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The Basics of Cam Tuning for Compound Bows

Learning the very basics of compound bow cam tuning is an important step to better understand your archery equipment.

For some folks out there, tinkering with their archery equipment is half of the fun. Bonafide gear nuts are always modifying their setup, adding new accessories, or fine tuning their shooting gear in some fashion. The process of adjusting your shooting rig for optimal performance can turn into a never ending quest where you never really find the gold at the end of the rainbow. Other folks, such as myself, don't get as crazy about their gear, but understanding a few things gear nuts scrutinize over can help them better understand their bow. One aspect of your shooting rig that pays to have a basic knowledge of is cam tuning. [caption id="attachment_6537" align="alignleft" width="154"]A two cam bow like this must be checked for timing periodically. A two cam bow like this must be checked for timing periodically.[/caption] Learning the basics of cam tuning a compound bow can be a little intimidating for the beginner. In reality the basics of cam tuning are pretty simple though. Tuning cams is most important, and constant, for shooters of two cam bows. The timing on a two cam bow must be precise otherwise your bow's performance will really suffer. The first thing you want to look for when tuning a two cam bow is to ensure the cams are turning over at the right time. Here is a brief video demonstrating the basics. So after watching the video your next question may be ,"so my bow is out of time. Now what?" At that point you have two options. One, take your bow to your bowpress and begin adjusting the string's harness until it is in-time. Your second choice, and probably the best choice for a novice, is to take your bow to your local archery store and let them get you back in time. In reality you'd be best served to take it to the pro shop and watch them perform the procedure. Sometimes they won't be able to get to it right away so you'll have to learn how to do it some other way. [caption id="attachment_6538" align="alignright" width="191"]Single cam bows must also be examined for cam position. Single cam bows must also be examined for cam position.[/caption] Shooters of single cam bows also have to be aware of timing issues. Although single cam bows don't have to worry about being synchronized, the single cam still must be in the right position at the right time. One of the biggest factors that can disrupt the position of your single cam is adding a new string. Depending on the quality of the string installed on your bow, it may take up to 100 shots to "shoot-in" and stretch. All this time your cam's position is being affected. Eventually the cam will not be in the correct position at full draw and your bow's performance will suffer. If you buy high quality bow strings the break-in time decreases to two or three shots and your cam has a better chance of not getting out of whack. Cam tuning compound bows may seem like a black art, but in reality it is a pretty straightforward process. Both single cam bows and dual cam bows must be aware of the issue, although each type will have its own concerns. If you are ever in doubt of your bow's timing, take it to your local archery shop and have a pro look it over. They have the gear and the know-how to set you straight.

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