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How to Set the Draw Weight on a Compound Bow

author image Daniel Barrows
Daniel Barrows has been working as a freelance writer for businesses in the Southern California area for over two years. He has also published articles online for websites like and He has received a Bachelors of Arts in English from the University of California, Berkeley.
How to Set the Draw Weight on a Compound Bow
Man using compound bow Photo Credit: treasurephoto/iStock/Getty Images

The draw weight of a bow is the amount of resistance the archer encounters when attempting to draw the string back for a shot, measured in pounds. Pulling the string of a bow with a draw weight of 30 pounds requires muscle strength equal to lifting an object of the same weight. The more draw weight a bow has, the more energy imparted to the arrow when fired. Archers often calibrate a bow to use the highest draw weight that will still allow them to draw the string comfortably.

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Step 1

Inspect the points where each limb connects to the bow, and locate the limb bolts. Examine the area around the limb bolt and look for a locking screw; if there is one, loosen it.

Step 2

Insert the short end of the Allen wrench into the end of one of the limb bolts. Turn the bolt clockwise until it sticks, then turn the bolt counterclockwise. Repeat with the bolt located on the opposite limb.

Step 3

Adjust both bolts until you have reached the desired draw weight. Tighten the locking screws, if present.

Step 4

Nock an arrow onto the bowstring with the index feather facing away from the bow. Position yourself toward your target. Aim the bow at the target.

Step 5

Hook your fingertips onto the bowstring around the end of the arrow, and test the draw weight by drawing the bow. Carefully return the string to its original position without releasing the arrow. Make further adjustments to the bow's draw weight if necessary.

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