Longbow Vs Recurve Bow Vs Compound Bow

To know the comparison between Long Bow, Recurve Bow, and Compound Bow, you must go through the introduction.


Longbow is the oldest bow among all the bows. Nobody can tell the exact invention date of the longbow. However, experts say that the Bronze Age started using this kind of bow for hunting.

A longbow is taller than other bows in size. It has two wide limbs that make a “D” shape when it gets pressure. The limbs have a great distance between one another that’s why people call it longbow.

You may see the various kinds of longbow at cinemas having historical touches. A longbow is friendly to everyone. Wooden sticks are the primary equipment of a longbow. In some regions, people call longbow as self-bow. Longbow is easy to make at home by wood and rope.

Recurve Bow

Recurve bow is the most energetic bow among the bows in the world. The limbs of a recurve bow curve away when unstrung. Highly stored energy during curving the bow makes it more energetic and efficient to hunt the target.

Recurve bow requires shorter arrows than other similar Bows. Having short arrows is an advantage for the recurve bow. The short arrows can hit up the target through bushes and jungle.

Horse riders also unstrung the bow efficiently. The shape of a re-curve varies by different regions. Due to having much energy, the recurve bow makes much noise than other bows when unstrung.

Hunting bow may make it unstable to shoot perfectly. An archer must follow the instructions to string and unstring a re-curve bow.

Compound Bow

Compound Bow is the most difficult bow. Mechanically this bow is a modern bow made for practicing and hunting targets. Professional archers use a compound bow as their first choice.

The highly technical design has made the bow more energetic and efficient. The stiff limbs create more rigidity than those of Long Bow and Recurve Bow. In dimension, a compound bow is a complex one.

High rigidity, high technology, and high complex mechanism develop the compound bow smooth by making less sensitive vibration. Generally, a compound bow uses a levering system made of cables or pulleys.

Compound Bow has space to use a scope perfectly. A compound bow can hit the target far from more distance than those of Re-curve Bow and Long Bow. Only the professional can displace the parts of a compound bow eventually. Next, a compound bow may have much height due to its materials used to build it.

Longbow vs Recurve bow vs Compound bow Comparison

Longbow Vs Recurve Bow Vs Compound Bow
Photo Credit: Mr Barndoor / CC BY 3.0


In the Bronze age, people invented several warfares. Bronze was full of warfare. It was an efficient weapon at that time.  Most probably, Re-curve Bow was invented later in 1000 BC. People invented the bow for hunting animals and warfare.

In 1966, Holless Wilber Allen in Billings, Missouri developed Compound Bow first.


Naturally, a Long Bow is the largest Bow among the bows in the world. The length of a Long Bow can be 1.98 meters on average.

Size depends on the production company of the bow. The range of size of a Re-curve bow may have 66 inches to 72 inches approximately.

Being a professional bow, it has a little size. The rang of the size of a compound bow may have 48 inches to 72 inches.


People use woods, bamboo, and other soft materials to make a Long Bow. A Re-curve bow may build with wood, fiberglass, hard metal, plastic, and other materials. People can make a Compound Bow with aluminum, magnesium alloy, carbon fiber, plastic, and other materials also.


Long Bow may have 2 to 4 pounds weight.

A Re-curve bow may have 15 lbs to 75 lbs weight.

A Compound Bow may have 40 to 80 pounds weight.


Long Bow may shoot an arrow at a speed of 220 feet per second.

Recurve bow may shoot at a speed of 200 to 300 feet per second.

A Compound Bow may hit any object at a speed of 300 to 350 feet per second.


The rigidity is not so hard. As the bow made of light materials, one can easily string the bow.

The rigidity of a Recurve Bow is harder than a Long Bow.

Compound Bow is harder than other bows normally. Professionals use the bow properly.


To get the ultimate pleasure of a Long Bow, it should have the perfect design. The less mechanism system made it smooth.

A Re-curve is stronger than a Long Bow. Although it has great speed, one may not get that much smoothness. You may feel a vibration during unstring.

Due to having much mechanical complexity, a Compound Bow provides is smoother than that of a Long Bow and Recurve Bow.


Several ethnic groups may use a Long Bow to hunt animals. In modern times, the bow has only a little value. At the very beginning of invention, people used it for warfare issues.

People usually use re-curve bow for target archery and hunting. Target archery is the main uses of this bow.

Target practice and hunting are the main uses of a Compound Bow. Professional use this bow to take part in international archery competitions.


A Longbow is smoother than any other bows. Next, anybody can make it at home with a wood or hard stick. It is lightweight so that anybody can handle the bow.

Recurve Bow requires shorter arrows that can rush through bushes and jungle. It has a great speed also. Hunting and shooting prices are in favor of this bow.

A Compound bow is stiffer than other bows having very hard rigidity. A smart technical mechanism system has made it more efficient. It can hit a target from a far distance.


A Long Bow is usually slower than other bows.

Using a Recurve bow, a shooter may feel disturbance during unstring the arrow due to hard rigidity.

A compound bow is expensive to buy. It is hard to displace the parts.

Bottom line

A bow can be a great passion for an individual. Having a bow on the wall is a sign of affection. Now, you have a comparison between Longbow, Recurve bow, and Compound bow in detail.
Make sure, you have read the difference well.

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