Nocking Point


The Basics of the Compound Bow

In order to understand the process for shooting the compound bow, it's important to understand the bow's basic parts and their functions. While most of the bow's parts are obviously named, we'll go over the parts discussed on the Six Steps pages.

We'll start with the basics. The string of the bow is called, oddly enough, the string. The arrow is called the arrow, the handle the handle.

It gets a little bit harder. The part of the string where the arrow clips in is called the nocking point, the back end of the arrow the nock. The front of the arrow sits on the rest. In front of the rest is the forward sight, containing a series of colored pins used for aiming. Those pins are aligned through a plastic ring on the string called the peep sight.

Peep Sight

The feathers (or, if they are plastic, vanes) on the arrow, collectively, are called the fletching. The one off-colored feather, which should always be aligned up, is called the cock feather.

Confused? You'll find it's not that bad. While there are a lot of parts on the compound bow (parts we haven't even discussed), there aren't that many parts involved in the operation of the bow.

The main parts involved in shooting the compound bow are the nocking point, the peep sight, the arrow rest and the forward sight, all pictured in the photographs at right. Knowing these parts will allow you to follow along with the process on the Six Steps pages.

With a little bit of common sense, the parts of the bow are easy to figure out. Before you know it you'll be bantering to your friends about nocks, vanes, and cock feathers. When you head into an archery shop, you'll find a little bit of conversational knowledge goes a long way in the respect you'll get and your ability to communicate.

Forward Sight/Rest

Now that you've got an idea of what you have in front of you, you're ready to start working with the bow. You can learn about stabilizers, buss cables and string silencers until your head explodes, but there's no reason to if you just want to get shooting.

If you haven't checked out the draw length/ weight and safety pages. Once you know the parts, the next step is finding a bow that fits you and learning to use it safely.