View Full Version : Don't over tune!

Sonny Thomas
07-01-2013, 09:06 AM
First off, The Martin bow manual has good info for bare shaft, paper and broadhead tuning.

I've read of this way too much, people trying to get their bows to blend all tune procedures into one. Ain't happening. You have your bow ready to tune; You paper tune and paper tuning is but one step of fine tuning a bow. With paper tuning one should vary the distance to make sure of things. Many times I've seen bullet hole punching bows rip paper something awful when moving to longer distance.

At least well known tuning expert acknowledged the finest shooting bows he ever owned wouldn't paper tune to save his life. I can say the same. My Ole War Horse UltraTec has proven itself in 3D, Indoor, Outdoor and in Field. It shoots through paper like it hates its. Later on I changed to another rest and different arrow and it shot bullet holes from 8 feet through 20 yards in increments of 5 yards.

You move to Walk Back tuning you do not return to paper tuning. Same thing if using French tuning, you don't go back to paper tuning.

Bare shaft tuning needs done correctly and correctly is having the bare shaft weighted in the area to be fletched with the same weight as the vanes. Scotch or electrical tape will work. And this means whether shooting through paper or tuning to a fletched arrow.

Broadhead tuning. All broadheads are not created equal. Depending on the bow and bow set up, some just fly better than others and some fly better if a bit of bow tweaking is done (hope that isn't confusing). Matching point of impact with field points and broadheads is taming two different animals to do the same thing. It can be a long drawn out ordeal. And many people have found switching broadheads can make all the difference in the world.

More often than not I go by arrow manufacturer's arrow charts. I select the arrow according to my draw weight, arrow length and point weight. When it comes to tuning, by others I "throw my bows together" and they hate that. Hate it because my bows are as pin accurate as theirs which they poured hours of loving, pains taking care in tuning with different procedures.

Jim Dougherty is probably one of the most respected in archery and once penned he could tune a bow to shoot a spade. He was also one the first men to deny the said fact tha a bow couldn't be tuned to shoot a broadhead over 260 fps. Well said as today we have people shooting fixed broadheads of 300 fps and more and with deadly accuracy.

07-01-2013, 12:03 PM
Thanks, Sonny, for another informative post. Reading it, something crossed my mind; sight pins used to have horizontal adjustment. For the life of me, I can't remember if they had 'gang' horizontal adjustment or not; I think so. How many, myself included, had arrows flying 'pretty good' and simply adjusted their sights to out of tune points of impact? Most all these tuning techniques, I'd never heard of, other than, I think, bare shaft and paper tuning. Making sure all your arrows were consistent on how they entered the target was 'tuning'. In fact, if I remember right, 'bare shaft' tuning was seeing to it that your bare shaft entered the target square; no paper involved.

To be honest, I haven't 'tuned' my Cougar yet. The arrows look to be flying straight; I've got about twenty, twenty five yards from our porch, so I sighted it in for that distance. I was assuming that, as I gradually raise the draw weight, I'd need to 're-tune' it again each time. But, that may not be right; once tuned, once everything is squared and true, would changing the draw weight change that?

By 'eyeball', I can detect no side-to-side or up-and-down movement in the tail end of my arrows; the arrows look to dissect the holes (berger holes?) as good as possible, so far as I can tell by eying them. But, I know the odds on that being perfect is close to nil. Have you done any posts on setting the nocking point? Also, is tying in a top and bottom nock inside the D-loop the way to go? Only have the D-loop now. And, after you put them in in the EXACT right place when using just the D-loop, does that change your nocking points 'perfect' placement?

Sorry for all the questions.... o

Sonny Thomas
07-01-2013, 05:30 PM
No problem with you asking questions.

Berger holes is correct. I've always used the one the fartherest back. By the tuning manuals the center the arrow is to intersect with the center of the berger hole. This and a basic rule; Never exceed the center of the arrow past the top of the berger hole. As for low, you need clearance for the prongs or launch arm and clearance for the vanes back to the riser shelf. I don't do this, but seems if you're not to have the center of the arrow above the top of the berger hole then you shouldn't have the center of the arrow below the berger hole.
I perfer the center of the arrow a hair high of the center of the berger hole. And this due to movement of finishing up. If I have to adjust rest down a tad I've still in the good ball park of things.

Now, some say there is a sweet spot within the above and evidently these people have more time to find it than I care to look ;)

For setting a nocking point, a piece of cake. First, I use a bow vice to hold the bow and RS levels, one for the bow and one for the arrow. I also use a tiny level to level the arrow rest.

Doesn't matter single or dual cams. Bow leveled, I install the rest and level it. Next, the prongs or launch arm must be fully up. No ifs, ands, or buts, fully up.

I then use a brass nock for below the arrow nock and slightly snug it on the center serving. I can move the brass nock, but it will hold the arrow easily or use my finger to light press down on the arrow nock.

I then attach the RS arrow level to the arrow. I then move the rest so to have the arrow intersect the berger hole. I then move the brass nock to level the arrow. A bit of trial and error, but soon the arrow intersects the berger hole (a hair high) and the arrow is 90 degrees to the string. Brass nock holding the arrow I then set the top nocking point, be it brass nock, string tied nock or just a d-loop.

Now, I used a single top brass nock set and cushion button for years and had outstanding accuracy. The only down side, shooting off the string does wear the center serving.

I perfer tied string nocks on the inside of my d-loop. The top string nock is my nocking point. The bottom string nock is tied approx. .040" or slightly more below the bottom the arrow nock. This prevents nock pinch and gives a slight downward pressure of the arrow to stay in contact with the rest.

Test for nock pinch; Remove field point. Come to full draw. If the arrow remains in contact with the rest you are usually good to go. Shake the bow at full draw if you wish. As long as the stays on the rest you're good to go. If the arrow comes off the rest you have nock pinch and needing the bottom string nock spaced lower yet or make it longer down. Same with just using a d-loop, move the bottom knot down.

And I've seen and know people who just used a d-loop and nothing else. All perfer the bottom knot spaced to prevent nock pinch.

The space between the bottom of the arrow nock can be more. I've seen arrows with as much as 1/8" gap between the tied string nock and bottom d-loop knot and accuracy does not seem effected.

After all is in place, tightened down, there most generally is movement. Especially if using d-loop pliers. Man, you can put some pressure on the loop - tighten the knots right into the serving even. Here, I go by the arrow level and adjust the rest to give what I deem appropriate and this usually 1/16 to 1/8" high for nocking point. Always high, never low.

Note; D-loop pliers. Most all I've seen have a too wide a finger where the arrow nock goes. Couple that with putting a bunch of pressure on the d-loop to tighten the knots and you can really add space between the tied string nocks or knots of the d-loop. So a bit of caution. I've threatened to grind the middle finger of our d-loop pliers and million times, but never get around to it....

Hope that covers it.

bob cooly
07-02-2013, 08:20 PM
Well stated as always Sonny. Put together my friends Alien Z for the fourth time, 3 sets of limbs and one accidental dry fire. Used my (laser) eye to tune the arrow with cams, arrow and rest and a bullet hole resulted. I'll help him walk back the setup and we are done. It's not as difficult as some make it. And JOEL made it all happen:D

07-04-2013, 02:58 PM
Thanks again Sonny, Bob. I've, of course, read and watched various techniques for setting ones nock, but wondered on how Sonny went about it. lol - The first step would actually be 'Buy a well equipped bow shop.' I may do that, well, sort of. I can see many uses for a bow vise, and the two or three little levels wouldn't break the bank. Ideas on adequate bow vises, anybody? I'm sure it's been done, but a list of 'necessary' tools for us amateur archers might make a helpful thread for Sonny and some of the more experienced guys to construct?

So, once 'tuned', will changing draw weight necessitate re-tuning?

Also, if I may add another question; how bad do you all hate/love whisker biscuits? Seems to me that it is really critical to follow through; not all bad if it forces you to use proper form, and I'm actually quite surprised how little wear it has suffered. Any tuning problems, anything special needing done? Thanks... o

Sonny Thomas
07-04-2013, 05:13 PM
RS String level and RS Vari-nok arrow level is what I use. The small plastic level I use for leveling the rest can be had just about at any lumber yard store or hardware store. Prices have gone up since I bought my RS level set. Like I paid mayb $15 for the 3 level set and now, just the string level is $18 in Lancasters. The small level was the $1 jar at the checkout counter of a hardware store.

Bow vices are nice, but you can get along without one. You have to search around, maybe here or AT, but many people have made home-made bow vices. Usually made out of a wood. Seen one that this person made up that attached to a kitchen table - made out of scrap wood. Looked good.
Just look at how a vice is made. Basically, three arms or rods - two for the main cradle and the one to act as the clamp.

I have braced my bow against something that won't harm the bow, even hand held it and kept eye balling the level. A bit trial and error needs taken place, but you can get it the job done.

No bow vice, no levels needed; I have a arrow/string square of unknown name, brand or make and isn't shown in Lancaster's catalog. Remove the field point or broadhead and screw the arrow onto the square. It's graduated in 1/16". Once arrow to berger hole is established I can mark where I want my top nock set. The trick is to allow for the width of the arrow nock from center as the square works from center of the arrow. So 1/8" is actually zero nock.
I cut mine down to by-passed the hump in the end of the center serving. Mine also has a bit of error, 1/16" and I allow for it. Used it for a few years before acquiring RS levels. Regardless, it gets you going and a bit of shooting corrects whatever error. Now, figure back then I was shooting off the string. IE, I went through a lot of center servings, but was always ready for the next 3D.

bob cooly
07-04-2013, 09:10 PM
I bought a apple press and vise, not high end al all. And with a few shop tools and arrow level I can install a new string and set up most bows in about 1hr. including an initial paper tune.