Composite Bow: An Ancient Version Of The Compound Bow

The Background

The origin of composite bow could be traced back to the Asiatic pastoralists when it was used as the daily needs of nomad tribes.  In ancient warfare, composite bow was used for mounted archery that was considered better than the earlier wooden bows. The development of these bows brought about sea changes in the earlier warfare as they were more effective, powerful and accurate.


The history of composite bow traces back to 1800 B.C, when it was used by the Assyrians. By using this unique weapon, they won wars and formed their civilization progress. Soon, other civilizations such as Egyptians, Babylonians and the Hittites followed suit and improved the versions for winning wars.  It was used across Asia, Atlantic coasts of Europe, North Africa, India and south of Arabian Peninsula.

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The name composite bow is assigned because it is made of various materials like metal, wood, bone, bark and sinew. Because of the composite mixture of these materials, the longevity and shooting performance is greatly increased. Consequently, it could be used more effectively in battlefields, compared to the earlier wooden arrows. Even compared to the longbow, the composite bow has better effects of flying, penetrating and hitting.


The composite bow has been designed to have three layers of materials such as wood, sinew and horn. The basic core of the bow is made of wood and horn in the interior portion of the curve for compressing. The third layer is sinew which is used on exterior for spinning action which is required for the bow to come back to its original position. After gluing these layers, they are compressed and allowed for few weeks for jelling together and becoming sturdy.

The blacksmiths used to make the bows that were used in wars or for hunting. Those civilizations that used these bows won wars, made conquests and carried forward their civilizations. In particular, the Egyptian chariot archers excelled in using these warfare-oriented deadly weapons, even while their chariots were in movement.

Other Categories

It was the Mongol invaders who used these bows for invading and conquering other countries and establishing their supremacy there. They further improved the design and made a new category, known as recurve bows in which the ends were curved outwards. The power and accuracy of these bows excelled well over the earlier versions of composite bows.

There was further innovation on the recurve bows and other civilizations designed their own versions of bows and used them more effectively for winning wars. The Saracen civilization and the Muslim warriors used these bows. Subsequently, another category, known as ‘crossbow’ was made, which was a further improvement of the recurve bows.

The present day archers mostly use the composite bows. However, the difference remains is that the material constituents of their bows are synthetic materials like carbon fiber, metal and fiberglass. As a result, these bows are made stronger.

Shooting Trips for Bow and Arrow

Besides hunting, the modern day archery is used for fun and entertainment. There are different types of bows and arrows, so it’s important to be informed and pick the right one for your needs. If you would like to explore the options and learn more about bows head over to Shooting and Safety – you’ll find comprehensive guides and tips for every level of experience and budget. 

In order to be a good shot at archery, the following tips may be used.


For a good stance, keep your feet, shoulder width apart, or you may kneel down and allow your butt to rest on heels.


Select a bow with thinner grip so that you can put less torque on the bow that ensures more accuracy. Alternatively, you can remove the grip panels from the bow. The grip should be kept against the line of your hand, just above the thumb so that you will feel the pushing of the into your palm.


Insert a kisser button into the proper point of the bow string. Always keep in mind to find one or two comfortable anchor points.


Even if you feel nervous for hitting at a long range target, do not hold your breath, else you may shake and lose mental balance due to no supply of oxygen.


Have total confidence in your execution


Avoid jerking and punching on the trigger

Follow through

Do not drop the bow immediately after the release.

Compound Bow has stiffer limbs and the cables and pulleys attached to it make it easier for shooting. But it should be tuned properly for a more powerful and accurate shooting.

Rodney Heaton

I'm Rodney Heaton and I love hunting in the wild. In the past, I was in the military for over 5 years. After that I became a licensed hunter and a mountain guide.

Randy Johnson - July 19, 2016

This is so interesting and helpful. Your posts are right on target. I was just talking to my brother about this today 😉

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