how to test compound bow draw weight


How to Test Compound Bow Draw Weight


When it comes to shooting a compound bow accurately, understanding and adjusting the draw weight is crucial. The draw weight determines how much force is required to pull the bowstring back before releasing the arrow. By ensuring the draw weight is properly set, you can enhance your shooting performance, accuracy, and overall enjoyment. In this article, we will discuss the importance of testing compound bow draw weight and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to test it effectively.

The Importance of Testing Compound Bow Draw Weight

Testing the draw weight of your compound bow is essential for several reasons. Here are some key reasons why testing compound bow draw weight is important:

1. Optimal Performance and Accuracy:

By testing and setting the draw weight correctly, you can achieve optimal performance and accuracy in your shots. The draw weight determines the speed at which the arrow leaves the bow and the amount of energy transferred to it. If the draw weight is too high, it can result in decreased accuracy and difficulty in drawing the bowstring consistently. Conversely, if the draw weight is too low, it may reduce the arrow's velocity and negatively impact your shots.

2. Preventing Fatigue and Injuries:

The draw weight of a compound bow should be adjusted according to your physique, strength, and shooting style. If the draw weight is excessively high, it can cause fatigue, muscle strain, and even potential injuries. Regular testing of the draw weight allows you to fine-tune it to your comfort level, preventing unnecessary strain or harm to your body.

3. Adapting to Different Shooting Scenarios:

Hunters and archers often face different shooting scenarios, such as shooting from tree stands, long-range shots, or in adverse weather conditions. Testing the draw weight enables you to adjust it to suit these specific scenarios. For example, you might reduce the draw weight if shooting from a cramped tree stand to enhance maneuverability, or increase it for longer distance shots to maintain arrow velocity.

4. Personalized Shooting Experience:

Every archer has their own preferences and shooting style. Testing compound bow draw weight allows you to personalize the shooting experience according to your comfort and proficiency level. Fine-tuning the draw weight enhances overall control, improves shot consistency, and boosts your confidence as an archer.

5. Equipment Maintenance:

Regular testing of the draw weight helps in identifying any issues or changes in the bow's performance. If you notice significant variations in the draw weight from the desired setting, it could indicate problems with the bow, such as worn-out limbs or stretched strings. Timely identification of such issues allows for necessary repairs or replacements, ensuring your compound bow performs optimally.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Test Compound Bow Draw Weight

Now that we understand the importance of testing compound bow draw weight, let's dive into a step-by-step guide on how to test it effectively. It is important to follow these steps diligently to ensure accurate results and a safe shooting experience.

1. Gather the Necessary Equipment:

To test the draw weight of your compound bow, you will need a few basic tools, including a scale, a draw weight indicator or bow scale, a bow press (optional but recommended), and a measuring tape. Make sure all the equipment is in good condition before proceeding.

2. Put on Safety Gear:

Before starting the testing process, ensure you have proper safety gear on. Wear an armguard to protect your forearm from any string slaps, and always use finger tabs or a release aid to prevent injury to your fingers.

3. Prepare the Bow for Testing:

If you have access to a bow press, it is recommended to use it to safely and easily adjust the draw weight. Start by loosening the limb bolts (top and bottom) gradually, ensuring equal turns on both sides. This helps maintain bow balance and prevents any damage to the limbs. If you don't have a bow press, you can still proceed with caution.

4. Attach the Bow Scale:

Attach the bow scale to the bowstring at the appropriate position, as instructed by the manufacturer. Make sure the scale is securely fastened and aligned properly to get accurate readings. The scale should be able to handle the maximum draw weight of your compound bow.

5. Draw Back the Bow:

While keeping safety in mind, carefully draw back the bowstring until you reach full draw length. Take your time and ensure a smooth draw. Maintain a good posture and avoid any unnecessary movements that may affect the accuracy of the results.

6. Take the Measurement:

Once at full draw, hold the position and look at the bow scale reading. The reading on the scale indicates the draw weight at your specific draw length. Make a note of this measurement for reference.

7. Repeat the Process:

It is best to repeat the testing process a few times to ensure consistent results. Release the draw tension after each measurement, relax your muscles, and repeat the steps mentioned above. By taking multiple measurements, you can average out the results and obtain a more accurate draw weight.


Testing compound bow draw weight is a crucial step in maximizing your shooting performance and accuracy. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can effectively test and fine-tune the draw weight of your compound bow. Remember, regular testing and adjustment are essential for personalized shooting experiences, ensuring safety, preventing fatigue, and maintaining optimal equipment performance. So, take the time to test your compound bow draw weight and watch your shooting skills improve significantly. Happy shooting!


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