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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have this suspicion my arrow nocks are too tight for my bow string. It takes 6 lbs. of pull weight to get the arrow off the string. Is this OK? If not, does it affect accuracy of shots, and which is the best approach to fix this? Change nocks or change string? The bow I'm using has 30# draw weight. The string has 16 strands.
 

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Try selling the arrows that don't work in the classifieds. Someone else is likely to be shooting them.
 

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There is a rule of thumb to check if the nocks are too tight on the string: when you clip the arrow on the string and you turn it around the serving is following, the nock is too tight. The clipping sound is not important. 16 strands of what? It sounds like the string is overbuilt for the bow poundage. I would buy another string with 12 strands than sell the arrows - keep the $ loss in check.
 

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Trad is for stumpin
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Clip arrow on string.Turn bow so arrow points to ground. Arrow should not fall off string. Now tap on string with a finger moderately and arrow should fall to ground. If you really have to hit string hard with finger to get arrow to fall they are to tight. I usually make my own strings and choose the serving size to get the above fit. Easton super nock 3D or GT nocks work well. Regular Easton super nocks have a lip designed to keep arrow on string when letting down a short ATA compound and don't work as well on light weight trad bows.
 

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The last time I ordered a string from string maker, before I started to make my own again, I ordered a string with the serving to fit an Easton small grove g nock. Well, they sent me a string to fit a large groove g-nock. So, the next time I went by an archery shop I picked up a dozen large groove g-nocks. I was out 8 bucks and I could use that expensive string from the maker who will never get any of my business again.
 

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I had this exact problem last year with a notable string maker. If I snapped the GT arrow on the string and turned the arrow and gripped it I could hold the bow and wouldn't fall off even shaking it a little. The string maker made it right, but in the interim I sanded a couple of nocks to try knowing I had to toss them later. Strongly recommend you don't sand nocks, this makes very inconsistent nocks.

And yes, the very tight arrows did release with a lot of noise and variation hitting the target - high-low mostly.

KPinWI describes the generally accepted fit test, tapping the string.
 

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Proper nock fit is important. I use the same test of nock fit as KPinWI.

To adjust nock fit, you can try alternate nocks, sand or file the throats of the nocks you have, or re-serve your string with a smaller diameter material. I've used all three approaches with good results.

String servings wear out from time to time, so it's a good idea to have a server and a selection of materials of different diameters. More expensive to get set up than simply buying a new string, but.... there's no guarantee that the new string will come with a serving that fits your nocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you guys for those useful tips. I was in the impression the bow shop who made the string and who recommended & customized the arrows did check the nock against the string for proper tightness.

Anyways, I'll just have the shop make me a new one that fits the arrow nocks properly. Should I trust that shop again for any future business? That's the only local archery shop in our city.
 

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Thank you guys for those useful tips. I was in the impression the bow shop who made the string and who recommended & customized the arrows did check the nock against the string for proper tightness.

Anyways, I'll just have the shop make me a new one that fits the arrow nocks properly. Should I trust that shop again for any future business? That's the only local archery shop in our city.
I've always had to do some adjustment to get my nocks and my strings to fit properly - even after I started making my own strings about ten years ago. I'm sure that your shop owner tried pretty hard to get it right, but I'd be surprised if he has the time for the trial and error it takes to get things exactly right. Too many variables - nocks vary quite a bit from brand to brand, number of strands in the string, serving diameter, amount of tension on the serving jig as the serving is being applied, how much twist is in the string, and so forth. Finally, the fit between nock and string varies with time, because the nocks and the serving both wear a bit as you shoot the arrows.
 

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Trad is for stumpin
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I use 420gr to 460 gr arrows total weight for bows from 35 to 50# bows usually. Try to keep speeds around 180s fps if possible. The nocks do click on with a muted click, not a loud click. There is no reason to have them so tight, only makes for poor flight/tuning issues IMO.
 

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How heavy of arrows are you guys using for this tap test? That just seems real loose to me. I feel like this is advice leftover from the days of wooden arrows with selfnocks?
I've used this test with arrows from less than 400 up to 700 grains. I first encountered this test in The Bowhunter's Encyclopedia, which was written by a well-known archer named Dwight Schuh, who started with trad bows, shot compounds for most of his career, and then returned to trad, upon occasion, towards the end of his life.

Never had a problem with nocks that were too loose if they passed this test.... but I have seen arrow flight problems caused by nocks that were too tight.

Why?

Another test which I encountered recently is that a nock, without an arrow attached, should snap onto the string, but then turn freely on the string without torquing the string. The rationale given was that if the nock is tight enough to torque the string, then torque applied to the string as it slides off the fingertips will torque the arrow shaft and cause flight problems. Can't say that I've seen proof that this is why nocks that are too tight cause arrow flight problems, but it sounds plausible...

My own guess is that if a nock is too tight, the string will give the nock end of the arrow a significant impulse before it pulls loose. If you've watched a slo-mo video of how a string moves as it pushes and then parts company with the arrow, that can't be good. Like anything else, it can probably be tuned out if the friction between nock and arrow and the archer's movements upon release are both sufficiently consistent...
 

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Thank you guys for those useful tips. I was in the impression the bow shop who made the string and who recommended & customized the arrows did check the nock against the string for proper tightness.

Anyways, I'll just have the shop make me a new one that fits the arrow nocks properly. Should I trust that shop again for any future business? That's the only local archery shop in our city.
It is best to stay on good terms with your local shop. Explain your problem and buy a new string from them. If they do not offer, you might ask them if they could reserve the first string a bit thinner. Then maybe buy something else from them to show you are a good customer to take care of. - lbg
 

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Great advice LBG. Definitely a good way to go.....BUT....
Depends on what you are dealing with. Local shops around me have a hard time containing their scoffs and giggles if I am ordering anything “Trad”
Thankfully, we have some really good stringmakers out there that can build you exactly what you need, as long as you can tell them exactly what you need.
60X, SBD come to mind......
 

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I have this suspicion my arrow nocks are too tight for my bow string. It takes 6 lbs. of pull weight to get the arrow off the string. Is this OK? If not, does it affect accuracy of shots, and which is the best approach to fix this? Change nocks or change string? The bow I'm using has 30# draw weight. The string has 16 strands.
Lame, I'll bet with your arrow nocked onto your bowstring, you can pick your bow up with your arrow, so YES, your nocks are way too tight. Some wag told me long ago that the arrow needs to clear the string when it wants to.

From Easton's Tuning Guide: Nock-to-Bowstring Tension

The nock tension 'snap fit' necessary to separate the nock from the bowstring serving can be very critical, especially on light draw-weight bows (30 lbs. and under). Nock tension should be tight enough so the arrow can easily support its own weight when the arrow is hanging vertically on the bowstring (nock against the nocking point).

To check this, hang your arrow vertically from the bowstring, and give the string a sharp tap with your finger on the serving about 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) from the arrow nock. The arrow should separate from the string. If it does not, the nock is probably too tight for most target archery. For hunting, a slightly tighter nock-to-bowstring fit is often preferred.

Once you get your arrow nock fit sorted, consider installing tie on nock sets. They're great to work with and easily adjustable.
 
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