Have you ever shot a bow and arrow but despite the perfect form you still can't get a clean hit? In some cases, it isn't you who's missing but it's your equipment that is failing you. Well, maybe it's time to fine-tune your bow and arrow. You see, there's no difference between tuning up your bow and tuning up your rifle. The goal here is to get the best optimal performance from your weapon. For rifles, a simple tune-up can do wonders for performance and lifespan. The same thing can be said for bows. Luckily, I'll be talking about how to tune a bow for better shot groups and perfect arrow flight. Read on to see if your setup needs these adjustments!
A Quick Guide On How To Tune A Bow
Not everyone knows how to tune a bow, especially beginners. Most of the time, they assume that the bows that they get from the stores are maintenance-free. Sadly, it isn't. Strings become loose. Sights are already inaccurately angled. You may think you miss your mark because you don't know how to aim, but sometimes, the bow can cause you to miss. Now before you can go tinkering on your bow, you'll need to perfect the proper form and shot process. If you haven't mastered the fundamentals yet, I suggest you have your bow tuned out for you. But if you know your way around a bow, follow these steps on how to tune a bow for more accurate shots!
Step 1: Shoot a target up close
The first step is to assess whether or not your bow really needs tuning. A way to do this is to move close to the target and make a shot. Once you're ready, make sure that you are executing with perfect form. Once the arrow hits and it's sticking out perpendicular to the target, there's nothing wrong with your set up. However, if it's pointed at any angle other than 90 degrees, the spine of your arrow is either too stiff or too soft.
Step 2: Reset factory settings
It may sound funny as it is more appropriate for electronic gadgets, but bows perform best with factory specifications. The bow goes through rigorous testing and tweaking to perfection, so it's not a bad idea to start from there. If you're not comfortable tinkering with your bow yourself, you can have the pros handle it.
Step 3: Timing
Timing refers to the rotation of the cams which may vary depending on the pulley system of your bow. Timing your bow is important as it allows the arrow to travel a straight line from the point of release all through out. However, a badly “timed” bow will present an issue on your arrow's trajectory thus causing you to miss the mark. There are a few types of cam systems and each has its pros and cons. Regardless, timing your cams is detrimental to the accuracy of the bow.
Step 4: Tuning the arrow rest
The next step is to tune the arrow rest and the way to do this is to start with the windage setting. No matter what type of arrow rest you got on your bow, right and left adjustments always come first. Once you're done adjusting the horizontal alignment, set up the nocking point on the string. Tools such as level gauges will make this part easier and more precise as well.
Step 5: Arrow tuning
Once your bow is all set up, you'll need to make sure to tune your arrows as well. There are soft spine arrows and ones with stiff spines. An arrow with a spine too stiff will tend to fly to the left if you're wielding a right handed bow while a spine too soft will fly the other direction. A good way to remedy this is to employ heavier shafts for stiff spines and lighter shafts for softer spines. This will even out the weight of the arrow and cause it to fly straight.
Step 6: Check for vane or fletching contact
Another important tip on how to tune a bow is to remove the contact from the vanes or fletching as you release the string. Vane contact renders the trajectory of the arrow unstable making your shot less accurate. To make sure the back end of the arrow doesn't make contact elsewhere on the bow, sprinkle it with foot powder. You'll know where it made contact once the powder makes marks on the bow. Readjust the riser such that it no longer comes in contact with the fletchings.
Step 7: Sight adjustments
Finally, you're on the final step on how to tune a bow. The last thing you'll need to adjust is the sight so that even when you're 20-30 yards away from the target, you'll still hit the bullseye. In long range rifles, this is what they call “zeroing” so that at a certain distance, your arrows will certainly land where you lock your sights on.
Check out ArcheryTalk's video on quick tuning a bow:
Learning these tips at some point in time is detrimental to your progress as an archer. Even if you're not able to do the steps entirely on your own, it's a good start. Remember, the first step to correcting a mistake is acknowledging it and knowing that there's something wrong. If you have some tips you'd like to add to these steps, share them with us through the comments!
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