If you are new to archery, you might wonder if there is a risk of the bow breaking as you are shooting. The short answer is yes; there is a minimal risk of the bow breaking when you shoot. It´s simple engineering physics: any lever under load has the potential to fail under load.
Is it something you should worry about too much? No. Especially with commercial fiberglass-backed recurve bows, their chances of breaking are meager.
It´s more common to see your string breaking at the loop at full draw, the nock busting, or your arrow snapping than breaking the bow.
How To Minimize The Risk of your Bow Breaking?
Here are a few things to look out for to minimize the risk of your bow breaking.
Inspect your Bow Regularly
Check for cracks in the limbs, especially near the tips. If you see any, stop using the bow and take it to a qualified bowyer or archery shop for repair or replacement. When drawing your bow, do you notice any unusual sounds?
Use the Correct Arrow Length
This is important because a too-long arrow will place unnecessary stress on the bow. Why? You are potentially overdrawing your bow. Overdrawing is only common in traditional bows.
Once you draw your bow beyond its optimal draw length, you add more poundage than necessary. For each inch you pull your string back beyond optimal, an additional 3 to 2 pounds of weight are added.
Again – if you are new to archery, I suggest you visit your local archery shop. They will help you to choose not only the right bow but also will help you with
- measuring your draw length
- determining draw weight
- finding matching arrows
- and setting up your bow
Compound bows can usually not be overdrawn because they are mechanically unable to be.
Use The Correct Arrow Spine
If your arrow is too weak or too stiff, it will stress your bow unnecessarily and can cause damage. How do you know if you have the right spine? If you are a beginner – Go and visit your local archery shop.
Check the Bowstring
Use a bowstring that is the correct length for your bow. Don´t try to save a few bucks by using a bowstring that is too weak (number of strands), the wrong material, or too short. Use serving thread rated for the bow´s draw weight to protect the bowstring at the nocking point and serving.
Replace your bowstring every 1-2 years or as needed. A worn-out bowstring is more likely to break. The breaking of bow string has similar effects as dry firing a bow.
Never Dry Fire Your Bow
Dry firing, or facilitating the act of firing a bow without the presence of a nocked arrow, can lead to a wide array of catastrophic mechanical failures.
The two most common sources of a dry fire event are
- Accidental discharge during a practice draw
- Bow use by an inexperienced or uninformed individual
Dry firing can result in splintered limbs and small cracks and chips. If you use a compound bow, the effects can be even more severe, often causing cams to bent, wrapped cam tracks, or string and cable derailment.
Which Parts Of A Bow Are More Likely To Break?
The parts of a bow that are more likely to break are the limbs and the string. In the case of longbows, traditional flatbows, and horse bows, the riser could also break, as the bow is a long piece of wood.
Modern takedown recurve bows mostly have a metal riser – The riser is the main body of the bow, and it is typically made from aluminum or another sturdy material.
To Sum it All Up
Yes, there is a theoretical chance of your bow breaking when you shoot. It´s physics – if you apply enough force – everything will eventually break! But if you take care of your bow and use it as it´s supposed to, the risk is incredibly small.