After the many Hollywood movies featuring archery in its various forms have been shown, it seems the recurve bow has gained some popularity. Now if you’re a big fan of archery and hunting, learning how to tune a recurve bow is one of the main skills you have to master. To help you achieve this skill faster, simpler and with better precision, I would like to share my knowledge with you.
Sometimes you may be wondering as to why your recurve bow is noisy when released. The simple answer to this actually lies on how you tune it, an essential process, which is going to help you in achieving both a responsive and quiet bow with accuracy.
In today’s tutorial, I would like to start by examining the requirements in setting up, tuning, and eventually super-tuning your bow so it can reach a level of optimum potential for ease as well as accuracy at the same time.
First, let’s look into your bow of choice, not the brand. Today, we’re fortunate that there are many makers focusing on producing superior quality bows. For example, say you picked a model that is long for a specific draw length. When you make a full draw, you might actually be playing a below-maximum output coming from the limbs. When that happens, the arrow loses momentum in flight. Then if its length is short for an archer’s draw length, what comes next is overtaxing his limbs while making a bad string angle for the fingers when making a full draw. Gradually, this will result in a bad form that inhibits comfortable processing.
From this example, it’s safe to conclude that the bow length is important as well as it has to be somehow close to the archer’s draw length and height. I suggest that if you have long arms or if you’re quite tall, a 70-inch model would work best because draw length is about 30 inches in this case. However, a 68-inch model may be a good choice if you’re an average height male or a female with a taller stature because you may have a draw length about 28 inches. This is common. If you are less than the average height and you have shorter arms, your draw length may only be close to or less than 27 inches. If so, you may have to pick a 66-inch recurve bow model for the best shooting results.
For beginners, it is essential to take note that when an archer’s full draw line improves and his form settles, his draw length can extend at least an inch; therefore, one should really have to choose the first recurve bow correctly.
Now, let’s proceed to setting up your bow, where your tiller is one of the first things to consider. When you have chosen the right bow length, look into the tiller (*measurement from where the limbs are attached to the riser and the string when the bow is strung).
As you are drawing with your two fingers under the arrow, remember that the tiller measurement on your bottom limb has to be 3/8 inch less than it will be on your top limb. This is important to ensure that your limbs are working in harmony.
Considering measurement, look into the brace height, or the distance taken from the grip’s throat all the way to the string. If the string is excessively long, which is noticeable if the height of the brace is low, the archer will experience almost a ‘slapping’ action onto the limbs upon release. Eventually, this will result to a noisy bow and slower flight of the arrow. While having a brace height that is too big won’t be much of an issue, it will cause loss of optimal poundage potential.
The starting points can be between 8” to 8 ½” for a 66” bow type; 9” to 9 1/2” for a 70”. You may want to experiment within these ranges by turning the string in order for you to find how the height of the brace is going to work in harmony with the bow while keeping tight arrow groups.
With both the string and the limbs presumably tuned, let’s now look into the accessories. First thing is to remember that the arrow rest needs to be trimmed to work with the width of the arrow to avoid any clearance problem. Additionally, look into the arm. It has to be bended moderately upwards so that you can be sure that the arrow will stay in position and it flushes against the plunger. However, it will still depend on the model you are using. In all cases, your plunger must be on medium tension to prepare for the next stage of tuning. Additionally, you must see to it that the rest is in line so that the arrow on it is aligned with the button.
Typically, the sight is on an extension, but it has to be positioned perfectly with the handle to keep a stable windage, as the sight moves up and down for different settings. An accurate aim is provided by the cross wire, a pin, or a tiny circular aperture, based on your preference.
Put the nocking point on your string at around one-fourth inch. Some archers make use of a kisser button for a draw reference; others make use of their finger tab’s ledge to determine correct jaw placement.
Once everything is in proper order, it’s time to move on to the tuning. There are several options for tuning, but the bare shaft test is common. To start with, put the plunger on a medium tension, then put the nocking point in a starting position. This is a good basic setup to start with the tuning.
Our process is quite simple, and even beginners can understand it; however, you must do it in the right sequence. Be up to 15 meters away from the bale, and then shoot four fletched arrows with shafts that are correctly chosen to achieve a central group aligned with skill level.
Once you’ve created a fletched shaft group, you can start shooting up to four unfletched arrows. But these bare shafts don’t have fletching features, so they will plane off somewhere.
By now, you should have a group either below or above or to the right or left of your fletched group. Remember that both the up and down set up is important when adjusting the nocking point, as well as the right and left positioning for the correct plunger tension. In this case, I suggest that you attend first to the nocking point and adjust it correctly. To achieve this, you can keep on shooting groups of unfletched and fletched arrows until the group of the bare shaft will be aligned correctly with the fletched ones.
Once the tension and the nocking point are aligned, then your bow is now in a good look in terms of tuning. Remember that the process takes patience and time (and of course more arrows). To confirm the clearance is optimal, you may want to use a spray powdering on either your arrow rest or shafts.
TIP: You can correct slightly elongated horizontal groups by adjusting plunger tension; on the other hand, you can make nocking point adjustments to tighten groups in cases of elongated verticals. It goes without saying that it takes hard work, but it is rewarding in the end for it will give you a super tuned recurve bow.
Upon reaching this tuning level, you can now go to the bare shaft test using short distance in order to ascertain where the bare shaft is landing relative to the fletched group.
So there you have the setting up and tuning process of your bow that can now provide you with quality shooting results if you’re a newcomer in archery. You can be the best archer soon with constant practice and by following these guidelines.