Tuning Methods by Keith Weaver
How to do it
Shoot from a distance of approx 10 feet, fire arrows through paper to a target beyond. Your arrow will tear through the paper in 1 or 2 ways out of 8. (Nock will be left, left high, low left, high, high right, right, low right or low.) Suppose your tear is nock high right. This tells you that the arrow is coming off the rest low and left. Do one adjustment at a time. Raise your rest until the tear is nock right and then adjust your rest to the right until you have tear that looks like just the back end of the arrow went through the paper.
What it does
This tells you that your arrow is flying mostly straight.
Walk Back Tuning
How to do it
Using the top pin setting, shoot 1-3 arrows at 10, 20, 30, 40 and even 50 yards. If your group of arrows strays to the right, this tells you that the arrows are coming off the bow a little too far to the right. Your arrow rest should be moved slightly to the left. (Move it to the right if your groups stray left.) Continue to slowly move your rest until your groups are in a vertical line.
What is does
Finds the centershot of your bow that is unique to how you hold the bow.
How to do it
There are several lasers used in this process. Most popular is one that screws into the sight mounting holes and protrudes over top the arrow shaft when nocked. Turning on the laser it is then adjusted to run straight from the nock grove to the front center of the arrow. If the laser runs off one side or the other, the rest is adjusted left or right until the laser runs straight from the back to the front of the arrow.
The other laser is one that, when laid on the side of the idler wheel, or cam, of a bow and shines a laser to the bottom cam. If the laser varies left or right, this is corrected by adding or detracting twists from one side or the other of the buss cable where it splits and anchors to the axle or axles.
What is does
Finds centershot and also aligns cams for less wear on string and bow.
Keith’s Credentials – I have been selling, servicing and tuning bows for eleven years and shooting for twenty-two years. It is not my intention to sound condescending or arrogant, but I know what I have found and it’s hard to argue with success in what I’ve achieved in helping people shoot better.
Paper tuning requires tip top form, follow through and arrows of proper spine. You must positively grip the bow 100% the same from shot to shot. That being said, the inevitable presence of human error leads to erratic results at best. Also with today’s high performance bows, the arrows flex up to 15 yards and farther down range, because of the energy being produced and the fact that arrows must flex upon firing. If you are able to achieve “bullet holes” through paper, it is in my opinion, the distance where your arrows front and back are aligned in the flexing process. I’ve literally seen people shoot for hours trying to accomplish this only to find something is “wrong” when their groups stray left or right. It can be very frustrating and time consuming. Two things I don’t like. Additionally in my 11-year tenure, I’ve found bows that will not get “bullet holes” but will hold their centershot from 0-90 yards, while a “bullet hole” tuned bow will not.
Paper tuning worked it its day when bows were slower and produced less energy, but as technology has advanced let’s keep an open mind about newer tuning methods as well. After all, who wants to go to a 3-D shoot with a new bow using 30 year old accessories?
Laser tuning may center the arrow rest but if that’s not how you hold your bow, your arrow groups will stray left to right rendering it useless. I’ve used lasers that were to be THE ONLY tuning tool needed and found that as the laser was rotated back to front it did not hold its true – meaning that at differing points from front to back, the laser would be off center of the arrow. I don’t want that. The laser used to align cams is good but in trying to tune bows to it, this alignment changes as the bow is drawn and consequently, fired. You can have a great “read” in the static position, but in full draw the “read” may well not even be close. There are some bows that respond well but the majority I’ve found do not.
Don’t despair now because here’s the one I like the best by far.
Walk back tuning as described earlier is almost too easy that it’s hard to accept. Not everything that is easy is always the best but once in awhile . . .
Get a quick reading of your zero by getting your top pin close. Using that pin fire 1-3 arrows from 10, 20 and 30 yards or farther if you have the room. If your arrows stray right, move your rest left or vice versa until all your arrows make a vertical line. That’s it, it’s done. You are now ready to get your pin settings from shortest to longest and your pins will stay in a vertical line because the bow is responding to your style of shooting. In some areas there may be room for improvement but it will come with time.
I welcome any requests for help in these areas as my goal is to help archers shoot better!