Hawkeye is known for arrowing targets in high-pressure situations. Yeah, his technique could use some work, but he still manages to captivate moviegoers with each shot. So what makes him so great? Is it his attitude or flair for trick shots? Perhaps it’s his bow. Jeremy Renner uses a Win&Win Rapido recurve bow in the latest Marvel film “Captain America: Civil War.” Hawkeye shot a compound bow in 2011’s “Thor,” so why the switch to a recurve?
In “Civil War,” Hawkeye is recruited to assist #TeamCaptainAmerica in their battle against Iron Man and his crew. Many of Hawkeye’s targets are airborne, so the recurve bow helps Hawkeye keep up with them without losing his precision. The recurve’s lightness, as opposed to a compound bow’s bulk, lets him adjust his shot angles quickly and easily. He’s able to lift the bow high above his head to track his aerial foes and get better shots. Off the Grid News explains, “This is a real advantage in many forms of hunting, allowing you to keep a sight picture on a moving animal or flying bird.” Or a flying nemesis.
Hawkeye steps up his archery game in this latest Marvel movie. He also upgrades his arrows to ones with exploding tips; as if his form and accuracy weren’t cool enough already. Everyday archers might not have exploding arrows, but they have recurve bows. Recurves are the common bow of target archers.
Off the Grid News explained: “A bow uses the mechanical advantage of leverage and stored energy to cast an arrow faster and farther than you could otherwise throw it. Recurves and longbows directly store this energy; as you draw them, they get harder to pull.” How fast your arrow flies from your bow is determined partly by how much weight/energy its limbs can store, and how far you can pull back the bow. Hawkeye’s good in the muscle department, so that seems like the fit for him.
Off the Grid News continued: “Top-end compounds have worked hard to eliminate the herky-jerky draw motion that the let-off gives you when the weight drops as you pull back on the string. Traditional bows have none of this. Their draw is one smooth motion, with the weight increasing the further you draw.” Not only does that help Hawkeye take down his enemies, it helps target archers build strength and develop technique.
Livestrong reported, “The inward curve of the limbs helps generate greater force when the bow is drawn.” Arrows shot with a recurve bow might not travel as far as those shot with a compound, but they pack a great punch for the distance they travel. You can see how that would appeal to Hawkeye.
“Recurve bows, on the other hand, rely more heavily on the archer’s technique to ensure a clean shot, making their use a more challenging experience,” Livestrong continued. With practice anyone can begin to master their craft, whether that’s shooting archery in competition or for backyard fun.
OK, but how powerful are recurve bows? “According to experts, the bows of the strongest men have a 75-pound draw weight,” Screenrant claimed. That sounds plenty hefty, but how much can Clint Barton/Hawkeye pull, you ask? “That would be 250 pounds, or over three times what the strongest men can muster,” Screenrant continued. He’s an Avenger for a reason, right? No one wants to be on the wrong end of that arrow.
“His only weakness? Limited arrows, which research shows is a maximum of thirty-two in his quiver,” Screenrant said. That’s hardly a weakness. He does just fine in the movies.
After all, recurve bows are lighter and more maneuverable, making it easier to track a target. Those are vital factors when you’re in the middle of a battle and must be constantly on the move – tumbling, running and jumping – to keep up with superpower opponents. That’s why a recurve seems right for Hawkeye.