How To Adjust The Draw Weight On A Bow (An Expert Guide)

By Andy Ryan


Updated at
archer holding his bow

You can measure the force needed to draw a bow in terms of draw weight. Due to the extreme balance, skill, and precision required to shoot a bow, you should modify the bow itself to fit the individual characteristics of the archer using it.

You can adjust the firing components of a contemporary compound bow with a few turns of a wrench and a feel for the exact weight you require. Don’t worry because I will be giving you a step-by-step guide on how to adjust your bow’s draw weight:

Step 1: Find the Limb Bolts

Locate the limb bolts in the middle of the compound bow. The limb bolts are contained within circular knobs that connect the bow’s arms to the riser. When you pull it, you should adjust these bolts to change the draw weight or the pressure level placed on the bowstring. 

Step 2: Unscrew the Limb Screws

Several compound bow types employ two pairs of bolts or screws to secure the limb bolts after they’re in the proper position. You can find these on each side of the limb bolts. You can loosen them with the same Allen wrench you used to tweak the limb bolts, or they may require a different screwdriver. Release the locking screws to make it possible to modify the limb bolts.

Step 3: Adjust the Limb Bolts According to Your Proper Draw Weight

Ensure that you correctly fit the short arm of an Allen wrench into the bolt. Then, crank the wrench clockwise to tighten or counterclockwise to loosen the bolt. To achieve your desired weight, change the tension on each arm of the bow. Repeat for the other limb bolts, twisting each one the same amount.

One complete turn at a time, tighten or loosen the limb bolts. This will help you to keep a record of the level of tension in each limb. One spin of the limb bolt on most compound bows corresponds to about a pound and a half of weight.

Remember to equalize the tension on both limbs evenly.

Step 4: Secure and Try Out the Bow’s Draw

If you have already adjusted the bow’s draw weight, tighten the limb locking bolts. Grip the bow normally and pull back on the bowstring to estimate the draw weight. You’re ready when you’re pleased with how it feels. If not, keep tinkering with the draw weight until you get it just right.

Finding Your Correct Draw Weight

Being able to draw a bow to full draw does not imply that it is your optimal draw weight. Bowhunting presents unique problems such as cold weather, holding at full draw, and shooting from various locations.

Drawing and shooting a bow becomes more difficult as a result of these factors. That is why you must determine your proper draw weight. The following are the ways on how to find your correct draw weight:

Choose a Draw Weight that Corresponds to Your Upper-Body Strength

You can use your upper body strength to evaluate the draw weight of the bow. The pressure may be too intense if the draw feels too heavy, or it becomes difficult to sustain drawing the bow after many shots. The larger draw weight can wear you out and ruin your shot.

Lighter draw weights are easier to operate, but they compromise force and velocity while propelling the arrow. (1)

A large draw weight does not necessarily translate into a better shot. The type of arrow you use affects the force and trajectory of the shot. 

To know more about draw weight, here’s a detailed guide on how to measure bow draw weight.

Consider Your Draw Length

Draw length refers to the range it takes to draw the bowstring back. The greater the draw length, the more force you should apply to the bow and the heavier the bowstring weight. 

If you’re unsure about the appropriate draw length for your bow, you may try this procedure:

  1. Stand straight and fully extend your arms, palms front.
  2. Maintain a straight line with your arms, and have someone measure your wingspan from your left middle finger’s tip to your right middle finger’s tip.
  3. Divide the measurement by 2.5 and start with the bow at this draw length. As you fire the bow more frequently, you’ll have a sense of whether you need to fine-tune your draw length even further.

Moreover, changing the draw length of the bow might be more complicated and may require the assistance of a professional.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to measure draw length on a bow for your reference.

Evaluate How You Intend to Use Your Bow

Are you competing in a sport with your bow or just practicing for fun? Archers may want a stronger draw to make sure the piercing force of their arrows is up to par. On the other hand, competition archers should use a weight that allows them to shoot repeatedly without becoming fatigued. 

Choose a Weight that is Acceptable for You

The draw weight you choose should feel comfortable in your hands. Don’t let your ego lead you to select an unnecessary bow or parameters that don’t suit your style. Fine-tune your bow until it is well-balanced enough to draw, hold, and release with comfort. (2)

Go with your gut instinct. This may require some time to sort out, but you should configure your bow to your exact proportions to be more precise.

You may want to check the video below;


Do You Lose Feet Per Second in Each Pound of Draw Weight Reduction?

Bear in mind that for every 10 lbs. of draw weight reduction, a decent guideline is to estimate a 15-20 FPS loss in arrow speed. For several beginners, utilizing a 70-pound draw weight compound bow like those used in IBO testing is out of the question. A beginner will most likely choose a 55 or 60-pound model. That’s another 15-20 frames per second drop.

The speed of your compound bow is a huge point of pride in the compound bow world. Several people like a 300 fps or faster bow. It’s not a big problem, so just use the draw weight that feels comfortable for your body.

Does Adjusting the Draw Weight Affect the Sights?

Absolutely, it is possible. A complete turn of the limb bolts typically results in a weight change of roughly two pounds. You can prevent harming yourself by gradually raising your draw weight due to a bow failure or an arrow that exits the string at an inconvenient angle.

Changing your draw weight can affect the tuning of your arrow, and as previously indicated, you will most likely need to tweak your sight. A good guideline is to always inspect your sights after adjusting your draw weight by practicing with a stationary target.

(1) force and velocity –
(2) ego –