Archery is the ultimate sport that requires the use of skill, attention to detail and concentration, and a bow that is in perfect working order every time. Failure to look after your bow will cause you endless problems during your shooting time and ultimately lead to your archery bow not lasting long. In this months blog, Chiltern Archery provides you with the best tips for maintaining your archery bow that prolong its life and keep you performing at your best during shooting.
Maintaining your archery bow for healthy performance
The bow and arrow are the most essential tools in archery. The bowstring or draw weight of your bow determines how much force you can generate to propel an arrow through the air. A well-tuned bow will give you more power than one that has been poorly maintained over time.
Why you should never dry fire your bow
Not sure what dry firing is? The term dry fire means to fire your bow string without an arrow cocked in place. This is such a dangerous thing to do and should never be attempted. Dry firing a bowstring could result in the string snapping. We are sure we don’t have to tell you how dangerous that could be to you and others around you – it could whip you in the face, damage your eyes or hit someone around you and cause injuries.
Not only could dry firing cause unnecessary injuries, but it’s costly and damaging to your bow. If your bow does get dry fired for any reason, ensure you closely check your bow afterwards for any signs of damage. Pay special attention to the string, riser and limbs and ensure that they are still in complete working order.
Are you storing your bow in the safest way?
Maintaining your archery bow shouldn’t just happen when you are using it, but when they have been stored away as well. Firstly, prior to putting your bow away, you should ensure it’s clean and has no trace of mud or dirt on any part. You will be surprised at how mucky your bow can get even when shooting in fine weather.
Consider the cases you are using to store and transport your bow. In most cases, a soft bag will be perfectly fine for storing your bow and arrows; however, if you are planning to travel with your bow, you may want to consider a hard case for better protection against bumps and scrapes.
Heat is one of the worst things for your bow and can cause several issues to your bow and strings:
Delamination of limbs – this is where the plastic casing comes away from the wooden structure of your limbs
Erosion of strings – you may find that your string starts to break down if left in a heated area for too long
Ensure you keep your bow in a cool and dark place to maintain its life and protect it from unwanted external elements!
Top tips to check out for when you shoot with your bow
We advise getting your bow checked by an expert at least yearly to ensure it is working safely and effectively. There are, however, things you can check over each time you get your bow out of its bag and get ready to shoot. Get into the habit of checking your bow each time you use it, much like you should be checking your car regularly, and we are sure your bow will thank you for it.
How are your riser and limbs looking?
The riser is one of the essential parts of your bow as it connects the parts of the bow together and supports every aspect of shooting. If your riser is cracked, damaged or loose in any way, this could cause severe and potentially dangerous problems if you continue to shoot without getting it fixed. If you need some support, speak to one of our Chiltern Archery experts for advice.
Are you using your accessories correctly?
We all use accessories to support our bow, whether you are using sights, stabilisers or arrow rests. All accessories should be checked for damage during each shoot as well. If your accessories are not fixed to your riser correctly, if there is damage to the accessory, or they wobble or are loose in any way, this is a sign of an issue you need to fix before continuing.
Is your grip in proper working order?
Whether your grip is part of the riser or an attachment that you have purchased separately, it will need to be looked over regularly due to its importance. Any cracks or damage will result in failure to shoot correctly or worse – missing your target and potentially endangering yourself or others. If your grip is part of the riser, it’s also worth checking to ensure it’s still secure and that the adhesive has not worn out.
Don’t forget about your bowstring
It’s so important not to forget about maintaining your bowstring. Having a faulty string and not fixing it – or worse, shooting with it – puts both yourself and others in danger and should be avoided at all costs. Both recurve and compound bow strings will fray or wear away after time and once you spot this, replace the string immediately. If you are a compound shooter, take it to your experts, and if you are a recurve shooter, you can replace the string independently.
Maintain and prolong the life of your string by waxing it regularly. Some shooters do this after every session. However, you may find this too much. We advise you to wax your string at least once in every three shooting sessions or once a week for optimal use. Chiltern Archery recommends changing your bowstring at least once every six months to ensure the continued safety and performance of your bow.
For recurve shooters, the ability to put on a bowstring manually may seem like a work of art, but using the step method could damage your bow or bowstring by warping the limbs or unnecessarily stretching the string. Invest in a good bow stringer as best practice for assembling your bow – it may take a little longer, but it’s safer and better for your bow.
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Chiltern archery – your bow and archery experts
Chiltern Archery are your local archery specialists. We deliver the best in archery equipment, and we deliver it quickly and efficiently. We’re based in Buckland Village, and we support all archery enthusiasts from beginners to advanced. Whether you are looking for archery equipment, lessons or a safe place to shoot your bow, Chiltern Archery is here to support you with any advice and support you may need including maintaining your archery bow. For the best in archery equipment and the highest expertise level, look no further than Chiltern Archery. Give us a call on 01296 630919 to book an appointment or come and visit us soon!