One thing that has struck me since taking up archery is the number of different classes of bow and terms used to describe them and shooting in general. All this can prove very confusing to the newbie archer and even the more experienced one at times. So I thought I would put a page together to cover some of the terms, classes etc. So here goes, I’ll keep adding to this as I go.
Shooting classes (NFAS only)
First thing I’m going to cover some of the different bow classes in the NFAS (National Field Archery Society) Much of this information is taken from the NFAS shooting rules, a full copy of which can be found on the NFAS website. Please note this is only a brief summary and doesn’t cover the full description and regulations for the different classes.
- American Flatbow, wooden arrows, feather fletchings, one piece, no sights. Crucial part is “braced limbs curve in one direction only from the handle riser to the string nock”
- Bare Bow – recurve bow, without sights, shot with alley or carbon arrows
- Bowhunter – compound bow shot off the fingers without a sight
- Crossbow – any crossbow that is not a compound crossbow
- Compound Limited – compound bow shot off the fingers with a pin sight
- Freestyle – recurve bow, no release aid but otherwise no limitation I can recall.
- Hunting Tackle – recurve bow, without sights, shot with wooden arrows, feather fletchings
- Longbow – without sights, shot with wooden arrows, feather fletchings
- Primitive – “a bow made using natural materials only“, without sights, shot with wooden arrows, feather fletchings
- Traditional Bowhunter – bow shot off the shelf or hand (Not compound), with carbon arrows, no sights
- Unlimited – compound bow can use release aid no limitation I can recall.
I normally shoot either American Flatbow (AFB) or Hunting Tackle (HT)
Examples of different bows
Sharon Shooting off the tree stump at 3d
Andy and the now stolen bow
Some of the above classes make use or release aids others have to be shot with 3 fingers under or using the‘Mediterranean loose’ also sometimes called split finger.
A Mediterranean loose, requires the archer to have one finger above the arrow when nocked and 2 fingers below (middle and ring finger).