Establishing the CENTRE-SHOT

Posted: 2014/06/21 in From the perspective of an Archery Coach.

It is my opinion that each bow is unique in as much as having its own DNA, so to speak. One could say that each bow has a personality and it will react to whomever is shooting it, differently.

So, what does that mean when it comes to tuning?

It means a lot.

Many Bow Technicians will set a bow up by tuning the bow to itself, centring everything with levels and assuming that standard arrow spine charts will supply accurate information. However, the idea is to create a situation in which the arrow will leave the bow in as close to a neutral or zero position as possible, some call this a bullet hole when paper tuning. But, not all bows are meant to be set like this and setting them so, will hinder performance.

I’m always telling people that you have to listen to the bow when tuning it. It will tell you what it needs to increase performance then the tweaking begins.

Before I continue…. Google these for more info.

Paper tuning, Bare-shaft tuning, Nock tuning, Creep tuning, Walk-back tuning, French Tuning… and there are more.

Feel free to share what you think I may have left out.

Here’s what I do to CENTRE tune my compound. I’ll get into the Trad tuning stuff later.

I begin with paper tuning but not as a be all end all, I use it as an indicator to tell me what my arrow is doing within 3′ of leaving the bow. Unlike most people I’m NOT looking for a bullet hole. I’m looking for a slight NOCK HIGH TEAR, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch.

Now, why the !@#$& would I do that?

So, here’s the idea behind the physics. My goal, upon release, is to force the arrow to bend in a vertical direction. Knowing, that all the force is on the nock-end of the arrow, and that on launch the back of the arrow moves first, I’m attempting to keep the point of the arrow down and traveling forward at the same level for as long as possible prior to leaving the string. This forces a true AS CLOSE TO NEUTRAL launch, meaning that the arrow is not engaging in a side-to-side or fish-tailing motion. And, it’s the vertical bending or “porpoising” of the arrow that is the desired result.

Okay, so now you have a slight, high-nock tear within the first 3′ of release but why would this ever be more desirable than a bullet hole? Both, are merely visual presentations of an instance in time, one telling, more accurately, what is really going on with the arrow as it stabilizes, the other may hide a problem with the positioning of your arrow rest, in that it’s not centred.

Next step…

Okay, I’ve now established that the arrow is leaving the bow with a properly set up arrow rest, in regard to centre-shot. Or, have I? So, now here’s where the fun begins. I am about to possibly screw up everything that I’ve just done by using the French tuning method.

Using a coloured piece of tape, I place a vertical line (2′ long) on two targets, one at 60 yards and the other at 5.

Why the 5 yards? With all the bow manufacturers engaged in a speed war these days and every new bow claiming to be faster than the next, most arrows won’t stabilize within the first 10 yards anyway. So, honestly, 5 yards just seems to be where MY BOW tells me what I need to know. You’ll need to play with it a bit.

At 5 yards, and aiming at the right edge of the piece of tape, USING A 60 YARD PIN OR SIGHT SETTING, I shoot 3 arrows and then check to see if I need to make a left or right sight adjustment. I repeat this process until I’ve adjusted the sight enough to be, as consistently as possible, hitting the right edge of my tape.

Now, at 60 yards I do the same thing with the same 60 YARD PIN OR SIGHT SETTING but this time I don’t adjust my sight, I ADJUST MY REST, left or right as needed, until I can say that I’m consistently hitting the right edge of the tape.

Repeat the 5 and 60 yard process until there are NO adjustments needed at either distance.

Your bow is now centred, left to right, and you may begin sighting in for various distances.

Just for fun… run it through the paper again. You may be surprised.

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