November 03, 2023
When we first got into archery, bow tuning was a little foreign to us.
After all, the only other shooting we were familiar with was shooting a gun. So, the idea that we needed to adjust or tweak our bows seemed unnecessary and a lot of extra work. We didn’t know tuning our bows would improve our ability to hit where we were aiming.
We soon found out that the more we adjusted our bows to fit us personally, the better we could shoot. We usually would just blame ourselves when we missed. Our friends told us good shooting form was only half the battle. They explained our shooting setup is a very personal thing and that it’s not one size fits all.
That is when we learned about “forgiveness.” Forgiveness meant that even when we executed shots poorly, we would miss the mark by much less. Expecting to hit the spot on a poor shot may be unrealistic. But did we need to miss by a foot? A forgiving setup might make catching the spot on a poor shot possible. That sounded great to us.
Really good archers are very consistent from shot to shot. Similarly, a shooting machine can shoot an arrow out of a poorly tuned bow into the same spot over and over. But average archers like us need forgiveness to make up for our shooting form variances.
Through our conversations, we found that arrow rest placement, cam timing, custom-built arrows, third-axis sight leveling, well-placed stabilizers, fine-tuning draw length and using high-quality bowstrings and cables could all improve the forgiveness of our bows. A local bow shop offered tuning services. So, just like taking a car to a mechanic, we took our bows to the bow mechanic.
When we got our bows back and started to shoot, we saw instant improvement. We literally had just purchased accuracy. Our shooting form wasn’t any better, but our arrow groups were much tighter. Our misses were not as big. We had found forgiveness.
Now that we were shooting so well, we started shooting a lot more. Hitting where you aim is a lot more fun than missing, and the more we shot, the more consistent our shooting form became.
As we got more consistent, that’s when we noticed our arrow flight wasn’t so great. Our friend mentioned there might be even more forgiveness available. He said most top shooters will make the final tweaks themselves. The shops do a great job, but they’re not you. They may not have your draw length or hold the bow the same way you do. So, they may be able to get you 90 percent there, but there is likely more forgiveness to be had.
We got a few tips, and we tweaked our arrow rest location just a little and our arrow flight improved substantially. So did our arrow groups.
Finding forgiveness with our archery equipment was a game-changer for us. We shouldn’t recommend it though, because it is very addictive and will lure you into shooting more and having more fun, which can drastically affect your personal life.