Measuring Your Draw Length Recurve Bow

Imagine wearing a pair of shoes that is too big or too small. The discomfort would get in the way of walking from point A to point B. This is the same with using a recurve bow. The best recurve bow for your body can be easily measured and then easily found.

Whether you are an archer who prefers to shoot at targets or you like to hunt for game with your recurve bow, it is in your best interest to get the best measurement so you can find a bow that fits your body perfectly. If you do not measure the draw length for your bow, you will not be comfortable while shooting and you will not make the shots that you need to make.

There are a few different ways to measure your best recurve bow draw length. The first is to figure out how long your draw length happens to be. The methods work for children and adults who want to try archery for the first time and for veteran shooters of all ages.

Measuring Technique #1

In order to get the perfect measurement, you will need to calculate your draw length. This is done with a simple measurement of your arm span length divided by 2.5. First, you will need to work with a partner, because this task cannot be completed successfully alone. You will also need some tape and a tape measure. You will need stand against a wall with your arms outstretched at shoulder height. Face your palms towards your partner and stretch your fingers in opposite directions. Your partner will mark where your middle fingers ends with pieces of tape. Then, you simply measure the distance between the two pieces of tap. Voila! You now have the distance to divide by 2.5.

Measuring your draw length

Measuring your draw length (image:learn-archery.com)

Measure and Divide Example = 52″ ÷ 2.5 = 20.8″ (Arm Span = 52″)

Once you have your measurement, it is best to round up to the nearest half-inch.

Measuring Technique #2

The second method for measuring your draw length is to actually draw a bow and take a measurement. This measurement is just as accurate, if not more so, than the measurement described above. But, you will need a real bow to get this measurement. You will also need an assistant to get the correct number. There is no way that an individual could take her own measurement in this method. You take a measurement from the nocking point on the string of the bow to the grip at the pivot point. Then you add 1 ¾ inches to that number.

First, you draw the bow to the fullest point of comfort for you. Then, the assistant will take the measurement from the grip’s pivot point to the string’s nock groove. Once you have that number, add 1 ¾ inches to it.

Proper Draw Length - Archery Trade Association Draw Length Standard (Actual Draw Length)

Archery Trade Association Draw Length Standard (Actual Draw Length)

Because this method of measuring the best recurve bow draw length is so prevalent in the archery world today, most of the newer recurve bows come with the added 1 ¾ inches already added in. This means that you do not have to any of the addition when you buy a new bow. All you need is the original distance from nock groove to pivot point.

Know Where to Measure

If you are going to get a successful measurement of the draw length with this method, you will need to know where the points of measurement actually are. The nock groove is where the arrow fits on the string of the bow. The area past the nock should not be added to the measurement, because you are not using that to draw the bow.

Tips for Successful Measuring

When you perform the draw to take the measurement, be sure to use the hand that you plan to draw with when you shoot. If you draw with the opposite hand, the measurement may not be correct. You should be able to go to your local outfitter to get this measurement done, because you do need to have access to a real bow. There is no need to actually draw the bow with an arrow in it. You should be safe at all times. Keep the chest broad and open when you draw the bow for measuring, because you will do this in a real shooting scenario. Once you have the bow drawn, do not dry-fire (this is letting go of the string without an arrow). A dry fire can cause an injury to you and it can also damage the bow. Although, a dry-fire is safer than taking this measurement with an arrow nocked.

If you are buying a bow for the first time, it is helpful to get a measurement from a pro. Then, you will have the knowledge you need to buy an less expensive model from Hunt Hacks. Using either of these two methods for measuring draw length are far better than using the charts that some retailers will use.

Getting the right bow measurement will make your bow more enjoyable to use, so you will get more quality shots on the range or out in the wilderness. If you get the wrong measurements or you do not measure at all, your bow will most likely become a pretty addition to your closet or a loss that you take in your next yard sale.

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