Arrow Length Vs Draw Length: How To Measure

Draw Length Vs Arrow Length

Draw Length Calculator [Tool + Easy Guide]

Your Wingspan in Inches


👉40 (Wingspan)

Draw Length in Inches


16″


Arrow Length in Inches


17.5″

Draw Length in Centimeters


40.7 cm


Arrow Length in Centimeters


44.5cm

👉50 (Wingspan)

Draw Length in Inches


20″


Arrow Length in Inches


21.5″

Draw Length in Centimeters


50.8 cm


Arrow Length in Centimeters


54.7 cm

👉60 (Wingspan)

Draw Length in Inches


24″


Arrow Length in Inches


25.5″

Draw Length in Centimeters


61 cm


Arrow Length in Centimeters


64.8 cm

👉70 (Wingspan)

Draw Length in Inches


28″


Arrow Length in Inches


29.5″

Draw Length in Centimeters


71.2 cm


Arrow Length in Centimeters


75 cm

👉80 (Wingspan)

Draw Length in Inches


32″


Arrow Length in Inches


33.5″

Draw Length in Centimeters


81.3 cm


Arrow Length in Centimeters


85.1 cm

👉90 (Wingspan)

Draw Length in Inches


36″


Arrow Length in Inches


37.5″

Draw Length in Centimeters


91.5 cm


Arrow Length in Centimeters


95.3 cm

👉100 (Wingspan)

Draw Length in Inches


40″


Arrow Length in Inches


41.5″

Draw Length in Centimeters


101.6 cm


Arrow Length in Centimeters


105.5 cm

Arrow Length To Draw Length Chart

Typical Arrow and Draw Lengths for Beginners

Wingspan (inches)
Archery Draw Length (inches)
Arrow Length (inches)

60

24

26

65

26

28

70

28

30

75

30

32

80

32

34

Draw Length Vs Arrow Length

It’s important not to confuse draw length with arrow length. While they may be similar lengths, they are measured differently.

Draw Length

Draw Length is the distance from the nock point to the throat of the grip plus 1 3/4″. Typically, this length will also be about the same length of arrow needed by the compound archer.  

To measure your draw length, stand with your back to a wall stretching your arms out against the wall. Measure the distance from the end of your middle finger to the end of your other middle finger, basically the length of both arms, hands and chest. This measurement, minus 15 then divided by 2, is your draw length.  

Arrow Length

Arrow length is measured from the front end of the arrow shaft (not including the broadhead or field point) to the throat of the nock.

Your arrow length can vary depending on what you are trying to achieve regarding the FOC and spine of your arrow. (Spine is how much your arrow flexes at a set length with a set weight attached). 

All these measurements should be written down where it is easy to find for future reference before going to a new distance or a different style of archery that may require different lengths of arrows and bows. An arrow length calculator can be used to find out how long an arrow should be. These calculators take into account the draw weight and draw length.

How to Calculate Draw Length and Arrow Length for Beginners

Measure and Divide

The “measure and divide” or wingspan method is one of the simplest ways to estimate your draw length with a measuring tape. It also tends to provide the most accurate results without measuring your draw length directly.


Your wingspan (arm span) is the distance from fingertip to fingertip with your arms extended at shoulder height. To get more accurate results using this method, measure your wingspan against a wall. Stand with your back against the wall, raise your arms, and place a mark on the walls where your fingers end. 

ATA Draw Length Standard

The Archery Trade Association (ATA) draw length standard is determined using a bow without an arrow. 

Draw the bow to the proper anchor position and measure the distance from the nocking point (where your hand pulls the string) to the pivot point on the back of the bow. You then add 1.75 inches to the total.

Arrow Method

The arrow method is commonly used in archery shops to help customers estimate their draw lengths. It involves using an arrow with measurements marked along the length of the shaft. You draw the bow and check the measurements to determine the draw length.


However, the accuracy of this method relies on the arrow being correctly marked. The shooter also needs to maintain proper form. If your elbow is fully extended or you draw past the corner of your mouth, you will get a long draw length.

HOW TO FIND YOUR DRAW LENGTH

Spread out

First you need to determine your arms pan. Simply spread out your arms (don’t over-stretch) with your palms facing forward.


Measure

Measure the distance from the tip of one middle finger to the tip of the other middle finger.

Do some old school calculating

Take the measurement from step 2 and divide it by 2.5. This will provide you with a fairly reliable estimate of your appropriate draw length. Check with your local bow shop to help you fine tune

How To Use An Arrow Length Calculator and Tips On Using An Arrow Length Calculator

Although some archers use standard target or field point broadheads on their hunting arrows, most bowhunters use specialized broadheads that are typically heavier than traditional three-blade fixed broadhead designs such as muzzy, g5 montec , kineti-tech, or penetration mechanicals such as stompers or cut on contact style fixed blade broadheads with a longer ferrule. The extra energy from a fixed blade broadhead can do far more damage to the game than a regular field point broadhead.

To find the best arrow length for your bow, you need to know several key factors; – Your Brace Height or Bow Draw Length (the distance between the string and pivot point of the bow at full draw) – Arrow Draw Weight (20#, 25#, 30#, etc.) – Arrows Spine (Light, Medium, Heavy) The final factor is something every archer should already know; their Draw Length. If you are new to archery or don’t know what your own draw length is then see:

Arrow length for 28” draw

If you have a larger draw length of 29-32 inches, then shoot the longer arrows with a larger head to get maximum penetration. Lighter draw weight can use less resistance from the arrow to achieve max speeds while heavier draws cannot because more energy needs to be taken up by the limbs. Arrows for a 28-inch draw length should be about 597 grains (19 g) in total weight.

The maximum tip diameter is 300 inches which are pretty standard across most broadheads and field points. Lightweight broadheads such as 100 or 125-grain brass inserts can also be used with bows drawing under 30# because the overall effect on arrow flight will not be large enough to make a difference in speed/penetration, but you still need to use slightly heavier arrows if your bow shoots over 29 fps.


Arrow Length for 27 draw

Arrows for a 27-inch draw length should be about 587 grains (18.7 g) in total weight (shaft+fletchings+broadhead). The maximum tip diameter is .300 inches which are pretty standard across most broadheads and field points. I recommend using smaller tips such as the 100-grain practice tips commonly seen on Easton Bloodline arrows if your bow shoots higher than 28 fps so you don’t damage your target or arrow shafts.

Arrow Length for 26” draw

Arrows for a 26-inch draw length should typically range from 577-597 grains (18-19g). I recommend using aluminum shafts when shooting under 25# because they are stiffer than carbon arrows. You can use higher weights when shooting aluminum in order to get maximum speed/penetration in your setup. Keep in mind that the slower an arrow is traveling, the less damage it will do to its intended target after impact.

Arrow Length for 25” draw

Arrows for a 22″ draw length should typically range from 517-527 grains (15-16g). I recommend using aluminum shafts with small diameter tips such as 100-grain field points if your bow shoots above 23 fps or you want to keep your kinetic energy high. You can use larger broadheads when shooting at the smaller games but pay attention to impact speeds because you need enough energy to pierce a deer’s thick hide and ribcage.

Arrow Length for 21” draw

Arrows for a 21″ draw length should typically range from 507-517 grains (15-16g). I recommend using aluminum shafts with small diameter tips such as 100-grain field points if your bow shoots above 22 fps or you want to keep your kinetic energy high. You can use larger broadheads when shooting at the smaller games but pay attention to impact speeds because you need enough energy to pierce a deer’s thick hide and ribcage.

Arrow Length for 19” draw

19-inch bows are rare so there isn’t much of a difference between 19 and 20-inch setups in terms of arrow length. I recommend using aluminum shafts with small diameter tips such as 100-grain field points if your bow shoots above 19 fps or you want to keep your kinetic energy high. Try to get a speed of at least 22 fps because anything below that won’t have enough power to penetrate a deer’s thick hide and ribcage.

Arrow Length for 18” draw

18-inch bows are rare so there isn’t much of a difference between 19 and 20-inch setups in terms of arrow length. I recommend using aluminum shafts with small diameter tips such as 100-grain field points if your bow shoots above 17 fps or you want to keep your kinetic energy high. Try to get a speed of at least 21 fps because anything below that won’t have enough power to penetrate a deer’s thick hide and ribcage.

Arrow Length for 16” draw

Arrows for a 16″ draw length should typically range from 467-477 grains (13-14g). I recommend using aluminum shafts with small diameter tips such as 100-grain field points if your bow shoots above 15 fps or you want to keep your kinetic energy high. You can use larger broadheads when shooting at the smaller games but pay attention to impact speeds because you need enough energy to pierce a deer’s thick hide and ribcage.

What might happen if an arrow is too short for the bow?

An arrow that is too short for the bow will not fly straight at longer ranges. Archery hunters should always do their research before buying a new set of arrows to ensure they are shooting the right weight/length of arrows for their bows. I recommend you buy several types of shafts so you can test them out on your own with your equipment so you know what works best in your setup.

How To Measure Draw Length?

true draw length

If measuring your own draw length isn’t possible then ask someone who knows how to measure draw length to do it for you. With this information in hand let’s choose a common setup of a 29″ draw length, 30# arrow, and a medium arrow spine.

Using an arrow calculator I get the following results: Arrows should be 595 grains in total weight (shaft+fletchings+broadhead) . The tip of the broadhead is 9/32″ in diameter which is slightly larger than most tips designed for carbon arrows. If I was using aluminum or wood arrows then I would add about 1/16″ to the final measurement. Overall this set-up works out really well with little adjustment needed when switching from target shooting to bowhunting.

What are some factors that change draw length?

Draw length can vary by several inches depending on how hard an individual draws back on the string during each shot. Over time, archers may find gradually increasing draw lengths to gain greater power and accuracy. The only way to find your ideal draw length is through extensive testing of different types of arrows, bows, and other factors that affect draw length.

The following are some things that may cause the arrow length for a bow setup to change:

Draw weight (usually increases)

Draw length (increases if bowhunter practices pulling on the string harder/further; decreases if archer cuts back on practice sessions)

Bow weight (decreases if you add more accessories such as stabilizers and quivers)

Shooting form (if shooting with one arm or hand instead of two the draw length will decrease because your arms don’t reach as far when drawing back; beginners often shoot with shorter draw lengths)

Distance to target (if the target is close the arrow may be too short; arrows fly better at longer distances versus very close ones because you can drawback farther without hitting your arm on the riser)

The following are some factors that don’t affect draw length

Draw strength (it’s an individual characteristic based on each bowhunter’s physique, not something that changes with time or practice sessions)

Bow length (this doesn’t change regardless of how hard you pull back on the string during each shot)

What are the pros and cons of longer draw lengths?

Arrows for a 36″+ draw length should typically range from 732-742 grains (22g). I recommend using aluminum shafts with small diameter tips such as 100-grain field points or fixed blade broadheads if your bow shoots above 20 fps. Longer draw lengths will give you more kinetic energy and create a more stable and accurate shot at longer distances. The downside is that they require stronger, often bulkier bows with additional weights to keep them balanced.

How do I find the arrow length for my bow setup?

Arrow length is measured from the nock groove (where your string touches) on one end of the shaft to the back of the arrowhead (broadhead or field point). Many archers write their draw weight, draw length, and arrow/broadhead setups onto their arrows so they know exactly what works best in their current equipment setup.

How do I find the draw length for my bow setup?

To find your draw length, pull back on your riser with one hand while keeping your shooting arm elbow close to your side. Align the string along the groove on the outside of your face and aim at a target about 20 yards away. If you can’t hold steady or see your sights moving, shorten or lengthen your draw by 1/4″ increments until you are comfortable holding without shaking. You should be able to shoot accurately when you’ve found the perfect fit for draw length so don’t settle unless it feels uncomfortable after trying several different settings.

Three ways to determine a shooting anchor point

1. At full draw place a mark on both sides of the bow center that is half of your draw length. Draw an arrow and see where it contacts the marks at full draw. If you can’t get a clear sight picture, place a mark on both sides of the bow center equal to your ear-to-ear measurement or at least 1″ below the ear lobe.

2. At full draw place your index fingertip above the string about 1/4″ and hold it there with either hand. Your other hand should be touching the side of your face just under your cheekbone for a reference point. It does not matter which way you hold the bow as long as both hands are touching something. Now pull back only about 2″ and then slowly relax down to about 4″. The distance between the thumb and index finger should feel the same each time. If it feels different, stop and figure out why you are doing something wrong with your anchor point. 

3. Shoot with a release at full draw until you hear a solid thump from the arrow hitting the target or hay bale. Once you have found this spot on your face as a reference, mark both sides of the bow center equal to the tip of your index finger on your draw side and ear-to-ear measurement on your offside.

Does Draw Length Affect Draw Weight?

Draw length directly influences the draw weight of recurve bows. As you increase the draw length, you increase the draw weight. However, compound bows have set draw weights and poundages.

Draw length is the distance from the nock point on the bowstring to the pivot point on the grip plus 1.75 inches when the bowstring is fully drawn. The draw weight is measured in pounds and based on the pulling force needed to fully draw a bow with a draw length of 28 inches.

A bow with a longer draw length requires more force to achieve full draw than a bow with a shorter draw length. For each inch over 28 inches, the draw weight increases by 2.5 pounds.

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