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Did you know that original bow strings were made from animal parts, like sheep or goat intestines? Other ancient materials used were fiber, flax, linen, or hemp strings.

We’ve come a long way from those days thousands of years ago. When you select your own bow string lengths, you are participating in the sport of archery, which has an incredibly long and rich history.

As any master archer can tell you, that, besides the bow itself with its limbs and risers and arrow rest, the bowstring is the most important component of the entire tool. In this article we gonna learn how to measure compound bow string length perfectly every time.

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Compound Bow Cables and Strings

Unlike regular bows or long bows, which have bent limbs, compound bows have stiff limbs. When you hold the two models up side by side, you can definitely see the difference.

With their cams, axles, pulleys, cables, and strings, compound bows are much more complex than regular bows. They were designed to give you, as the archer, a distinct mechanical advantage over older bow models. The compound bow gives you so much more force, which in turn, makes the arrow shoot forward with far more momentum. Compound bows are often used for hunting precisely because of their advanced design.

However, so many cables and strings can prove to be confusing. They attach in different places on the bow, and each one serves a different purpose. They also stretch too much and have to be replaced. You could even have one break.

Bow strings are different from the two other cables found on a compound bow: the bus cable and the control cable. The bus cable is connected to the axles, and the control cable (or cables) are attached to the cams. Control cables have serving ends. Cables are also attached to cable slides, while the actual bow string is not.

Why is having the proper bow string length so important? It has to do with one crucial factor: draw weight.

Bow String Creates Draw Length

Draw length is the measurement of how many inches are between the arrow rest on the compound bow and the maximum arm span when you pull the arrow back. You don’t want the bow string to be too long, for then you would lose tension and not be able to create the force necessary to shoot the arrow. But, neither do you want it to be too tight, for then it’s too difficult to pull the arrow back. So, it’s very important to determine the correct bow string length for your bow.

How Long Should the Bow String Be?

Many compound bow owners leave the string length up to the bow’s manufacturer or an expert at a sporting goods store to measure it for them. But, it is highly useful to know your particular bow’s requirements. Your bow probably already came with strings, so you can simply use that exact string length. Use a tape measure and hold it end to end.

But if your bow did not come with strings, then here are some simple tips and tricks you can use to determine the proper bow string length.
There are two proper methods you can use: either manually measuring or going by the AMO (Archery Manufacturers and Merchants Organization) length. We’ll discuss both below.

First Method: Manually Measuring Your Compound Bow

It’s easy to measure the bow string length required for a long bow or recurve bow. On a compound bow, it’s a little bit more involved. You will need some equipment:

• A bow press
• A long piece of regular white string or twine
• A permanent marker
• A tape measure

You are going to measure from one outside pin on the cam at the end of the top riser to the other outside pin on the other cam at the end of the bottom riser.

Step 1

Once you have the proper equipment, then place the compound bow in a bow press, with the risers facing towards you. If you don’t have a bow press, a partner can help you compress the bow. You can’t string a bow and compress it at the same time, so you’ll need a partner. Tighten the bow press vise grip, making the bow upside down and facing towards you. The cable slide should be in the middle and vertical.

Step 2

Make a loop on one end of the long piece of string or twine. Tie a good knot so that it holds firmly.

Step 3

Place this loop over the pin on the cam on the top riser, which is facing you on your right-hand side. Wind it around the cams like you would a regular bow string.

Step 4

Pull the string towards the other cam, compressing the bow at the same time. Gently insert it into the other cam on your right-hand side and wind it.

Step 5

Mark the string at the end using a permanent marker the length that you are going to purchase. Unwind the string from the cam and then unwind it from the other cam.

Step 6

Use a tape measure to measure the length of the string from the loop to the point where you marked it.

Second Method: Using the AMO Length

If you’re lucky enough to have a compound bow that’s clearly marked with the standardized AMO length, you can use that to determine the bow string. A label might include the weight, string length, cable, and draw. For a compound bow weighting between 50 and 65 pounds, the string length would be 58”. It’s a lot easier than manually measuring.


Besides searching for your bow string length on the internet, you can also call the manufacturer of your bow, give them the overall length, and ask them what string size that you need. However, it is handy to know how to measure string length, if only because you might want to restring them yourself. A bow press is an excellent investment of your time and money, and it will make that job a lot easier.

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Always stick to the same type of arrow when sighting on a bow. The spine, point design, and point weight all affect flight behavior. Before starting to sight on any bow, make sure that both the bow and string are broken in. At times it is better to make your own target range rather than heading to an archery range as it can take a few days to properly how to sight on a compound bows with 3 pin sights.

A new sight needs to be handled with care, especially when tightening in the pins. At times cheaper sights can be overtightened which damages the pin socket making it impossible to make further adjustments. Given enough time, care, and attention, a calibrated compound bow and its 3-pin sight will need no adjustment for a long time to come.

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Sighting on a Compound Bow with 3 Pin Sights Step-by-Step

Follow these easy instructions to sight in your compound bow. Sighting in a bow is a process that should not be rushed. The further you can spread your calibration over the better. Remember, you’ll most likely only ever have to do this two-to-three times with any given bow depending on your prowess and ability in archery.

Step 1 – Mount Your 3-Pin Sight
Begin by mounting your 3-pin sight to the compound bow. Always follow all installation instructions provided to the letter, securing the sight to the riser as instructed. This typically takes nothing more than a few screws which attach to pre-drilled holes in your riser. Make sure that your bow sight is given time to settle overnight. On the following day, tighten the sight to ensure stability.

Step 2 – Sighting Pin Adjustments
Set all of the sighting pin adjustments to the center using an Allen wrench.

Step 3 – Set Your Target
The majority of shooters mark each 10-yard increment from their target. Sighting on a 3-pin sight on a compound bow will take an excessive amount of shots. Make sure your target will last through the entire calibration exercise.

Step 4 – Set the First Pin
Aim at the distance which is closest to your target. Most archers set this at 10-yards. Assume your stance, draw and release an arrow toward the target, aiming with your sight’s top pin. Fire off a few more shots repositioning the sight box upward if your arrows went above the region indicated by the pin. Do this until you are completely certain that your arrows are not shooting above the top pin.

Once the first distance is accurately calibrated, go to double the distance away (20-yards for most) and carry out the same sighting process. Raise the sighting box as is necessary and when you are completely certain that your arrows are not shot over the top pin, begin to adjust the sight for arrows travelling too far to the left or right. The first pin is likely to move once the others have been set in so aim for a high degree of accuracy but there’s no need to get it perfect.

Step 5 – Set the Second Pin
The next mark is typically 30 yards for most but aim at the mark which is three times the distance of the first one. Aim with your second pin, firing off a few arrows towards your target. Perform the same adjustments which you did for the first pin except keep in mind that you’ll need to move the entire 3-pin sight box instead of just moving it left or right. It may take quite some time to reach a high degree of accuracy but this time is well spent as the second pin is the anchor point for your entire sight. You are looking to be as close to 100% accurate as possible.

Step 6 – Set the Third Pin
The final pin needs to be set in at four times the distance of your starting mark making it 40-yards for most. Aim at your mark, releasing arrows towards your target while adjusting as you did before. The only difference is that you need to move the pin itself and not the position of the sight box. You are aiming to guarantee that your arrow travels precisely to the direction that the third pin in pointing in. There is no need to shift the box in any way. If you find that your shots are veering to the left or right, return to the previous mark and make your adjustment from there.

Step 7 – Adjust the First Pin
Once you are happy with the accuracy of your third pin you should head back to your first marker and check the accuracy of your first pin. This typically requires slight adjustment of the pin itself but don’t make the mistake of moving the sight box or you’ll have to start over.

Sighting with Other Scopes

If you are sighting on a sight with more pins, continue this basic structure adjusting according to distance and recalibrating as necessary. Move pin to pin taking extra care to ensure that your second pin is perfect while always readjusting the first once you are done with the last pin.

Getting Your Compound Bow’s 3-Pin Sight Perfect

Instead of sighting on your bow over just one or two lengthy sessions, spread your sighting over a few days. Your shooting and power are affected by fatigue causing your overall form to shift. This natural adjustment establishes a better average for your personal shooting habits and stance granting impressive accuracy.

Personal Pin Adjustments

You want to make sure that you set in your pins for your own personal shooting ability rather than opting for a cookie-cutter standard. Many archers begin at 10, 20 and 25-yard range while advancing to as far as 25, 35 and 50 yards. Always keep your shooting range in consideration when sighting in. Your ability and quality of equipment makes a massive difference to the optimal pin settings.

When one sights on a bow for extremely far ranges such as 60 yards and above, it may take multiple targets in order to properly gauge the pin setup needed. Group shots at multiple targets positioned to a single point, a horizontal target line, and a vertical target to guarantee that your long-range pins are properly sighted in.

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Compound bows are designed to be drawn back to a fixed distance, unlike traditional recurves and longbows which can be draw back at almost any distance. The draw length of your bow needs to be set according to your height, allowing for a comfortable draw with optimal power and accuracy. You should always fire a compound bow from a full draw.

Here we’ll be explaining to you how to determine your optimal draw length while taking you through a look at how to adjust draw length of a compound bow to match your bow, strength & height.

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Determining the Perfect Draw Length

There is no fixed rule which guarantees the best draw length; instead the perfect draw length is relative to your individual size, height, weight and strength. This being said, there is an extremely reliable calculation which has been used by countless archers over many, many years. The “Arm Span” method serves as a great starting point to begin finding the right draw length for you. The optimal draw length is the length at which you shoot best so be sure to adjust as is necessary from the basic draw determined by the “Arm Span” method.

The Arm Span Method

While other methods such as the “Wingspan” and others exist and work, this technique gives a draw length which is comfortable and optimal for most:

• Determine your arm-span length in inches by standing with your arms outstretched naturally

• Get a friend to measure the length from the tip of one middle finger to the opposing middle finger’s tip

• Divide the length obtained by 2.5 and you have a starting draw length to work with

Adjusting the Draw Length of Your Bow

Find the limb bolts of your bow situated near the center. These bolts are typically locked into the riser using locking bolts, found just below the top limb or a short distance above the top limb. Tightening the bolts (clockwise) will increase the draw weight of your bow while loosening the limb bolts will lower the draw length and weight.

Always use a bow scale to check the draw weight as you adjust your bolts. When lowering the draw length of your bow always start from a fully tightened set of limb bolts and adjust by unscrewing the bolts at one full revolution at a time. Check the weight and adjust as is further necessary.

Draw Weight

Draw weight is the maximum amount of weight that an archer will need to pull while drawing their bow. Compound bows differ from traditional bows in the sense that they reach a peak weight then drop to a holding weight instead of requiring a fixed amount of pull poundage while drawing the bow.

General Guidelines for Draw Weight

If you are put on the spot and don’t quite know what draw weight to use for yourself or a friend, then here is a general reference according to weight which will generally give the best draw. Remember to use this as a guide only, adjusting until shooting your bow is comfortable.

• Small children weighing between 45 to 70 pounds – 10 to 15 pounds draw weight

• Average children weighing between 70 to 100 pounds – 15 to 30 pounds draw weight

• Small-frame women and boys weighing between 100 to 130 pounds – 30 to 40 pounds draw weight

• Large frame women and boys weighing between 130 to 150 pounds – 40 to 55 pounds draw weight

• Men weighing between 150 to 180 pounds – 45 to 65 pounds draw weight

• Men weighing between 150 to 180 pounds setting bow for hunting or 3d archery – 50 to 70 pounds draw weight

• Large frame and muscular men – 65 to 80 pounds draw weight

Compound Bow Adjustment Precautions

Ensure that you never tighten your limb bolts too much. Over-tightening will cause strain to the bowstring or cam making it essential to check the user manual supplied with your bow to find the maximum turns to tighten the limb bolt. Whenever you are done adjusting the draw length of your compound bow, be sure to secure the locking screws in place. Without the screws locked in, the limb can disengage during use posing a great danger to you as the archer and bystanders.

Never Overset Your Draw Length

The longer your draw length, the greater the speed and power of your shot but this does not mean that you should set your bow for too much draw length. Some shooters opt to overset their draw length on purpose but the trade-off giving a loss of comfort and control is not worth it. A draw length which does not suit your height and weight may give a high-speed shot but your accuracy will pale in comparison to a properly configured compound bow.

Establish a Comfortable Draw Length and Weight

Most archers find that the most comfortable draw length and weight requires them to use about 75% of their strength at the most. If your bow is overbowed, it’ll only be a few shots before you are fatigued, bringing your practice to an end. As your back and upper-body strength increases you can always increase your draw lengthy for a faster shot.

Don’t fall into the mistake of using the same draw length across all of your bows as depending on the size, weight and overall composition, each compound bow will have a different draw length and weight which is comfortable.

Find the Right Balance

Some archers prefer a draw length calculation which takes your total arm span length less 15 then divided by two, resulting in your total draw length. This is referred to as the “Wingspan Method.” As you can see, it is essential that your draw length never be longer than is necessary. The longer the fault in length the greater the impact on your accuracy.

The distance of your draw length does not change when you add a string loop but your anchor point will adjust. If you want to retain the same anchor point, make sure that you shorten your draw length accordingly to move your anchor point back to your place of preference.

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A peep sight is the sight of choice for most compound bows, while certain recurve users also opt for this handy upgrade when it fits without disturbing alignment.

The basic principle of aiming through a peep sight is to line up the target with the peep sight’s pin by looking through the peep with your dominant eye, while lining up the forward sight (at the front of your bow) with the corresponding target as well.

So how to use a peep sight then? In this article, we gonna break down that question.

In a hurry for a peep sight?

I use this peep sight from Kingwolfox Archery and is the best I have tried even if it is quite expensive. But this peep sight from MILAEM should works just as good and is a little bit cheaper.

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Using a Peep Sight

Always determine what distances the pins are set to before attempting a shot. The top pin of a peep sight is almost always set to 20 yards while 10-yard increments are typically set to the rest (30, 40 and 50 yards). Ensure that your anchor point is not obstructing the view of your peep sight when aiming and adjust either your face position or the anchor point if it is.

As you shoot over further distances, line up the corresponding pin to the target according to its distance from you. Once the bubble is in the center of the level in your forward sight and your pin is lined up with your target, you’re ready to take your shot.

Picking the Right Peep Sight

Numerous peep sights are available in an array of different sizes and housing designs. The larger your peep sight the more light it lets in, while the sight housing determines the number of pins, how far apart they are spaced, where they are located, and your overall field-of-view. Most archers prefer a peep sight with a large, round housing of at least 1 5/8-inch in diameter due to its huge field of view and large amount of room to move pins around.

The further away your pin spread is from the riser of your bow, the finer the sight can be aimed. Your peep should allow only a small halo of light either outside of the sight ring or around the colored ring of the sight.

3-Step Peep Sight Installation

Your peep sight will usually be installed by a traditional D-loop although a torque-less loop is at times used instead which self-aligns. You need to get your peep sight into your string and aligned to the center. A bow press should be used to separate the strands of your bowstring. You can try other ways to separate your strands but this usually results in damage to you or the bowstring. Most archers opt for a two-color string when installing a peep sight as this is generally the most visually attractive option.

Step 1 – Finding the Right Height
Before setting the proper height of your peep get a friend to help you. With the peep sight installed on your string, close your eyes and draw your bow to your anchor. Once drawn, open one of your eyes and don’t move. Have your friend rotate the peep into alignment and move it either up or down the string. It needs to align perfectly with the forward sight aperture.

Step 2 – Calibration Shots
It takes a good deal of shooting to determine the proper alignment of your peep sight. Before you even begin to adjust the alignment of your peep, it is best to fire off at least fifteen to twenty shots with it roughly sighted. This ensures that the twists and tension of the bowstring settle in.

Step 3 – Peep Sight Rotation
When the right height of your peep sight has been found and a few shots have been fired off, your peep sight will most likely not be aligned perfectly to your eye. Rotate the peep sight by adding or subtracting half a turn at a time until the peep is in its proper position.

Step by Step Shooting with a Peep Sight

• Prepare for your shot by stretching and warming up

• Assume a strong shooting stance with your feet shoulder-width apart at a 90degree angle to your target

• Hold your bow in a natural position

• Nock the arrow and draw it back to your anchor points

• Now it’s time to sight your shot

Sighting Your Shot

• Look through the peep sight with your dominant eye and sight your target

• With the target lined up in the peep, sight your target through the forward sight

• Close one of your eyes making it easier to focus through your peep sight and make sure that your target is lined up with the appropriate pin according to its distance

• Once aligned to the pin in your peep sight, make sure your forward sight’s bubble level is in the center (adjust your bow position to the left or right if not)

• Instead of trying to make sure your peep sight pin lines up perfectly stable, allow it to float around the target slightly and release only when you are relaxed

Perfecting the Alignment of Your Peep Sight

To fine-tune your peep sight into perfect alignment you need to put your peep its center position and adjust my taking the string off the peg and then twisting in or out by a full turn. Never ever adjust by a half turn. Whatever you do on one side must be done on the other otherwise your cams will end up out of sync. At times you’ll need to flip the peep sight over once or twice until a stable balance has been settled into.

Generally, it will take just a few twists of the bowstring to correct any deviations, but if you want the highest accuracy you’ll need perfect perpendicular alignment which is only attained by careful twisting of the bowstring and strand swapping.

Fantastic Peep Sight Benefits

A great deal of patience is needed to set in a peep sight but once its installed and aligned, the benefits to your accuracy are immense. After some practice at shooting with a peep sight you’ll soon find yourself using nothing more than a glance to correct your position and fire. Peep sights help minimize distractions granting greater focus on your target. Some archers employ a peep sight and kisser button to ensure that their anchor point does not change. Once you learn how to use a peep sight you’ll always have a place for it in your archery.

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Traditional archery has no need to resort to sights or stabilizers in order to ensure the perfect shot. Fortunately, there are numerous methods and styles of shooting to try when opting to refine your skill and aim without a sight.

After all, as one grows in their archery ability the urge to shoot without a sight also increases.

Shooting with a recurve bow is far better without a sight as well, aiding your accuracy through promoting intuitive shooting.

Here we’ll be taking you through a look at the best aiming techniques, showing you how to aim a bow without sights, stabilizers or other shooting aids.

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Gap Shooting

As one of the most popular techniques for hunters, gap shooting is a technique which works just as accurately in competition.

The flight path of any given arrow launched is anything but straight; in actual fact its trajectory is elliptical without a smooth arch.

Gap shooting requires the archer to fin the arc of the trajectory of their bow and compensate for it.

When gap shooting, your arrow is released with an intentional arch instead of being fired with force in a relatively straight direction.

Your bow setup, arrow weight and fletching, and your draw strength all affect the distance which your shot will travel before its starts its download plummet.

Longer arrows with a heavyweight are always best for gap shooting as they reduce your gap granting you longer range.

How to Start Gap Shooting

1. Begin at ten yards from your target (the average dead-on point-of-aim for most)

2. Aim the tip of your arrow at the center of the bullseye

3. Shoot three arrows in total always aiming at the same center point on your target

4. Measure and record your results from your first round of shooting establishing your first gap

5. Repeat the process at fifteen yards, twenty yards or any other range of distances you wish to perfect, keeping track of how high or how low your arrow is from the bullseye

6. Adjust as is necessary, aiming higher or lower as is necessary to adjust the fall of your arrow

String Walking

String walking is one of the more traditional means of aiming a bow without sights. This method uses your arrow tip to aim, shifting its point into a sight by taking hold of your bowstring at various locations.

The position grasped changes the way that your target is seen, with shifts in your grip changing the flight of the arrow. A grip closer to the nock causes your shot to be released higher while a lower grip further down your bowstring makes it hit lower.

Most string walking shooters resort to etched markers which serve as consistent references granting high accuracy.

A great deal of trial and error is needed to determine your ‘sweet spot’ but once you’ve found it you’ll be capable of high accuracy over long distances.

All that you adjust to change your shot is the rear tilt relative to the distance you are shooting and your given accuracy.

How to Start String Walking

1. Start with your fingers quite far down the knock (a three-finger spacing is generally a good starting point)

2. Bring yourself to a full draw aiming at your bullseye with the point of your arrow

3. Observe the slope of your arrow and take your shot gauging your accuracy

4. Adjust the distance beneath the knock (termed the ‘cramp’) to either shorter or longer depending on where your shot hit

5. Note the spacing between your anchors once you have reached consistent accuracy over any required distance

Split-vision/Indirect Instinctive Aiming

Almost all archers agree that split-vision shooting is one of most fun ways to aim a bow without sights.

Also known as ‘indirect instinctive aiming,’ consistent accuracy will take dedicated effort but once you have imprinted this method as second nature, you’ll find that your shots are not only spot on but quick as well.

The process of learning how to split vision shoot is not something that can be rushed but once the archer’s muscle memory has entrained the technique he or she can aim instinctively without a sight at even long distances over twenty yards.

Without needing to focus consciously the archer can apply other performance-enhancing fundamentals.

How to Begin Split-vision/Indirect Instinctive Aiming

1. Assume your stance and bring your bow to a full draw

2. Focus on your arrow – the entire arrow not just the tip – with one eye in your peripheral vision whilst maintaining a focal point (your imaginary target) at a slight distance above the bullseye or your desired mark

3. Make any adjustments to the direction of your arrow in peripheral vision only, don’t allow yourself to be distracted by aiming

4. As your hold focus on your imaginary target ensure for a split-second that your tip is set to hit this point and release your shot

5. Shift your imaginary aiming target higher or lower as is necessary always making sure to release from a full draw

Perfecting Your Barebow Archery

Many seasoned shooters swear by instinctive shooting over all other techniques. By leaving all aiming conditions and actions to the unconscious, you are left shooting at exactly where you are looking.

All this method needs is practice, hand-eye coordination and firm control over your mind and focus. Split-vision shooting often evolves into an intuitive, instinctive act without directly intending to do so.

By repeating any action of aiming a bow with sites you will eventually make yourself conscious enough of the process, technique and stance needed to shoot on time every time without any extended shot preparation.

If you decide to practice instinctive shooting instead of a fixed, step-by-step method, make sure that you fire multiple shots in varying conditions and over numerous distances.

You’ll soon find that your arm is raised or lowered automatically without you needing to consciously change position.

It is generally best to try out a few different methods of aiming before extensive practice.

The best way to aim a bow without sights is the way which feels most comfortable to you as an individual.

Be sure to explore all your options.

A takedown bow is a flexible compact recurve bow assembled from two limbs and a riser. Almost every single bow used in Olympic archery is a takedown bow thanks its combination of a compact design and superior propelling force. Completely adjustable, one can configure a takedown bow according to draw strength, draw cycle, stability, and smoothness.

The length of the limbs changes the size of the bow either for personal preference and convenience, or to change the stability, smoothness and draw of the bow. Serving as the ultimate option for competition archery, a takedown bow is a must for anyone who takes the accuracy of their shooting seriously.

Here we’ll be taking you through a comprehensive look at the ever-versatile takedown bow, highlighting factors to keep in mind when shopping for a new recurve, while also explaining its dynamics.

Advantages of a Takedown Bow

Recurve bows are made from the broadest range of materials granting the vastness array of choices when shopping for a new bow. Regardless of your budget or shooting style and ability, you’ll be able to find a takedown bow to match. Here is a brief look at what makes takedown bows the top choice of Olympic archers and hunters alike:

• A takedown bow gives the lightest weight and highest degree of portability

• Either the limbs or riser can be upgraded as you advance in skill

• A three-piece design adds a vast degree of stability

• Should any part of your bow break it can be replaced easily and affordably

• The practice of shooting a recurve bow is unique and instinctual, often leading to an affinity in sightless (barebow) shooting

The Three Parts of a Takedown Bow

A takedown bow is assembled from a riser, two limbs and a bowstring. The riser should be resilient and long lasting while the limbs must be both flexible and durable. Leading take-down bows will feature tool-less designs, while also exhibiting brass bushings for the plunger, sight and quiver. Always consider the maximum draw length of a takedown bow before buying it as you’ll need a greater draw length as your skill and strength increases.

The riser is the area of the bow which you should invest the most money into. Manufactured from materials ranging from wood to metal, carbon and various alloys, most reputable retailers will typically allow you to test their range. Your riser is the core of your bow and the longest lasting component.

A good riser will be lightweight without needing any additional stabilization, while exhibiting a shape, balance, straightness and hand positioning which is comfortable. Given the vast amount of designs available, it is best to test out as many as possible to get a feel for which is best for you. When selecting a riser always pay attention to the process of molding the composite used. The core and density of fibers makes a massive difference to your riser.

Die-cast risers are typically found for low-end bows while sand-cast, forged and machined risers all grant increasingly better resistance to vibration granting a better shot.

Good limbs are forgiving of a poor release making a high-quality set especially beneficial to those new to archery. A good set of limbs gives you a smooth draw imparting a high degree of movement to your arrow. Limbs are typically made from either a combination of laminated wood and fiberglass, laminated wood between carbon fiber layers, or crafted from carbon fibers with a hard foam or ceramic core.

Wood limbs perform well in regions where the temperature and humidity are at a fairly constant moderate, while unsuited to warmer regions where they are prone to warp and stretch. The more carbon fiber layers present, the better the limbs’ ability to sustain pressure and the less likely they are to twist.

For the very best limbs available which are impervious to temperature fluctuations thus granting consistent performance, opt for limbs with both a carbon core and composition. Most are quite expensive, resisting twisting even at the tip, but it is the best choice.


Modern archery has developed bowstrings which are far superior to the standard woven threads of yesteryear. Your bowstring comprises the string itself (at times termed an ‘endless loop’) with two loops fitting over the ends of the limbs of your bow. Your top loop is typically larger. Bowstrings are categorized according to their strand count and draw weight. More strands make the bowstring heavier and stronger; however, as the weight increases, it acts as a dampener dropping distance but making accuracy more consistent.

Each type of bowstring increases in both price and performance. Here’s a look at the materials typically available.

• Dacron – As a type of polyester, Dacron is the most affordable carrying an excessive degree of stretch. Shows are slow but the leeway makes this the best bowstring for wood risers and limbs, or particularly old bows. Due to its inability to sustain friction only a few twists are possible

• Aramid fibers (Kevlar) – Otherwise termed ‘Liquid Crystal Polymers,’ Aramid fibers are extremely strong but have a tendency to shear easy causing broken strings. Due to Kevlar’s inability to sustain water, these bowstrings need to be frequently and carefully waxed. Kevlar bowstrings are quite slow and have no creep. You have to use them in combination with other strands or they will likely snap.

• High modulus polythelene (HMPE) – The long chain fibers of HMPE make these bowstrings vastly superior to both predecessors. They are not susceptible to moisture and can sustain whatever degree of twist is needed. As the lightest and fastest of all the available materials, HMPE bowstrings are also the longest lasting.

The Best Bow for Beginners and Experts Alike

The draw weight of a bow is restricted by the stiffness and construction of the limbs. A takedown bow is perfect for beginners as it allows you to adjust your draw weight by upgrading and replacing your limbs. Once you decide to up your draw weight, all you need is a new set.

Takedown bows are not only one of the most versatile options out there, they are also the more affordable choice for a beginner. If mobility is not a factor and you don’t mind shopping around you can often find a similarly priced compound bow, making them another great choice, although you can’t beat the learning curve of a compact recurve; it is the most forgiving.

In a right-handed world, it can seem like there’s no consideration for people whose dominant hand is the other one! From right handed desks to constantly smudging your hand as you write, a left-handed person has to accommodate most things and gadgets to using them the best way they can.

However, we have good news for left handers – when it comes to purchasing and using a compound bow, you are encouraged to buy one made just for you. You don’t need to use a right-handed bow to learn to shoot arrows or join your friends on a hunting trip.

A compound bow is a complex and well-designed tool that is the pinnacle of current archery technology. It’s quite an investment, so you want to purchase one that’s perfect for you. Bows were designed thousands of years ago to work organically and interactively with the human body. Choosing the bow that’s best for your dominant hand is the single most important decision you can make before purchasing.

In this article, we’ll go over the key ways you can tell whether a compound bow is left or right handed.

The Bow Direction is Determined by Your Draw Hand

Since it’s confusing to know which bows are for left- or right-handed shooters, we’ll break down the difference. It’s all about your dominant hand being the draw hand.

Hold the bow in your non-dominant hand. For right handers, this is your left hand, and for left handers, it’s your right hand. When you draw back the arrow, you would therefore be drawing it back using your dominant hand. Your non-dominant hand simply holds the bow steady and in position, whereas it’s your dominant hand that’s doing the vast majority of the work drawing back the arrow.

So, you’d choose a bow based on the hand that draws back the arrow, not the hand that grips the bow.

Find Your Eye Dominance

In addition to your hand dominance, you’ll also want to know which eye is dominant. In archery, your dominant eye also helps determine whether you need a left- or right-handed bow. It works harder than your other eye, has better vision, and gives you a competitive edge if it correlates to your dominant hand.

Why would that be?

About two-thirds of shooters are right-eye dominant, with the remainder third being left-eye dominant. To determine which is your dominant eye, think of which eye you’d instinctively use if asked to look through a telescope or microscope. You can also perform a simple Porta test.

Hold your thumb in a ‘thumbs up’ gesture and center it on an object at least twenty feet away. Close your left eye and notice if your thumb is still centered on the object. That means you’re right-eye dominant. If you close your left eye and your thumb has moved off the object, then you’re left eye dominant.

  • Right Eye Dominant – Right handed bow
  • Left Eye Dominant – Left handed bow

But what if your dominant eye doesn’t match with your dominant hand?

That is called being cross dominant. At that point, most expert archers suggest you learn to shoot a bow that’s in alignment with your dominant eye, rather than your dominant hand. It’s easier to input muscle memory into your dominant hand than it is to change your line of vision.

Your dominant eye, also called the ‘power eye,’ should be perfectly in life with the bow string and arrow shaft. If you instead choose a bow based on your dominant hand instead, you’ll find you have to adjust the horizontal point of aim to make up the difference. Rather than aiming straight ahead, you’ll have to aim to either the left or the right. It’s easier to practice with your non-dominant hand than to constantly make these small adjustments when target shooting.

The younger you are, the easier it is to learn to use your non-dominant hand to shoot a compound bow. Practice and determination will soon help you learn how to do this – and your dominant eye will be focused on the target each and every time.

Physical Differences in Bow Design

There are telltale physical signs that a compound bow is made for a right-handed dominant user versus a left-handed dominant user.

With the bow in your hand, take a look at the shape of the arrow rest. It’s normally slightly curved in a modified crescent shape. A left-handed arrow rest will be curved towards the left, while a right-handed arrow rest will be curved towards the right.

This design makes sense, for when you are using a left-handed bow, your left hand is drawing the arrow back. The rear fletching of the arrow sits lightly against the arrow rest. In that position, it becomes obvious as to whether the bow is made for either a left or right-handed user.

Also, the risers on a compound bow will give you a clue as to which are right or left handed. The shape is specifically designed to be held in one particular way. Most compound bows are not designed for ambidextrous use; they are specifically for one dominant hand.


Most compound bow manufacturers have specific left and right-handed bows, and if you have any questions, you’re welcome to contact them before purchasing to make sure you’ve selected the correctly aligned model. If you are cross dominant, then we suggest you try out both left and right-handed bows before making your final selection. You might surprise yourself by definitely preferring one over the other. Whichever one feels the most comfortable and helps you hit the target the easiest is best for you.

We guarantee you’ll feel very comfortable using the compound bow that’s best for your dominant eye and dominant hand. Now, if only they made spiral notebooks that opened the other way for left handers.

So, what kind of bow are you looking for?

I have articles about bows for beginners and bows for woman, maybe you should add some kind of sight to your bow also.

Whether you’re ready to advance to a tighter draw or are feeling the fatigue from too-tight strings, it’s simple and easy to adjust the draw weight on your compound bow. It doesn’t require expensive equipment, either, and it takes less than an hour of your time. You can just follow the five steps below.

1. Determine Your Bow’s Maximum and Minimum Weight Limits

Generally, every bow manufacturer comes with both maximum and minimum preset weight limits. These draw weight limits translate into bolt turns that you’ll be manually adjusting. Make sure you don’t max out on your weight limit, since that means you’ll run out of thread on your limb bolt. It could detach from the rest of the bow and potentially injure you.

So, under no circumstances are you to exceed these weight limits in either direction. The manufacturer might also have a distance limit of around a quarter inch or so between the bottom of the limb cup and the riser. You will need to have a tape measure to physically measure the distance between these two points.

2. Use an Archery Scale to Determine the Current Draw Weight

Before you adjust the draw weight, you want to find out what the current weight is. For that, you’ll need a standard archery hanging scale. They’re vertically shaped, with a hook on the end and the measurement readings placed on the scale. These scales tell you what kind of poundage that you’re pulling. It’s relatively simple to set one up. Hang it so that the entire bow can be extended downwards without touching the floor.

Locate the release loop or the nocking point on the rear string. Loop this point over the hook at the end of the scale. Using a ruler or tape measure, make sure your bow is lined up directly in the center and facing downwards.

Spread your hands out, so that you’re applying pressure on the risers only. Don’t grip onto the wings since they’re a moving part and could be unstable.

Push the bow down, watching the scale at the same time. You want to be pulling on the bow until just before it peaks the curve. You’ll get your weight reading on the scale. Gently pull the bow back up and unloop it off the hook. Normally, bows read between forty and one hundred pounds of draw weight.

3. Set Your Goal Draw Weight

After you’ve found the current draw weight, determine what poundage you’d like to adjust to. Dropping the weight makes it easier to draw back and shoot, helping to prevent fatigue. If you’ve been having too much difficulty at the current weight, consider lessening it by three to five pounds. Increasing the weight builds up strength and is better as you advance from beginner up to intermediate and expert shooting practice. Build up gradually, only by about three to find pounds at a time.

In either case, it’s better to make small adjustments and slowly increase than to try and make lots of adjustments and run the risk of damaging the bow or causing injury.

Turn your bow sideways, so that you’re looking at the side of each of the risers. On some bow models, you’ll find two small black locking bolts. They lock the bow limbs into place. Before you change the poundage of the draw weight, you’ll need to loosen those two bolts by using a wrench or Allen wrench. Then, after you change the poundage, tighten the bolts securely before you shoot the bow. Not every model has those bolts.

4. Making Turns to Adjust the Bow Weight

Now, with the bolts loosened (if applicable), it’s time to adjust the weight. To do that, you’ll need a wrench. It’s recommended that you get the T-handle hex key or hexagon shaped wrench. That will help you know how many turns you’ve made and simplifies the entire process.

Place the T-handle wrench into the limb bolt on either limb. Line the wrench handle so that it’s completely parallel with the limb underneath it. Keeping this alignment helps you know how many half-turns or turns that you’ve made. For either direction, each complete 360-degree turn equals about two pounds. Check with your bow’s manufacturer to be sure. The direction you turn it in depends on whether you’re adding or subtracting weight:

  • Add More Weight – Turn the limb bolts clockwise
  • Lessen the Weight – Turn the limb bolts counter-clockwise

Time to start turning the wrench. Rotate the wrench either clockwise or counter-clockwise to change the draw weight. Make one complete turn, making sure to line up the T-handle with the limb. Then take the wrench out and make one complete turn in the same direction for the other limb bolt on the other limb.

5. Measure the New Draw Weight

After you’ve made one complete turn of each of the limb bolts, set the wrench aside. Return the bow to the scale, loop it around the hook, and repeat the process in Step 2 to check the poundage. If you’ve reached your goal weight, then you can tighten up the locking bolts with a wrench, and you’re done.

If you haven’t reached your goal weight, return to the above step, and turn both limb bolts on both limbs again. Use the scale to measure the draw weight. Keep repeating these steps until you’ve reached your goal weight. Then, tighten the locking bolts.

One final step is to use a tape measure or ruler to adjust the tiller after you’ve changed the draw weight. The tiller keeps your strings even. You measure that from the back of the riser, where it meets the limb in the limb pockets, to the strings. Make sure it’s the same measurement on both the top and the bottom risers. If it’s not, use the T-handle wrench to adjust the limb bolts until the measurements are even.


With the limb bolts adjusted and the locking bolts securely tightened, you’re ready to head back out to target practice or on the hunt with your compound bow.

More to read

If you liked this article I have more articles that you will like: Learn to attach a quiver to your bow, Best 1 pin Bow sight and great 3 pin bow sight.

When you start comparing compound bows from well-known manufacturers such as Bear Archery, Hoyt, Darton Archery, Diamond Archery, and more, one key feature will jump out at you that you might not have ever seen before. That’s brace height. You’ll notice a range of brace heights advertised between five and nine inches.

What is brace height, how does it affect shooting, and what is the ideal brace height for you?

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A Simple Measurement

The simplest definition of brace height is that it’s the measured distance between the deepest part of your compound bow grip and the bow string. It’s already been set by the bow manufacturer, so you do not want to deviate from the brace height in order to get the best performance out of the bow.

You can actually measure the brace height yourself. Lay the bow horizontally in front of you, so that the hand grip is on your left and the string is on your right. Take a ruler and measure between the deepest part of the grip and the string. It should line up with the brace height measurements.

You can also change the brace height yourself. You do that by either twisting or untwisting the string to alter the measurement.

The brace height is given as a set of two measurements: the minimum and the maximum. The brace height is also determined directly by how long your bow is. The longer the bow, the longer the brace height. For example, a bow with a height of 58” is going to have a brace height between 7 ¼” and 7 ¾”.

What Does the Brace Height Affect?

Basically, there are two areas of compound bow shooting that are most affected by the brace height. It’s your arrow speed and what’s called bow forgiveness. There’s a few exceptions, but mostly the general guideline is that a shorter brace height does help a bow create more arrow speed. When comparing bows who have the same draw weight, the same draw length, and only a difference in brace height, the bow with the shorter one will shoot the arrow faster.

Accuracy is the other factor affected by brace height, since having a forgiving bow with a shorter brace height actually magnifies any mistakes the archer makes. Your arrow stays on the string for a shorter distance before it’s released. It’s not as affected by other factors on the shot, so that improves the accuracy.

Does a shorter brace height mean the compound bow will be more difficult to shoot? Yes, in fact. A longer brace height makes the bow forgiveness much greater than a shorter brace height. So, while the arrow will shoot faster than a longer brace height, the string is in contact with the arrow for a relatively longer period of time.

A longer brace height has been determined to create a slightly easier draw cycle, so we feel confident recommending longer brace heights for those who are looking for that feature.

So, What is The Best Brace Height?

Before modern compound bow technology, brace height used to be one of the standard measurements for young archers to determine both arrow speed and bow forgiveness.

However, compound bows have come a long way, and they’re much faster than their predecessors. It’s easy to find modern compound bows that don’t make that much of a difference between whether the brace height is 6” or 7”. With these fast bows, the arrow doesn’t have enough of a measured time spent in the string for it to make the kind of vast difference that truly affects performance.

In essence, brace heights that fall in that range will be suited for any number of archers, from novice up to experienced. It also levels the playing field, so to speak, for newcomers with the latest 2018 compound bow models (click here if you are a woman and looks for a bow.

Most of the brace heights that you’ll see on the market today are exactly 7 inches. That seems to be the perfect medium measurement for anything that you want to do with your bow.

Bullseye Target Shooting vs. Hunting Shooting

Where brace height really makes a difference is in the function of the compound bow. Are you primarily going to be using it for bullseye target shooting or for hunting shooting?

Bullseye Targets
Bullseye target shooting is about precision and extreme accuracy to hitting the center of the target. Arrow speed isn’t likely going to play a huge factor but bow forgiveness definitely will. You want a longer brace height of at least 7 inches and would be better off choosing one of 8 inches or even longer. You will, in turn, want to work on maintaining a more perfect form and stay in that posture until the arrow has completely left the bow. It’s similar to other sports like golf, where precision is more important than speed. You’ll want a longer brace height, which could be achieved manually by changing the bowstring or by purchasing a longer bow.

Conversely, out in the field while hunting wild game, you want a shorter brace height; that improves arrow speed. Precision is not as much of a factor, but you do want to hit a moving target as fast as possible. Your bow will not be as forgiving as one with a longer brace height. The typical brace heights for these types of bows are between five and seven inches. So, you’ll want to either purchase a shorter bow or work to make the brace height smaller by altering the bowstring.


Although brace height isn’t as important a measurement as draw weight or draw length, it is still an effective way to determine whether a bow is right for you. A bow with a shorter brace height will have both advantages and disadvantage; the same goes for one with a longer brace height.

In the end, it comes down to what you intend to use the bow for, and which factor (speed or bow forgiveness/accuracy) means more to you as the archer.

When you pick up a bow and arrow to shoot, you’ve become part of a legacy that’s so powerful and long lasting there are star constellations based on ancient archer gods and goddesses! It’s an exciting sport that still provides both recreational and professional satisfaction.

However, archery is nowhere near as easy as it looks. To do it well as a beginner is to pay attention to the precision and correct form you need to display. It comes down to four key areas: the bow itself, your stance while holding the bow, loading the bow with arrows, and shooting arrows.

We’ll go through each of these areas and provide you, as a beginning archer, with excellent tips that you need to know to make the most of your first archery sessions.

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So, let us go over some archery tips for beginners.

The Bow

Very few beginners start out with the traditional long bows that you see in Medieval-era movies. You will more likely begin with a recurve bow, which has an “S” shaped curve at both ends, or with a compound bow that contains wheels at both ends of the bow limbs.

Those wheels are part of a pulley system of cables and strings that work together to decrease your resistance as you draw back the bow. That enables you to hold the arrow taut and pulled for a longer period. Recurve bows are typically used for target practice and compound bows are popular for hunting.

The number one tip for your bow is to choose one that’s best for your dominant eye and dominant hand. You can choose either a left- or right-handed bow. And if you are a woman, pick a bow that are made for women!, it just make more sense an the results will be better.

The second tip for your bow is to make sure the draw weight range is one which you are comfortable with. A draw weight that’s too high will quickly fatigue you. Your draw weight is dependent on your body type and weight.

In general, people who are larger and heavier framed can look for a draw weight between 50 and 65 pounds. A smaller body type will need a lesser draw weight. Each bow has its own weight range, so stay with those guidelines.

The third tip is to measure your arm span, for your proper draw length. Hold your arms out and measure from one middle finger tip to the other. Divide that number by 2.5 to get your draw length, in inches, for your body. For this measurement, it’s better to choose less than more.

Your Stance While Holding the Bow

Just like with ballet or golf, proper body position is paramount to becoming a successful archer. Your toes should be at a perfect 90-degree angle to the position of the bullseye target. Stand completely sideways, with erect posture: your shoulders straight, your spine aligned, and your feet planted firmly and stably on the ground.

You don’t lean or change your body position in any way. You turn your head towards the target, and you move your bow and arrow into position.

Make sure your shoulders are also relaxed. Only your arms are used to manipulate the bow and arrow; no other body part is involved.

The whole stance requires a minimum amount of body movement. It’s surprisingly efficient and elegant, and the same stance has been used for hundreds of years.

Load the Bow with an Arrow

Now that you know how to stand, it’s time to learn how to identify and properly load your bow with an arrow. As you look at the back end of the arrow, you’ll notice three faux ‘feathers,’ which are called fletchings. These used to be real feathers but are now made of manmade materials.

There are three fletchings on each arrow. One will be differently colored than the other two. That’s the one that should be facing towards you as you shoot it. You’ll also see a split at the back of the arrow, which is called the nock.

To load your bow, grip the bow in your non-dominant hand. Place the arrow nock on the bow string and position it until you hear it click into place. Hold the bow steady towards the target and draw the arrow back with your dominant hand until the tip is resting on the arrow rest.

Shooting Arrows

Draw the arrow back and position three fingers around the string below the arrow’s placement against the bowstring. Your elbow will be quite high and the arrow’s fletchings will be in line with your ear. This is so you can perfectly see down the arrow’s shaft toward your target.

As you are standing with your hand drawn back, try to keep your body perfectly still and focused on the target. Archery requires very little body movement; it’s more about how steadily you’re able to hold the bowstring back and keep the arrow perfectly straight and pointed towards the target.

For shooting, simply relax your hand enough for the arrow to release and shoot toward the target. You don’t need to do anything with the grip hand. Don’t bring the bow down until the arrow has hit the target.

One common mistake when shooting is to create too much body movement. You want your drawback hand to be the only thing that moves. Try to keep the bow steadily facing towards the target, and don’t move the bow when shooting. If you watch professional archers, they stand perfectly still when shooting.

Time to Practice

The best tip for a beginning archer is to practice. It takes time, dedication, and focus to keep the proper stance while holding the bow, position the arrow correctly, drawback and hold it steadily, then finally let go. It also takes patience as well.

It’s tempting to want to behave like an archer in the movies or a modern-day Robin Hood and shoot one arrow quickly after another. But that’s done for effect. Proper archery involves the time needed to set up properly and prepare your bow and arrow properly.

So, with these tips, you’ll be well on your way towards hitting that bullseye.