What are the Parts of a bow?

Basit Ali Chaudhary

The bow is a the combination of a several simple parts.

It starts with the riser, the main component which is commonly made from aluminum, wood, or carbon. Its job is to provide stability for attaching the limbs and other components. Connected to the riser are two limbs—short for ‘limb plate’–that use stored energy to propel an arrow forward when released. Attached to these are string grooves which help keep the tension added by the bowstring. 

From there, you have your accessories that help bring your bow together: a bow sight can be used as an aiming aid while stabilizers balance out your release and reduce vibration when shooting. 

Before going deeper into parts of bow, let’s first find out types of bows:

Type of Bows

1-Recurve Bow

Modeled after the type of bows used in Olympic archery, it features elongated limbs that create a distinct curving shape when strung together. 

This shape gives it a smoother draw and release than a longbow, resulting in greater accuracy and ease of use for serious arrow enthusiasts.

 2-Long Bow

Longbow typically consists of a single stick of thick material such as wood or bamboo and is traditionally crafted with skill and precision. 

When unstrung, it appears to be perfectly straight, but when strung, its form takes on an elegant curve that can prove lethal in combat.

3-Compound Bow

Its special combination of wheels, cams, cables and strings makes it shorter and more compact than traditional bows, allowing it to fit snugly into any quiver. 

It was originally invented for hunting purposes but has since become one of the most popular bows among competitive archers – this is because its unique cams provide more energy and speed than round wheel bows can achieve. 

Image Illustrating Parts of Recurve Bow

Image Illustrating Parts of Compound Bow

Detail of Parts of Bow


In order to increase accuracy, installing a bow sight is essential. Not only do these attachments fine-tune accuracy, but they also provide assistance in aiming. 

Generally made of metal or plastic, bow sights have an adjustable aperture if they are for recurve bows and a magnified scope if they are for compound bows. 

Installation is relatively simple as many bow sight models have self-adhesive pads that can be affixed directly onto the sight window with no hassle. 

Alternatively, some sight windows also come with drilled inserts in which mounts can then be placed to securely attach your bow sight of choice. 


It’s the holding place of a bow. 

A perfect form when shooting or carrying a bow requires that one grips the bow firmly. This is where the importance of a well-fitted grip comes in handy. Most modern bows come with crafted grips, which make it easier for users to comfortably keep their bow in hand for an extended period of time without getting fatigued. 

To provide more comfort, some grips are coated with tactile materials like rubber or leather, while others may be cushioned in order to improve grip security and accuracy of a shot. These features enable better control and less time spent during your shooting experience.

3-Upper & Lower Limb

The limbs give proper shape to a bow. When looking at the recurve bow, the limbs lie above and below the riser in an elongated curve that is far more curved than its counterpart, the compound bow

On a compound bow, both upper and lower limbs have much less curvature to them. Additionally, while on recurve bows, the string is connected directly at the tip of each limb; on a compound bow, it connects to something called cam(s), which are attached to one or both of the limb tips. 


The cables are a vital element of compound bows. They are responsible for the efficient performance of the bow in carrying out a shot. They run between the two cams serving to link them together. 

5-Handle Riser

This is the part that holds all limbs and accessories together, as well as the grip.

6-Sight Window & Shelf

The sight window is an essential part of a bow, allowing the shooter to orient, steady, and find their arrow accurately and quickly.

Its lower part, the shelf, is usually used to rest the arrow on while it’s being drawn, primarily found in fiberglass bows or even longbows. 

Some sight windows also have drilled holes with metal inserts for an added arm called a rest which holds the arrow in place for extra stability and better accuracy when aiming. 

7-Noch Locator

It is an essential part that must be used in order to ensure perfect placement and alignment on the serving, enabling it to perform optimally in terms of speed, accuracy and stability. It serves as a safeguard against slips or other misalignments that can easily occur when arrows are released from the bow without this type of marker. By placing the small brass ring or wound thread of the nock locator on the serving at a specific spot below or between where the arrow’s nock snaps onto the string, archers make sure they have hit their mark perfectly before making their shot.

8-Bow String

The bowstring is a critical component of the bow and arrow. Connecting the limbs together, it needs to be strong, durable and resistant to abrasion and stretching. 

This is why many modern bowstrings are now made out of multiple synthetic fibers protected with special reinforced thread or “servings” at the ends and center of the string. Built up using strands of these fibers, these strings can provide extra strength, flexibility and ensure increased accuracy to ensure successful shooting experiences. 

9-Peep Sight

Peep sight is part of compound bow that provide superior accuracy when shooting. This circular plastic or metal piece inserted into the bowstring help the archer improve his aim by providing a clear line of sight between the arrow’s trajectory and the front sight. When correctly installed, peep sights make it quicker and easier to align shots, giving archers more control over the accuracy of their shot.


Stabilizers are designed to absorb the force from the arrows release and help to balance the weight when drawing, a stabilizer can be a critical component when competing. The length varies depending on the use of the bow, longer ones usually being used by professionals or those trying to compete in highly accurate events such as indoor target shooting.


Cams are round or oval discs connected to the axles of the bow and work with pulley system to store more energy than is actually being used to draw the string. 

This makes compound bows more efficient than their counterparts; you can get just as much power from a smaller effort.

12-Stabilizer Mount

It is a hole on compound bow to attach stabilizer.


Axle is also found only in compound bows and it is responsible to hold cams. 

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