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6 Adjusting Bow Draw Weight FAQs (Compound and Recurve Bows)

1) What is bow draw weight?

Draw weight is the amount of force needed to pull a bow, and it’s measured in pounds.

Recurves and longbows have incrementally heavier draw weights the farther they’re pulled. The standard for determining their draw weight is taken at 28 inches of draw length. The draw weight is marked on the bow’s lower limb with the pound sign (#),such as 35# @ 28”. That translates to 35 pounds of draw weight at a 28-inch draw length.

Here’s an example to help understand how draw weight varies with draw length. If you have a 40-pound recurve bow, its draw weight is 40 pounds when the bow is pulled to 28 inches. But if you checked its draw weight at 26 inches, you’d find it’s a few pounds less. And if you checked the draw weight at 29 inches, you’d find it’s slightly more than 40 pounds. The best way to learn your draw weight with certainty is to have an archery shop check it at your preferred draw length.

Compound bows, however, have set draw weights. A compound with a 50-pound draw weight at 28 inches will remain at 50 pounds if it’s adjusted to a 26-inch draw length. Compound bows can be adjusted to different draw weights by a bow technician. Compound bows typically have about a 10-pound adjustment range, but some adjust over a huge range in draw weight and draw length.

Credit: Archery360.com

2) How to change bow draw weight?

- To raise draw weight

Tighten the limb bolts until the limbs are tight to the riser.

- To lower draw weight

First, raise the drawing weight to its max. Next, unscrew both limb bolts one revolution (360°) and check the poundage on a bow scale. Repeat this process until you reach your desired draw weight. Only attempt to shoot draw weights in the limb’s specified range (50-60 lbs, 60-70 lbs). If they are not marked, max out the draw weight and your lowest draw weight will be 10 lbs lighter in most cases. When using a bow scale, hook the string to the scale’s hook at the nocking point and pull down on your bow’s riser until your bow is at it’s “roll over” spot on the cams and look at the scale for its draw weight. Try not to roll the cam(s) over, but if you do, make sure you keep a good grip when raising the bow back up to take it off the scale… it’ll try to take you for a ride!

Credit: ShootingTime.com

How To: Adjust Draw Weight

3) How do you adjust draw weight on a compound bow?

See answer above.

Archery | Measuring Actual Draw Weight

4) What is the heaviest draw weight on a bow?

Mark Stretton (UK) drew a longbow weighing 90 kg (200 lb) to the maximum draw on an arrow of 82.5 cm (32 ½ in) at the shooting grounds of The Bath Archers, Somerset, UK on 15 August 2004. The bow was made by Bickerstaffe Bows (UK), of yew wood, backed with hickory.
Heaviest longbow draw weight | Guinness World Records

Credit: GuinnessWorldRecords.com

5) What is the highest draw weight for a recurve bow?

Recurve Bows for Target Shooting: When choosing a recurve bow for target shooting, bows with draw weights ranging from 15 lbs. to 70 lbs. or more are perfectly acceptable. However, bows with draw weights ranging from 25 lbs. to 35 lbs. are most common.

Most 3D archers who shoot recurve bows chose draw weights ranging from 50 lbs. to 60 lbs.

Credit: WildernessToday.com

6) What was the draw weight of Indian bows?

Native bows generally had a draw weight of 30-40 pounds. If these were English Yew longbows, some might have had a draw weight of 60-100 pounds.

Credit: Bay Journal - Article: Power of the bow known by hunters, warriors ...

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