Parts Of A Bow & Important Accessories

parts of a bow

Archery training should begin with a review of its design, individual elements and accessories. Any modern bow consists of the following elements: shoulders, hilt, bowstring, stabilizer, sight, as well as a special mount arrow. At the same time, sports models additionally have a clicker (clamp for the length of the string), a side plunger and a shelf for supporting the boom.

The central bows have such a handle design that the arrow can pass through the longitudinal axis of symmetry of the bow, and its flight is carried out in the plane of the shot. In this post you can achieve knowledge about parts of bow.


There are different types of onions, which mainly differ in the purpose of use. They differ in appearance (simple, complex), in shape, in material, in design, in the placement of the arrow relative to the axis, etc. Bows can be solid (shoulders and hilt are a single unit) or collapsible.

The former are most often used for shooting training, and they often buy bows of the second type for themselves. A collapsible bow makes it easy to replace the shoulders or eliminate design flaws, if present. In addition, they are easier to store and transport.

Sports Bow Components

As already discussed above, any onion can be characterized in accordance with the classification according to several criteria. A sports bow in this case will be:

  • By design of manufacture – collapsible;
  • On the placement of the boom relative to the axis – central;
  • By material of manufacture – combined, fiberglass;
  • In the form of manufacture – deep curved;
  • In appearance – complex;
  • For use – for target shooting.

The parts of a bow (Sports) :

  • Shoulders
  • Lever;
  • Bowstirng;
  • Stabilizer;
  • Aim;
  • Clicker;
  • Sidewall (Plunger);
  • Shelf.

Name of Archery parts

  • Handle
  • Shoulder (upper, lower)
  • Outer side
  • Inner side
  • Sight window
  • End of shoulder – horn
  • Neck (neckline for bowstring)
  • Shelf and sidewall for boom
  • Place for stabilizer
  • Tee
  • Stabilizer
  • Point of stop
  • Bowstring
  • Socket for boom
  • End and middle winding
  • Distance to the bowstring
  • Sight
  • Tension lock (clicker)
  • Cover plate
  • Extension bar
  • Weight of the stabilizer

Block Bow Parts (Compound):

  • Upper block
  • Upper shoulder
  • Tension adjustment screw
  • Sight
  • Handle
  • Sight window
  • Stabilizer
  • Tension adjustment screw
  • Lower block
  • Bowstring
  • Diopter (Pip-Site)
  • Saddle
  • Shelf
  • Cover plate
  • Lower shoulder
  • Ropes
  • Rope withdrawal
  • Point of stop

Collapsible Bow Handle

Bow handles today are most often made from light metals, in particular from magnesium alloy. The weight of such a handle is not more than 1100 grams. There are models made of duralumin alloys, which are slightly heavier – 1500 grams. For expensive onions, carbon handles can be used, which are very light in weight with sufficient strength, but their price is very high.

  1. Handle
  2. Sight
  3. Stabilizer
  4. Shelf
  5. Plunger
  6. Clicker
  7. Sight window
  8. Point of stop

Light alloy handle casting provides identity in manufacturing. Moreover, the fact that the sighting window is 9-12 mm away from the longitudinal axis makes it possible to lay the arrow on the axis and adjust its exit in the shooting plane.

The basic requirements that a good grip must meet are: maximum lightness, no twisting, and minimal bending when stringing. Shoulder fastening for collapsible bows can be different depending on the manufacturer, the main thing is the lack of backlash.

On the handle are: sight, stabilizer, clicker, sidewall (plunger), shelf and pad.

The arms can vary in size, which depends on the length of the bow and the string tension. Some manufacturers have stabilized the size of the bows (stick and shoulders) and the tension force, based on experimental data and design requirements. Today, the most common sizes of bows are: 173 cm (68 inches), 167 cm (66 inches) 160 cm (63 inches), they correspond to the length of the arms: 60.9 cm (24 inches), 55.8 cm (22 inches), 50.8 cm (20 inches).

Onion tension force: for women – 14-19 kg, for men – 15-25 kg, for boys and girls 8-12 kg. The average weight of curb onions is from 3.5 to 4.5 kg.

Nowadays, work on improving onion elements does not stop: the shape of the handle, the angle of attachment of the shoulders, the design of stabilizing devices are changed, new materials are sought, a new way of attaching the shoulders is invented, etc.

Sports Bow Shoulder

The current onion manufacturing technology, its shape and the material used have been tested for many years. And practice has shown that onions in its modern form are much more convenient, reliable, more effective than its predecessors. Today, the bow has shoulders of a flat section (instead of a round one), their ends are curved in the direction opposite to the tension.

Manufacturers offer a variety of bows that differ in different characteristics, which allows you to select the optimal model. The bows in which the shoulders are made of a combination of fiberglass with ceramic, carbon fiber or other material show themselves best in operation. A similar plate is glued with a special glue to a wooden wedge (made of maple and having a size of 1-2 mm in the thin end and 4-6 mm in the thick end) on both sides. 

With a thickness of just a millimeter, it has a very low compression and stretch ratio. This design is reinforced by overlays on both sides in the thickened lower part and a trim for the bowstring at the upper thin end. The shoulder is glued in a certain shape, as a result, high elasticity and durability are obtained, and a similar shoulder exhibits fast movements during bending.

  • Ear
  • Overlay
  • Horn
  • Cross section of the bow
  • Carbon fiber plate
  • A wooden plate (maple) is made with a wedge of 3-1 mm at the ends
  • Fiberglass plate
  • Wedge length
  • Wedge (main)
  • Overlay (reinforcing)
  • Grip mount


The bowstring plays an important role – it is responsible for bending the shoulders and giving the arrow an acceleration by transmitting to it the efforts of the unbending shoulders. In a short period of time, it accelerates the boom to a very high speed. Accordingly, when developing bows, she paid close attention.

When the direction of sports shooting was only developing, the bowstring was made of animals treated in a special way, as well as from linen threads (“poppies”). Modern models are equipped with a string of synthetic fibers (for example, “Daneman”, “Dacron”, “Kevlar”), which are characterized by a low coefficient of stretching. A high-quality bowstring is capable of withstanding from 5 to 10 thousand shots, for this they give it a seven-fold (or more) margin of safety.

The bowstring in its middle has a nest for the arrow, and along the edges there are loops with which it is attached to the shoulders of the bow. Sometimes, arrows additionally fix the lock of the position of the nose or lips. The requirements for the characteristics of the bowstring are very high, and this is not surprising, because it gets a lot of effort to break. It should accelerate the boom, showing minimal oscillatory movements in the vertical and horizontal planes. A good bowstring is lightweight and lightly extensible, while being durable and strong.

  1. Loop
  2. Safety winding
  3. Lock
  4. Boom socket


The sight is an integral element of the modern bow, it helps in aiming the bow and ensures accuracy. Since the flight path of the arrow has the shape of an arc and may differ in different elevation angles depending on the distance, the sight should make it possible to set the front sight horizontally and in height.

The sight has a complex structure and consists of several parts

  • vertical ruler
  • remote ruler,
  • engine (movable carriage),
  • front sight.

Various designs of sights and its parts:


The stabilizer’s task, as its name implies, is to stabilize the position of the bow, that is, to prevent the violation of the coincident oscillatory movements of the bow and arrow, or relative rest during firing. At the time of the release and separation of the boom during extension of the shoulders, the bow handle makes oscillatory movements, and it is the stabilizer that must extinguish them.


The clicker determines the moment the arrow passes the reference mark. It is a flat spring that makes a click when the bowstring is pulled sufficiently, meaning that a shot can be fired.

Shelf, Sidewall (plunger)

The shelf consists of three elements: the base (1), the shelf (2), the sidewall (3).

Sidewall-plunger – regulator of rigidity of an arrow.

A shelf is an element on which an arrow is placed, at the moment of a shot it is folded, skipping the plumage of the arrow. The side-plunger is a special design that prevents the boom from touching the handle and is used to adjust the rigidity of the boom.

To ensure greater accuracy, the sidewall is initially set so that the axis of the arrow passes through the plane of the shot. Moving the sidewall is carried out either by changing the thickness of the lining under the base, or using a special screw device.

Archery Arrow

For a beginner, it may be a discovery that a lot when shooting depends on the arrow. Accuracy can only be achieved using high-quality arrows. Finding them today is not a problem. Modern manufacturers have achieved excellent performance by honing every detail in the form and finding the optimal material for the tips, boom rod, shanks and feathers. The best arrows for hunting can help to accurate aim.  For example, a special light alloy is used for the rods, and they are produced on special equipment.

  1. Tip T – Center of gravity of the boom
  2. Rod (tube) C – Middle of the boom (geometrically
  3. Shank center of the boom)
  4. Plumage A – Center distance
  5. Groove (cut for bowstring)
  6. Pen
  7. Marking

Rods (tubes) usually have a diameter of 5-10 mm and walls with a thickness of 0.35-0.5 mm. Without fail, each tube is marked with an indication of what material it is made of, what wall thickness and what diameter it has.

An example is the marking used by the world-famous Easton company on its pipes: first comes a two-digit number – the designation of the diameter of the boom, defined in 1/64 of an inch (0.4 mm); then another two-digit number is the wall thickness in thousandths of an inch (0.025 mm). Thus, if the marking is “1816” on the rod, this means that it has a diameter of 7.2 mm (18 x 0.4) and a wall thickness of 0.4 mm (16 x 0.25).

The tube has at its rear end a cone for a shank nozzle with an angle of 23 degrees. It is important that the generatrixes of the cone converge on the axis of the rod.

An important role is played by the material used to produce the tube. In an effort to make the arrow as light as possible, some companies today produce rods made entirely of carbon fiber. This material is distinguished, on the one hand, by its minimum weight, and on the other, by a high modulus of elasticity. Such tubes have a diameter of about 5 mm, and their wall thickness is about 1 mm. Arrows with a carbon fiber tube have worked well – athletes prefer to use them in important competitions.


The tip is located on the front end of the boom and is inserted into the shaft, secured by molten shellac. This method of fixation makes it easy to replace the tip – for this it is enough only to heat the front of the tube.

The tip includes two components: a hardened steel cone and a tube rolled into the body. Strengthens the end of the arrow with a long shank of the tip. The tip cone may have a different shape: rounded, conical, bullet-shaped or in the form of a double cone.


A shank is an element that transfers the bowstring effort to an arrow. Given its high importance, stringent requirements are imposed on the shank: it must be light and accurate, it must transmit the bowstring force along the axis of the tube, it should be easy to precisely attach to the cone of the tube. In production, it is important that the shanks are identical, otherwise they will not fit the tube well.

They are made of plastic. Sometimes there are shanks that are different from conventional designs – when they are not put on the cone of the tube, but are inserted into it. The main thing is that the groove of the bowstring is perpendicular to the guide pen.

Shank outer diameter:

  • 6 mm (7/32 inches);
  • 4 mm (1/4 inch);
  • 2 mm (9/32 inches);
  • 0 mm (5/16 inches);
  • 8 mm (11/32 in.)

Plumage forms

The plumage determines how the arrow will behave under the influence of air flow during flight. Today, three types of plumage stickers are common: angular, straight and helical (spiral), with three or four plumage used.

Boom requirements

The main requirements that a set of arrows must meet:

  • the same thickness and length of all arrows;
  • identical weight and plumage;
  • the same rigidity (the amount of deflection of the boom under the influence of the load);
  • the same distance between the middle of the boom and the center of gravity;
  • the rod should have minimal bending strain.

Archer Accessories

In addition to bow and arrows, special equipment is required for hunting, sports or amateur shooting. The main accessories of the archer include: a quiver, a bib, a belt or cord to hold the bow, gaiter and fingertip. The fingertip is designed to protect the hand from possible injury caused by the bowstring. This is a special device that is worn on the fingers.

Gaiters also protect the hand; it is a shield made of plastic or dense leather with felt or cloth laid inside. This design reliably prevents injury from a bowstring. The bib protects the chest from the stroke of the bowstring at the moment of passing it upon release, is a device made of plastic or thick skin.

A bow retention strap connects the bow to the hand, it can be either a belt or a cord or chain. Thanks to this element, the bow is prevented from falling after the shot. A quiver is a place to store arrows. Can be worn on the back or belt.

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