How to Make a 60 lb PVC longbow for less than $10

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. JP in MT says:

    Good piece of prepper info.

  2. hi. our elderly computer has no sound and cannot do a good job with videos. it isn’t worth trying to download them. could this bow instruction have a written set of directions appended?. also a set of directions for a bow for the less muscly arm would be appreciated. we’re not all charles atlas!!!

    • Deb,

      I’m not sure who you are asking to do this transcription for you. MD who was kind enough to be a informative clearinghouse for good useful information or to themanscave who made and posted the video on youtube. Or just to members of the pack?

      Either way, to my ears, it sounds like you are being a less than gracious, guest here.

      Please, why don’t YOU visit a local library, watch the video with sound, and transcribe it for the rest of us? Then maybe you could make and test different bow configurations to see if one works out to have a less heavy pull-strength but would still be useful for hunting, etc.

      If you feel taken aback that I ask you to do this, please remember I’m not the first one to ask, and at least I said please.

      • Encourager says:


      • michael malan says:

        To MikeM,
        You might have a point and be justified in your reasoning. But to my ears you need to lighten up! I am sure with a little thought you could get your point across w/o the sarcasm. This is just my humble opinion.

      • Ok, I tend to comment here on TSB to disagree more than to simply add to the agreement. I also try to comment if I think I have some good additional info to share or to ask a specific question. This day, I think I commented because I was feeling sick and ornery.

        I’m letting my opsec down a notch here by telling you all I happen to be a teacher. I get a lot of emails along the lines of “Hey teach, I missed class on wed. Is there anything I should know about (fill in the blank here with a difficult concept that takes about an hour to explain)?”

        So I tend to have an oversensitivity to people asking others who are already helpful to lay out an additional great amount of time to satisfy the whim of that one individual. Its just not polite.

        So what could I offer as constructive criticism. Maybe in the future we could all try to put some smidgen of effort on our own before asking others to do for us (thats a survivalist sort of perspective right). Like run one google search before asking MD to create a transcription for a video that he links to.

        when I typed in pvc bow instructions I got some nice written directions including:

        All of these have written directions for different PVC bows. That was 3 minutes of effort.

        Additionally I was also in a “I really can’t stand this dependency culture” fit when I read Deb’s comment. In such a state I could only interpret the post as: My computer isn’t great… its not worth my time… I’m too weak for this bow… can someone do it all for me.

        Well I’m probably digging myself a deeper hole, but hey its what I do. I kind of like that “More pooper than prepper” knock – maybe I’ll change my handle, there’s getting to be too many Mikes here anyways.

        • Encourager says:

          I understood exactly the points you were making Mike M. Deb’s comments struck me the same way. Maybe we were both under the grumpy cloud.

    • Thomas T. Tinker says:

      Deb: The material list was on screen, pause and note it. the fiberglass rod is wrapped with electrical tape until it … juuuuust fits into inner 1/2 pvc. The inner pvc was cut lengthwise to allow it to ‘pinch’ as it is driven into the 3/4 pvc. I imagin that is to allow it enough shrink to fit tight. What was not listed was the length of string and placement of arrow rest and sight. The fella must have some background as he had a peep sight on the string and knew ‘where’ to mount the pin sight. Otherwise…. Robin Hood it and pick up another skill set. Lower poundage…… ya got me!

    • Buuurr in Ohio says:

      Hi Deb,

      Lowering the poundage seems easy enough. I would simply use a thinner diameter fiberglass rod and if that was not possible one could simply shorten it to ease the draw. Hope this helps. Thomas gave all the info below that you need to build it. Seems easy enough.

      P.S. Ignore MikeM, he seems more a pooper then a prepper, no?

  3. Very cool!
    I know that this is off topic but the community which has been created here is to the site’s credit. Don’t want to sound like a kiss-butt, so I’ll just leave it at that.

  4. A couple of resources for pvc bows without the videos. One website, one book.

    and a book from amazon

  5. Great idea… just might have to make one to add to my archery equipment.

  6. Julranieson says:

    Great idea! I was JUST thinking about finding a class and adding this to my preps. It’s been a while since college freshman archery class.

  7. CRAP!!! Just what I need , another project!!! Oh well at least this one won’t cost me much!!! Sold my compund bow at a yard a a few years ago before I was a prepper and wish I hadn’t and have been looking for a cheap bow , looks like I found one.

  8. Thomas T. Tinker says:

    MD…. Major question Sir…. This is a great piece of work. It is a ‘bootleg/bowjacked’ bow. What would you think as to ‘life’ until you stress it to far. Say in ‘arrow count’. I know bows from rakes only cause they look so different… I’m thinking ‘overdraw’ due to diff pull length of shooter…. shaft length…. would wood arrows be safe, cause they sure aren’t with a compound or crossbow. Yepper… good piece Sir Mucho Garsia.

    I know there are some ‘bowmen’ lurking in here……..

    • Thomas,

      With a 60lb pull I would not use wooden arrows…

      • Thomas T. Tinker says:

        I hear and agree. Wood arrows would be the last ditch item in a preppers world.

        • Yes, anything above 45 pound pull should use carbon arrows… unless you like the idea of cedar splinters in your arm, wrist or hand.

    • Thomas, you won’t have any problems using wood arrows with a 60+ pound draw bow- so long as they’re ‘spined’ for that weight draw. (Personal note: I’d be more inclined to use cedar arrows than ‘glass or carbon, but that’s just me. Wood will more than likely be less problematic than carbon to dings and other maladies arrows can fall prey to.)
      As to ‘splinters in your hand’, if you’re going to worry about that, don’t get carbon arrows or fiberglass. Stick with aluminum, since it’s the only arrow that will not splinter.
      If you’re using a ‘wheel bow’, then stick with carbon, ‘glass and aluminum, but understand people were shooting wood on bows much more powerful than 60 pounds for centuries. As to the draw weight itself: 60 pound draw is going to be problematic for most people un-used to bows, so look for something with a bit less draw weight.

  9. Well,I have to say I cancelled ATT internet services and went back to peoplepc ,it doesnt do videos,so I know where thats coming from.AT&Twas hassling me about gettin on line with their hi speed modem,& I suspect their”Favor ” in giving me another modem was going to cost me other ways.So Instead of accepting their favor,Im on peoplepc.
    I watched the video before,but didn t see them cutting the 1/2 ” pipe,just adding glue and hammering it down into center.Then if you had a heatgun,flattening both ends,and cutting a notch for string.The inner pipe was something like 2/3 length of the outer pipe.
    Arrows,I saw dowels being used can be like 24 inch to 34 inch,flocking can be glued on duct tape,then cut to triangle,and a notch cut in end.Arrowheads can be sharpenened in pencil sharpener,or triangle cut from sheet metal,tin can,or even flint knapped,then noctch cut and added with string and glue,or other assted branches that look straight and are apx 30″ long.String can be nylon masons line,or paracord,something apx 50 lb test strength.
    K marts has a 30 to 30 lb beginners bow for apx 20 bucks arrows are around 4 bucks ea..Recurve I learned on at age 14,like 45 yrs back.E bay,amazon may have used bows.,use search engine for used archery equipment.
    Then theres getting a pellet gun with at least 400 lb per sec ,like a crossman,also available at ebay,amazon,uswe search engine,etc…

  10. I probably watched 1/2 a doz videos on on how to make different bows and arrows last yr..Probably wasn t this one,cause this one has a store bought arrow.Just punch up improvised bows from pvc…
    Then there was wilderness school vids,shaving down wood towards ea end from center,and saying just shave 1 side and not too thin.Another was a apatche bow that used a half doz branches tied together for better strengthmostly 2/3 rd s of the bow in center,tied around main branch that had string on it.
    One of those survival schools is selling a 50 dollar slingshot adapted to shoot arrows,looked mighty nifty.
    When I was in Jr High,I read a scuba book which spoke of Hawaiian slings ,speargun.It was made with a piece of pipe like 18 inches to 3 ft ,with inner tube from bike cut and tied with cord around 1 end.The spear was like a thin dianeter piece of metal sharpened on 1 end,and you load it in the pipe,and shoot it from the inner tube rubber.Could attach cordage on spear to retrieve it easier.I search engined a speargun last yr,was 60 bucks for the cheapest one…

  11. On using wood for arrows,I don t think previous generations had anything else.
    One primative survival skills book I had 30 or so yrs back said wood is made hard by baking it buried under a fire ,spears tips sharpened ,arrows,clubs,staffs.
    Elsewhere ,wood is classified into softwood,pine,and hardwood,oak,pecan,ash,hickory,cocobola is used in some martial arts wood pieceslike nun chucks.
    I think if I was in the wild,throwing knives with holes in em could be used as spearheads,as can the butterfly /balisong knives with holes in handles.
    I guess I m getting too old tho.A coulple wks ago,I walked towards where my car was in the shop,and only lasted 70 min..I called a cab for the rest of the way.I had already done my 1/2 hr daily walk that I usually do.Have a heart condition these days…

  12. peanut_gallery says:

    We may all be using bows if the government is successful in taking our guns.

    • Encourager says:

      Good point peanut_gallery. Wish I was younger and had the strength to pull a bow. I even tried to pull a child’s bow at Cabelas….no go. 🙁

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Know the feeling Encourager. Bought my buddies compound that one of his now grown (and big!) sons used as a 16 year old. He was worried that the 45 lb pull would be too light for me.
        Perfect fit. Maybe not practical for taking big game but I’ve been practicing for bunnies and the like.
        Nice video. Liked the ingenuity, Thanks M.D.

      • Lol, don’t feel bad Encourager. I was recently humbled by a bow that I thought was set to #75 draw but in reality was #60. That thing was a bear to pull on. I had to bow my head and ask the nice man to tone it down to #55. It’s still not easy on the old rotator cup. But I have no doubt about it’s ability to do serious damage 50 yards out.

        • Encourager says:

          roflol, Mexneck. I seem to be finding out my limitations every single day lately. Today I cleaned our shower. Yes, it is rather big. We have hard water with iron, magnesium and calcium. So it builds up (even though we have a whole house filter we change every week). By the time I was done with the third chemical (first, something to get rid of the iron/lime, then something to kill the mold, then a cleaner to get rid of the soap scum and make it all shiny) I had to put my wrist in a brace. Crap. I hate gettin’ old. And where is that maid?!?!

          On another note, just got off the phone with a facilitator my dh’s company has hired to help me choose supplemental insurance to go along with Medicare, which starts at the beginning of next month. By the time we were done:
          1. I will be paying singly what we paid for both of us when dh retired. Oh, but that also included dental and vision plans.
          2. Dental and vision will cost extra and I have to find them on my own. (Medicare says dental health is not part of medical health. Apparently none of them had a dental abscess). I immediately called my dentist and they got me in for a crown and cleaning before the end of the month, while I still have coverage.
          3. For Part D (the Rx part), out of two meds I take, one isn’t on the list. So I will have to pay for that out of pocket. But if I decide not to take Part D now, and sign up in say 6 months, I will have to pay 3 times more for it forever.

          Thank you Obummer Care.

  13. Well,back in1975,I got a security guard job after coming out of army boot camp,I was in the reserves.It paid like $3.18 a hr after 90 days.I only carried a sidearm service revolver a fraction of the time.All the rest of the time I had a nightstick.
    However ,I was 21 at the time,6 ft 3 ,190 apx lbs,in best shape of my life,Detroit suburbs.
    Now I have pepperspray and a stungun if I need them.I cut a lot of southern privet hedge bushes severely,and made some staffs,clubs,a lot of tentstakes,kubotans are handheld defence devices like defence keychains from 4 to 18 inches.I used a sawsall,and ran it into the ground ,with all the cutting.Got the sawsall at,a good site to windowshop at.
    For all of us getting older,a cane,or walking sticks about the best piece of defence equipment.Maybe with the sm pepperspray,and the larger ones.One survival site said get the steel cane with the questionmark shape like at walmarts.
    For those in States where pepperspray is against the law,fine ground red pepper from the spice shelf can be carried and thrown in someones face/eyes,with a little practice.Then theres filling a good quality watergun with louisiana hotsauce and sprayed.That furnishes a distraction for the cane if need be…or stungun…

    • To many places I can’t ‘carry’. I can however take my kubotan anywhere, and do. Damn handy little piece of plastic. Taught my kids how to use one too. Like that hot sauce in the squirt gun, gotta try that out!

  14. Postmaster says:

    For additional PVC pipe bow how to, as well as other pvc weapons.

  15. richard M says:

    greetings. i have a Oneida compound bow. the ugly one. mine will go from about 45 pounds draw to a full 80 pounder in case you want to hunt really big stuff. to adjust the pull on the Oneida bow one simply has to slacken the tension on the cables. loosen and the draw weight goes down. tighten and it goes up. handy feature in case one wants to use one bow for a lot of different purposes. and like many compound bows the hold draw weight is about half the initial draw weight. so when i shoot mine at 80 pounds draw i only have to hold the full drawn bow with the same pressure on my fingers as a 40 pound bow would give. when one gets older it gets harder to hold a arrow at full draw as one has to do with a non-compound bow.

  16. I was given a really old and good looking bow that needs a bit of work. I’m hanging on to it and thank you for the encouragement to fix it up from this video.

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