What Length Bow is Right For Me?


Compound bows come in all kinds of sizes, although the trend over the last few decades has been to make them shorter and more compact. The average length of a compound bow today is about 34", which is nearly a full 10 inches shorter than the average size of just 15 or 20 years ago. This means that the designs have been evolving towards a smaller scale, however even with these new measurements there is still, as mentioned, a wide variety of sizes that you will be able to choose from.

The bow length that you choose will ultimately be determined by a few different factors. You'll have to consider your specific shooting style, as well as your intended usages for the bow. Your experience level may also factor into your decision, as well some periphery considerations such as convenience.

Also remember that the term bow length actually signifies the measurement of the axle to axle length. That means that the bow as a whole will actually be larger than the indicated bow length. With all of that said, here are the three major groups or classifications today of compound bow lengths.
  Short Axles: A short axle bow is considered to be any bow of 32 inches or less. Due to the small size they will of course be the most maneuverable, allowing you to work in tight spaces or carry them long distances without concern due to the light weight. The trade-off is decreased accuracy for long range shooting.

  Mid-Range Axles: A midrange axle will be between 32 inches and 38 inches. Most people end up using a bow within this range, as they offer the best of both worlds- a combination of compact frame and high accuracy.

  Long Axles: Today, anything over 38 inches is considered to be long axle. Long axles represent the best in long range precision, accuracy and control. They are also better for finger-shooters, who need the increased size in order to comfortably maintain their shooting form.

Ultimately you don't have to worry too much about these rigid classifications, as they are just intended to help make shopping a bit easier. The most popular and common compound bows today generally fall between 31 and 34 inches, which as you can see technically spans the two classes of short and midrange axle lengths. You'll find the majority of popular models here, and it's a safe bet for shooters of all experience and comfort levels.

The bow length you choose really comes down to how you shoot and what specifically you are looking to do with your bow. Standing in a cramped treestand to hunt deer at close range? A short axle bow may be your best bet. A finger shooter looking for accuracy at long distances? Your better off going with a long axle bow. But ultimately, when you choose the most common and popular range of about 34 inches it will be hard to go wrong.