So you have installed the front and rear stabilizers on your bow, but your bow is still not properly balanced? Then the issue might be with your stabilizer’s weight balance. You have to make some adjustments and set up your stabilizer so it balances the bow.
The task is simple but might take some time as it is a trial-and-error process. You will adjust your bow lean from the front, back, and sides, mainly by adding or removing additional weight and moving the rear stabilizer.
Before getting any further, let’s prepare for the balance adjustments. Remove any accessory like the quiver that you don’t use during shooting. Set up your stabilizers in a position you think is balancing the bow.
How to Balance Stabilizer Weight
To balance the bow weight, we will adjust the horizontal (front and back) and vertical (right and left) axis’s balance.
1. Front and Back Tilt Adjustment
Begin by holding your bow by the handle and resting it on the stabilizer. Observe how the bow naturally tilts. Does it lean forward or backward? This initial observation helps you identify any imbalance in weight distribution.
To address front-to-back imbalance, you have two primary options:
Adding And Removing weights
If the bow leans backward, you can add weights to the front of the stabilizer. These weights are often designed to screw onto the stabilizer’s front bar. The additional weight on the front helps counterbalance the bow. If you have a back stabilizer or V bar you can also remove weight from the back instead of increasing it on the front.
If the bow leans forward, you can remove weights from the front of the stabilizer, reducing the counterbalance effect. Or you can add weights to the rear stabilizer to balance the front weight.
Moving the back stabilizer
Another way to achieve balance is by changing the position of the back stabilizer on the bow. Move it up or down while holding the bow in your hand looking at the balance. By moving the rear stabilizer up the bow leans back, and by moving it down the bow leans forward. Also, try to move it in or out to balance the bow.
The objective here is to reach a point where the bow naturally and comfortably rests in a relatively level position when you are holding it in your hand. This balanced resting position minimizes the need for you to exert force to keep the bow level during aiming and shooting.
2. Side-to-Side Balance Adjustment
Once you’ve achieved a satisfactory front-to-back balance, it’s time to fine-tune the side-to-side balance. The goal is to ensure that the bow remains level from left to right when you come to full draw. This is particularly helpful when you have to shoot the arrow by tilting the bow or at some angle because you don’t have to apply pressure on the bow to balance it.
- Nock an Arrow: Nock an arrow on your bowstring and prepare to come to full draw as you would when shooting.
- Observe Natural Tilt: Pay close attention to how the bow naturally tilts to one side during your full draw. It may lean slightly to the left or right.
- Stabilizer Adjustments: You will have to adjust your back stabilizer, it is fairly simple. Now that you know which side your bow tilts, you can move your stabilizer in or out.
- Outward Adjustment: If the bow tilts to the right (toward your body for a right-handed archer), you can adjust the stabilizer by moving it outward. This adds weight on the side that needs correction.
- Inward Adjustment: If the bow tilts to the left (away from your body for a right-handed archer), adjust the stabilizer by moving it inward. This shifts weight to the side which requires balance.
- Secure Adjustments: After making the necessary side-to-side adjustments, tighten the knobs or bolts securely to lock the stabilizer in its new position.
How To Fine-tune The Stabilizer Weight
Now that you are done with these horizontal and vertical adjustments, let’s fine-tune it by shooting some arrows. Take your bow and shoot some arrows, if they are hitting below the target, add some weight to the back or remove some weight from the front bar, and reverse it if the arrows are hitting above the target.
Similarly finetune the bow tilt, by moving the back stabilizer inward or outward a little bit. Do this until you feel comfortable with your bow, and it balances itself.
How Much Weight Should I Have On My Bow Stabilizer?
The weight of a bow stabilizer can vary significantly based on your personal preference and shooting style. Generally, the mass weight of a stabilizer can range from 12 ounces to 19 ounces (350 grams to 550 grams) before any additional weights are added. This initial weight provides a foundation for balance and stability in your bow setup.
Manufacturers offer additional weights that can be attached to the stabilizer. These additional weights typically come in various sizes, ranging from around 1 ounce to 3 ounces for a single weight. This range of weight options allows you to fine-tune your stabilizer setup precisely to your liking.
There’s no strict limit to the number of weights you can add to your stabilizer setup. You can add as many weights as you feel comfortable handling. If you are a beginner, then try to have a 1 to 2 ratio weight on the front and back just to have a starting point for adjustment.
Is A Heavier Stabilizer Better?
Yes, you can say that a heavier stabilizer is better because a heavy and long stabilizer provides more balance and stability. The additional mass helps counteract vibrations and movement in the bow, resulting in a more steady and controlled shot.
Heavier stabilizers tend to reduce the effects of torque or hand movement during the release of the arrow. This makes the sight pin stay still and can lead to improved shot consistency and tighter groupings.
In different terrains and environmental conditions, a heavy stabilizer helps minimize the impact of factors like wind or uneven ground, increasing the likelihood of making an accurate shot.
However, it’s important to note that a heavier stabilizer may not be the best choice for everyone. Some archers prefer lighter stabilizers, especially when maneuverability and quick target acquisition are important. Lighter stabilizers can be more comfortable for extended periods of shooting and may be preferred in situations where quick, dynamic shots are required.
What Happens If Your Bow Is Imbalanced
Failing to properly balance your bow can lead to a host of issues that significantly impact your archery performance. Here’s what can happen if you don’t balance the bow:
1. Bow Leaning: Without the correct balance, your bow may lean either forward or backward. This means it won’t rest in a level position when you aim, which can cause the sight pin to constantly move.
2. Inconsistent Shot Placement: A poorly balanced bow can result in inconsistent shot placement. Shots may tend to go high if the bow leans forward, while if it leans backward, they might go low. These inconsistencies make it challenging to achieve your target.
3. Torque and Hand Pressure: Imbalanced bows can lead to excessive torque or hand pressure on the grip. When you have to compensate for the bow’s tilt by applying additional force, it can introduce inconsistencies in your grip and release.
4. Increased Vibrations: A lack of balance can amplify the vibrations and hand shock experienced during and after the shot. This not only makes shooting less comfortable and tiring.
5. Fatigue and Discomfort: Trying to control an imbalanced bow can be physically tiring. It can lead to muscle fatigue and discomfort, especially during extended shooting sessions.
Stabilizers help balance your compound bow and achieving the perfect balance may require some trial and error. So you will have to play around with your bow until it is perfectly balanced. Try adding weights or moving the back stabilizers up or down, inward or outward according to the rules discussed. Keep your allen wrench handy so you can make adjustments while practicing. The goal is to have a bow that naturally settles into a level position when you come to full draw, reducing the need for corrective actions with your grip hand. You can look at this amazing resource to learn in-depth concepts about stabilizer balancing.