Welcome to the beginners section here is all of, and likely far more information than you will need.

This covers the basics of what you can shoot, range safety and finally onto scoring.

About Archery

As a sport, archery requires a great deal of discipline and practice. You can click with it instantly or you can slowly build up. Regardless of what happens, it will take a few months to get confident at it and far longer to perfect it. Before you start shooting you need to know a few things about the sport, mainly the different bow styles and disciplines within them. We’ll start off with the most common, the Recurve Bow. Training is done 1 to 1 to start with under the supervision of coaches, and then you are given time at the second half of each session to practice what we have taught you.


The Disciplines


The recurve bow is the most common bow shot, it’s relatively cheap but can get expensive very quick.

Will a more expensive bow make you better?

No, you can’t buy points, however once you have the fundamentals down you might like the feel of a more expensive bow, especially in the smoothness of the draw.

If you are taking it seriously and enjoying it get an ILF bow, this is the standard “International Limb Fit”. It means you can upgrade just the limbs rather than the riser as you get stronger, which can be a great plus, as it will save you on a riser if you still like the one you have.

There are two disciplines within the Recurve category;



Barebow is where you can have nothing attached to the bow other then a pressure button and some very small weights.

Sighted is far more open to what you can use, firstly you can attach a sight but you can also add stabiliser systems and clickers. The sight will increase your accuracy, and the clickers and stabilisers will help with the consistency. If you want to shoot barebow you don’t really need to look at getting a pressure button or anything to start off with, it will just hinder you. With sighted you will need to get a sight and a cheap long rod stabiliser, expensive ones aren’t necessary and don’t really offer much more.

This does mean the initial cost for sighted is more, but what effect can it have on your shooting? Well the qualification score for BUCS barebow senior is around 200, for sighted is 377. A sight will significantly increase your accuracy in the long run; in the short run it won’t be much different. This might seem like you are buying points, but you will only ever compete with people in the same category as you, so a barebow shooter will never compete against a sighted shooter.


The Compound bow is the second bow style that can be shot. It is very different from the recurve in accuracy, consistency and price. The price is the real killer here, for the bow itself, with nothing attached, you are looking at about £300. With a recurve you would be able to shoot with just the bow, however with compound you will need to acquire a sight, launcher and a release aid. The latter 2 being a minimum of £30 each, although for release aids I would recommend the thumb trigger over the finger trigger but that’s personal preference. The sight you will need to be looking to spend about £100 on as you need to get the block and the actual sight separately. So if you are going to be shooting compound it is likely that you will have to spend around £500 to get started.

How does it differ from recurve?

The main difference between a compound and recurve, other then its looks, is that a compound will “let off” this means that at full draw you are actually holding less then the peak draw weight. For example, a 40 pound recurve, at full draw you will hold all 40 pounds, however with a compound with a peak draw of 40 pounds and a 50% let off (for argument sake in reality this is around 65-75%) at full draw you will only hold 20 pounds. The compound bow will propel the arrow with more energy. How does a compound compare up to a Recruve? Well the senior qualification score for BUCS shooting compound is 440. So compound is far more consistent.


Longbow is what I know least about, so this wont be as detailed as well as the other 2 sections, sorry. Prices for these range from around £100 to a lot more; its a similar price to recurve bows. Longbow scores are much lower in qualification scores, a senior score being around 150.

What should I shoot?

It all comes down to personal preference, most people will be happy with recurve and that is what we will start you off on. If you want to go traditional, I would consider shooting a longbow or barebow, both have positives, however personally I would lean towards barebow as you still have the option to shoot sighted, although if you’re die hard into traditional then get a longbow. Between sighted recruve and compound it really comes down to what you want to learn. In general a good recurve archer will out shoot a compound indoors (due to scoring ring changes and more) but a compound will easily out shoot a recurve outdoors.

We welcome all types of archers and offer coaching for all abilities.

 Range Safety

There are a few rules that we must follow when shooting. They are outlined in the rules of shooting on ArcheryGB however they are applied to us.

  • We have two lines; the red line is the safety line, do not cross it unless you are shooting or you are a committee member coaching. The second line is the white one, this is the shooting line. This is never to be crossed unless the range master has called it’s safe.
  • The range master is usually the health and safety officer. However he can delegate this to someone else. If the health and safety officer isn’t at practice then the president will be in control.
  • If any of the committee calls fast for any reason; stop shooting, come down, take your arrow off the string and step back from the line. This command means something has gone wrong and we need you to stop shooting.
  • Never nock an arrow when you aren’t shooting.
  • Don’t touch other peoples stuff without permission. If you break it expect to pay for it cash on the spot. Some peoples arrows cost upwards of £15 for 1, so it might not be cheap.
  • When you have finish shooting, pack your bow away fully and put your arrows away. A clean range is a safe range.


Scoring System

When scoring if the arrow has broken the line the higher score counts. The standard round we shoot is called a Portsmouth. This follows metric scoring so starting from the outside the colour corresponds to the following scores;


Metric score Imperial Score

White outer

1 1
White inner 2 1
Black outer 3 3
Black inner 4 3
Blue outer 5 5
Blue inner 6 5
Red outer 7 7
Red inner 8 7
Gold outer 9 9
Gold inner 2 10 9

For a Portsmouth round you have to shoot a total of 60 arrows. Giving you a maximum point total of 600.

As you have read this far and totally didn’t skip down to the bottom. Below are the qualification scores you need to shoot for BUCS


Novice Senior


277 400


150 243


336 481


128 219