Steve Johnson's List Or Columns
grip is one of the most critical factors in consistency. A more consistent
grip equals better accuracy. We soon found out that different bows
needed different grip variations to shoot well. We've spent years
working with different grips and pressures to get our bows to perform better.
Whenever we get a new bow, among the many things that we do is to try different
hand placements on the bow grip.
What we are looking for is that magic hand placement that will give
us awesome accuracy (we're still looking). We settle for good arrow
flight and try for a follow through where the bow doesn't twist in your
hand during and after execution.
This seems to be something that just about everyone has done.
We are all looking for that consistent grip. Some of us have spent
hours shooting at a blank bale with our eyes closed, trying to get the
feel of that perfect hand placement.
But, in search for that magic way to grip the bow, we found that the
real magic wasn't in where the hand was placed on the bow. The real
magic came from how easy it was to duplicate.
Custom bow grips, bumps added to the grip, shooting without the grip,
using bow slings, shooting with a open hand, the list goes on and on.
They all have been used to help make the way the bow is gripped easier
to duplicate. All these "gimmicks" can work quite well.
With practice, they can help you be more consistent.
So, we practiced with different hand variations. But, after spending
a lot of time trying different hand placements, we found that there were
quite a few variations that seemed to be workable. Each grip variation
needed a different sight setting to compensate for where the arrow would
impact. As long as the same grip was used, the sight was accurate.
(Otherwise, we could never be sure where the arrow would impact.)
Soon we noticed that if we took care to align the cables the same way
for each shot that a lot of left and right problems went away. That
is, when we were at full draw looking through our peep we made sure that
the cables were inline with some reference on the bow riser. Sometimes
we would put a white mark with a crayon on the riser and make sure that
when we set our hand position, at full draw the cables would be aligned
with the mark. But soon we started abusing this knowledge.
We started fixing some of our left and right problems by adjusting the
cable alignment on the riser. By torquing the bow slightly one-way or the
other. This was so effective that sometimes our practice sessions
would consist of finding the cable alignment that was working best that
day (not the best path to being consistent).
Soon we decided the best cable alignment would be the natural one.
If we didn't add any extra torque to the system and let the bow torque
naturally. That way we could have consistent cable alignment simply
by doing nothing. No extra work to align cables. We found out
that doing nothing was actually doing something.
To find out where the natural or neutral alignment of the cables was,
we started with an open grip covered with Vaseline (petroleum jelly).
The grip being slick made it a lot harder to torque the bow. So we
were able to determine where the cables were suppose to line up on the
riser. (Each bow was different.)
However, trying to do nothing, so the cables would line up naturally
required constant attention. Without the grip being slick, it was
easy to torque the bow. In fact, the more friction in the grip the
more attention had to be given to getting the cable alignment correct.
This took attention away from other aspects of the shot (like aiming).
We found that if we wore a simple cloth glove on the bow hand, the cable
alignment was more consistent with less effort. We tried several
types of gloves and found the common brown jersey type glove to be very
slick when used on a wood bow grip. We cut the fingers off the glove
so we didn't have to worry about the bow slipping out of our hand when
we didn't want it to. The only problem with that glove was that it
tended to lose its shape after a bit, especially if it got wet. (But
even wet, the glove works superbly.)
Using the cloth glove gives us more time to work on some of our other
problems. With a glove on to insulate our hand from the cold bow
grip, it is hard to understand why rubber grips have become so popular
lately. Rubber grips make it so easy to torque the bow. The
cloth glove makes it easier to do nothing.
Special note: We found that a knitted polyester glove (sometimes
used as a ski insert), is just as slick and holds its shape for a very
long time (even wet). We cut all the fingers and thumb off, leaving
about 1" still attached to the palm portion. This works very well
for target shooting and hunting. We have all tried gloves, and we all use
For Further Information Or To Order
Spot~Hogg® Archery Products
125 Smith St.
PO Box 226
Harrisburg, OR 97446
Toll free: 888-302-7768
Tel: (541) 995-3702
Fax: (541) 995-6370