To help our readers determine the best beginner compound bow we went to several archery instructors and asked for their recommendations. The instructors know more about handling the weapons and teaching the basic skills to the beginners so we wanted their take on which items would be the most beneficial.
The instructors told us what items they recommend to their students when they first enroll in their classes. They also told us what key items we should look for when considering a bow for a new shooter or a shooter of different sizes.
Best Beginner Compound Bows
1. Southland Archery Supply SAS Outrage
This is an excellent bow choice for the beginner. It is also a great choice for an experienced hunter. It is user friendly and easy to operate. It is heavy enough for most hunting needs, and at 279 FPS the arrow is fast enough to be lethal and slow enough that the equipment can still be managed by a beginning shooter.
The draw length is adjustable so the bow will grow with the shooter and will be useful for a longer period of time. It weighs less than five pounds so it is easy to carry, even if the shooter is a smaller female or youth.
The draw weight is also adjustable, and with the let off factored into the equation the majority of all people will be able to shoot this item with no problems.
2. Predator Archery Raptor Compound Hunting Bow Kit
The FPS of this bow is 315. It is plenty fast enough to be used in the majority of all hunting especially for animals such as boar or white tail deer. The speed is not enhanced to the point that it makes the bow hard to handle so it can be used as a learning bow for beginners, even for youth shooters.
This bow has a 75% let off so the draw weight is very low and even a shooter that is 100-lbs will be able to master the strength required to fire the shot. It is a powerful device that sends the arrow on a straight path and it have enormous accuracy so you will gain in skill, and confidence using this item.
This is not just a beginner bow. Expert marksmen will find this bow effective and challenging enough to meet their requirements.
3. Siege SAS
The 206 feet per second speed of the arrows means that the bow is more stable and better suited for youth shooters and beginners than some of the faster speed bows are. This weapon is designed for adult use. It is not a toy, and if it is given to a youth shooter adult supervision is required at all times.
Your skills will increase as you learn to master this item. It is a great practice bow that you can use when target practicing or learning. It is light and easy to carry, and the let off is 75% so very little physical force is needed to draw the arrow back to full position.
Because this is a slightly slower speed item you can use it when targeting at paper targets and do not have to have the thicker foam-filled devices.
4. Bear Archery Cruzer G2 Adult Compound Bow
This bow shoots an arrow at 315 feet per second. That is ample speed for hunting or for target practice. It is fast enough to send the arrow farther and make it penetrate deeper for a one-shot kill, but slow enough that it has less vibrations, increased stability, and less tendency to lean to one side when you are aiming.
This is an adjustable bow and you do not need a bow press to make the adjustments. You can quickly adjust the item using a simple Aleen wrench. That makes it possible for this bow to be used by multiple shooters in a home, like for an adult and their beginning youth, or a man and wife shooting household.
5. Gen-X Bow
The draw weight for this bow is preset at a 40-lb but you can lower it to a 25-lb for a beginner or smaller shooter. The adjustments are easy to make, and you are not going to need a bow press, just a 3/16” hex wrench that is provided with the bow. It has a FPS under 300 so it has enough speed to be used on the hunt and a small enough speed to be easy to handle and maneuver.
You will find the long brace height of 75/8” easier to learn to master. Your accuracy will increase, and your confidence as well. A beginner will quickly be able to master this bow so their interest in the sport will be greater. The adjustments to the bow allow the bow to grow with the shooter so it is something that will be used for many years.
6. Diamond Archery Infinite Edge Pro Bow Package
310 feet per second is the normal speed that this bow sends an arrow out at. That means that you have a lot of distance choices using this item because the arrow will fly flatter and travel farther than many. At 310 FPS the bow is well within the recommended speed for youth or beginner hunters. It is also still in the range of fast enough to please a pro.
This item has perfect balance so the shooter makes a more stable shot that is going to be more likely to strike the target at the exact targeted location. You want a beginner to be able to perfect their aiming and their release, and this bow gives them the opportunity to do both.
It is relatively quiet when shot, and it requires very little physical strength to pull the string back to a full draw.
7. Bear Archery Cruzer Lite Compound Bow
290 FPS arrows are plenty fast to help you hunt the majority of game animals. You can use this weapon to hunt for deer, and for smaller game like rabbits also. The slower speed means that you will have greater control over the bow so your precision will increase. You will learn to make one-shot kills because you will learn to hit the bulls-eye every time you shoot.
This is a light bow and can be handled by women or youth that are smaller in stature. It has a draw length between 12 and 27 inches so it can be adjusted according to the size and height of the shooter. It can also grow as the shooter grows so it makes a great beginning bow for a younger archery student.
8. Genesis Original Kit
This is the perfect beginner compound bow. The draw weight can be adjusted down to a slight ten pound or it can be graduated up to a full 20 pound so the bow can be adjusted as the strength and skill of the shooter increase.
The lengths for the draw lengths can graduate between a 15” and a 30” so a small youth can easily shoot the weapon but a larger man can also shoot the weapon. This weapon should take a youth from middle school age all the way into adulthood providing ample speed, strength and durability.
It is light and easy to carry. The adjustments do not require a bow press to complete. It is a skill building learning tool that will create a master archer from someone who has never shot before.
9. B Leader Accessories Compound Bow
296 feet per second speed and a long brace height make this an excellent beginner bow. The long brace height gives you more control over the trajectory of the arrow and so does the slower feet per second arrow speed. The shooter will still be able to hunt with the weapon, and use the item for almost all other shooting needs.
This is a relatively quiet bow so it is excellent for small game hunting. It is light and easy to carry, and the draw weights and lengths are super easy to adjust. As your shooter grows taller their bow can also grow.
Beginner Compound Bow Buying Guide
When you buy a compound bow for a beginner hunter there are several things you have to consider about the weapon and the person that will be the primary shooter. You cannot simply pick up any bow and use it properly. A bow needs to be customized to the shooter, purpose, and experience.
The following things need to be thought about when you are shopping for a bow. It helps to write down the features you want, and
When considering the draw length realize that the manufacture described draw length is the distance at full draw from the preferred position on the string to the deepest portion of the grip plus about 1.75-inches. Draw length of people is measured according to your height and gender. A taller person has a longer draw length than a shorter individual.
Draw weight is the amount of force it takes to draw the string back to a full draw. The draw weight that you are capable of depends on your size, the amount of physical activity you do, and sometimes your gender. If the shooter is a youth that rarely goes outside and does little more than play video games the amount of muscle strength they have will be less and thus the draw weight they are capable of handling will be less. Unfortunately, females often have less muscle strength than males of the same height and weight.
The let off is the reduced draw weight caused by the cables and cams of the weapon. The cables and cams provide some of the power it takes to draw the bow string back to full draw. The difference between the draw weight required and what you have to assert because the cables and cams will be measured in percentages. The let off of a 40 pound bow that is 75% will allow you to use only ten pounds of force to draw the string back to a full draw position.
For firearm shooters having a left dominant eye or a right dominant eye is not a big deal. When you use a bow and arrow the eye that is dominant may cause you to be unable to hold the bow as it is supposed to be held. The wrong dominant eye could cause you to be struck by the bowstring, and by the way, that is painful.
You need to know which eye the shooter is dominant in, and you need to purchase a bow that is compatible with that dominance.
The brace height is the vertical distance between the grip of the riser handle and the bow string. Shorter braces give you greater velocity because the string is drawn farther back. While the increased speed is wonderful, the accuracy of the shot is increased if the brace height is taller.
When you see the brace height mentioned in the bow description you can assume that any brace height that is six inches or less is a short one. If the brace height is described as being seven inches or greater then it is a long height and will be more forgiving. Longer brace heights are optimal for beginning shooters.
The length of the bow is measured from one axle of the unit to the other axle. Commonly this length is referred to as the ATA, or axle to axle length.
Adjustability of the draw length and features of the bow creates a weapon that can grow with the shooter. You want to make sure that the adjustment making process will be easy to do because some bows are adjustable but you need a bow press and time and patience to make the adaptions.
Frequently Asked Question
What Range of Draw Length will be Ideal for Beginners?
Draw length is completely determined by the height and length of the arms of the shooter. Beginners and experts alike will need a draw length that is appropriate according to the length of their arms. You really need to measure for a perfect draw length but you can figure that anyone under 5’0” will need a draw length that is less than 24”. If the shooter is:
- 5’2” the length will be about 24” to 25”
- 5’4” the length will be about 25” to 26”
- 5’6” the length will be about 26” to 27”
- 5’8” the length will be about 27” to 28”
What Speed of Bow is Ideal for Beginners?
When you are purchasing a compound bow for a beginner try to get a weapon with a foot per second arrow speed of less than 330. To handle bows that have speeds of 320 and above the shooter needs to have skill and control over the weapon. Beginners are struggling to learn to properly hold, balance, and target the weapon. Adding a bow that has increased speed will likely cause the shooter to be less accurate and more likely to give up on learning to properly use a bow and arrow.
What’s a Good Starter Bow for a Woman?
A compound bow with the proper draw length and draw weight are great beginner items for a woman. The compound bow requires less physical strength to operate because the cams and cables reduce the draw weight and force the woman must excerpt.
What is a Good Draw Weight for Beginners?
Draw weight is actually determined by the physical strength of the shooter, but you can guess at the draw weight according to the weight of the shooter.
- A large man that weighs 180-lbs or more can handle a draw weight of 65 or greater
- A small framed female that weighs 130-lbs or less can handle a draw weight of 25 or greater
- A youth shooter that weighs 100-lbs or less can handle a typical draw weight of 15 to 25
Compound bows are excellent choices for beginners, and for professional shooters. They are easy to master, yet they are challenging enough to be interesting and engaging. You should make sure that the bow you are buying fits the shooter that will use it. Keep the size and ability of the shooter in mind while you are picking out the bow. For beginners worry more about the accuracy of the weapon and less about the speed of the weapon.