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Thread: Do bows/bowsights lose their zero?

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Do bows/bowsights lose their zero?

    My compound bow impact point has moved up and left...over 4 mos or so. The bowsight and rest do not have any loose fittings and had held zero pretty true until 4 months ago, when I noticed it hitting an inch high and left (20 yds). In September, it was hitting 2" high and left, then I traveled with the bow, so figure it got bonked because now impact is 4" high and left. I plan to just adjust the bowsight, but wondered:

    1. Does point-of-impact change with ambient temperatures? I don't recall noticing any difference last winter when I shot outdoors regularly.
    2. Or do bows settle-in for some reason? It's 3 years old. I treat the bowstring with silicone about every 6 outings. Shouldn't be a string problem, should it?

    How long do bow strings last with reasonable care?

    Thanks.

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    ok, if the sights didn't get knocked around, then it is probably your shooting form.
    Lots of things to think about:
    Which ever hand is holding the bow, is your grip relaxed? If not, you could be torqueing the bow one way or another.
    Is you anchor point the EXACT same every time?
    I am assuming you are using a release, otherwise, that could be an issue there as well.

    What has probably happened is you changed your shooting form just a little and now are consistant with that change, thus the impact point has changed, yet is still consistant.
    this usually happens to me after I have put the bow down for a few months, then start shooting again. I need someone who is familiar with shooting a bow to watch my form, tell me my mistakes. I seem to be able to fix the mistakes, and am back where i used to be!

    Just my $.02

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    I agree with TBLOOMA in that the most obvious reason would be shooting form, assuming no other changes were made, such as new arrows, different broadheads/field points etc. That being said, I wouldn't necessarily rule out a problem with your bowstring. Servings and nocking points have been known to slip, which could account for a change in the impact point. Also, if the serving on either end of the string where it's anchored to the bow/cam has slipped a bit, the cams won't be synchronized and the bow won't shoot properly.

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    It seems logical that you might have some stetching of the string as well as the other possible issues contributing to changes over time. Everything streches at least a bit over time, especially if it is constantly in tension as the bow string is. If there is any differential stretch, where one half had a very slight difference in length compared to the other, it would throw off your elevation and could effect your horizontal depending on the bow setup.

    What you experienced is a good reminder to continually practice and to make sure you and your bow are still hitting the same target. We all need to keep this in mind.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Strings stretch and limbs eventually suffer from set (although with modern limb materials it takes an eon) but usually drift is all shooter.

    If you take a month or more off and then go shoot you'll most likely see a change in point-of-impact. Get loose and warmed up and back into the groove of the old muscle memory first...then mess with your sights.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    Strings stretch and limbs eventually suffer from set (although with modern limb materials it takes an eon) but usually drift is all shooter.

    If you take a month or more off and then go shoot you'll most likely see a change in point-of-impact. Get loose and warmed up and back into the groove of the old muscle memory first...then mess with your sights.
    Exactly what I was thinking, I hadn't picked up my bow before this summer for about a year or so, but it had safely sat in it's case. I started shooting ok groups but high and left. Left the sights as is and just started shooting, thinking about exactly those things mentioned, consistent anchor point, and a lose bow hand....30 arrows later I had "magically" migrated back to the bullseye.

    This had happened to me before and then I spent a month chasing my sights around the target and they usually end up where they started in the first place.

    Not to say something couldn't have happened mechanically, but I'd go with the posters here that it's more form than anything...plus, an inch off ain't bad, you might miss a squirrel but are well within a minute of deer/moose/ etc.

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default L, i b ...

    Well, thanks for the tips - and much of the prob appears to have been my form.

    After reading your suggestions, I jumped out to shoot a few arrows while concentrating on my form. Making no other adjustments, focusing on my bow grip and anchor point - all arrows lined up on target. All of the lateral skew was corrected. Amazin. After having opened my stance up some to accomodate winter layers, I had also gradually fudged my anchor point from the center to the left edge of the tip of my nose. Could have been something going on with my bow grip too, but all seems cleared up now.

    Still got some spread up and down - but the light was failing at sunset. I'll get out again to shoot soon but really appreciate you guys' tips. Thank you.

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    Anchor point is a tricky one and i think takes more conscious effort than other muscle memory aspects of archery. I shoot fingers (just two below the nock to avoid pinch) and my bow is old enough that there is no "wall" to speak of. I got a tip from my cousin who shoots the bigg time stuff, he draws back with the anchor being his middle finger at the corner of his mouth, then puts his thumb behind his neck to help minimize "creep". When I started doing it years ago I found instant improvement in my shots wandering around, but still have to think about it sometimes when I shoot. Never shot a release but I'm sure there's some measure within them that can allow for the same sort of thing.

    Glad you're back on track. It will happen again I'm sure, but don't let it frustrate you...too much At least now you know the answer more or less and won't be that guy on the range that always has allen wrenches in his pocket.

    I wonder what the trad guys do....that's gotta be tough when you're mojo gets off.

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    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    P.S. -
    Thumb behind the neck as an anchor point is a common rookie error resulting from shooting a bow that is much too long in the draw!

    NOT a preferred method, but I'm sure someone has success with it.

    Taylor

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Taylor View Post
    P.S. -
    Thumb behind the neck as an anchor point is a common rookie error resulting from shooting a bow that is much too long in the draw!

    NOT a preferred method, but I'm sure someone has success with it.

    Taylor

    -[]--------->
    Well, I know one rookie that can count two national chamionships with it. nah nah na boo boo.

    So, Marc, what is YOUR helpful suggestion regarding anchor point for shooters.......I'm not sayin who's right or wrong, but would like to hear your thoughts on the topic.

    Or, perhaps the method I mention works poorly for those with thick necks and short fingers? (of which I have neither)

    I find with this method my string arm is anchored in the same position, and the thumb on the back of the neck is an indication that I have reached full and consistent draw, and it also keeps my hand near my face so I don't pluck the string. Tip of middle finger comfortably placed at the corner of my mouth every time. But always room for edumacation.

    Enlighten me.

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    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    Okay, there's at least two shooters who prefer their thumb on the back of their neck during a shot. You got me.

    Taylor

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    Things will change,Mostly the string, not as bad as old days with the new material used now. If it stretches will change nock point,if that changes the tune of bow will suffer too,no only your up and down, but could be sending the arrow hard into the rest would change left right also. Also the use of a kisser button could help you anch point..If were me, Paper tune bow, Easten guide has book on this,Once that is done reset sights.Now that everything is order,take measurements of everything,Brace height, where nock is,Axle to axle,And mark the cams to see if they return to exact same point.If park that bow, for months, back off the limb bolts.Leave yourself a note to what you have done.Form is everything,no matter your anchor, thumb, ect.. as long as it done the same each every time.Thats the most important part,Sorry Marc, have to agree with Catch it.To say rookie error, with the thumb, pretty broad statement. Don,t want anybody else to think there in the trash can if they shoot that way. Ive, been at this40+ yr,s Hold the state record in Field FSL, and i to shoot with my thumb on my behind my neck. Everybody has there own way, And you have to practice, practice.This also important. I know people. Don,t touch there bow until the hunt arrives, and pissed because they can,t hit what there shooting at. My 2 cents P.S. Three now must hit reply same time

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SusitnaAk View Post
    Things will change,Mostly the string, not as bad as old days with the new material used now. If it stretches will change nock point,if that changes the tune of bow will suffer too,no only your up and down, but could be sending the arrow hard into the rest would change left right also. Also the use of a kisser button could help you anch point..If were me, Paper tune bow, Easten guide has book on this,Once that is done reset sights.Now that everything is order,take measurements of everything,Brace height, where nock is,Axle to axle,And mark the cams to see if they return to exact same point.If park that bow, for months, back off the limb bolts.Leave yourself a note to what you have done.Form is everything,no matter your anchor, thumb, ect.. as long as it done the same each every time.... And you have to practice, practice.This also important. I know people. Don,t touch there bow until the hunt arrives, and pissed because they can,t hit what there shooting at. My 2 cents P.S. Three now must hit reply same time
    The best thing about this thread was all the problems saved just re-examining my form first!
    Although the learning curve is shorter with compound bows in some ways, the tuning can be complicated.

    Two helpful books for tuning for beginners have been On Target Tuning for Your Compound Bow, by Larry Wise (http://www.amazon.com/Target-Tuning-...sr=8-1-catcorr) and Lon Lauber's book Bowhunter's Guide to Accurate Shooting (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...QA1Y5TMVT7N3E1)

    Glad I asked first though. Good advice from all. Thanks.

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    Member SusitnaAk's Avatar
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    Easton tune guide, Pfd download, hit print, free..
    http://www.eastonarchery.com/pdf/tuning_guide.pdf

  15. #15

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    Get in the habit of video taping yourself while shooting. Make sure to tape from various positions and shoot different yardages. You'll learn allot about how you shoot and how differences in your stance, breathing, etc. change your accuracy. Be sure to keep your video logs and date them.. if you ever take a break, a review or two can assist you in regaining your accuracy.
    "He should have been packing a more powerful gun...you have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum." - Rick Sinnott, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist after a double attack by a grizzly.

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