Recurve Bow Parts – Different Parts & Their Functions

Recurve Bow Parts

A recurve bow consists of several parts, mainly including the riser, limbs, bowstring etc. They all perform a crucial function in the bow’s overall performance and work together to create a powerful and accurate shot. Besides this, there are some other important recurve bow parts too. Let’s know more about them.

Different Parts of a Recurve Bow

The Riser

At the center of the bow is the riser, which serves as its main component. Where the limbs and accessories are attached, it is where the archer grips the bow and provides stability and balance. The riser is typically made of aluminum, carbon, or wood. Its shape and weight can significantly impact the bow’s overall performance. There are different types of risers in recurve bows, including one-piece and takedown risers. One-piece risers are permanently attached to the limbs. They cannot be separated, while takedown risers can be removed from the limbs, making them easier to transport and store. The riser provides stability and balance to the bow. Moreover, the shape and weight of the riser are equally important, as they affect the bow’s balance and ease of use. 

The Limbs

The limbs are the curved parts of the bow that bend when the bowstring is pulled back. They are responsible for storing and releasing energy, which propels the arrow forward. The limbs are made of various materials, such as fiberglass, carbon, or wood. There are different types of limbs in recurve bows, including straight, tapered, and curved. Straight limbs are the most common and are typically used by beginners. Tapered and curved limbs are more advanced, offer greater power and speed, and benefit intermediate and advanced skill players. Fiberglass and carbon limbs are more durable and perform better than wooden ones. Still, wooden limbs have a classic, traditional look and feel.

The Bowstring

The bowstring is the cord that connects the two ends of the bow’s limbs and is used to launch the arrow. It is typically made of synthetic materials such as Dacron or Fast Flight, known for their strength and durability. Choosing the right bowstring is essential to achieving the best performance from your recurve bow. The bowstring must be the correct length and thickness to fit your bow and shooting style. Bowstrings are able to wear out over time and need periodic replacement. The bowstring’s material and thickness affect the arrow’s speed and power. Additionally, the length of the bowstring must be matched to the length of the bow’s limbs to prevent damage to the bow and ensure a smooth draw. 

The Nocking Point

The nocking point is an integral component of the recurve bow, serving as a reference point for arrow placement. It is the area on the bowstring where the arrow is placed. It is typically marked with a brass or plastic nocking point indicator, ensuring the arrow is in the correct position. The placement and adjustment of the nocking point are critical to the bow’s accuracy and precision. The nocking point should be in the same position for every shot to maintain consistency and improve accuracy. The nocking point is an indispensable component of the recurve bow. It performs significantly in maintaining the archer’s form and technique.

Notably, the nocking point on a recurve bow is more than any random spot on the bowstring where an arrow can be placed. Instead, it is a specific location carefully chosen and marked with a brass or plastic nocking point indicator. This indicator helps to ensure that the arrow is positioned correctly.

The Arrow Rest

The arrow rest is a crucial component of any archery setup. Its purpose is to provide a stable platform for the arrow to rest on as it is shot from the bow. Different types of arrow rests are available, including the traditional shelf rest and more advanced drop-away rest. Choosing the right arrow rest dramatically impacts the accuracy and consistency of your shots, making it an essential consideration. Proper arrow rest installation and adjustment are also critical for achieving optimal performance. It provides support and stability for the arrow and helps prevent it from falling off the bow.

The Sight

The sight is used to improve the accuracy of your shots. It consists of a pin or series of pins that help aim the bow towards the target. Different types of sights include fixed pin, adjustable pin, pendulum, and single-pin sights. Choosing the right sight largely depends on your shooting style and the type of archery you participate in. A properly adjusted sight significantly modifies your shooting skills and performance outcome.

Several types of sights are available, each with unique features and benefits. Fixed pin sights have a set number of pins, usually ranging from one to five, which cannot be adjusted. On the other hand, adjustable pin sights allow archers to modify the number of pins and their placement. Pendulum sights are designed for archers shooting from an elevated position, such as in tree stands or from the top of a hill. These sights use a pendulum system to help adjust for gravity and ensure the pins remain aligned with the target. It’s crucial to adjust it properly to make it function properly. This involves setting the pins at the correct distances and accurately aligning them with the bowstring. 

The Stabilizer

The stabilizer reduce bow movement and vibrations that occur during a shot. Its effectiveness is dependent on the correct balancing of weight distribution, which is achieved by attaching it to the bow’s riser.Stabilizers come in different types such as short, long, and side-bar stabilizers.For instance, a long stabilizer is suitable for target shooting, while a short one is ideal for hunting. Side-bar stabilizers are used in conjunction with a main stabilizer to provide additional balance and stability.The right stabilizer is extremely useful especially during windy conditions or shooting long distances.

The Clicker

The clicker is a critical recurve bow part. An ingenious device produces a distinct clicking sound when the bowstring is drawn to a predetermined length. This sound serves as an audible signal to the archer that the bow is now at the correct draw length and time to release the arrow. Archers can use a clicker to ensure they draw the bow to the same length every time. A slight variation in draw length can significantly impact the arrow’s trajectory and lead to inconsistent shots, making the clicker a crucial tool for archers looking to improve their accuracy. The clicker is typically positioned near the archer’s face. Its distance from the bow riser can be adjusted according to the archer’s preference. 

The Plunger Button

The plunger button is a small, adjustable component that attaches to the bow’s riser and helps control the arrow’s horizontal movement during the shot. It works by adjusting the pressure on the arrow as it is released from the bow. Proper adjustment of the plunger button improves your arrow’s flight trajectory and prevents it from veering off-course.

The Grip

The grip is one of the recurve bow parts the archer holds onto while shooting. It is designed to fit comfortably in the archer’s hand and help provide a stable shooting platform. Different types of grips are available, including low, medium, and high wrist grips. It’s important that the grip feels comfortable in your hand. It provides a stable shooting platform. A too-loose or tight grip negatively affects your accuracy and causes the bow to twist during the shot. Some grips are designed with a contoured shape to fit the hand better, while others may have a textured surface to prevent slipping.

String Notch

The String Notch is a small groove or slot at the end of each limb where the bowstring is secured. Maintaining the bowstring’s proper alignment is crucial, which is essential for accurate shooting. The notch should be smooth and free of any burrs or rough spots that could damage the string. It’s important to regularly inspect and clean the string notch to ensure it’s in good condition. In addition, the position and height of the string notch can be adjusted to fine-tune the bow’s performance and improve arrow flight.

Arrow Shelf

The Arrow Shelf is the platform on the side of the bow where the arrow sits before it’s released. It’s typically located on the side of the bow opposite the shooter’s hand. It is designed to support the arrow during the shot. The arrow shelf should be smooth and free of sharp edges or rough spots that could damage the arrow. Some arrow rests are designed with a cushioning material or brush to help prevent the arrow from falling off the shelf or making noise during the shot. The position and angle of the arrow shelf can also be adjusted to optimize arrow flight and accuracy.


A bow must have all its parts working well to shoot accurately and with power. A well-maintained and expertly wielded bow is key to delivering arrows with excellence. Having acquainted yourself with the different recurve bow parts , it’s time to start shooting with a well-maintained and carefully used bow. Get ready to draw, steady your aim, and release your arrow with the utmost confidence for a perfect shot!

Leave a Comment