being transferred onto the arrow, and they can produce faster arrow speeds.

Composite bows are also known as efficient hunting tools due to their lighter draw weight and increased kinetic energy on impact.

Types of Composite Bows

The design of the composite bows also led to several variations in how they would be used and what purpose they served. For example:

Scythian Bow:

This type of bow was used by mounted archers, and it could be either unstrung or strung.

Hunnic Bow:

This type of composite bow was popularly employed during the time period between 400 to 700 AD. It was able to store more energy than other bows because its design allowed for a higher draw weight.

Turco-Mongol Bow:

This composite bow was very similar to the Hunnic, but it had a slightly longer grip and required more strength to draw back. This type of bow is often seen in artwork depicting Mongolian warriors.

Top 5 Composite Recurve Bow On The Market

1) Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow – $120

Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow

The Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow has a riser that is manufactured with imported Maple wood, for lightweight and highly durable bows.

The comfortable ergonomic grip makes it an ideal bow for beginners. With the pre-installed threaded Brass Bushings, you can easily attach various accessories such as a sight, quiver and bow fishing reel.

The Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow is available in 30#, 35#, 40# and 45# draw weights.

2) Bear Archery Grizzly Recurve Bow – $399.99

Bear Archery

The Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow is the pinnacle of fit and finish.

The bow features an ambidextrous design, making it easy to use for left-handed or right-handed hunters.

It also has a user friendly design that allows you to easily adjust each limb in order to customize your draw length.

3) Southwest Archery – $144.00

Southwest Archery

This bow is a great option for anyone looking to get into archery. It’s compact, accurate and lightweight.

The limbs are designed with preinstalled threaded bushings for various accessory upgrades such as mechanical rests/plungers sights quivers and stabilizers/bow fishing reels.

Reinforced limb tips allow the bow to be Fast Flight and Flemish string compatible. Perfect for hunting deer, bow fishing, or target practice.

How to Make A Composite Bow

Making a composite bow is difficult and requires patience, time and specific skills.

List of materials that you will most likely need if you wish to make your own composite bow:

  • A wooden board (oak or poplar);
  • Sinew;
  • Birch bark tar;
  • Animal bones (shoulder blade and leg bone of a deer or an elk);
  • Horn (antelope, buffalo or mountain goat);
  • A sharp knife;
  • Saw and axe;
  • Sandpaper;
  • A flint stone and metal chips.


1. Prepare a wooden board, use an axe to shape it and smooth the surface with sandpaper.

2. Cut a long strip from a deer leg bone. You will need a piece that is about 80 cm long, 2 cm wide and 1 cm thick for your bow’s core (the stiffest part).

3. Decide on the size and shape of your bow; make sure you cut the ends at a sharp angle.

4. Bind together several layers of sinew, spread them over the entire length of the board and attach the deer’s leg bone strip to it with birch bark tar. Make sure that both sides are tightly attached to each other and leave them to dry under pressure.

5. Once the bow has dried, remove the bone strip and cover it with birch bark tar once again. Then, cut small notches along its length and attach a few layers of sinew to every notch. Let it dry for a week under pressure.

6. The next step is to harden the sinew-covered board under pressure. Then, use a flint stone to remove unnecessary parts and sharpen the previously cut edges.

7. Take an antelope or goat horn and shape it into a triangular pyramid; its base should be about 2 cm wide.

8. Cut small pieces of wood (20 x 20 cm) and glue them to the bottom of the triangle. This way you will achieve a stiffer base and make your bow more durable.

9. Use a sharp knife to shape the horn’s sides into a parabolic curve; this will make your bow more aerodynamic and improve its accuracy.

10. Cut several ribbons from sinew, glue them over the horn’s edges and leave them to dry.

11. Cover the horn with birch bark tar, attach a few layers of sinew, let it dry under pressure and harden once again.

12. Cover one side of your bow with birch bark tar, spread some glued sinew over it and harden under pressure once again.

13. Cut the antelope’s or mountain goat’s shoulder blade in half and use it as a backing for your bow by gluing several layers of sinew onto it.

14. Shape an elk horn into a 90° L-shape, attach it to one end of the board with birch bark tar and glue several layers of sinew onto it.

15. Smooth out the bow’s surface with a flint stone and use it in archery practice or hunting to test its durability and performance.

Who Can Use A Composite Bow

Composite bows are not recommended for beginners or younger archers; they require considerable skill to use effectively due to the stiffer riser that produces a faster arrow speed and increased kinetic energy when released from the string.

Larger types of bows such as those used by the Turks and Mongols require very powerful and skilled archers, so it is best to start out with a lower draw weight bow before advancing on to more advanced construction methods.

Factors of Composite Bow Vs Longbow

While there are some similarities in the bows, the composite and longbow have a list of many differences too. They can differ in the following areas:

  • Composite Bow

Along with the wood, the longbows are also produced as carbon-centered bows. Other materials for longbows include layered fiberglass.

However, in a modern design, you can find more technical aspects of the best features for the longbows.

  • Longbow

The core is made of wood followed by the horn and then sinew. You may also find some differently produced as some manufactures use different types of wood with fiberglass or carbon fiber. The common wood types used for it are red elm or maple.


  • Composite Bow

The common design that ensures the longbow is its D-shaped limb-string forms. However, there are no additional curves and the extraordinary part of it is the length of the longbow.

  • Longbow

A composite bow is made of two or more materials and has a triple-layer structure. The layers include the materials of wood, horn, and sinew. Also, the design of the composite bow also resembles the recurved bows.

Draw Length

  • Composite Bow

Measure the draw length of the by measuring the value of the distance between the nock point and the throat grip. Then add 1 ¾ and you can get the draw length of the longbow. So, one of the important factors in composite bow vs longbow comparison.

  • Longbow

Distance between the nock point and the pivot point on the grip can help you measure the draw length of the composite bow. Make sure that the line of measurement is perpendicular to the bow centerline. Add 1.75 inches to the result and you can have the length of the composite bow.


  • Composite Bow

The poor portability is kind of degrading the value and also the repairs are comparatively hard for the longbows. But you can maintain them and get the best result in return.

  • Longbow

The limb twist sensitivity is the major limitation of a composite bow.

But you can always consult the experts to guide you for improving the performance of it.

 Uses & benefits

  • Composite Bow

Regardless of the phase of your career or passion, you can always get beneficial results from the longbow as compare to any short bow. Even the large dimensions seem difficult to manage at the time, still, it is best in performance as it does not make much noise. Most importantly, they are vintage and we know people love the historic design.

  • Longbow

It is common for small size, power, and flexibility. The higher the flexibility, the better performance it can offer you.

For better results, the composite bow must be used in motion.

Other Composite Bows To Consider

The Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow is the most popular self-bow used for hunting, target practice and archery competitions. It can be purchased online starting at around $150.

The Hoyt Buffalo Recurve Bow has a long range of 100-140 lbs, an outstanding draw length of 30 1/2 – 31 1/2 inches, and a maximum draw weight of 55 lbs. The initial cost is under $200.

The Martin Jaguar Takedown Recurve Bow can be purchased online for around $100. It comes with an overall length of 62 1/4 inches when fully extended, weighs just 2lbs 4oz., has a draw length of 28-31 1/2 inches and a draw weight of 40-50 lbs.

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