Draw Weight Adjustment On A Compound Bow: Fastest And Easiest Way At Home

Adjusting Draw Weight Is Really Simple.

What you will need. The only tools you need to do this successfully at home are a bow scale and an allen wrench.

The first thing to do is put your bow into max draw weight configuration. All this means is to completely tighten the top and bottom limb bolts by turning each 3 turns at a time.

Compound Bow Limb Bolt

Don’t rely on the thread count method if you can help it. As we mentioned at the top of this article, the best way to adjust the bow is to begin by fully tightening both top and bottom limb bolts the same tightness and bottomed out all the way.

Just turn the top bolt three turns, if it will go that many, then drop down and repeat by turning the bottom bolt three turns. Repeat this until you’ve completely tightened each limb bolt snugly.

Now check your draw weight. This should be the maximum draw weight your bow is advertised to be from the manufacturer.

Tip: Once top and bottom limb bolts are fully tightened it’s a great idea to use a marker to put a mark on each bolt at the same place. This makes it much easier to keep track of the number of full revolutions, or partial revolutions you make to each limb bolt.

Before you begin backing the bolts out, it’s very important to keep in mind that whatever you do to the top limb you want to do to the bottom limb equally.

For example if you loosen the top limb bolt one turn, then loosen the bottom limb bolt one turn immediately after you finish with the top bolt.

This means if you loosen the top bolt 3 revolutions, then stop and immediately loosen the bottom limb bolt 3 turns.

You shouldn’t loosen either the top or bottom limb bolts more than 3 turns each at one time before checking the newly adjusted actual draw weight with your bow scale.

Now you should immediately check the current draw weight of your compound bow on your bow scale. This keeps the cams synchronized and allows for maximum accuracy. You don’t want to be missing your target do you?

To adjust the draw weight keep in mind we are actually unloading less stress by loosening, or loading more stress by tightening the bolts onto the limbs of your bow. This stress is the flex amount of the bow and we are precisely doing that by tightening or loosening the bolts on each limb of your compound bow thus giving you an increased or decreased draw weight.

How To Raise Draw Weight To Maximum Poundage.

If you want max out your draw weight then you will want to tighten the limb bolts by turning them clockwise until both limb bolts are tight and both limbs are against the riser.

Be cautious not to over tighten them. A good snug tightness will do. The idea here is to prevent the limb bolts equally tightened into the limbs.

Beginning compound bow owners may worry about the bolts backing out. Don’t worry because vibration to your bow is by several factors. It’s caused by the action of releasing the arrow towards your target, walking with your bow through the woods, and by road or handling vibration as you travel with your bow.

Many people keep their bows in a carrying case, (click here to read a great article on a good carrying case choice) which will allow you to take your compound bow on a commercial airline or bus.

This not only prevents lots of unwanted vibration but protects the cams, string, sights and limbs of your compound bow. Keep in mind that going to maximum poundage may not be suitable for beginning archers.

Here’s A Quick Video To Help From Our Friends At Lancaster

Does Changing Draw Weight Change The Sights?

Yes it can. One full turn of the limb bolts usually changes its weight about two pounds.

By increasing your draw weight just a few pounds at a time you’ll avoid possibly injuring yourself due to a bow malfunction or an arrow that leaves the string in an awkward angle.

Increasing or decreasing your draw weight can change your arrow’s tuning, and as stated above you’ll likely have to adjust your sight.

A good rule of thumb is to always check your sights by using a stationary target to practice with after you adjust your draw weight.

How Many Feet Per Second Do You Lose Per Pound Of Reduced Draw Weight?

Keep in mind that for every 10 lbs. of reduction in draw weight, a good rule of thumb is to expect a loss in arrow speed around 15-20 FPS.

For many beginners using a 70 lbs. draw weight compound bow (like the ones used during IBO tests) is not possible.

A beginner will likely go for a 55 or 60 lbs. version. That’s another 15-20 FPS reduction.

It’s a big bragging point in the compound bow community about how fast your bow is. Many people including myself want to have a 300 fps and above speed bow.

It’s really not that big of a deal so just go with the draw weight your body is comfortable with. There are exercises you can do at home that will build strength in your archery muscles.

It’s a popular topic and so much that we’re linking to an article covering that very subject. Once you finish this draw weight adjustment task then come back and go to that article by clicking here.

Notice The Gap Between The Riser And Limb In This Exhibit.

Gap Between Riser And Limb

This is an example of a bow that is not maxed out to it’s full draw weight. The full draw weight of this Bear Archery bow is 70 lbs. The current draw weight is 55 lbs. This gap won’t be visible when the bow is adjusted to it’s full draw weight of 70 lbs.

Both limb bolts, top and bottom should be the exact same length. Due to them being the same length you can count the threads and get the proper optimal adjustment of top and bottom risers and feel confident your cams will stay synced.

Don’t rely on the thread count method if you can help it. As we mentioned at the top of this article, the best way to adjust the bow is to begin by fully tightening both top and bottom limb bolts the same tightness and bottomed out all the way.

That’s all there is to it!

Now you can practice with your bow and make sure the sights are correct by checking accuracy. We have written another article that covers the proper sight adjustment technique right here.

Martin Hamilton

Archery lover and compound bow enthusiast. Love all types of archery. The current technology in compound bows, crossbows, recurve bows and arrows is truly amazing. I was an airline mechanic for years and got introduced to advanced composites. Great to see them put to use in this amazing sport.

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