What is Brace Height On a Compound Bow?

Archery is more challenging than it sounds because compound bows have various technical details and are known as complicated tools. There is a lot to know about such tools for people who have just begun bowhunting. 

The brace height is measured while the bow is at rest. It is the distance from the throat, which is the grip’s deepest part, up to the bowstring. Most modern compound bows have approximately 7 to 8 inches, or sometimes even 9 inches, of brace height, even though the measurement can vary slightly. 

Getting used to a new archery tool takes time and knowledge. In this article, we will talk about the brace height of a compound bow and other relevant points surrounding it.

Why is the Brace Height Important for A Compound Bow? 

The brace height is much more important than you think. It plays a significant role when choosing a suitable compound bow to shoot targets at a range. Three significant reasons are necessary, as they depend on the brace height. They are –

1. Arrow Speed –

If the brace height is short, then the arrow is supposed to make faster contact with the bowstring. Meaning the potential energy gets transformed much quicker. This helps the arrow departs the bow faster and exerts more force. For such reason, a shorter brace height on a compound bow will help improve the arrow’s flight and speed.

2. Bow Forgiveness –

The forgiveness of a bow is the tolerance factor. If the tolerance level is high, the archer has a lower chance of making errors within the arrow’s path. If the brace height is longer, then the minor errors do not affect the arrow’s path as much. More accurate shooting is executed because the bowstring does not stay in contact for an extended time, minimizing the results of errors. 

Archery requires years of practice, skill and various high-accuracy activities from the archer’s side. Even after that, archers are bound to make tiny mistakes, such as mistaking the brow grip, torque, body mechanics or even hand positioning. The bow forgiveness ensures that any minor mistakes on the archer’s part do not affect the arrow’s path.

3. Bow Storage –

Bow storage is another critical factor in the bow’s health. It is advised that archery tools should not be kept hanging vertically because the chances of the limbs getting twisted weirdly or getting loaded increase. So, if the bow’s brace height is short, you can store the tool easily. As for longer brace height bows, you have to store them in a much safer way. 

Consequences of Long and Short Brace Heights. 

The brace height of a compound bow dictates many factors. Both short and long heights are suitable for use. However, they have their advantages and disadvantages. Such as – 

Consequences of Short Brace Height. 

If the brace height is short, the shooter must draw the bowstring further to bring it within their draw length. Which, in turn, offers a higher velocity for the arrow once it is released. Even though you are getting added speed, you must sacrifice the bow forgiveness.

But, the issue is that as the bowstring gets drawn further, the arrows stay in contact with the bowstring for longer in the shot period. Magnifying any imperfections the archer or bow might have during the shot reduces the accuracy. Moreover, poorly tuning or low bow torque will considerably affect the arrow’s path. So, the archer should have a spot on shooting and tuning to minimize any errors.

Related one: How Long Does a Compound Bow String Last

Consequences of Long Brace Height.

Bows with a longer brace height are expected to shoot much slower than shorter ones. Although, this also varies on the cam system. You should not be sad about losing speed because there are other benefits to having a more extended brace height. As the length is more significant, the distance between the bowstring and the throat of the bow grip also increases. So, this will only let you draw the bowstring as much as your general draw length. 

Now, you will think this will not give much speed to the shoot. But, since the arrow departs the bowstring much quicker within the shot cycle, the arrow flight is more accurate. It does not matter if the shooting form is incorrect or if there are tuning flaws because those do not affect it. Many minor errors that shooters have during their challenging performances will not affect the arrow’s path as much when the brace height is extended.

How to Adjust the Brace Height? 

You might think that the brace height is permanent and that you cannot adjust it according to your preference. But that is incorrect as you can change the bow’s standard brace height if it is not working out for you. 

Here are the steps to follow to adjust the brace height of your compound bow.

1.    While the bowstring is unstrung from the bow’s stem, twist it to adjust the brace height.

2.    A shorter or longer string can be used, depending on what you want to achieve with the brace height.

3.    When you start twisting the string, it gets shorter and pulls the limbs of the bows even more.

4.    This creates a considerable distance between the bowstring and the main body of the archery tool.

5.    Until and unless you get the brace height to your preferred length, you can keep twisting or untwisting.

6.    If you are twisting correctly, the bow’s limbs will be pushed further down, which adds more distance between the string and the riser.

7.    To decrease the brace height, you have to untwist some twists in the string so that the length shortens. 

Some tools, such as a bow stringer, can help you to do this task without having to do it manually. As for recurve or longbows, you need a bow stringer which is simple, too, to help you adjust the brace height. These bows can also be taken to the shop because professionals will help you to set the bow in a way that will give maximum performance.

However, in the case of compound bows, you cannot do it manually or use any tool to adjust the brace height. Instead, you need to take it to a shop so that no mistakes occur during the task. It is not advisable to adjust their brace heights because the manufacturer’s setting is considered suitable. 

What is The Perfect Brace Height for Compound Bows?

As mentioned above, the brace height for compound bows is not adjusted, as the standard height is ideal. Still, shooters expect a certain length to shoot precisely for long-distance targets. The height needs to be at least 7 inches to improve flight accuracy and can go up to 9 inches or even a bit more. As for hunting bows or situations where the arrow speed is crucial, compound bows with a brace height of 5 to 7 inches are preferable. 

Compound bows usually have various height options on the same model because it is an important factor. A lot of time is given to getting the brace height of a compound bow accurate just so the shooters do not have to face any errors. You can measure your bow’s brace height while resting to determine which length is suitable for you to use.

Which Brace Height Is Preferable for You? 

The brace height for your compound bow depends entirely on your personal choice and your intentions of shooting. There are various aspects to be taken seriously when looking for the perfect brace height, such as –

1.    The shooter’s confidence and skill levels determine the length of the brace height.

2.    If you are looking for speed, you will have to consider giving up accuracy and forgiveness of the arrow path.

3.    Your intended bow usage will help you decide which length is helpful for your bow.

4.    Not every bow’s brace height can be adjusted just by twisting and untwisting. 

Different bows give their best performances at varying heights. This means it is a good idea to play around with the brace heights for some time and find out which suits you. But it is advisable to only use the brace height set by the manufacturer without configuring it for a while. 

Once you have earned enough skills and learnt the proper archery methods, you can start playing with the different brace heights to figure out which performs the best for you.

In Conclusion. 

The brace height of a compound bow is one of the significant factors determining the tool’s performance. The personal skill level and practice of the shooter are also necessary. Still, the height determines various factors which affect the arrow path. Both shorter and longer brace heights have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it is impossible to find one specific height that will give you the best of both worlds. In either case, you need to sacrifice the arrow’s speed or the forgiveness or accuracy of the arrow flight, which most archers do not want. 

Nevertheless, you want to find the perfect brace height for your bow which works the best for you. Even though you should not experiment with compound bows, after using them for a while, if the length does not work for you, take it to the shop and get it fixed. The brace height is essential, and working with a suitable length will provide excellent results in the field. 

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