How to Tune a Compound Bow

How to Tune a Compound Bow

Archery can be a cruel sport when it comes to hitting your target. Hitting the outer rim of the bull’s eyes is not at all the same as hitting the bull’s eyes, even if you were just a centimeter away from doing so.

It can be even less forgiving when hunting game, as an arrow sent flying just over the hairs of your target could send the prey running, and ruining your chance of walking away with anything.

Because of its unforgiving nature, archers try to be as precise as they can, and that involves not only being a skilled shooter but having a quality bow that has been tuned to near-perfection. Learning how to tune your compound bow can make all the different between being a good archer and being a great marksman.


Sometimes, if you are not hitting the target right, it could mean you are simply not aiming right and this is a good place to start as it does not involve having too much technical knowledge. Adjusting the peep sight on your bow could help with your aim, and this is best done by evaluating your height in accordance with the size of the bow so that you see eye to eye, literally.

The next thing you want to do is adjust the arrow rest so that it is perfectly aligned with the nock on the bowstring. This is the most common part of tuning a bow as it is generally what jeopardizes the integrity of an arrow’s straight flight.

Arrows move fast, making it hard to tell whether they are traveling as straight and as steadily as they should be. The good old paper test, involving shooting an arrow through a large paper frame, serves as an indicator to whether the alignment’s you have made worked.

By either letting the arrow through a shape that makes the outline of an arrow’s head, indicating that the right adjustments have been made, alternatively, it could show that adjustments made are inadequate by leaving a tear that indicates how the arrow is traveling.


If you feel simple alignment doesn’t do the trick, and you want to get more technical, having a good long look at your strings would be a great place to start or continue from the alignment adjustments made. If your strings are too long, this could hurt the speed of your shot, and as a consequence, your accuracy.

Adding twists to the cam ever so slightly until you feel improve the tension of the strings could do the trick of helping you hit that bull’s eye more often. Checking for the rigidness of your bow is also useful.

With compound bows, they often need to be less flexible due to the cams they are fitted with, so if your bow is bending more than it should, some tightening might need to be done.

Shifting the Blame

Sometimes, it may not be the bow getting in your way of perfection, and the arrows quite often find themselves the culprits in such a scenario. Checking that the weight distribution of your arrows is adequate by analyzing its F.O.C., or Front of Center Point, could tell you whether you need a new set.

If you find yourself needing to buy new arrows, opting for ones with more rigid spines will give you better results when it comes to speed, and accuracy is sure to follow afterward. If your bow isn’t new, it could also mean simply checking for parts that need to be replaced as worn out features would compromise the bow’s ability to deliver.


Tuning a compound bow can be a fun and simple process or it could be a skillful task that needs more experienced hands. As with most things needing a fix, starting out with the simple and working your way to the more complicated aspects proves to be an efficient way of the bow tuning process.

It could mean solving your problems in less than an hour or alternatively having to take your bow to more experienced hands. In any case, a lot of learning is needed, and the patience involved in slowly and meticulously fine-tuning cannot be stressed enough.

It soon becomes clear that if an archer really cares for hitting their mark with absolute precision more often, they have to care equally as much for their bows, which will mean continuous tuning becomes an integral part of the sport.

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