Veteran bow hunters know the importance of shooting a bow that properly fits their draw length. However, if you are new to the game or happen to live in an area where archery shops are hard to come by, then this post if for you. This guide seeks to inform beginners on how to measure for a compound bow. To perform this exercise, you will need a tape measure, a marker or pencil, a wall and a calculator.
Definition of terms: draw length and full draw
Compound bows are slightly different from longbows and recurves. Compound bows are designed in a way that drawback is only possible to a certain distance, unlike conventional bows that can be drawn back to any distance. The distance which you draw your bow is what we refer to as draw length. The degree of draw length depends on mechanical systems on your compound bow. The goal here is to find a bow that matches your draw length fitments.
On the other hand, full draw refers to the distance that you draw your compound bow until it stops. With compound bows, you can only shoot from the full draw position. The bow should be drawn back until the mechanical system stops, only then should you take aim and shoot.
The armspan/2.5 method
The arm span is one of the most reliable and practical ways to measure your draw length. To measure your draw length you can stand against a wall and stretch out your arms on both sides. Your arms should be held straight in a relaxed position to avoid overstretching. Now with one hand, mark the end of your other middle finger. Repeat this procedure for the other middle finger. For better accuracy, you can have someone else take the distance of the tips as you stretch out.
Next, you need to grab your tape measure and note the distance between these two points. Then take your calculator and divide that distance by 2.5 to arrive at your draw length. If you have a wingspan of 73 inches, dividing that number by 2.5 gives you a wingspan of 29.2 inches. Rounding off to 29 inches, your choice of compound bow should have a draw length of 29 inches.
Overdrawing your bow
Overdrawing means pulling the draw beyond its natural stop. For example, drawing a compound bow that set for 29 inches to 30 inches results in an overdraw. If you find yourself straining to pull at full draw, then you are most probably overdrawing. Overdrawing does not improve precision in any way; in fact, it can damage your bow. The more energy you spend on your drawback the less control you have in your shots. Though shooting with more draw length than is necessary can result in more speed, the added speed is no good if you fail to hit the target.
A final thought
If you are a beginner, it doesn’t take much time before you figure out the full draw. Now that you know how to measure for a compound bow, you can now start practicing how to hit those targets.
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