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How To Tell If a Compound Bow Is Left or Right-Handed

Choosing the right compound bow can sometimes be a bit confusing. We get a lot of questions regarding this from people who are about to begin archery. A common question is; how to tell if a compound bow is left or right-handed?

You can find that by looking at the sight's side, the position of the arrow rest, and the riser. For example, sight and stabilizers are always placed on the opposite side, and the riser is always positioned on the same side.

Let’s discuss that in more detail.

An additional set of strings, cams, and cables sets compound bows apart from regular bows. The strings of these compound bows are of two categories – the left-handed and the right-handed.

So, what’s the difference between right-handed and left -handed bow?

Compound bows are dependent on the dominant eye of the archers. Archers with a dominant left eye opt for a left-handed compound bow, and similarly, the ones with a dominant right eye opt for a right-handed one.

It does not matter which hand is your dominant one, as shooting depends more on the eyesight than the tendency to use one hand rather than the other. So, if you’re a left-eye dominant shooter, you will require a left-handed compound bow. The bow should be held with your right hand and the string with your left hand.

Again, when you're a right-eye dominant shooter, you just need to follow the opposite track. A right-handed compound bow, bow to the left, and string to the right, and that is it!

Most people are lucky enough to share the same dominance for both their eyes and hands.

Right-eye and right-hand dominant shooters will thus require a right-handed compound bow and vice-versa.

However, if you belong to the population who do not share the same dominance for their eyes and hands, it's always a good option to pick the compound bow based on your eye dominance.

Ways To Figure Out Compound Bow's Hand Orientation

A lot of things can determine which hand your compound bow is designed for. There are different parts of the compound bow that play an active role in identifying the position and alignment of the bow.

Starting from the sight to structures like stabilizers – many things are involved in deciding if your compound bow will be left or right-handed.

Let’s have a look at the features which can help you tell which hand your bow is built for –

1. Look at Where the Sight is Placed

The most common way to determine whether your compound bow is right-handed or left-handed is by observing the position of the sight. Sights are one of the best aspects of a compound bow that help in aiming during a shot.

Now, the sight of the bow is always placed on the opposite side. It means if your bow is right-handed, the sight will always be on the left. On the other hand, if the bow is left-handed, the sight will be placed on the right side.

2. The Riser Is Placed on the Same Side

Another important structure in a compound bow is the riser which shelters the arrow shelf and grip. Besides, the riser also bears mounting points for sights, rests, and other parts of the bow. Apart from housing and acting as a mounting hub, the riser is also responsible for determining if the bow is right-handed or left.

The riser is always placed on the same side. This means that if your compound bow is left-handed, the riser will always be on the left. Similarly, if the compound bow is right-handed, the riser will be placed on the right side.

That way, you’re able to easily identify which hand your compound bow is built for by observing the side of the riser.

3. The Arrow Rest and Curve Can Give You the Answer

An arrow rest is an important part of a compound bow. The arrow rests on this part after it has been drawn by the archer. The main job of an arrow rest is to prevent any collision of the arrow with the bow during a shot.

This arrow rest can also help you figure out whether your compound bow is left-handed or right-handed. The curve of the arrow rests is placed on a side, left or right.

If you see the arrow rest being positioned on the left portion of the bow but the curve moving in the direction of the right, then your bow is right-handed. The same applies to left-handed compound bows.

So, you can easily identify the position of your compound bow through the curvature of the arrow rest.

4. For Right-Handed Bows, the Stabilizers Will Be on the Left (Vice-Versa)

Compound bow stabilizers are one of the most important aspects of a bow. So, what do these stabilizers do? From increasing the inertia and reducing the vibration to making it easier to hold the bow steady – stabilizers are responsible for it all. Without appropriate stabilizers, an archer will fail to make the perfect shot.

Interestingly, these stabilizers also help in determining if your compound bow is left or right-handed.

So, if a bow is left-handed, the stabilizer will be on the right side, and if it is right-handed, you'll find the stabilizer on the left. All compound bows are designed using this basic principle.

So, if you’re unsure what your compound bow is built for, check the alignment of the stabilizers.

Final Words

Determining whether the compound bow is left or right-handed can be confusing, but you can easily decode it with the help of our informative guide. Let us know in the comments if you have any other questions.