Paper Tuning A Bow – A Step By Step Guide

paper tuning a bowPaper tuning a bow is when an archer shoots an arrow through a piece of paper in order to study the rip created. The rip is a “snapshot” of the arrow’s flight at that distance (around 8 feet) and depending on results, lets the archer know what he has to do to perfect his arrow flight.

Paper tuning a bow is the best way to ensure you are achieving your best possible arrow flight. Many things can influence results, so lets make sure we eliminated the majority of them prior to beginning.

Paper tuning a bow – The checklist

  • Are you shooting the right draw length?
  • Are you shooting an arrow of proper spine?
  • Are you shooting with good form?
  • Has your arrow rest been set up properly and is not interfering with the fletchings of your arrows? (if your fletchings show unusual wear, they may be coming into contact with your rest or cable during flight)
  • If shooting a solo cam, have you yoke tuned and checked the timing?
  • If shooting a two cam bow, have you checked the timing?
  • Is your bow to spec? (set up at the suggested specifications set by the manufacturer; brace height, axle to axle measurement, etc.)

If you answered yes to all seven of those questions, we can move on, but if not,revisit those specific links on this website to correct them. If you want paper tuning to be a rather pain free experience, it is best to eliminate all variables which we can control.

How to paper tune a bow

  1. Fix a piece of paper so you can shoot through it. The paper should be fixed to a frame or fashioned so that it is not loose.
  2. Stand roughly 8 feet from the paper.
  3. Draw your bow and level out your arrow.
  4. With good overall archery form, shoot through the paper.
  5. Study the results.
  6. Adjust your bow if necessary and repeat the process until a desirable rip is achieved.

paper tuning a compound bow

Paper tuning results and suggested adjustments

These results are intended for an archer shooting a release and using a drop away rest.

nock high paper tunenock low paper tuning

nock left paper tuningnock right paper tuning a bow

Save and print the image below if needed.

paper tuning chart

More information on paper tuning a bow found here.

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