OVERTON BLACK ARROWS

Quick(ish) Tuning (for recurve and bare bow)

You can spend many hours tuning your bow, here is a very brief tuning checklist – the basic section won’t take too long, and then when you have more time, you can do the advanced list. There are a number of guides on the website, I have referred to the “Bow tuning tests” guide, which you can find on the ‘links’ page, or here.


Basic tuning

Probably a good idea to check these items every month.They should be done in the following order, as each affect the others.


Tiller

The purpose of adjusting the tiller is to ensure that top and bottom limbs are balanced and working in unison.(See figure 1-3 in tuning tests guide). Check your riser manual, otherwise use the following settings. Tiller is adjusted using the main limb bolts.

  • Measured from where limb meets riser to string
  • If you shoot 2 fingers under, set bottom limb 3/8" closer to the string than top limb
  • If you shoot 3 fingers under, start with the tiller at 3/8" as above.
  • Barebow; if you intend to string walk (an advanced technique, used for field archery) set the tiller equal.


Brace height

The purpose of adjusting the brace height is to get maximum efficiency from the bow.(See figure 1-3 in tuning tests guide). Check your riser manual, otherwise use the following settings. Brace height is adjusted by adding or removing twists in the string.

  • Measured from button to string (or deepest part of handle to string)
  • Somewhere between 8" - 9.5", start with around 9” if unsure.


Nocking point

The purpose of adjusting the nocking point is to ensure good clearance as the arrow leaves the bow and to ensure a ‘straight’ shot to the target.

  • Measured using bracing gauge, attached to string, resting on arrow rest
  • Top of bottom nock will be 4-6mm above perpendicular
  • Barebow, string walking, up to 10mm above

Centre shot & limb alignment

Both of these settings ensure a ‘straight’ shot to the target (left to right). (See figure 1-2 in tuning tests guide).

  • Place arrow in bow, stand back, look at how string lines up with limbs, riser bolts, and ensure it is straight.
  • Adjustment is done using the side bolts near each limb pocket
  • Whilst keeping that picture, see where tip of the arrow is in relation to string.
  • Arrow tip should be just to the outside of the string, adjust by moving the pressure button in/out



Advanced

The following tests are only necessary (or possible) if you are able to consistently get nice tight arrow groups.


Bare shaft button tuning (and more accurate nocking point tuning)

At 20yds or less, shoot normal arrows and bare shafts until a good group is obtained.If the bare shafts land outside the group, adjust as follows:

  • If bare shafts are low, move nocking point down (a little low is good)
  • If bare shafts are high, move nocking point up
  • If bare shafts are right, increase spring tension (decrease if left handed)
  • If bare shafts are left, decrease spring tension (increase if left handed)

Walk back test (really fine button tuning)

This needs to be done when you have the range to yourself!  Start at a 40m target, stand 5m from boss, aim at the top centre of the target, shoot one or two arrows, then move back in 5m intervals and shoot at same point.  The arrows will land lower down the target as you move back.  Examine the arrow pattern:

  • Arrows in a straight line down target, all ok
  • Sloped down to left, reduce spring tension (increase if LH)
  • Sloped down to right, increase spring tension (decrease if LH)
  • Curved to left, move button in (out for LH)
  • Curved to right, move button out (in for LH)

 

Fine tune brace height

Tricky this one – the ‘best’ bracing height us when the bow is shooting most efficiently, and at this point it is quietist

  • Listen to the shot.
  • Adjust bracing height up and down until the shot is quietest

 

Fine tune tiller

Two methods:

  1. Come to full draw and have someone take a photo from the side.  Use a protractor on the picture to check that the limb tips are at the same angle when the mid-line of the protractor is in line with the arrow.
  2. At 10m, come to pre-draw, place sight on gold.  Draw whilst watching sight.

  • If you notice sight drifts up, increase tiller (tighten bottom limb)
  • If you notice sight drifts down, decrease tiller (loosen bottom limb)

 

Quick(ish) Tuning (for compound)

Unlike the other bow types referenced here, compound bows remain strung all the time.  As such, once setup up, they remain that way as they are not subjected to repeated assembly/disassembly each time you have a shooting session


However, there are still things that can be tuned, but the type of tuning that can be undertaken is largely determined by what can be adjusted without needing to unstring the bow using a bow press.

 

Tuning without a bow press

Nocking point

The purpose of adjusting the nocking point is to ensure good clearance as the arrow leaves the bow and to ensure a ‘straight’ shot to the target.

  • Measured using bracing gauge, attached to string, resting on arrow rest
  • Top of bottom nock will be approximately 4-6mm above perpendicular, however most manufacturers will have a recommended nocking point which should be used as a default/starting position.

 

Centre shot & vertical alignment

This setting ensures a ‘straight’ shot to the target (left to right).

  • Place arrow in bow, stand back, look at how string lines up with the back of the riser.  Many risers have threaded holes for the mounting of weights or rods. Adjust your view to align the string with the centre of these bolt holes.
  • Whilst keeping that picture, see where tip of the arrow is in relation to string.
  • Arrow tip should be inline the string.If the arrow tip is to the left/right, adjust by moving the arrow rest/launcher laterally to achieve the centre shot.
  • With the arrow still on the string and rest, from the side of the bow, look to see where the arrow shaft is in relation to the berger hole (the hole where on a recurve the plunger button would be inserted).
  • Ideally the arrow shaft should be central to this hole.  If it is too high/low, adjust the height of the arrow rest/launcher to adjust.

Peep Sight Height

Getting the correct peep sight height is crucial to maintaining a good shooting form.  A peep sight position that is too low/high will cause you to lean into/away from the string to be able to look through the peep. To adjust you will need a friendly archer to help.

  • Stand 5-10 yards in from of a boss.  Your helper should be stood on the shooting line with you as if they were shooting (i.e. feet either side of the shooting line.) but facing you. They should NOT be stood in front of you!!
  • Set yourself up ready to draw your bow.
  • Raise your bow, close your eyes, and draw your bow and get settled at your anchor position, ensuring you are up straight (in a good shooting position).  Your helper should note where the peep is in relation to your (closed) eyes.  Ideally the peep should be at the same level as your eyes when at full draw.  If it’s too high or too low it needs adjusting.
  • Do not fire the bow.  Open your eyes and come down safely.
  • You should now be able to adjust your peep sight by sliding it up/down the string a little too get it in to the correct position.
  • Repeat the above until the peep is set correctly.

You may find that after moving the peep up/down a little that it has rotated a bit.  A gentle twist in the string will often correct this.  If this is not the case, the peep will need re-seating in the string, which will require the bow to the pressed.

 

Tuning with a bow press

Making any adjustment that requires the use of a bow press should be done with extreme caution.  Compound bows are under a phenomenal amount of tension which can result in explosive and dangerous failures if they are not pressed correctly.  For the sake of safety, we will not discuss the detail of pressing a bow in this guide.  For details on how to press your bow please refer to your bow manufacturer’s instructions, or better still, take it to a reputable bow shop to be pressed.


As compound bows come in such a wide range of configurations:

  • Cam types: binary, single, hybrid, no-cam
  • Limbs: single/solid or split limb, parallel, beyond parallel
  • Control cables, buss cables, yolks  

It is not viable to describe how to tune each configuration. However, the types of tuning that may be performed include:
  • Cam timing – Like the tiller on a recurve, this ensures that the top and bottom limbs are working in unison.
  • Cam Lean – Ensuring that the cams are in line with the string and not leaning over to one side or the other.
  • Cable Guard – ensuring sufficient clearance between the arrow and the buss/control cables.

To make these types of adjustments it is strongly advised to seek the advice of a seasoned compound bow archer and/or a pro-shop.



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