How to Break In a New Compound Bow

How to Break In a New Compound Bow


How to break in Your New Compound bow

How to Break In a New Compound Bow – Many people will argue the different way how to break in a new compound bow but for me its a two step process. Breaking in a new bow is like building a relationship. Yeah there are some technical things one should do to ensure proper break-in but for me the most important aspect is the connection you need to make with your equipment.


The technical stuff:

  • There are several ways to “break in” your bow strings and a cables, the simplest way is to shoot it in. First you want to set your center-shot on the bow, (do not install a peep sight and do not add wax or string conditioner) then stand 10 feet in front of a blank bail and simply shoot it 100-150 times. This should stretch the cables and string a bit and more than likely throw off your cam timing due to the cables stretching.  Now you will need to tune the bow and install your peep. Once your bow is paper tuned and the peep is set you can begin to sight your bow in. Doing it this way should help your bow hold tune and eliminate having to constantly re-sight in as your bow’s strings and cables stretch. Moreover, should eliminate having to “train” your peep sight due to new strings settling causing peep rotation and creeping.
  • A more sophisticated way to achieve the same results and break in your new bow is to use a draw board or a hooter shooter. Most reputable archery shops should have these and if you are buying a bow from them I would ask them to do this for you. I know at Arizona Archery Club where I volunteer my time, this is a standard practice. When you buy a new bow they will put your bow on the hooter shooter at full draw and let it sit at full draw for 4-5 hours to achieve break-in so that when you come to pick up your new fully tuned bow its ready to go…


Breaking in my new compound bow

If you do all this and you still have some peep creep that you can’t solve with adding or taking out twists. You may have to Train your peep. One of the things I do aside from manually setting it before each shot is I use a piece of ridged wire that I stick through the peep and secure the other end so that it holds the peep straight while it’s in my case or on the shelf. (see fig 1)

Building a Relationship

Now that you have the technical stuff out of the way its time to start building a relationship with your bow, learn the way it moves, the way it reacts and ultimately allow it to become an extension of you. It may sound quirky or even superstitious but I will not take a brand new bow out into the field unless I have run it through and shot it in as many lifelike scenarios as possible. I want to build confidence to the point that I almost get cocky and feel I can make just about any shot I’m presented with. The only way to do that is shoot a lot, but not just repetition. All that is going to do is make you really good at that specific shot, at that specific yardage, and in that specific position. Design your training to be suited to the game.  For instance, if you are a spot and stalk hunter you are going to be shooting from seated, kneeling, and other unnatural positions. You will be moving in on an animal and possibly drawing behind something like a bush or tree then stepping out to shoot. You will undoubtedly be shooting on uneven terrain and or possibly at steep angles. I would incorporate all these into your shooting and shoot them all until they become second nature to you. Here is a little tip for practicing under pressure 

Similar for shooting out of a ground blind or out of a treestand you should be practicing with your new bow to get yourself accustomed to

Building a relationship with your bow

the things you may face in the field.  If your using a treestand your practice sessions should be in a treestand shooting at different ranges different angles and from different directions around the tree. Likewise if your using a ground blind you should be shooting out of a chair and preferably out of the blind itself because many times you have to contort your bow and body in unfamiliar positions to get the shot. You will notice that in a ground blind sometimes to get the arrow to clear or to even fully see the animal you may have to drop out of the chair on your knees, this action of sliding out of the chair quietly and getting into position to shoot is great way to acclimate yourself.

Once you have mastered shooting your new bow out of all these positions and you have built enough confidence in my opinion you have truly “broken in” your bow.

Listen to my podcast with Tony Cuchiara on becoming more acurate with your bow .

How to Break In a New Compound Bow