Here's Why You Need A Bow Scale

Here's Why You Need A Bow Scale

If you just got yourself a new bow, you might be wondering if a bow scale is a necessity. How do you know if the new bow is just right for you? You can't just walk into an archery shop and bag the best-looking bow. To know if the new bow matches your skill and physical strength, this is where the bow scale comes in. In this article, we are going to explore the different reasons you need to get a scale. But before that, let's clarify what a bow scale actually is.

What Is A Bow Scale?

A bow scale is a device that attaches to your bowstring and is used to measure a bow's draw weight. The draw weight is also referred to as bow poundage and describes the force needed to pull back the bowstring a certain distance. Measuring your bow draw weight is important because it will determine the power of your shots. 

Bow scales come in mechanical and digital variants. Mechanical scales use a spring to transmit the force, while digital bow scales have a sturdy linkage.

How To Use A Bow Scale

The mechanism to use a bow scale can be different depending on the type of bow you use. Once you’ve got your bow scale, you’ll need to calibrate it to ensure the readings are accurate. To calibrate your bow scale, find an item with a known weight, place it on the scale and note the weight reading. Then adjust the scale until it reads the exact weight as the item. After which, you can proceed to use the scale.

For compound bows, you simply need to attach the scale to the bowstring and draw your bow to the point of let-off to get the actual draw weight. The draw length doesn't matter here, as the draw weight is conditioned to be the same due to the mechanism built into it.

It is a different case if an archer uses a long or recurve bow. In this case, you will have to bring your bow to full draw (28 inches is the standard draw length for recurve bows) before taking your readings. However, if you can't draw that far, you can make do with your preferred draw length.

Reasons You Need A Bow Scale

Every archer needs a bow scale for reasons that border on convention and standards. In fact, it is recommended that you don't use a bow without figuring out the right draw weight with a scale. Here are the reasons for such recommendations:

  • Prevention of Injury

It takes considerable force to pull back the strings of a bow, and it's possible to experience some injuries when the draw weight is more than your physical capability. Remember that you will do a lot of bow drawing as you go about your archery practice. If, for instance, your physical stamina can only draw 55 pounds, drawing a heavier draw weight of 60 pounds over a long period can put a lot of pressure on your arms which can lead to muscle fatigue or other serious injuries in the long term. 

  • Ethical Reasons

When bowhunting, there are certain ethics you need to adhere to that are considered crucial. There are even laws that guide them in each state. One of them has to do with your draw weight

As stated earlier, your draw weight determines the power of your shots. While you’re out hunting, you want to make sure your shots deliver enough power to take your game down without making it suffer. If your shots have too little power, the arrows will bounce off the animal, but if it has too much power, you risk injuring the animal without killing it.

Each state has regulations on the minimum draw weight that is allowed. This site contains good resources to give you an idea of the minimum permitted poundage in your region.

  • Accuracy

As an archer, your bow, technique, and stamina greatly affect your performance. Drawing a heavier bow weight than you should places your shoulders under a lot of stress which can affect the stability and accuracy of your shots. It's, therefore, important to adjust your poundage to your capacity. 

This will allow you to draw the bow more comfortably so you can achieve your best performance. 

Final Thought

As excited as you are about snapping up that bow and letting the arrows fly, there are certain precautions to take. One of them that you can't ignore is bow draw weight, as it impacts your performance and safety as an archer.

A proper draw weight will enable you to shoot for longer periods and prevent muscle fatigue. Shooting with a draw weight that is too heavy for you will make it more difficult to shoot the bow, which can lead to bad habits that will reduce your shooting accuracy.

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