Bare Shaft Tuning Your Bow

By Hunting NetworkMay 24th, 2021

Bare shaft tuning is a method of tuning the arrow rest by comparing the impact points of regular field tipped, fletched arrows to that of field tipped, unfletched arrows. 

The ultimate goal of bare shaft tuning is to have both arrows impact at the same point.  For this procedure we are going to assume that the archer has selected properly spined arrows for their given draw weight and arrow length.

Bare Shaft Tuning Supplies

The only items required to commence bare shaft tuning are a target, two or three fletched arrows with field tips, two or three un-fletched arrows with field tips and an allen wrench.

The ideal setup is to elevate the target so that the shooter is shooting a target at eye level, this will make the process much easier and more effective.

The Process

Begin by shooting at a distance of 10-15 yards, select a small spot on the target and shoot all the fletched arrows at the same spot.  Hopefully at this distance, the arrows are in a very tight group.  Next, shoot the un-fletched arrows at the same spot as the fletched arrows.  Again, these arrows should be tightly grouped.

Bare shaft tuning differs from other tuning methods in that, typically if the bare shaft arrows impact to the left or right, it suggests that the arrows are not properly spined.  Because we are assuming that the archer has properly spined arrows, we will adjust the arrow rest left or right to correct the problem. 

If the bare shaft arrow group impacts (for example) to the right of the fletched arrows, the shooter should move the arrow rest to the left 1/32” and shoot the two groups again.  Repeat the procedure until the bare shaft arrows impact above, below or exactly with the fletched arrows.

If the shooter is lucky enough to have the bare shafts impacting with the fletched arrows, the bare shaft tuning process is complete.  If the bare shafts are impacting above or below the fletched arrows, vertical rest adjustment will be required.  For this example, let us say that the bare shaft arrows are impacting above the fletched arrows.

This indicates that the nocking point is too low.  To raise the nocking point, you will need to lower the rest (for low bare shaft groups, the opposite is true).  Again, make small adjustments (1/32”) between each group until the bare shafts impact at the same location as the fletched arrows.  When this result is achieved, the bare shaft tune is complete.

If the shooter wants to fine tune the setup, repeat the procedure at longer distances, perhaps 20-30 yards.

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