How-To: Paper Tuning Arrows

By Cody Larrimore

Hight T

Paper tuning allows you to observe the angle at which your arrow strikes your mark. From this, you can draw some conclusions about how your bow should be tuned.

When paper tuning, proper shooting form and a consistent release are critical. Try shooting each arrow a number of times to make sure that you are getting a consistent reading. Paper tuning can be time consuming, but will pay big dividends in accuracy.

Try spraying your vanes with baby powder, or foot powder, to determine if there is any vane contact with the arrow rest. Vane contact can cause erratic arrow flight and inaccurate paper tear readings.

Paper Tuning:

  • Place a framed piece of paper about five feet in front of a target.
  • Standing 5 feet in front of the paper, shoot your best shot through it.
  • Inspect the tear made in the paper for clues about arrow orientation as it leaves the bow.
  • A shot that leaves the bow neat and straight will produce vane marks centered around the point of penetration. The figure to your top right shows a perfectly tuned arrow.

Use the puncture patterns below (for right-handed shooters) to diagnose problems.

Pattern: High Tear

Suggested Solutions:

  • Check wheel timing
  • Move nock point down
  • Decrease launcher
  • Check fletching clearance

Pattern: Low TearLow T

Suggested Solutions:

  • Check wheel timing
  • Move nock point up
  • Stiffen launcher

Pattern: Left TearLeft T

Suggested Solutions:

  • Use stiffer shaft
  • Move rest/center shot towards riser
  • Adjust wheel lean
  • Move cable guard towards arrow (decrease load on cable guard)
  • Check fletching clearance
  • Experiment with grip

Pattern: Right TearRight T

Suggested Solutions:

  • Use weaker shaft
  • Move rest right
  • Experiment with grip
  • Move cable guard away from arrow (increase load on cable guard)
  • – Adjust wheel lean

Pattern: Tear High and LeftCorner T

Suggested Solutions:

  • Check fletching clearance

If you continue to notice problems and the steps above won’t aid in correcting the issue, seek advice from your local bow shop.

Via: All Outdoor

Category: Shooting, archery, Arrow tuning, compound bow, Paper tuning


Charles is the editor for 248 Shooter a midwest based gun news and gear review site as well as Online Content Director for On Target Magazine. He is an avid student taking classes from top tier trainers around the country. Charles shares his love for training as well as experience and opinions on some of the most talked about gear and products used by competitive shooters, military, leo and civilians.