Compound Crossbow

Compound Crossbow in woods
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Compound Crossbow History

We know the earliest crossbows date back to 6th century BC in China, however, it was not until recently the game would change again with the introduction of the compound crossbow in the early 1980’s. The addition of cams and cables would add speed and power in an even more compact design.

This modern marvel was not invented for purposes of war like the original recurve, instead, this design was specifically designed for sporting purposes.

TenPoint Turbo GT Compound Crossbow
TenPoint Turbo GT Compound Crossbow from Amazon.com

Let us now take a look at some of the Pros and Cons of the compound crossbow.

Pros of the Compound Crossbow:

  • Easier Draw - Due to the cam and cabling systems of compound crossbows, the draw and cocking is much easier without assistance, compared to that of the recurve.
  • Faster & Powerful - The compound crossbow shoots bolts must faster with lower draw weights compared to the recurve.
  • Less Force on Trigger - Once again, thanks to the cams and cable systems, the trigger is not holding as much force compared to the recurve of the same draw weight. This reduction in force can lead to longer trigger life since there is less stress applied.
  • Compact Design - The compound crossbow is narrower at the limbs and therefore a better weapon of choice in a tree stand or thicket compared to the wider recurve.

Cons of the Compound Crossbow:

  • Heavy - The added mechanism makes the compound heavier than the recurve. Especially on the front end of the weapon. This can be especially noticeable on inexpensive models. This can also make it a bit more troublesome to hold a position for extended periods without muscle fatigue.
  • Special Tools - When you experience a cable break on a compound crossbow, you will need special tools like a press in order to make the repairs. Most just opt for a pro shop visit to have the cable added. This can be inconvenient, to say the least.
  • Not As Reliable - With the addition of more moving parts, the compound crossbow will have more problems and more maintenance issues compared to a recurve. This is especially true of lower quality, less expensive “bargain” compound crossbows. The higher end, quality brand named compound crossbows are more expensive but have higher quality standards and warranties that back up their work.
  • Noisy - The compound crossbow is typically louder than the recurve. Not a big deal. They are both loud, just the compound is a bit louder.

If it is speed and power that you are looking for then a compound crossbow might be for you. As long as you purchase quality equipment from reputable manufacturers and inspect your equipment regularly; your compound crossbow should last you quite a while before needing a pro shop visit.

For the beginner shooter we would recommend the following compound crossbows:


For the more experienced crossbow hunter, we would recommend the following compound crossbows:


You can read a brief overview and the Pros and Cons of the Recurve Crossbow HERE.

Do you have any positive or negative experiences with the compound crossbows mentioned above, or any in general? Why do you like or dislike the compound crossbow? We want to hear from you. Please share your story or reviews with us. Post in the comments below, or you can reach out to us by clicking HERE.