The Key Aspects of an Archery Bow

If you’re just getting started with archery, it’s always worth knowing a little more about your equipment before you get too deeply involved. Here at Shire Archery, we sell and support a huge variety of archery bow accessories and archery essentials – but before you go ahead and make any purchases, take a look at our guide below to learn more about what makes up that perfect bow. After all, every archer is slightly different, which means your needs may well vary from those of others around you!

Basic Bow Anatomy

For the purpose of an example for our guide today, we’re going to be specifically looking at a take down recurve bow. The simplest of these type of archery bow you may well have already come across as they are widely used in have-a-go, activity centres and beginners courses.

Recurve bows in general are amongst the most popular picks for archers across our region and worldwide. While they may look simple to use, they are intricately designed and have a number of important working parts which you should certainly get yourself accustomed to what makes up these units and the terminology is universal so will stand you in good stead.

The Back, Face and Limbs

Clip One side quiver

The front and rear of any bow are called the back and face. Each end of the bow is known as the bow tip – for obvious reasons – which are accompanied by string grooves or nocks to hold the string itself in place.

Each bow is comprised of ‘limbs’, too – one upper, and one lower. With a take down bow it’s important to get the limbs the right way around for the most comfortable and accurate gameplay! Improperly attaching the limbs can affect the performance of the riser, which we’ll take a look at next.

The Riser

Longbow- in Stock Models

The riser or handle makes up the centre of the bow. This is where the upper and lower limbs combine, and it features three critical elements which are essential. These are the window, the rest and the grip.

The window, found just above the grip, is so-named because this is where you’ll be looking through or aside of if your archery bow has no shelf when you’re about to loose an arrow.

The shelf or rest is where you can suspend your next arrow in play. This will allow your arrow to clear the bow when you let loose. Shelf’s are an integral design feature where as rests affix and generally arrive as part of an archery bow kit, though you can also purchase them separately.

The grip is where everything comes together. This is where you hold your bow firmly in place. Grips will vary from bow to bow, however, meaning it is worth finding a style, size and construction which is comfortable for you.

The String

The string, of course, is essential. This attaches via notches or grooves at the ends of the limbs and can arrive in a range of different materials and finishes. The nocking point of a string is where the arrow should be nocked below, and the centre serving is a thread strung around the middle for added durability.

Contact Us

Every archery bow is slightly different! However, these basics of a bow should help you understand what you are looking at and potentially buying when it comes to your future game. Take a look at our bows, arrows and accessories or call us at Shire Archery today for more advice on 07581726161 – or email us at your convenience on