Printing sight tapes and pin tapes for your compound bow

Printing sight tapes and pin tapes for your compound bow

Ok now is the time for the disclosures I Peter Bourke am still and have been a staff shooter for Ontarget2 by Pinwheel Software since 2004 and still love it. No I am not the best Pro Archer in the world, yes I have won an IFAA world Indoor Pro Gold and other world and major podium finishes, through all these shoots I have never been let down by this program.

In fact I no longer go through much of the old basics like paper tuning as I know before I order my shafts every aspect of their performance, like spine, FOC, Kinetic energy, speed, ballistics, weight and so on as I model the arrow to suit my bow and my setup to then to suit the competition I intend to win (yes intentions and actual results all too often don’t match).

And I am sure the other programs on the market probably work also, but the point I would like to get across is that these programs do work because they are based on mathematics. With all computer based calculations the old standard remains (rubbish in Rubbish out), yes what I am saying is if you don’t input the correct information and measurements the software cannot produce the correct result.

This is the first point that can destroy an archers experience with this type of software, the answer is if all else fails read the instructions, yes take your time and setup each input box per instructions and the final result will be worth it.

Now for the point that I have seen many good archers fail at, the tape is printed but the arrows just keep impacting at the wrong height, so at this point they place a mark on their sight or record the sight setting against the distance. Now when they get to a 65 yard they pull out their note book (have a few cuss words about computers) and add or subtract the amount their shots are out today to the makers marks on their sight according to the previously recorded settings. And wish the arrow into the dot, ok sounds funny but only if it is not you going through this, the fix is simple you guessed it I am sure it is not the Maths or the input of data as we check all of these over and over, it is form yes the archer is changing their form to suit distance.

Form problems are easiest to identify in the compound bow hunter setup with 5 pins just by a glance at the bows sight as you walk by without ever having seen the archer shoot. In a typical Ballistics curve see Fig1 the changes are progressive as gravity and friction take their toll on speed and kinetic energy. If you look at the pins of a well set up sight used by an Archer who maintains their form throughout all distances and angles it will look similar to Fig2, the spacing between pins is gradually widening with distance. In the case of an Archer who changes form to suit the shot there will be a noticeable widening from the 40 yard mark and again at the next pin.


Below the grey line donates the point that the arrows trajectory crosses the line of sight in this case it is at 5 and 40 yards. The red dotted line is the max elevation reached by this arrow traveling at around 275 Feet per second. Please note the very gradual curve of the ballistic track this gradual curve should be mirrored in the gradual increase in spacing of your pins or your sight markings. See Fig2.


balistic curve





Tape for 5 pin sight 275FPS Arrow


If this is not the case start with a very serious look at distance/angle of shot related form changes, these will be very hard to notice from simple observation but usually follow a common routine that the Archer has perfected of raising the bow arm further for longer shots. By the way it is possible to shoot accurately in this manner, but it is very difficult to maintain these form changes in varying conditions and angles as faced by a field shooter or hunter particularly as the competition progresses. After 5 days of a world field championships walking over mountains you will be tired often very uncomfortable, cold or hot or wet, it is the last 2 hours that you stand the highest chance of dropping points due to form faults.

First check the input settings used for the sight calculations, then look at the sight settings used by the archer for a basic assessment, followed by multiple videos shot from beside the archer while shooting from 30 out to 80 yards. I use Kinovea a video motion analysis program that will allow 2 screens to be analysed together (it is free to download and good to use).

By comparing a close shot say 30 yards to a 65 or 80 yard shot the point that the bow arm starts to lift and alter the triangle formed between eye, arrow rest, sight pin and back to eye, it won’t be a massive amount of change in fact it will be very small but you will be able to measure the exact difference in angle between short and long shots, now think how much do you have to move your point of aim at 80 yards to miss completely, that’s right not much at all.

So if you have followed all the software instructions and still find the printed sight tape won’t work for you at all distances this will probably be the problem, the remedy is form work, blind bail work targeting core muscle control without altering your “T” then more videoing of your shots to check your form regularly, this is a case that requires either a coach with a good eye or constant videoing and assessment. I would prefer that you use both the video method and consult with your coach as in most cases you will be able to use the video more often than seeing a coach as this is an area that WILL cost points if not corrected.