How old is too old for a compound bow?
Compound bows can never get too old since they can last up to two decades or even a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. However, due to these rapid advancements in compound bow technology, even a five-year-old compound bow might be too old for some.
Bows, in general, are durable equipment that doesn’t expire or wear out immediately. As long as they are not entirely wood, a bow can last longer than you thought, which is valid for compound bows.
Nevertheless, some may wonder how old is too old for a compound bow when buying a used compound bow or what age one can say their equipment is too old before purchasing a new one.
Compound bows that are less than five years old are still acceptable unless significant damages make them unusable. Some shooters believe compound bows over five years old can be too old, especially if you are after the newly introduced and more advanced compound bows.
Since bow manufacturers produce a new batch of better compound bows every year, it is easy to get swayed by the new ones’ features, specifications, and characteristics. Because of such rapid technological advancements, it only makes sense that even a five-year-old compound bow can no longer fulfill the archer’s needs.
On the other hand, if you consider a compound bow’s general durability and power, it is safe to say that it can never get too old. The reason behind this is that compound bows are capable of lasting a lifetime.
For instance, some archers still use their decade-old compound bows for shooting, while some even own two-decade-old compound bows.
When you take good care of your compound bow by providing extra care and regular maintenance, it is possible to use it for over two decades. Moreover, if its poundage and draw length are still correct and match yours, there’s no need to purchase a new one because it can do as much damage as the newer compound bows.
However, it is essential to consider that decade-old compound bows will likely be slower and less smooth than newer ones. Older compound bow models are also more likely to have an aggressive draw cycle and unfavorable let-off.
In contrast, newly released compound bows are quieter and more forgiving than the old models. Therefore, bow technicians advise archers to buy newer compound bow models if they have the budget for an easier and more comfortable shooting experience.
On the other hand, buying secondhand or used compound bows has become popular since more archers realize they can save more money and help cut down waste by owning used compound bows.
Unfortunately, it can only go well for some since hand-me-down compound bows can be tricky because of the following reasons:
- Unlike firearms, compound bows must fit the bowhunter’s physical frame much more closely. For instance, the compound bow’s draw weight and length should fit yours.
- You may end up with a compound bow that is too heavy for you, putting you at risk of injury, or it can be impossible to draw back.
- A compound bow with a too-long or too-short draw length for your body will disrupt your shooting form, resulting in inconsistent shots and bad habits.
- Some parts of the compound bow might not be available anymore. As a result, you’ll need help finding alternative parts.
- There is a high chance that you can’t adjust the draw weight and length of a decade-old compound bow because such a feature was unavailable during its production.
Once you receive the used compound bow, always have it checked by the bow technician at a local archery shop for any broken parts, cracks, loose screws, or frayed string.
Therefore, a compound bow’s age is one of many determinants that can tell if it’s too old because it depends from one person to the other. As long as your compound bow serves your needs to be able to shoot accurately and consistently, it can never be too old.
How to make an old compound bow new again?
You can make an old compound bow look new again by replacing certain parts with new ones: arrow rest, release aids, wrist sling, bow sight, arrows, and stabilizers.
After confirming with the bow technician that all is good with the compound bow, there are also several actions you can do to make it look new again by replacing the enumerated parts with new and better ones:
If the secondhand compound bow you purchased uses an old arrow rest, consider replacing it with a new one. Compared to old arrow rests, newer ones help the compound bow to be more forgiving by making contact with the supporting rest arms for a short period.
Remember that 25% to 50% less contact can significantly decrease a shooter’s opportunity to commit a human error. It also promotes better broadhead control due to 100% fletching clearance.
Thus, newer arrow rest models promise the best of both worlds: control and accuracy.
Most shooters commonly use wrist-strapped index finger release aids, which can be apparent on old compound bows. However, it would help to know that there are available better release aids you can find aside from the one mentioned.
If your old compound bow has been using the wrist-strapped index finger release aids, it would be best to use the thumb or pinkie-finger-activated release aids instead since they are more ergonomic and less hassle when you shoot.
It would be best to invest in a wrist sling if your compound bow doesn’t have one yet. A wrist sling can aid in shooting accuracy because it lessens your fear of accidentally dropping your compound bow.
Additionally, it reduces bow torque and promotes shooting accuracy and consistency.
It is also an excellent idea to buy new bow sights for your compound bow. If you notice, manufacturers continually offer more precise and advanced bow sights included in the total package if you buy newer bow models.
Bow manufacturers have been inventing and producing high-quality bow sights over the past decade. New bow sights are more durable and have design features that enable you to sight the target easily.
You will also be able to aim carefully without any worries that it might fall off, especially during bowhunting.
Above all, the most crucial equipment that makes a significant difference on old compound bows is arrows. It would be best to use top-tier arrows that won’t break as often as your old ones.
You can ask your local archery shop if there are new high-quality arrows you can use for your old compound bow. Consider doing a spin test to check the arrow’s integrity so you can rest assured that it won’t splinter or break quickly.
Lastly, stabilizers do their job by actively absorbing excess energy by emitting noise and vibration on the compound bow after release. New ones are more capable of handling the shock and vibrations, which helps keep your compound bow in shape as opposed to older stabilizers.
Therefore, you find many ways to make your old compound bow new without seeing the need to replace it altogether. This way, you can save more money and won’t have to go through the trouble again of selecting a new one that matches you as it did with the old one.
When should you replace your compound bow?
It’s time to replace your compound bow: if it no longer fits you well because of your physical growth, if your interests change, such as switching to bowhunting from target shooting, or if you want to benefit from the features and advancements offered by newer compound bow models.
At some point, like other people, archers and bowhunters are looking for signs that tell them whether it’s time to replace their old compound bow with a new one.
If there are no issues with your compound bow that requires immediate replacement, there is no reason for you to dispose of it unless you encounter the following:
A. Physical growth
To shoot correctly, you must ensure that the bow fits you properly. It would be best to check whether your compound bow’s draw weight and draw length make you uncomfortable while you shoot.
The human body can be subject to physical changes over time. As a result, it only makes sense that, at some point, your bow will become a misfit.
For example, a person’s draw weight will increase if they shoot daily. If you do, you’ll notice that your compound bow seems easier to pull back and hold. Hence, it is time for you to adjust your compound bow if it has adjustment features, but if not, the only way to resolve this problem is to buy a new compound bow that can cater to your new draw weight.
Another example is when your draw length has become too short or too long, you’ll feel uncomfortable or awkward while shooting. Please note that using a bow that doesn’t fit your physical growth can only lead to inconsistent shooting and disrupt your proper form.
B. Shift in interest
It is common for archers to experience a shift in interest, like getting attracted to different disciplines. Archery is a field with varying disciplines that anyone can explore.
For instance, some may start with target shooting and then suddenly take an interest in bowhunting. Meanwhile, some think there are better ones than 3D archery and want to shift to target archery to sign in for competitions and leagues.
In addition, some used to shoot compound bows but now want to try honing their skills on crossbows.
Suppose you are among the shooters that are experiencing a shift in interest. In that case, you may no longer need your bow because your capabilities surpassed your bow’s performance and purpose.
Assuming that it is the case, it would be best to find a new bow that suits your skills and interests better.
You can compare a bow to a computer or cellphone regarding technology leaps over the years. As mentioned previously, a five-year-old compound bow can quickly become outdated since archery equipment continues to advance rapidly.
That’s why it is understandable that you may want to replace your current compound bow with a new one because it is faster, more forgiving, more efficient, smoother, and boasts better let-off.
By referring to the three signs enumerated, you can now easily decide whether it is time to replace your compound bow.
Do compound bows get weaker over time?
Compound bows don’t weaken over time due to age or frequent use. They get weaker mainly due to bowstring issues or ‘relaxed’ parts. Always pay extra attention to the compound bow’s most sensitive components like bowstring, cables, limbs, cams, and riser.
There is no direct relation between a compound bow’s age and power because, believe it or not; a decade-old compound bow can shoot as lethal as the new model. Moreover, a compound bow that spent too much time on the range is not why it loses power.
Rather than referring to such misconceptions, it is essential to understand the real cause behind why a compound bow weakens over time. Most of the time, your compound loses power because of the bowstring.
It is the most delicate part of the compound bow and is subject to frequent wear and tear. Over time, you can find that the bowstring is starting to lose some tension, which makes it seem that the compound bow is getting weaker.
Assuming you don’t use your compound bow constantly, it is only natural for its parts to start to relax, which no simple tune-up can fix. Always pay extra attention to the compound bow’s cables, limbs, cams, and riser. You can always replace the worn-out components without the need to replace the entire bow.
Thus, once you feel that your compound bow is getting weaker as time passes, please do a thorough inspection and give it its needed fix before deciding to replace it with a new model.
A compound bow is never too old; as long as it is in excellent working condition, you can use it for a lifetime. In addition, you can replace selected parts to make them look brand new.
However, if a compound bow no longer serves its purpose, it may be time for you to purchase a new and better one.