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Recurve vs Compound Crossbow


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#1 PaprHead

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 09:58 PM

Hello everyone, another newbie here so I am trying to understand differences on crossbows. If a recurve and compound crossbow were compared with the same draw weight and powerstroke would the speeds be basically the same. If not what makes the difference between the bow types. Also, for the same draw weight / powerstroke bows would the recurve or compound tend to be less noisy, understanding that crossbows typically aren't quite.

Thanks for all feedback!!!

Edited by PaprHead, 04 August 2011 - 09:59 PM.


#2 Cossack

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 10:38 PM

Hello everyone, another newbie here so I am trying to understand differences on crossbows. If a recurve and compound crossbow were compared with the same draw weight and powerstroke would the speeds be basically the same. If not what makes the difference between the bow types. Also, for the same draw weight / powerstroke bows would the recurve or compound tend to be less noisy, understanding that crossbows typically aren't quite.

Thanks for all feedback!!!


At same draw weight same/tiller length the compound will be faster. it's the cams that make the difference. At the same draw weight they will arguably be the same where noise is concerned, understanding that compounds generally don't pull much over 175 but recurves can pull over 250. Noise is rather academic where crossbows are concerned. You are going to get only one shot no matter how "quiet" the bow is, the motion and noise of re cocking pretty much assures that. I picked my compound for speed, my recurves for durability, ease of maintenance and ability to let them down w/o having to shoot an arrow. Noise was not a consideration. Next consideration, for both, was their lifetime warranty and reputation for customer support.

#3 PaprHead

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 07:02 PM

At same draw weight same/tiller length the compound will be faster. it's the cams that make the difference. At the same draw weight they will arguably be the same where noise is concerned, understanding that compounds generally don't pull much over 175 but recurves can pull over 250. Noise is rather academic where crossbows are concerned. You are going to get only one shot no matter how "quiet" the bow is, the motion and noise of re cocking pretty much assures that. I picked my compound for speed, my recurves for durability, ease of maintenance and ability to let them down w/o having to shoot an arrow. Noise was not a consideration. Next consideration, for both, was their lifetime warranty and reputation for customer support.


Thanks Cossack for the reply. Since you own both if you had to pick one as a first crossbow would you pick a recurve or a compound? I am looking at either an Excalibur Phoenix or Exocet and also saw a good deal on a Carbon Express X-Force 850. Any thoughts on these bows?

#4 Private Jackson

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 07:46 AM

Thanks Cossack for the reply. Since you own both if you had to pick one as a first crossbow would you pick a recurve or a compound? I am looking at either an Excalibur Phoenix or Exocet and also saw a good deal on a Carbon Express X-Force 850. Any thoughts on these bows?


For my first I picked the Excalibur Vortex. For a couple of reasons.....#1 I wanted a crossbow that looked like a traditional crossbow = ie Excalibur. #2 I wanted ease of owner maintenance. #3 I wanted brutal reliability. #4 I did'nt want the cocking device hanging off the stock. #5 I have plenty of vertical bows with cams, and don't need any more bows with cams. #6 Excalibur only makes crossbows....and has been doing it since the early 1980's. #7 you don't need a press to work on it. #8 If I need customer service I know that Excalibur will take care of it. That list is not in any type of order. That's why I chose Excalibur. Hope this helps. Good luck.

#5 Cossack

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 09:10 AM

Thanks Cossack for the reply. Since you own both if you had to pick one as a first crossbow would you pick a recurve or a compound? I am looking at either an Excalibur Phoenix or Exocet and also saw a good deal on a Carbon Express X-Force 850. Any thoughts on these bows?


I would unequivocally pick a recurve...and an Excalibur Vortex at that. Their warranty and customer service is, IMO, best in the business. The bow is rugged, easy to maintain, extremly accurate and can be let down w/o shooting. Besides, Excals maintain their resale value very well so getting rid of it-if it's not for you after all-won't be a problem. BTW, I picked a compound as my first bow so there is some experiential basis here.

Edited by Cossack, 07 August 2011 - 09:11 AM.


#6 wayko

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 09:31 AM

HELLO: You have to decide, what you like & how you want to use it. There are many very nice compound crossbows out there that I would love to own, I shot many of them during the 10 mo. I was looking at all the bows. But, for me & only me, I bought a Excalibur Vortex, all I can say is, for me, I loved it when I bought it, & even love it more today.

#7 Moon

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 10:12 AM

Excal is the King of crossbows :thumbsu: :thumbsu:

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#8 manchops

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 07:21 PM

Excal is the King of crossbows :thumbsu: :thumbsu:


Paprhead, thanks for the post, I had the same questions and this answered them.

Moon, did that drawpull come stock? What is it?

#9 Guest_hankenhunter_*

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 07:46 PM

My first bow was a compound. After I exploded it, and had it fixed, I tried out a friend's
Excal and bought a Equinox the next week.I gave my compound to my dad,and havn't looked
back since. :thumbsu:
Happy shootin,
Hank

#10 Redclub

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 08:00 PM

Width is a primary concern if you hunt in a treestand. 6" wider limbs at 40 yards is a lot less shooting area. We are talking yards string hits the tree when shooting from behind a tree

#11 JDJHNTR

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 08:43 PM

No experience yet as I am a newb myself. I will tell you that I picked a recurve for ease of maintenance, simplicity, easy field repair as far as changing a damaged string and not having to worry about cam timing/tuning. I've done got lazy in my older age and dont like all the tuning issues with camed bows.

#12 elkstalkr

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 10:49 AM

Between the two I would pick a compound, but not the Carbon Express you mentioned!

I simply don't like the width. I tree stand hunt and trying to clear branches and limbs is just that much harder when you have something that wide in the stand. Get a quality compound and you won't have any problems with strings/cables either. Yes they will need to be replaced occassionally and yes they need to be put in a press to do so, but is it really that hard to go to the shop and get it done? I mean how many times a year do you go in there anyway? If your like me LOTS!

Excalibur makes excellent bows, but recurves just aren't for me. Certainly if you decide to get a recurve get an excalibur!

#13 bannon

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 12:48 PM

This thread reminds me so much of last year when I was getting started in muzzleloading! Inline folks looking for the latest technology, the cap lock guy traditionalist, the flintlock guy imitating Daniel Boone! and a lot of each slamming each other. Hey, it's all good, we are all HUNTERS! Thank God we live in the USA where we still have a choice. That said, I'm a latest technology guy, so I bought a SZ 380 ! :lolu:

#14 vh64

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 02:52 PM

Through debating, slamming etc. Is usually where the best info comes out on a product. Less sugar coating going on. No one usually gets personal but are passionate. For the same reasons we have choices in this country , we have the choice to debate or slam or get passionate.

#15 PaprHead

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 09:25 PM

Thanks again everyone for the replys. I know that each of you are giving me your honest opinion as to why you chose one or the other and that is what I was looking for.

Still having quite made my mind up but it is definitely fun looking at the options.

#16 tracker1

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 08:29 AM

the width of a recurve is a deal killer for me.

#17 Sagittarius

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 11:59 AM

I prefer Darton, Scorpyd, and Tac-15 compound crossbows.
I would have chosen an Excalibur for a recurve without question until Kodabow came onto the scene.
The Kodabow is only around $150.00 more than the top Excalibur and, if they were set next to each other side by side, I predict, if one had and could afford the extra cash, they would not hesitate in buying the Kodabow over the Excalibur !
After all, what's a mere extra $150.00 when you can have the finest recurve crossbow ever made over a lifetime of hunting pleasure ?
No, I don't own a Kodabow...yet. :)

Edited by Sagittarius, 20 August 2011 - 12:01 PM.


#18 Cossack

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 12:04 PM

the width of a recurve is a deal killer for me.


Somehow I've lerned to overlook the width.
50 yard group, just elbow rested on deck rail, two different brands of arrows; circle is 1.5 inches.

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Edited by Cossack, 20 August 2011 - 12:05 PM.


#19 gendoc

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 12:42 PM

I prefer Darton, Scorpyd, and Tac-15 compound crossbows.
I would have chosen an Excalibur for a recurve without question until Kodabow came onto the scene.
The Kodabow is only around $150.00 more than the top Excalibur and, if they were set next to each other side by side, I predict, if one had and could afford the extra cash, they would not hesitate in buying the Kodabow over the Excalibur !
After all, what's a mere extra $150.00 when you can have the finest recurve crossbow ever made over a lifetime of hunting pleasure ?
No, I don't own a Kodabow...yet. :)


several months back, my son thought the same thing about the kodabow....so he got one.
and he also has the 165 scorpyd.

proud to say, both of them are 2nd and 3rd grab to my vintage excalibur exomax i gave him when i got my 2011 vortex. he uses the others for 3d and target.
the exomax for bringing home the meat !!!
kodabow failed shortly after he got it. the scorpyd had limb problems.
both have been repaired and are still functioning.

exomax has used a few strings in its lifetime since 1994. and has never failed.

we have several +bows compound and recurve. they all were learning stages until we found
what we really wanted.

excalibur rules in this part of tha woods :crazysmile:

#20 xbowholic

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 01:35 PM

If you hunt as much as I do, you are going to damage a string in some way; I have and it's been while I was hunting; in less than a minute, I was back in the business of hunting with my excalibur; can you do that with ANY compound crossbow?

Excalibur IMO, cannot be beat.