All posts by David James

What’s the Best Survival Bow in 2017?

Do you want a durable, compact collapsible bow you can take absolutely any​where that has a really small footprint and fits inside your day pack or grab bag?

Maybe you are a keen survivalist... or maybe even one of the ever growing numbers of preppers? If you don't know what a prepper is a quick scout around the multitude of prepping and SHTF websites around today will fill you in with the details. In brief though a prepper is someone who spends time preparing for all eventualities. The next world war, the apocalypse, Zombieland, serious terrorist attack, you name it really.

A survival bow is a designed to fit with the requirements of these people and more and in this article we're going to take you through our top picks for 2017 and give you our winner.​

Our Best Survival Bow Picks for 2017

Survival Bow Buying Guide : What Features do I Need?

Portability

The overall size and weight of the collapsed bow is a critical feature. This type of bow is something you want to be able to easily shoulder and carry in a case. It's something you want to be able to fit inside your day pack or bug-out bag. Nothing cumbersome and certainly nothing heavy.

Most of these types of bows will come with a carry case that you can use to store the bow when collapsed. The quality and extra functionality offered by that case should also be​ a deciding factor. Does it double as a quiver? How many extra pockets does it have? 

Price & Affordability

Depending on exactly what you want to use it for the price of a survival bow will have a  bearing on your decision. If you want something you're going to stick under the seat in your car or squirrel away in a secret cache then you probably aren't going to want to spend a lot on it. However if you intend to travel a lot, and practice regularly, better quality and design may be where you want to invest.

Bow Size / Draw Length

A longer bow will have a longer draw length. There are ways to easily measure your draw length for shooters of recurve and compound bows. The ideal length of bow for you is a factor you probably won't be able to achieve when looking at a survival bow. Due to their primary defining feature being portability they break down small and that means they are shorter bows when assembled. A longer bow gives you a longer, smoother draw, a more forgiving shot. That isn't to say you can't be accurate with a survival bow, but they aren't designed for target archery competitions. A long bow that doesn't sacrifice portability is a better choice than a short bow that breaks down too small for your needs.

Durability & Corrosion Resistance

Survival situations are going to mean you may need to get wet or live in wet conditions. You're certainly going to take a few knocks and bumps along the way. When these things happen you  need the bow you've chosen to take those knocks and still work afterwards. It needs to be able to get wet and not start to rust. You also want it to be durable and to do this repeatedly over long periods of time, possibly years.

Arrows and Arrow Storage

A bow isn't much use without arrows. What arrows (if any) do you get with the bow? You can purchase take-down survival arrows separately if your choice does not have them included. A very useful feature of any survival bow (or included carry case) is storage of arrows. If the folded unit includes a handy place to store and protect arrows this is a bonus.

Left or Right Handedness

Modern recurve and compound bows come in left and right handed variants. The riser is cut through to provide a shooting shelf on which to rest the arrow so that it sits as close to straight with the path of the string as possible. This helps with archers paradox (the fishtailing of the arrow after release). A survival bow doesn't usually cater for this as the riser is usually a single piece of durable metal. Not having a shelf means the bow becomes a truly ambidextrous bow that anyone can pick-up and shoot either left or right handed. This is something to be aware of. If you're in a survival situation with other people it may not be you that ends up needing to shoot your bow. The more people that can use it, the better.

Assembly

A collapsible bow breaks down into pieces, nobody has developed one that morphs out of a staff just yet. Those pieces, how many there are, how easy they are to lose, and how they go together should be another factor in your decision. Something with lots of bits that you can't assemble quickly isn't what you want. You aren't going to find something you can just flip up and shoot. But you need to think about the pieces and how easy they are to lose. A survival bow that's missing one of the limb ends or a retaining bolt that fell out of the case is no use to you at all.

Styling / Appearance

The styling of a survival bow really isn't going to be much of a concern, when you're trying to survive you aren't going to care too much about how you look. The only caveat to this may be that you want to remain hidden and blend in with your surroundings. A camo finish on the bow would be a bonus in this situation. A non-reflective finish may also be a good idea for night hunting or even sunny situations so as not to scare prey. Certainly a bow that allows you to modify the finish yourself to suit your situation would be ideal.

Warranty

Different manufacturers give different warranty periods with their bows and will generally only ever cover the riser and limbs and not things like the string or arrow rest. A warranty on something you're going to tuck away and may not use for years is possibly not a major concern. Knowing what type of warranty comes with your bow is always a good idea.

Our Top Picks In Detail

SAS Tactical Survival Bow

A high quality survival bow made from aerospace grade aluminium and marine grade steel. Resistant to corrosion, coated with non-reflective covering. This  bow folds down small, (not the smallest, but small) into a 21" package and even has storage inside the riser for take-down arrows. The pieces are easy to assemble and have little danger of being lost. Assembled this is a 60" bow that is available in a range of draw weights from 45 to 55 lbs. It isn't the cheapest example, but it is one of the best appointed. The supplied camo-bag can also be used as a back quiver when the bow is in use. Read the full review here.

Pros

  • Light
  • 21" day pack compatible folded size
  • Arrow storage inside the riser
  • Powerful 55 lbs draw available
  • Useful quiver / camo bag
  • Non-reflective coating
  • Ambidextrous

Cons

  • Arrows not included
  • Limited grip ergonomics

Xpectre Spectre II

This is a very affordable survival bow with a great affordable price point. If comes in a choice of draw weights from 35 lbs all the way upto 55 lbs meaning you can get a lower draw weight bow. A lower draw weight is always a good choice if you aren't an experienced archer. The assembly for this bow is probably the quickest of all the bows we've reviewed. 3 pieces slot together and then you string it, simple as that. The carry case included is very basic but functional. This bow however is 23" long when folded so you need to be sure that fits inside your chosen day-pack otherwise you'll be carrying it on your shoulder seaprately. Read our full review here.

Pros

  • Low  to high draw weights 35, 45, 55 lbs
  • Tool free, speedy assembly
  • Ambidextrous

Cons

  • 23" folded size
  • Supplied arrows not take-down

Xpectre Nomad

The Nomad is the slightly more expensive brethren of the Spectre II. This survival bow breaks down to a pretty impressive 17" in length. That's short. In order to achieve this though the bow comes in 5 pieces, each limb is 2 pieces plus the riser. That is a few more to keep track of even though there are no tools required for the assembly. The Nomad also usually comes with 3 take-down arrows which is a big bonus. This is the smallest and most complete survival bow package available and even though it is more expensive than the Spectre it is still affordable. Read the full review here.

Pros

  • Very compact 17" folded size
  • Supplied with 3x take-down arrows
  • Tool free-assembly

Cons

  • Only available in 45 lbs draw
  • Only 48" long when assembled

Verdict : Best Survival Bow 2017

Our choice for 2017 is:

The SAS Tactical Take-down Survival Bow
.

You get what you pay for.

Top Pick

My grandma is always saying that... the longer I live the more I think she's right. It doesn't always hold true, some things that are more expensive just aren't worth the money. Then there are things that are, and the SAS survival bow is one of them. The design is one of the best, it folds small and assembles into a decent size powerful bow with a good 31" max draw.

It has nifty features like being able to store 3 full arrows inside the riser, or 5 rear halves.

This helps to protect them as arrows are a vulnerable part of the package.

Sas Tactical

In-Riser Arrow Storage

The supplied carry bag is camo, comes with 2 shoulder straps and doubles as a back quiver.

SAS used quality materials in the construction and coated them with non-reflective paint. They've done everything then can to make sure this bow is  a quality product and it shows.

This is our pick for the best survival bow for 2017.

SAS Tactical Survival Bow - In Use

In Use

Xpectre Spectre Survival Bow Review

Spectre II Compact Takedown Survival Bow » Review

Spectre was a great film. This isn't the sequel. No the Spectre is a compact take-down survival bow from Xpectre. They produce a small range of these types of bow and the Spectre is the most affordable of them all.

A survival bow is designed to fold down small be durable and be something you can take anywhere and assemble with ease. Lets see how this one stacks up.

Spectre II String, Bow Pieces (x3) and Case

Spectre II String, Bow Pieces (x3) and Case

Scores

Riser

Portability

Limbs

Assembly

Accessories

Shooting

Styling

Pros

  • Choice of draw weights
  • Tool free and quick assembly
  • Affordable

Cons

  • 23" folded size

Our Verdict

At this low level price point the Spectre II is a great piece of kit. It isn't the smallest survival bow when broken down and it doesn't have the best accessories. What you do get is a good functional survival bow you can take anywhere, assembly is quick and easy too. You can pay more for a survival bow, but you need to think about what you need this for. Get one to tuck away in a cache and it's a great investment.

Key Features

Draw weights (lbs):

35, 45, 55

Draw length:

24-27 inches (estimated)

Weight (lbs):

2.3 lbs (in case)

AMO Length (inches):

Varies 50 @ 35 lbs, 48 @ 45 lbs, 46 @ 55 lbs

Folded Size (inches):

23

Riser:

Metal

Limbs:

Fiberglass/resin, black finish

Price Range:

Low

Handedness:

Usable in left or right

Warranty:

12 months manufacturer

Video Reviews

An in-depth review of the Spectre showing how to make a nifty paracord grip to improve the ergonomics of the riser.

Product Review

Riser » 4/5

The riser on this bow when broken down measures 23" in length. When assembled and ready to shoot it is effectively just a square metal tube. There is nothing added to the riser for grip or comfort ergonomics. You can always make your own enhancements to the riser to make a more comfortable grip using paracord or any material of you choice. Still, this isn't something designed to be used for long periods of target archery!

Arrow Rest

The arrow rest on this bow is just a plastic coated metal wire guide that is screwed onto the side of the riser.

You can't move the rest as there aren't attachments points on both sides of the riser. In order to change the handedness of the bow you simply turn it upside down and the rest will be on the other side.

Spectre Arrow Rest

Spectre Arrow Rest

Portability » 4/5

One of the things you absolutely want a survival bow to be is portable. This one breaks down into 3 pieces (and the string) the longest one measuring 23". That's small, but not the smallest survival bow we've reviewed. A 23" long case however is still something you won't find difficultly transporting around, especially as you can shoulder it in the carry case.

Assembly » 5/5

In order to assemble the Spectre you need to fit 3 pieces together and string them. Each of the limbs slide into the riser and locate on a securing pin.

Once these pieces are in place the final step of assembly is to string the bow. The limbs are designed to stay in place by virtue of the tension of the bowstring. You're probably best stringing this bow with step through method to keep things from sliding apart before the string tension is in place.

Once strung the bow is complete and secure and the pieces won't fall apart. The entire process is tool free and could be accomplished in less than a minute if you wanted to get good at it.

Accessories » 3/5

String

A Dacron endless loop black string is supplied, this doesn't come with a nock point and it's probably a good idea that you add one in your preferred way.

Looking at the manufacturers website where they sell replacement strings​ you can infer that the Spectre  requires:

  • 50" string for 35 lbs draw
  • 48" string for 45 lbs draw
  • 46" string for 55 lbs draw​

The higher draw weight bows require slightly shorter strings.

Case

A basic black nylon carry case with a shoulder strap that is big enough to carry the broken down bow, arrows and string.

Arrows

Normally the package supplied with the Spectre includes 3 arrows. These aren't takedown arrows like you get with the Nomad. They're single piece 30" carbon fiber arrows with fields points and plastic vanes.

Spectre Supplied Arrows

Spectre Supplied Arrows

A field point isn't going to be much good for hunting, so if you're after this bow for a real survival situation you probably want to look at sourcing some broadhead tips to fit to those arrows.

Limbs » 4/5

These limbs are single piece fiberglass and resin composite. Replacement limbs are available direct from the manufacturer should you lose or break one. You may also want to mark your limbs after receiving them so that you always insert them in the same orientation. This will make sure that they're always bending the same way when you shoot. That should give them a longer life.

Shooting » 3.5/5

This is a short bow. At anywhere from 46-50" depending on the draw weight you're not getting the length of limb that a normal traditional or recurve bow shooter would be looking for to give them the most forgiving shots. As a survival tool however the bow shoots well.

Styling » 3/5

Not a thing of beauty, this bow is a thing of function. The limbs aren't the same color as the riser so there's a 2 tone look to this bow. You can paint it and give it whatever finish you desire but we aren't going to give this top marks for styling. It's something to keep in a cache or bag somewhere for a survival situation. 

"How does it compare?"

SAS Tactical Survival Bow

Usually more than twice the price and not supplied with any arrows. But... you get what you pay for. The SAS Tactical is a longer assembled bow at 60" AMO. This may give you a more forgiving shot. This one has storage inside the riser for takedown arrows. It comes with a camo carry bag rather than plain black. It's lighter overall due to the materials used in construction being of a higher grade. Comes coated with a non-reflective paint too. The SAS is a longer when assembled and slightly smaller 21" when fully broken down.

Xpectre Nomad

The Nomad is from the same company as the Spectre. It's usually slightly more expensive and is limited to a 45 lbs draw weight. The reason for that is probably because the limbs on the Nomad break down into 2 pieces, making the bow 5 pieces fully disassembled. This means it can break down further and only measures 17" when in storage. That's pretty small. 4" shorter than the Spectre. The Nomad also usually comes with take-down arrows too although everything else about it remains the same as the Spectre.

About the Manufacturer

Xpectre produce bows in the USA. They dedicate themselves to providing dependable survival products. All of their product range is geared towards survival with the odd camping accessory thrown in. You can visit their website here.

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Xpectre Nomad Survival Bow Review

Xpectre Nomad Survival Bow » Review

Xpectre are specialists in survival gear, and alongside the Nomad survival bow they produce several others such as the Spectre and Rapture. The entire range is well priced and functional. You might be a prepper or you may just be a general survivalist, either way you're probably interested in exactly what you get for your money.

A survival bow is designed to fold down small be durable and be something you can take anywhere with ease. I'm guessing that's where the name Nomad comes from. A bow you can travel easily with and take anywhere.

Nomad Survival Bow

Nomad Survival Bow

Scores

Riser

Portability

Limbs

Assembly

Accessories

Shooting

Styling

Pros

  • Very compact 17" folded size
  • Supplied with 3x takedown arrows
  • Tool free and quick assembly

Cons

  • Only available in 45 lbs draw
  • Short, only 48" length

Our Verdict

This is a survival tool. For the low to mid level price point, what you get is pretty good. Not really a bow you want to be using often if you're a keen archer but for the intended purpose you can't go far wrong with the Nomad. There are more well appointed and more expensive alternatives out there. But if the price point is good for you, get one to keep one in your cache, you won't regret it.

Key Features

Draw weights (lbs):

45

Draw length:

24-27 inches (estimated)

Weight (lbs):

2.735

AMO Length (inches):

48

Folded Size (inches):

17

Riser:

Metal

Limbs:

Fiberglass/resin, black finish

Price Range:

Low/Medium

Handedness:

Usable in left or right

Warranty:

12 months manufacturer

Video Reviews

Unboxing, assembly and shooting the Nomad.

Product Review

Riser » 4/5

This is a small compact 17" riser and when assembled and ready to shoot it is effectively just a square metal tube. There is nothing added to the riser for grip or comfort ergonomics. This isn't something designed to be used for long periods of target archery!

Arrow Rest

The arrow rest on this bow is just a plastic coated metal wire guide that is screwed onto the side of the riser. 

You can't move the rest to the other side of the riser so in order to change the handedness of the bow you simply turn the whole bow upside down.

Arrow rest

Arrow rest

Portability » 5/5

One of the things you absolutely want a survival bow to be is portable. This one breaks down into 5 pieces of which the longest is 17". That's small enough to fit many places easily and is one of the smallest footprints for a survival bow we've seen to date.

Assembly » 4.5/5

As already mentioned the broken down Nomad bow riser is only 17" in length. It's pretty compact. Because of that is in order to assemble it you need to fit several pieces together. Each of the limbs comes in 2 pieces each, combined with the riser that makes a total of 5.

The notched ends of the longer limb section slide into the riser and locate onto a securing pin. Once these pieces are in place you attach the ends of the limbs to the longer limb sections in a similar fashion. All these pieces are slide/push fit. The final step of assembly is to string the bow. The assembled pieces are designed to stay in place by virtue of the tension of the bowstring so if you aren't careful they can slip apart before the bow is strung. You're probably best stringing this bow with step through method so gravity keeps the assembled pieces together until you've finished stringing.

Once strung the bow is complete and secure and the pieces won't fall apart. The entire process is tool free and could be accomplished in less than a minute if you wanted to get good at it.

Nomad Survival Bow Pieces

Nomad Survival Bow in Pieces

Accessories » 3.5/5

String

A 48" Dacron string is supplied, this doesn't come with a nock point and it's probably a good idea that you add one in your preferred way. Adding either brass rings or material.

Case

A basic black nylon carry case with a shoulder strap that is big enough to carry the broken down bow, arrows and string.

Nomad Case

Nomad Case

Arrows

Normally the package supplied with the Nomad includes 3 take-down arrows. These are 2 part arrows that simply screw together. They come with field points and plastic vanes and are 31" long.

Takedown Arrows

Field Point Takedown Arrows

A field point isn't going to be much good for hunting, so if you're after this bow for a real survival situation you probably want to look at sourcing some broadhead tips to come alongside it.​

Limbs » 4/5

These limbs are 2 piece fiberglass and resin composite. We go over how they fit together in the assembly section. Replacement limbs are available direct from the manufacturer should you lose one of the 4 pieces that make them up, or break one.

Another good tip is to mark the limbs on this bow so that you always assemble them in the same front/back orientation. This will help to increase their lifespan.​

Shooting » 3.5/5

This is a short bow. At 48" you're not getting the length of limb that a normal traditional or recurve bow shooter would be looking for to give them the most forgiving shots. As a survival tool however the Nomad shoots well and is relatively powerful. With some decent broadhead arrows I'm sure this would be good enough to mid sized game from 40 yards or even further depending on your skills.

Styling » 3/5

Not a thing of beauty, this bow is a thing of function. The limbs aren't the same color as the riser so there's a 2 tone finish on this bow. We aren't going to score this well for styling. It's something to keep in a cache or bag somewhere for a critical situation. Something to keep hidden until needed.

"How does it compare?"

SAS Tactical Survival Bow

Usually more than twice the price and not supplied with any arrows. But... you get what you pay for. The SAS Tactical is available in more powerful draw weights, is a longer assembled bow at 60" AMO giving a better shot. It has storage inside the riser for takedown arrows. Comes with a more useful camo carry bag. It's lighter overall due to the materials used in construction being of a higher grade. Comes coated with a non-reflective paint too. Altogether the SAS is a  better bow, but at the risk of repeating myself, it's much more expensive and bigger when broken down (21").

Xpectre Spectre II

The Spectre comes in a choice of 3 draw weights, 35, 45 and 55 lbs rather than the fixed 45 lbs for the Nomad. The Spectre II is the slightly more affordable version of this bow however but there is a trade-off for that affordability. The Spectre has one piece limbs as opposed to the 2 pieces that the Nomad limbs break down into. This contributes to the Spectre being 23" when broken down which is 6" longer than the Nomad. The Nomad comes with takedown arrows as standard whereas to keep those costs down the Spectre doesn't and you get 3x standard one piece arrows.

About the Manufacturer

Xpectre produce bows in the USA. They dedicate themselves to providing dependable survival products. All of their product range is geared towards survival with the odd camping accessory thrown in. You can visit their website here.

Did you like our review?

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SAS Tactical Survival Bow » Review

A you a survivalist or prepper? If you are, you don't know exactly what you're going to be preparing for or what situation lies ahead. You want to be ready for as many eventualities as possible. I've blogged on several sites about the benefits of learning archery as a survivalist skill. If you really want to be prepared when the SHTF (google it!) you need a bow you can keep in your grab or bug-out bag. Something compact and powerful but easy to lug around. Checkout this piece of kit from the people at SAS (Survival Archery Systems). Their SAS Tactical Survival Bow is a great invention that fits exactly your profile.

SAS Tactical - A compact, folding survival bow

Scores

Riser

Limbs

Assembly

Accessories

Shooting

Styling

Pros

  • Light
  • 21" day pack compatible folded size
  • Arrow storage inside the riser
  • Powerful #55 draw available
  • Useful quiver / camo bag
  • Non-reflective coating
  • Ambidextrous

Cons

  • Arrows not included
  • Limited grip ergonomics

Our Verdict

Light, rugged, dependable, transportable, compact. This bow fits inside most day-packs and bug out bags. The useful storage for arrows (not usually supplied) inside the riser coupled with the camo accessory bag make this everything you need for survival archery inside one neat package that you can easily take anywhere.

This is an excellent survival bow. It isn't as polished as a modern recurve, but for the job it's been designed for this is ​an excellent well priced piece of kit. A smart addition to any prepper cache.

Key Features

Draw weights (right hand) (lbs):

45, 50, 55

Brace height (inches):

7-8 (recommended)

Weight (lbs):

2.2 (strung)

AMO Length (inches):

60

Folded Size (inches):

21

Max Draw (inches):

31 (estimated)

Riser:

Aerospace Grade T6 Aluminium, non-reflective coating

Limbs:

Composite

Price Range:

Medium

Handedness:

Can be used right and left handed

Warranty:

12 month manufacturer

Video Reviews

A high quality overview review of the SAS Tactical that includes an in-depth look at assembly, shooting and the component parts of the bow.

Our Review

Riser » 4.5/5

The riser on this bow is made from aerospace grade T6 Aluminium. If you're wondering exactly what that means, well... T6 refers to Aluminium alloy 6061-T6 which is commonly used, wait for it... in the construction of aircraft. Sorry, I couldn't resist... You'll also find T6 in the construction or bicycle frames, some rifles and car parts. Anything that needs to be light and strong. They even sent it into space aboard the Pioneer. T6 has a tendency to oxidize if exposed to the elements so you'll generally find it anodized and in the case of this riser also given a surface treatment to make it non-reflective. That non-reflective coating is an obvious boon for staying concealed from your prey in any environment.

Although it comes in matte black the riser surface coating can be painted should you want to give it a camo look.

Grip

Let's not beat about the bush here, there isn't really a grip on this bow. You're basically holding a rectangular piece of aluminium. It isn't ergonomic, and you may not find it particularly comfortable. The only thing that the bow does to enhance your holding of it is the addition of 2 adhesive pads on either side of the riser. These have the feel of light sandpaper and they do help to enhance the grip on what is otherwise just a piece of metal. They also do a little to help shielding a bare hand from the coldness of the coated metal. Which in certain conditions won't be a nice thing to grip for any length of time. These pads are only adhered to the side of the bow and may well become unstuck and wear with heavy use, but I suspect they could be easily replaced or even enhanced by an enthusiast.

Because that grip isn't ergonomic, you probably aren't going to be able to hold it properly.​ Full hand grips are the order of the day with this. It doesn't snuggle into the fleshy part of your palm between your thumb and index finger like a modern recurve or compound grip would. 

SAS Tactical Survival Bow - Compact and folding

Compact Folding Aluminium T6 Riser

Arrow Storage

Because this riser is  a hollow piece of strong metal to k​eep it light there is room inside for storage. Conveniently SAS also produce a range of 2 piece SAS take down arrows. These are made from aluminium and come with a 400 spine and are 31" long. The riser allows for storage of upto 3 full arrows inside (6 pieces). However if you are using the bow with the supplied camo bag you can store 5 rear arrow halves inside the riser and 5 front halves inside the camo bag giving you a greater total mobile arsenal. This may be a wise move as whilst aluminium arrows are heavier and more all weather friendly than carbon, they can bend.

SAS Tactical Survival Bow - Arrow Storage

Arrow Storage in the Riser

When the bow is folded for storage there are 2 plastic end caps that fit over the end of the riser to secure the arrows. These when new may be a little stiff to insert and remove, and you can't assemble the bow without first removing them (and storing them somewhere).

Folded Size

Fold this bow down and it's 21" long. That's short enough to fit into most day-packs and bug-out bags.​ In fact that size was specifically targeted by the manufacturers for that reason.

Limbs » 4.5/5

​The limbs of this bow are made using similar techniques to other modern bows on the market today. Sourced, no doubt, from the same manufacturing plants. Whilst SAS aren't forthcoming with exactly what that composition is you could probably take a guess at laminated wood and fiberglass. 

​The limbs of the tactical hinge from the riser and that hinge is attached using a retaining pin and screw. The retaining pin is made from 316 stainless. 316 is marine grade stainless that is specifically designed to resist corrosion. Whilst it isn't 100% corrosion resistant it is non-magnetic and in the case of this usage has again been specially treated with a non-reflective coating. The retaining pin bears the load but the screw that holds it in place doesn't and so it is made from black nylon. This helps to reduce weight and the nylon is less prone to vibrating than previous iterations of the bow that used a metal screw.

SAS Tactical Survival Bow - Aerospace Grade T6 Aluminium

Retaining Pin (316 Stainless), Limb Attachment Hinge, and Screw (Nylon)

Assembly » 4.5/5

Remove the velcro retaining strap, remove the end caps on the riser, assemble some arrows (if you're using takedown arrows).

Then you need to remove a retaining pin, flip open one of the limbs. Remove the second limb and reverse the hinge, then re-attach with the retaining pin and screw. If that sounds a little lengthy the reason is because in the takedown position one of the limbs on the riser is reversed in order to keep the folded length as short as possible.

Once that's done, which all only takes a few minutes all you need do is string the bow. SAS themselves recommend the step-through stringing technique where you rest the bow against your foot/calf and bend it around the back of your thigh. Stringing this way you can be finished in a few seconds with a little practice.

Step through stringing

Step through stringing

Don't be fooled by the product images and some of the online reviews of this bow, it isn't simply a flip up and shoot bow. It takes several minutes and some practice to be able to assemble this correctly and be ready to shoot. That's not a bad thing, the process is quick, it just isn't instant!

Accessories » 4.5/5

Usually when you order this bow it will be supplied with:

  • The bow itself
  • Dacron String
  • Camo carry case / quiver
  • An arrow rest 
  • Brass ring nock set
  • Velcro retaining strap
  • Owners manual and warranty
  • NO Arrows (arrows are usually sold separately)

Arrows

No arrows are usually supplied with this bow. You can shoot anything you like, it is a bow after all. If you want the arrows recommended and manufactured by SAS specifically for this bow. The ones that split into 2 pieces, are made of aluminium and originally of Easton design. You need to purchase them separately.

They aren't the cheapest arrows so it may be worth getting something a little on the less expensive side if you're going to practice with the bow and save your takedown arrows for trips or real emergencies.

Arrow Rest

There is no shelf on this bow, you need to stick an arrow rest to the side unless you want to shoot 'off the knuckle'. The Fred Bear arrow rest supplied is normally either left or right hand specific, and which you receive depends on what you specify when you order. But that is only an accessory and can be swapped out for anything you prefer, the bow itself is usable in either hand out of the box.

Retaining Strap

This is simply a velcro strap that is used to keep the hinged limbs in place when the bow is folded for storage. When the bow is assembled this can be kept strapped to the riser, so you don't lose it.​

Camo Bag / Quiver

A neat little camo carry case that has an internal pouch for the bow and a second pouch in the flap for carrying accessories like a wrist guard, spare string, arrows etc​. It fits the bow perfectly for transport and doubles as a quiver when in use. The case can be worn like a rucksack over both shoulders and when the bow is in your hand the long pouch in the case makes a perfect back quiver for assembled arrows.

SAS Tactical Survival Bow - Camo Carry Case

Camo Carry Case / Back Quiver

Shooting » 4/5

As I've mentioned already, this bow has no shelf. It isn't cut to center or anything like that. There is approximately 12.5mm of offset between the path of the string and the path of the arrow past the riser. This will require you to compensate with your aim and perhaps will require a little practice for you to properly get to grips with aiming this bow.

SAS Tactical Survival Bow - In Use

Shooting SAS Tactical Survival Bow

Styling » 3/5

This is a functional piece of kit. It looks functional. Styling wasn't the priority of the manufacturers when they made this. It's all black and square, hinges and angles. It certainly won't win any admiring glances at the archery range. You'll probably just get people asking you what it is. Not a bow to hang on the wall, but that's not why you need one right?

"How does it compare?"

Xpectre Spectre II

The Spectre II when broken down is 23" long, that's longer than this bow. Assembled however the Spectre is much shorter with a 50" AMO length. The Spectre II is much cheaper than the SAS and comes with 3x free arrows. Weight wise these bows are comparable, there isn't much in it. The real benefit of the SAS is in the compactness when folded and the slightly nicer accessories supplied. The Spectre also has no in-riser arrow storage like the SAS.

Xpectre Nomad

If you need something smaller and less expensive, the Nomad would be a better choice. That breaks down into a 17" package which is 4" shorter than this bow. The assembled Nomad however is a short bow with a 48" AMO which may not be suitable for some people with a long draw. The SAS has a much longer 60" AMO when assembled and consequently a longer draw. The Nomad usually comes with 3x free takedown arrows, again this is a bonus over the SAS which doesn't come with any arrows. No reflective coating or aerospace and marine grade metals in use with this one either. It also doesn't have that neat in-riser arrow storage.

About the Manufacturer

Survival Archery Systems are a company with over 15 years of design and development experience. They are a spin of from a design house in the petrochemical and automotive industries and pride themselves in going the extra mile with each and every product that they develop to ensure a high level of quality and safety for the customer.

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This next level archery is astounding!

.If you’ve never seen the “New Level of Archery” video by Lars Andersen then where have you been? This is the most watched archery video of all time on YouTube. Lars Andersen is a Danish painter (now famous archer) born in 1964. He’s spent years intensely practicing in order to become a master archer using the lost skills of yesteryear. He’s the holder of a couple of speed shooting records. In this video performs several incredible feats that really show his next level archery skills.

Hollywood Invented the Back Quiver Myth?

There’s an explanation of why the back quiver commonly seen in Hollywood films today is a pretty impractical choice for an archer who has to move at any sort of speed. Jump, roll, bend over and all your arrows just fall out. Modern archers and hunters don’t have to shoot on the move, so they’re okay. The life of a combat archer would be different.

Speed Shooting Technique

How does he achieve the incredible shooting speeds shown, shooting 3 arrows in 0.6 seconds whilst in the air? After researching the subject his view was that the quickest way to fire an arrow is from the same side of the bow as your draw hand and to hold the arrows IN your draw hand. Lars demonstrates how he can hold 10 arrows in this hand and shoot them all in quick succession.

This technique also makes Lars ambidextrous with his bow, he can shoot using either hand from either side of the bow without difficulty. He also demonstrates how this technique allows him to be able to shoot in pretty much any situation. Hanging upside down, in motion on skates, riding pillion on a motorbike, yep he’s pretty much got all bases covered.

Next Level Tricks

Arrow splitting is taken to the next level when Lars shoots an arrow at a static knife blade and splits it. He shoots a ping pong ball out of the air. Shooting one handed with your feet? Yes, he does that too. Throw a ball into the air, pick up your bow and shoot that ball out of the air, no problem, that’s demonstrated. One of the most impressive feats is when Lars jumps into the air, grabs an incoming arrow (whilst in flight) and shoots it back. Forget Robin Hood splitting an arrow in a target, Lars shows how he can split an incoming arrow with one of his own.

How is it Possible?

One thing Lars does divulge is that his bow and arrows are custom-made or home made and modified from anything you’ll find on the market today. He’s obviously spent a lot of time practicing how to perform these feats, but the result is pretty impressive. There’s no video trickery in this, everything he does he actually does. Many people have tried to debunk some of his theories and that’s why Lars hits back in his next video.

 

Byron Ferguson : Better than Robin Hood?

Byron Ferguson may well be better than Robin Hood. His accuracy with a bow is pretty astounding. Byron is a well-known exhibition shooter who you can book to show you his skills at your own event if you want to. But in this video, he demonstrates just how accurate he can be using a traditional bow without a sight.

How Small?

Starting by smashing a 2.6″ diameter wooden disc thrown up into the air Byron moves on to perform the same feat with a Golf ball of 1.68″ diameter. Then a sweet with a hole (Polo in the UK, Lifesaver in the USA :)) which has a diameter of .956″. Finally, he demonstrates how he can shoot a moving Asprin tablet out of the air. He does take 2 goes to hit that one and isn’t happy about it, but I think that’s excusable, don’t you?

Don’t Try This At Home

Safety first, Byron is obviously well practiced and well trained. What you see in the video where, I believe it’s his son, is throwing up targets for Byron to shoot is NOT something you should try yourself. You should never have anybody in your arc of fire or they risk serious injury. If you want to try to replicate these feats, use stationary targets or tie them to string and let them swing the wind. Byron is a showman and he’s been shooting for a very long time.

 

Archery tag in golf carts? Awesome…. :)

Dude Perfect take archery tag to new levels in this YouTube video. I mean archery tag is fun enough anyway, shooting people in protective gear with a bow and arrow IS fun. How can you improve on that?

Looks like what you do is make yourself a crazy indoor course with a banana slide, giant beach ball, and some other craziness. Throw 4 golf carts into the mix, each with a driver and a bowman. How do you know if you’ve won? Well each cart has 4 balloons attached, one to each corner and when your opponents burst all your balloons you are out of the game.

I’m not sure if this will catch on, in fact, I’m pretty sure it won’t. But these guys have a lot of fun.

Dude those archery trick shots are amazing….!

Once again the guys from Dude Perfect, who seem to have a lot of fun, give us a great compilation of archery trick shots. Using a combination of recurve and compound bows there are about 10-15 tricks in this YouTube video. Some aren’t the greatest feats of archery you’ll ever see, nothing like the Byron or Lars archery videos but they’re pretty good and must have taken more than a few takes to get right.

What’s in the Video?

Basketball rope trick – A longshot splitting a rope holding a basketball over a hoop.

Pendulum – Hitting a swinging pendulum target.

The William Tell – If you didn’t know, this is shooting an apple off someone’s head!

Clout Dunk – A basketball arrow dunked at distance. Pretty similar to an accurate clout archery shot, but with a heavy arrow.

Lit Cande – A shot that puts out a lit candle.

Archery  Skeet Shoot Off – The Dude Perfect skeet archery shoot off has several rounds, this looks like a fun one to try.

Bank Shot – Shooting an arrow through a tube, round a corner and hitting a target.

Underwater Pin Smasher – How accurate can you be shooting into the pool?

Thrown Ring – Shooting a target at the same time as a ring is passing over it is all about timing!

Balloon Buster – One for a kids party, shooting a line of 5 balloons and bursting them all.

Drive By – Drive by archery.

Longshot – A 300 yard target shot. I wonder how many takes this one took!

Lars Andersen Answers his Critics

Since the posting of his incredible New Level of Archery video Lars Andersen has had many millions of viewers, some of whom aren’t happy with some of the things he covers. Lars has posted a second short video that hits back at some of his critics and explains his methods.

Can He Really Do Those Things?

Well, in short, the answer is yes, but some of them are luck. He can grab an arrow out of the air pretty regularly, but not from a high draw weight bow. He can grab an arrow out of the air when his back it turned, but Lars admits that this is a lucky attempt.

How many tries did it take to split an arrow by shooting it into a blade? He does this again and you can clearly see it’s 2-3 or three attempts. Not something he can do every time. He’s also only shooting from short range, but he can still split an arrow from 10 feet and demonstrates this. It’s harder to do from close range because in order to split an arrow it has to be flying straight. Archers paradox kicks in more at shorter ranges which actually makes it slightly easier to split arrows from a distance.

Lars also admits that he’s yet to master the art of shooting an arrow through a ring after tossing the ring into the air. That’s one shot that eludes him.

Hollywood Isn’t Wrong

Yeah, some archers will have used the back quiver. Hollywood didn’t invent it after all. The issue Lars is trying to portray is that due to impracticality it wouldn’t have been as popular as they seem to think.

Sources and Inspirations

Arab Archery and Saracen Archery are 2 of the sources Lars used when researching his original video.

He also reveals that he is himself inspired by other archers called Murat Ozveri, Cozmei Mihai and Lajos Kassai.

Lars doesn’t claim to have invented his method, he can’t be the first to have ever done these things. But what he does claim is to be one of the first to have learned how to do these things in recent history.

Our Glossary of Interesting Archery Terms

So here you go, this is our archery glossary, an ever growing collection of words related to archery that should, once read, make you something of an expert! If there's anything you feel we should add, let us know in the comments or get in touch! Oh, and don't forget we have a separate article specifically for archery slang which covers those less frequently heard and less frequently  understood terms!

3D Archery

​Similar to field archery, however the targets in 3D archery are normally 3D representations of animals (deer, elk etc).

Anchor Point

The point to which an archer draws back the bowstring to aim, this point should be steady to allow the aim to steady and hence it is called the Anchor Point.

Ambi-Ocular

Someone who has no dominant eye.

AMO

The Archery Manufacturers Organisation, renamed in 2002 to the ATA (Archery Trade Association)

Archer's Paradox

As an arrow leaves a bow, the force put into it causes it to flex (or wobble), this term relates to that flexing.

Archery Tag

A fun archery game similar to paintball where participants are clothed in protective gear in a mocked up arena and combat each other using arrows with large foam heads and specialized bows.

Archer Tab

Refers to a finger tab.

Arm Guard

A casing for the forearm and sometimes upper arm of an archer to protect against the effects of the bowstring slapping against the clothing or flesh.

Arrow

A shaft of wood, carbon or fibreglass sharpened at the front with feathers or vanes at the back, shot from a bow as a weapon or for sport.

Arrowhead

The tip of the arrow, an arrowhead will be formed differently for different uses such as hunting or target archery.

Arrow Length

The length of an arrow from the groove in the nock to the base of the point.

Arrow Rest

The part of the bow on which the arrow rests.

ATA

The Archery Trade Association a trade group representing manufacturers, retailers, distributors, sales representatives and others working in the archery industry.

ATA Draw Length

The distance from the nock point on the bowstring to the pivot point on the grip of a drawn bow + 1.75 inches.BarebowNormally refers to a recurve bow with no modern aids such as stabilisers or sights.

Bolt

A short heavy arrow shot from a crossbow.

Bow

A curved piece of wood or fibreglass whose ends are joined with a taut string used for shooting arrows.

Bow Hand

The hand that holds the bow. The left hand of a right handed archer and the right hand of a left handed archer.

Bowfishing

The act of spearing fish with an arrow or hunting fish with an arrow.

Bowhunting

Using a bow and arrow to hunt live game.

Bowstring

The string which attaches to the ends of the bow and is used to propel arrows forwards.

Boss

The backing to a typical archery target which once the arrow has pierced the (normally paper) target stops the arrow, usually made of foam or straw.

Bouncer

An arrow that hits the target and then falls out.

Bow-scale

A device that measures the draw-weight of a bow.

Bow-square

A device to measure the brace height and nock position of a bow.

Bowyer

Someone who makes bows!

Bracer

A traditional name for an arm guard.

Broadhead

A hunting arrow point, shaped in a V with either 2 or 4 cutting edges.

Cam

A pulley found on the end of the limbs of a compound bow.

Carbon

Material used to make arrows and bow parts.

Chest Guard

Protective hear used to present strings catching on the clothes or body, usually covers one side of the chest.

Clicker

A device that clicks when a bow is drawn to a specified draw length, letting an archer know the best time to release.

Clout Archery

A discipline of archery where a large target is draw on the floor with a flat at the center at a large distance from the archer and the object is to shoot an arrow which wil land as close to the flag as possible. Think ‘golf’ for archers!

Compound Bow

A type of bow with mechanical aids to ‘compound’ the drawn weight upon release allowing for a faster shot from a lower draw weight.

Crossbow

A mechanical, horizontal bow where the mechanism can be used to draw back the string and lock it in place, the crossbow is then held and fired much like a rifle.

Cross Dominance

When an archer has a dominant left eye and a dominant right hand and vice versa.

Draw

The act of pulling a bowstring back in readiness to shoot an arrow.

Draw Length

Refers to the distance an archer can draw back a bow.

Draw Weight

The force which must be exerted in order to hold a bow in the drawn position.

Dry Firing

Shooting an empty bow without using an arrow (don’t do this).

End

A specific number of arrows shot  between scoring. An 'end' of arrows can be 3, 4, 6 or more depending on the competition rules.

Eye Dominance

Refers to the dominant eye of an archer

Field Archery

Target archery practised on an outdoor course with differing terrain and differing shot distances.Finger TabSmall leather or synthetic patch and protects fingers from the bowstring.

Finger Guard

See finger tab.

FITA

Federation Internationale de Tir a L'Arc. The international target archery federation!

Flemish Twist

Traditional string with loops made with the same method as rope. Twisted and spliced rather than a continuous strand of looped material.

Fletch

One of the feathers vanes of an arrow.

Flight Archery

A discipline of archery where the object is to shoot an arrow for the furthest distance.

Flight Bow

A specialised type of bow designed specifically for distance shooting.

Hoyt

An archery equipment manufacturer.

Kyudo

A Japanese discipline centered around the Yumi (or Kyudo bow) and the discipline of archery.

Kyudo Bow

Similar to a longbow, a traditional one piece bow with rounded limbs that can be up to 2m in height, traditionally made from bamboo. Used in the practice of Kyudo.

Lamination

A technique used in the manufacture of bows where by layers of material are fused together to make a new material with different properties.

Limb

Attached to a riser, the flexible part of a takedown bow to which the strings are attached.

Longbow

A traditional one piece bow with rounded limbs, usually as tall as the archer.

Mounted Archery

An archer on horseback practised mounted archery.

Nock

The groove at the end of the arrow where it fits onto the bowstring.

Nocking Point

The marked part of the bowstring where the arrow nock should be placed.

Over Bowed

Someone trying to draw a bow with a draw weight that’s too heavy is ‘over bowed’, the bow is overpowering them.

Olympic Archery

Target archery shot using a recurve bow only at a range of 70m. Mens/Womens and Team disciplines currently appear in the olympic games.

Para Archery

Archery for wheelchair bound and physically impaired athletes.

Peep Sight

A small ring attached to the bow string that you look through to locate the bow front sight and align both on an target.

PSE

An archery equipment manufacturer.

Quiver

A (usually portable) case for holding arrows.

Recurve

A style of bow which curves forwards at the ends, these curves straighten under tension and add to the power of the bow.

Reflex Bow

A bow whose limbs curve away from you when it is unstrung.

Riser

The central part of a bow containing the gripped handle and arrow rest.

Run Archery

An event where contestants run through a cross-country trail interspersed with rounds of target archery.

SAS

Southwestern Archery Supply, an archery equipment manufacturer.

Samick

An archery equipment manufacturer.

Self Bow

Refers to a bow made from a single piece of wood.

Serving

Protective wrapping around bowstring to prevent wear.

Ski Archery

An event where contestants ski through a cross-country trail interspersed with rounds of target archery.

Sin

Sometimes referred to as the distance you missed the bullseye by.

Stacking

When you overdraw a bow by pulling the string too far back there is a large increase in draw weight, this is referred to as stacking.

Stringer

A device to aid in the stringing of a bow.

Tab Hand

The hand that draw the string. The left hand of a left handed archer and the right hand of a right handed archer.

Takedown

A bow which can be disassembled into pieces for transport, usually consists of a riser where the archer would hold the bow and rest the arrow and 2 limbs.

Traditional Archery

Archery with a basic modern bow but without modern aids such as stabilisers. Can also refer to archery with a traditional style of bow such as a longbow or flatbow.

Target Archery

The most popular style of archery, practised indoors and outdoors at distances of up to 70m this style of archery involves shooting at a target mounted on a boss which displays concentric circles of different colors denoting differing scoring zones, usually having a gold or yellow center circle.

Toxophilite

An archer!

Tuning

Adjustments to a bow and arrow to price the most accurate shots.

Yumi

Refers to a Kyudo bow.​

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