Top 5 Bow Upgrades That Make Your Old Bow New – By Patrick Meitin
Top 5 Bow Upgrades That Make Your Old Bow New – Here are five financially palatable ways you can make the bow you already own shoot better for the 2023 season.
5. New Arrows
Carbon arrow technology continues to advance, providing performance upgrades for any bow make and model. Woven carbon technology, from the likes of Victory Archery and others, helps arrows recover from launch paradox much faster, which translates into greater accuracy from any bow—and deeper penetration on game. New point-adaptor systems—Victory again a great example with their Shok Broadhead Adaptors—help boost F.O.C. balance for a more forgiving arrow that also improves accuracy. These systems do this while also improving component alignment and strengthening the front of the arrow during punishing hits. Victory also spine aligns every shaft to provide more consistent launch dynamics and impact—all shafts in a dozen grouping into the same spot.
Carbon Express, as another example, has introduced built-in Weight Forward and multi-spine construction that makes for more forgiving arrow shafts with improved launch and in-flight dynamics that helps broadheads—most especially—fly straighter while also proving more forgiving of small shooting bobbles or light deflections.
Also consider investing in a higher grade arrow, one with +/- .001-inch straightness tolerances instead of .006-inch, for example, and seek arrows that are weight matched to within .5- to 1-grain per dozen. Both factors provide more consistent accuracy. Sure, these arrows may cost $50 to $75 a dozen more than lesser arrows, but in the big picture, that small upgrade price is worth every penny, while also giving archers elevated confidence they are shooting the very best. Confidence alone is priceless.
4. New Arrow Rest
Perhaps nowhere has technology advanced in the accessories we add to our bows more than the modern arrow rest. This is especially true of today’s advanced drop-away rests. Early drop-aways were once notorious for tricky adjustments, a tendency to creep out of tune, and sometimes heavier mass. That is a thing of the past, as better materials and engineering has made them lighter, bulletproof reliable and easier to set up.
The biggest advantage to installing the latest drop-away rest is arrow security before and during the shot, and a vastly more forgiving nature. Sure, early total containment rests offered absolute arrow security, but at the cost of tip-to-nock arrow contact during every shot. Any slight bobble or bad habits such as “peeking” or dropping the bow arm during launch was directly telegraphed into the arrow during launch, eroding accuracy without perfectly thorough follow-through. There was also some small amount of accuracy upset via fletching contact just before the arrow was set free.
A solid drop-away rest remains in contact with the arrow shaft 50 to 70 percent less time after the cut-away. This means shooters are given 30 to 50 percent less time to introduce human error, as the launcher drops and clears the way for the arrow to pass. Drop-aways also allow the use of more aggressive fletchings, be that larger vanes, more applied helical, or four-fletch arrangements, which always offers more arrow control, especially when shooting fixed-blade broadheads.
3. New Sight
Top 5 Bow Upgrades That Make Your Old Bow New – If your bow sight is more than 5 or 6 years old, odds are you are missing out on a lot of accuracy-boosting potential. First, fiber-optic-backed pins allow finer more confident aiming, without the need to focus on the pin itself. A bright aiming point allows easily looking “through” the sight pin while mentally burning a hole through that fine spot where you want your arrow to impact.
The newest sight offerings are also more precise, easier to sight in and fine tune, and offer foolproof lockdowns, so a sighted bow stays that way despite thousands of shots or the hard knocks common to hard-core bowhunting. Round pin guards/sight apertures sporting bright or luminescent peep alignment rings also allow faster target acquisition and shot centering, while also making it easier to detect micro torque while at full draw. That more precise alignment eliminates those frustrating left/right and elevation misses.
Dovetail extension bars, multi-pin movers and lighter construction also factor. Adjustable sight bars—or those with multiple attachment hole options—allow more easily fitting a round pin guard into a round peep for finer alignment. Multi-pin movers give shooters the ability for instant reaction to the most common ranges—say 20 through 40 yards—while also providing the ability to dial longer shots more precisely. Finally, lighter construction means less side torque while at full draw, allowing full concentration on aiming and executing a technically perfect shot instead of fighting to keep a bow plumb while at full draw.
2. Add Stabilizer & Wrist Sling
Many bowhunters shun effective stabilizers because they add weight, are perceived to be more cumbersome in tight quarters, or because they might snag on brush while stalking or pulling a bow into a treestand. Yet these are but minor factors when compared to the huge advantages provided. A quality active stabilizer—one including shock-absorbing/dampening qualities—offers a couple benefits for the bowhunter. First, they soak up residual vibration and noise, making any bow quieter and more pleasant to shoot.
Additionally, they introduce better balance and stability to any bow. Bow balance is vitally important to accuracy. A bow that sits up straight and on the level in the hand is much easier to shoot well than one you are consciously fighting from tipping or canting. Good balance allows concentrating wholly on the shot. Think of stability like a tight-rope walkers balance pole. An adequate stabilizer—something measuring 8 to 10 inches (longer is acceptable)—makes it easier to hold steady on target while aiming and helps introduce automatic and more thorough follow-through after release, which both translate into improved accuracy.
Top 5 Bow Upgrades That Make Your Old Bow New – The wrist sling does nothing more than encourage a proper loose cradling of the bow grip during the shot and alleviates the subconscious fear of dropping the bow after release. Any pressure applied to the bow during the shot, especially snatching the grip during release, introduces torque that can push arrows astray.
1. Install New Strings
A good set of custom bowstrings and buss cables from companies like GAS Bowstrings, America’s Best Bowstrings, Zebra Bowstrings, and the like can breath new life into any bow. Old strings will no doubt show the scars of a lot of shooting and field wear. Frayed strings showing fuzzy areas, serving or end-loop separation, or simply a string set that has endured thousands of shots can directly affect accuracy. Peeps may no longer come up square to the eye at full draw, requiring a nose nudge and costing you precious seconds when shooting at game.
The best custom bowstrings employ the latest materials from cutting-edge suppliers such as BCY Fibers, are built under tension to better seat fiber bundles and eliminate break-in stretch, and hold quality center servings and end loop wraps that do not separate to potentially change the fine tuning of your bow. The best run from $150 to $200 a set, but will last for years and make any bow shoot its best, making for a sound investment.
Read about pre-season tuning tips here