Sometimes the world of bow hunting and archery can become a little overwhelming. With so many different terms describing different archery equipment, techniques and specs it can often become a maze to the beginner archer starting out on his bow hunting journey.
That’s why today we thought we’d answer one of your questions on how to measure bow draw weight.
To do that though we need to understand what draw weight exactly is, and why it’s important.
So, let’s jump to it.
What is draw weight?
Simply put, draw weight is the amount of force required to draw the string to a predetermined point to reach it’s designed draw weight in pounds.
But wait, it can’t be that simple can it?
And if you thought that, then you would of thought right.
Traditional bows are actually measured to a draw length of 28″. This means that if the limbs (or advertising) is saying that the bow is 50lbs, they mean the bow reaches it’s 50lbs draw weight when the bow string is drawn to 28″. The smallest amount over or under can significantly change that draw weight to, and in turn will significantly change your arrow speed as it hurdles down range, changing point of impact.
So what about the draw weights of a compound bow?
Well it’s similar but not the same.
Draw weight of a compound bow is measured to the wall, rather then the standard 28″.
So what does that mean for the compound bow shooters?
Well for starters getting the most energy from any bow, especially compounds, still depends on your draw length. Longer draw length means more energy transferred to the arrow, and shorter means less.
Also, when we talk about draw weight being measured to the wall on a compound, this weight can vary as well depending on your ability to hold the same anchor point time after time. This is where kissing buttons can be a great aid in achieving that same anchor point time after time.
Why is Draw Weight Important?
Their are a range of reasons why draw weight is important, but most notably knowing and using the correct draw weight that suits you will greatly enhance your ability to have the correct technique and form to pull off the perfect shot every time.
Not having and not knowing your draw weight can end up causing more harm then good to your shooting accuracy.
As stated above, being just half an inch off of your draw length can change your draw weight by as much as 6lbs in some cases. This is why anchoring is so important to making sure your on target. Not so much the point that it will change your sight alignment, but the point that it can change the fundamentals of arrow flight significantly resulting in different points of impact due to the draw weight changes.
So, after all that here’s the part you’ve been waiting for….
How to Measure your Bows Draw Weight
To measure bow draw weight you’ll need a bow draw weight scale. These scales can come in both digital and manual style scales.
Measuring bow draw weight can be done with a normal pair of hand held scales, however you’ll have to get creative in the way of getting the actual figure of the draw weight while still holding the bow.
The video above describes the easiest way to do it, but i’ll do a simple summary below.
- Obtain a pair of scales that have a hook and a weigh of reading the draw weight when the bow is at full draw.
- hook the scales onto the string, or d-loop.
- Pull the string to your anchor point.
- take the reading from the scales of what the draw weight was to your anchor point.
- repeat this 3 times and record all three pull weights.
- Work out the average of the 3 draw eights, and that is the answer as to what your draw weight is.
Wrapping things up…
So thats a quick run down on how to measure your bow draw weight and why it is important to understand the fundamentals of draw weight and what it means. In this post we also talked a lot about draw length and how it may affect your overall draw weight. If your unsure on how to find your draw length check out our article here on a couple of different methods of finding draw length.
’til next time bow hunters,