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How to paper tune a compound bow is mainly to analyze the arrows flight. In other words, it’s to make sure that all your accessories are aligning for your arrow to keep its straightness.
However, it is understood that the arrow has its own natural flex when you shot. It is really important to understand this element because some results will alter if you paper tune your bow at the wrong distances. To have a better idea of what is a natural flex, here is a video in slow motion showing what it is.
Basically, no matter which adjustment you will do, the arrow will have a nock tail rip or a snapshot due to its natural flex. For that reason, other techniques like bare shaft and walk back tuning would be complementing options for group testing arrows and most likely to give you more relevant result about your shots.
Those factors are important because any problems here will have an impact on all paper tuning results.
After checking that list you can start to build your paper tuning setup.
So what you will need to paper tune your bow is obviously your bow and some arrows, a frame that can hold paper for you to shoot through, a target behind and a shooting range or any place that allows you to shoot.
It is possible to DIY your own paper tuning system with newspapers as long as the paper is held rigidly by all four corners and high enough to shoot straight through it. The average height would be at chest height. There is also a do-it-yourself paper tuning kit made by .30-06 outdoors that provides a frame and paper to shoot through.
30-06 Paper Tune-It System PT-1 | Tuning Tool
Place your target backstop 5 feet beyond your paper tuning system at the same height, so the arrow can pass all the way through the paper before it hits the target. You have now a setup to paper tune your compound bow or any bow.
Next step, before doing any adjustments, take three shots through the paper to have your first impression of your arrow flight and your bow alignment at 3 different distances. If all shots show the same paper tears, then you know they are likely the result of issues with your bow, rather than your form.
After any adjustments, study the result and repeat the process of shooting a minimum of three arrows until you reach the wanted result.
First distance would be 5-6 feet to determine the alignment of your accessories;
Second distance would be 10-11 feet for the arrow itself (proper spine or not according to your bow setup);
Third distance would be about 15-20 feet for the decay of velocity and its impact on grouping;
Also called walk back tuning, those elements will help you to identify the possible issues of your bow or your form.
We also recommend shooting your arrows at different distances at a vertical line on a target because a bow in good horizontal tune should produce groups that align in the vertical as shown below.
Arrows should line up at all distances on the vertical line. If not, refer to the results obtained with your paper tuning system and make the proper adjustments.
When a bow is properly paper tuned, the arrows should be flying true as shown below.
Bullet hole, Nothing to change!
Let's see the possible problems that may be occurred when paper tuning. Remember to make vertical adjustments prior to horizontal adjustments to avoid getting a false reading due to vane clearance issues.
When you have perfect flight, you will have improved accuracy and arrow penetration for any circumstances.
Thank you for reading us! Do not hesitate to ask us if you have any questions or leave a comment below.