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Common Definitions and Terms for Archery

There are MANY more terms and definitions for archery! We like this website for great information: www.kidbow.com

Recurve bow
A bow with limbs that curve smoothly forward (in reverse to its body) to a noticeable degree, from the center to the tip of each limb, where the bowstring rests on the belly of the limbs when braced.
A straight or nearly straight bow of five feet or longer (where the string does not lay on the belly of the limbs).
Compound Bow
A bow that uses a system of cams, pulleys, and cables to change the weight build-up as the bowstring is drawn.
A container to hold arrows conveniently while hunting and shooting. The many types of quivers are referred to by where they are attached; bow quiver, back quiver, side quiver, shoulder quiver and ground quiver.
Finger Tab
A flat leather piece worn to protect the string fingers from the bowstring. Some styles include a spacer that reduces pinching of the arrow. Frequently shortened to "tab".
A piece of stiff material (traditionally leather) attached to the inner side of the lower arm and wrist of the bow arm to protect it from the bowstring when the arrow is released. Also called a bracer.
Shooting glove
A 3 fingered leather glove used to protect the fingers while shooting bows.


Arrow shaft
The main body of the arrow before the nock, fletching, or point is installed. It can be made from several materials including wood, aluminum, carbon, and composites.
Arrow shelf
The area of the bow above the handle or grip where the arrow sits.
Cock feather
The odd colored or marked feather (vane).
The feathers or vanes used to stabilize an arrow in flight.
An arrow part that accepts the screw in point or the nock.
Nock on arrow
Arrow part glued or snapped into the back of an arrow shaft that the bow string fits into. On early or very traditional arrows, the nock is cut into the shaft itself.
A term that describes the stiffness of an arrow shaft and tells the shooter if the shaft is strong enough to be shot in a bow of known poundage. Too light of a spine can cause accidents when the shaft breaks.


Anchor Point
The reference point that a person pulls the bow string to before releasing. This point should be the same for each shot and may be the side of the mouth, ear lobe, or other reference point.
Bow stringer
An aid that helps to prevent limb twist and tip damage while installing the bow string.
Brace height
The distance from the string to the deepest part of the handle or grip. This distance can be changed by twisting the string tighter to increase the height and untwisting it to decrease the height.
Cable guard
The rod on compound bows which keeps the cables away from the center of the bow so the arrow can pass by without hitting the cables.
The wheel or pulley on the end of compound bow's limb used to provide let-off and power. They may be round or elliptical shape.
Center shot
A bow with a sight window that is inset to the centerline that runs along the bow from end to end in line with the string. This lessens the bending of the arrow when released.
A gadget attached to the back of the bow which clicks when you are at your desired anchor point.
Draw length
The distance a person draws a bow, measured from the bottom of the arrow nock to the back of a bow when in shooting position.
Draw weight
Amount of pull weight measured in pounds that it takes to pull a bow string a certain distance.
Kisser button
A button placed on a bow string to hold your anchor point consistently in the same position.
The percent that a bows holding weight is reduced from its pulling weight when the cams are in the valley.
The ends of the bow that bend when the string is pulled back.
A string in a U shape tied on the bow string around the nock point that a release aid is attached to when shooting.
Peep sight
The rear sight of a bow. A piece of metal, plastic, or rubber with a hole in it placed in the string, that allows the shooter to look through the string.
Letting go of the string to shoot an arrow.
Release aid
Some type of tool that is used to pull the bow string and provide a better release by a trigger of some type.
The middle part of a bow that has the grip, shelf, sight window and other parts. This part of the bow does not bend when pulling the string.
String material applied to the bow string to in the nock area to make the string last longer and used also to make a loop in the string ends. Serving is also used to keep the peep site from moving on the string.
Sight window
The area of the bow above the grip and arrow shelf where you would mount a site or as with a long bow, you see your target.
A weight rod of various lengths and weights that is attached to a bow to reduce vibrations and supposedly give better control of grouping of shots.
The distance from the string perpendicular to each limb. On a compound, loosing or tightening the adjusting bolts to will get the distance equal. On a long bow or recurve, material must be removed from the bow to give the needed distance.