Bow Hand Placement

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One of the more common problems shooters experience is inconsistent or improper hand placement on their grip. Proper grip plays a huge role in the horizontal accuracy of an archer. Some symptoms of improper grip include the following. Most shooters will simply grab the bow by wrapping their hand completely around the handle (photo 1). This is wrong for several reasons. First, by wrapping your hand around the grip you are adding torque to the handle. This means that when you release the bowstring the bow will whip around to the right or left. This will cause erratic arrow flight and the stringing of arrows from left to right. This type of grip will often times give you two pressure points with your bow hand. This will cause the bow to kick differently with each shot.

Another very common mistake is shooting with the bow hand completely open (photo 2+3). Shooters use this grip when some one tells them they need a relaxed grip. This however, is not relaxed. In order to hold your hand completely open you are using many muscles and tendons. This creates a rigid or hard bow hand. This hard hand can cause the bow to rock back and forth upon release. Your grip is the first thing that you should concentrate on after loading the arrow. To approach your grip open your bow hand forming a "v" with your thumb and index finger (photo 4+5). Next, extend your hand into the throat of the grip (photo 6+ 7). Once the web of your thumb contacts the throat of the grip, completely relax your hand (photo 8). This should place the grip of the bow squarely on the pad of your thumb. The heel of your hand should never touch the grip. This will give you a consistent pressure point on the grip and a nice steady push towards the target.

Another important factor in hand placement is bow grip design. To many shooters big, fat, round grips feel more comfortable in the hand. Comfortable does not always mean that it is the best shooting. Your better shooting grips tend to be very slender and flat in design. This helps to eliminate the potential for torque. Many of the new bows on the market are building narrower grips. This is one reason today's bows shoot so well. If you are experiencing torque problems or inconsistent grouping try this grip technique. If you would like further explanation check our web site ( Next month there will be pictures to help illustrate this technique.

Good luck and good shooting!

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Photo4a bow hand placement
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bow hand placement