Everything is starting to come together now and should be shooting very well at this point. The reason you do any type of tuning is to make the bow as forgiving as it can be, and more importantly, to make the bow custom fit to YOU and more forgiving for you. Tuning around your grip, your arrows, your strings, your arrow rest, your draw length, how you anchor, and how you execute. All of this is important and will help your bad shots land closer to the center of the target. There’s only a couple more steps that I like to take before I start shooting for scores and enjoying my new set up.
Walk back tuning is something I do just to verify my bareshaft tuning. I want to make sure that my center shot is set up optimally at this point and everything is going down the middle. This is usually a short process because of my bareshaft tuning. I’ll use my Vegas 3-Spot target again and shoot at the top dot at 20 yards. Then I’ll walk back to 40 yards and use the same 20 yard sight mark from before and shoot at the top dot again. The arrows should land underneath each other in the same vertical line. If for some reason they do not, and the arrow shot at 40 yards is to the left or right of the top arrow I shot at 20 yards, I will adjust accordingly. For the lower arrow being to the left, I will move my arrow rest to the right. For the lower arrow being to the right, I will adjust my arrow rest to the left. I’ll do this in small increments until I get one arrow over top of the other looking straight down over top of them.
My next step will be creep tuning. While bareshaft and walk back tuning are used to adjust the left and rights of the arrow to get the most forgiving set up horizontally, creep tuning works on the up and down, or vertical, spread of the arrows based on how hard you are pulling into the wall during the shot or how much you are creeping forward on the shot. The point of this tuning is to get your cams rotating together in a way that one isn’t working harder than the other and causing the nock to rise or fall while creeping forward or pulling harder into the wall. When the nock is rising or falling with various pressures against the draw stops at full draw this will give you an up and down spread on the target face. So how does this all work? It’s actually simpler than you would think. What I do to start out with, is put a piece of tape horizontally across the center of my target. I will sight in at ten yards to begin with and shoot at the center of the tape three shots. The first three shots will just be my normal shots. For the next three shots I will shoot at the piece of tape again, but this time I will pull as hard as I can into the stops. After these three shots, I will shoot three more. This time letting my bow creep forward slightly. After I have made these shots, I will take note of where my arrows have landed for each group based on the amount of pressure I was using against the draw stops. If the shots where I pulled hard into the draw stops hit low, and the shots where I let my string creep forward hit high, I will take twists out of my control cable. If the shots where I pulled hard hit high, and the shots I let the string creep forward hit low, I will put twists into my control cable. Normally I will only do half twists during this process because during my initial set up I know about what the cams will need to look like to begin with for my bow and there will not be much movement necessary. After I have gotten a good line at 10 yards with arrows even all the way across with varying levels of pressure, I will move back to 20 yards and repeat this process. Once I am happy with my results at 20 yards, I will then move onto the last part of my tuning.
The final step in my tuning is group tuning. This step involves very small adjustments to my arrow rest to give me the most consistent scores and smallest grouping patterns. To do this I will start shooting 50 meter rounds at an 80cm target face. I’ll shoot 3 arrow ends for 5 ends to total 15 shots per round. First I’ll get sighted in for my up and down and left and right marks, and then start tracking my games using my ArcherZUpshot app. The reason I like to use this app is because I can input shot by shot onto the target face through my app and replicate the point of impacts for every shot I take. Once I am done with my round, I can then very clearly see all of the impact points for the whole game and notice any patterns left, right, up, or down. I can also keep track of my scores and X counts to see how I am progressing with my shooting and tuning. After looking at my shot patterns, if I start to see my impact patterns being taller than they are wide, I will start making small adjustments up or down on my arrow rest to see if this cleans up the grouping. I will work exclusively on the up and down grouping first to get the smallest spread I am capable of achieving. After I am happy with this, I will then see if I need to address my left and right spread on the targets as well. If so, I will start making very small adjustments left or right, much like I did in my walk back tuning, to get the smallest horizontal pattern I am capable of achieving. This will all be done over multiple games of my 50 meter shooting. Once I am happy with my results here, I will then find markings for my sight tape.
The process I use for getting my sight tapes varies depending on how well I am shooting and what distances I’ll need to be shooting. Most of the time though I will either find my marks at 30 yards and then 60 yards, or I will find marks for 20,30,50,60, and 70 yards. With my Axcel tournament sight, I will use the marks machined into the outside of the vertical bar for reference. I will count the clicks it takes to get to the whole number on the scale I choose and I will log the whole number plus or minus the clicks I needed to make for that distance. (20+4, 20-4) I will also use a pencil and mark on the inside of the vertical bar for each distance as well with a line that matches up with the indicator pin. Once I have those marks all down, I use either the sight tapes that came with my Axcel sight or a sight tape program on my computer to match up the correct numbers on the tapes to the marks I have on my vertical bar. Once I have decided I have the correct tape I will use clear scotch tape and run that over the sight tape I have cut out to attach it to my vertical bar. Then I will go back out to each distance again and make sure the marks on the sight tape are still correct and finding the ten ring. If they are off some, I will go back and use the next sight tape that is a little bit faster or slower depending on which direction I need to go. I will keep doing this as needed to find the correct tape for my set up.
Everything is all complete now. This whole process hopefully will not take too long to go through. Depending on how finicky the bow I’m working with is, this may work through faster or sometimes slower. The main thing I find is that as long as I am taking my time and making the best shots I am capable of during this whole process, I won’t have to chase my tail and I will get very good results throughout. Thank you for following through this with me, and I hope that at least parts of this were helpful for you. If nothing else, it will give another way of thinking at times and insight into what I like to do. If you have any questions, or hit a snag at any part, message me and I will do my very best to walk you through whatever it may be.