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Best Compound Bow Under 500 Dollars: Top 7 Models Reviewed

Getting a compound bow is now more confusing than ever because every manufacturer has its own flagship. Nowadays, manufacturers don’t hold back on quality when making bows.

You can easily get trustworthy, good-quality products in the market that match your preferences. But the real problem is the budget. Getting a good higher priced model is easy, but finding good affordable compound bows requires a good amount of knowledge, experience, and testing.

Sounds stressful, right? Don’t worry because we have taken that hassle for you and did intense research to find out the best compound bow under 500 currently available in the market.

We have double-checked numerous reviews, specs, and videos across the web for a large number of products and finally prepared this list of 7 compound bows under $500.

While making this list, We tried to focus on maneuverability, durability as well as looks of the bows.

We also carefully inspected various specs like draw length, draw weight, let off, etc., and tried to maintain diversity in the list. Let's check them out:

Are you too busy to read the whole thing? Don’t worry. Read these short reviews of each bow and find out why they are best at what they do.

"It’s a bigger, heavier bow and strikes with exceptional ferociousness. It has everything you’re looking for in a compound bow at tough times. This bow packs power, range, and accuracy at such a price, making it an incredible product for the money."

"In hunting or sports, this bow has full utility in both sectors. Its compact and lightweight build makes it highly deft and maneuverable. Operating this bow on a stand, blind, or in any tight space won’t be any hassle at all."

"Archers worldwide absolutely adore this bow because of how lightweight, accurate, yet powerful it is. This bow is perfectly suitable for serious hunting and lets you operate as fast as your reflex allows. Its huge range of adjustable draw length and weight gives you find just the right setting you need."

"Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, a hunter or an athlete, this compound bow can become your comfort weapon in no time. You can get right into business just after buying this, as it comes pre-assembled with necessary accessories."

5. Best for Traveler: SAS Feud Archery Compound Bow

"Looking for the right bow set for your next hunting trip? Well, this bow from SAS Archery can be your perfect travel hunting companion as it’s super convenient to carry around. It also comes with various must-have quality accessories for less than $500."

"For fishing, you’ll need your bow to be fast, smooth, as well as accurate. This lightweight fishing bow comes with an adequate amount of power and a high level of accuracy and forgivingness. It has a straight pull mechanism with no let-off but provides an effective draw force curve for every draw weight."

"This monster bow can bring you both the utmost comfort and power. With this one, you can launch your arrows at an incredible max speed of 345 fps. It is also equipped with good measures to diminish friction, vibration, and noise."

Reviews of 7 Best Compound Bows under 500 Dollars

Compound bows have intricate structures with a lot of factors weighing in on deciding their quality and efficiency. Check out these reviews on each with a detailed discussion of important specs like draw weight, draw length, bow length, let-off, etc.

1. Best Overall: Bear Archery Paradox RTH Compound Bow

Bear Archery Paradox RTH Compound Bow
Product Specifications:
  • Bow Length (ATA): 32 inches
  • Bow Weight: 5.8 lbs.
  • Draw Weight: 45-60 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 23.5 – 30.5 inches
  • Brace Height: 6.25 inches
  • Let-Off: 80%
  • Hand Orientation: Both Left or Right
  • Colors: 5 Different Colors

Bear Archery is a pioneering company in manufacturing strong, reliable bows. And Paradox RTH is the finest example of that. In our opinion, this is the best compound bow under $500 because of the versatility, accuracy, and strength it provides for the price.

The bow comes with an innovative riser that offers great stability and decent flexibility for equipping versatile accessories and custom sights. A shockwave limb works as the dampening device, which reduces vibration while shooting to increase accuracy and stability.

With a 32 inches axle to axle length, the bow is large and packed with power. Weighing 5.8 lbs., it is slightly heavier, which affects its maneuverability to some extent. Using the bow in tight spaces could be a little limiting for its size and weight.

Adjustable draw length and weight help the shooter find the most comfortable setting. Draw length is the distance from the knocking point of the fully drawn string to the fingers holding the grip.

In a range of 23.5 – 30.5 inches of draw length, this bow’s draw weight varies between 45 - 60 lbs. You can shoot arrows at 330 fps top speed at maximum draw weight.

Having contraband string on the single cam system, the bow offers an ultra-smooth draw cycle. Contraband string shows exceptional durability and helps push the bow’s power output.

It also has a smooth, decent-looking finish which is more focused on longevity and protection rather than looks. But it still looks pretty cool. The bow comes with 3 exquisite camouflage patterns, such as Realtree edge, timber strata, and veil whitetail, to choose from. All of these finishes look very stylish and professional.

As additional accessories, a trophy ridge custom sight and a stabilizer are mounted on the bow. These will help improve your accuracy and will make shooting with the bow more comfortable. Although the noise reduction system of the bow performs decently, it still has room for further improvement.

Why Are We Impressed?

  • Flexible riser for mounting versatile accessories
  • Shockwave limb reduces vibration for increasing accuracy
  • Provides clean and consistent draw cycle
  • Offers exceptional strength as well as accuracy
  • Comes with a trophy ridge sight for shooting aid
  • Smoother, long-lasting finish

Why Are The Negative Sides?

  • Less maneuverable in tight spaces
  • Slightly noisy

2. Runner Up: Bear Divergent Compound Bow

Bear Divergent Compound Bow
Product Specifications:
  • Bow Length (ATA): 28 inches
  • Bow Weight: 3.9 lbs.
  • Draw Weight: 45 - 70 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 25.5 – 30 inches
  • Brace Height: 6.5 inches
  • Let-Off: 75%
  • Colors: 4 Different Colors
  • Hand Orientation: Right

No wonder Bear Archery took over the runner-up position as well! Unlike the Paradox RTH, the company’s Bear Divergent feels more lightweight and is highly maneuverable. But the bow slightly lacks in power to stability ratio. 

Using the hybrid cam system of Bear Archery, this bow offers a consistent draw cycle. You can shoot your arrows at a max speed of 338 fps (foot per second) with a huge draw weight of seventy pounds.

Also, with the bow’s 45 -70 lbs. range, you can easily shift between draw weights as per your needs. The bow weighs 3.9 lbs. and barely stays in the sweet spot of below 4 lbs. range.

What we like most about this bow is that it’s compact and lightweight enough to be easily carried and maneuvered but not so light that it loses power. 75% let off might sound a bit low in comparison, but the lightweightness of the bow compensates for it.

The bow is of single string and has an aluminum cam system and an aluminum riser. This build lets the bow be light yet robust. Having a shorter axle to axle height surely degrades the bow’s stability to some extent, but it also allows the bow to be highly maneuverable, even in tight spaces.

Like other bows from Bear Archery, this one also has a longevity-focused finish. Sadly, the bow doesn’t give you various options of camo designs like the Paradox RTH.

When hunting, silence is an important factor to be maintained. This bow comes with a specialized Sonicstops technology to reduce noise, making it a perfect bow for hunting purposes.

Why Are We Impressed?

  • Compact and lightweight for impressive maneuverability and shooting style
  • Sturdy aluminum riser and cam
  • Equipped with effective Sonicstop technology for noise reduction
  • Good brace length offers accurate and forgiving shots
  • Adjustable draw weight and draw length range for finding a comfortable setting

Why Are The Negative Sides?

  • Comparatively poor power to stability ratio
  • Slightly less let off 

3. Top Rated: Diamond Archery Edge 320 Compound Bow

Diamond Archery Edge 320 Compound Bow
Product Specifications:
  • Bow Length (ATA): 32 inches
  • Bow Weight: 3.6 lbs.
  • Draw Weight: 7 - 70 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 15 – 31 inches
  • Brace Height: 7.25 inches
  • Let-Off: 85%
  • Hand Orientation: Left and Right
  • IBO Speed: 320 fps

People absolutely adore this compound bow that we’ll talk about now. We believe this is one of the best compound bows under $500 when it comes to hunting. This lightweight and maneuverable compound bow from Diamond Archery will allow you to be deft and highly responsive to situations, which is just what a hunter needs.

Weighing only 3.6 lbs., this bow’s maneuverability is unparalleled. But that’s not the only good thing the bow offers. The bow is suitable for adding various custom hunting accessories with a R.A.K equipped system. 

You can add different custom sights, scopes, clickers, arrow rest, dampers, and many others to further enhance your shooting skill. Although the bow is lightweight, it does pack a punch. At 70 lbs max draw weight, you can shoot arrows at 320 fps maximum.

This reliable compound bow has a huge draw length range, 15 - 31 inches, and different draw lengths come with different draw weights. From its huge pool, you can choose different draw weights and draw lengths as per your situation and preference. 

The draw weight mechanism is simple and highly adjustable as it’s equipped with its EZ adjustment system.

Its binary cam system offers you the utmost accuracy. The bow also has a longer brace height with a huge let-off of 85%. Longer brace height offers more forgiving and accurate shots, while the huge let off makes taking shots easier. So, no doubt that using this bow will be of the utmost comfort for you.

Why Are We Impressed?

  • Lightweight and well maneuverable
  • Can be equipped with versatile accessories
  • Provides consistent and smooth draw cycle
  • Simple and highly adjustable draw weight system with a huge range
  • Binary cam and longer brace height offer exceptional accuracy 

Why Are The Negative Sides?

  • Comparatively hard to maneuver in tight spaces due to the bow height
  • Not equipped with a noise reduction system

4. Best Versatile: PSE 2024SSRCY2970 Stinger MAX Compound Bow

PSE 2024SSRCY2970 Stinger MAX Compound Bow
Product Specifications:
  • Bow Length (ATA): 30 inches
  • Bow Weight: 3.8 lbs.
  • Draw Weight: 55 - 70 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 21.5 – 30 inches
  • Brace Height: 7 inches
  • Let-Off: 80%
  • Hand Orientation: Right Only 

Compared to a recurve bow or any other traditional bow, the structure of a compound bow is slightly more intricate. So, for beginners, the learning curve of compound bows might not be the smoothest. No need to worry, as this Stinger MAX bow from PSE can surely help you grasp the basics easily.

Stinger MAX is a ready-to-shoot bow, meaning it comes equipped with all sorts of necessary accessories. So, the beginner archers don’t have to go through the process of buying and attaching any additional ones. This bow is also a great option for veterans, as it’s highly customizable and maneuverable.

As built-in accessories, you’ll get an arrow rest, various custom sights like 5 pin fiber optic sight, peep sight, and a stabilizer. This accessory package is specially designed for the hunting season. But you can reliably use this great bow for any stale 3D, flat or live target, making it suitable for hunting and sports.

The bow's huge adjustable draw length range of 21.5 – 30 inches provides a 55-70 lbs. draw weight range. You can shoot arrows at 312 fps speed maximum at full draw weight. Although the max speed is comparatively less, it’s adequate for most cases.

There are multiple stylish and durable finishes available for this bow. You can choose among a huge pool of color options like mossy oak country, timber strata, full black, charcoal black, muddy, purple, and full white. 

The bow has a durable single-string cam system that offers a consistent and fluid draw cycle each time you shoot. The bow is easily carriable and manageable with its 30 inches axle to axle length and lightweight build. The 80% let off will also provide exceptional ease while shooting. 

Why Are We Impressed?

  • Comfortable and beginner-friendly use
  • Lightweight and compact build
  • Ready-to-shoot as it comes with all the necessary accessories
  • A single string cam system offers a fluid draw cycle
  • Adjustable draw weight and length for finding the right anchor 

Why Are The Negative Sides?

  • Top speed is a bit less in comparison

5. Best for Traveler: SAS Feud Archery Compound Bow

SAS Feud Archery Compound Bow
Product Specifications:
  • Bow Length (ATA): 30 inches
  • Bow Weight: 4.1 lbs.
  • Draw Weight: 25 – 70 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 19 – 31 inches
  • Brace Height: 7 inches
  • Let-Off: 80%
  • Hand Orientation: Right Only

If you’re a passionate travel hunter, you’ll know the significance of a good travel bow package. Most travel bow packages include a lot of unnecessary stuff, and they cost a bit too much as well, but not Feud from SAS Archery

For traveling, this is the best compound bow for under 500 because it offers just the right number of tools and accessories you’ll need at a reasonable price and without compromising quality. A stylish and flight-approved bow case also comes with the bow to keep your bow and the accessories organized and travel-ready.

Most of the accessories that come with the bow will make your hunting experience exceptionally convenient. Accessories like a durable carry case, a quick detach quiver, various sights, broadheads, and an arrow release will help you in every step of your hunting journey.

With a mass weight of 4.1 lbs., the bow is lightweight and portable. Its 30 inches axle length allows the bow to be stable and forgiving. 

You can shoot arrows at 300 fps max speed with a 70 lbs. draw weight. Draw weight and length are adjustable so that you find the right power to suit yourself.

Both the draw weight and length have adequately large ranges so that you can pinpoint your preference. The brace height is 7 inches long, which is supposed to ensure more accurate shots.

The grip of the bow is a bit small, which might be uncomfortable to handle for some people. But it doesn’t cause much strain on the hand as the bow is pretty light and has a huge 80% let-off. 

Why Are We Impressed?

  • Comes with a hard flight approved carry case
  • Comes with necessary accessories for travel hunting
  • Huge range of adjustable draw weight and length
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Long brace height and axle-to-axle height increase stability

Why Are The Negative Sides?

  • A small grip can cause discomfort
  • Needs proper instructions for the accessories

6. Best for Fishing: AMS Bowfishing Hooligan Compound Bow

AMS Bowfishing Hooligan Compound Bow
Product Specifications:
  • Bow Length (ATA): 34.75 inches
  • Bow Weight: 3.25 lbs.
  • Draw Weight: 24 - 50 lbs.
  • Draw Length: Max 32 inches
  • Brace Height: 7.5 inches
  • Let-Off: N/A

The Hooligan from AMS is specifically manufactured for bow fishing and does a tremendous job at that. It has no let-off because it works on a straight pull mechanism.

But you don’t need to worry a bit, as the bow has a unique system that offers an effective draw force curve for all different draw weights and lengths. Also, as the bow is super lightweight, it’s highly maneuverable. You can draw and shoot as fast as the fish can move.

The bow’s dual cam system, powder-coated steel limb, and machined aluminum riser offer a highly durable construction. You can customize the bow as per your wish. The double cam system lets you have a fluid draw every time you attempt to shoot.

The pool of draw length adjustable range is huge and can reach up to 32 inches.

At max draw length, you’ll get 50 lbs. draw weight. The achievable draw weight ranges from 24 – 50 lbs. With a huge axle-to-axle length of 34.5 inches, the bow will provide the accuracy you need in your shots for fishing.

The bow also has an exceptionally large brace height of 7.5 inches. As longer brace height provides more forgiving and stable shots, the accuracy of this bow is unmatched by any other.

Also, using a hunting rest, you can shoot regular arrows with this bow. No bow press is needed to align the strings and cables.

Why Are We Impressed?

  • Long ATA length offers good accuracy
  • Powder-coated steel limb and machined aluminum riser offer high durability
  • A huge pool of draw length adjustable range
  • Good range of draw weight
  • Exceptionally lightweight and maneuverable
  • Don’t need a bow press

Why Are The Negative Sides?

  • Works on a straight pull mechanism with no let off
  • Not a Good bow for hunting

7. Best Barebow: Bear Archery Kuma Compound Bow

Bear Archery Kuma Compound Bow
Product Specifications:
  • Bow Length (ATA): 33 inches
  • Bow Weight: 3 lbs.
  • Draw Weight: 55 - 70 lbs.
  • Draw Length: 25.5 – 30 inches
  • Brace Height: 6 inches
  • Let-Off: 75%
  • Hand Orientation: ‎Right Hand

Well, this bow is a beast, and it’s perfect for the most serious hunters out there. Pricewise, this bow is at the top of all the other bows discussed in this list, but so is power-wise.

With a maximum of 70 lbs. draw weight, you’ll be able to shoot arrows at a top 345 fps speed using this bow. Its real-tree finish offers a stylish and professional look.

The bow doesn’t only bring brute force and speed but comfort and precision as well. Using the Bear Cage machining technology, the bow’s durable limb is hollowed on the inside. This provides the lightweightness and maneuverability of the bow without sacrificing its rigidity.

Utilizing a Roller Hinge-guard system, the bow decreases lateral friction and torque, which enables highly accurate and forgiving shots. The strings are equipped with Sonicstop suppressors to diminish vibration and noise.

The bow lets you find your suitable anchor point with a decent range of adjustable draw length and weight. It has a slightly less let-off of 75%, but it’s adequate for comfortable shooting as the bow is lightweight.

It comes with Max Preload Quad solid limbs that can distribute the load evenly throughout the structure. This will give you a very balanced feel while shooting. The draw will be smooth each time you attempt to shoot. 

You can choose the type of grip you’d like, as it offers you 2 options. Choose either the overmold grip or the narrow one, according to your comfort. The bow also offers very little hand shock after each shooting.

Why Are We Impressed?

  • Offers very high-speed shooting at 345 fps max speed
  • Lightweight and maneuverable build
  • Roller Hingeguard system installed to reduce lateral friction and torque
  • Sonicstops suppressors on strings minimise vibration and noise
  • Fluid draw cycle with little to no hand shock upon release

Why Are The Negative Sides?

  • Comes with no additional accessories
  • Brace height is smaller in comparison

Frequently Asked Questions

1. For what are recurve bows used the most?

A recurve bow can store and release energy more efficiently than a traditional longbow. Recurve is mostly used in target shooters' archery. Some renowned target shooting platforms for recurve bows are the national archery game and the Olympics.

2. Which one is the best hunting bow?

Hunting bows come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the type of hunting. For heavy and serious hunting, We suggest Paradox RTH, the first compound bow discussed on this list. It’ll make the perfect hunting bow as it’s heavy, powerful, and offers good accuracy and noise reduction. But In general, All picks we have mentioned here, are suitable for hunting.

For light hunting, go for the more compact and maneuverable options.

Final Verdict

We hope this article helped clear all your confusion and queries about buying budget bows. In order to find the best compound bow under 500 dollars that is the most suitable for you, don’t just trust online reviews and dive right in. Test the product yourself and if you’re buying online, check as many reviews as possible to verify.

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