History of Compound Bows

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Ever since man began hunting and fighting, the feeling of accomplishment after hitting a target has given him pride and confidence. But these achievements have not stopped at the aiming and hitting of the target. The weapons have been improved and perfected time and again to ensure precision, efficiency and quality.

The Compound Bows is a modern invention and an example of enhanced weaponry and symbol of man's ability to continue advancing with technology. The compound bow was originally invented by an American skilled engineer, Howless Wilber Allen, in the mid 1960s. It wasn't until a number of years later that he further developed the compound bow and received a patent on it for manufacturing in the United States. The United States had implemented laws forbidding the use of devices that were attached to bows and Allen's invention was able to pass the regulations, creating a breakthrough in the history of bows.

The Compound Bow appears to be a complex weapon yet retains the archaic technique of a traditional bow. It incorporates cables and pulleys in a levering system to maximize efficiency. This efficient use of energy is due to the stiffness of the limbs. Howless Allen was initially inspired by the Hoyt Medalist Bow in which he modified by adding a wheel. After months of experimentation and trials, Allen learned that the only way he can achieve weight resistance was to create a system of round pulleys and wheels. From the very start, these wheels proved to help the compound bows efficiency but in 1967, the addition of another set of wheels took the device a step further to avoid disturbing the arrow. Overtime, Allen continued to improve the design of his compound bow, which ultimately resulted in introducing various cable lengths that can be used by archers.

The composition of the compound bow relies heavily on the limbs as they contain the energy of the entire bow. The wheels are at the end of each of these energy efficient limbs and the rest of the device is made up of pulleys, cables and bow strings. The strings are attached to the pulleys which have cables attached to the opposite limbs. An archer would draw back the string, which will cause the pulleys to turn and ultimately pull the cables, thus allowing the limbs to bend and store energy.

Although the compound bow appears to be more sophisticated compared to its more traditional counterparts, many archers prefer using the compound bow for various advantages. One advantage is that the design allows archers to keep the bow fully drawn, which gives them more time to aim before shooting. The mechanism that is responsible for this is called the "Let Off," which has a certain peak weight when the bow is drawn. This also allows more accuracy with a higher peak draw. Another advantage with the compound bow is that it is flexible with temperature and climate changes because it is made of industrialized materials rather than natural. The pulley system plays an important role in the acceleration of the arrow depending on whether soft or hard cams are used. Generally, beginner archers will use a soft cam while more experienced archers will use harder cams for increased speed.

The compound bow has been included in archery competitions and hunting worldwide. What was once just an idea, the compound bow is now a major part of archery that many have welcomed. Like any successful invention, a creator must experience failure and come face to face with the flaws of his work. This is what Howless Allen had to witness, which ultimately led him down a path of success and innovation in the world of Archery.

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Gary Young has 1 articles online

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History of Compound Bows

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This article was published on 2010/04/27