Bow and Arrow for Dummies





Introduction: Bow and Arrow for Dummies

About: I pretty much have the best skills ever...heck yeah!

This Instructable is going to show you the best way to shoot a bow and arrow. I may have a different technique than you may have, (if you have one.) This WILL require practice, determination, and quite a bit of welds on your arm, that is if you don't wear an armguard. If you are a starter, it is HIGHLY recommended that you wear one!


Step 1: Supplies

Here are some supplies that you will need:

You can get these supplies from Dick's Sporting Goods, Bass Pro Shops, or any other sports related store. Wal-Mart is not the best place to get these things. (I hate Wal-Mart anyways.)

Step 2: Bow and Arrows

First I am going to give you some facts about the Bow and Arrow.

If you buy your bow and it says it is 50 Lbs., that does not mean your bow weighs 50 Lbs. It means that it requires 50 Lbs of force to pull back the string.

If you are not the most strong person in the world, you will probably want to get a bow that is around 25#-40#. If you're strong, you will want a bow that is 50#-70#. I personally like 60#. But as a beginner, even if you are strong, I would stick to around 35#.

Ok, now to something different. The difference between Compound bows, Recurve bows, and Long bows. (In this instructable, I will tell you how to use a compound bow.) Compound bows will have wheels or cams on each of the limbs. What I like about compound bow is that when you pull them back about halfway, it gets pretty easy to pull it back the rest of the way, and once you are back all the way, there is about 75% let-off.(Which means it is 75% easier to hold back.)

Ok, to Recurve bows. I don't have a recurve bow, but I know some about it. Recurve bows don't have any wheels or cams.(Go to picture to see what these are.) They do not have any let-off, and they usually are harder to pull back. At each end of the bow, there is a little curve to them. I have no idea what it is for, but it is there.

Now the last one, longbows. Longbows are pretty much a stick, or fiberglass, that has a string attached to it to make a bow. That is pretty much it. I personally hate shooting them, but some people like it. There you go, that is all I know about a longbow.

The best arrows to use are Carbon Fiber arrows, but they can be pricey. They are good to use if you want accuracy, durability, and speed. If you aren't willing to spend an arm and leg on arrows, get fiberglass, aluminum or wood arrows. They are cheap, but usually break when ever you hit a house, or even a tree.(Unless you have a slow bow.)

Whenever you are practicing, you can use field tips for your bow. They are just a pointy lead thing. But for hunting, you will need a broadhead which is a field tip with 3 or 4 blades sticking out of them.

There you go, that is pretty much the basic information of a Bow and arrow. If you really get into it, there will be a LOT more information that you will need to know. But for an instructable, that is to much.

Note: I highly recommend reading Precision Archery! Go to, they have some there.

Step 3: Set Up

OK, the easy part. You will need to be in a place that you will not accidentally shoot a person or house.(I don't care if you hit animals... just joking!) You will also want to be in a place that has a nice stretch of land so that you can shoot at distances. This is pretty much all you need to so to set up your shooting ground!

Step 4: The Grip

Ok, I am going to say this first. You are not Robin Hood. You aren't going to hit the bullseye your first time, so don't get frustrated if you don't. You will get better with practice.

Now pick up your bow. You need to have a loose but sturdy grip on the bow. To much pressure on the grip, the more Torque you will have, which can cause fatigue, or even death...LOL, just kidding. But do not have a tight grip.

Step 5: Stance

So now that you've mastered the grip, you can move on to your stance. You NEED to have a VERY balanced stance. Your feet need to be shoulder length apart, this provides a good, balanced stance. You need to place your feet in the direction your target is. A good way to help you do this is to take aim, then put an arrow in line with your toes. If the arrow is pointing at the target, then you are doing good. If not, that is ok. Practice makes perfect!

Step 6: Your Almost Done!

Now the fun part. Since you mastered everything else, you can shoot. Don't get in a hurry, I know it is so exciting. =D

Get aligned with your target, have a good grip, and then nock your arrow. When you pull the arrow back, you do not want to use your arm muscles to do it. Instead, use your shoulder muscles, and your scapula.(Your shoulderblade.) This is called back-tension. This help from injuring your arm, and also helps stability; which creates a better and more accurate shot. Also, you want to keep your albow in-line with you arrow, this helps accuracy.

You want to put your index finger above the arrow, and the middle and ring finger below it. When you release, you should release with all 3 fingers spontaneously.

Now you have finally shot an arrow, retrieve it. Shoot a couple thousand more, have it mastered, then go hunting for a nice 12 point buck. I doubt you will get one, but have fun.

I have only gave you the basic skills of shooting a bow and arrow, so son't think it is easy once you start. There is a LOT more to learn to be a master like me. =)

Note: This is my second instructable, so tell me how I did.



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    151 Discussions

    This can happen if you use wooden arrows in a compound - apparently the force is too much for them.

    In that picture that jamiespark posted, was that someone accidentally shooting themself or another person?

    How exactly do you do that? And what do you mean that the arrow would've broke while being shot? Nonetheless, I'm now slightly scared of bows. I'm pretty accidental.

    The stress of being fired would cause the damaged arrow to break as it was shot; arrows naturally flex as they are shot
    - thats why its good practice to check your arrows now and then for damage, as it broke it probably came off the rest and went into their hand.

    Ohh... I see. But when you say they should naturally flex, do you mean that they should literally bend, or is a solid stick OK, too? Thanks, though, nonetheless. You probably saved me a huge surgery (when my bow is complete, of course), as I'm quite an accidental person. Also, how do I check them? (Heh... best to ask questions that be hurt.)

    If you're so accident prone, Flotonic, are you sure that maybe you shouldn't be taking up some safer activity than archery ???

    Like maybe base jumping, or swimming with sharks ??

    As well as the risks of carbon arrows shattering on launching, I would recommend that you check out the very real risk of compound bow limbs "exploding" after "dry firing" ??

    And if you do carry on and take up archery ~ remember to never fire an arrow if you DON'T have a clear view of everything that is behind your target.

    u can check carbon arrows b4 u shoot by flexing them in your hand if u hear a crack or any thing then throw it away

    They need to flex, the flexibility of an arrow is called the spine, if the arrow is too stiff it will pull to the left (this is for a right handed archer - bow held in the left hand), if it is too flexible it will pull to the right.
    Usually you can check the spine you need with the manufacturer via tables (, you need to know your arrow length, limb poundage, cam type type, tip grain weight. Though to be honest the best way to do it is to go into a shop and get them to help you chose - that's what i did.

    no what happends was it had a crack and when they realesed the arrow in a compound bow the force on it wa to great and it cracked an hit his hand b4 leaving the bow

    How much weigh would you say is safe enough to use a wooden arrow? I have a 42lbs bow. Thanks. : )

    To be honest I'm not really to sure, I shoot recurve, with 37lb on the fingers - I wouldn't feel comfortable shooting wooden arrows (especially ones where the nock is made from the shaft) as my bow (and pretty much all other modern Olympic recurves) shoots a damn sight faster than the traditional bows, which are what the wooden arrows are really made for. I asked a few other friends that also shoot recurve and the general consensus seems to be 'not sure if it would destroy the arrow, but I would certainly not recommend it', at the least using aluminium or carbon arrows should give a more consistent shot.

    I've used wooden arrows on a 38lb compound if its any help. They break. Readily. Luckily, only in the target, and not in a dangerous fashion.

    that happend becuse after u shoot a carbon arrow u are suppose to bend it to make sure there is not a crack in it so that is all i have ever used and that has neber happend to me to that guy must have hit a tree or somthing hard becuse that will crack it becuse it takes quite a bit to crack one of thoses and wood can do that easiter adn aluminum arrows bens then break so either way they r all dangurus but actually carbon ar the safest

    Im looking online to buy a carbon fiber bow, and I'm curious as to why there are 3 different pound options for arrows. there is a 45/60 lbs, a 55/70 lbs, and a 65/80 lbs option. I have a 58 lbs draw but am new to archery. While I'm assuming the before listed options relate directly to draw strength, I'd greatly appreciate clarification. Thanks!