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How to Determine Arrow Length for Compound Bow

How to Determine Arrow Length for Compound Bow

Archery is a great sport. Whether you practice archery for fun or want to go on a hunting expedition, you need to pack the perfect arrows and bow.

Buying archery equipment can be overwhelming especially if you are still a beginner. This is why you need to know how to determine arrow length for a compound bow.

How to Determine Arrow Length for Compound Bow?

Unless you pick the right arrow, you are putting yourself and others in danger. Paying attention to the arrow length and size will protect you from accidents.

The size of the arrow refers to the thickness of the shaft and how it will flex before it bends and breaks. But the length refers to the length of the arrow shaft itself.

There are several ways to help you determine the perfect arrow length. In this article, we will explain 2 easy methods that will allow you to pick the best arrow for your compound bow.


Method 1: Suitable for Beginners:

This simple method is very straightforward and requires only the use of a measuring tape and the presence of a reliable friend or assistant. It is the best method for beginners because it is quite easy.

Stand Properly:

Assume the archery stance and stand properly with your bow arm extended to your side. If you prefer to keep your feet a little bit wide then this is what you need to do.

Make sure that this is the position you would probably assume whenever you are planning to use your compound bow. Keep your back straight and your chin up with your eyes focusing on your imaginary target.

Hold the Measuring Tape:

Hold the measuring tape with your index and middle finger and allow your assistant to hold and stretch the tape until the thumb of your other arm. Your arm should be parallel to your shoulders; otherwise, the arrow length will not be accurately calculated.

This position is called the anchor position and is achieved when you place the top of your index finger near the crook of your mouth. Some compound bows have different anchor positions depending on the release mechanism.

Make sure that the thumb of your bow hand is properly stretched.

Measure the Arrow Length:

As your friend holds the measuring tape, make sure that your arms stay stretched. Measure the distance in inches and add one inch. This is the correct length of your arrow.

Method 2: More Accurate and Suitable for Experienced Archers:

This method is more accurate than the previous one. Again, you will have to ask a friend for help but you will also have to do some more calculations.

Determine your Draw Length:

It is safe to determine your draw length at home. First, you need to stand tall and straight without hunching over or wearing restrictive clothes that won’t allow you to move your elbows.

Next, you need to move your arms to the sides until they are parallel to the ground. At this point, you need a friend’s help. Ask your friend to use the measuring tape to measure the distance between your arms.

Measure this distance in inches then divide it by 2.5. When you are between numbers, round down to accurately calculate your draw length. Always check your measurements to make sure that everything is properly calculated.

Pick the Arrow Length:

Now that you’ve calculated the draw length, you need to add 0.5 to 1 inch to get the arrow length. If your draw length is 28 inches then your arrow length should be 29 inches maximum.

The length is measured from the nock groove to the end of the shaft. If your arrow is too short or too long, you will not be able to use it properly. A short arrow might fall and injure your hand.

It will fall off the bow’s rest and you might accidentally shoot your hand or forearm. A long arrow will not allow you to shoot accurately.

How can You Adjust your Arrows?

A high-speed saw is the best tool to cut your arrows. This will give you the chance to get the right arrow measurement for your upcoming archery adventure.

You can also use a rotary tool with an abrasive wheel to do the job. A hacksaw might not be used as you can end with fragments.

Whether you are asking a professional to cut your arrows or plan to cut them on your own, you need to rotate the arrows to get the smoothest cut. Make sure that you don’t cut your arrows too short.

It is always better to cut them long and have room for further adjustment in the future than cut them too short in the first place. Our other article on how to clean leather work gloves.

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Kurt Stoney

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