Skip to Content

Between a Compound Bow and Recurve Bow Which is the Best for Survival?

SHTFPreparedness may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.

Between a compound bow and a recurve bow, which is the best one for survival? Many people have their opinions when it comes these two. However, they lack the evidence to back their choice.

Between a Compound Bow and Recurve Bow Which is the Best for Survival? - Many people have their opinions when it comes these two. However, they lack the evidence to back their choice.

To assist you to make the right choice, this primer will focus on the differences between a recurve and compound bow.

shutterstock 307547186

Before looking at the main points of distinction, let’s first look the similarities:

Recurve and Compound – Similarities

Both of these bows use leverage to their mechanical advantage. Additionally, both of them rely on stored energy in order to cast arrows far and faster.

In both situations, an arrow travels much further compared to when thrown by a person.

Every prepper likes to know stuff. There is no doubt about it. Secondly, each prepper clearly understands that knowledge is king, and particularly prepping and survival knowledge. Therefore, understanding ‘how’ a bow function is paramount to knowing the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of bows for survival.

Utilizing a bow for survival and hunting is purely an old age skill. Returning to the basics is effortless. However, the modern bow is a little more sophisticated.

shutterstock 262849709

A Recurve Bow is Great at Storing Energy

A recurve bow stores more energy thus making it difficult for you to pull the string. On the other hand, compound bows aren’t the same. They utilize their mechanical advantage via cams and cables.

Cables and cams allow some weight utilized to pull the string back. Compared to a conventional bow, compound bows tend to send arrows further.

shutterstock 187575032

Major Points of Distinction

Some of the factors that distinguish a recurve bow from a compound bow include the following:

  • Speed
  • Power
  • Weight
  • Accuracy
  • Price


A high quality recurves bow goes for around $1990. Nonetheless, you can get a pocket-friendly one for around $270. If you’re interested in a compound bow, you need to part with around $190 for an entry-level bow model. However, after being set up, most higher end compound bows cost in the range of $660 – $1160.

Are you trying to decide which of these two is better for survival? When it comes to price, both of these models aren’t far off each other.


When you set up your compound bow right, it’s more accurate compared to the recurve bow. An average archer can become a great one by utilizing accessories such as a peep; release etc. without the assistance of cams or any other mechanism, a recurve bow is certainly harder to draw. In fact, it increases the possibility of a shooter quivering and shaking. Consequently, that makes shooting less accurate due to poor alignment.

In terms of accuracy, a compound bow is more accurate thus the better in terms of survival.


Weight makes a huge difference when it comes to survival. Do you intend to carry a bow with you all the time? If yes, then settle for a recurve bow since they tend to be lighter compared to their counterparts. Actually, the former can even be a fraction of the latter. You’d be surprised that while some compound bows are made of a lighter material, they can weigh more than a rifle.

If you have vast ground to cover, run, or climb, then settle for a recurve bow. Certainly, it won’t slow you down.


Compound bows toss arrows not only further but also faster. Their mechanical advantage enables them to do this. Actually, for better results, an archer can utilize a heavy arrow, which will definitely penetrate deep and go far faster.

shutterstock 135209087

What about shooting ability?

Shooting ability is vital when it comes to survival. A recurve bow is silky smooth when a shooter aims and fires. What’s more is the fact that there aren’t any unexpected hand movements or even jerks. This is the main reason why recurves tend to be shooter friendly.

As much as that might be the case, it’s highly important to decide whether you’re into having a smooth shot or accuracy. Which of these two aspects do you consider important? That is the million-dollar question, which you need you, need to ask yourself always.

What about noise?

Unfortunately, certain older bows make sounds that resemble a rifle being shot. Others bring with them more hand vibrations, especially when shooting thus making it challenging to repeat repeatedly. When compared to a recurve bow, a compound bow is noisier. That is another important factor, which you need to consider for purposes of survival.

shutterstock 512060062

In conclusion

When it comes to survival, the best choice is the bow that you’re comfortable using. For instance, if you’re comfortable shooting with a compound bow in normal situations, the same would apply even in survival situations. The same is true with a recurve bow. However, just as highlighted above, you must choose a bow based on merit. Use the factors mentioned above as a guide to make the right choice.

Robert Gate is founder of He was enthusiastic about hunting from the first shot, from then he decided to become a pro hunter. If you find something

Between a Compound Bow and Recurve Bow Which is the Best for Survival? - Many people have their opinions when it comes these two. However, they lack the evidence to back their choice.