How to string a recurve bow -The Best Guide You Need

The curved tips at any end of the bow are what make the recurve bow easy to spot. The design raises the speed of the bow while easing out the release.

The recurve bow is famous for the use in target archery and the Olympics, and it’s still the only type of bow allowed in competition. There are plenty of archers that shoot recurve bows in 3D archery and field archery. For bow hunting, they typically use recurve bows with higher poundage recurves.

Why it’s important to string the recurve bow?

Stringing the recurve bow the proper way will expand the lifespan of bow and strings. There are several ways to do it right, and you should learn as many as you can until you find out which one you like the most.

If you’re planning to become an archer, stringing the bow is one of the first things that you’re going to learn, and you won’t be able to do it until you’ve strung the bow.

What are the steps to string your recurve bow?

As we’ve mentioned, there are different ways to string the recurve bow, but using a stringer is probably the most common method.

Here are the steps to take:

Buy a bow stringer

A bow stringer is an affordable tool, and it’s fundamental for stringing the recurve bow without altering the limbs. You should select a model specially designed for the recurve bow, according to the length and draw weight of your bow.

It’s fundamental for the stringer’s ends to match snugly over the bow’s limp tips.

You will find the “Pocket and saddle” and the “double pocket” designs as common models.

Put the string over the bow tips

You should slide the large loop of the string over the bow’s upper limb, making sure that the string is on the right side of your bow. The smaller loop has to get into the notch on the lower limb. Your bow should be in a relaxed position, so the string should benefit enough slack.

You need to have the lower limb on the handle’s heavy side. Keep in mind that the draw weight is displayed on the lower limb.

Match the stringer pocket over the lower limb tip

When the stringer features two pockets, you need to make sure that the larger one fits over, the lower limb, so that it covers the small string loop. It’s the best method to have it safe in the groove. If you don’t feel it safe, you can use a rubber band and wrap it really tight around the string loop.

Install the small pocket/saddle onto the upper limb

In the case of stringer with two pockets, you need to install the small pocket over the high limb tip. Move gently over the top limb if the stringer has a saddle (it can be leather or rubber band) on one end. It has to go straight behind the string loop. Place the saddle 3in from the top right at the end of the string loop.

You can secure several saddles against the bow, but others would have to be kept in place. The rounded surface should put pressure against the limb for lowering the friction.

Keep the bow horizontally

Use your non-dominant hand for holding the bow grip. You want your dominant hand to be close to the upper limb, so keep it horizontally, maintaining the loose string loop in place. You have to place the bow so that the limb tips are oriented upward. The stringer and the bowstring have to be right underneath.

Make a step on your bow stringer

You have to bend at the waist, lowering the bow until the stringer comes in contact with the ground. Use your both feet for stepping on it, no more than shoulder-width apart. You don’t want to use the arches, but the balls of your feet. This way, the cord doesn’t slip.

When you’re planning to use a saddle-bow stringer, you need to use one hand to maintain the saddle in place. You can use just one foot, but using both of them will improve your stability. It’s the best way to do it for children or shorter adults.

Draw up on the bow

Pick up the slack in the bow stringer and make sure that your grip is secure. Brace yourself for pulling upward, while you’re bending the bow limbs back toward the ground.

Move the big loop over the notch slowly

You need to move the loose string loop slowly up as you’re pulling up on the bow. Don’t stop until it goes into the notch, close to the bow’s tip.

If it’s too tricky for you, the risk for the stringer to be too long is high. Tie the knots near the bottom pouch for shortening it.

Make sure that the string is safe

Use your fingers and go over the string loop to make sure that it’s safe in the groove. Your finger has to be over the string for the process. Always stop when the string begins to slip off.

Lower the bow nice and smooth until the stringer loose. Don’t do it fast because a loose string may slip off, slingshotting the limb straight into your face.

Give the string a check

You need to turn the bow right away, and the limbs should face away from you. Don’t forget to check the string loops one more time. When they’re not safe, you have to sit on the stringer once again. Go over the process once again. Maintain your head back, turning it away from the string so that you’re safe if a string snaps.

You should never orientate the limbs at someone nearby so that you don’t injure somebody.

It’s time to put the bow stringer aside

If you also used a rubber band, it’s time to take it off. For the best outcome, you have to adjust the bow correctly.

When you think you should unstring the bow, connect the bow stringer just like you did before. As you’re bringing the foot on the stringer, draw the bow up and slide the upper string loop off the notch and downing the limb. Relax the bow really slowly.

How to tune the bow?

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It’s useless to string your recurve bow and not tune it when you’re done. Here’s how to do it right:

Set the nocking point height

You have to use an imaginary line running from the top of the arrow rest to the bowstring while touching the string at a 90-degree angle. You have to place the nocking point on the string around ½” above the line.  The arrows are horizontal when they are nocked.

Shoot in another string

It the bow or the string is new, it shouldn’t surprise you if the string stretches out a bit. Several adjustments may be necessary for the first couple of shooting sessions. Any now and then, you may leave the bow strung throughout the night so that it settles. You don’t want to adjust the brace height too much until the string is entirely set. Let’s remind you that the endless loop strings stretch less than Flemish twist strings.

Never forget to observe meticulously the brace height

The brace height is in fact the distance between the bow’s handle and the string. You have to measure the length, shooting a couple of arrows to observe how the bow really feels.

If the brace height is high, the arrows will be slower, whereas a low brace height will cause loud and jarring noise while releasing.

Have someone to help you and stand on the side, observing your shooting. It’s easier to make the right impression on the noise and vibration from the side.

Make adjustments to the brace height

You need to unstring the bow if you want to adjust the brace height. It’s necessary to twist the string several times for flexing the limbs and increasing the brace height. Untwist the string to reduce the brace height too. You need to measure accurately and to write down the number every time. Pay attention to the way the bow is firing. It’s going to take several adjustments until you get the right point, but once you do, everything is set for shooting.

Many recover bows shoot best when the brace height ranges from 7.5 to 9.75 in. When you’re not near any of the values, you should use smaller or larger strings. You have to do it if you end up twisting more than 20 or 30 times.

Don’t hesitate to use a T-square for calculating nocking point height when the arrows don’t fly strait. It can also help you measure the bracing height more accurately.

What are the steps to take when stringing the recurve bow by hand?

Even though expert archers don’t encourage newbies to do it, stringing the bow by hand is also doable. Truth be told, it’s quite dangerous, and you can hurt yourself and the equipment.

It’s not easy to string the recurve bow by hand, and you should only do it when mastering the recurve bow:

  • Measure from nock to nock to identify the string that is 4in shorter than the recurve bow. Put it on backward.
  • The bottom bowstring loop should get inside the notch at the bow’s upper recurve. As for the top bowstring loop, it has to go over the bow.
  • Start with the curve of the bow orientated away from the extremities. The bowstring has to be on the side nearest to your body. Place your leg through the bowstring as you need recurve bow to sit against the other foot. You will obtain tension like so.
  • Go with your hand at the bow’s top and draw the recurve bow against your body.
  • Move the bowstring slowly upward, lopping it through the bow.