How to Measure Draw Length?

Basit Ali Chaudhary

Draw length is an important concept to understand when it comes to archery; proper form requires knowing the distance at which to pull back your bow. 

Measurement is taken from the front of the arrow rest on the bow to the front of the inside of the nock on the arrow, taking into consideration your individual body type and shooting technique. 

Depending on certain factors like your height, arm span, and stance, it can vary. 

Knowing your proper draw length for archery is essential for accuracy and comfort.          

What is the draw length?

Before proceeding to the methods for measuring draw length, let’s first analyze what it is actually.

The draw length concept is associated with the use of compound bows only. Because you literally can fire any length on long and recurve bows.

While in the case of a compound bow, each bow can have a unique draw length. It is the measure of the distance you pull the string to your anchor point.

More precisely, it is the length between the hole where you mount the arrow rest to the corner of a stretched string.

Method for measuring draw length

1-Two- Arms Wing Spans Method

This method is self-explanatory by its name. And it is also simple to understand.

1- Spread your arms to the full extent as fully stretched.

2- In this way, your body will form a T shape.

3- Ask your friend to measure length from the tip of the middle finger of the right hand to the tip of the middle finger of the left hand. 

4- Measure this length in inches. This is basically your wingspan.

5- Now divide your wingspan length calculated in inches by 2.5.

6- You will get your draw length.

Let’s assume your wingspan is 70 inches, you will simply divide this by 2.5, and 28” will be your draw length.

All you need are accurate measurements, which makes it easy to get started. 

So it’s important that you practice properly with an optimal draw length in order to become an expert archer.

2- ​ Fist-to-corner-of-mouth Length

Are you an archery enthusiast? Tired of having to buy a new bow every time ? Good news – there’s another way to determine it. The fist-to-corner-of-mouth method is the perfect solution if you don’t have a bow at hand! All you need is a wall and a friend. Put your bow hand near the wall and imagine yourself drawing back an arrow with a bow. When you reach your comfortable full draw position, move your fist forward until it hits the wall and measure the distance between it and the corner of your mouth. That’s your draw length! It’s accurate, cost-effective, and, best of all, fun to do!

3- Wrist to Sternum Length

Knowing your draw length is an important factor when choosing a bow, as the wrong measurement can negatively affect your shooting form, accuracy, and performance. While it may seem difficult to choose the correct measurement without expert guidance, this method makes it remarkably easy and requires no special tools. 

All you need to do is stand up tall, stretch out your dominant hand to the side so that it’s stretched properly straight up, and measure the distance from your sternum (T-Shape vertical chest bone) to your wrist. This will be your draw length.

This method is only suitable for archers whose arms are proportionately equal; anyone who has arms of unequal lengths should use one of the other two measuring methods above. 

Ultimately though, regardless of which measuring method you use, the purpose is the same, and just you should be able to know your draw length.

Consult an archery expert

Although the method to determine draw length is not that complex, but still, if you’re facing a problem in determining your correct length, then consult an archery expert to help you.- they’ve got the experience and knowledge that can help guide you in choosing exactly what fits you best. 

Not only will they provide tips on draw length, they’ll also give useful advice on other important archery elements like stance, posture and overall fit. 

Importance of draw length

Choosing the right draw length can make a huge difference when it comes to your shooting experience. As it is important for accurate and comfortable shooting. It will help you to choose the appropriate bow and arrows. It will also help you to maximize draw weight and will ultimately affect the speed of arrows. So, it’s important not just for archers but also for bow hunters as draw weight, and speed can highly impact their game.

Often, too many newbies go with a one-size-fits-all approach that soon harms their performance and might even lead to injuries. 

Can you adjust the draw length on the compound bow?

Adjusting the draw length of your compound bow is not a decision to take lightly. 

Many compound bows feature an adjustable draw length means you can adjust the length. Some bows provide this feature in terms of small adjustments in 1/2″ increments, while some other bows have fixed cams with specific draw lengths, requiring the installation of a new cam to make changes. 

No matter the kind of bow you have, it’s best to seek out a trained bow technician before attempting to make this adjustment, as an incorrect adjustment could have serious consequences for you and your equipment. 

Can you overdraw with the compound bow?

Yes, you can over-draw with compound bows. And many archers even do that.

Some say that it’s a better way to fire shorter arrows. But it is not necessarily recommended. 

The mechanical stop on nearly all compound bows is designed to keep you from overdrawing. When you reach the full draw, you should feel it quite firmly.

But I would recommend practicing restraint and drawing your bow with slow, controlled movement until it reaches the mechanical stop.

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