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How to Measure Your Draw Length

Archery is a passion for professional archers and hunters all around the world. Since ancient times archery has been one of the most effective ways to shoot arrows and even after the invention of firearms, archery has always been one of the most passionate and natural ways of hunting.

To shoot a bow perfectly you need to adjust it to your proper length. Today, we are going to discuss all the draw length of a compound bow and tell in detail how to measure it.


Compound Bow: Draw Length

In a normal, more traditional bow, the bowstring can be drawn as much as the bow allows. The archer can draw it fully to the limit or as he or she intends to. The traditional bows can be drawn further down to any distance, but the modern bows are a different case. For a modern bow, the archer needs to set the length and the bow will only draw up to this length  and then stop. This is the distance commonly known as the draw length.

The archer needs to measure their length by their physical size and then adjust the length of the bow to their measurements to achieve the best speed and accuracy.

The measurement of the draw length of a person does not only provide great accuracy and good speed but also it helps to shoot and makes the shooter comfortable. For example, if a person's length is measured at 30 inches, the length of the bow needs to adjust and set to 30 inches. Now every time the person pulls the string for a complete draw, the bow will draw till 30 inches and then stop. This is called a full draw.

Full Draw

The complete draw is the maximum length you can draw the bow to. Traditional bows have different reading for a draw as they can be drawn as far as one wishes. Compound bows have a set measurement for the full draw. As modern bows can pull to the point set by the archer, that decided one is the full draw for the bow.

While traditional bows can shoot either from a fully pulled position or literary any draw length, modern ones are designed to shoot at a complete pull to provide maximum accuracy along with speed.

A compound bow will stop drawing once it reaches the designated measurements. It is really hard to pull it further back than that. Forcing the string to pull more will not only compromise the aim and accuracy, but this will also damage the mechanical parts related to fixing the draw length.

If someone wants to pull further back than the bow is adjusted to, the best way to do this is to adjust the mechanical settings and then bring it more.

Draw Weight

Another term related to drawing length is the weight. It is the term used to specify the amount of force that is needed to fully pull a bow. Along with the draw measurement, the weight can be adjusted too and this is directly related to the speed of the arrow. The more weight means the arrow will be shot with more force when the finger releases.

The weight can be adjusted to even the single pounds in the modern bows. The archer needs to adjust the draw length and the weight with his measurement and capability. He or she needs to have knowledge about the surroundings and the target and set these things accordingly.

How To Measure The Proper Draw Length?

For the determined archers, there are several methods to measure the ultimate draw length of a person, but here we are going to discuss the easiest and effectively the most accurate one.

To measure your physical draw length, you need to stand still and straight and lift both of your arms at the level. You need to keep your hands level to the ground be normal and make sure you don't stretch or move your arms too much.

Now you need a tape measure and the help of another person. The person would have to measure from the tip of the middle finger on one hand to the tip of the middle finger of the other, while you are facing forward. Make sure to measure in inches with the tape measure cause most of the bows have their adjustment dials and measurements in inches.

After measuring your wingspan, now you need to divide that number by 2.5 and the result is your draw length. If you adjust the pull of the bow to this measurement, the bow is set to give you the best accuracy in your hand.

One of the important things to do while following this method is to measure the wingspan correctly and exactly on point. If you fail to measure correctly, you will use the wrong measurement to adjust the bow, and then the length will be all wrong.

Another method you can use for measuring your draw length is a universal scale. Researchers and experts have researched the average draw length for people of every height and then created a scale to let people quickly have an idea of their draw length or at least get the idea of their range, so they can try and adjust to their feels based on that range.

It should be noted that archery is not a simple thing and different people might have the same height, but they have different body structures and they are shooting at different targets. Therefore the first measurement method mentioned is the most accurate one and gives near perfect measurements for draw length.



Importance of Proper Draw Length

Many archers still believe that the longer draw length would give out more accuracy or more speed. While this is a little true on the latter one in modern archery, speed can be adjusted via the weight and the accuracy really depends on the skill of the shooter and the draw length.

Longer length actually does the opposite when it comes to speed. The longer your draw length is past your actual physical draw length, the more you lose speed off the line when you are shooting. Along with all the performance loss, a longer draw length is really not comfortable for the archer and he or she can even get minor muscle pain from the longer drawing.

String Loop and Draw Length

A really widespread misconception is that string loop adds an extra length and this is actually incorrect. The draw length reference for measuring draw length starts at the nocking point, not the point of the attachment.

While in a complete draw the draw length of a bow is measured from the nocking point to the centerline of the bow, all the way to a point above the pivot point of the grip and then adding 1.75 inches to this measurement. While it may sound really complex, the bottom line is that the string loop does not add or provide any extra length.


The Adjustment of Draw Length and Weight

After measuring and knowing your accurate draw length via the arm technique or the wingspan technique, now you have to adjust your bow to the measurements.

Measuring both the length and the weight is very simple. There are dials to adjust all the measurements on a modern bow and you can easily use them to adjust the length. However, for the weight, it is a different case.

Adjusting the weight is very much similar. It can be easily done with the knobs and the dials and other mechanical adjusters, but you need to tune this by your sheet feel and result of the shooting. If you feel you need more power off the line on the bow or less power and a more pinpoint accurate shot, you can adjust the weight.

You can also adjust the weight depending on what you are shooting at. If you are shooting at a target, you don't need all the available power, but accuracy is the concern there. If you are one of those archers who like to take their bow on a weekend and travel to the rough terrains to hunt a game, you need more power, meaning more weight.

There are some options that have fixed weight, but most of the modern ones have an adjustable system.


Measuring Draw Length - Conclusion

Archery is a really passionate thing and from weekend shooter to the rough and tough hunters, everyone needs to shoot well and accurately. If you are a new archer or even thinking about starting, you should not wait any longer.

While the drawing length and adjustment and all the other terms and technology in modern bows may look really complex, but it is really not that much. You should always shoot how you love and the way you love to shoot an arrow.

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Tomas Deksnys

Tomas Deksnys