How do you tune a bow?

Archery has gained in popularity in recent years. Modern equipment is highly accurate, lightweight and extremely easy to shoot. No matter how good your aim, or how steady your hand; you will never have good accuracy unless your bow is well tuned.

To tune a bow, start with about 6 arrows with field points. Select an easy shooting distance, preferably about 30 yards. Shoot all six arrows at the target. While tuning, take your time, relax between shots and make sure that every shot is your best shot. The objective in tuning your bow is not to hit the center of the target, it is just to aim at the center of the target. You are just trying to tighten your pattern.

After shooting your first group of arrows, you will need to take two measurements of your pattern. Start with the highest arrow in your pattern and measure down until you get to the same horizontal line as the lowest arrow of your pattern. Don’t measure directly from the highest arrow to the lowest arrow. Instead, imagine that both arrows are on two parallel horizontal lines. You are measuring the distance between these lines. This is your high-low measurement.

Next, start with the arrow that is the farthest to the left. Measure to the right until you get to the same vertical line as the right-most arrow. This measurement is your left-right measurement.

Shoot 3 more sets of six arrows and take the measurements again each time. When you are done, you should have four high-low measurements, and four left-right measurements. Take the average of the high low measurements, then take the average of the left-right measurements. You will know your bow’s average high-low variation, and your bow’s average left right variation.

Work on your left-right variation first. Try moving your arrow rest in or out. This direction doesn’t matter at this point, but the distance does. Measure out and write down how far and in which direction you move your rest. Shoot another 4 rounds of six arrows and do the measuring and averaging above. If your left-right pattern got tighter, then you moved the arrow rest the correct way, closer to the perfect tuning point. If your pattern got worse, then move the arrow rest back to the original position, then keep moving the other way and try it again.

Do the same thing by moving the nock point up and down to tune the up-down variation of your bow. You will have to shoot a lot of arrows, but the result will be a well tuned bow that will shoot a tight pattern. After you get to the point where you have the tightest pattern possible, then adjust your sights so that you will start hitting the target right in the center.

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