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Bow Setup and Tuning Terms

Arrow Length

The arrow length is measured from the throat of the nock to the end of the shaft. It does not include the length of the pile/point.

Arrow Spine

The spine rating of an arrow is a measurement of its stiffness.

Bare Shaft Tuning

Bow Length

The length of a bow from limb tip to limb tip as measured along the outside of the bow.

Bow Scale

A device to measure the draw weight of a bow.

Bow Weight

For a non-compound bow this is the weight required to draw the bow to 28". It is dependent on the length of your riser, and the length and strength of your limbs. Bow weight must not to be confused with draw weight.

Bracing Height

The distance from the string to the throat of the handle.

Bracing Height Gauge

A device to measure the bracing height, tiller and nocking point of a bow.


A spring loaded tip which is installed into a riser and through the rest. It sets the centre shot and impacts on how arrows leave the bow.

Centre shot

If a bow is viewed from the rear such that the string bisects the top and bottom limbs, then the centre shot is the distance the arrow point is from being directly aligned with the string. For a right (left) handed archer the arrow such be just to the left (right) of the string.

Draw Length

This is the distance from the nocking point to the throat of the grip plus 1 3/4". Typically, this length is not necessarily the same as the arrow length. Typically novice archers have slightly longer arrows.

Draw Weight

The weight in pounds (lbs) of a non-compound bow at your draw length. The draw weight will vary from archer to archer even if they are using the same bow. It is important you know the draw weight of your bow for set-up and tuning purposes. This is not the same as the bow weight and should not be confused with the poundage marked on the limbs.

Nocking Point

The nocking point is the place on the string where an arrow is attached to the sting. The position on a string is marked by brass nock points or some thread wound round the string.


The pointy end of the arrow which is fitted into the end of the arrow shaft.

Pressure Button

See button


The tiller measurement is the perpendicular distance from the string to the base of the top and bottom limb (where it meets the riser). The tiller reading is the difference between the top limb measurement minus the bottom limb measurement. For most target archers this usually results in a positive figure between 0-6 mm.

Walk Back Tuning

A method to fine tune a bow.