DO YOU SHOOT ARROWS?
We sure do. Oh, you do too? Well, are you shooting the right arrows? Do you tend to go to your local store pick up whatever arrows are on display, or are the most budget-friendly? No? Okay, skip the next sentence. Yes? Ouch. Sorry to say, but you’ve been cheating yourself. It turns out that those bargain brand, stock arrows tend to not fit people correctly. Buying and shooting the correct arrows will help you increase your accuracy and overall success in the field by a lot. And guess what? They don’t have to break the bank – seriously! If you want the best of everything, you’ll want to be sure that your arrows match your particular bow setup. If you want to know more about where to start first – aka sizing your bow – click here. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one size fits all” kind of arrow. It just doesn’t exist. People have difference draw lengths and preferences, so you can’t satisfy everyone with just a single arrow. So let’s make sure that you know about your arrows. If you have incorrectly size or poorly made arrows, you may notice a drastic change when switching to properly made, high grade arrows – in a good way. Bad arrows lower your accuracy, for your arrows don’t fly properly. The last thing you want to do is have an arrow not pass through an animal cleanly. You owe it to yourself, and the animal you’re hunting, to shoot to proper equipment.
This is all technical. We could throw around words like FOC balance, straightness, fletching angle and material, lengths and weights, etc., but we don’t want to confuse you just yet. If you want to know more about the technical stuff, read on or check out some of our other guides. We’ll be sure to help you pick out the right arrows – made just for you!
let's disSect an arrow
You think you know the parts of an arrow? If so, good! Maybe use the guide below just to make sure. If you don’t know all of the parts of an arrow, let’s brush up on your vocabulary – these terms will be used throughout the whole guide, so make sure you know them before you get lost.
The biggest part of an arrow is the shaft, which is generally a hollow tube made of carbon/graphite or aluminum materials. At the end of an arrow, you’ll find the nock, which is a piece of plastic that will attach to your bow string. At the front end of the arrow, you’ll see a tiny metal (sometimes plastic) piece known as an insert. Inserts are glued into the front end of the shaft to make sure that the tip of your arrow can fit snuggly into the end of the arrow. The tip shown above is a practice field tip, but other tips can be put into it, such as a broadhead. Last, but certainly not least, is the arrow’s fletching. It’s usually made with plastic (called vanes), but it’s sometimes composed of feathers. You’ll mostly see fletching even spaced along the shaft in a circular pattern. Generally two vanes will be one color (called the hen fletches), and the other vane is another (called the cock fletch). Vanes can be customized in different ways, and are generally personal preference.
The standard Archery Manufacturers and Merchants Organization (AMO) Method of measuring an arrow is to find the distance between the end of an arrow (not including the tip), and the the deepest part of the nock (where the string sits). It's important that all arrows are cut to your specifications, for once an arrow is cut, it cannot be uncut. So at bestbowshop.com, we're sure that no arrow leaves our shop as less than anything but perfectly cut and measured to meet AMO standards.
Do you already have arrows that fit your bow correctly? Great! Follow the illustration below, and measure your arrow - now all you have to do is order that size next time you're looking for some arrows.
LET'S MEASURE THAT ARROW
To figure out what size arrow you'll need, you'll need to know your draw length, the type of bow you have, and the position and type of arrow rest you're using.
According to AMO standard methods, a bow's draw length can be calculated by measuring the space between the bottom part of the groove in the nock, to 1 3/4" ahead of the pivot point of the grip (when the bow is at full draw). Sound confusing? Don't worry - we're here to help.
Lucky for most everyone, the vast majority of bows have the grip's pivot point sitting 1 3/4" back from the outer edge of the bow's riser. So now we know - the bow's draw length is from the nock point to the front edge of the riser (about, when the bow is drawn back). So if you drew an arrow back and the insert of the arrow perfectly matched lines with the front outer side of the bow's riser, then you're good. If your draw length was set at 27.5", and that's where the arrow rested when at full draw, then the bow is set at right about 27.5". Not too bad, eh?
WHAT'S YOUR DRAW LENGTH?
Don't know your draw length? Looking to figure it out? Well, you've come to the right place. Good for you. Start by measuring your arm span ininches. Stand up, and open your arms wide, with your palms facing forward. Don't try to stretch your arm span. Stand naturally while measuring, and ask someone to help you. Measure your arm span (in inches) tip to tip (middle finger to middle finger), and divide that number by 2.5. Generally, this will find the draw length you need for your specific body size. A lot of people shooting compound bows have their bows set too far, which leads to bad shooting form. Your bow shoots at it's best when it's at the correct draw length. Having the correct draw length will make your more accurate, and will lessen your chances of getting a hard slap on your forearm. This will overall help you become a better shooter, which is what you want, right? Take this as you will, but we promise it's best that if you're in doubt, you should pick a draw length that is a little less instead of a little more.
DID YOU KNOW?
Guess what? If you're a person with average proportions, your arm span and height will fall right around each other (in inches). As you might have guessed, there's a correlation between a person's height and draw length. Generally the taller you are, the longer your draw length will be. It's the opposite if you're shorter. There are exceptions - gangly people, for example, tend to not have the same proportions as most other people do. In this case, said person would want to use the formula discussed in the paragraph above for the most reliable measurement. Regardless, if you're not sure, these charts below should help you get an idea as to where your draw length might lay.
SHORT DRAW LENGTH SHOOTERS long draw length shooters
If you're new to archery, don't get too into all of the details. You want to enjoy yourself. Your best bet is to stick with averages, and pick a draw length that's close to other people that are built like you. If you really want to get it right, it's always best to have professional help. But for the majority of people, you're fine. Lucky for everyone, changing your draw length isn't a big hassel. You shouldn't bog down your mind with all of the minor details. You'll get the hang of things the more you experiment and shoot.