Compound Bow vs Crossbow: What’s the Difference and Which is Good?

When it comes to hunting, there are various different types of equipment that can be used. Compound bows and crossbows are two of the most popular choices, but the question is which one is good for? The difference between compound bow vs crossbow will help you decide which option is picked for your needs.

Here in this post, we’ll cover the advantages and disadvantages of compound and crossbow, which one is suitable for you in forms of different use and facts. We’ll also give you information about these two types of bow and where to use it. So stay informed.

What is the compound bow?

A compound bow is an archery tool that uses mechanical advantages to store energy in the limbs so that they will not need to stretch as far when pulling back on them. The result is a more powerful shot with less physical effort than what would have been needed without the use of this type of bow. A benefit of using this type of weapon for hunting includes being able to shoot at farther distances due to its power and accuracy.

The terms bow vs crossbow is simply dignified with their occasional and exact use in sorts of individual works. If you are looking for a new bow, look no further, the compound bow is an advanced type of bow that has been used in the Olympics and other competitions since 1976. It’s designed to be more accurate than traditional bows by using pulleys and cables to store energy from the user’s draw and release it at full power. This makes it easier to shoot arrows with accuracy over long distances.

Compound bows are popular among hunters because they can fire arrows faster than recurve or longbows, making them ideal for hunting small games like rabbits or squirrels. They’re also great for target shooting because they offer greater precision when aiming at targets up close or far away.

Plus, they have less hand shock than recurve bows so you won’t feel as much vibration after firing each arrow!

Compound bows are designed with an adjustable draw length, so you can customize them to your size and strength. They also have a variety of cam systems that allow you to adjust the draw weight from 5-70 pounds.

This means they’re perfect for beginners as well as experienced archers who want to shoot at different distances or use heavier arrows.

The most salutary part about compound bows? You don’t need any special skills or training! All you need is some practice time on the range before heading out into the field. 

What is a crossbow?

A crossbow is a type of weapon that shoots arrows and uses tension to propel an arrow or bolt. The bow and arrow are mounted on the front of the weapon, with one end sticking out to be used as a handle.

It has been used for over 1000 years and was used as the main weapon by infantrymen, knights, and hunters. Crossbows are still used today for hunting game animals such as deer, bears, moose, and elk. They are also used in modern warfare with varying degrees of success.

Crossbows can be used for hunting or target shooting, but they’re not allowed in most competitions because they have more power than other types of bows.

Crossbows come in two varieties – recurve (traditional) or compound (modern). Recurves use less energy when firing an arrow so they’re easier to aim and shoot quickly besides compounds offer more speed and accuracy but take longer to reload. It takes about 10 minutes per day for practice before using a new crossbow.

After that, it should only take 5 minutes per day for maintenance purposes. A basic model can cost anywhere between $150-$300 depending on size and features. By the way, there are options to choose from.

Should you choose a crossbow or compound bow?

Compound bows are often used in hunting, while crossbows are more commonly used in target shooting and 3D archery. The compound bow is easier to use than the crossbow because it has a mechanical system that does most of the work for you. However, if you want to shoot at targets from long distances or do some 3D archery, then a crossbow might be better suited for you.

Compound bows are the most popular type of bow in North America. They are easy to use and have many benefits over other types of bows. 

Crossbows are more difficult to use than compound bows, but they offer more power and accuracy. The choice for you depends on your needs and preferences. Here we’ll cover the overall advantage and disadvantages of both compound and crossbow.

Related: Are stabilizers allowed in barebow archery?

Advantages and disadvantages of the crossbow?

Advantage of crossbow:

More powerful

The crossbow is more powerful than the compound bow because it has a mechanical system that does most of the work for you.

More accurate

The crossbow is precise and accurate than other bows, so they are great if you want to shoot at targets from long distances or do some three-dimensional archery.

No string vibration

One advantage of a crossbow over a compound bow is that there’s no recoil when firing which makes shooting much easier on your shoulders.

Maximum arrow speed

The crossbow relatively gives you the maximum arrow speed which is especially helpful for hunting. Besides, you can fire more than one arrow as fast as possible.

Higher kinetic energy

The crossbow will give you higher kinetic energy which is also helpful for hunting. The kinetic energy of a crossbow bolt is greater than that of a recurve bow and compound bow.

Ease of accuracy

Less movement required to harvest quarry. The lower chance that target animals will sense the hunter’s presence.

Disadvantages of crossbow:

  1. A crossbow is comparatively heavier than a recurve bow and compound bows.
  2. Crossbows are not allowed in many hunting competitions so it can be difficult to practice with them or even enjoy your hobby.
  3. It’s more complicated, requires additional maintenance, and has the potential for mechanical failure.
  4. The trigger pull of certain models may take some time to further managing.
  5. A crossbow has a higher potential for injury to the shooter.
  6. The weight and mechanical complexity of a compound bow may be more manageable in some ways than that of a crossbow, making it better suited for archers with less experience or strength.
  7. Crossbows are not allowed during hunting season which can make them difficult to use as well.
  8. The crossbow is more expensive, has a shorter range, and uses different types of arrows.
  9. Crossbows are also much louder when being shot which can make it difficult to take good shots in some situations
Compound Bow vs Crossbow

Advantage of the compound bow:

Less Noisy Shots

A compound bow gives you fewer noisy shots. You can take the shot and then it is less likely to be heard than a crossbow. When you go hunting, you must keep silent when aiming at. So thus this compound bow can help you to take your target silently.

Quicker shots

When you operate a compound bow the mass effect is to produce a simultaneous action while through an arrow. This means that you can take a shot and then another one very quickly. You cannot do this with a crossbow because it takes time to reload the arrows in order to shoot again.

Higher Accuracy

A compound bow is more accurate than a crossbow for hunting purposes, making it easier to hit your target when aiming at.The accuracy of hunting as well as you can keep the accuracy stable with the compound bow.

Having a less mechanical system

As with a crossbow, the compound bow hasn’t any complex mechanical systems. You just need to pull the string and the arrow will go. This makes it easier than a crossbow, which is much more complicated in operation.

No assembly required

A compound bow doesn’t require any assembling as you just need to fit the limbs into place when you get your device home from purchase. With a crossbow, however, there are many installations and reloading procedures that can affect hunting and practice make bored.

Related: How should you hold a bow when shooting?

Disadvantages of the compound bow:

  1. The string of the compound bow can be twisted, which means it’s not always able to shoot straight.
  2. When shooting with an arrow from a crossbow or compound bow, you need to take into consideration how many pounds the weight on your arms.
  3. In the traditional way, you would have to pull on both strings when shooting an arrow from either device so there is no such thing as pulling too hard or too light and can’t be pulled back by accident.
  4. A compound bow can be difficult to use at first, as well.
  5. When using a compound bow, there are more components. There is a sight, stabilizer, and trigger on the front end of the compound bow to attach an arrow before firing it into a target or animal when hunting. A crossbow needs no such attachments since it can be fired with only one hand so that you could use your other arm or hand for balance if

Crossbow vs Compound Bow: Which is Good and Why?

Compound bows are better than crossbows for hunting because they have more accuracy and control, plus compound bows use modern materials that make it easy to aim at a target. We think if you’re looking for something to hunt with then go ahead and get yourself a compound bow. Let’s talk about the compound’s bow and crossbow features and what is good for you.

Measuring of Shooting Range

A definite shooting range of a crossbow is about 40-80 yards, while a compound bow’s range is typically between 30 and 60 yards. But the whole procedure is obtained with more careful consideration, and an experienced bow hunter will be able to calculate a much longer shooting range.

Some shooters prefer hunting and shooting range better in the crossbow and some considered a more challenging to aim with crossbows, which are not as accurate. Compound bows on the other hand have more accuracy and control because their modern design actually works for hunting purposes.


While aiming at an object with compound and crossbow the more accurate can give you is a clearer result, but if you are shooting at a moving target it is almost impossible to hit them with crossbows. Compound bows on the other hand have better-aiming capabilities because of their design and materials which make use of modern technology.

Besides a crossbow needs enough time to put a bolt into the string, so it may not be accurate in shooting at moving targets. Compound bows on the other hand are designed with modern materials which enable them to shoot arrows faster and with more accuracy when you do your aiming properly.

So my thoughts are for hunting, you can go with a compound bow.

Power of shots:

If you’re looking for power then a compound bow is going to give you more power than a crossbow. Compound bows are designed to be able to shoot faster and with higher velocity when you pull the string back, whereas a crossbow bolt is powered by something called an elastic band which launches it at slower speeds and less momentum (even if they can propel arrows faster).


Price Range

Compound bow prices range from $150 -$250 while Crossbow Prices start at around $ 400-$800. As with crossbow has a complex structure so the price of the crossbow is more expensive.

The compound bow is not the best choice if you plan on shooting at people or animals that are close enough for hand-to-hand combat. But when the targets are further away, the compound bow can be a good choice.


The Maintenance of a compound bow is much easier than that of a crossbow. Compound bows are easier to maintain and use, which inevitably means they will last longer. As both bows have differents parts to maintain so for the crossbow you need to maintain all its parts. So basically it derives that both need maintenance for further use and longevity. But if you compare to me about the which need more maintenance, We’ll go with crossbow overall.

Draw Weight

The Compound Bow is more powerful than the Crossbow in terms of draw weight as well because a compound bow has a higher range of weights on offer with some being up to 100 pounds and heavier (though that would be hard for most often).


In the case of noise production, the compound bow creates less noise than a crossbow this is because the compound bow’s string is connected to the arrow, not just a cable.


To shoot at targets with it, you can’t really use both bows because they are different in that way Compound Bow requires more space on which to move around and crossbow doesn’t require much of an area if any space at all. So for different aspects, the target of both bows has their individual aspects.

But overall if you thinking of hunting, aiming, shooting, and practicing, all sorts of variety will go for a compound bow.


In the case of accuracy, the compound bow will be more accurate in the long run than a crossbow because of its design. The facts of Ammo, Speed, and Distance, In terms of ammo capacity, both bows have different amounts to carry with them but for speed and distance, they are about equivalent.

Speed and Restored Energy

A crossbow is much faster than a compound bow. The highest fps of a crossbow is about 350-400 fps whereas a Compound Bow’s highest is about 230 -300fps. But this is not the constant. It just about to think you how fast are they while releasing the arrow.

In terms of restoring energy, both have their flaws but in general, compound bow has less recoil which means it will be easier to hold on for longer but give you less speed at the end.

Users Safety

In the case of safety mechanisms, the Compound Bow is better than a crossbow because compound bows have safety mechanisms on the string.

But in the case of reloading, Compound Bows take more time to load and also release arrows as compared to Crossbows which will be quicker and easier for beginners.

Compound bows are a better choice for beginners as they’re easy to use, not noisy, and don’t require great strength.


Both bows are portable but if you think about their aspects the Compound Bow is way easier to carry around and will be less fuss.

The lightweight body of a compound bow will give you much more portability while the crossbow will be a little heavier to transports.

Where to use crossbow and compound bow?

We’ll recommend a compound bow for beginners and if you are hunting near the bush. A recurve bow is perfect for someone who likes to keep their kill at close range, or as an alternative to get closer when stalking quarry in tall grasses.

Now we’ll discuss where should use the compound bow and crossbow. The idea generates in terms of hunting, targeting, and competitions.


When you go hunting, the main aspect is to kill the prey as quickly and efficiently as possible. You want to make sure that you are able to find your target with ease, so having a compound bow for hunting is beneficial. Because where you go for hunting is need different site view and may need to shoot in a different position. So if you can use a compound bow, in that case, the target may be on your grip.

But if you experienced with a crossbow for hunting, it will be slightly difficult in some cases. Because the compound bow needs less effort and better accuracy. Compound bows are much easier to use than crossbows for hunting, so they are the top choice in this case.


A compound bow is a great tool for target shooting with some distance range as well. You can shoot arrows up to 70 meters away from your body per second without having any pressure.

By the way, a crossbow is also great for target shooting. The only thing is that you need to cock the bow before pulling back on it. That’s something not everyone can do easily and maybe a little more difficult than just drawing an arrow from your quiver with a compound bow.

A compound bow has many varieties so that your small child can also play with it. On the other hand, the crossbow hasn’t the same variety so you need to make sure your child can handle the crossbow (some are too heavy).

Competitive game

In the case of competitive sports, Most of the authorities don’t allow a crossbow. This is just because a crossbow has a higher speed as well as precision. Compound bows, on the other hand, have less speed and accuracy than fit for competitions.

However, if you ever want to participate in a crossbow event, you need to consult your competition’s authority. The World Crossbow Shooting Association can give you the opportunity to participate.

Related: How To Use A Crossbow: Guideline, Tips, and Steps!


Range and Power of Compound vs Crossbow?

Crossbows have a greater range than a compound bow, which can be an advantage in some situations. However, this is not always the case because, with a compound bow, accuracy decreases as distance increases while it only slightly affects accuracy for the crossbow user.

Firing Power Compound Bow Vs Crossbow?

The firing power of the crossbow can be 200-220 lbs or more in strength, which is quite different than that of a compound bow which only has about 75-115 pounds per square inch.

Power of Compound Bow vs Crossbow?

A compound crossbow generally has about half the power than that of a compound bow with similar draw weight for close-range hunting and self-defense purposes.

When would you want to use a compound bow?

A Compound bow is suitable for hunting as it has increased accuracy than a crossbow. While hunting, you may need several position and aiming at the target well. But if you use a crossbow that will not happen and there a possibility to miss the target. But with great accuracy and momentum, the compound bow can give you the perfect shot while hunting.

Are crossbows allowed at archery ranges?

Most archery ranges allow crossbows. However, with the increasing popularity of compound bows among hunters there are fewer and fewer compounds allowed on these ranges to ensure that a crossbow hunter has an opportunity for practice.

Why do bow hunters hate crossbows?

Bowhunters hate crossbows because they reduce the effectiveness of hunting. Compound bows are much more accurate, powerful and require less time to reload than a crossbow.

A compound bow is suitable for hunting as it has increased accuracy than a crossbow.

While Hunting, you may need several positions and aiming at the target well. But if you use a crossbow that will not possible easily.


Compound bows and crossbows are both used for hunting and games, but they’re not the same. The compound bow is a more traditional style of archery where you pull on an arm to bend it back in order to create tension while aiming at your target.

Crossbows are similar because this process requires pulling back the string with a crank-style handle before releasing it onto the trigger mechanism which releases the arrow or bolt from its position.

Both types of weapons require practice since accuracy depends heavily on how well you can use them, so be sure that whichever one you choose will suit your needs better! We’ve discussed elaborately on this article. Now it’s your turn to find the difference between section compound bow vs crossbow.

We hope this article has been helpful as we close out our conversation about these two different styles of hunting weaponry. If there’s anything to say. Read others’ articles on the site.

See also  Why Do Bow Hunters Hate Crossbows? (Top Reason)