What Are Arrows Shot From Untuned Bows Likely To Do

What Are Arrows Shot From Untuned Bows Likely To Do

Bowhunting is one of the most exciting effects activities you can participate in. In order to keep the bow in top shape, you must practice bowhunting regularly and tune it regularly to maintain accuracy. No matter whether you shoot a compound bow or else, If your bow isn’t appropriately tuned, your arrow may fishtail or porpoise (move up and down). An arrow may miss the target completely or go off course and strike an unintended target when you shoot an arrow from the untuned bow. Let’s see the effects of shooting an arrow from an untuned bow. Indeed at the end of this article, you would be able to know What Are Arrows Shot From Untuned Bows Likely To Do. So, let’s jump into it.

What Are Arrows Shot From Untuned Bows Likely To Do

Before the answer to this question, you need to understand the importance of bow tuning. Besides learning professional way of shooting a bow, proper archery forms or stringing a bow properly – tuning a bow accurately is also a fundamental of archery. Most importantly, with the help of tuning; adjustments are made to the bow’s arrows, cam timing, cam position, and arrow rest which improve its overall shooting accuracy.

No doubt, tuning a bow requires a lot of finesse and time, but it also has numerous advantages, due to which many people don’t bother with it. They tune their bow very happily.

However, if you ignore tuning and shoot the arrows from an untuned bow, then they wouldn’t go straight, unlike from the tuned bow. Also, the arrows don’t fly as far as with a tuned bow.

The arrows shot from an untuned bow may likely be porpoise (move up and down) and fishtail (move side to side), resulting in two scenarios: the arrow will miss the target completely or might go off course and hit an unintended target. 

Both conditions from the untuned bow can be potentially deadly, especially if you are a professional shooter and shot in a professional setting with an audience.

The reason behind the failure of an untuned bow is that such bows don’t exert a sufficient amount of kinetic energy for their projectiles which makes them useless for precision shooting and also in long-range shooting.

Is Tuning A Untuned Bow Really Necessary?

Yes, of course. If you neglect the tuning process, you can say goodbye to your accuracy rate, precision and safety as well. So, yes, it’s highly essential to tune a bow.

An untuned bow is just like the untuned guitar, which works now as well as it should. So yes, always focus on the bow tuning because it is a goal every bow user should have to increase its accuracy, repeatability, speed, and proper kinetic energy/momentum.

How To Tune A Bow: Simple Method

There are various ways to tune a bow which include paper tuning, French tuning, tuning with machines, and torque tuning. But, we’ll discuss how to paper tune a bow in this article. 

Paper Tuning A bow – Tear Chart                                    

  • NOCK HIGH– Move your nocking point lower or your rest higher.
  • NOCK LOW– Adjust your resting point or nocking point.
  • NOCK RIGHT – For a left-handed bow, move the rest in the opposite direction of the riser. The spine of your arrow may be overly stiff if it develops this tear. Change to an arrow with a weaker spine, or put more weight on your arrow’s points to make it weaker.
  • NOCK LEFT – For a left-handed shooter, move the rest away from the riser. The arrow’s spine may be overly weak as a result of this rupture. Alternately, use an arrow with a stiffer spine or lessen the weight of your points.

Let’s see a few easy steps for paper tune a bow.

Step 1: Adjust The Draw Length And Weight

Before you start tuning your bow, you’ll first need to set the bow’s draw length. A bow that feels tense at full draw is either too long or too short in its draw length. 

At full draw, the draw arm elbow must align with the arrow, and the draw arm must securely anchor somewhere along the front of the earlobe, particularly on the back.

Adjust the length of your bow accordingly until you find the most comfortable length. For the draw weight, you should be able to draw the bow without raising the pin more than a few inches above the provided target. 

Otherwise, you’ll need to reduce the draw weight until the drawing becomes much smoother.

Step 2: Prepare A Paper Frame

In the next step, you have to prepare the paper frame several feet in front of an arrow backstop. Any kind of paper will work, but a large sheet with at least 24 inches on each side will work best.

Also, ensure that the paper you selected is thin enough to tear straight through with an arrow. In case you don’t have a frame to put the paper in, consider making your own from cardboard.

Step 3: Start Tuning

Now you are all ready to tune your bow. Firstly, with the frame in place, grip the bow as you normally would and shoot the arrow while standing 5 to 10 feet away. Use a good shooting form and shoot firmly, lest you get inconsistent results.

Once done with shooting, examine the arrow’s hole. If the arrow made a neat and clean hole tear (how with three evenly centered marks), your bow needs not much tuning. This means that the arrows were perfectly straight during the flight.

But if the vane marks are uneven and thick, adjust the nocking point depending on the appearance of the hole. If the vertical tear is thick and long above the entry point, raise the nocking point or lower the D-loop on your bowstring.

In case of a low tear, lower the nocking point or raise the D-loop on your bowstring. You should properly adjust the bow until the high or low tear is completely eliminated.

After adjusting the vertical tear, you should also need to adjust the horizontal tear. For tail-right tears, move the arrow rest slightly to the left and for tail-left, move it to the right.

Step 4: Shoot Again And Verify

Once you have finished the bow tuning, test it again until the holes are round and small, surrounded by even lines. If the holes are even, move further away, approximately 40 feet, and shoot again.

Isn’t it so simple?

Paper Tuning A Bow – Quick Demonstration

How to paper tune a bow by Lancaster Archery Supply

Tips To Follow While Tuning A Untuned Bow

Follow these tips to successfully tune your bow without issues:

● When testing the bow, use arrows with the same diameter, length, spine, and type to get consistent results. Remember, long arrows shoot differently than short arrows, and aluminum arrows shoot differently than carbon arrows.

● Measure the bow’s weight with a draw weight scale and compare it to the standard arrow weight range if you can’t quite determine the stiffness of the arrow.

● Overtightening any screws may cause the bow to crack and break, requiring you to repair or replace it.


To answer what Are Arrows Shot From Untuned Bows Likely To Do in short, article concluded that your arrow might fishtail or porpoise (move up and down) when it is shot from an untuned bow. As a result of which, such arrows may miss the target completely or go off course and strike an unintended target.

Hopefully, now you should be familiar with what happens when you shoot arrows from an untuned bow and must start tuning your bow before competing.