About Brad Harris

Many modern archers use a compound bow. These bows have not been around for anywhere near as long as the more conventional recurve or longbows but even so, they are hugely popular.

But if you have ever tried a compound bow, you will have noticed that there is more than one string; in theory. What you are actually seeing is the bowstring and a set of cables.

A lot of people who are new to archery find it difficult to understand why there are three strings, or a string and a cable on a compound bow. In short, it is because they operate in a different way to more traditional types of bow.

In this article, we are going to look a little more closely at the workings of the compound bow  and why it is designed the way that it is.

Read more:

What Is A Compound Bow?

Traditional types of bow typically have a bowstring attached to the limbs; this simple design goes back thousands of years but in the 1960s, a new type of bow, the compound was invented.

Drawing a bow is known to take quite a lot of strength and holding that draw weight as you aim at your target can be extremely demanding.

A compound bow works on a system of cams and cables which, at full draw, take a significant amount of the draw weight, making it much easier on the archer.

When you look at a compound bow, it is not difficult to see that this piece of equipment is vastly different to the types of bows you are used to seeing in movies like Lord of the Rings or Robin Hood. One of the key differences is the extra strings.

However, it is important to keep in mind that these are not strings in the same sense as your bowstring, but are cables which help to draw the bow.

How Do Compound Bows Work?

Before we get into the details of the mechanics of the compound bow, let’s put it in as simple terms as possible.

Compound bows work on a system of cables and cams that place a force on the limbs as you draw the bow.

But of course, it only takes a quick glance at a compound bow to see that there is a lot more intricacy to the process. For those who have only ever seen a traditional bow, these modern pieces of equipment could look extremely complex, but they are easier to use and are often favored by new archers.

On the limbs of the compound bow, you will see cams, these are wheels that work in conjunction with the cables; which some people may mistake for being additional bowstrings.

When drawn, these cams are able to store energy in the limbs of the bow. You will often be told about the let off of your compound bow and this refers to how much energy is stored when you pull the bow back.

For instance, if you purchase a 50lb bow with a let off of 50%, you would only need to take 25lbs of the draw weight and the rest would be stored in the cam system.

Types Of Cams

Now that we have established that these extra two bowstrings are in fact cables that attach to a cam system in order to draw the bow, it is essential that we understand the various types of cams.

Firstly, there are single cam bows which have a longer bowstring and two cables. You will find a single cam located on the bottom limb of the bow and an idle wheel at the top. Your bowstring is connected in a loop around this wheel and also to the cam at the bottom.

On this design, there is also a buss cable which is used to load the limbs, giving the impression that there are three bowstrings.

Alternatively, you can get a dual cam bow, in this case, there would appear to be three bowstrings, but two of these are cables. Unlike the single cam bow, this design features a cam on both the top and bottom limb, with cables attached to each.

This is a more common design but it is important to have the bow perfectly in sync as the two cames must line up and move in unison.

For this reason, these bows have what is known as a control cable which runs between the two cams and allows them to move at the same speed as one another.

Does This Make Them Faster?

One of the critical things in archery is speed, along with accuracy and consistency, of course. Many people would assume that because of the way a compound bow is made, it would be more effective than a more conventional design.

A lot of it is down to the skill of the archer, but there is a lot of suggestion that a compound bow can fire arrows at much greater speeds than a recurve or longbow. In fact, in some cases, it has been noted that compound bows can fire up to twice as quickly as traditional models, owing to the mechanical advantage.


When you look at a compound bow, it looks like a complex piece of equipment and those who are new to archery might be surprised by the apparent presence of three bowstrings. Surely, that’s not right?

Well no, it wouldn’t be right for a bow to have three strings but compound bows do not have this feature. What you are looking at are actually cables which form part of a cam and cable system that allows these types of bows to take a portion of the draw weight.

Deers are not small animals. If you are hunting them, you are going to need to make sure that you have the right equipment to effectively take them down. If you don’t, you will likely only injure the deer. Not only does this mean that you won’t get your kill, but it is also incredibly inhumane.

To be a successful archer, you need to think about several factors when it comes to deer hunting. But one of the most important is the draw weight of your bow. If this isn’t heavy enough, there isn’t going to be enough force to propel your arrow powerfully enough to kill the deer.

In this article, we are going to be exploring what the minimum draw weight for deer should be as well as giving you some handy tips.

Read more:

What Is Draw Weight?

The draw weight of a bow refers to the weight of pulling the bowstring back to full draw. You might sometimes hear this being called poundage, but they are one of the same thing.

If you are drawing a bow with a poundage of 50lbs, this would be akin to picking up an object weighing 50lbs. For this reason, the weight of a bow that you could handle may be vastly different from the weight of a bow that I could handle.

Everyone has different levels of strength and so it is vital that you choose a draw weight that you are comfortable able to manage draw after draw. But we will look at this in a little more detail later on.

There are many things that would impact the draw weight of a bow. But one of the biggest influencing factors is how stiff the limbs are. The more flexible the bow’s limbs, the lower the draw weight. This is because, as you draw the bow, flexible limbs will move more easily, meaning that there is less resistance.

If you are planning to go out and hunt deer, you will need a minimum draw weight; but what happens if this is too heavy for you? If this is the case, you are not alone. But the good news is that by using a compound bow, you will typically be able to shoot something with a much greater draw weight.

The reason for this is all down to the fact that these bows have what is known as let off.

What About Let Off?

Let off is a feature of all compound bows. The compound bow is a relatively new invention, having only been properly designed in the 1960s. Rather than being a simple pull-back design like more conventional bows, compound bows work a system of cams and strings.

This design has a huge advantage for archers since it will hold a lot of the draw weight so that you don’t have to.

The let off of a compound bow is usually given as a percentage. For example, if you are using a compound bow with a draw weight of 50lbs and a let off of 50%, the bow would take 25lbs of the weight. This means that you would only need to handle the remaining 25lbs.

Why Does Choosing The Right Draw Weight Matter?

When you buy a bow, one of the first things that any good archery shop assistant will do is talk to you about the draw weight. This is important for several reasons.

Primarily, as an archer, you need to be able to handle your equipment comfortably. If you are using a bow with a draw weight that is too high, you won’t be able to use the bow as effectively.

While you might feel comfortable drawing the bow once in an archery shop, things can feel vastly different when you’re out in the field. What a lot of people don’t realize is that many archery injuries stem from the archer using a bow that is too big for them.

There’s no shame in admitting when the draw weight is too heavy. Not only will this make the whole archery experience a lot easier for you, but it will also mean that you can take a much more accurate shot.

One of the main things to keep in mind when hunting deer is that you want to hit the deer in the vitals to take it down as quickly as possible. If you struggle with the weight of your bow, you might misfire, hit another part of the deer, and merely injure it. This isn’t good.

There is a common misconception among new archers that using a higher draw weight will increase the speed of the arrow. Yes, a higher draw weight will cause the arrow to fly faster; but only if you can handle it.

Shooting a bow with a higher draw weight than you can handle may increase the speed, but with your accuracy out, this won’t make a difference to the end result. You’ll get a much more precise and successful shot by lowering the draw weight.

Furthermore, you should keep in mind that many bowhunters choose heavier arrows. These do not have anywhere near as much speed as lighter arrows yet still make an effective kill. The skill of taking down a deer doesn’t lie as much in the draw weight itself, but rather your ability to handle it.

Can I Kill A Deer With A Low Draw Weight?

If you have had to take a considerably lower draw weight than you expected, you may be concerned that you won’t be able to hunt deer with as much success as you would have liked.

One thing that you should keep in mind is that while draw weight will influence the success of a kill, this isn’t the only factor that will.

When you are shooting a bow with a lower poundage, there are other things that you must consider. The higher draw weights will allow for deeper penetration of the arrow and will do a good job at hitting the vitals. However, lower draw weights can achieve just as much success provided that you hit the animal in just the right place.

Before you start shooting with a lower weight bow, make sure that you keep the following things in the front of your mind.


When shooting further away from a target, the arrow has to cover a greater distance. However, when you are closer, not only will the arrow lose less speed thanks to being closer, but it will also be easier to aim for your target. This is simply because the deer will appear much bigger than if you were further away.

For this reason, if you are shooting a lower poundage bow, we would advise getting as close to your target as possible.

Weight Of The Arrow

As we discussed earlier, many bowhunters will use a heavier arrow for better penetration. If you are using a bow with a smaller draw weight, a heavier arrow can complement your setup well.

Placement Of The Shot

There is potentially nothing more important than getting your shot in exactly the right place. If you want a successful kill, you must hit the deer in its vital organs. This means the heart and lungs.

Regardless of your bow’s draw weight, hitting the deer anywhere other than this will not cause a significant blood trail to kill it quickly. The only thing that you will likely achieve is maiming the animal. Yes, it may die over time, but this is not humane nor will you be going home with your prize.

Choose The Right Broadhead

Broadheads are one of the most effective types of arrows for bowhunting and are used by most archers hunting deer.

If you want to make sure that your lower poundage bow will still yield as good results as an 80lb bow, then you must choose the right broadhead. Fixed-blade broadheads are one of the best options.

Laws On The Minimum Draw Weight For Deer

There are regulations that archers need to adhere to when bowhunting. However, depending on your location, these may vary.

In the USA, the typical minimum draw weight for deer is 40lbs although there are some states where this is different. The only way to determine this is to check with your state before hunting.

40lbs is typically the lowest weight that you could use to effectively kill a deer. That being said, there are skilled archers that could shoot a 35lbs bow and still be successful. The lowest legal draw weights in the USA are in Pennsylvania and South Dakota who both require a minimum of 30lbs.

Conversely, in North Dakota, hunters are required to have a bow with a poundage of at least 50lbs for hunting deer. If you live in Wisconsin, you will need to have a minimum draw weight of 100lbs! It isn’t difficult to see how much variation there is depending on your locality.

That being said, there are some states that do not have any regulations that stipulate a minimum or maximum draw weight for deer hunting. These states include;

  • New York
  • Mississippi.
  • Kentucky
  • Kansas
  • Arizona
  • Alaska
  • Georgia
  • Michigan
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Iowa
  • West Virginia
  • Virginia
  • South Carolina
  • California
  • Missouri

You should also consider that there is a maximum draw weight in many locations around the USA. The highest maximum is 200lbs and this is permitted in the state of Pennsylvania. So, while they also have the lowest draw weight restriction, they are also the most versatile state.

One of the most common questions is whether a bow as low as 20lbs could take down a deer. Unfortunately, the truth is that when you begin to get down into these very low weight categories, the bow wouldn’t have the power to propel the arrow effectively enough to kill a deer.

Aside from hunting deer, there are other legal minimum draw weights if you want to hunt other animals.

  • When hunting moose, the draw weight should be no less than 65lbs
  • When hunting antelope, the draw weight should be no lower than 40 – 65lbs but this will depend on the size of the animal.
  • When hunting bears, the draw weight should be no less than 40 – 65lbs but again, this will depend on the size of the animal.
  • When hunting elk, the draw weight should be no lower than 40lbs

How Do I Determine My Draw Weight?

We have talked about the importance of finding the correct draw weight and we must reiterate this point. Having a draw weight that is too high will only end in disaster. If you want to effectively and efficiently kill deer, you must find the proper poundage.

When you first go shopping for a bow, you should be given the option to try out different draw weights. The professional in the archery shop will offer you a selection of bows to try out.

However, a mistake that many people make is trying out a bow in the archery shop and finding it easy to draw then immediately committing to that bow.

Imagine that you have a 70lbs weight on the floor in front of you. Lifting it once may not require too much effort. However, if you then have to lift it over and over again, you might quickly become fatigued.

The same is true for a bow. This means that you should try the bow several times to ensure that you can handle the weight.

One of the best things to do is to try to hold the bow at full draw for at least thirty seconds. If you can manage this without shaking or feeling strained, then you can feel confident that the bow will be suitable.

Alternatively, you could attempt to draw the bow thirty times in a row. If you are able to do this, then the bow should work well for you. However, if you notice that you become tired before the thirty draws have been completed, you will need a lower poundage.

On a compound bow, the weight can be altered. But it is important to keep in mind that this is only within around a 10lb range. For example, if you have a 60lb bow, you might be able to adjust the weight between 50lbs and 60lbs. You certainly wouldn’t be able to change it to anything significantly different.

Altering your draw weight is simply a matter of making the limbs either tighter or looser. This is done by turning the limb bolts and as a general rule, turning the bolt once will alter the weight by around 2lbs.


Hunting deer requires just the right setup, especially if you intend on being successful. And we would guess that most archers want success!

One of the things that you should consider when hunting deer is the bow’s draw weight. This is the amount of force required to pull the bow back and in most places, there is a legal limit of the minimum draw weight for deer.

Across the United States, the average minimum is anywhere between 30 and 50lbs although this will vary by state. Before hunting, we would always advise checking the state laws.

It is also imperative that you select a draw weight that is comfortable for you. Failing to do this could mean that your shots are not as accurate and you don’t make a kill as easily.

When people think about sports that provide a wealth of physical benefits, it is not often that they would imagine archery; boxing, running, weightlifting and soccer, perhaps, but certainly not archery.

But whilst archery is viewed by the masses as something of a tame sport, those who take part regularly will know that this is actually far more physically demanding than people give it credit for.

But what are the physical benefits to be obtained from archery? In this article, we are going to find out.

Read more:

Mind And Body United

One of the first things that any archer will tell you is that before you even begin to think about the physical benefits of archery, there is the mindful side of it.

There is no denying that this is a sport which requires the utmost focus and attention. It is, therefore, excellent for anyone who wishes to improve their concentration. Furthermore, if you move away from competitive archery and head out into nature, you will notice the meditative benefits of being in such a tranquil environment.

But your body will be working hard too.

The Physical Benefits Of Archery

As we have mentioned, anyone unfamiliar with archery could be forgiven for thinking that it wasn’t an over tasking experience, but they couldn’t be further from the truth.

Let’s explore the many physical and health benefits that can be obtained from taking part in archery.


The power required to draw the bow successfully is far greater than people may first imagine, and there are many muscle groups involved in this. You might think that most of the work is done by the arms when, in fact, your core, back and shoulders all play an essential role in getting the bow to full draw.

For this reason, many archers have awe-inspiring core strength and excellently strong rotator cuffs and arms.

If you are looking for something that will help you to improve your strength levels, then archery should be a consideration.


Improving your coordination can have a direct impact on many areas of your life – think about it, we must have good coordination for a variety of everyday tasks such as driving.

Not only that but the concentration and coordination that is involved in every shot is an essential part of becoming an expert archer.

A lot of this is related to muscle memory and those who have been shooting an arrow for some time will notice that their coordination is improved so much that getting a shot spot on becomes almost second nature.

Burn Calories

At first glance, archery may not seem like a sport that would rival other Olympic sports in terms of how many calories are burned. So you might be surprised to learn that this sport is closer in calorie-burning power to the marathon than it is to a long jump.

But these calories are not only burned through the activity itself but rather the immense amount of walking that is done in a tournament. It is thought that archers may walk as many as eight kilometres in a single tournament.

Mental Benefits

As we have briefly mentioned, the mind gets an incredible workout during archery, but it is essential to take a closer look at this.

One of the key takeaways from this sport is patience. In this modern-day and age, we are all in such a hurry to achieve anything, but these achievements are often short-lived since real accomplishment and precision requires incredible patience. You will develop this patience by taking part in this sport, and this will be carried over into your everyday life. The more patient you feel, the more satisfied you will be in general.

Furthermore, it is widely accepted that archery can vastly improve your self-confidence, and this is something that a lot of people lack in modern society. As you meet and exceed your goals or stand out in a tournament, you will feel a great sense of achievement, and this will boost your confidence. There is nothing quite as powerful as seeing what you are capable of achieving.


When we think of becoming more flexible, it might be easy to assume that jumping onto a yoga mat would be the most beneficial exercise but what many people don’t realise is that archery can rival practices like yoga where flexibility is concerned. At least, for the upper body.

The hands, fingers and arms will benefit the most from this aspect of the sport, and much like other advantages, you will see this carrying over into other areas of your life.


There is no denying that there are incredibly sad amounts of loneliness in the world, and this can result in some serious mental health problems. One of the best ways to defeat social isolation is to engage in group activities, and with so many archery clubs out there, more and more people see the benefits of this.

Archery tournaments are known to be very inclusive, and those new to the sport can often be seen competing against old hands. For this reason, it is effortless to bond with others and develop lasting friendships with people who have a common interest with yourself.


When we think of sports that offer substantial physical benefits, we don’t often think of archery. Still, this wonderful hobby can offer a more diverse range of advantages than most other sports put together.

Whether you are looking to improve your physical strength and fitness, meet others, like minded people or develop your mental skills, archery has a place for you.

It is hardly surprising that a lot of people turn to the sport to access a range of benefits that you would struggle to find elsewhere – so why not give it a go?

If your bowstring is not fully intact and working correctly, this can have an effect on your shot and that is the last thing you will want if you want to remain consistently on target.

People who have not been practicing archery for a long time may be unfamiliar with the signs that their bowstring is beginning to wear. For this reason, it is important to learn how to check your bowstring and replace it when the time is right.

In this article, we will be looking at some of the most common signs that your bowstring is bad and needs to be changed.

Read more:

Why Do You Need To Monitor Your Bowstrings?

Every time you draw your bow, there is tension and pressure on the bowstring. Fortunately, these are relatively durable components of a bow and don’t need to be replaced all too frequently, however, you do need to keep your eye on the string to make sure that it is not damaged, frayed or otherwise not perfect.

That’s right, perfect. There is no use in trying to use a bowstring that is anything less. Archery is a sport based on accuracy and consistency and without a functioning bowstring, neither of these things can be achieved.

What’s more, you may notice that you lose poundage when attempting to shoot with inferior bow strings. Replacing your bowstrings is not an expensive venture and should always be done as soon as you notice that it is time.

Some might compare shooting a bow with bad strings to driving a car with bald tyres; you would never do it.

When Do You Replace A Bowstring?

You might think that because your bow gets some heavy use that the bowstring will need to be replaced quite often. But this is not true.

In the main, the bowstring will only need replacing every two to three years and this is even the case if you are shooting every day.

The only time that it would need to be replaced more frequently than this is if there are signs of damage. In this case, address the problem as soon as possible.

You can take your bow to be restrung at your local archery shop or, if you are able, you can do the work yourself. At most, you can expect to pay around $150 for the strings and fitting, so it won’t break the bank.

Signs That Your Bowstring Needs Replacing

The first time that you need new bowstrings, you may not associate the problems you are having with worn equipment. A lot of new archers may find themselves searching the internet for articles like this to find out why their aim is suddenly off or their arrow groups are not consistent.

The best thing you can do is to educate yourself on the signs that your bowstring needs to be replaced and keep your eye on this, inspecting your bow after each use.

Age And Use

The first thing you should consider is how old the bowstring is. There may not be any signs of wear or damage, but if the bowstring has been in use for some time, age may have had an effect.

Much like any other type of equipment, your bowstring won’t last forever. So if you have had the same one for more than two years, you should schedule a replacement regardless of how good the condition appears to be.

Broken Bowstring

In days gone by, bowstrings would have been made from natural fibres but in today’s archery industry, they are made from durable synthetic material. But whilst this is strong, it can be broken.

If you are using a compound bow, you will notice that there is a main string and some connector strings. If any of these break, they will need to be replaced; you will not be able to use the bow with a broken string.

Server Separation

The serving of the bowstring is a thread that is tied around the synthetic material of the amin string. On a compound bow, you will notice that wherever a string makes contact with a roller guard, string stop or cam, there will be a server.

These servers should be tightly wound and neat however, they won’t last forever. Over time, you may notice that the server begins to separate and this is a clear sign that your bowstring needs to be replaced.

The String Is Dry

You will likely be familiar with the concept of waxing your bowstring, this is probably something that was discussed at the archery shop when you purchased your bow. In order to work to its best, your bowstring must have a slightly waxy texture.

If you notice that your bowstring has begun to dry out, this could be one of the first signs that it is on its way out.

To begin with, you would get away with applying a little extra wax, this would smooth down any fibres that were starting to lift.

However, this is a short-term solution to the problem. Eventually, the strings would begin to fray so it is best to replace them now before it gets any worse.

The String Is Stretched

Of course, a bowstring needs to be stretchy, a stiff string would be useless when trying to draw the bow, but you don’t want the string to stretch too much.

As you continue using the bow, energy is absorbed into the string and this causes a degree of overstretching. If you carry on using the string at this point, you will notice that your accuracy is adversely affected.

You might be tempted to believe that if you haven’t used your bow for some time, stretching would be impossible. But this is not true. Bowstrings can also stretch if they have been left unused for some time, particularly if they were stored in extreme temperatures.

The String Is Frayed

One of the most common problems faced by archers where their bowstrings are concerned is that the string can become frayed. You will notice that the fibres of the string begin to unwind and there is popular belief that a bit of string wax will fix the problem.

However, whilst this may make the bowstring look better, it will not solve the issue of fraying. It can be tempting to shoot just a few more arrows with a frayed string, but we would recommend sorting out a replacement quickly.

If you continue to use a bowstring that is frayed, you run the risk of it snapping entirely, and this could happen in the middle of a shot. If the sting were to snap at full draw, you stand to be seriously injured; it simply is not worth the risk.

General Bow Maintenance

Taking care of your bowstring as well as the bow itself will mean that you get a lot of use out of your equipment. This is a complex piece of kit that cannot merely be brought and ignored. It is important that you pay special attention to the maintenance of your bow.

Let’s take a look at some quick tips for keeping your bow working to its best.

  • Regularly check your bow for damage. Cracks in the body or damage to any of the components could signal that your bow needs repairing.
  • Make sure that all strings and screws are tight. If any are coming loose, you should address this issue immediately.
  • When you are not using your bow, be sure to store it in a hard protective case.
  • Also, when you are storing your bow, be sure to keep it in a dry environment where the temperature is moderate and stable.
  • Take your bow to your local archery shop at least once a year to be serviced. The technician will be able to diagnose any issues and give your bow the once over to make sure it is in good working order.
  • If you have any accidents with your bow such as a dry fire or your bow is dropped, you should take it to be looked at by a professional. Even if the bow doesn’t look damaged, there may be something that you don’t pick up on.


Bowstrings are surprisingly durable and while some people may think that they need to be replaced a lot, every two to three years will be sufficient.

But if you are new to archery, you may not be familiar with the signs that your bowstring has come to the end of its life. It is essential that you are aware of what might happen to your bowstring when it is bad and these handy tips will help you understand your equipment better.

If you notice any of the things we have talked about in this article, it is important that you take your bow to an archery shop to be a replacement string. This will make sure that your accuracy and consistency are not affected.

One of the essential parts of bow maintenance is stringing the bow, and while this can be done by a professional at a bow shop, it is a good idea to have the knowledge in case you ever need to do it yourself.

A longbow is very different from other types of bow, so it is vital to know the intricate details of stringing this type of bow. In this article, we are going to be looking at how to string a longbow as well as giving you some handy tips to get it just right.

Read more:

What Is A Longbow?

A longbow is a traditional type of bow that has been around for the best part of a thousand years, having been invented in 1100 in Wales. This type of equipment was typically used in wars and for hunting and today is one of the most favored types of bow for archers.

Unlike other bows, a longbow is much larger and can often be the same height as the archer, but this often makes it a lot easier to use.

Furthermore, longbows have far fewer components and are simply made from one piece of wood and the bowstring. Knowing how to attach and replace this string is one of the most crucial parts of owning a longbow.

Using A Bow Stringer

You will often be told that in order to string a longbow, you must have a bow stringer. Let’s clear this up; it is not necessary for you to use a bow stringer as there are other methods for stringing your longbow. But it will make the process a lot easier. So let’s take a look at how to use a bow stringer.

A bow stringer can be used with most longbows, but you will need to check this first as some are designed for use with only recurve bows. Once you have established that the bow stringer is suitable, you can attach it to the bow.

While this may sound like a complex piece of equipment, it is actually much simpler than you would first imagine. A bow stringer is a robust piece of cord that fits over the limb tips of the longbow. Once it is in place, you will stand on the loose cord, and this will allow the limbs to be flexed while you attach the new string.

It is commonly accepted that using a bow stringer is the safest way of stringing a longbow. But there are other ways you can do this.

Stringing A Longbow Without A Bow Stringer

If you do not have a bow stringer, don’t fret, you can still restring your longbow, but you might need to use a little patience and give yourself plenty of time to do this, especially on the first few tries.

The best thing to do is to purchase strings that have been pre-looped; this means that they will come with a top and bottom loop already in place and will save you the hassle of having to do this step yourself.

Before you start the stringing process, it is a good idea to take a look over your equipment to make sure that it is in good working order. The last thing you want is a broken or damaged bow, so be sure to look for cracks in the wood and frays in the string. This may be an additional step, but it is worth it to make sure that your bow will work to the best of its ability.

The next thing that you will need to do is loop the string around the bow; in other words, install it. Take a look at the following steps;

  • First of all, you will need to take the top loop of the string and slide it over the nock and down onto the limb. Of course, this will need to be repeated with the bottom loop as well.
  • Choose either your right or left leg, whichever feels most natural and comfortable, and step over the bow to secure it at the same time as holding the top of the bow with your right hand. Remember to hold the top of the bowstring with the left hand. It is also essential to choose which leg you will use carefully because you will need to feel comfortable. If you start trying to use the opposite leg, you will likely get caught in the string.
  • When you are ready to hook the bottom of the bow, you can do this by sliding it in using the outer part of the foot that is not wrapped around the bow foot.
  • Now you will need to bend the bow slightly, be gentle, and take your time. As you do this, you will notice that there comes a point where the top loop can be placed at the top of the nock.
  • Again, taking your time, slowly draw the bow back to its original state and gradually increase the pull length until the bow is entirely upright.
  • Finally, you will need to check the pressure of the string.

How Long Should my Bowstring Be?

The type of bow that you use will depend on how long the string will need to be, and since all bows differ, it is important to take some measurements. Where the longbow is concerned, you will need to measure the length of the bow and use a string that is three inches longer than this.


A longbow is one of the most traditional archery equipment types, which is a significant attraction for many modern archers. However, it is vital that you know how to take care of your equipment, and one of the first things you should learn is how to string your longbow.

It will take a little bit of practice and a good deal of patience, but you can either use a bow stringer for the easiest method or do it without.

One of the greatest aims of any archer, either professional or hobby, is to be able to shoot groups with greater accuracy and ease. But this isn’t something that comes without tireless practice and a good handle on your equipment.

So, how do you shoot better groups with a bow and are there any special techniques that you can use to stay on top of your game?

In short, the answer to that question is most definitely yes, and in this article, we are going to be looking at just how to accomplish better group shots.

Read more:

What Is Shooting Better Groups With A Bow?

Archery is full of jargon that may sound a little confusing, especially if you are new to the sport. However, it can be quickly learned, so before we get started on looking at how to shoot better groups, we must be sure that we understand what this means.

Grouping refers to many arrows being shot from the same archer at the same time. There are two types of groups; loose and tight. A loose grouping is where the arrows are not released from the bow in close proximity to one another. In contrast, a tight grouping is made up of arrows that were very close or tightly fired together.

Of course, if you are able to shoot a tight grouping, this will prove your ability where accuracy and precision are concerned; two things that are vital in archery.

How To Shoot Better

Now that we understand what we are aiming for and why it is time to start exploring ways in which we can improve our groups and some of these ways are surprisingly simple and easy to implement.

Get The Right Fit

There is not one bow that works for everyone; you might imagine this piece of equipment in a similar way to a set of golf clubs – every golfer needs something personal to them. Your bow is exactly the same, and if you do not have the right fit, this could translate to poor shots and negatively affect your precision and accuracy.

A professional will be able to fit you for a suitable bow, and many things will be taken into consideration, most notably, the draw length. If this is out by even the smallest amount, it can drastically impact your shot. Besides, your draw weight might be off, and this can also have terrible results on your precision.

When you are being fitted for a bow, the professional will be able to offer you invaluable advice that can help you ensure that your aim and shot is always spot on.

Get A Professional To Give Your Bow The Once Over

It’s all well and good trying to maintain your bow at home, but without a bow press, there are some things that cannot be done as accurately. Taking your bow to a professional will allow them to give it the once over and make sure that everything is in full working order.

The first thing that you should ask is that the professional put the bow into a bow press and look at the cams; these should be tight. Failure to do this might mean that when firing, your arrows shoot off in various directions.

After this, it is essential to have the overall integrity of the bow checked because even the most minute changes in the position of certain features such as the arrow rest could yield disastrous results when trying to shoot a group.

Arrow Spines

There are different levels of flexibility when it comes to arrow spines, and what works well with one type of shot will not be as beneficial for another. This is why it is crucial to be sure that you are using the right kind of arrow for a tight group shot.

You will notice that each arrow has a spine rating and this refers to how stiff the arrow is a higher number means that the arrow is relatively flexible whereas numbers that are lower on the scale represent a stiff arrow.

You will want to use a stiffer arrow for group shots for many reasons but most importantly, because this will give you a straighter shot despite the high poundage of the bow.

Form A Habit

One of the most unique things about archery is that while a certain degree of skill is required, muscle memory plays a vital role in achieving specific shots like groups.

If you want to develop your skills and learn how to fire a perfect and tight group shot every time, then practice makes perfect.

You want to form a habit that becomes second nature, and this can only be done through repeatedly shooting the bow. To begin with, you shouldn’t worry about the accuracy or hitting a target but rather focus on the draw and your stance (more on that, later) giving you a great form. This practice must be done every day for at least half an hour and you will need to continue this for at least three weeks to see results.

You will notice that over time, the process becomes almost automatic and you won’t need to think much about it at all.

Correct Your Stance

If there is anything that can affect the aim and accuracy of your arrows, it is your stance, yet so many archers are still not standing properly when firing their bow. You may have been taught a specific way, but quite often, this won’t be correct.

One thing that you must remember is that while you are holding the bow in your hands, your entire body is responsible for how it reacts and the smallest inconsistency or movement can throw your shot off dramatically.

You want to maintain an open stance, and this is beneficial in two ways. Primarily, this type of stance was developed for bowhunting since it prevents having to do too much movement and therefore, scaring the target. Secondly, this stance will prevent the string from brushing against your clothing. Many people are not aware of the fact that should the bowstring even lightly touch anything on your person; the accuracy could be significantly affected.

To stand correctly, you should consider the following steps.

  • Face your target at around 45º.
  • Your toes should point towards the target, many new archers will point them at 90º, but this is not effective and should be avoided.
  • The feet should be parallel and set between 18 and 24 inches apart.

While you are practising getting your stance right, it can help to mark out the floor and keep working on committing the stance to your muscle memory. Furthermore, you want to ensure that your stance is consistent, it may seem like a small detail. Still, any professional archer will tell you that the base for each shot must be consistent if you want to achieve consistent accuracy and tighter group shots.

Don’t Move When The Arrow Is Released.

Another of the most common mistakes made by those new to archery is that as soon as the arrow is fired, they will tilt their head or move it to one side. Again, this may seem like a small detail, but it is undoubtedly an important one.

Fortunately, this doesn’t require vast amounts of practice to rectify, and after leaving your head in place until the arrow hits its target a few times, it will soon become automatic. This is one of the most exciting things about archery; you will find yourself becoming one with the bow and treating it as an extension of your body, allowing yourself to develop incredible automatic responses.

Improve Your Equipment

You have probably heard the saying ‘a bad workman always blames his tools’ and this could be relevant in archery.

If your aim is off and you are struggling to release tighter groupings, then it might not necessarily be something that you are doing, but rather the fault of your equipment.

Every new bow that you buy will come with a stabiliser, but for the most part, the standard ones are cheap and highly ineffective. Upgrading this could be the thing that sees your groupings go from loose to incredibly tight.

Your stabiliser is a small but very relevant part of the bow and serves to prevent the bow from rattling and shaking as you aim. If this happened, your shot can be way off and replacing the stabiliser with one that is more effective might be the solution to your problems.

Elbow Position

Do you remember that earlier we said that every part of your body affects your aim? Even something as unassuming as the position of your elbow could throw you off and cause devastatingly inaccurate groupings.

When using a bow, you should make sure that the crease of the elbow is pointing upwards, this will allow you to move the arm horizontally across the body. This position can take some getting used to, but you must take the time to do this.

Not only will incorrect elbow positioning affect the accuracy of your groups, but it can also cause some physical harm to you. If your elbow is not in the right position, the bow may slice across your arm as it is released and this can be very painful as well as leaving marks.

Anchor And Hook

This may sound like something that is more closely related to sailing, but your hook and anchor can drastically affect how your arrows fly.

Your anchor refers to the position at which the string rests on your face, whereas the hook relates to how you hold the bow. It is worth marking the bow so that you hold it in a consistent manner every time, therefore, improving your hook.

In addition to this, you must make sure that your anchor is correct and this can be done by working with an instructor. However, in the main, the anchor point will be just under the mouth or at the bottom of the chin. You might compare the importance of the anchor with an anchor that is used on a boat; holding it in place and therefore, improving your accuracy.


Tight groupings are important in archery, and improving your accuracy is the best way to achieve consistently tight groups. However, many archers make several mistakes that can have a negative impact on the precision of their shot.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to improve this, including ensuring a correct stance, updating your equipment and spending a lot of time practising.


Being able to maintain your archery equipment is an essential part of this activity – whether you do it for hunting or sport. There are lots of things you need to consider, and one of these is how to install a peep sight – whilst this is not an essential component of the bow by any means, it is certainly a helpful one.

In this article, we will be looking at how you can successfully install a peep sight without a bow press and why doing so could be incredibly advantageous.

Read more:

What Is A Peep Sight?

A peep sight is sometimes referred to as merely a peep, and this is used to help you with your aim. It can be attached to the bowstring on either a curve or compound bow and will allow you to ‘peep’ through to your target.

The addition of this aid is excellent for ensuring that your line of sight between you, the bow and the target is precise. In turn, you will have a far clearer idea of where your arrow will end up.

How To Install A Peep Sight

Installing a peep sight without a bow press is entirely possible, but you must follow a specific set of instructions to ensure that the process is completed correctly.

First Steps

Before you begin, there are some things you should keep in mind, the first being that you will need to seat the bowstrings. You can do this by launching a series of arrows; you should aim to launch around twenty, but if you can do more then this will make the strings even more stretched and seated, which is what we are aiming for here. Omitting this step will result in the peep sight twisting when you install it, and this can prove disastrous.

Once this step is complete, you can then decide where you would like to install the peep sight.

You will need another person to help you with this part as getting it spot on is essential. Get into a comfortable position and bring the bow to full draw – do this with your eyes closed and when you are properly anchored, open the eye that you would typically use. Wherever you find yourself looking will be where the peep sight needs to be installed. Your aide can then mark this spot in preparation.

Installing The Peep Sight

Since we will not be using a bow press for this installation, you must find other tools to help with the job. One such tool that is indispensable for this operation is a bow splitter.

There are several excellent bow splitters on the market, and you can easily pick on up from either a local supplier or an online store. However, if you do not want to do this, you may use something that you already have such as a piece of plastic – if you are going to do this, you must make sure that:

  • The plastic is not sharp around the edges and will not damage the strings.
  • The piece of plastic is wide enough to keep the strings apart and for the peep sight to fit through.

You are now ready to split the strings, and this should be done at the top centre of the bow, where your mark is. Working in this area will help you to make sure that the peep sight will not twist as you draw the bow later on.

You should also be mindful not to damage the strings when you split them; you do not want to separate the fibres – only the strings. Before splitting, make sure that the D loop is straight out and then divide the strings so that they are equal on both sides of your bow splitter or piece of plastic. Once you are satisfied that they are indeed equal, you can twist the tool to 90º to keep them apart whilst you insert the peep sight. With the device twisted, you should be confronted with a long diamond shape where the peep will fit.

It is also essential to check that this diamond shape is in line with the D loop, it may be frustrating to find that it isn’t since this will mean you will have to split the strings again. However, it is better to get it right now than to have to make adjustments later down the line.

As you insert the peep sight, you will twist the bow splitter allowing the strings to fall into line with the grooves of the peep. Take your time doing this and be sure that the angle of the peep is correct. It may surprise you to learn that the peep won’t be straight and will sit at an angle – this is because of the way that the strings fit into its grooves and is normal.

When it comes to using the peep, the draw of the bow will twist it into a straighter position for you to be able to look through.

Checking The Sight

Once you have installed the peep sight, you must check that it is in the correct position and you can do this by testing the bow at full draw. This would be an essential step even if you marked the area, to begin with.

If it has moved slightly off, you can employ the help of your friend once again who can gently slide the peep up and down while you hold the bow in full draw.


Many people might take their bow to a bow shop to have a peep sight installed by a professional who uses a bow press, but it is possible to do this without this piece of equipment.

You can install your peep at home by marking out the area and using a bow splitter, saving you both time and money.

Experts say that you should restring your bow at least every three years, although this time may be altered depending on certain factors. Furthermore, when restringing your compound bow, you will need to think about the type and quality of string you will use as well as the cost of restringing.

In this article, we will be looking at everything you need to know to have your compound bow restrung successfully.

Read more:

Why Do I Need To Restring My Compound Bow?

One of the main reasons that you will need to restring your compound bow regularly is down accuracy. Have you ever noticed that when your strings have had their day that you bow is not as easy to shoot as it was when the strings were new?

This is because as you use the bow, over time, the strings will expand and become looser. This will take away some of the poundage of the draw, and as a result, your shots might not be as accurate as you know you can make them.

And it won’t just be your accuracy that is thrown off. A bowhunter using a bow whose bowstring is not up to scratch will notice that the speed of the arrow is drastically affected.

But perhaps the most important thing to consider when looking at whether or not you should restring your bow is safety. There is a very real risk that leaving a bow with a substandard string will result in the string snapping unexpectedly. If this happens, particularly when the bow is at full draw, there is a threat to your safety and potentially your life. Not to mention that should the string snap, fly off and hit an innocent bystander, their safety will also be compromised. Archery is not a sport that should be taken with a blase attitude, and it is essential to observe safety at all times; this includes maintaining your equipment, thus replacing your bowstring regularly is of the utmost importance.

How Much Does It Cost To Restring A Compound Bow?

One of the most common questions from newbie archers is how much it is going to cost to restring their compound bow; in short, it isn’t as much as you might first think.

There is no secret that some of the most top-quality bows come in at quite the cost; therefore, it would be easy to assume that maintaining them would cost just as much, but the good news is that, on average, you can expect to pay only $70-$200 to restring your compound bow.

However, it is essential to keep in mind that this is an average, and there are several factors that might affect how much you must fork out to restring your bow.

First of all, the quality of the strings you choose will vary dramatically and accordingly, so will the cost. There are some budget-friendly strings that offer a half-decent quality, and if you don’t use your bow very often, this might be a viable option. However, if you are a regular shooter, you will want something a little more durable. This will save you having to replace the strings more frequently.

There are some bowstrings that are extremely expensive, but this might often be associated with the brand name, so be sure to look at the quality as opposed to the company name that is printed on the packaging.

In addition to the cost of the string, you will need to think about how much it will cost to have the string fitted. Now, it is vital to keep in mind that there is no obligation for you to take your bow to a professional shop to be restringed; it is perfectly possible to do this yourself, at home. However, if you are not entirely confident, it is always wise to hand the job to someone who knows what they are doing; rather this than risk damaging your bow. But for those who do feel comfortable doing a DIY restringing, we will offer you some handy tips a little later on.

Some shops charge as little as $20 for a string replacement, so you can see that this isn’t something that is going to put a massive dent into your bank balance. However, if you are looking for an excellent quality of service and someone who has a great deal of experience, you might need to pay a little extra for the privilege.

How Often Should I Restring My Compound Bow?

As a general rule, most manufacturers and archery experts would recommend that you restring a compound bow at least once every three years. However, this is quite the point of contention among archers with some suggesting that it should be done far more frequently. There are those who restring their bow annually and whilst this is a lot more often than previously suggested, it is also worth keeping in mind that due to the relatively low cost of restringing a compound bow, doing it once a year won’t break the bank.

There are other people who would go even further and suggest that you should replace your bowstring every few months, and this might be the case if you are getting some exceptionally heavy use out of your equipment. Still, unless you are using it on a commercial hunting scale or are a professional competitive archer, it is unlikely that you would need to do it this often.

When we talk about the frequency of restringing your bow, it is vital that these timescales are a general guideline; there are several factors that will determine how often, or not, you will need to have your compound bow restrung.

To begin with, you will need to consider how often you use the bow; for someone who is using their equipment multiple times per day, it stands to reason that you would need to replace the strings far more frequently than someone who uses the bow a few times a month.

Furthermore, you will need to think about the quality of the strings. Of course, it goes without saying that if you have previously installed a good quality string, this will last longer than a budget one that has not been designed with longevity and quality in mind. It is far wiser to spend that little bit extra on your bowstring so that it will last longer and perform better.

What Are The Signs That My Bow Needs Restringing?

One of the most obvious signs to look out for when checking whether your bow needs restringing or not is how it is functioning. If it simply doesn’t ‘feel right’ then it might be time to check the string over.

In the main, if there are any signs of wear and tear such as fraying or obvious breaks, then you should aim to get the bow restrung as quickly as possible. Furthermore, if you have noticed that the maximum draw length has become elongated, this could be a key giveaway that it is time to replace the bowstring.

Your compound bowstring might wear in specific places more quickly than it would in others. For example, where it crosses the cams may be a point that becomes worn more easily as well as at the nock point.

For these reasons, it is important that you inspect the bow from time to time to ensure that it is in good working order.

Are There Any Ways To Make My Compound Bowstring Last Longer?

The truth of the matter is that if you use your bow frequently enough, the string is going to wear, fray and need replacing more quickly than it would if you are only an occasional shooter.

However, there are a few things that you can do to get the maximum life out of your bowstring. The most commonly used trick is to wax the string regularly as this can prevent it from fraying as quickly as it would otherwise. You will need to give the bowstrings a good clean and then apply the wax.

One of the main things that can cause a bowstring to fracture before it should is when too much pressure is applied to the bowstring. Therefore, avoiding adding too much pressure is one of the prime ways that you can make sure that your bowstring lasts as long as possible.

Many people are not familiar with the fact that exposing the bow to extreme heat could serve as a way to damage the string, or at least make its lifespan significantly shorter. For this reason, you should be sure to avoid placing the bow next to extreme sources of heat such as an open fire.

How To Restring A Compound Bow By Hand

If you do not want to take your bow to a professional to be restrung then it is entirely viable to do this by yourself, even without the aid of a bow press; but you must be prepared for a little bit of work. Whilst this is a simple technique, it is essential to remember that if you have not done it before, there is a risk of it going wrong. If you want to get it right, it might be worth practising on an old bow before moving on to your current one.

  • To begin with, you will need to take some of the pressure off the limbs, and this can be achieved by inserting an Allen wrench into the limb bolts and making three full turns.
  • Now take your feet and step onto the bowstring while using the hands to bring it to a full draw position.
  • Keeping one hand on the riser, you will now need to use the other hand to attach the teardrop fittings of the replacement string to the loops on the bow.
  • You must now slowly lower the bow until you notice that the limbs return to the default position.
  • Take the time to inspect the string loops and be sure that they are correctly fitted into the grooves on the bow.
  • Next, take both feet and stand on the replacement strings at the same time, use the riser to bring the bow to a full draw. You will now be able to remove the old string and slowly lower the bow back to default.
  • Remember to tighten the limb bolts back with your Allen wrench at the end of the process.


Keeping your bow in good condition is a sure-fire way to ensure that it always shoots accurately, but many archers are unfamiliar with the importance of replacing the strings on their compound bow.

This is a simple task that can be done cheaply by a professional; you will find that the true cost of restringing comes from the strings themselves.

It is important to regularly look over your bowstring to make sure that it is not frayed or damaged, but as a rule of thumb, you can get away with replacing the bowstring every three years.

Whether you use your compound bow for hunting, target practice, or maybe both, one of the most important things is what arrows you use. There is a common misconception that it is the bow that harbors all the power and while this is true to an extent, your arrows play an important role in your archery practice.

Before you get out into the field or onto the shooting range, you should make sure that you have chosen the right equipment. If you are using a 40lb compound bow, there are some arrows that will suit this type of bow and in this article, we are going to be showing you our top picks.

We will also be giving you all the information you will need to effectively and confidently choose your arrows.

Here Are The Arrows We Love

If you type in ‘the best arrows’ on a Google search, you will be rewarded with a seriously vast choice. There is no limit on the type, length, weight, flexibility, or style of arrows you could choose.

However, not all arrows are made equal and while many are of excellent quality, they may not be suitable for your 40lb compound bow. This is where a lot of archers, particularly beginners, begin to struggle.

It is important to know what you are looking for and what products are right for you. But to save you the hassle of having to trawl through endless online products, we have put together a list of the best arrows for a 40lb compound bow. Take a look below.

Top Pick – HHORB 30 Inch Carbon Archery Arrows

Many archers will practice both out in the field, hitting live targets as well as getting onto the shooting range for a bit of target practice. This diversity in the sport requires equipment to match and that is where these incredible arrows make their mark.

If you are looking for something with an excellent all-round performance that will provide accuracy, a good flight, and versatility then you might want to consider these.

The arrows are fitted with three TPU fletchings for optimal flight and control. They each measure 30 inches, but of course, this can be reduced should you need to. Made from carbon, they are strong and durable as well as being wonderfully lightweight.

These arrows have a standard diameter which is another point that makes them excellent for a variety of archery types. With the average diameter being 6.5mm, these sit at 6.3mm, which is marginally smaller.

The arrows are designed to be used with all kinds of bows but work particularly well with a compound. They have adjustable nocks for this reason and also come with screw-on arrow tips. This gives you the freedom to replace the arrow tip with a broadhead for when you are out bowhunting.

The thing that impressed us the most with these arrows was how smoothly they fly. With minimal hand shock, they leave the bow with a gentle glide and appear to cut through the air with some of the most delightful accuracy we have ever seen.

At the same time as this, they are so durable and one of the longest lasting archery arrows in their class. You certainly won’t be let down by them.

For Hunting – Paisi Carbon Archery Arrows

Pure, precision cut carbon is crafted into some of the straightest and most precise arrows we have ever seen. Not only this but the design is beautiful. If you are looking for a truly stunning arrow then these are definitely worth considering.

But so much more than merely looking great, the Paisi archery arrows demonstrate quality at its very finest.

They feature three hardy vanes made from a TPU material which gives a decent amount of weight and an accurate flight.

For bowhunting, you are going to need a much weightier arrow so that it can penetrate and these are exceptional for this. They are designed to be that little bit heavier without compromising on the speed of the flight while being weighty enough to get a kill every time. The arrows are specifically designed to be used with bows that have a draw weight between 40lbs and 70lbs.

The straightness of the arrows is to within +/- 0.003 and they come with adjustable nocks so that they can be used on a range of bows.

But what we really love about these arrows is the price. There are, of course, archery tools out there that can cost the earth. In other times, these things can be so cheap that the quality is questionable. But these arrows come at a decent price without having a negative impact on the quality.

If you are new to archery and want to try out various arrows to get a feel of what works for you, then we would suggest this to be an excellent starting point.

For Shooting Practice – Pinals Archery Spine

One of the first things you will notice about these arrows is the striking designs that they come in. Just because arrows serve a practical purpose, it doesn’t mean that they can’t show off your personality. In a choice of neon green or bright pink, they will certainly make a statement.

But aesthetics aside, these are strong, reliable, and powerful arrows that are ideal for shooting practice. They are designed for a bow with a draw weight between 25lbs and 70lbs, putting your 40lb’er right in the middle of this range.

You can convert the arrows from pointed to broadhead should you wish to get off the range and get on with some hunting, which proves their versatility.

The nocks are fully adjustable so even if you want to switch it up and use a different bow, namely a recurve, you have this option. With that in mind, they will fit almost any compound bow too.

The arrows come in packs of 12, which is pretty standard for any batch of arrows and the quality is second to none. They are fashioned from top-notch carbon which is lightweight, durable and gives an incredible degree of accuracy.

But what is most notable about these arrows is how straight they are. With precise measuring, these arrows are within the +/- 0.003 range giving you the confidence that they are truly ‘arrow straight.’

Why Are Arrows Important?

There are some archers that will simply grab the first arrows that they see and put them to use. This might be OK if you don’t mind compromising your performance but as we all know, every little aspect matters where archery is concerned.

From how you place your feet on the ground, through to the type of bow you use, your target distance and even where you place your hands, everything has its place. Your arrows are no exception to this rule and choosing the right type is fundamental in getting a decent and consistent shot every time.

Imagine a car, while it may run just fine with parts that are designed to be generic, it will run much better with parts that are designed specifically for that model. What’s more, if you tried to run a Ferrari with an engine designed for a mini wouldn’ t end well.

Similarly, if you try to operate your bow with arrows that are designed for something entirely different, you aren’t going to see such impressive results. You should always choose arrows that are meant for YOUR bow and not just some cheap sale items that happen to help you save money.

In the long run, you will thank yourself. Using the right arrows will improve your accuracy, consistency, and will give you a straight and speedy flight.

Tips For Choosing 40lbs Arrows

Before we start looking at some great tips to help you choose the right arrows for your 40lb compound bow, it is important that we point out the obvious.

Since your compound bow has a draw weight of 40lbs, you will need to look for arrows that are designed to be shot at this weight. Typically, the ideal draw weight will be given between two extremes and will be displayed on the arrow packaging or the product description.

If you are at all confused about this, the best idea is to head to your local archery shop and speak to a professional who will be able to advise you on the correct arrows for your bow.

But with the obvious aside, there are plenty of other factors that all archers should keep in mind when shopping for arrows.

These are one of the most common pieces of archery equipment that you will use so it pays to choose something that is going to stand up to the demands of this challenging sport.

Choosing The Right Arrow Length

Now, you’re going to be looking for the draw weight that each arrow is suited to and once you find this, it can be tempting to think that you have found a compatible arrow. But you’d be wrong.

The draw length of your bow will determine how long your arrows need to be and it is imperative that you stick with this.

As a rule of thumb, you should always aim to have an arrow that is one inch longer than the end of your arrow rest once it is placed inside. If it is any shorter, this could be a potential hazard, and the last thing you want is to be practicing dangerous archery.

If the arrow is very slightly too long, this won’t cause too much of a problem but when it is too short, there is a chance that it could become stuck once the bow releases. This may then result in the arrow snapping and sending debris towards you or damaging the bow.

That in mind, it is also important not to use arrows that are massively too big. A little extra length is OK but when you start having loads of extra inches, you will begin to notice that the arrows do not fly as quickly.

Since you are shooting a compound bow, it can be very easy to determine the correct length for an arrow. You will need a friend, your archery equipment, and a marker then you will be good to go.

Simply nock an arrow and draw the bow to its full draw length. Have your friends stand at the side of you, out of the way of the arrow and get them to mark a point on the arrow where it is one inch off the arrow rest. Once you have done this, you can measure from the nock groove to the point that you marked and you’ve got your ideal arrow length.

Choosing The Arrow Material

The arrows that we have looked at in this article are all made from carbon. That is because this is the most popular material to make arrows today. However, it is not the only one.

Carbon is a very lightweight material that offers extreme durability. Where archery is concerned, particularly bowhunting, you need something that is going to stand up to the challenge. Carbon is ideal for this.

These arrows will not bend and are excellent for hunting since they typically have a slightly smaller diameter making them excellent for penetration.

If you prefer something with a little more weight than an aluminum arrow is a great choice. These will travel at a slower speed so that is a factor to consider, however, there are good points to them.

Aluminium arrows are typically much quieter when they are released and while they may be more susceptible to damage than their carbon counterparts, they do offer greater spine choices.

However, for archers who want the best of both worlds, there are hybrid arrows that are made from a carbon/aluminum blend. They offer consistency, durable, speed, and versatility.

Choosing The Arrow Diameter

You might not think that the diameter of an arrow makes much difference, after all, the difference between them is millimeters. However, it can have a huge impact on your performance and is something that should absolutely be taken in consideration.

The average diameter of an arrow is 6.5mm but there are variations on this, as we saw with one of the products we looked at earlier.

However, depending on the type of archery you do, you might need a thinner or more chunky arrow.

For bowhunters, a smaller diameter is definitely preferable. This is because these arrows will penetrate the target a lot more easily, giving you more chance of an effective kill. This is owing to a decreased surface area and therefore, less friction.

However, there are even smaller diameter arrows known as micro-diameter and these have an even more minimal diameter which can greatly improve your performance out on the field.

Conversely, if you are practicing archery on a target, then you might need something a little thicker.

Choosing The Arrow Spine

Something that a lot of people omit to think about when selecting their arrows is the spine. But this is one of the most critical factors, particularly if you don’t want to compromise the flexibility.

If an arrow is too flexible, this can result in it veering off course as it travels down the range. This may be OK for some types of archery but you should be thinking about this before you commit to purchasing.

The stiffness of the arrow is typically given on a numerical scale. The higher numbers represent more flexible arrows while lower numbers tell us that the spine is a lot more rigid.

It can feel a little confusing knowing how to choose but the best way to make a decision is to consider the dynamic arrow and the static arrow.

The static spine refers to how the arrow behaves when a weight is hung from its middle when still. This weight must be 1.94lb and hung in the center of the arrow, which must measure 29 inches.

As the weight is hung, you will measure how many inches the arrow bends and times this by a thousand. This will give you the number that represents the arrow’s bend.

To understand the dynamic spine, you must look at how the arrow behaves once it is released from a bow. This is a lot more difficult to calculate since so many factors come into play here.

Things like the weight of the fletching, the design of the arrow head, the speed of the bow, and the insert weight are all taken into consideration. But wait; there’s more!

As a general rule of thumb, the lower the draw weight of the bow, the lower the spine should be. For a 40lb compound bow, you should be looking at an arrow spine of around 400 for a 30 inch arrow and 500 for a 28 inch arrow.


Archery is a diverse sport and there are many different types which require many different pieces of equipment. As such, no two bows or sets of arrows are the same and when you are using a 40lb compound bow, you will need to make sure that you choose the right arrows.

The best place to start is to look at the information regarding what draw weight the arrows were made for. If 40lbs is within this range, you’re on to a good start. However, there are other factors you should consider such as the length or the arrow, its diameter and how flexible it is.

We have picked out some of what we consider to be the best arrows for a 40lb compound bow, now it’s just up to you to choose your favorite,

For bowhunters across the world, deer are a prized target. It takes stealth, precision, and a good amount of target practice to bring down your first buck, and when you do, it’ll certainly be a memory that will stay with you for the rest of your days.

However, when you are hunting deer, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment. From a reliable bow to your camo clothing, everything plays an important role. When it comes to choosing the best arrow weight for deer hunting, you need to consider a few things.

In this article, we will be exploring what factors influence the weight of your arrow for deer hunting and why the weight is so essential in getting a kill.

Read more:

Why Does Arrow Weight Matter?

A lot of archers, particularly those who are new to the sport, believe that their bow is the most crucial piece of equipment. And, yes, it is important. After all, you wouldn’t be able to practice archery without it.

That being said, you wouldn’t be able to take part without arrows either so considering them when making a choice is vital. One of the most critical factors when choosing an arrow for deer hunting is its weight.

You’ll likely have seen a lot of talk about this online and in your research but why does the weight of your arrow matter so much?

Understanding Arrow Weight

Before we discuss the importance of your arrow’s weight, it is key that we understand how arrows are measured for archery. You will notice that when you purchase arrows, the weight is given in grains per inch, often shortened to GPI.

The weight of the arrow will vary from product to product and there are many factors involved in this. The material from which the arrow is made, it’s length, and thickness will all influence how heavy the arrow is.

You should also keep in mind that the weight of the arrow includes the fully constructed piece of equipment and not just the shaft. The weight takes into consideration the nock, heads, fletchings, wraps, and inserts.

One of the biggest influencing factors where weight is concerned is the material. Arrows come in various forms; some are made from wood whereas others are made from metals. The most common metals for arrows are aluminum and carbon.

Both of these are lightweight options, although carbon is much lighter and is one of the most popular materials for modern arrows. But even though carbon is lightweight, that doesn’t mean that it cannot be used to take down a sizable deer.

This is because many brands now infuse their carbon shafts with resin giving them a much more durable design. You will be able to tell these arrows apart from others since they are labeled ‘pre-preg.’

Using this approach also allows the manufacturer to create a series of arrows with various weights, shaft diameters, and other differences.

Furthermore, you may see some brands using steel infusing techniques. This results in an arrow that is much heavier and considerably more durable. These might be particularly useful when it comes to hunting deer.

When you are thinking about the weight of an arrow, you will usually find that on average, arrows weigh between 400 and 500 grains per inch. If you are looking for a much more lightweight arrow, you will search for something in the range of 350 grains per inch. Conversely, heavier arrows might weigh anywhere between 600 and 700 GPI.

However, these arrows are normally used for much more conventional equipment such as a longbow or recurve bow. Archers shooting a compound bow don’t typically go for such a heavy projectile.

Finally, it is important to point out that when looking at arrow weight, you will often hear about the FOC or front of center. This term refers to the point at the front of the arrow where weight is distributed according to a balance point on the arrow.

If this is not considered, you may end up with an arrow that doesn’t shoot in the direction that you would expect it to. The trajectory can be hugely impacted when not selecting the correct weight in terms of FOC.

So, Why Does Weight Make A Difference?

When you shoot your bow, an incredible amount of energy is transferred from the bowstring into the arrow. Some bows are particularly powerful and the higher the draw weight, the more power and force will be released when you fire the bow.

But what does this have to do with the arrows? It’s quite simple; your arrows must have the ability to handle the energy that is going to be transferred into them.

Imagine releasing the energy of a 200lb longbow into a straw; it isn’t going to do the straw much good. However, when you use a heavier arrow that is designed to handle the pressure of the release, it won’t become damaged and will fly as you would expect.

Not only this, but it could be potentially dangerous to shoot an arrow that is not the correct weight from any given bow. If you use an arrow that is not heavy enough, you are risking the bowstring snapping or coming free of the cams. This could result in either serious damage to your bow or even worse, an injury for you.

On the other end of the scale, using an arrow that is too heavy won’t cause any problems in terms of safety but may result in an inferior flight. Too heavy arrows can lose speed very quickly which means that they won’t travel as far.

Manufacturers tend to follow the general rule that an arrow should weigh 5 grains for every pound of the draw weight.

Arrow Weight For Hunting Deer

One of the main concerns for anyone out in the field doing bowhunting is that they achieve a quick, and most importantly, humane kill. This will never be achieved when using arrows that are not the correct weight.

You will want to have an arrow that can cause a two-hole penetration and a fast blood trail, killing the animal as quickly as possible. This is one of the most crucial reasons that you should find an arrow that is a suitable weight, especially when you are bringing down a large target like a deer.

There are ongoing debates all over the internet and in bowhunting communities. There are some archers that argue that light arrows that travel quickly are best for hunting deer. On the flip side, other archers will tell you that a heavy arrow is better as it penetrates much more easily.

In an ideal world, you would have everything in one arrow but technology is yet to bring us that. However, for the most part, the general consensus is that a heavier arrow is better for hunting deer, or any other kind of live game, for that matter.

The reason behind this is simple; physics. An arrow with a greater weight will more freely penetrate the deer, killing it quickly.

If you wanted to get very scientific, you might consider Newton’s law of motion which helps us to understand how an arrow will slow down once it leaves the bow. A heavier arrow may not travel as quickly in the first instance but it will decelerate much slower than a lighter arrow. This means that, upon impact with the animal, these arrows will be able to penetrate deeper.

With that in mind let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of using both heavy and light arrows.

Heavy Arrows vs Light Arrows

As we have just discussed, a heavy arrow will not slow down as quickly as its lighter counterparts. This makes them ideal if you want to achieve the best penetration.

That being said, a lighter arrow will fly much straighter and will often travel much greater distances. But you will notice that as a lighter arrow leaves your bow, it can make a great deal more noise than a heavier arrow.

For this reason alone, light arrows might not be suitable for hunting deer. The noise of the arrow leaving the bow could be enough to startle the deer causing it to move in the seconds between the arrow being fired and it meeting the deer. A lucky escape for him, and extremely frustrating for you.

According to experts, a fast-traveling, light arrow might be suitable for shooting smaller prey that is much quicker. But when it comes to shooting at larger animals, like deer, you may need to go for something much heavier so that it can get the vitals without fail.

However, there are many stories of archers successfully bringing down a 300lb buck with nothing more than a 365-grain arrow. It’s all in the setup.

Ultimately, the choice is yours but you should always consider the pros and cons of each weight before making your final choice as this will have a dramatic impact on its performance.

Arrow Spine

So, once you have considered the weight of your arrow, you will still not be quite ready to head out and hunt your first deer.

The arrow spine also plays an important role in its effectiveness. When we talk about spine, we are referring to the flexibility of an arrow. This is also given in numbers, typically the lower the number, the less flexible the arrow will be.

The arrow’s spine is determined in one of two ways. Statis spine refers to the way in which the arrow behaves while it is still. There are several factors that can influence this including the weight of the arrow and what material it is made from.

Furthermore, you should consider the dynamic spine of your arrow. Typically this is measured using a weight in the center of the arrow and measuring how much it flexes. You should think about the draw weight of the bow when looking at the flexibility.

For example, if you were to shoot an arrow from a 50lb bow, it would behave in a significantly different way than if it were shot from an 80lb bow.

When thinking about this, you need to not only take into consideration the draw weight of your bow but also its condition. If your bow is poor-performing or has a lighter draw weight, you may be better going for an arrow that was not as flexible. This would also apply to bows that have a shorter draw length.

Conversely, archers shooting a heavier, longer, and better performing bow would certainly benefit from using a much more flexible arrow.


When we think about the weight of an arrow, it is difficult to ignore the material from which it is made. An arrow made from aluminum is going to be much heavier than one made from carbon. That being said, you can purchase arrows that are made from a mix of these two materials, which somewhat gives you the best of both worlds.

In years gone by, we saw a lot of aluminum arrows and while they are still popular today, most modern arrows are made from carbon.

As we discussed earlier, just because this is an incredibly lightweight material, that isn’t to say that there aren’t many heavier carbon arrows that are perfectly designed for bowhunters targeting deer.

Essentially, where materials are concerned, you want to focus more on how durable the arrows are as opposed to how heavy they are. When you are taking down a huge deer, there is little point in using an arrow that won’t stand up to this meaty challenge.

The way in which carbon arrows are made gives them greater durability without comparison when you compare them to their aluminum counterparts. The manufacturers are wrapping the carbon fibers in such a way that the arrow wall is much denser.

But durability aside, you will also find that a carbon arrow gives you greater ease when adjusting the front of center point. This is, as we have learned, an essential factor when looking at the weight of your arrow and will allow for a much more precise shot.

You might consider, however, that owing to the overall better performance of a carbon arrow, that the price will go up significantly.

Personal Preference

Since there are pros and cons to both heavy and light arrows, a lot of people will make their choice based on their own personal preferences. What feels good to me may feel terrible for you.

One of the best ways to determine what you prefer is to have a go with arrows of varying weights. If you can get your hand on a wide selection, get yourself to the target range and give them a try.

It is best to practice on a 3D target if you can, to properly replicate the conditions of hunting a live deer. We wouldn’t ever suggest practicing on a real animal until you are confident that the arrows you are using will work how you intend them to. This is purely for the welfare of the deer. All responsible bowhunters will tell you that a humane kill is the best type.


The weight of an arrow is measured in grains per inch and while an average arrow weighs anywhere between 400 and 500 GPI, there are those that are much heavier and much lighter.

Where hunting deer is concerned, there is something of an age-old debate over whether a lighter or heavier arrow is best.

Lighter arrows will offer greater speed and will typically cover more distance, making them ideal for longer shots. Conversely, a heavier arrow has greater momentum, and as such, offers greater penetration, especially for larger game, like deer.

We would suggest going for something a little heavier but it also depends on the type of bow you are using.

Hunters using a recurve or longbow will normally go for arrows with a much higher GPI. In many cases, they may use arrows that are 700 grains or more. In contrast, compound bow hunters will need a far lighter arrow.

Aside from the weight, there are other contributing factors that should be considered when choosing the best arrow weight for deer hunting. These include the arrow spine and the material used to construct the arrow.