Bow Build Up Part 5 Nock Tuning, Paper Tuning, Bareshaft Tuning

Now that I have my bow set up for draw length, draw weight, and holding weight, I will now start tuning for arrow flight. There are multiple different ways that everyone goes about doing this, but it all comes to the same conclusion. The methods I use and steps I take are what I’ve found that work best for me and are the easiest to replicate for myself. Over time though when I find something new, I do add or take away steps. I’m always wanting to try the next way of doing something because of my search for perfection.

The first step I will go through is nock tuning with a bareshaft through paper. I will leave the thumb indicator tab of the nock on the left side of the string for reference and begin turning the arrow shaft in quarter turns until I find the spot that has the smallest tear. Then at that point, I will start turning the arrow shaft in smaller increments until he tear is as small as possible. Then I will mark the top of the shaft for reference. After I do this, I will start fletching my arrows, leaving one as a bareshaft for the rest of my tuning.

My next step is going back to paper with my bareshaft arrow and tuning my bow for a bullet hole. I use a combination of moving the arrow rest and adjusting the yokes to do this. The reason I will use both, is because I want to induce as little lean as possible at brace and throughout the draw cycle to full draw. The least amount of variance I can achieve will give me better arrow flight down range. For example, with my Pro Comp Elite I started with a right tear, so I started putting twists into the right side yoke, while taking equal twists out of the left side yoke to keep the buss cable length relatively the same. I ended up with the top cam almost straight up and down, with my arrow rest just shy of 7/8 of an inch away from the riser for my centershot. This setting gives me a clean bullet hole and allows me to move onto the next part of my tuning. (As a rule of thumb; right tear- put twists into the right yoke/ take out of left, left tear- put twists into left yoke/ take out of right).

With my nock and paper tuning done, I am ready to move onto my bareshaft tuning. To work on this, I start b putting up a 3-Spot Vegas target face. Normally, if I have gone through my paper tuning and achieved a bullet hole, I will move straight to twenty yards to begin with. I’ll start by shooting my fletched arrows to get sighted in and once I have my marks down for that, I will shoot my bareshaft arrow to see where it impacts. After I see this, if it is still needing some adjustments done, I will work on the yokes for bigger movements, and the rest for smaller movements. For now, I am still trying to achieve the same point of impact for both fletched and bareshaft arrows. After I’m getting the same point of impact at twenty yards, I’ll move back to thirty yards and repeat this process. The only thing I will do differently is shoot a group of three arrows and one bareshaft at the same spot. This time, I am wanting the bareshaft to come in just under my group. Touching or very close to touching the fletched arrows. To get the bareshaft lower than the fletched shafts, I will use my arrow rest and lower it in very small amounts until I have the result I am looking for. After I have gotten the result I am looking for, I am done with my bareshaft tuning and will move on to my next step.

Updated Bareshaft Tuning Guide




5 thoughts on “Bow Build Up Part 5 Nock Tuning, Paper Tuning, Bareshaft Tuning

  1. Pingback: How I Choose & Build My Arrows | rcrchery

  2. Cam

    hey, like your articles, thinking of trying bare shaft tuning for my pro tours and surprised you get same impact point at 20yds with b.shaft and fletched arrow, what arrow/fletchings r u using? small I guess?

    1. rcrchery Post author

      At the time I was using Flex Fletch 187’s. I’ve moved to the 225’s recently and had a little better success so far. I need to revise this article. I have found that I can get just as good, or better, grouping down range with fletched arrows when bare shaft tune through paper for a bullet hole, then go out and do a walk back tune with fletched shafts, then use bare shafts at thirty to dial in vertical point of impacts. This method seems more efficient and I get good results from it as well.

  3. Cam

    ok TY interesting,Think I will try a bare shaft arrow after my usual tuning just to see. I use the 187 also. might give the 225 a go but its usually windy here so normally prefer smaller profile . how much lower impact point at 90m? (if u shoot WA1140)

    1. rcrchery Post author

      I haven’t shot a side by side at 90 yet. It’s been so rainy I haven’t been able to get out to my range. I’m wondering that as well. I feel like the 187’s may have an advantage over 70. Especially in wind. But at 50 and in where I’ve compared so far, the 225’s are better. Even in wind actually.


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