Do Compound Bows Break Easily?

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Archery can be a pretty expensive sport with all the equipment that needs buying and maintaining through various weather conditions. That’s why you want to have a bow and equipment that’s durable and lasts years with only minimal maintenance.

In general, though, compound bows tend to be pretty durable and it’s unlikely that one will completely fail on you part-way through a shot.

In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at what causes compound and other types of bows to break, as well as what you can do to avoid it happening to you.

How Long Should A Compound Bow Last?

Let’s start by thinking about how long you can expect your compound bow to last.

Plenty of research has been done on this subject and, depending on how well it’s cared for, a compound bow could last at least 18 years! However, if the bow is not cared for properly and maintained carefully, this lifespan could be massively reduced to only a few years.

Of course, it also depends massively on how often the bow is used. For example, a bow that gets used two or three times per week will wear out much more quickly than one that only gets used a couple of times per month.

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In fact, if you take really good care of your compound bow and don’t use it too frequently, you could find that it lasts even longer than two decades before failing.

What Parts Of A Compound Bow Break Easily?

As we said earlier, it’s very unlikely that a compound bow will completely fall apart in your hands while you’re using it but individual components will wear out over time.

The Bowstring

As you might expect, after extensive usage, the string might start to fray. These can tend to snap after further use. If you regularly use your bow, it’s important to inspect the string before each session to check for any fraying or damage.

Modern bowstrings are synthetic fibers that are twisted together into a much stronger design. Much like with the limbs of a compound bow, the string will endure wear during the drawback and the release.

Pulling back on the string stretches it out and releasing it puts a lot of energy and stress through it that can damage it over time.

The Limbs

The next thing that could suffer is the limbs. Any bow goes through a lot of wear and tear during normal use. For this reason, they are one of the most sensitive parts of the bow. Over time, you might notice the limbs of your bow splintering and creak more and more over long periods of time.

However, modern designs of compound bows have strengthened this part of the bow to extents that would have seemed impossible a few decades ago.

Many modern compound bows are now made with fiberglass limbs which are much more durable and can withstand a serious amount of bending and contortion. Of course, you can still find plenty of modern bows made from wood, though they aren’t quite as common.

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The Cams

hoyt defiant cam

The cam is a component that you’ll only find on compound bows. It’s what sets them apart from the other bows. A cam is a rotating component in a mechanical linkage that is used to produce rotary motion from linear motion.

Compound bows have a cam at either end of the bow, attached to the limbs. Essentially, they are used to generate more energy and resultantly more power from each shot.

As you might expect, because this is a mechanical component of the bow, they can fail. However, they aren’t nearly as likely to break completely under normal use as the limbs or bowstring.

How To Make A Compound Bow Last Longer

Now, let’s go over some of the best ways you can look after your compound bow to extend its lifespan as much as possible.

Waxing The Strings

Keeping the string and cables of your bow well maintained is one of the main keys to keeping it working. You can get bowstring wax at plenty of sports goods stores or online and it’s definitely worth the investment.

It usually comes in a convenient tube that you can use to rub it onto the strings, then you can work it in with your fingers. You only need to apply the wax once every couple of weeks (depending on how often and under what conditions you´re shooting) but this will work wonders for the longevity of your bowstring.

Store It Horizontally

Plenty of new archers make the mistake of storing their bow leaned up against a wall or hanging up. However, this puts unnecessary strain on the limbs and even the string. Instead, it’s much better to store it in a case or laying down, flat.

Final Thoughts

Compound bows are designed to be durable and withstand a lot of wear and tear, but that doesn’t mean they’re invincible. By waxing the string, storing your bow properly, and being aware of the most likely parts to break, you can help your compound bow last as long as possible.

I am the founder and chief editor here at BowAddicted. I love my kids, archery, and the outdoors! It's been an amazing journey so far with some ups and downs, but it's worth it to spend time outside with friends and family.

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