How To Measure A Recurve Bow Length – Ultimate Guide In 2023

How to measure a recurve bow length

No matter what is the purpose of using your bow whether it is hunting, archery, or warm-up for your game accuracy and comfort always matter the most and it all comes together if you have a perfect recurve bow that suits your purpose. To determine your best bow, you must require to take proper measurements. other factors like: simplicity, versatility, portability, cost, and others come later. Since a bow is a complex object to operate that requires a lot of practice it is also tough to measure.

How to measure a recurve bow length? Well, to do so there are three methods and all of them serve accurate results. You can go with Archery Manufacturers Organization (AMO) markups, a manual approach with basic tools like measuring tapes or measuring using draw length. We’ve discussed these methods in detail in this article. You can easily scan through forward to get the solution of it.

Key Takeaways

  • Bow length is important since it gives flexibility and it is important to understand which one you need for hunting specific animals.
  • Take note of reasons you should take the measurements.
  • There are three ways to take the recurve bow length measurement and also the measurement of the ideal weight of the bow and its parts in detail.

Why Bow Length Matter?

Why bow length matter
Why bow length matter

From one tip to another tip this length is defined as a bow’s overall length. It affects a bow’s performance and behavior in many ways. Generally, the length of a bow is determined by a number of factors, including the archer’s height, draw length, and shooting style. In general, longbows are easier to shoot and more forgiving, but they may also be heavier and more difficult to maneuver. On the other hand, shorter bows are lighter and more maneuverable, so they are ideal for hunting in smaller areas or dense forests. The design and materials of the limbs, the draw weight, and the choice of arrows can all affect the performance of a bow in addition to its overall length. 

5 Reasons Why You Should Measure Your Bow Length

Measuring the length of a recurve bow is an essential aspect of archery. Here are the reasons why:

  1. The length of a bow affects the accuracy of shots. Measuring the length ensures that the archer gets the right size of the bow for their level of experience and target shooting.
  2. The right size of bow can make a significant difference in the comfort you experience during shooting. If the bow is not the right length, then it will be awkward to handle and not deliver as the archer expects.
  3. Using an ill-fitting bow can lead to injury. Measuring the length of the bow ensures that the archer gets the right size and that they use it correctly.
  4. The right bow length enhances performance. Archers who use bows of correct length have a good experience, and the bow performs optimally.
  5. If you ever decide to sell your recurve bow, having proper documentation of your bow helps to boost up the process of selling and create a better presentation to the buyers.

Recurve Bow is Very Simple

The recurve bow is primarily used in archery and hunting. When it is unstrung, its limbs curve away from the archer, allowing the arrow to launch faster and with greater power. Compared to traditional straight-limbed bows, recurve bows shoot arrows farther and more accurately because of their design. Traditional archers prefer this type of bow for its simplicity and elegance and are commonly used in Olympic archery competitions. Archers can customize and adjust them to meet their individual needs and preferences.

3 Ways to Determine the Recurve Bow Length

You might come across a lot of ways to measure the length of your recurve bow but seldom do they inform you to do it right, so, here are three methods to run for taking the measurements:

1.Using Your Draw Length

Since you are here to know about how to measure recurve bow length you have already heard of the fundamental techniques like measuring the draw lengths since it is the most accurate way to measure. To do this, stand upright and extend both arms out to the side at shoulder height. Ask someone to measure from the tip of one middle finger to the other middle finger across your shoulders, and then divide this measurement by 2.5. This gives your approximate draw length in inches. To choose an appropriate recurve bow length based on your draw length, use this formula.

Using your draw length
Using your draw length

2.Manual Approach (Optional)

Place one end of the measuring tape on the top groove end and stretch it to the opposite groove end. Measure from the point where you started to the other end, making sure that the tape lies flat on the curve of the bow limb and reaches across the riser. Once you have measured, subtract 3 inches from the length of the recurve bow string. For precise string lengths, you must subtract the excessive length of the tip-to-groove distance from the measurements taken from one tip to another tip of the bow.

Manual approach
Manual approach

3.Using AMO Length

The AMO length should be stamped or written on every side and angle of the bow. You can also check the user manual for the amount and now you have almost finished finding the length of a recurve bowstring. Once you have identified the AMO length, simply subtract the length by 3 inches. You have found the length of a recurve bowstring.

Using AMO length
Using AMO length

How Long Should My Recurve Bow Be?

According to the experts, a recurve bow’s length should be determined by its draw length, which is how far you can pull the string from the back of the bow while pulling it back to the anchor point. In general, a bow should be about two to two and a half inches long for every inch of a draw length. Therefore, if your draw length is 23 inches, you should be using a bow about 62 inches long.

Your experience level and intended use should also be considered when determining the length of your recurve bow. Beginners may find shorter bows (around 60-62 inches) easier to handle and manage. Longbows are typically longer than recurve bows because they require more length to achieve similar draw weights. Here’s the chart for a better understating of the measurements for your recurve bow length.

Draw Length (inches)Bow Size (inches) – AMO

What Is The Best Weight For A Recurve Bow?

The best weight for a recurve bow depends on various factors, but according to expert recommendation weight between 20-30 pounds is ideal to develop proper form and avoid injury. For target shooting or competition, a weight of around 40-50 pounds is optimal for accuracy and consistency. For hunting or outdoor activities, a weight of 45-60 pounds is ideal for power and penetration. And for sports like the Olympics, 48.5 pounds for the men and 33 pounds for the women for recurve bow. So, it depends on the purpose of the bow too. A bow’s weight can also be adjusted by changing the limbs or bowstring. It is crucial to choose the right weight to prevent fatigue and injury and enhance performance. A general rule of thumb is to select a weight that can be comfortably drawn and held for at least 10 seconds without shaking or strain. Ultimately, the best weight for a recurve bow is the one that feels natural and comfortable for the individual user.

Which Bow Length is Perfect?

There are several factors that influence which size bow is best for you, including your height, arm length, and shooting plan.

  • When you draw your bow fully back, the draw length refers to the distance between the bow grips and the rest of the arrow. If your recurve bow is the right size, it will have a draw length that is comfortable enough for you to shoot accurately. You can easily measure your recurve bow draw length with any draw length measuring tool or ask your coach for help.
  • When choosing a suitable length for a recurve bow, one’s height plays an important role. Generally, longer bows are used by taller archers, while shorter bows are used by shorter archers. However, your draw length and shooting style play an important role too.
  • You should choose a shorter bow instead of a longer bow if you intend to go hunting or to shoot from a treestand. The shooting almost affects 70% in determining the best bow length for you. Conversely, if you wish to shoot in larger fields or participate in archery competitions, a longer bow will provide greater accuracy and stability than a short bow.

Anatomy of a Recurve Bow

Once you get to know about the parts of recurve bow you’ll be able to take care and function with it more accurately. A recurve bow consists of three main components: 

  1. A Riser 
  2. A Limb
  3. A String 

Each part of a recurve bow has its own part. 

1.The Riser

Archers hold the riser or handle of their recurve bow, which is also the part of the bow that holds the other parts together. They can be made of wood, aluminum, carbon fiber, or any combination of these materials. 

The Riser
The Riser

Here are the other parts along the riser:

  • Grip: Wooden risers have a grip built in. Aluminum or carbon fiber risers may have a removable grip altogether it helps you hold the bow firmly. 
  • Sight window: You can aim through the cut-out of the recurve riser. It also provides space for a sight pin on an Olympic recurve.  
  • Shelf: Hunters/Archers use the shelf as an arrow rest while not in use
  • Arrow Rest: It is a metal or plastic hook where the arrow rests during a shot.
  • Limb Pocket: The slot where the limbs would go into.
  • Stabilizer Mount: This is where you attach your bow stabilizer.
  • Plunger Hole: Your plunger is attached here. The plunger guides your arrow through the centerline and prevents too much flexing.
  • Sight Mount: This is where you attach your sight for archery/hunting

2.The Limbs

The Limbs
The Limbs

A recurve bow’s limbs store energy when it is drawn, which is why they are so long and flexible. The limbs provide power and come in different weights. There is a common misconception that the upper and lower limbs can be interchanged. However, this isn’t the case since when the bow is drawn, the lower limb often has a slightly heavier draw weight than the upper limb. And some manufacturers now make the two limbs practically the same weight, they still have specific labels for ‘top’ and ‘bottom’.

3.The String

The String
The String

The recurve bow string is the most important part of the recurve bow as it is the main component that transfers the energy from the string to the arrow.

Here are the other parts that come along:

  • String Loop: String loops hook into the limbs. The upper loop is larger than the lower loop most of the time. However, some custom strings have the same loop size.
  • Serving: You nock your arrow on the string serving instead of the string. Since the String Serving wraps around the string strands, you can hook your fingers onto the string easier.
  • Nocking Point: On your bowstring, the Nocking Point is a pair of small indicators made of plastic or brass that ensures your arrow is positioned properly before firing.


How do you measure a recurve bow tiller?

Bow tillers are measured from the string to the base of the top and bottom limbs are perpendicular to the bow string. The tiller reading is the difference between the top limb minus the bottom limb.

How do I choose a recurve bow limb?

More than a 27″ draw makes a 68″ bow. More than a 25″ draw makes a 66″ bow. If you shoot less than a 25″, you should consider a 64″ bow (short limbs and a 23″ riser). You should consider a 72″ bow (long limbs and a 27″ riser) if your draw exceeds 31″.

Are recurve bows stronger?

Generally everything is equal among bows but a recurve bow is more powerful than a longbow. This is because recurve bows can hold more energy in their limbs.

Final Thoughts

So after all of this discussion you’ve come to know that taking measurements of recurve bow is only a hard task until you have the right tips, technique, and methods to follow and get the task done. Neither it takes much time nor it requires extra tools and materials. The approaches are simple and easy to follow. You can apply any mentioned one from this article that suits your bow length measurement purpose to make your customization and hit your next venture with it.

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