How to Adjust a Martin Compound Bow

How to Adjust a Martin Compound Bow

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Adjusting the poundage on a compound bow refers to the addition or subtraction of draw weight -- the amount of leverage required to pull the string back before loosing the arrow. If you want the bow to shoot an arrow a greater distance with more velocity, add poundage. If the bow string is difficult to draw back, lower the poundage. Once you have the bow set to a comfortable draw weight, adjust the tiller -- the distance from the two limb pockets to the string.

Items you will need

  • Allen wrench set

  • Tape measure

  • Hang scale

Put the string over the hanging scale's hook. Pull down on the bow from the risers. Record the draw weight. After you adjust the bow, weigh the draw again. These records are necessary only if you are interested in knowing the weight at which you draw after the adjustment in relation to the previous draw weight. If you are simply going to adjust the draw weight to what is comfortable for you, this step is not required.

Loosen the lock bolts found on the ends of the risers. They must be loosened before you can adjust the poundage. The lock bolts are found next to the limbs, on the sides of the risers . They loosen counterclockwise. Each riser -- top and bottom -- has at least two lock bolts.

Put the allen wrench in one of the poundage adjustment screws. The poundage adjustment screws are found on the top of the top limb and the bottom of the bottom limb -- both on the opposite side of its respective riser. Turn both of the poundage screws clockwise until they stop, seated completely into the limbs. You have set the bow to maximum draw weight. Back both adjustment screws out half a turn at a time, then pull the string. If the draw weight is too heavy, back the screws out farther, half a turn at a time. When you find a comfortable draw weight, check the tiller.

Measure from the limb pocket -- the crux where the riser meets the limb -- on both ends of the bow, to the string. If the two distances are not equal, adjust the poundage screws. This will correct your tiller. If the top limb pocket is a greater distance from the string than the bottom limb pocket, tighten the top screw and loosen the bottom, 1/8 of a turn at a time. If the measurement of the top limb pocket is less, loosen the top poundage screw and tighten the bottom one, 1/8 of a turn at a time. The Martin Compound's weight and tiller are adjusted.


  • Do not back the adjustment screw out more than four complete turns from maximum draw weight. It could come out of the bow. If this happens, you could be injured by the recoil of the bow's limbs as all the tension is released.
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