Crossbow vs Compound Bow: Difference Between Crossbow and Compound Bow

Crossbow vs Compound Bow

Crossbow and compound bow are two different weapon systems that throw arrows at a target. Whether you are an aspiring archer aiming to participate in archery competitions or a person who loves hunting, it is important for you to know the differences between a crossbow and a compound bow to choose the right equipment for your purposes and requirements. This article attempts to highlight the differences between a crossbow and a compound bow for the readers.


Crossbow is a weapon system that throws projectiles at the target in much the same way as you would shoot using a gun. A crossbow is not what most people have in mind when they think of archery or a bow and an arrow. It is essentially a weapon system that throws projectiles with the help of a string that remains in a loaded position on the bow, and the user has to pull the trigger to throw arrows at the target. It is an upgraded bow that is held in position with the help of a stock and the bolt gets fired with the release of a lever. The bow is fixed on a wooden plank there is a mechanism to draw and release the arrow. Crossbow is not a new invention as it was being used by the Chinese way back in the 6th century.

It is very easy to learn to shoot using a crossbow and it has a higher firing range than a traditional bow. The user is not required to draw the string and hold it in position with his one hand while holding the bow with his second hand as is the case with a long bow. One can shoot with accuracy with a crossbow up to 360 meters. Crossbows are mainly used for hunting as they allow the hunter not to waste energy in drawing the string to take an aim at the game. They also operate silently which is an advantage during hunting.

Compound Bow

A compound bow has a system of cams or pulleys at the two ends of the bow through which strings pass so as to press the limbs. The limbs are made of stiff carbon compound that are drawn inwards when the archer pulls the string that moves the pulleys. This mechanism allows more energy to be stored in the weapon system making it more effective than a simple longbow. Compound bow was invented in the 2nd half of the 20th century, and it is the bow that is being used by archers at the Olympics and other archery competitions.

Crossbow vs Compound Bow