Bare shaft test for compound?

Michael Burrows

AIUK Saviour
tell me, did you then go back to 1m and see if you still got that bullet hole? Because if you set your bow up to get a bullet hole AND THEN DO SOMETHING ELSE you'll stop getting that bullet hole because you've changed something. All you did was set your bow up to shoot them at 1m, and then set it up again to shoot them at 5m, and then set it up again to shoot them at longer distances. And as we're scored on how the fletched arrows group (a bareshaft isn't even allowed to be shot in a tournament, an arrow has to include fletchings) there is no need to worry about what a bareshaft does.

As someone else once wrote, "the ONLY paper tuning I'm worried about is the size of the group at 50m"... after all, it is the only thing you'll be scored on.
I hadn't thought to do that so I've just had a go and it's a slightly high right tear back at 1m.

The point for me is that if I'm getting good arrow flight with a bareshaft at a reasonably long distance it follows that the fletched ones will be good too or better because they have steerage. Thus I know that it is the arrow flight that is good and not corrected arrow flight produced by a fletched arrow. It also means that my bareshafts and fletched are now landing together which is as it should be.

The times I've spent following the mantra of setting centre shot, setting the scope to be centred at close range then going back and adjusting the rest to compensate for left/right, back to the target to set scope again, back again to set rest to compensate etc etc etc ad infinitum and never getting my bare and fletched to land together, almost always suggesting too stiff a spine when I know it's right led me to try something else. It works for me and if it helps someone else so much the better.


Active member
It's great that it works. I might try it next time, I build arrows. But there is one thing you perhaps can say about bareshaft test as well as paper test. It is an instant picture at a specific distance. You can never be sure that you are not unlucky that at that distance the arrow is just at some stage in it's vibration. Maybe not unless you do the tests, incl. the traditional bareshaft test at all distances from 2 m to 18 m with 0,5-1,0 m increments - and get the same results from some distance and out. The shorter distance the arrows straigthens up (and stays straight), the better. And then I would probably do the traditional paper test first either with or without vanes, maybe without - and not adjust anything from 2 to 18 m, maybe just with 2 m increments - but just record the results and then based on the result see what to adjust. When happy with the paper test, do the same with the bare shaft test, to double check if the result is good.