How to Measure Your Pound Pull on a Bow


Three types of bows exist for hunters and sport archers today: straight, recurve and compound. Straight and recurve bows follow the traditional bow design with long flat shafts and a single string. Pulling and drawing on these bows require equal force. Compound bows use a series of pulleys and levers to increase the power and range of the arrow. As the archer draws the string, the initial pull requires strength but then the draw eases to a fraction of the poundage. This enables the archer to hold the draw much longer.

Things You'll Need

  • Bow
  • Bow vice
  • Bow scale
  • Determine your ideal draw weight. Optimum draw weight depends on the size and physique of the person shooting the bow. The ideal draw weight for children is between 10 to 35 pounds. Women can draw between 35 and 55 pounds. Men draw between 55 and 75 pounds on average.

  • Mount the bow in the vice. With the vice firmly mounted to a table or bench, clamp the bow in the vice to ensure it does not move.

  • Attach the bow scale. Make sure the scale rests where the arrow normally nocks. Pull the scale until the string is at a full draw. Record the weight in pounds or kilograms. Repeat the process several times to ensure that the scale is recording the draw weight properly.

  • Tune the bow to the ideal draw weight. Compound bows posses the features to tune them to the optimum draw weight for the archer. Straight and recurve bows are produced with specific draw weights and are not tuneable.

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