After picking out all of the accessories and components I will use, now it is time for unboxing my new bow and starting down the journey of getting it to feel right to me and also shoot the most forgiving for my shot type and techniques.
When I first pull out a new bow from the box, I will start by measuring the axle to axle and brace height. The reason I do this, is to get a rough idea of where everything is to start out with. The next thing I will do is start mounting on my accessories.
I will put the sight and scope on the bow first. Once these are on the bow, I will start checking, and setting, my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd axis adjustments. I have a Hamskea tool I use for this.
To begin with I will attach the Hamskea level to the vertical bar on the target sight, the one your scope housing rides on for distance adjustments. This will stay and be used for all of my axis settings. The first setting I will get dialed in, is my 1st axis.
Throughout my adjustments for setting my 1st axis I will want my bow to stay vertical. First, I will take a three foot long level and put it up against the left side of the limb pockets. I find as flat a surface as I can for this and check to see how the bubble on the Hamskea tool compares to the bubble on the level against the limb pockets. At this point I will adjust the 1st axis, meaning the left and right movement on the vertical bar, to have the Hamskea tool’s bubble centered at the same time the bubble in the level against the limb pockets is centered. This will assure me that as I slide the scope housing up and down the sight bar for different distances, I will not start having left or right issues on flat ground.
The next adjustment I will look at is my 2nd axis. Just like with my 1st axis adjustments, I want the bow to stay vertical throughout this process as well. For this adjustment, I am wanting to match up the bubble on the Hamskea tool with the bubble in my scope housing. Meaning if my Hamskea’s bubble is centered, but the scope housing bubble is out to the left, I will need to adjust the scope housing in a counter-clockwise direction. For a right handed shooter that would be pushing down on the top, left side of the scope. Knowing that the bubble in my scope housing is centered correctly will allow me to have a stable reference point when anchoring and going through my shot. It also allows me to monitor any lean I am putting into the bow when I am tired or tense.
My next adjustment is the 3rd axis adjustment. This is the adjustment that will help you when you are shooting uphill or downhill. For this portion you will want to use the threaded rod that comes with the Hamskea tool and a straight edge that you can line up with at full draw. I use a string with a weight on the end of it that I can hang on my garage door track. Then as you come to full draw you will align the top and bottom of the threaded rod with the string so that they are on top of each other in your, “sight picture.” Next what I will do is angle the bow down to simulate a severe downhill shot, then check the bubble on my scope housing to see if it is centered while both ends of the threaded rod are still on the string. If the bubble on the scope housing isn’t centered, I will then adjust the scope housing by moving it in or out. This motion simulates a door hinge, such as holding the left side of the scope housing and pulling it in towards you or pushing it out away from you.
Once I get all of these adjustments done, I am done for now with my sight. There is one more adjustment I will do later on, depending on the bow and how I am shooting it. For example, with my Hoyt PCE I am shooting currently I have noticed a tendency to cant the bow to the right during my shot sequence. So to allow me to be able to keep the conformability I have right now with my grip and how I am shooting this bow, I have gone back to my 1st axis adjustments and adjusted the vertical bar on my sight to allow the bubble to be centered while I am at full draw and going through my shot. All I did was loosen the two screws holding the vertical bar onto the sight bar and move the bottom portion over to replicate the amount of bubble that was off before. This keeps my bubble centered now throughout my shot process.