Choosing The Right Bow:


We have been fitting bows to archers for a long time. We have learned that, with a few easy to take measurements, we can have a bow properly fitted. Having a compound bow fit the shooter is important because if a bow is too small or too long the shooter will struggle with accuracy and consistency, two vital parts of enjoying the world of archery. We believe that our internet customers deserve the same quality and customer service that those customers that walk into our shop get. That's why we have come up with a fitting program that works for our customers that are not able to be in the shop. That's what separates us from the big box stores and large internet stores. We all sell the same bow, but it's in having that bow come out of the box and fit the shooter that we pride ourselves on. When you buy a bow from a big box store it doesn't come fitted. Most of the time it doesn't even come all assembled. That leaves you with two options; 1) Assemble the bow, tune it and fit it to you by yourself or 2) take it somewhere and pay a person to do it for you. You already spent a good deal of money on your bow, why spend more to have it fitted to you? When you buy a bow or ready to shoot bow package from Timber Mesa Outdoors, your bow is ready to shoot. We set the bow up to your specs based on the info you provide us, we time it, we tune it, and we rough sight your bow out to 60 yards. When you pull your bow out of the box it truly is Ready-to-Shoot!

We know how difficult choosing a new bow can be. There are so many choices out there and everyone claims to have the best bow. It's true everyone makes a good bow, but not every bow is right for every shooter. In the following sections we are going to give you a basic guide to picking the right bow for you.

Step one is always have a budget in mind. There are a lot of great bows out there. The old saying, "you get what you pay for" is true. However, a $400.00 bow may fit your needs more than a $1500.00 bow. With todays technology the more value priced bows perform better than the top of the line bows from just a few years ago. So don't get wrapped up in all the hype. Pick a bow that works for you and stay within your budget.

You can always give one of our techs a call and they can offer a few suggestions based on your wants and needs.


Single Cam vs Dual Cam:


One of the most frequent questions we get here at the shop by new archers is, "What's the difference between a single cam and a two cam bow?" Although many confuse all bows with two cams as a dual cam bow, there are a variety of styles. There is a Binary cam, Hybrid (cam and 1/2) and the true Dual Cam. To keep it simple we are going to group all those into a dual cam. Single cam bows, or Solo Cam as we like to call them, rose in popularity in the early 1990's. They were very smooth in the draw cycle and unlike the dual cam bows of that time they were very easy to tune and stayed in tune very well. However, through the advancement in technologies, the modern dual cam bow is very dependable and easy to tune. The most common difference is in the draw cycle. A Solo Cam is generally smoother and the Dual Cam is somewhat harder in the cycle.


Do I need a right or left hand bow?:


Just because you write or throw a baseball with your right hand doesn't mean that you should shoot a right handed bow. When we talk about aiming sports we talk about eye dominance. Everyone has one eye that is more powerful than the other. It's the eye that your brain wants to aim with. To figure out which eye is your dominant eye simple hold both hands together and form a small circle between your hands making a sight picture. Pick out a spot on the wall or a item in your house. With both eyes open and looking at the spot through the hole you have made with your hands simply close one eye. If you can still see the spot after closing your eye then the open eye is your dominate eye. Click here for video example:


Draw Length:


Now that you have chosen a bow you need to figure what the draw length needs to be set at. This is one of the biggest problems we see with bows that customers bring in from other shops, bows from friends, or bows from yard sales. The bows do not fit them, and in some cases cannot be adjusted to fit them. Unlike a traditional recurve or long bow, a compound bow must be fitted to the individual shooter. A compound bow is designed to only be pulled back to a certain point before it is released. It's important to have the bow stop in the proper location to be consistent. This is important because if the bow is too short or too long the shooter struggles with accuracy and soon finds themselves discouraged.

Every compound bow has a draw length range that it can be adjusted to. We see a lot of bows that come in that parents want to hand down to their child or a used bow that someone got from a friend. They want the bow to be fitted to them, unfortunately the bow just does not have the range needed to fit the individual.

It is very easy to determine your draw length;
Step 1: Stand tall, making sure you're not hunching forward and that you’re not wearing any clothes that could restrict arm movement or prevent you from seeing whether your elbows are locked.

Step 2: Spread your arms to the sides, making sure that together they form a straight line that is parallel to the floor.

Step 3: Have someone measure your arm span carefully, from the tip of one middle finger to the tip of the other one. Make sure the measuring tape is fully stretched out or else the measurement won’t be accurate.

Step 4: Take the length in inches and divide it by 2.5.

Draw Length

You want to be on the conservative side. Most bows draw length adjustments come in 1/2" increments. If your measurement calls out, for example, 28.25", round down to 28".


Determining Your Draw Weight:


Determining your draw weight can be difficult, especially if you're new to the sport and never pulled a bow back. The first question to ask yourself is, "what will I be doing with the bow?" hunting or just target shooting. With target bows, speed is not all that crucial. Therefore, the general rule is 10 pounds lighter than your hunting bow.

Though there is no set rule in telling someone what weight they should be drawing, the following chart may help. You can always consult one of our techs by phone and they would be happy to help you.

Small child 10-15 lbs.
Child 15-20 lbs.
Women and large-framed boys 30-40 lbs.
Women with a larger frame & youth boys 40-50 lbs.
The majority of males 55-65 lbs.
Larger males 60-70 lbs.

We generally find that most adult men, who do not have shoulder issues and are in good physical condition, shoot a bow with a 70 lb peak weight. Most women fall into a bow with a peak weight of 50 lbs and pre-teen children bows in that 20 lbs range.

The one negative thing we find is that shooters try and pull more than they should. Pulling a bow back standing up with a T-shirt on on a warm day is much different than drawing your bow on a buck sitting in a tree stand on a cold morning with a heavy jacket on. Our rule of thumb is you should be able to sit on a bucket or in a chair and pull your bow. If you can't then back it down a couple of pounds until you can. It is amazing what two pounds will feel like when drawing your bow.


Peep Height:


Peep height is the distance from your nocking point on the string to where the peep is tied into your string. If you are currently shooting a bow you may already know this distance. However, if you're new to the sport you probably don't. If you do not know where you want your peep set simply click on the default option under peep height and our tech's will tie in your peep so that it can be adjusted as you discover what feels the most comfortable to you. Understand, that every time you move your peep you will need to re-adjust your sight as well.


Choosing Your Arrow:


When choosing the proper arrow there are a few things you need to understand to achieve safe and proper arrow flight. We will be discussing arrow spine, arrow weight, arrow straightness and arrow length.

Arrow Spine

Arrow spine is the deflection rating given to an arrow. It is determined by how much an arrow bends when weight is applied to it. To make sure that all manufactures measure this deflection equally, the American Standard of Testing Material (ASTM) has adopted a procedure for measuring this (ASTM F2031-05). It is to be measured by placing a weight (1.94lb) at the center of a suspended arrow measuring 28" in length. For example if an arrow flexes 11/32" (.340") that arrow would be a 340 spine.
The smaller the spine deflection number the stiffer the arrow. It is important to have the proper spine arrow. An improper arrow spine will not shoot consistently and, more importantly, an arrow that is too light can be dangerous to shoot.
The shaft selection chart below will help in determine the proper spine of arrow. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our technicians at 1-855-980-0182 and they will be happy to help you.

Arrow Chart

Arrow Weight

Arrow weight is measured in Grains Per Inch or GPI. This is the mass weight of an inch of arrow shaft. It only pertains to the shaft itself and does not included any of the components like the nock, vanes, insert etc. IBO standards suggest an arrow should weigh at minimum 5 GPI to every pound of draw weight. Example, an archer pulling 70lbs should shoot an arrow that weighs at least 350 grains. In our arrow section we show you each arrows GPI. This helps you in determine your your arrow weight.


The term "straight as an arrow" would leave one to believe that all arrows are perfectly straight...Not so much. Arrows are rated by straightness measured in .001". And the majority of arrows come in straightness's of .006", .003" and .001". Doesn't sound like much of a difference, but the further you get out in distance the more you notice the the straightness of your arrow. A .006" arrow is not as straight, nor will it fly as well as a .001" arrow. That being said should everyone shoot a straighter arrow? The answer is shoot the best arrow you can afford for what your shooting at. If you are just new to archery and shooting in your backyard you do not need a .001" arrow. The chances of you missing and breaking or loosing arrows is higher than if you have been practicing and your groups are consistent. An arrow with a straightness of .006" may do you well and save you money. As you progress with your ability then your arrow should progress with you.

Arrow Length

The ATA (Archery Trade Association) standard method to measure an arrow is to measure from the inside of the throat of the nock (where the string touches the nock) to the end of the arrow shaft. See Below