Introduction: Paracord Survival Bow


In this Instructable, there are detailed instructions to make a powerful, simply designed bow, and for under $10. I am making this on a budget, so this project can be very accessible and all parts are easily found in every hardware store. I would like to thank the "BackyardBowyer" on youtube for the idea on dowel handle reinforcing (It'll make sense if you read the rest) and the entire instructables community for being so supportive. I've had this idea in my head of a true survival bow that is multi purposed and functional.The outcome is only a few pounds but can fire with over 45 pounds of force, or be customized to a lower strength for younger builders. Paracord is used as a high strength bow string and as a survival grip handle, which can be removed to use in a survival situation.


Paracord Bundle

3/4 inch width 54 inch long Schedule 40 Gray Plastic Pipe

3/4 inch width 12 inch long hardwood Dowel rod

Duct tape

Spray Paint (Optional)


Hand Saw


Step 1: Pipe Cutting and Prep Work

First, cut a length of the pipe to 54 inches using the saw. Make a straight and level cut.

Next, cut a slit at a 45 degree angle towards the center of the pipe approximately 2 inches from each end. Only go about 1/3 of the pipe's width into it to keep it strong.

These are the only cuts on the pipe itself.

Step 2: Handle and Bow Curve Set Up

This step sets the handle and curve of the bow up to be powerful but manageable.

Cut the dowel to 12 inches and cover it in duct tape. The tape makes it resist movement later on.

Step 3: Handle Placement

Now, take the dowel and shove it into the pipe, placing it in the middle of the pipe. You can use a rod marked at 21 inches to push on each side to center it. The dowel needs to be easily slid in but not moving once it is centered. Add more tape if needed.

Step 4: String Knotting and Prep

Cut a length of paracord about 32- 40 inches, depending on how strong you would like the bow.

The shorter string = more power.

Tie a loop knot at each end of the cord, large enough to fit over the pipe and in the slits but small enough to conserve the cord to use on the other side. I just folded the cord over itself and tied it off, but any knot will work as long as it doesn't slip.

Step 5: Stringing

To string the bow, you may want to use the vice. Be sure to tighten it fully, there will be large pressures on it. Slide the rope into the first slit you cut on the ends of the pipe. Pull the cord into the slit tightly to keep it in place, and bend the pipe as it is in the vice. Once it is bent, string the other end of the pipe. (This is the hard part of it.) You should end up with a bow similar to the one in the last picture.

Step 6: Painting (Optional)

Now is the time to paint the bow. Use primer and paint to prevent the paint from cracking or rubbing off.

Step 7: Paracord Handle

Finally, wrap the handle of the bow with the paracord, tying a knot with the ends to create a strong, durable, and useful handle that you can quickly untie when outdoors and use like any other rope. The square knot is preferred for this situation, but several other knots can be used.

Step 8: Finished!

Now you're finished, so take aim and begin shooting. If there are any questions, I will answer as best I can to what I read in the comments. Thanks for reading and good luck!

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