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Bow Tuning Cost?

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    Well...I got out for about an hour today. I don't know if I got lucky or if I have developed a skill of putting on new accessories, but things were pretty stinking close to dead on with everything! First shot, I started out at 10 yards and it hit low 3 times, moved the sight accordingly and shot again. This time it was high so I split the difference and whamo, on the money!

    I then went back to 20 yards and shot, dead on, very tight groupings. Much tighter than I've shot in a long time. Not sure if it was the new accessories or if it was some better shooting form on my part, but I was really happy with how it worked out!

    I then went out to 30 yards just to make sure the pins were on as I went out and this was my last grouping before the weather hit and I had to pack up. First shot is the top arrow from a standing position. I knelt for the next two, always gotta practice from different shooting positions, and I thought I pulled a Robin Hood. Glad I didn't though, arrows came out unscathed.

    I'll be honest, I was a little intimidated starting out with not much for a clue as to how to "tune" a bow. Then combine that with adding a new nock, rest, and sight all at once I thought it was going to be a doozy getting everything lined up. In a nutshell, here's what I did. Keep in mind I have limited tools, knowledge, and no experience doing this. In other words, if I can do it, about anyone can!

    1. Install nock, sight, and rest. Tighten things down just enough so they don't move on their own.

    2. Nock an arrow and line it up so the sight is holding it at 90* from the string.

    3. Line up the arrow along the spine of the stablizer.

    4. Line up the pins in the sight with the arrow and string.

    5. Take it to the range and start out at 10 yards, determining if the sight needs moved.

    Very simple, not too time consuming, and a lot of fun!
    Fishing trips aren't measured in pounds and inches; they're measured in smiles, laughter, and memories with friends and family.


      Lookin' good!
      "There's more fun hunting with the handicap of a bow than there is hunting with the sureness of a gun" -Fred Bear


        Nice work! Sometimes it builds your confidence just to have some new equiptment on the bow!
        There are two pains in life! The pain of discipline, and the pain of regret!


          FYI, Scheels is going to do free bow tuning during their archery event. I missed the dates, heard it on the radio yesterday.
          Everybody has something to hide, except for me and my monkey.


            Looks like a good job to me. I swapped rests last year and am swapping sights tonight so I will be getting to do this as well. It's always fun dailing in a new component cause when you get it just right for yourself you feel that much more confident in your shooting. Good luck out there.


              I think the biggest gain out of this whole experience has been the confidence. Not only in my shooting, but I honestly learned a lot about the mechanics about a bow shooting an arrow. Seems simple enough and when the guy at Cabela's set everything up for me, I had no clue what he was doing. It was a great learning experience and I'd highly recommend it for anyone.

              A week ago, I had the opinion that I needed to take it in and have a 'professional' take care of everything. Now I'm confident that unless something goes way out of whack, I can pretty much fix/tune anything that I need to in order to get it shooting where I want it.

              It's renewed my enthusiasm for shooting again, not that it wasn't fun before or anything like that, but this just took the enjoyment and satisfaction from shooting to a whole new level!
              Fishing trips aren't measured in pounds and inches; they're measured in smiles, laughter, and memories with friends and family.


                I would guess, in part, why you are seeing better results is because the bow is tuned to you and your style of shooting. Also just because a pro shop tuned the bow it don't always mean they did it right. Plus like I mentioned the BEST they can do is level and square everything up. However if you have a natural 3 decree cant to the left/right ( and most people cant there bows ) Level on a bow vise is pointless . That bow vise needed to be canted 3 degrees and then level and squared up with the components. A pro shop tune in my opinion is like setting your scope with a bore sight. Your close and at "0" now go fine tune it

                Another benefit of doing it yourself is now you know instantly if there is a problem and how to fix it .

                Another "tip" is to get a pencil and put marks on your components such as cam, rest , sights ect. If something loosens and moves you can see the alignment marks YOU put on YOUR bow change. While tuning if you think you are close but want to move things a little more put a mark on it. That way you can always move it back . However if you like the new setting erase the old and put a mark on the new.

                I even tune my fall away rest for better results then a pro shop can deliver. Spray the arrow with foot powder and shoot the bow. Watch for the rest marks were they fall away from the shaft. It will be very obvious! Now play with the length of the drop away cord for ultimate flight. I get the best results most of the time when the arrow is supported for about 2/3rds of the arrow rest. Normally ( depending on the shaft) right around the front of were you see the label on the shafts +/- a couple of inches.
                Pro shops can only do so much . If you want the best results you have to learn to tune things up yourself and not be afraid to changed a "tuned" package that a pro shop put in your hands. Like I said , make some marks on your components before moving them. If you don't like the results you can always put the bow back to the pro shops settings.

                Another thing you can do is simply take measurements and put them in a notebook. Measure nock point height from a fixed position on your cam. Rest ( arrow support arm part) height from the bottom of your riser shelf , at draw if it's a fall away . Rest adjustment right/left from the side of your riser. So on and so on with the sights and such. I use a micrometer for as many measurements as I can . Not because I'm that anal but because it makes it easier. It's very comforting to know that your best groups occurred when top of your launcher arm was 1.363 inches above the shelf and the right side if your rest was .7536 inches away from the side of the riser. Easy to tell if something moved ( take out the micrometer and measure) and easy to put it back if it did. If your groups suck for the day you can always whip out a cheap micrometer and ruler. Take a few measurements and feel comfortable your having an off day and your gear is spot on. However if you still think something may need improvements make some adjustments . You have the original settings!
                Last edited by centerx; 08-30-2011, 11:16 AM.


                  centerx, I can't thank you enough (only once per post) so I just wanted to give a thanks to you for all the advice you've given! Couldn't/wouldn't have done this without the information you've provided. I now have a fairly good grasp on things that I think I would be able to help someone else who is in the same position I was a week ago!
                  Fishing trips aren't measured in pounds and inches; they're measured in smiles, laughter, and memories with friends and family.


                    Not a problem. I have always been on a little personal mission to take the mystery out of archery. It's really not all that hard and believe it or not everybody already knows all they need to know about tuning. The rest is just as easy, however you need a press.

                    The hard part is learning how to shoot properly. Practice not only pays off on simply smaller groups but it allows you to stretch your effective killing range. It also allows immediate feedback when tuning. When you get to know your shooting and your bow the results give you all the feedback you need to properly tune your bow. A good pro shop is defiantly worth their weight in gold, However they simply can not tune your bow to fit you and your style. It is literally one size fits all.

                    When you get the basics down on tuning and shooting your effort almost seems easy putting it into the x-ring. You should not have to fight to get into the middle. A nice easy "float" around the bullesye until your shot breaks is all the effort you should be putting into your shot.

                    One you get the basics down on shooting and tuning you get into the geek side of it. There are all kinds of ways to super tune your bow AND your shooting

                    I specifically taught myself because there were no good pro shops when I started . The deal breaker was when I needed work done and they were a week out. So I bought a press . Over the years don't know how many times I went home , fixed a problem , and was ready to roll faster then if I had driven to a shop to have them do it.


                      I've only been shooting for a year and a half now. I never realized that there were so many little things that alter your shots. I used centerx's instructions on my bow, partially because I've never done anything like this, and the results are amazing. I'm shooting much tighter groups out to about 35 yards (my limit from a tree or blind for now). The problem I'm having is with my son's bow. We went through the same steps and I just can't get that thing tuned. He started shooting about the same time as me, so were kind of like the blind leading the blind. Would you suggest we put some broadheads on and see if the results change? Or keep making small adjustments? The front end of the arrow goes through the paper about 2 inches low no matter where we move the rest.


                        My 2 recommendations ….

                        1) You can only tune as good as you can shoot. How old is the child? Is he capable of shooting as good as you despite your equal time in archery. I can normally tune my bow for perfect bullet holes. However, if you want a low/hit tear with at same bow I'll pull my shot and give you one.

                        2) The bow itself may be out of tune. When I talk about tuning a bow the assumption is the bow is optimally tuned to begin with . This is were a press may be needed and a pro shop needs to get involved if you don't have the equipment. A 2 cam , solo cam and hybrid cam all require slightly different techniques for an "optimal" tune. However, not being optimally tuned may or may not be the problem. Just another thing to get right so as to eliminate one possible factor.

                        Assuming an optimal tune and shooting form that is better then the paper tear indicates here is what you can try ….

                        Make sure your limbs are backed off equally. Mark the limbolts with a pencil. Then tighten the limbs down as tight as far as they will go ( counting the turns) It should take equal turns on both bolts to bottom them out. If not, you now have them bottomed out and you can take them back equal turns. If they did bottom out the same you can take them back the same amount of turns and return them to the alignment marks you made. If your bow was optimally tuned and your limbs were off it may or may not screw up that tune . It may have returned it to an optimal tune that was done at a time the limb bolts were backed off equally … Just never know.

                        It's worth mentioning that unequal limb loads may or may not work against how a bow was designed , However turning one limb bolt and not the other ALWAYS effects your knocking point moving it up/down depending on how and how much you turn the bolt

                        Assuming good form , optimal tune and equal limb bolt settings it pretty much gets down to vertical playing of the nock point and/or arrow rest. Again when done it should be pretty close to square and 90 degrees. A little off is fine but if it looks ugly, it is and there is a different problem.

                        Last thing , and it could be a huge one, is nock pinch. How is your nock set up? What is the AtoA of the bow? . Short AtoA bow and the release coming up under the nock can cause huge problems. It's almost why loops nocks are almost the standard these days. Highly tunable , more forgiving and -0- nock pinch
                        Last edited by centerx; 09-08-2011, 11:41 AM.


                          I would not screw on a broad head until you are happy with your field tip performance . At that time you will either see dead on results or you will have to retune with your broad heads. Actually you should really not have to retune with broad heads but many people need to re-sight.

                          Broadheads only change the game in 2 ways .

                          1) Affects your arrows FOC (front of center) over your field tips . If it changes it's because the BH is longer and the mass is distributed differently then your field tips. I will let you Google FOC . Easy to measure , easy to change. This should be the only reason you would have to retune the bow. However I personally would tune the arrow. Most of the time you don't have to screw with it unless the FOC on your field tips was already bad or borderline

                          2) Wind moving over the blades change the flight path. This is why you may have to re-sight your bow. Expendables help with the "wind problem" but there are still more exposed control surfaces over a field tip for sure. The exposed parts of the broadhead act as up front fletching. Low profile BH's ( even expandables') , slower bow speeds , or bigger fletching to take control away from the exposed control surfaces up front can all help.

                          A BIG thing with broadheads is making sure that the arrow ( insert) is PERFECTLY square and that the very tip does not wobble when spun. Easy to do and easy to test for . You can make a jig with 4 penny nails and some wood if you want.
                          Last edited by centerx; 09-08-2011, 11:17 AM.


                            We took his bow out yesterday and looked everything over. We found out that one of the cams was slightly ahead of the other. Once we took care of that, everything else kind of fell into place. It was kind of late with little light left so now we just need to get his pins set and he should be good.

                            Thanks for sharing your knowledge!