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Bare Shaft Tuning: A Beginners Guide

Welcome to your guide through preps for hunting! If you are a newbie and your hunter friends have been asking you to tune the bare shaft, here’s your guide to get ready for always targeting Bull’s Eye!

Bare shaft tuning is the method of tuning the arrow rest and this is done best while keeping the regular field tipped, fletched, and un-fletched arrows’ impact points in mind. 

The goal of this tuning is to have both arrows impact meeting at the same point. 

Bare Shaft Tuning Supplies:

Most of us complicate various tasks unnecessarily! One of these is tuning the bow. Bare shaft tuning does not require any screws or keys but only involves a ‘hit and trial’ method! 

All you need is a target, and a few fletched arrows with field tips, and a few un-fletched ones. An Allen wrench will do the job and no other tool is needed. The ideal setup is to lift the target so that every shot is at eye level.

How to do it?

You can start with a distance of ten to 15 yards, and select a small spot on a target to shoot all the fletched arrows. Keep in mind, the arrows have tightly griped.

Repeat the same exercise with un-fletched arrows for the same spot. Needless to say, these arrows must be grouped tightly as well.

If the bare shaft arrows point to the left or right of the intended target, it means that they are not properly spun. We will adjust the arrow rest left or right of the crossbow, assuming that the archer does not make any error in hitting the target. 

Let’s make this easier to understand by example; if you are shooting the arrow on the target spot but it impacts to the right, you must move the arrow rest to the left and try shooting again. 

Keep making adjustments until you hit the bare shaft groups just below or above the fletched arrows, but not on the side of them!

Once you start hitting the same spot of fletched arrows on the target, the bare shaft tuning is complete. However, hitting above or below the spot means vertical tuning still needs to be done. 

The vertical rest adjustment is also a simple one and does not require any tools. The vertical displacement of the shaft indicates that the nocking point is too low. 

Raiding the nocking point requires you to lower the rest. Start with small adjustments, and gradually increase until you reach the Bull’s Eye-level! You can keep increasing the distance of the target for further bare shaft tuning. 

However, keep in mind that both fletched, and un-fletched arrows glide differently and the shooter must be able to understand the difference.

Seasoned shooters will be able to understand this process easier, but if you need to understand this process more, keep reading!

Also Read: The best Anchor point for a Bow

Bare shaft tuning: Explained for newbies and dummies!

I will have to admit, it took a long time for me to understand what bare shaft tuning was! So here is an in-depth description of why bare shaft tuning is necessary and how it can impact your shooting success! 

Let’s just say that bare shaft tuning can make or break a season for you. If you have a fine-tuned setup, the success rate will be high and the efficiency of the bow will be more. 

Technology has taken over and many people might never need to tune their bows, not because they don’t need to but because numerous features cover it up. However, it is always best to learn a few techniques to further fine-tune your game and enjoy the results.

Bare shaft tuning is the tuning of your arrows, and the setting of your arrow rests to improve the hit. The arrow rest adjustment is made after you notice the tear marks on the target. 

If the mark indicates that the arrow hit the target at an angle, you will have to observe if the arrow bent on the right, or left before impacting the target. 

This tear determines whether the arrow rest has to move right, left, up, or down. Here’s a table for all newbies to get the basic parameters of bare shaft tuning.


Arrow Impact Adjustments
Hit is above the target spot Move arrow rest down
Hit is below the target spot Move arrow rest up
Hit is on the right of spot Move arrow rest left
Hit is on the left of spot Move arrow rest to the right.

Now there! You have the basics of bare shaft tuning explained at every level of skill. When you plan to go hunting or shooting some targets on the range, make sure your setup is on point. The best of technology can even falter if the crossbow settings or tuning is not done well.

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