These accessories can make your bow more accurate.
The equipment is designed to provide repeatable performance. In order to get the most out of your bow it needs to be set up right. This means the bow is tuned with arrows that have the proper spine weight and length for the draw weight. It also includes a secure nocking point and an arrow rest that do not interfere with the arrow whatsoever.
If the bow will launch the arrow the same way every time and the arrow will fly true, the next variable to focus on is the release. Whether you use a mechanical release or your fingers it doesn’t matter as long as you are consistent.
If the arrow leaves the bow the same way each and every time without any other influence, the arrow flight will be identical every time.
When the bow and arrow are matched properly, the release of the shot and follow-through must be ideal. This can only be accomplished with a bow that is fitted to the shooter.
The bow must be set to the proper draw length and proper draw weight. It must also be at an overall weight that the shooter can readily handle without becoming fatigued.
When a bow is optimally set up and fitted to the archer, 90 percent of accuracy issues are due to shooter error. The error may be inconsistency, poor form, or accidental interference.
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Practice is the only thing that will truly make you a better archer. Perfect practice is the only way to build your muscle memory and create a repeatable platform.
If you look at traditional archers like Byron Ferguson, Howard Hill, Fred Eichler or Tred Barta you will see an amazing level of accuracy that is achieved with just a string bow and arrows. Only a tremendous amount of practice can produce such results.
For the rest of us, there are a few valuable accessories that can help us shoot consistently more accurate.
Photo via IQ Bowsights
Poor form will result in the misalignment of the bowsight. Any slight variation in the way the bow is held at full draw, head positioning or hand positioning will create an optical illusion of the sight pin being aligned in the peep sight.
Leaning the bow in the grip hand or having an inconsistent anchor point will all move the position of your eye and make the sight pin and peep sight appear to be true, yet they are off significantly.
The IQ Bow sight uses what the company calls, “Retina Lock Technology,” to eliminate sight pin misalignment.
A floating dot or “eye” on the top of the sight housing detects slight misalignment of the bow. If the dot is centered, the sight picture will be absolutely consistent for each and every shot. The IQ Bowsight is an awesome accessory to trick out your bow.
Photo via Pine Ridge Archery
A kisser button is fixed on the bow string, and provides a fixed reference for an anchor point. Varying the anchor point at full draw will throw your shot off. An inconsistent anchor point creates slight variations in the shooter’s perception of sight alignment. It can also change the tension on the string which will effect the arrow.
Typically, a kisser button is sandwiched between your lips in the corner of your mouth without putting any pressure on it. A shooter will become familiar with the feel of the kisser button including placement, rearward pressure and amount of pressure exerted by the mouth.
Beware that anything you add to your string will slow it down and reduce your velocity somewhat. However, if your accuracy increases substantially, it is worth the dozen of so feet per second you give up in velocity. A kisser button is a great addition to trick out your bow.
Photo via New Archery Products
Most bows are out of balance to begin with. When the arrow launches, the bow will lean to one side or another. Most hunting bows are fitted with a quiver, which adds weight to one side of the bow. Even if you remove the quiver when hunting, the design of most bows throw off the balance.
A lot of bows have the grip and arrow shelf protruding on the left for right handed bows and on the right for left handed bows. Additionally, most cams or cam and wheel combinations are off-set to one side of the limb. This also makes the cables favor one side which will include a cable slide or roller.
A typical bow right out of the box will lean to the inside when the shot is fired. That is, a right handed bow will lean right and a left handed bow will lean left. The movement is slight and subtle, and as you release the arrow and it travels over your arrow-rest, the bow has already started moving slightly in the direction it will lean.
An off-set stabilizer arm is a great accessory to trick out your bow. By adjusting the stabilizer to counter the bow lean, the bow remains “dead in the hand” at the shot. The off-set stabilizer allows you to fine-tune the balance of your bow so it remains vertical without any torque. When you remove it and allow natural bow movement you increase consistency and therefore accuracy.
These are just a few options, but remember that nothing can replace consistent and devoted practice at the range and experience afield.
What are your favorite ways to trick out your bow? Let us know in the comments below.