How to Lower the Draw Weight on Compound Bows

••• Men bow shooting. Amateur competition in the sanatorium image by Igor Zhorov from Fotolia.com

The draw weight of a bow is a measurement of how much effort is required to pull the string to the shooting position. A compound bow's draw weight can be adjusted easily using a common piece of equipment and a little technical know how. Lowering the draw weight reduces strain on the users muscles, but it also lowers the force that the limbs of the bow deliver to the arrow. The arrow will have a slower speed and lack as flat of a trajectory as it flies towards the target. This makes it harder to aim over longer distances.

Locate the limb bolts, which the two limbs to the riser. Check if your bow has limb bolt locks located on the riser just behind the limb bolts. If it does, then loosen them.

Tighten both limb bolts with an Allen key in a clockwise direction as far as they will go. Do not apply excessive force as this may damage the bow. Tightening the bolts like this will set the bow to the highest possible draw weight.

Loosen each limb bolt by quarter turn increments. Check between each increment to see if your desired draw weight has been reached by drawing the bow to the shooting position.

Make minor adjustments clockwise and counter clockwise if your desired draw weight is between two of these quarter turn increments, continuing to make minor adjustments until reaching the right draw weight.

Tighten the limb bolt locks if the bow has them.


  • Do not loosen the bolts by more than four complete turns from the fully-tightened position. This can be dangerous. When testing the bow's draw weight, never release the string without an arrow in place, as this can also damage the bow. Instead, let the string down gradually to its rest position.
  • Although there is often a temptation to shoot at the highest weight that can be drawn, this can injure you. Pay close attention to niggling pains and lower the draw weight accordingly.


About the Author

Will Milner started writing in 2005 for the University of Sheffield newspaper "Steel Press" and continues to write for the Sheffield-based magazine "Now Then." He gained a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Sheffield.

Photo Credits

  • Men bow shooting. Amateur competition in the sanatorium image by Igor Zhorov from Fotolia.com