Reference Material

The internet is a great source of material on archery.  The links below are just a few of the documents some members have found useful:

Reference Guide for Recurve Archers

Recurve Equipment

Archery On-Line Bibliography

Technical Archery - a technical analysis of arrows, trajectories and the influnce of various factors.  Includes some useful Excel spreadsheets and a PC application to measure approximate arrow speed.

Arrow Speed Calculator - estimates arrow speed for recurve and compound bows based on sight settings.

Crossbow Bolt Data - chart of arrow drop and kinetic energy for a selection of crossbow sizes.


Archery Terms

Ace arrow
A brand of arrows manufactured by Easton Aluminum being made of aluminum and carbon fiber
The term given to the aiming of the bow
Archery Manufacturers Organization (based in the USA) which sets manufacturing standards for archery equipment
Anchor Point
The term used to describe the placing of the hand against the face when at full draw
Archers Paradox
The name given to the side-to-side bending motion of an arrow as it leaves the bow
Archery Australia
The national archery association of Australia
Arm Guard
Protection worn on the forearm designed to the arm from the bowstring
Arrow rest
A device mounted on the bow window just above the bow shelf designed to support the arrow during the shot
Axle to Axle Length
This refers to the length of a compound bow which is measured between the axles e.g. 42”
Back of Bow
The side of the bow away from the archer when the bow is drawn
Back Tension
The use of the scapular (shoulder blades) and back muscles to draw and release the bow
Belly of Bow
The side of the bow facing the archer when the bow is drawn
A brand of Carbon arrows

Blank Shaft Test
A method of bow tuning where unfletched adjustment are made by comparing the positions arrows, commonly used on recurve archers.
An arrow rebounding from the target butt when shot.
Bow Arm
The arm which holds the bow
Bow hand
The hand which holds the bow
Bow Length
Indicates the length of recurve and longbows this is usually marked on the bow by the manufacturer e.g. 68”
Bow Sight
The device fitted to the bow enabling the archer to aim at the target.
Bow Sling
A piece or leather or string fits around the wrist and between the fingers during shooting. It allows the archer to keep a relaxed grip and helps prevent the bow from falling to the ground after release
Bow stand
A device used safely to support the bow when not in use
Bow string
The string of the bow usually made of Dacron or a non stretch material
Bow stringer
A device used to string and unstring recurve bows with safety.
Bow weight
This refers to actual bow weight, which may vary from the weight marked on the bow due to your draw length. Most recurve and longbows are weight at 28” draw. Drawing more or less then 28” will vary the bow weight. The best method to check bow weight is to use a scale. If a scale is not available you can estimate the bow weight by taking the marked bow weight and divide it by 20. Multiply the answer by the number of inches the draw length differs from 28”. Next subtract (for under 28”) or add (if greater then 28”) the calculated amount from the marked bow weight. Because of the large amount of adjustment available to compound bows the only way to determine bow weight of a compound is to use a bow scale
Bow Weight Markings
The weight marking on a bow provide an indication as to the draw weight of a bow. The weight of a bow for recurve and longbows is measured 28” from the back of the bow. Some Asian manufacturers measure the weight of bows using a measurement of 26” from the pivot point. Compound bows are marked based on the peak weight with the bow set at the middle of its draw length range. As you vary the draw length of most compound bows you change the bow weight, usually by increasing draw length you increase bow weight and by decreasing draw length you decrease bow weight. To better catalog and control stock, some manufacturers group bows in predetermined weight ranges e.g. a bow marked 35lb could be a heavy as 38lb or as light as 33lb.
Bow Window
The cut off of the bow handle which Is usually cut on or past center to allow clearance of the arrow
The name given to an archer
The name given to a person who makes bows
To string the bow
Brace Height
Term used to describe the measurement between the bow handle (grip) and the string measured at right angle, also called Fistmele
An old term used to describe an armguard
Bulge point
A type of point that is larger in diameter then the arrow shaft. It is designed to prevent arrow wear and to allow easier removal of the arrow from the target butt.
Describes the material or backing used to stop an arrow upon which a target face is attached. Also can be called buttress, boss or matt.
Buzz Cable
The name of the cables used on compound bows.
Made of either metal or non stretch string material used on compound bows
The eccentric wheels used on compound bows providing additional performance due to there radical design
Tilting the bow left or right from the vertical when at full draw
Carbon Fibre
A modern material used in bow limbs and arrows shafts
Carbon Tech
Refers to a brand of all carbon arrows.
The term used fairly loosely, which could mean the speed imparted to the arrow, the distance at which the bow will shoot or the degree of flatness of the arrows trajectory.
Center Shot
The term used to describe setting up the arrow so it is positioned in the true center of the bow (recurve) or the dynamic centre of a compound bow. Adjustable arrow rests and plungers buttons are used to adjust center shot
Competition where archers shoot arrows into the air attempting to score using a target laid on the ground. Also an old English word for “cloth”, small white flag or circular target for long distance shooting.
Composite bow
A bow made of more than one material such as wood, fiberglass and metal
Compound Bow
A modern style of bow incorporating the use of wheels or cams
Allowing the arrow to move forward while at full draw and before release
Identifying marks or pattern on the arrow, usually positioned in front of the fetches.
A crossbow is a weapon consisting of a bow mounted on a stock that shoots projectiles. A mechanism in the stock holds the bow in its fully-drawn position until it is shot by releasing a trigger. Crossbows played a significant role in the warfare of North Africa, Europe and Asia. Crossbows are used today primarily for target shooting and sport hunting. More information at Wikipedia:
Dead Release
The term used to describe a release without any motion. Usually occurs when the inter-phalangeal joints of the fingers gripping the bowstring extend due to the kinetic energy of the bow instead of any muscular reaction
Describes the design of a bow handle with a forward grip.
Director of Shooting
The person responsible for the conduct of a competition or shoot
Dominant Eye
The master eye used for aiming
The process of moving the bowstring with a nocked arrow from brace height to the archer’s anchor point on the face
Draw Weight
The weight measured in pounds required to draw a bow. For recurve and longbows the measurement used is 28” e.g 36lb @28”. The bow weight of compound bows is the maximum weight achieved when drawing the bow, this position will vary depending upon draw length and cam/wheel design
Drawing Arm
The arm used to draw the bow
Drawing Hand
The hand used to draw the bow
The movement of an arrow while in flight due to crosswinds
Dynamic Spine
Dynamic spine (also called Column Load) describes the amount an arrow bends when the string is first released and the bow’s stored energy is applied to the arrow. The amount the arrow bends is determined by a number of factors and can be varied using these factors. Factors that will affect dynamic spine are – shaft length, point weight, weight of shaft, weight of nock and weight of fletches. Weight added to the front of a shaft reduces the spine while weight added to the rear of the shaft increase spine. Shortening an arrow shaft increases stiffness and using longer shaft decreases stiffness. The heavier a shaft is in physical weight decreases the stiffness; a lighter shaft (physical weight) will increase stiffness.
Easton is the principle manufacturer of aluminum arrows. Sizes are identified with 4 numbers, which are etched onto each shaft. The first 2 numbers indicate the outside diameter in 64th of an inch. The second 2 numbers indicate the shaft wall thickness in thousandths of an inch. Example 1816 is 18/64” in diameter with a .016” or 16 thousandth of a wall thickness
Eccentric Wheel
The wheel or cam used on compound bows
A term used to describe the number of arrows shot before the score is recorded, an end is usually made up of 6 or 3 arrows
The printed coloured paper or cloth attached to the butt for scoring
Field Captain
The old name for a person in change of an archery tournament, the modern term is Director of Shooting (DOS)
Field of Play
The designated shooting area.
Finger Sling
A piece or leather or string with loops at each end and is designed to fit around the archer’s thumb and index finger during shooting. It allows the archer to keep a relaxed grip and helps prevent the bow from falling to the ground after release
Finger Tab
A device usually made of leather worn on the fingers for protection
Old term used to describe the measurement between the bow handle (grip) and the string measured at right angle, also called Brace Height
The international archery federation, Federation Internationale DeTir a L’Arc
The term used to describe the vanes (plastic or feather) placed on the rear of the arrow to stabilize the arrow in flight
Flight Shooting
An archery event where the object is to obtain the greatest distance from an arrow
An undesired and sudden motion of the bow arm and or drawing hand prior to or at release. Usually created by a loss of concentration or the anticipation of the shot
Flu Flu
A special arrow with large or spiraled fletching designed to increase the drag coefficient in order to shorten the distance the arrow can travel
Follow Through
The act of holding the release position until the arrow has struck the target
Forced Draw Curve
A graph showing the increase in bow weight as the bow is draw to full draw
Gap Shooting
An aiming technique whereby the archer estimates the distance (gap) between a selected point and the target.
The name for the center of an archery target
Gold Shyness
The term used to describe the archers inability to aim on the centre of the target. Usually caused by a lack of confidence or fear of performing poorly a common problem experienced in archery.
The position on the bow handle where the bow is held or the term used to describe holding the bow.
Ground Quiver
A quiver used to hold arrows and sometime the bow which sits on the ground.
The proximity of the end of arrows in the target after they have been shot
The middle section of a bow also can be called the riser
Hanging Arrow
An arrow, which has not penetrated the butt but held by the target face, the arrow hanging across the target.
Placing excessive pressure on the bow grip buy the palm of the hand
The term used to describe the spiral method of attaching fetches to an arrow, helical fletching is intended to cause the arrow to spin in flight.
The term which describes an arrow which has embedded into one of the scoring areas of a target face
The pause between drawing and release where the aiming process takes place.
Index Fletch
For recurve and longbows the feather or vane at right angle to the groove in the nock of the arrow, usually a different colour. The index fletch points out from the bow and allows for a clean path for the arrow past the bow upon release. This term replaces the older term “cock fletch”
Instinctive Shooting
The term used to describe a shooting method without the aid of a sighting device
FLETCHING - A tool used for making or repairing fletches on an arrow. STRING – A device used for making bowstrings
Kisser Button
Small attachment on the string usually felt by the lips at full draw and made of plastic, helps with consistency in draw and elevation
Let Down
The act of slowly releasing tension at full draw without releasing the arrow
Let Off
The term used to describe the reduction in weight when a compound bows is drawn past the peak weight and the cam/wheel turn over
The flexible upper and lower parts of the bow which bend when the bow is drawn
Long Bow
A old style simply bow with straight limbs
bow that is tall (roughly equal to the height of a person who uses it), is not significantly recurved and has relatively narrow limbs, that are circular or D-shaped in cross section. It will normally allow its user a fairly long draw, to the ear or further. Organizations which run archery competitions have set out formal definitions for the various classes; many definitions of the longbow (see links section) would exclude some medieval examples, materials, and techniques of use. By most modern definitions, the English longbow is made so that its thickness is at least 5/8 of its width, and is widest at the handle. Longbows have been used for hunting and warfare, by many cultures around the world, a famous example being the English longbow, during the Middle Ages. More information at Wikipedia:
The English term used to describe the release
Mass Weight
The physical weight of the bow
The plastic attachment on the rear of the arrow which allows the arrow to be attached to the string
Nock Taper
The taper at the rear of some arrows which is designed to allow the nocks to be glued onto the shaft
Nocking Point
The position on the string where the arrow locates usually identified with 2 small attachments
Open Stance
The position of the feet on the shooting line, where the leg furthest from the shooting line is a half to a whole foot in front of the other one
An archer shooting a bow, which is too heavy in draw weight for their ability.
Term used to describe either drawing a bow past the usual draw length position. Or an attachment fitted with the arrow rest or a particular type of arrow rest that allows the archer to shoot shorter arrows giving greater arrow speed.
A bow with a brace height which is too high
Paper Test
A method of bow tuning where arrows are shot through paper adjustments are made by reviewing the teat patterns, commonly used for tuning compound bows.
The term used to describe the flight path of an arrow or the curve shape of fletches.
Pass Through
The term used to describe an arrow passing through a target butt. These usually happen when the butt is worn and does not have enough material to stop an arrow.
Peak Weight
The maximum weight achieved when drawing a compound bow
An undesired movement of the archer’s head at the time of release in an attempt to follow the arrow trajectory to the target
Peep Sight
Rear sight fitted into the bowstring and used with compound bows.
Perfect End
Shooting 6 arrows in the 10 ring
A term used to describe the point of the arrow, usually refers to a target point
The undesired action of squeezing the arrow nock tightly between the fingers during draw of at full draw causing the arrow to move (fall) off the arrow rest
Pivot Point
The pivot point is the deepest part of the bow grip where the bow normally rests and pivots against your bow hand
Undesired forced sideway motion of the drawing hand and arm from the face upon release as a result of little or no tension
An adjustable, spring loaded button used to adjust the fall of shot on a recurve bow.

Point of Aim
A method of aiming where you use mark on the ground or a position on or near the target to aim
Powder Test
A test carried out using spray powder to check for arrow clearance. The powder is sprayed on the bow window and arrow rest, as the arrow is shot if there is any problem with clearance a mark will show in the powder. Appropriate adjustments can then be made.
Power Stroke
This is a term used for compound bows and the refers to the bow string forward movement the brace height and the true draw length
This is a term used for compound bows and the refers to the bow string forward movement the brace height and the true draw length
From the French word “Cuivre” a container for holding arrows. Usually worn around the waist.
An arrow which does not penetrate the target face or butt and bounces off the target
A recurve bow is a form of bow defined by the side-view profile; in contrast to the simple longbow, a recurve bow has tips that curve away from the archer when the bow is unstrung. By one technical definition, the difference between recurve and other bows is that the string touches sections of the limbs of recurve bows when the bow is strung. A recurve bow stores more energy than an equivalent straight-limbed bow, giving a greater amount of cast to the arrow. A recurve will permit a shorter bow than the simple bow for a given arrow energy and this form was preferred by archers in environments where long weapons could be cumbersome, such as in brush and forest terrain, or while on horseback. By contrast, the traditional straight longbow tends to "stack"—that is, the required draw force increases more rapidly per unit of draw length as the string is drawn back. Recurved limbs also put greater strain on the materials used to make the bow, and they may make more noise with the shot. Extreme recurve may make the bow unstable when being strung. An unstrung recurve bow can have a confusing shape and many Native American weapons were incorrectly strung backwards and destroyed when attempts were made to shoot them. More information at Wikipedia:
Recurve Bow
A bow made manufactured so the limbs bend toward the target to increase power when the bow is released
The act of releasing (letting go) the bow string when at full draw and allow the arrow to fly toward the target
Release Aid
A mechanical device for releasing the string, usually used with compound bows
The Regional Governing Bodies of the sport in Australia, Archery NSW, Archery ACT, Archery Victoria, Archery Society of Tasmania, Archery SA, Archery Society of WA, North Queensland Archery Association and South Queensland Archery Association.
The middle section of a bow also can be called the handle
The term use to designate the number of arrows to be shot at specific distances at specific target face.
Arrows distributed unevenly over a large portion of the target face and / or ground
Scope Sight
The magnified sight used for compound bows.
Self Bow
A bow made entirely of one piece of wood, as opposed to a composite bow
The protective thread wrapped (bound) around the bowstring at the tips and in the center where the arrow is nocked
The protective thread wrapped (bound) around the bowstring at the tips and in the center where the arrow is nocked
Shooting Glove
A three finger protective device used to protect the fingers from the bowstring instead of a finger tab
Shooting Line
The line straddled by the archers when shooting
Sight Level
The bubble level used in conjunction with the scope sight for compound bows.
Sight Window
The cut out section (usually past center) of the bow handle (riser) which has the arrow rest fitted and allows for clearance for the arrow
The amount of bend (deflection) of an arrow measured in thousands of an inch when it is depressed by a 2 pound weight at its center
Rod / s protruding from the handle (riser) usually with weights attached. Designed to reduce torque and absorb shock upon release
For recurve and longbows this is the disproportionate increase in bow weight during the last few inches of the draw
Static SpinE
Describes a method of categorizing the stiffness of arrow shafts. Static spine is measured using a spine meter and determines the amount of deflection (bend) a shaft has when suspended between 2 points and then has an 880gram weight (approx 2 pound) hung from the center. The measurement is taken in thousandths of an inch. Some arrow shafts like ACE’s use this measurement to identify the shaft size e.g.: ACE 670 indicates that the arrow has a deflection of 670 thousandths of an inch. To standardize these measurements aluminum and carbon shafts are measured using a 29” shaft with the 2 points of contact 28” apart. For wood shafts the 2 contact points are 26” apart.
String Fingers
The fingers of the drawing hand used to hold and release the string
String Length
For recurve bows the length of a bow string is determined by subtracting 3” from the marked bow length e.g. a 66” bow requires a 63” string
String Notch
The groves at the end of the limb of recurve and longbows where the string attaches
The term used to describe archery equipment
Target Face
The coloured paper or cloth placed on a target butt and used for scoring
Target Panic
The term used to describe the archers inability to come to full draw and aim on the centre of the target. Usually caused by a lack of confidence or fear of performing poorly a common problem experienced in archery and results in uncontrolled release of the arrow.
Another name for a point of the arrow
The undesired twisting of the bow and / or bowstring during any part of the shooting process
From the Greek, one who practices archery and is interested in all its aspects, including its history
The parabolic flight pattern of an arrow following release
The process of setting up the equipment for maximum performance and accuracy.
A bow with a bowstring too long which results in a low brace height and reduced efficiency
The reduction in weight during the draw process of a compound bow
The name for plastic or synthetic fletches.
Walk back Test
A bow-tuning test where arrows are shot at various distance and the pattern of arrows provides an indication as to adjustments that need to be made.
Wheel Timing
A term used for compound bows to describe the balance between the wheel / cams. Ideally the wheels/cams should rotate (be in time) the same during the draw and most critically at full-draw. If the wheels/cams are out of time at full draw the will cause an up and down motion on the nock of the arrow upon release. Difficulty will also be experienced holding the sight steady when at full draw.
X10 Arrow
All Easton X10 shafts are made from one size of aluminum core tube. The aluminum tube is identified the same as an aluminum shaft e.g. 906 (9/64” in diameter and .006” in wall thickness). The shaft
Unstable action of the arrow during its flight