The draw weight of a bow refers to the amount of force an archer requires to pull the bowstring entirely. Learning how to adjust draw weight on a bow makes it convenient for you to change the settings according to your expertise.
To find the right balance for yourself, determine your bow’s draw by using a weight scale. Speaking of the adjustments, these vary with the different types of bows.
You can increase the poundage for longbows using a sinew package. For recurve bows, you need to change the limbs. Whereas, for compound bows, the cams/modules need adjustments or replacement based on the model.
Based on our experience, we have shared the easiest ways to change the draw weight on different bows.
How To Adjust Draw Weight On A Bow – Longbow, Compound Bow & Recurve Bow
Based on the construction and materials used, the methods for altering the draw weights vary. The first step should be determining the draw weight using a measuring scale.
How To Draw A Weight Scale?
A weight scale comes with a hook for attaching it to various objects. Simply clasp the bowstring with the scale’s hook and pull it completely.
Check the reading on the digital scale, this will be the draw weight of your bow. If it is too high or too low for your archery or bowhunting needs, you can adjust it.
If you are new to this activity, it is recommended to stick to a low draw weight initially. As you gain some experience and expertise, you can increase it accordingly.
Longbow Draw Weight Adjustment
Also known as traditional bows, these are a lot less expensive than their counterparts with an exceptionally powerful shooting range. Because of its extremely simple structure, adjusting the draw weight on longbows is quite simple.
Multiple ways worked for us however some impacted the performance slightly but adjusted the weight.
- Sinew Backing
The key to a successful sinew backing is to prepare the surface extremely well before adding it. Gather a couple of sinews, you can find these in some archery or hunting shops. Cut out the large pieces into small pencil like strips.
Using powerful adhesives, line up all the sinew strips at the back of the bow. Once it dries up, apply another coat of glue and let it dry completely. Make sure to cover the handle and tips with sinew strips as well.
Here is a detailed step by step video tutorial that will help you back your longbow with sinew. Follow the guidelines carefully and this will increase the draw weight of your bow.
- Cut The Limbs
One of the most common processes done to increase the draw weight is chopping off the limbs. For example, if you have a 72 inch bow with 40 lbs., cutting it will increase bow draw weight significantly. However, if the tiller isn’t in the appropriate position, the bow will bend excessively. If the tiller is right, it won’t be an issue.
Suppose, you have a 60-inch bow with a 40 lbs. draw weight and you want to increase the poundage up to 60 lbs. How much of the bow limb should you cut?
Here is a series of simple mathematical steps that you need to carry out by applying formulas. This will give you the exact inches to get rid of from your longbow.
Divide your desired draw weight by the actual draw weight.
60/40 = 1.500
Take the number after the decimal point and divide by 5.
.500/5 = .100
Multiply the answer by the current bow’s length.
.100 x 60 = 6
Finally, divide the answer by 2.
6/2 = 3
Now, you must cut off three inches from each limb of the bow to achieve the desired draw length of 60 lbs. at 60 inches. Learn how to change draw length on a compound bow.
- Draw Weight Reduction
Decreasing the draw weight on a longbow could be slightly tricky. There are a couple of approaches. You will need a scraper, a finger plane, and a file. Start scrapping the limbs and make sure to equally stroke all four sides.
Take off more wood from the belly of the bow as compared to the back. Doing so will lessen up to 4 to 5 lbs. of draw weight. As you take off the belly, it will create a trapezoidal shape hence, known as trapping the limbs.
Once you think it’s enough, string up the bow and try drawing the string. If the draw weight feels right, apply a coat of varnish on the longbow and you are good to go.
This process can only be done by expert professionals. New archers are recommended to either change their bow or get one with a lighter draw weight. They can also take it to an expert bower to reduce it.
Recurve Bow Draw Weight Adjustment
These are the go to bows for Olympians. Some professional hunters and archers also swear by recurve bows for the best performance. These are generally 58 to 62 inches in total length and hence, only managed by experienced people.
Do you ever wonder how to adjust the draw weight on a bow this long? The following are the three different ways to do so.
Adjusting The Limbs
Whether you hold expertise in using a recurve bow or are new to it, changing limbs for adjusting draw weight is very simple. The limbs on a recurve bow are interchangeable.
To adjust the draw weight, check the number of bolts on the riser and unscrew the extra ones from the limb bolts to equal both. If you tighten the limb bolts on the top, the string will not stretch much. However, leaving it very loose, it will allow the string to stretch greatly and create stress in the bow limbs.
As you draw the bow, the stress in the limbs shifts into the arrow and enhances the draw weight significantly. Similarly, if you keep the limb bolts taut, the string will stretch less with less stress on the limbs. This will result in reduced draw weight.
If you wish to change your recurve bow’s draw weight without altering anything in the bow, try target shooting. It is a highly effective method to not only enhance draw weight but accuracy as well.
When using a recurve bow, you must pull and hold the bowstring in place throughout aiming. That said, if you aim and hold the arrow at the target for at least 60 seconds, it will help you improve the draw weight. Don’t keep the bowstring drawn beyond your capability.
It would be ideal to get some assistance from an expert archer to help you choose the most effective draw weight. Make sure to perform some training exercises to build core muscles, these are discussed below. For that, understand how to make an archery target for practice shooting in your background or abandoned open field/roof area.
Start with low draw weights and gradually move up to 30 lbs. for further practice. The more you practice with heavy weights, the more strength you will build to aim at the target steadily.
As mentioned earlier, you should train yourself with some physical exercises and gain strength. This builds the core muscles and helps with increased draw weights. Push-ups and pull-ups are some of the best exercises.
When you become regular with workouts, accommodate different draw weights at your training sessions. If you shoot less than 20 arrows while training in a single session, increase the draw weight by 10 lbs.
Compound Bow Draw Weight Adjustment
Similarly, when shooting over 80 arrows in a training round, move up by 8 lbs. This practice suits serious shooters the most. However, if you shoot 100 arrows in every round, don’t increase the draw weight by more than 4 to 5 lbs.
When it comes to understanding how to adjust bow draw weight, compound bows are the simplest. These bows differ from other bows in terms of drawing the bowstring. Unlike the traditional and recurve bows, there is no need to pull and hold the string in place till aiming.
As you draw the string completely and it reaches the let-off point, you can shoot with the same efficiency but with less effort. Every compound bow has some percentage of let-off. For instance, if a bow has an 80% let-off, it will reduce your draw weight effort by 80% while shooting with the same power.
Remember, compound bows cannot be adjusted beyond 60 lbs so, make sure to don’t try overdoing it. To adjust the draw weights, you need a compound bow, Allen wrenches, and a bow scale. The steps are as follows:
- Determine the max draw weight using the bow scale.
- Insert the Allen wrenches in the limb bolts.
- Turn these bolts counterclockwise to lower the poundage.
- If you want to increase the draw weight, turn the limbs clockwise.
- Make equal turns on both cams for the appropriate adjustment.
Don’t forget to check how much you can turn the bolt for adjustment, it varies from bow to bow. For example, if a bow can provide 8 turns, don’t try to go beyond it.
How To Adjust Draw Weight On A PSE Bow?
Adjusting PSE compound bows is extremely simple. You just have to twist the limb bolts in the respective directions. As you tighten the bolt, the draw weight will increase. Whereas, to reduce the draw weight, you should loosen it. Whatever adjustments you do, make sure to twist the bolts equally.
Draw Weight Adjustment Risks And Precautions
Here is a list of risks and precautions associated with draw weight adjustment. Make sure to keep these in mind.
- Never overturn the limb bolts lower than their minimum or higher than their maximum draw weight value. Doing so can cause breakage of the bolt, bowstring, or even the cams.
- After the adjustments, double-check all the screws that you reattached. In case of losing one, it won’t be possible to find a replacement.
Educating yourself about how to adjust draw weight on a bow is important. Regardless of your expertise, draw weights impact the overall performance significantly. The processes differ for longbows, recurve bows, and compound bows.
So, make sure to carefully understand the steps and perform appropriately to the type of bow you have.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Simply turn the limb bolts clockwise using Allen wrenches. This will tighten the bolt and increase the draw weight.
Opposite to the compound bows, as you loosen the limb bolts, the draw weight increases on a recurve bow.
Yes, with every single pound reduction in the draw weight, the arrow will lose nearly 2 fps from its speed. That said, if you lower the draw weight by 10 pounds, the arrow will travel 10 fps lesser than its original speed.
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