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Bare Shaft Tuning Question


Well-Known Member
SH Member
Nov 1, 2018
Got my bow set up...got bullet holes through paper with bare shafts...fletched my arrows...got bullet holes through paper...went out to bare shaft tune my arrows at 20 yards today...

shot 12-15 rounds of 2 fletched, 2 bare shafts at exactly 20 yards...My sight needs to be moved, I’m aware, but what do you believe my next step should be?To achieve bullet holes through paper at 21 feet, I had to move my rest left, slightly out of 13/16 centershot. It’s about 7/8 from the riser currently. I’d rather not move my rest anyfurther left. I will probably micro adjust my rest down a little to fix the vertical issue first...is this close enough to not worry about anything? I plan on shooting35 yards and in exclusively.i could also swap out top hats on my bottom cam to shim it to the right a little and see what happens but I don’t want to go cranking on my bow and moving stuff around if you guys believe this is close enough to not have to worry about anything...any advice is welcomed. Thanks View attachment 27706
I just rewatched the Ranch Fairy bare shaft tuning video and your fix for your bare shafts according to that video would be to move your rest. I thought it was more important to do the long range bare shaft tuning process/adjustments, because after all we are shooting farther than 6-7 feet. I didn't really care where I had to move the rest. I was looking for the consistent result of bare shafts hitting straight from a distance.


Nov 15, 2019
I always add 22 grains of duct tape to the bare shafts where my vanes normally sit, to match both weight and balance of the bare shafts and fletched arrows. Your feathers (and their glue) probably don't weigh the same as my vanes, so weigh your fletching and add a grain or two for glue. I like to use fluorescent duct tape so I can see the arrow flight more clearly.

Re-shoot a few groups to see if your bare shafts fly any differently, and proceed with your tuning from there.

My next move, given the group in the OP's original photo, would be to lower the rest a tiny bit to get the bare shafts shooting on the same horizontal plane with the fletched arrows. Once they all hit the same horizontal line, you can adjust the elevation of your sight.

The 2 fletched arrows in the photo appear to be grouped inside the bare shafts on a horizontal plane (one bare shaft to the right, one to the left of the flat hed arrows), suggestung that your rest and cams are fine, horizontally. Move back a few yards and try a few more groups. If the fletched and bare shaft arrows continue to group around the same center, you're probably done tuning.

The larger group you're seeing from your bare shafts is normal and expected - they dont have the stability of the fletched shafts, and are much more vulnerable to variations in grip and release.

If your bare shafts consistently group to the right or left of your fletched shafts, you can tune for horizontal grouping with cable/yoke twists, cam shimming, or small rest adjustments. You might try moving your rest the direction you want your fletched shafts to move (toward the bare shafts), then move your sight to get the group back to center. Sometimes that works. Its usually what I try first. Sometimes moving the bare shafts toward the fletched shafts works better.

Bare shafts also continue to flex back and forth for a much greater distance than fletched shafts. As you move closer and further from your target, you'll probably see them change from tail right to left and back to right. This is one reason why we don't rely entirely on paper tuning, and many folks skip it altogether. A well-tuned bow that puts broadheads, bare shafts, and fletched arrows with field points all in the same place will often have a slight tail right or left tear through paper.