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Traditional Archers | Bowhunters
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Associate Member
Posts: 46
Reply with quote  #1 
So my bare shafts seem to enter the foam target straight on, shot from 10, 15 and 20-yards. I cannot really see what they are doing in flight with my eye or by videoing. However, when I fletch them, it appears that the arrow kind of makes an "S" , or at least the tail makes a correction on the way to the target. They still enter straight though. The shaft embedded in the target is pointing right at me. What is the first thing to change to either verify this or correct this? Any other obvious steps? I did what I read and saw in tutorials regarding getting a bare shaft and a fletched shaft to "tune" by flying to point-of-aim and entering straight on.  Thanks!

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TAS Upgrade Member
Posts: 3,634
Reply with quote  #2 
My guess would be nock height or possibly bow hand movement
congratulations on a well tuned bare shaft


Dallas, Texas
62" #55 Fox High Sierra 
62" #58 Black Widow MA
64" #56 A&H ACS 
Widowmaker 350 Carbon shafts
200 gr. Iron Will 4 blade

Tom M

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Charter Member
Posts: 1,803
Reply with quote  #3 
From slow motion vidoes I have seen arrows move side to side before straighting out. Part of the archers paradox I believe. How much movement is determined by the spine to bow weight ratio. If your bareshafts enter the target straight on I would call it a day. When I was at the Black Widow clinic that’s what Ken Beck was looking for when he was teaching us bareshafting. If the shaft made up and down movements then we adjusted nock height. 
Charter Member Traditional Archery Society

Sun City, Az. by way of San Diego, Ca. Bear TD's Wes Wallace Royal LB, ILF risers and various limbs, Vintage Works 1962 Kodiak reproduction made to my specs

I hunt public land.

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Posts: 7,025
Reply with quote  #4 
The arrow will move some no matter what.  Shouldn't do that all the way to the target though.  The feathers help see it happen.  A lighted nock will too, in dim lighting.   A lighted nock weighs more than a regular nock, so keep that in mind.

Charter Member Traditional Archery Society

I did too !

Madison, Wisconsin.   Public land hunter

Associate Member
Posts: 80
Reply with quote  #5 
  • Shoot fletched arrows through paper from about 6ft, that will give you an idea of what they are doing that you aren’t able to see with the naked eye. You’ll be able to see nock up, down, left, or right easier through paper and then you can adjust tuning from there. 


Belcher Union Jack 66” #55
Toelke Chinook 58” #55
Toelke Super Static 64” #54
Howard Hill Sirocco 68” #50
1952 Bear Grizzly Static Recurve 62” #49

Senior Member
Posts: 1,963
Reply with quote  #6 
I'm not as convinced. At 6 feet, especially with a bow that is not center cut, the arrow will not be out of paradox. I was watching some world level target archery competition some months back, and it was very interesting. On a slow motion shot, it showed the arrow slithering like a snake (at 70 meters). It slithered right up to the point it went square into the center of the bullseye. Granted these were very light target arrows, but I think it is also true of many hunting arrows. Like Tom M said, if the arrow is hitting the target straight on, call it a day - and go hunting.
Sam McMichael

Gray, GA

"The spirit of the bow dwells in the heart of all young men" - Geronimo

Hill Wesley Special (2, both 65#)
Hill Cheetah (2, one 55# and one 40#)
Hill Big 5 (50#)
NM Shelton (2, both 53#)
Deathwish Longbow (59#)
Archery Traditions Bamboo Longhunter (3, one 56#, one 60# and one 78#)


Senior Member
Posts: 396
Reply with quote  #7 
Nock orientation in the target is the least dependable sign of correct spine. Nock position in the target is much too dependent on the affect of the target medium.

The arrow should be behaving the same way whether it has feathers or not. You just can't see it because it doesn't have that big ball of feathers on the back.

If you are going to bare shaft tune just get the fletched and bare impacting together in the center of the target and call it good. The key being "in the center of the target". You can get terribly spined arrows to group together. The group just won't be in the right place.
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