Tuning a Bow Step 3: Find the Center Shot

Tuning a compound bow can be complex, but it is important for achieving perfect broadhead flight. You can have the fastest bow on earth, but if it doesn’t send your broadhead to the target accurately, it does no good. The good news is, improperly tuned bows can be corrected with adjustments. Some adjustments you can make yourself, while others may require a trip to the local bow shop. Understanding what you need to adjust and how to get your bow tuned correctly is the first task. During the next few months, Wasp Archery will be publishing tips to get your bow ready for fall. Follow along and by opening day, you will have a bow, arrow and broadhead working in perfect synergy.    

Tuning a Bow Step 3: Find the Center Shot

How to inspect your bowstring and cables was explained in Step 1 and Step 2 of this bow tuning guide, so now that your strings, cables and cams are properly set, it is time to find the center shot of your bow. The center shot relates to the perfect alignment of the arrow rest to the bowstring’s nocking point. A poorly aligned center shot will cause an arrow to fish-tail as it is launched from the bowstring.

There are numerous ways to find the center shot. Some archers use laser tools or bow squares to line up the nocking point and arrow rest. Others just eyeball it and make adjustments when they paper tune later in the bow tuning process. Here is one easy way to find the center shot (or at least get close until you can fine-tune while paper or walk back tuning later on):

  1. Find two 1-inch sections of tubing that is the same diameter as your arrows. Or, cut sections of an arrow that is the same diameter of the arrow you will be using.
  2. Get two Allen wrenches that will fit the limb bolts of your bow. Slide a section of the arrow (or similar tubing) you cut over the Allen wrench.  
  3. Place Allen wrenches into the limb bolts.
  4. Use a rubber band that is large enough to stretch between the two limbs, and place it around each of the sections on the Allen wrenches.
  5. Put an arrow through the two sides of the rubber band and nock it on your string.
  6. Loosen the adjustment bolt on your rest and move it left or right until the rubber band is lining up with the arrow on both sides.
  7. Tighten adjustment bolt.

Since the diameter of the space between the stretched rubber band is the same as the arrow you will be using, you will find the exact center shot. There is still a need to walk back or paper tune so you can fine-tune the center shot location to your release form. That process will be addressed in a future blog.