How Many FPS Does A Compound Bow Shoot

Compound bows have come a long way over the last few decades, seeing an impressive leap in shot speed and FPS.

Although a lot of the modern compound bows advertise their shooting FPS on the higher end, it’s mostly inflated to boost sales.

That leads us to the question — how many FPS does a compound bow shoot?

You can expect a compound bow to shoot anywhere from 250 FPS to 370 FPS. Anything over 340 FPS is considered to be a decent speed for a compound bow. The speed of the arrow depends on the bow’s draw weight, draw length, arrow weight, string weight, and many other factors. 

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into compound bow arrow speed.

How Many FPS Does A Compound Bow Shoot

An average Compound bow can launch arrows anywhere from 250 to a whopping 370 FPS(Feet Per Second). 

Most compound bow ads will claim their bows to reach between 300 and 340 fps.

Now, if a compound bow clocks under 300 fps, it’s considered slow. An FPS of 340 or more is considered a good FPS for a compound bow. 

A compound bow with higher FPS can travel longer distance.

Similarly, you’ll get higher FPS with dual cam bows compared to single cam bows.

How To Determine The FPS of a Compound Bow

Alright, so the big shots in archery follow this IBO (International Bowhunting Organization) thing for their bows. They set the rules for arrow speed, but here’s the catch – they stick to the following parameters:

  • Draw Length: 30 inches
  • Draw Weight: 70 pounds
  • Arrow Weighing: 350 grains.

Now, if you’re not sticking to these exact numbers, the arrow won’t play by the IBO rules. 

But, guess what? Most archers tweak things a bit. That’s where this cool bow speed calculator jumps in. It lets you see how your arrow will perform with different bow setups. 

Let’s break down the arrow speed adjustment game according to the IBO specs. Here are the rules:

1. If your draw length is under 30 inches, subtract 10 ft/s for every inch less.

2. If your draw length is over 30 inches, add 10 ft/s for every inch more.

3. For every 3 grains of extra arrow weight above draw weight multiplied by 5, subtract 1 ft/s.

4. If there are 3 grains more on the bowstring, subtract 1 ft/s.

Let’s break it down step by step. Imagine you’re eyeing the IBO 300 bow, and you want to crank up the arrow speed by tweaking the draw length and arrow weight.

Choose Draw Length:

Let’s pick a draw length of 32 inches.

Decide on Weights:

Stick with the regular peak draw weight of 70 lbs, and for arrows, go for ones weighing 350 grains.

Additional String Weight:

If there’s any extra weight on the bowstring, note it down. Let’s say it’s 5 grains.

Formula Time:

Now, plug these numbers into the formula for arrow speed:

v = IBO+(L−30)×10−W/3 + min(0,−(A− 5D) /3)


  • v is the actual arrow speed in ft/s
  • IBO is arrow speed according to the IBO specification
  • L is the draw length in inches
  • W is the additional weight on the bowstring in grains
  • A is the arrow weight in grains
  • D is the draw weight in pounds

= 300 + ( 32 − 30 ) × 10 − (5 / 3) + min ( 0 , − (350 − 5 × 70) / 3 )

= 318.33 ft/s

Thus, v= 318.33 ft/s

So, with a draw length of 32 inches, regular peak draw weight, and 400-grain arrows with a bit of extra string weight, you’re looking at an arrow speed of around 301.67 feet per second. There you go, arrow speed math made simple!

What Device Measures Arrow Speed

To measure arrow speed, one can utilize optical chronographs, Doppler chronographs, or laptop-based audio applications. 

All three methods demonstrate a comparable level of effectiveness, with little disparity in measured speed. 

Optical chronographs display insensitivity to shooting distance but are susceptible to damage from shooting errors. 

Doppler chronographs, on the other hand, offer a swift and straightforward measurement process.

Factors That Can Affect The Speed of An Arrow

Draw Weight

At the core of arrow speed lies draw weight, the force required to pull the bowstring to a full draw.

Picture it as the muscle power of your bow. The greater the draw weight, the more energy is imparted to the arrow, propelling it with increased velocity.

A simple increase of 5 pounds in draw weight can result in a notable boost of 10 feet per second (fps) in arrow speed.

A consistent draw weight can help achieve consistent arrow speed.

Draw Length

Draw length, or how far back the bowstring is pulled, plays a pivotal role in arrow speed. Longer draw lengths provide the arrow with an extended push, akin to a lengthened runway for takeoff.

The result?

Faster arrow speeds can significantly impact accuracy and target penetration.

Arrow Weight

The weight of the arrow itself contributes significantly to its speed.

Lighter arrows act like nimble sprinters, accelerating quickly off the bowstring.

On the other hand, heavier arrows, resembling weightlifters, may pack more punch but move at a slower pace. Balancing the need for speed with the desired impact is a key consideration for archers.

String Weight

String weight adds another layer to the arrow speed equation.

While increasing string weight can boost arrow velocity, caution is warranted.

Finding the right balance is essential to ensure not only speed but also the comfort and smooth operation of the bow.

Too much string weight may compromise accuracy and overall shooting experience.


That’s all about Compound Bow arrow FPS. Tweaking your draw weight and length can improve your arrow FPS. 

Don’t take the advertised FPS at face value as brands tend to inflate the performance measures for sale. 

Have a great day.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top