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Fine Tuning Your Bow Part 1

Fine Tuning your Bow:

Part 1: choosing and setting your rest.


Archers seem to be a little obsessive when it comes to setting up their bow and the equipment that they buy for their set up. Most dedicated archers, want to make sure that their bow and the equipment they use is in perfect working order.

Fine tuning your bow can be tricky. It really depends on what type of bow you shoot and the equipment you have at home that will determine just how much you can do without the help of a pro shop.

Many modern bows are so technical that you must have a good press in order make the fine tuning adjustments needed to reach optimum performance. For this story however, we will focus on the things the average archer can do at home without the help of a professional.

It begins with attaching your rest to your bow. Too many frustrated archers cannot seem to get the groups they want and make adjustment after adjustment to their sights when the real problem is the rest.

Whether you shoot a drop away, Whisker biscuit, or other capture rest, setting the rest is critical for accuracy. The style of rest is really just a preference of what the archer wants. For target archery I like the drop away, it gives me a bit better accuracy out at longer ranges. But for hunting, it’s hard to beat the full capture rest such as the Whisker biscuit or the new Halo by G5 Outdoors. This containment rest offers three individual adjustable launcher arms that will hold your arrow completely still yet allow for great arrow flight. As opposed to other full capture rests, the Halo allows for quick adjustment for the size of arrow you are shooting. Micro diameter arrows or full body target arrows all work with a quick adjustment of each launcher arm.

Regardless of which style you prefer, accuracy begins with finding the absolute center of the bow in relation to the string. While there are laser’s that can attach to the string and shoot a beam to the rest, allowing you to set true center. If you don’t own one, another way is to measure the center of the rest from the edge of the shelf within the riser. Most bows are set at 15/16 of an inch as a starting point. Set the center of the rest perfectly level at 15/16 of an inch and you are close to the center. Shooting the bow will tell how and if there needs to me further adjustments.

Lastly, set an arrow in the rest and attach a small bubble level to the arrow. Make the arrow perfectly level and mark the string in the center of the nock. This will be used later to determine the nock or string loop placement.

Once the rest is level and in the center, shoot the bow to see where it is hitting. If your groups of three or five arrows. If your groups are hitting to the right of your target, move your rest to the left. If hitting to the left move to the right. Most rests have micro adjustments; it normally doesn’t have to move a lot to have a big impact. A good to verify this is to shoot an arrow at 20 yards. Leave the arrow in the target, and hang a string from the arrow with a weight from it, move back to 40 or even sixty yards, shoot a group of 3 arrows. If your arrows are hitting right or left of the string make the adjustments mentioned above.

Other tuning is within the peep sight and the string loop. Many archers have trouble getting their arrows to fly true simply because the string loop is not in the correct location. Once again, place an arrow on the rest and attach to the string with the nock. Place a level on the arrow and when the arrow is perfectly level, mark the string where the arrow is attached. The string loop will go in this location. One note when attaching a string loop. The loop will add as much as one full inch to your draw length. Be careful not to make the loop too long it will stretch a full 50% when tightened. It’s a good idea to learn how to attach these because they wear our faster than many realize.

Lastly is adjusting your peep sight. Regardless of the style you choose, it has to align directly with the center of your eye when you are at full draw and at your anchor. Sliding the peep up and down to achieve this is best done with the assistance of another person. If you don’t know how to tie the peep into your bow string, its best to take your bow to a bow shop and get them to do it for you. Accurate shooting cannot never be achieved if your peep isn’t in the correct location and alignment. Nothing frustrates a hunter or target shooter more than drawing your bow and having the peep misaligned.

Tuning your bow is a constant for those of us who shoot a lot. Modern compound bows are mechanical with a lot of moving parts. These parts loosen, and vibrate under the stress of the bow. However, with a little foresight, much of this can be eliminated. Using loc-tight for rests, sights and quivers will prevent a lot of problems.

Next we will discuss the use of different sights – multi pin or one pin adjustable or even the hybrid. We will also discuss how to correctly set them and get them dialed in. We will also discuss the use of stabilizers on hunting and target bows.