Best Survival Bow – Recurve & Tactical

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The bow is an undervalued survival tool that has the capacity to give you more than you think. When looking for a new survival bow, it can be tough to find one that is well priced and still has the features you need. Luckily, this product review will help you learn about the best bows on the market.

To help you in making a smart purchase we’ve compiled this list of our favorite products from around the web which should give you some choice based on what type suits your particular needs – whether it’s defending against wild animals or surviving in rugged harsh weather conditions.

This article will tell you what to look for when buying a new survival recurve bow. It also includes reviews of seven different models that have different specs. 

Best Survival Recurve Takedown Bow for living in the wild

With a well-crafted recurve bow you will feel like some sort of medieval archer. A survival bow is another name for a tactical bow and is just another fancy name people have been throwing around. As far as bows go the major difference would be between a traditional bow, recurve bow, and a compound bow. The difference between a traditional bow and a recurve bow in that the latter is shaped more like the number 3 whereas a traditional bow is more like a traditional longbow from the days of yore.

Compound bows generally give you more power, accuracy, and range, whereas a recurve bow is for closer range though usually requires greater strength as it doesn’t have the extra wheels and pulley that generally distinguishes a compound bow. 

A recurve bow is a typical type of sportsman bow designed for sport or hunting game whether that’s a rabbit or bigger game. Though you would likely have to be a good shot to take down a deer with one of these.

For survival purposes a bow can be used for emergency scenarios as they are light then can be taken with you in case you need to flee into the woods. And unlike a gun you can reuse the arrows so you won’t run out of ammo. Unless you lose the arrows of course.

There has actually been a silent re-emergence of sportsman archery as of late together with an increase in hunters using bows for more sport in game hunting.

With all that preamble let’s get into the best survival bows that we have found out there.

Best Survival Bow List


  1. Samick Sage Takedown Recurve BowOverall Pick
  2. Spectre II Compact Takedown Survival BowBest Begginer Friendly Survival Bow
  3. SAS Sage Takedown Recurve Bow KitBest Full Bow Kit
  4. SAS Tactical Survival BowBest Premium Survival Bow
  5. Toparchery Archery Takedown Recurve BowBest Budget Survival Option
  6. SinoArt Folding BowEasiest to Breakdown
  7. Southland Archery Supply Sage Junior BowBest For Kids

1. Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow

Overall Pick

Dimensions: 24.6″L* 7.6″ W * 2.4″ H

Weight: 1.32kg

Material: Fiberglass, Metal, and Maple.

Pros: Supports other accessories, Highly durable, Ergonomic design.

Cons: The limb does not fit tightly to the raiser.

Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow …

The Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow is a great bow for hunting and target practice. The length comes in at 62” with a draw strength of 28”. The limbs are made from Maple wood with fiberglass lamination, giving it a lightweight that you can easily carry around without tiring yourself out. 

The Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow is a great bow for beginners. It’s easy to assemble, adjust and use.

Samick Company started in 1975 boasts of being one of the primary companies that furnished Olypian archers back in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

The Bow can be used by both left-handed and right-handed archer and with a draw weight of 25 lbs – 60 lbs so it has many different sizes depending on what you’re looking for.


2. Spectre II Compact TakeDown Survival Bow

Best Beginner Friendly Survival Bow

Dimensions: 23inches case & 50in when assembled

Weight: 2.0 Pounds

Material: Composite, carbon

Pros: Made in USA, Great for beginners, Has different weight variations, Compact.

Cons: Limited Warranty.

Spectre II Compact Take-Down Survival Bow and Arrow

The Spectre II Compact Take-Down Survival Bow is one of the most well-known survival bow manufacturers in the world, so it’s no surprise that this bow is a popular choice for survivalists and hunters as it is a takedown bow, is light, compact and comes in three parts so it is easily portable.

The bow comes with your choice of four different draws in 25, 35, 45, or 55# as well 3x 30 in arrows and a quiver.

The 25 pound draw is great for beginners or for more recreational usage. If you are going game hunting you likely do not want to go below the 45 pound version. The price point on this bow makes it a huge draw for budget-conscious bowman as it is one of the cheaper products on the list.


3. SAS Sage Takedown Recurve Bow Kit

Best Full Bow Kit

Dimensions: 27.52″L * 11.69″W * 2.99″H

Weight: 1.91 Kilograms.

Material: TFusion wood & fiberglass

Pros: Limb technology improves draw strength and firing power, Riser is ergonomically designed, Full package setup.

Cons: More expensive.

Southland Archery Supply SAS Sage Take Down Recurve Bow Combo Package Kit with Case, Armguard, Stringer, Arrow Rest and Paper Target

The SAS Sage Takedown Recurve Bow comes with a case, armguard, stringer, arrow rest, and paper target material. The limbs are made from hard maple, which results in high firing potential and quick response.

The maple’s strength is drawn from its fusion with black fiberglass to form the limb. This bow’s draw length ranges from 20″ to 29″ and draw strength is 45lbs, but you will have to purchase a separate limb to increase or decrease the draw strength.

SAS Sage Takedown Recurve Bow is a solid survival bow as a take-down model that can be disassembled into two separate pieces, making it easier to carry around without sacrificing any accuracy or power.

It comes with everything you need in order to get you fired up!


4. SAS Tactical Survival Bow

Best Premium Survival Bow

Dimensions: 60″ Length, 31″ Width

Weight: 1.55 Pounds

Material: This bow is made from Steel for strength and rigidity.

Pros: Very affordable and durable, Modern Feel, Easily collapseable, Light.

Cons: Can be tricky to string.

SAS Tactical Survival Bow

The SAS Tactical Survival Bow is the world’s most compact, most powerful tactical survival bow. The bow employs a novel compact folding system design which allows for a quick conversion from folded storage mode to a weapons-ready state. With arrow speeds topping 210fps for our 55 pound bows this is the perfect silent weapon for both tactical and hunting.

Available in various draw weights, weighing in at only 2.2lbs (1kg) and measuring just 21″ (537mm) when in storage mode this patent-pending bow uses Aerospace tech in its design.

The SAS Tactical Survival Bow is a modern take-down bow, which can be used for hunting and survival situations. 

It is a high-performance bow that delivers an arrow speed of up to 200 ft/s for 50 pound version and up to 210 ft/s for 55 pound version. The bow is made of fiberglass and it has a length of 60 inches (strung), 21 inches (inches folded/stored). The maximum draw length of the bow is 31 inches. It weighs 1kg (2.2 pounds) when strung and it comes with two  takedown arrows


5. Toparchery Archery Takedown Recurve Bow

Best Budget Survival Option

Dimensions: 25.39″L * 6.18″W * 2.6″H.

Weight: 1.5kg.

Material: Mix of fibreglass, Aluminium, Carbon, Maple.

Pros: Tough strength aluminum riser, Limbs can be easily removed for storage, Has a quick response that enables reflex shooting.

Cons: Only meant for right-handed archers, Can take a bit long to assemble.

TOPARCHERY Archery 56

This Toparchery Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow has a bow is made of high-strength casting aluminum and fiberglass.

It is suitable for both hunting, sport, or target shooting. The riser is designed to be highly rigid and stable while providing the best vibration absorption possible. 

The limbs are made of maple wood with fiberglass lamination on the backside as well as all stress points. This not only makes them very strong but also very lightweight compared to other bows in this price range.

This bow has 56” x 17” x 53” x 30” (bow length x riser length x limb length x max draw depth). There are many different sizes ranging from 18 – 50 pounds.

The riser is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum and the limbs are made from graphite fiberglass with a maple core so you won’t have to worry about degradation in strength or quality over time because they’re very durable. 

The draw weight ranges from 10 – 40 pounds, which is easy to adjust for anyone no matter what their skill level! Whether you’re just starting out or need a new hunting bow after years of use, this one’s perfect.


6. SinoArt Folding Bow

Easiest to Breakdown

Dimensions: Height 54 inches & 23 inches when folded.

Weight: 2 pounds

Material: Resin, aluminum, fiberglass

Pros: Easily foldable.

Cons: Doesn’t come with arrows or quiver

SinoArt folding Bow is the second to last one that made it on our list. The bow is made of aluminum alloy and resin fiber. The limbs are made of improved fiberglass sheet and has a comfortable ergonomic design.

The SinoArt can be folded and easily carried. It also comes with a choice of 35lbs or 55lbs. To be fair this seems to be a copy of the wildly popular Folding Survival Bow by Primal Gear, (FYI: Primal Gear is not shipping or fulfilling any product orders at the moment so be careful if you do order something there are rumors going around online) so, in that case, this is a good alternative that comes in at the same price range.


7. Southland Archery Supply Sage Junior Takedown Bow

Best For Kids

Dimensions: 25″ Length, 8″ Width, and 2.25″ Height.

Weight: 1.02kg

Material: Oak w black fiberglass

Pros: Two years guarantee warranty, High-quality entry-level bow for all survivalists.

Cons: Doesn’t include a bow stringer.

Southland Archery Supply Sage Junior 58

The Sage Junior is a 58″ takedown recurve bow for kids that offers an upgrade of the Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow. This bow features a hard maple riser, complemented with black fiberglass. The limbs are further strengthened with phenolic limb tips for more-than-average delivery, which you can choose from 14 to 20 pounds draw weight.

With a pre-installed Brass Plunger, Stabilizer, Sight, Quiver and Riser made of natural White Oak Dymondwood and Maple Wood a child can grow with the bow as he or she finally tops out at their maximum draw length which is only 28 inches long. 


Buyer’s Guide – Features To Watch Out For In A Survival Bow

There are a few things that you can look out for when you are trying to find a survival bow.

What Is A Survival Bow?

The difference between a survival bow and a let’s say a traditional longbow is that survival bows are smaller, lighter and can usually can be broken down and taken with you so are more moveable and easier to throw in a bag. All of which is kind of essential if you are getting a to be used in a survival setting.

You are going to want something that can be packed, and broken down easily if you are looking to take it with you. Not everyone is looking for mobility, and in that case, a regular recurve bow would work. In comparison, a traditional longbow or compound bow can not be broken down taken with you.

There are a few other terms you will likely see when you starting looking around for survival bows. And they are tactical bow and takedown bow.

A Takedown bow is in reference to the fact that you can “take down” or dismantle the bow into separate individual pieces and then reassemble when it’s needed. Often dismantling requires nothing more than de-stringing the bow and folding the limbs down. The only trick for beginners would be being able to correctly string a bow, as you do not want to do that one wrong as you likely will break it.

A tactical bow as a term isn’t used as much, as there really isn’t much of military usage for bows these days, though it is often used when speaking about compound bows, or crossbows which are generally more powerful than a survival bow and have a more military or self-defense application.

Advantages Of A Survival Bow

Survival bows have several benefits that make them perfect for a survival situation. These benefits include:

Small

A) They are small enough to be packed and carried easily in an emergency bag, or even thrown over your back so you can carry it with ease if necessary  

Silent

B) They do not make any noise when shooting so you can act in stealth mode when you are hunting or using it for self-defense reasons.

Affordable

C) They are more affordable than guns as generally, you can get a bow for 100-200 dollars

Safe

D) Bows are not as dangerous as guns do not have the tendency to misfire


Factors To Consider When Picking A Survival Bow

Length & Size

The bow length and size matters when trying to figure out what type of bow to purchase.

Draw length

The draw length is the distance from the pivot point (handle) to the nock groove (fingers with drawn arrow). Draw length is most important for compound bows as that will determine the most efficient point in which to draw back the arrow. However, in recurve bows, it is a little bit different and doesn’t matter in the same way-though it still matters.

If you have a long draw length, then you would need to get a longer bow so that it is more comfortable to use. This usually means the taller you are (and the longer your wingspan), the longer your draw will be.

To measure your draw length, you can take your wingspan (distance from the tips of your fingers to the other) and divide it by 2.5. Most women and children are going to have shorter draw lengths which means they would have shorter bows.

Draw Weight

Draw weight is the force needed to pull back the string of the bow and is measured in pounds. The farther the bowstring is pulled back the heavier the draw weight will be.

Draw weight measurements are taken with a standard 28 inches for draw length and are demarcated as 35# for 28″. So if you have a 35 pound recurve bow, its draw weight will be 35 pounds when it is drawn back at 28inches. So if you pulled back the string less than 28inches you will notice that the draw weight will be less. Conversely, if you pulled that bowstring all the way back as far as you could you would notice the tension increasing which means there is heavier draw weight.

Most compound bows have a draw weight of 80 pounds (which makes them very powerful) whereas typical recurve bows have draw weights anywhere from 25-65 pounds.

Protip: The biggest difference between a recurve and a compound bow is that of weight measurement. In recurve bows, the weight changes the more it is drawn, whereas a compound bow the weight stays the same no matter how far back the bow is pulled.

Portability

Getting a survival bow that is portable is important for emergency and survival scenarios as it’s much more difficult to lug around a bow if can not take it down. Bows that fold up or have removable limbs take up less space when traveling, which makes them easier to put them in an INCH bag (or bug-out bag) when hiking, camping or bugging out.

Thankfully most survival bows are inherently takedown bows which means that they are both lightweight, collapsable and portable. Most other types of bows, most notably, crossbows or compound bows are several times heavier than your typical survival bow. As most bows on our list come in at around 2 pounds, typical crossbows and compound bows typically range from 3 pounds and all the way up to 6 pounds.

Durability

You likely want a bow that is durable. No surprises there; but even more so if you are looking for a survival bow. Since you are likely going to use survival gear in unpredictable environments and terrain, you are going to want something that can withstand some abuse. Somewhat that is rugged and can withstand some shock without it falling apart.

Durability is something that is more often found with survival bows, as manufactures are making them specifically for emergency situations. Also, durability often goes hand in hand with how well it is made, you can expect the more expensive models to be given more care and attention to detail.

Unfortunately, the more expensive things are the better they are made. No big surprises there. You don’t want your bow to break in the midst of an emergency or in any type of fight or die situation so in this case its better to buy something just a bit more expensive to insure it will last.

Right vs Left Handed

Survival bows and recurve bows in general are usually designed for either a right or left-handed person. Most typically if it is not stated, you can be assured that it is right-handed. However, if you are left-handed fear not, as most bows have left-handed variations, you just need to be on the lookout.

Ease Of Assembly

A typical survival bow is collapsible and comes with a carrying case, though not all by any means. These are good if you want to bring your bow along on any outdoor outing whether it’s a pack trip or backcountry hunting. They may take some time to get used to when you are putting them together for the first time, but after some practice, you should be able to get a bow strung in a few minutes flat. Just be sure you string it right!

Building Your Own Survival Bow

If you have the time and the desire to try and make a bow survival bow yourself, this is a good step-by-step instructional video. Albeit, while he is making a survival bow, it is a more traditional longbow, but because he is teaching how to make it in the wild it is, actually a “real” survival bow.

Survival Bows FAQ

Is a bow a good survival weapon?

A bow and arrow have been around for over 10,000 years and were once a formidable weapon used in combat and self-defense. It still can be used as a survival weapon because unlike a gun you can reuse the arrows, it is less dangerous to handle, it does not rust, it is silent, and out in the wilderness when exposed to the elements it will still function without any problems.

How much does a good bow cost?

A bow cost can range drastically, like most outdoor items, but usually ranges from 100-300 dollars which usually includes a bow kit together with some arrows a quiver, and often a rash guard. Though you may have to buy the extra kit separately.

How dangerous is a bow and arrow?

Bows and arrows are very safe. In fact, a study by the National Safety Council’s statistics shows that only 1 out of 2000 individuals are injured by a bow and arrow whereas in golf 1 out of every 625 are injured.

Is a compound bow more powerful than a recurve?

A compound bow is more powerful than a recurve bow as its draw weight is set which allows for the bow to be pulled back much more easily and allows for greater efficiency and accuracy in comparison with a recurve bow.


Takeaway

A bow is a very different type of gear that often takes a bit of practice to get the hang of. Like most things you are going to want to test it out before you take it out into the wild, especially before things SHTF. You may not want a bow as your only piece of survival gear, but it definitely is a great addition.

References

https://www.wikihow.com/Measure-Draw-Length-for-a-Bow

http://www.learn-archery.com/archery-terms.html

https://www.wikihow.com/Measure-Draw-Length-for-a-Bow

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Bram Johnson
Hi, My Name is Bram, the Editor of Survival Artist. Here you will find all things Wilderness, Survival, & Primitive Living. I grew up in the backcountry and got hooked on the simple chop wood carry water lifestyle. If you know anything about me then you know you can find me either running up mountain trails or sipping coffee over a book of philosophy.