If you have read any of my articles, you will know that I always mention how paper tuning is the key to accuracy. However, it has come to my attention that some of you do not know how to properly paper tune a bow or you’re like me always forgetting which marks mean what. Therefore this article will cover how to properly paper tune bow and what the marks mean.
First lets start with the equipment. Basically all you need is a piece of paper and something to hold it tight to shoot through. A simple box would work if you cut out a square the size of paper you are using. Remember though to cut hole ½ smaller than actual paper you are using to support paper and tape it in place, this is the simplest way to setup a paper tuner. Of course anything will work as long as an arrow can pass through paper with no obstruction. Once you have your paper supported you will want to place it about five feet from your target backstop. Then you will want to stand another five feet from paper tuner. Now all you have to do is shoot through paper evaluating your shots each time and make proper adjustments to produce a perfect hole. Below are tear marks and what they mean, another thing to remember is to change paper frequently to get most accurate marks.
Essentially you want a perfect hole where point and nock pass through same hole. This means the arrow is flying true and all energy possible from the bow is pushed straight to the arrow and into the target.
The tear will have one center hole with 3 vane marks like Figure A.
First we are going to look at vertical tears, which will usually involve a high or low nocking point.
If your tear looks like Figure B you have a high nocking point. To fix this you will want to either lower your nocking point and or higher your rest.
A tear like Figure C is reverse of above tear and indicates a low nocking point. You will want to either higher nocking point and or lower rest.
Now we move on to horizontal tears which normal indicates left and right issues with your rest.
Figure D indicates that your rest is to far right and needs to be moved more to the left. If for some reason this doesn’t correct shot than you might have an arrow problem. This tear can also indicate an arrow with to stiff of a spine for your bow setup. In this case you will want to switch to a lighter less stiff arrow.
Figure E indicates that your rest is to far left and needs to be moved more to the right. However, if moving it to the right shows no change than you might have a problem with your arrow being to light and not stiff enough for your bow setup. In this case you will want to switch to a slightly heavier and stiffer arrow.
Now what if you have a tear that is offset like Figure F An offset tear is just a combination of vertical and horizontal problems, so essentially you will want to focus on one at a time. First fix your vertical problem till you have a tear that is horizontal and then fix your horizontal tear.
Once you have your perfect bullet hole you can be assured that the bow is properly tuned. You may also want to step a little further back from paper tuner like ten feet and shoot from this position just to verify arrow stays in perfect flight. Another thing to try as well is to put your broadheads on and shoot threw the paper tuner. You might see that your broadheads tear differently and will have to re adjust for them. Other than that I hope you are able to successfully paper tune your bow and maybe learned something.
Years ago I was told to do the same thing with a bare arrow, no fletching. I shoot a long bow. It worked! I also found my anchor point and 3 finger release would affect this drastically. It actually improved my release. I will try it with fletching. Thanks Joe Rissin