How to measure draw length of a compound bow

Compound bows are different from classic bows. They are different in the sense that they are engineered only to be drawn back to a specific limit. This limit is what is known as draw length. In theory, classic bows such as longbows and recurve bows do not have a specific draw limit. They do not have a draw length.

In this post, you will discover all you need to know about compound bow draw length, particularly how to measure it. Let’s get started.

Measure draw length

What is draw length and why is it important?

As implied in the introductory paragraph, draw length is the maximum length a compound bow can be drawn back to. It is an engineering/mechanical setting. This means it cannot be exceeded.

Draw length is important because you need to know it to ascertain if a compound bow is compatible with you. A compound bow is compatible with you only if its draw length matches your physical size. For example, if a compound bow draw length is 30 inches, you can only conclude it is compatible with you if your physical draw length is 30 inches. In other words, draw length is important to help you to find out if a compound bow you are trying to buy is perfect for you.

Since draw length is important for knowing bow compatibility, you must know your draw length before you start shopping for a compound bow. By knowing this, you will know what bows to consider and what bows to quickly rule out when shopping for a compound bow.

This post is all about teaching you how exactly to go about measuring your draw length to make it easy for you to find compatible compound bows.

What is full draw and why is it important?

Full draw means the same thing as draw length. You can only reach the draw length of a compound bow by drawing it all the way back to its maximum limit. It is this maximum limit of a bow that is known as full draw.

You should always shoot a compound bow from the full draw position. You should never shoot it in the middle of the draw or anywhere else. Shooting a bow in the full draw position will ensure maximum power. It will also ensure the bow works as it is intended to.

Full draw is important because knowing about it will help you to know when to stop. You should never try to draw a compound bow beyond the full draw position. Doing so will most likely lead to bow damage. Therefore, once you feel you’ve reached the full draw position of your bow, you should not try to draw it any further. If you do so, you could damage your bow.

How to measure your draw length 

If you ask several experts how to measure your draw length, you will likely get a different answer from each. This is because there are several ways to measure draw length. While there are several ways to measure draw length, the most reliable one is the armspan method. Follow the steps below to measure your draw length using the method.

  1. Measure your armspan
  2. Measure the distance between the points you’ve marked
  3. Divide the armspan by 2.5

1. Measure your armspan

This is the first step of this method. To measure your armspan, stand next to a wall with your arms out and palms facing outward. Don’t try to stretch your arms out; just stand naturally and relaxed. This will help you to get a more accurate result. Mark the end of your middle finger on the wall behind you on each side of your outstretched arms.

2. Measure the distance between the points you’ve marked

After measuring your armspan, you should measure the distance between the two points to find the length of your armspan. Use a tape measure to do this. This measurement should be in inches.

3. Divide the armspan by 2.5

After getting the armspan measurement in inches, you should divide it by 2.5. The number you will get will be your approximate draw length in inches.

4. Congrats, you now know your draw length

After the step above, you don’t need to do anything else. You have already discovered your draw length in inches and all you need to do is to write it down to make sure you remember it when shopping for your next compound bow.

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