View Full Version : New to compound bows

09-19-2013, 10:59 AM
Hey everyone! So, I picked up a PSE Brute X in a trade. I've always been intrigued by archery, and saw this as a great opportunity to get into it. From what I've read online, this is a pretty good bow. Seeing as it's my first, does anyone have any pointers? Are there any good archery shops in the Napa area? How about instructors, or anyone up here who may be able to show me the ropes?

09-19-2013, 3:20 PM
I was in the market for a compound bow about a year ago but never followed though and got one, but I did learn a couple things.

One thing I learned is that there is a lot more to just buying a bow sometimes… you should go to a pro-shop and make sure that bow “fits you” or get it fitted. That can include things like draw weight adjustment and the length of pull.

Also, don’t dry fire the bow, I hear that’s pretty bad for it.

09-19-2013, 5:58 PM
http://www.archerytalk.com/vb/ Everything you'll ever wanna know about archery.... maybe too much. they are helpful helping out newbies.

09-19-2013, 8:33 PM
See if your local archery range gives lessons. Ask questions at your local archery shop.

DO NOT dry fire your bow. You could break it or hurt yourself.

09-19-2013, 8:42 PM
Make the drive into Daly City to Pacifica Archery. They're one of the best I can think of close to you.

What kind of shooting do you plan on doing, hunting target? Just like guns arrows are meant for different rolls and so are all the other accs. I've been shooting for most my life and love it. Check out Diablo Bowmen club. They have a Halloween shoot coming up soon.

09-19-2013, 11:25 PM
DONT DRY FIRE. compounds can explode if dry fired. seriously i have seen it happen, sounded like a .22LR.

09-20-2013, 8:07 AM
Check out" Fat Shafts Archery"range in Benicia. Good guys,they will help you out.

09-20-2013, 9:04 AM
-Dont dry fire, not drawing your bow without an arrow nocked is a good practice

-make sure you arent "overbowed" aka having too heavy of a poundage. This can hurt you and cause you to develop major form issues. If your bow is heavy and cant really be adjusted, focus on form and dont shoot "too much". 10 shots with good form is better than 50 shots with crappy form.

-Make sure the bows current draw length is correct. You can go to a shop and get your draw length measured. Once your draw length is known, try shooting at that length. While you'll find that your measured draw length will probably be most comfortable, some people like to adjust by maybe a half inch or so shorter or longer based on your anchor point, etc. If you find that your bow is the incorrect draw length (if its WAY off, you wont even be able to shoot it comfortably), dont worry because luckily for you, based on a quick google search, the draw length is easy to adjust on the Brute X and doesnt require drop in modules for draw length adjustment. However, before trying to adjust it yourself, check out some videos or something online to be sure you do it right. (Or take it to a shop and have em show you)

-make sure you have proper arrows. look up "arrow spine" which is essentially the stiffness of the arrows. Certain arrow spine is required based on the poundage of your bow. Shooting underspined arrows can cause your arrow to blow up and can hurt you. Most arrow manufacturers can provide a "spine chart" or an archery shop will know what you need. Some arrow manufacturers list the suggested bow poundage on the arrows as opposed to the spine number. An example of this is some Gold Tip arrows. They may say 3555 (suggested for bows from 35lb draw to 55lb draw) 5575 (suggested for bows from 55lb to 75lb) and so on and so forth. Front of center is another thing you'll want to learn as a projectile's flight is most stable when most of the projectile's mass is positioned Front (or Forward) of Center [FOC]. The amount, or % of FOC is hotly debated and youll find guys on archerytalk all day long that will argue about FOC % but just to give you an idea, 7%-14% is generally the accepted range. Some like more, some like less but with a compound bow, its usually in that range. Some people like to push the limits to maximize speed, penetration, kinetic energy, etc. You'll find all that stuff on archerytalk and and i'm not going to go into all that stuff because as a new guy, I wouldnt worry about all that stuff quite yet. I would worry about getting some arrows that are properly spined, shoot pretty straight, and are safe. Arrow building is an art in and of itself. However, if you walk into an archery shop and know the poundage and draw length of your bow, they can set you up with some arrows and whatever they pick for you will probably fall within the figures I am giving you. I just don't want you to buy random stuff online which will result in a negative shooting experience.

-Make sure you arrows are of proper weight. A good rule of thumb is never to shoot arrows that are under 5 grains of weight/lb of draw weight. For instance, if your bow is 60 lbs, the minimum arrow you will ever safely shoot is 300 grains. Many times you will find that arrows that are heavier fly better out of your bow. 5grains/lb isnt what im recommending your arrows weigh but anything less than that can be hazardous for your bow limbs and can essentially do the same damage as dry firing.

-Look up "anchor points" and try to find an anchor point aka a consistent spot that you hold your hand when the bow is drawn. In my case, I put the knuckle of my index finger behind my jaw hinge and directly under my ear. This will aid in your consistency and accuracy.

-Get onto archerytalk. The people on there are very helpful. (Im on there, same username)

-Get a good target. Haybales are pretty much useless for compound bow of decent velocity. You WILL blow right through them. A BRAND NEW, tightly packed bale will work only temporarily. Bag targets, 3d foam targets, etc can be had at basspro or archery shops. If you dont wanna spend the money, one thing you can do is get a burlap sack at a feed store, fill it with old clothes (remove the buttons and cut off the zippers), pack it tight, sew it shut, spraypaint a circle on it for a target, and then hang it in something it can swing on or put it in the ground (hanging it will help absorb the force). When it gets shot out, put another sack over it. It wont last forever but its cheap and easy to do.

-Look up local archery clubs and see when they do their 3d shoots. This is a good way to go see what archery is all about and you can even participate in the shoots for fun. I see plenty of people show up to the shoots that dont even bring a bow and they just want to "check it out".

Thats all I can think of right now, feel free to PM me if you have any questions. By no means am I an expert with archery but I know it can be daunting when starting out and its good to have someone around who knows a thing or two.

Oh yeah, most of all, have fun!

**Some of this information, specifically the information regarding arrow spine and FOC, doesnt apply to traditional archery such as recurves or longbows so if you have one of those types of bows and are reading this information, please skip this post.**

09-20-2013, 9:29 AM
Thanks for all the great info!!! Garyson, I'll be PMing you this afternoon, as soon as my 6 month old goes down for a nap! :)

09-20-2013, 9:36 AM
No worries. Wish I lived near you otherwise i'd see if you wanted to shoot!

09-20-2013, 10:49 AM
I added more stuff to it :)

Agent 0range
09-23-2013, 4:54 PM
I'm new to compound bows as well and just picked up my dad's since his wrists have been bothering him. I took it to Bass Pro yesterday and they got it all set up to fit me and added a kisser button and a whisker biscuit. The kisser button helps you establish a reliable anchor point and the whisker biscuit stabilizes your arrow and holds it in place until you're ready to draw. Once we had it sighted in, I was getting 3/4 arrows in a 6-8 inch group pretty consistently at 20 yards. Now I'm hooked and just need lots of practice before our family deer hunting trip in November. I'm so happy I went with the compound over the crossbow. Good luck OP. Have fun and be safe!

09-27-2013, 1:04 PM
DONT DRY FIRE. compounds can explode if dry fired. seriously i have seen it happen, sounded like a .22LR.


09-28-2013, 3:44 PM
There is a good bow shop in Petaluma. Napa has Sweeneys. Lake Sonoma has a range as well as pig hunting

09-28-2013, 6:04 PM
Come check out Santa Cruz archers 3D tourney next sunday (oct 6th) if you're up for a trip.

09-30-2013, 2:15 PM
If you're ever down north in the San Mateo county area, PM me and we can meet at King's Mountain Archery in Woodside or SF Archers in Pacifica. Both great ranges and my usual archery stomping grounds. I've been shooting seriously for about 3 years, so I can show ya the ropes and some tips.


10-27-2013, 9:59 PM
Great shop
I just got into archery and they made me a great deal on a Bear Motive 6 compound bow, kitted out for hunting and Mike, the instructor is great .
So I am giving them a CalGuns salute!

10-27-2013, 10:01 PM
Just getting into archery as well
Thanks for the link to Archery Talk

10-28-2013, 8:55 AM
Make sure the bow is set up for you, (draw length, weight, kisser button, peep sight, etc.)

Never dry fire a bow (had someone blow up a PSE Drive the other week at work, destroyed the limbs, cams, and blew apart the peep sight launching shrapnel).

Another pointer that a lot of people miss is to keep your elbow up around shoulder level or a little over when at full draw, and keep your anchor point consistent (which a simple kisser button will help with). Also watch your grip on the handle. Keep it relaxed, and don't over grip the bow. It will cause it to turn as you fire. If you ever end up around the bay area I can help you out with some basics.

10-28-2013, 10:00 PM
Just getting into archery as well
Thanks for the link to Archery Talk

Are you on the East Bay side or the Peninsula side of the bay?

If you're on the Peninsula side check out the range at Stevens Creek Park. It's run by Bowhunters Unlimited.

I'm usually there on Sunday mornings.

11-03-2013, 1:43 AM
I'm in the south part of the bay in San Jose.
I plan on checking out Stevens Creek as well as Santa Teresa
Going to Mt Madonna next weekend