Compound Bow Arrow Chart Post

This compound bow arrow chart will help you understand the length of your arrows and which ones are best for different situations. This is a great reference to have when you are trying to figure out what arrow length would be good for hunting or target shooting!

Compound Bow Arrow Chart Post

The parts of the compound bow arrow chart

The parts of the compound bow arrow chart

1. CAMS

2. LIMB DAMPENERS

3. LIMBS

4. LIMB PIVOT

5. LIMB POCKET

6. LIMB BOLT

7. RISER

8. SIGHT MOUNTS

9. CABLE GUARD

10. REST MOUNTS

11. ARROW SHELF

12. STABILIZER MOUNT

13. AXLE

14. STRING SPLITTER

15. CABLES

16. STRING

17. SERVING

18. NOCKING POINT

19. GRIP

20. STRING STOP

21. CABLE SPLITTER

22. AXLE-TO-AXLE LENGTH

23. BRACE HEIGHT

1. CAMS

On a compound bow, the cams are the round, or oval-shaped discs that work much like a block-and-tackle pulley system. The cams are connected to the axles of the bow. The cams act as the “multiplier” of the energy of the person pulling the bow string.

This allows the bow to store more energy than the person pulling the bow string is actually exerting.

The bow has a “back wall” where the cams will not turn any more. This is where the archer is at “full draw.” At this point, there is a percentage of “letoff” that allows the archer or hunter to hold the force of the bow at a fraction of the actual pounds of pull being exerted.

2. LIMB DAMPENERS

Limb dampeners reduce the noise and vibration throughout the limbs and riser of the bow. When the hunter or archer releases the arrow the sudden and powerful uncoiling of the string on the cams produces vibration, which causes noise.

The limb dampeners help to absorb that vibration, resulting in a quieting of the bow.

This absorption by the limb dampeners is especially helpful in reducing noise when hunting deer or other wild game and also reduces the amount of vibration that is transferred to the archer.

3. LIMBS

A compound bow’s limbs are connected to the riser and store the energy that is collected when the string is pulled and the cams turn. When the string is released, the energy from the limbs is transferred to the arrow, which propels it through the air.

Most compound bow limbs are made up of fiberglass or composite material. Some bow limbs are solid, one-piece limbs. Others are “split,” having a gap between both sides of the upper and lower limbs.

4. LIMB PIVOT

Where the limbs pivot and flex on the riser.

5. LIMB POCKET

The limbs of the bow rest in the limb pocket. These can be made of machined aluminum, ABS plastic or other composite materials. The limbs of the bow are secured in the limb pocket by the limb bolts.

6. LIMB BOLT

The limb bolt is the crucial piece in connecting the limb pockets, which hold the limbs of the bow, to the riser. Limb bolts are typically allen wrenc adjustable.

Tightening the limb bolts increases the draw weight poundage of the bow. Loosening the limb bolts will decrease the draw weight poundage.

7. RISER

The riser is the vertical portion and foundation of a compound bow. The limbs attach to it and it also serves as the fastening point for accessories such as the sight, arrow rest, grip, stabilizer, quiver, etc.

8. SIGHT MOUNTS

Sight mounts are holes in the riser that serve as the attaching point for the bow’s sight. The archer will look through the peep on the bow string and at the pin(s) of the sight to aim at the target or game animal.

9. CABLE GUARD

The Cable guard runs perpendicular to the bow’s riser. It keeps the bow’s cable out of the way of the arrow’s line of fire. It typically has rollers and/or slides attached to it to aid in keeping the cable on track.

10. REST MOUNTS

Rest mounts are holes in the riser that serve as the attaching point for the bow’s rest. The rest is what holds the arrow in place while the archer is drawing and releasing the arrow.

11. ARROW SHELF

The arrow shelf is the area of the riser where the arrow sits on the rest. While the rest typically holds the arrow off the shelf on compound bows, traditional bows (non-compound) usually have the arrow resting directly on the arrow shelf.

12. STABILIZER MOUNT

The stabilizer mount is a universal size threaded hole in the riser that is used to attach a stabilizer to. The stabilizer helps balance and thus “stabilize” the bow when drawing and shooting, and also typically has vibration dampening properties.

In essence, it helps the bow resist movement during the draw cycle and when shooting.

13. AXLE

The Axle is what holds the cams, in the same way a car axle holds its wheels. The cams have a hole in the center. The axle goes through the center of the axle and attach to the limbs.

14. STRING SPLITTER

Bows with parallel limbs (which eliminate cam lean) will have a string splitter. On these types of bows, the main part of the string that the archer attaches the release to “splits” just before the cams.

The splitter is what essential turns the single string into two strings, each going around its respective cam.

15. CABLES

The cable(s) runs between the bow’s cams. They assist in moving the cams of the bow when the string is pulled back by the archer.

It’s important to replace your cable(s) as well as your string as recommended per the bow manufacturer’s instructions or on the advice of your local bow shop.

16. STRING

The string serves several functions. It is where the archer will connect their release. It is what the archer pulls (or draws) back and releases to launch the arrow.

Many archers will utilize a “D loop,” which attaches to the bow string and serves as a way to quickly attach the release to the string and also improves accuracy.

You should always inspect your string before and after shooting and hunting. A damaged string could end up being a broken string, which could result in serious injury to the shooter or others.

Any cuts or fraying should be addressed immediately and it is recommended that you take to your local bow shop for an assessment.

17. SERVING

The “center serving” is coiled thread wrapped around the center portion of your string where you would nock an arrow and attach a D-loop.

The center serving protect the center section of the string from wear and tear that results from nocking arrows as well as drawing and shooting the bow.

There is also serving material on areas of your bow string that go around the cams or through rollers that are attached to the cable guards. This helps the bow string stay together, especially in places that are likely to received the most friction.

18. NOCKING POINT

The nocking point is where the arrow, by way of the arrow nock, attaches to the bow string. The D-loop attaches above and below the nocking point.

19. GRIP

The grip is the part of the bow that you hold while shooting. Grips are made of various materials such as wood, rubber, plastic, metal, etc.

The grip can also be a source of inaccuracy. For example, if you hold the grip too tightly, or twist the grip while shooting, you can cause your arrow to go off-course from where you were aiming.

20. STRING STOP

String vibration is a large cause for noise when a bow fires. A string stop helps dampen that vibration and thus reduces unwanted noise. The string stop is a rubber part that is often mounted on a post that is directly opposite of the front stabilizer.

The string stop not only helps dampen vibration, but also aids in better accuracy for the shooter, often resulting in tighter arrow groups at the target.

21. CABLE SPLITTER

On some bows, the cable splitter is a ring that connects the cable to two separate cables, thus dampening vibration and noise of the cable during shooting.

22. AXLE-TO-AXLE LENGTH

“Axle-to-axle” is not a part of a compound bow, but rather a reference to measurement. Axle-to-axle is the measurement from the center of one cam to the other. The axles go through the center of the cams.

This axle-to-axle measurement is often used to determine how forgiving the bow will be in regards to arrow flight accuracy when taking farther shots.

A bow with a longer axle-to-axle height may be more forgiving that a shorter one, but may also be difficult to maneuver in tight-quarter hunting scenarios.

23. BRACE HEIGHT

The “brace height” is not a part of the bow, but rather a measurement, in inches, of the distance between the “throat” of the grip to the center of the bow’s string.

A shorter brace height means a longer “power stroke,” which is the distance from the grip to the center of the string when the archer is at full draw. A longer power stroke typically means a faster bow, as it increases the amount of time that the arrow is attached to the string.

How To Choose Arrows For a Compound Bow?

Arrow choice for a compound bow is an important consideration. This is why I’ve prepared the following step for you. 

Step #1: Determine Your Draw Length

If you do not own a compound bow nor have access to one, you’ll need to follow the draw length calculation method outlined in this article. This approach is surprisingly accurate and very rarely delivers inaccurate results.

The alternative is to visit an archery pro-shop in your area and have them measure draw length for you, though I understand this is not possible for everyone.

Step #2: Choose Arrow Length

With older compound bows, choosing the proper length of your arrows was a somewhat complicated process. Thanks to advances in technology and improvements in design, things have become much easier.

You simply take your draw length and add 0.5″ up to a maximum 1″ to determine appropriate arrow length. So if your draw length is 28″, you should get arrows with a maximum length of 29″.

What this will do is give you an arrow that will be just long enough to clear the front-most part of the arrow shelf. Keep in mind that the length of an arrow is measured from the deepest part of the nock groove, to the end of the shaft. It does not include the length of your field points or broadheads.

Step #3: Choosing Arrow Weight

The weight of your arrows will vary depending on your objectives:

If you want to target practice, you want the arrow to weigh in total (shaft, vanes, insert, nock and field point combined) around 5 to 6 grains per pound of draw weight. So if your bow has 60 lbs. of draw, you want to use arrows that weigh in total between 300 and 360 grain.

If you want to hunt, you want an arrow with a total weight of between 6 and 8 grain per pound of draw weight. So again in the case of a 60 lbs. draw compound bow, this would mean an arrow weight of between 360 and 480 grain.

The values above are not set in stone, however. The only thing you can absolutely NEVER do is use an arrow that weighs less than 5 grain per pound of draw weight, as this will severely damage your bow and void your manufacturer warranty.

How to Select the Perfect Arrow

It’s important to consider how far your target will be. If you are shooting at an animal that is 50 yards away, then you won’t need as long or heavy of an arrow as one that might be 150 yards away.

You need to do some research to find that perfect arrow shaft. When selecting arrows, you need to take into account your draw weight, arrow length/draw length and your point weight, but in order to do that, you will need to know a few things about critical arrow components. 

Carbon

Carbon arrows are a good choice for the beginner bow hunter. They have excellent penetration and durability, but they lack accuracy at longer distances. These arrows dominate the market these days and for good reason.

Carbon arrows are lighter, faster, penetrate better due to smaller diameter and carbon doesn’t bend like aluminum.

Aluminum

Aluminum arrows are typically used for target practice. These arrows are heavier, more accurate at longer distances and less expensive than carbon. But they don’t penetrate as well or fly as straight due to the larger diameter shafts.

Aluminum/Carbon

These arrows are a good choice for the average bow hunter. The aluminum arrow shafts make them more durable than carbon, while the lighter weight of the carbon fletching makes it fly truer at longer distances.

These arrows also combine some of the best features of both material types; they are stronger and more accurate than pure carbon but lighter than pure aluminum arrows.

Best Arrow Spine and Weight for Hunting

A lot of hunters are puzzled by what the best weight and spine for their arrows should be. Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer to this question.

Factors such as: arrow weight, bow type, arrow length and your preferred hunting style all need to be taken into consideration when determining which arrows will work best with your setup. 

With the advent of the compound bow, traditional wood arrows became too dangerous and prone to breaking under the higher forces of a compound bow. As the archery world has moved to the carbon arrow, arrow spine deflection became the most crucial factor in hunting arrow selection.

Arrow length

The arrow’s total length should be 90% of the distance from your bow grip to your point-of-aim, so a 30 inch draw would use an arrow around 27 inches long or a 35 inch draw requires a 31 inch arrow.

Arrows that are too short will result in insufficient clearance while arrows that are too long can cause damage or interfere with your arrow rest.

Arrow Basics

The key to understanding arrow specifications are simple once you grasp the basics. The arrow spine, weight (gpi), and tip weight are the most important aspects of arrow selection.

Once you understand these things are all interacting with each other, and each has their tradeoffs, the complex question of the arrow section becomes much easier.

Arrow Spine

Arrow spine deflection is the key to the entire arrow selection process. Spine is simply how much the shaft bends under a specific load. The standardized test for determining spine deflection is taking a 28” arrow shaft and hanging a 1.92-pound weight from the shaft midpoint.

Arrow Weight

Arrow weight (gpi) is the second most important aspect of arrow selection, and it’s all about matching up your arrow with your bow. A typical hunting setup requires a gpi between five and nine grams per inch for a carbon arrow, while aluminum arrows usually range from six to 12 gpi.

The straightness of an arrow also plays a role in gpi. The more perfectly straight the arrow is, the less effect on its spine deflection and accuracy caused by external factors like wind drift or imperfections during manufacture.

Arrow Tip Weight

The third aspect to consider when selecting arrows is tip weight which refers to how heavy your broadheads tips are.

Heavier broadheads will generally fly better in windy conditions or at longer distances, but lighter heads can be a little more forgiving to inexperienced hunters and may not need as much tuning for maximum accuracy.

When it comes time to selecting the right arrow spine for you set up—whether that is your bow setup or your compound crossbow setups—it’s important to understand that there are tradeoffs.

The heavier arrow you use, the more energy it will have on impact and therefore the greater your penetration potential becomes. Heavier arrows also tend to be less forgiving which can make them difficult for inexperienced hunters or those who hunt in windy conditions where they may need a little forgiveness to ensure that they hit the target.

On the other hand, lighter arrows are easier to handle and usually require less tuning of your bow setup for maximum accuracy.

They also tend to be more forgiving so if you have an inexperienced hunter or hunt in windy conditions, these arrow spines can help ensure a better chance at hitting your intended target.

Conclusion

The Compound Bow Arrow Chart Post is a great way to visualize compound bow arrows and their different options, which can make the decision process much easier for you!

Be sure not to forget about these important tips as they will make the difference between success and failure on any hunt! We hope that our guide has been helpful, please feel free to contact us with questions or comments anytime. Thank you for reading!

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