Guns vs Bows

Guns vs Bows

When it comes to picking a new hobby, archery and rifle shooting are both great choices. However, it can be hard to choose between them. Both have their own pros and cons, but ultimately it boils down to what suits you best.

Starting Price



If you don’t have any of the equipment necessary to start, you’ll probably want to look at what it costs to get started. When it comes to the two, an archery set will be more cost effective than a rifle. A quality bow is about the same price as a quality rifle, but ammunition makes a stark difference. Arrows can be collected and reused, but you have to buy new ammunition each time for the gun. That said, arrows are more expensive per unit than bullets.

Once you’ve chosen which of the two weapons you’ll be using, you’ll need to set up a target and backstop if you’re shooting at home, or pay for use of a range if you’re going out to shoot. Most ranges offer memberships, a more cost effective option if you’re planning to make a habit out of it. Sometimes these memberships even come with discounts for ammunition if the range is attached to a gun store.


While it takes skill to hit the target whether you’re using a bow or a gun, archery is arguably more difficult. While using a gun can be mastered relatively quickly with practice (and a good quality scope), archery takes much more training to use effectively. The safety techniques to avoid injury are also important to learn, but knowing the proper way to draw a bow back — and knowing that this differs between bow types — can be a lot to take in. The learning curve is steeper for archery than for rifle shooting.

After you know how to properly shoot a rifle, it becomes fun to outfit it with accessories. Finding a high quality scope can make a lot of difference for beginners. Check out rifle scope reviews to find one that works the best for you; a good scope can make zeroing in on the bulls-eye easier than you would have imagined, and pegging a target from 300 yards away is immensely satisfying. These skills also migrate well to hunting if you ever want to take that up as a hobby.

While bows do have accessories that come with them, the classic feel of shooting a bow makes doing it the old-fashioned way much more fun. Learning the difference between a longbow, a recurve bow, and a crossbow is part of the experience, and if you take up archery, you’ll eventually shoot all the different types of bows out there. The thud sound as the arrow sinks into a target is one that the metallic ding of a bullet colliding with a target can’t match.

Pros Of Guns vs Bows

Bow Vs Rifle: Which to choose?

Ultimately, the choice to learn how to shoot a rifle or to shoot a bow is a personal one. Both are very satisfying and educational hobbies, and each side has its die-hard fans who refuse to try out the other. That said, it’s a good idea to try out both and figure out which one you like for yourself. If you choose archery, read up on our beginners guide.