You do not have to be a professional bowman to be interested in a survival bow. A survival bow can also be of interest to you if you are a survivalist or a prepper (preparing for the doomsday scenarios associated with wars, apocalypse, terrorist attacks or insurgencies).
A takedown bow, compact bow or a folding bow are all good choices if you are looking to enhance or compliment your existing survival skills/plan.
Moreover, you can also have a survival bow in addition to (or as a backup for) handguns. This gives you an additional sense of comfort and security, in case you run out of bullets or need multiple people to tackle the situation.
For those who are taking up archery as a professional sport or just for fun, you would want a survival bow that is ‘user-friendly’. This still doesn’t guarantee that you will instantly develop the skills to use a bow; you will need a lot of practice and guidance with the best survival bow available to suit your needs and skill level.
No matter what is your intended use of a survival bow, we have prepared this guide to, first and foremost, educate you about this equipment and secondly to assist you with your research on the best one out there in the market.
If you enjoy shooting and want to get your hands on the best ones available in the market to suit your desired activity, then continue reading.
5 Best Survival Bows
Here are the best 5 survival bows that we have shortlisted for your review with key features and description to simplify your decision making:
SAS Tactical Survival Bow
SAS Tactical Survival Bow is one of the best modern longbows. It has a maximum draw length of 31 inches. Its strung bow weighs around 2.2 pounds (1 kg) and has a bow length of 60 inches (strung) and 21 inches (folded/ stored). It has an amazing arrow speed of up to 200 feet/second for a 50-pound version and up to 210 feet/second for a 55-pound version.
Spectre II Compact Take-Down Survival Bow and Arrow
This compact takedown bow is made in the USA and is classified as a string bow that works by bending limbs away from the riser. It is available in draw lengths of 24-27 inches (estimated) to suit your style and comfort and also comes with 3-30 inch arrows. You can order this online as well by USPS Priority Mail Delivery. It is priced very reasonably at $89.95.
Tange of Draw weights (lbs): 35, 45, 55
Tongtu Multicolor Recurve Bow and Straight Bow
This recurve bow comes in the multi-color design and is a perfect fit for teens or beginners. It has sturdy plastic handles and bows are made out of fiberglass. At the same time, they are durable and lightweight. The bow has a rubber grip handle that doesn’t slip and is comfortable to hold. This product is available in 30 and 40 pounds, in black and blue (as recurve bows) and orange and red (as straight bows).
It has a detachable design which makes it portable and can be carried with you for all outdoor travel. This bow is priced at $39.99.
- Draw weight: 30/40pounds
- Bow Length 53.5″
Huntingdoor 56″ Takedown Recurve Bow and Arrow Set
This takedown bow has a high strength casting aluminum riser and makes for a piece of excellent hunting equipment. It has a total survival bow length of 56 inches, bow riser length of 17 inches, bow limb length of 53 inches and maximum draw length of 30 inches.
It has an amazing design which makes it ideal for carrying outdoors or shipping or storing at home. It is a great choice for teenagers and beginners, given comfort, stability, and lightweight.
The bow kit includes: 1 takedown recurve bow, 1 bow stringer, 1 bowstring, 1 string silencer, 1 finger glove, and 1 arm guard. We recommend using aluminum 30inch Arrows for beginners and teenagers and carbon arrows for real hunting. This survival bow is priced in the range of $79.99-89.99.
Total bow length: 56″
Southwest Archery Ghost Takedown Longbow
This takes down longbow is designed by developers and engineers of original Samick Sage. This is what we call super quality at a reasonable price range of $169.00-174.00 (including 1-year manufacturers’ warranty if purchased online).
It is made out of natural wood and is compact, accurate and lightweight. It is available in both left and right-hand options with draw weights of 20lb – 50lb 5lb increments. It also has pre-installed threaded bushings and allows for upgrades such as mechanical rests/plungers sights quivers and bow fishing reels.
It also has one handcrafted riser, a pair of limbs, 1 Dacron string (14 strands), 1 arrow shelf rug rest and a detailed and easy to understand step-by-step guide with photo illustrations.
This survival bow is perfect for deer hunting, bow fishing or even target practice.
Survival Bow Types
The best bow for your use is directly related to the level of expertise you have in using it.
No matter which type of bow you opt for, it is imperative to understand that practicing and harnessing your skills with it will go a long way in helping you in a crisis or if you are a hunter, then out in the wilderness when you are looking for your next meal.
The two key types of survival bow are recurving and the folding survival bow (alternatively called a collapsible bow). Let us get to know more about them.
The recurve bow, as the name suggests, has a curvy element to it. It is shaped as a letter ‘D’ with its tips curved and pointing away from the shooter. These survival bows generate more power and are much smaller in size than the renowned and widely used longbow.
Recurve bows are low maintenance and can be easily repaired; thanks to its replaceable limbs and simple design. They are lightweight and much sturdier than a longbow. Having said that, its draw can be much harder but then it provides more power as mentioned earlier. The production of this power leads to more noise that you wouldn’t normally get from a longbow. A recurve is relatively inexpensive to buy but its maintenance can be expensive.
One of its best features, as a survival tool, is that it is portable and can be easily carried given its lightweight. Hence, most of the recurve bows can also be classified as takedown bows. The reason for that is they can be easily put together or disassembled as and when required and stored with your luggage, storage or as part of your survival kit.
A lot of people who are new to archery or the equipment, in general, would like to start with a longbow or a recurve bow. This helps them build up their confidence and skills and once they are experienced enough they can then move on to something more sophisticated if need be.
If you are aiming your targets perfectly with you bow and without adding any sights, then these are good signs that your learning curve is shaping well.
A folding bow, or a collapsible bow as some would like to call it, has to be assembled with two limbs and a riser to make it work. Folding bows are known to be compact which translates into easy storage. It is also portable once you disassemble it and then it can be part of your survival kit too when you are on the move.
Folding bows are known to be the best survival bows as they allow you the flexibility to change bow configurations by simply resetting their limbs. These bows are very commonly opted by preppers and survivalists.
A folding bow is commonly manufactured with fiberglass limbs which can collapse as bow’s riser (which are usually made out of aluminum). This is the feature that makes this survival bow compact and ready to be placed in a backpack.
It generates sufficient power to double up either as a hunting weapon or a self-defense tool. It is available in variable limbs that can be altered to suit your style and use (i.e. whether you are left-handed or right-handed).
The assembly is super easy and can be easily down by you by simply following the instructions that come with it. Essentially, its limbs can fold and unfold into the riser and then locked into its grooves with the help of twist knobs and strings can be seated with not much effort.
A lot of people consider folding bows as alternatives or back up to their primary weapon (such as guns).
Folding bows utility, design, functionality, durability, and compactness are unmatched and are an automatic choice for avid archers, survivalists and preppers and perfect for use either in the wild or in an urban setting.
Eventually, the decision is yours. You need to factor in all the aspects and functionalities of your best bow. What we have mentioned above are meant to assist you in your decision making.
Survival Bow Features
After we run through our recommendations on some of the best survival bows available in the market, you need to appreciate that every product will have its positives and negatives. If a particular bow is easy to use, it is not a given that it may be easy to assemble it as well. What you need to think about is where is the trade-off or compromise on your part, i.e. a limitation or weakness in the product that you are willing to overlook, as it satisfies all other requirements that are primarily important to you.
A survival bow, like any other equipment, requires a certain level of maintenance with the passage of time and use. You would be well advised to pick something that is easy to repair and doesn’t break your bank. Also, do keep in mind that maintenance is something that you cannot overlook as the last thing you need is your bow to break down in the middle of a survival situation.
Ease of use is also a common feature that is factored in by purchasers and is completely a personal preference. Generally, shooters prefer bows which are easy to draw and aim. A harder draw will extract more energy out of you and would require a sharper focus.
The harder it is to draw the bow, the less accurate your aim may be. Also, keep an eye out for a survival bow that allows you to shoot at long distances, which is a massive advantage as you will appreciate. The closer you get to your ‘target’ the higher the chances that you will lose it or worse, expose yourself to danger.
In addition to the above, some of the most important features of a survival bow are as discussed below.
Bows come in all shapes and sizes and it is entirely personal preference as there is no ‘perfect size’. Having said that, finding the right length may turn out to be a perplexing task, given the options available. So the general rule of thumb is to try a bow that is, at a minimum, twice the length of your draw.
In terms of modern styles, most of the trendy long survival bows come in the range of 7-9 inches length (usually the distance between a riser’s deepest part and loose positioned string), depending on the recurves and the aesthetical design of the bow. Moreover, the height of the brace also plays a huge part in the release of the bow and speed of the arrow.
For someone new to the game (or even in case of experienced archers), it is common sense to pick something lightweight and manageable. This will assist you in your day to day practice and gain confidence over time. Moreover, a heavier bow tends to shoot flatter as compared to a lighter bow. You are looking at an ideal bow weight of about 3 pounds or around that figure.
Any archer or survivalist will tell you the importance of portability when searching for the best bow in town. In a survival mode, you would want easy access to your bow at all times and to be able to drag it around, based on the demand of the situation.
If your bow is easy to carry then it makes your life much easier in terms of navigating places and planning your next move.
A lot of professionals and survivalists would opt for a survival bow that is lightweight and compact. Amongst other reasons, one of them would be the ease with which they would be able to carry it around.
Durability is a standard feature that every shooter would want in their bow. Nobody wants a piece of flimsy or poor quality equipment, particularly when it is a purchase for a doomsday scenario or as part of a survival kit. During these tough situations, your last worry should be the quality or sturdiness of your survival bow.
We want it to be durable so that we can rely on it, either as a primary weapon/tool or as back-up equipment.
Durability also has a lot to do with the quality of the product you are buying and whether there is value for your money. These bows can range from a reasonable price to something quite expensive and in either case, you would want to ensure that whatever product you choose will last you for a very long time.
Left or Right Handedness
When you are physically inspecting your bow, always try to spot whether it is right-handed or left-handed. What this means is a right-handed bow would be drawn by a right hand (the presumption being right arm is your strong one) and your left hand will be used to hold the bow and vice versa for a left-handed bow. It is best to confirm from an expert or a salesperson at an archery store or online whenever you are in doubt. In a lot of places, they even let you rent their bows so that you can try them out to see if it is a perfect fit. Even better, these places also offer archery or shooting lessons which are fantastic if you are a beginner or simply looking to refresh your shooting skills.
Along with your dominant arm, you will also need to ascertain your dominant eye. A dominant eye is understood to be your most accurate eye. Do not presume that if you are right-handed then your right eye would be your dominant eye. Again, consult the experts and always try the product a few times before you set your heart on it.
Benefits of Survival Bows
As the name suggests, survival bows are meant for survival scenarios. They may not be the most aesthetically pleasing equipment that you buy but their utility and functionality can come in real handy when the going gets tough.
As mentioned elsewhere in this guide, they are very portable given their weight and dimensions. However, compound bows and traditional longbows may be slightly awkward and difficult to carry (particularly when you are on camping and already have heaps to pack).
A survivalist or prepper who is contemplating its survival in a place away from home (and probably in the bush) would certainly consider buying a bow as one of the key items for survival.
A lot of people draw comparisons between survival bows and guns which is slightly unfair as they are ‘horses for courses’. Moreover, you may run out of bullets/ammunition but a bow can be your long-lasting survival tool. Arrows are the only items that would need to be ‘created’ and options are endless when you have river cane, willow or trees in times of distress or hunt for example.
Survival bows are fairly quiet whilst you used them and this doesn’t create panic and helps you with your ‘hunt’ more effectively.
Who Should Consider Owning a Survival Bow?
Survival bows are usually bought by hunters (for pleasure or finding food when out in the wilderness) or preppers (who are busy in strategizing and contemplating an emergency or unforeseen situation). Some people may also like to buy and use it as a hobby, or for a game competition or simply for fun.
Why Not Buy a Real Bow?
With the advent of time and advancement in technology, a bow, like any other equipment used during Stone Ages, has evolved drastically. A real bow would be relatively heavy to hold, not as accurate as of its latest counterparts and less durable and compact as a collapsible one available in the market.
Why Survival Bows are Better than Pistols or Guns?
It all depends on usage. If it is meant for purposes which are purely recreational or hunting in the wild, then bows are better than guns for some of the following reasons:
- No use of gun powder.
- Cheaper in value.
- Quieter in use.
- No license required.
- No threat of contaminating the meat of the target (when used for hunting).
Survival bows are simple equipment. Even its arrows are simple to make and use. As we noticed, bows have evolved in design and functionality. They have proven their utility right from the Stone Age period to our present times. Let the hunt begin!