How to Shoot Further with your Recurve Bow

Finding it difficult to reach those longer outdoor distances with a recurve style bow? Well there are things you can do without spending a fortune on new limbs and new arrows. Let’s have a look at what you can change on your bow to shoot further.

Sight Marks

If you have a sight move your sight down to reach a longer distance, if you are already at the bottom of your sight or very close to hitting your arrow when it’s on the arrow rest the next thing to try is bringing your sight arm in towards the bow. This will produce a less exact shot but the more you bring it in towards the bow the higher your arrows will travel.


Now let’s look at your string. If you are shooting a cheap string, or are using an old string buy a new one. The difference in sight marks is incredible on a new fast string. Look at Nitro or Reign strings made of 8190 or 8125 strings. Also too many strands in the string will also slow down the string, so make sure you buy a string with the correct number of strands in it.

Nock Points

If you are using metal nock points remove them and change them to thread nock points. Having metal nock points on your string slows it down. Thread will increase the speed of the string which will send your arrows out faster. There are lots of YouTube videos on how to tie them on yourself.

Arrow Rest

Now onto the arrow rest, if you are using a plastic arrow rest like a Hoyt Super Rest change it to a metal arrow rest. Again plastic arrow rests will slow down the arrow leaving your bow.

Brace Height

Check your brace height is set correctly. This is altered by adding or removing twists in your string. Look in your manufacturer’s guide book that came with your riser for recommended values. If the bracing height is increased then when the bow is drawn the arrow is drawn less against the string and so there will be less energy stored in the bow.


Let’s talk arrows. If you are shooting fat indoor arrows outside they are going to slow down and have more drag than a skinnier arrow. They are also going to be affected a lot more by the wind. Think about buying some new arrows. You don’t have to buy new, look on Ebay for second hand arrows. You can also buy some versions singularly and don’t always have to buy sets of 8 or 12. A very popular outdoor arrow is the Easton ACC arrow.


Finally, your limbs, you don’t have to go out and purchase new limbs you may be able to increase your draw weight on your current limbs by turning the bolts inwards. If you are going to do this make sure you give both the top and bottom limbs the same number of turns. I usually put a pencil line down both bolts so I can tell how much or how many turns I have made on the bolts. Increasing the draw weight means more power launching that arrow.


Hopefully trying some of these changes will allow you to shoot further. Each change may make a small difference, but if you combine a number of these changes you could see anywhere from a 1 to 2 cm change in your sight marks.

How to make an archery shot trainer (Formaster)

Archery shot trainers and Formasters have been around a while and are not a new thing, but they can be expensive to buy at around £20+. I have managed to make my own archery shot trainer for around £4 each.

What you will need:

• Scissors
• Hammer
• Soldering Iron (optional)
Grommet/Eyelit Kit from eBay UK (£4) or Grommet/Eyelit Kit from US
• Eyelits/Grommets (£2)
Nylon Webbing (2.5mm wide) from eBay UK (£3) or Nylon Webbing (2.5mm wide) from US
Paracord 550 1m length from eBay UK (£1) or Paracord 550 1m length from US

I purchased all my bits from eBay UK, the links above will take you directly to the search results on eBay.

There is also a video I produced on How to Make an Archery Shot Trainer on YouTube.

Depending on which of the two designs you decide to make, you will either cut a single length of webbing to 80cm or 2x40cm lengths. Below is an image of the 2x40cm lengths.

archery shot trainer partsNow punch the holes in the webbing for the grommets. You can do this by either using the hole punch that comes with the grommet kit or use a hot implement like a soldering iron to make a big enough hole for the grommet(s) to go through. You could always heat a piece of metal on the stove/hob to burn a hole through the webbing. Whilst you have the hot piece of metal, heat the ends of the webbing that were cut so that the ends do not fray and unravel.

Now attach the grommets/eyelits to the webbing holes and secure in place with your grommet kit and hammer.
Next take the paracord and half it in length and tie a knot at one end. Next thread the paracord through the eyelits, and knot the paracord again around the grommets. This should leave you an un-knotted end that will loop around your bow string.

homemade formasters archery shot trainerAdjust the length of the paracord depending upon your draw length. When the paracord is attached to your string leave about 1 inch between the string of your bow and your finger tab. Doing this will make sure that when you fire any arrows they will not go further than around 2m. Any longer and your arrows will fly further.

Make sure you do NOT dry fire your bow. The weak spot in the train will be the grommet area, make sure this is securely in place. The responsibility of this build is firmly with you, I cannot be held responsible for anything that goes wrong with your bow when following this build.


There is also a video I produced on How to Make an Archery Shot Trainer on YouTube.

Archery Tip 2 – Target Pin Alternatives

In this video I show you a quick tip on archery target pin alternatives, just in case you don’t have any archery pins to hand. Watch and find out what this simple tip is.

Archery Tip 2 – Target Pin Alternatives

Archery Tip 1 – Improve lifetime of your layered foam target

In this video I show you a quick tip on how to make your layered foam archery target last longer. No, it’s not shooting at it, or keeping it indoors. Watch and find out what this simple tip is.

Archery Tip 1 – Improve lifetime of your layered foam target

Brace Height Basics

A taller brace height will:

1. Increase draw weight
2. Decrease arrow speed
3. Soften the dynamic spine of the arrow

A shorter brace height will:

1. Decrease draw weight
2. Increase arrow speed
3. Stiffen the dynamic spine of the arrow

Find out what brace height you are happy with by testing your bow at various brace heights. Check your riser and limb manufacturers user manual to find out what brace heights they recommend.

Amend your brace height by adding or removing twists to/from your bow string.

Measure your brace height by using a bow square. Place the bow square at the throat position of your handle on your riser (the thinnest part of your grip) and read the measurement shown on the bow square where the string meets the bow square.

How To Wind in Recurve Riser Limb Bolts

If you want to increase your poundage and up your draw weight then wind in your limbs bolts, if you want to decrease your poundage and lower your draw weight then wind out your limb bolts on your riser.

In this video I use a pencil to mark the bolt, as I like to only give the bolt a half turn or full turn so I can easily remember what I have done and do the same to the other bolt so they are equal.

Remember to tighten the bolts and check the bolts are fixed in place, because sometimes you can tighten underneath with the Allen key and then find out the bolt still moves. That sometimes happens on my Hoyt riser.

Find more archery videos on my archery video page.