How to Choose a Bow


New member
I'm thinking of getting back into archery but I have no idea how to choose the right bow. Obviously I want the right tool for the job but the job is just target shooting, not hunting.

I've seen a lot of good compound bows in the past but not around here, and recurves are similarly hard to find around here. More than likely I'll have to buy online. But who makes a good bow? Should I go compound or recurve? How can I judge the draw weight without being able to hold it?
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Super Moderator
SInce you are just looking to target shoot, I wouldn't buy new. Find a good used one on Ebay to start out with. I got a Jennings Buckmaster compound with case arrows quiver and a couple other accessories for $150. The deals are out there.

I have a bit of a prepper mindset. So I got mine with the thought of being able to hunt silently. So don't discount using it for putting food on the table if necessary.

Here's an article about choosing a bow.


New member
I'm a huge fan of Martin/Rytera, the Martin line offers quality bows at good prices. I saw abrand new take down recurve (Jaguar?) for under $150 and it had several draw weight options. I know around here you can by compount bow kits (includes the sight a few arrows and a quiver) for under $350. My dad bought one of their kits from Academy a few years back, and he is still shooting it.


New member
Be very careful with buying used equipment. There are a lot of options out the for you. First thing I would do is search for a local archery shop. They will be able to answer all your questions for you. If you do not have a local archery shop then I would call Lancaster archery. Google their website. They have a staff that is in place to just answer questions just like the one you asked above. I will not tell you to buy one brand over another. If the ow fits you and you are comfortable with it then you will be able to out shoot guys with expensive bows that bought them for the name brand. I am a firm believer that there is a bow out there that will fit about 90% of everybody's budget. If you have any questions let me know. I am an instructor and have seen the good bad and ugly. I have also been shooting a bow for 20 years (both hunting a target).


New member
^^^^^What he said.

My only other suggestion is try as many different bows as you can before you buy. My local archery store has an indoor lane and I shot every bow they had in the store the one day and even shot a few customers bows that were in just to get an idea of what each one was like. You'll know when your holding the bow for you, price wise as well as the way it shoots.

I have a Martin Magnum Jaguar. I like it a lot, but it is a beginners bow. I am in the market to step up to a pro shop bow. Looking for something in the Hoyt and Elite archery line ups. I can tell you this the prices of bows like that are crazy, but you get what you pay for.

Target shooting, a beginners bow will do that just fine and it'll do some light hunting. I am a serious hunter and need the little bit better bow to step up my abilities a field.
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New member
Seeing that you asked this question in the first place buying used archery equipment isn't a good idea when you don't know much bows. Its dicey if you happen to know a lot about bows. You never know if a bow has been dry fired.
As to the question at hand. Either find an outdoor shop to go to or get online and shop. This day and age all the brands are building great bows. PSE's nova is a nice little bow easy on the wallet and is a fairly nice shooting bow. Bear and Jennings bows are top notch as is martin and mathews.
I disagree with the logic of less needs because of using it for target shooting. Hunting bows has evolved into the bows we have today because we wanted match performance in or tree stands. Bear's whitetail II bow prolly put more meat in the freezer than any bow on the market but I'm willing to bet not many dot shoots have been won by them. To target shoot you want a tuned nail driver. Your not going to get that from hand me equipment. Any bow and some what straight arrow tipped with a sharp broadhead will take a whitetail deer. Its not hard to put a dozen of some what the same arrows in a 6" circle @ 25 yards. Putting 3 arrows in a dime @ 30 yds is a different game.
Even if you order off line find you a shop to set it up. They will measure you for draw length and set it for you. They measure you for your arrow length so you can select your shaft size.


New member
The best advice I can give you is go shoot as many different bows as you possibly can! Any bow that the shops have new or used.. You don't pick the bow, the bow picks you.. As crazy as that sounds its the truth.. A bow that feels and shoots great for me might not feel or shoot comfortable for you even at your correct draw length.. Have every shop you go to measure your draw length cause one may be different than the other and any difference can make a world of diff in the way a bow feels.. Once you have found what feels the best to you, you have 2 options. Buy the bow then and there or get on a few different forums and see if you can find that exact bow for a little cheaper. I'm not gonna throw out any forums names on here but if you would like a few different places to start or have and questions PM me.

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