What are the Parts of a Bow and Arrow?

What are the Parts of a Bow and Arrow
What are the Parts of a Bow and Arrow

Like most sports, archery involves equipment and accessories. After all, you cannot be an archer without a bow and arrows.

In order to become an excellent archer, it is essential to learn about the equipment, including the parts that make a bow and arrow. By knowing these parts and terms, you will be able to communicate with other archers more effectively.

Here is a useful guide to help you become a better archer by getting to know the parts of a bow and arrow.

Table of Contents

Parts of a Bow

The power of an archer comes from the bow, and you have two classifications you can choose from: recurve and compound bow.

Nearly all beginners will start with a recurve bow, which is the easiest on which to learn, and here are its parts.

1. The Riser

It is the handle of the bow. It is the center piece that an archer holds whenever they shoot. Risers can be made of a composite or wood that has three main features: the grip, sight window and arrow rest.

  1.  Grips

    Evident from what it is called, it is the curved portion of the riser which your hand grips.

    Grips can vary for each bow when it comes to its shape and size. The more ergonomic it feels, the better you will be able to hold the bow, so it is essential to grasp and feel the grip before sticking to that bow.

  2. Sight window

    The sight window is the section above the grip where you will be looking through when aiming your bow.

    It is common for bows to have one sight window, but some bows have a sight window on both sides of the riser, which is beneficial for the left-handed.

  3. Arrow rest

    The arrow rest is the platform within the sight window where the arrow sits on. It allows the arrow to suspend in the riser and freely clear the bow when fired.

    Arrow rests can be made as part of the riser or a separate piece that can be attached.

2. Limbs

The limbs are connected to the riser and it forms the iconic shape of a bow. Each bow is composed of an upper and lower limb that are not interchangeable and must be attached to the proper end of the riser to function properly.

There are several kinds of limbs depending on the material it is made up of, such as wood, composites and metal. Most limbs are laminated with fiberglass to protect it from breakage due to extreme tension.

3. String Nock

The string nook is a groove that is located at the tip of each limb where the string is attached to the bow.

It is cut in a way to allow each end of the bowstring to loop around and attach to the bow. The nocking point needs to stay in place so that you can aim and shoot consistently.

4. String

The string is the part that gives your arrow its shooting power. It attaches to each end of the limbs by a small loop and can be made of various materials. The two major parts of a string are the center serving and the nocking point.

  1. Center serving

    The center serving is usually a type of thread wrapped around the middle point of a bowstring. This wrapping allows for increased durability in the area where the arrow is nocked.

  2. Nocking point

    The nocking point is a spot on the string that indicates where the arrow should be nocked. It’s generally made of brass or similar materials and crimped onto the string.

To keep bowstrings in good condition, silicone based wax is rubbed. Check out how to clean your bow properly in our previous article.

Parts of an Arrow

Now that you know your bow from end to end, let’s familiarize with the parts of an arrow.

1. Point

The point is the end part of an arrow that comes in contact with a target. There are three types of points: the bullet/field point, the blunt point and the broadhead.

  1. Bullet/field point

    The bullet/field points are used frequently for practicing archery at a range. They are basically a pointed tip that you can screw onto the end of arrow shafts.

  2. Blunt point

    The blunt point is a detachable point made up of blunt-shaped metal. This type of point is generally used in hunting small animals such as rabbits and squirrels.

  3. Broadhead point

    The broadhead point is what cartoons and drawing depict of an arrow:a pointed tip with wings. It is made up of extremely sharp tips and is often used to hunt large animals such as a deer.

2. Shaft

The shaft is the backbone of the arrow. It is long, cylindrical and has a point for all of the other parts to attach to. Arrow shafts can be made up of wood, aluminum or carbon.

3. Fletching

The three feathers or feather-like pieces that are attached at the sides of the arrow are called fletching. Fletching is attached at the other side of the point and must be attached in a certain way to allow for optimal arrow flight.

The differently colored fletch is known as the indicating fletch. This should point outward when the arrow is properly nocked.

4. Nock

The nock is the v-shaped groove that is attached to the end of the arrow. It is next to where the fletching is attached. The nock is typically made of plastic that can be easily removed for repairs.


By understanding the parts of your bow and arrow, you will master archery in no time.

Now that you know the basic information about your archery equipment, you’re all set to become a better archer and kill it on the range!

Leave a Reply