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Bow Accessories and Uses

Bow Accessories and Uses

If you are a new beginner to archery you need to learn a whole new language. First of all, a good place to start is learning about the anatomy of the bow and arrow. Because understanding how these bow accessories and uses work is key to progressing as an archer. The following are some of the more common words you will come across relating to archery and its components.

The Riser

The riser is the central part of the bow. Its essentially the handle that you grip when holding and aiming the bow. The riser is a really important part of the bow because it’s the part that the rest of the bow is built upon. It includes the Grip, the Sight, and the Arrow Rest. As the name implies, the grip is the part carved or moulded to fit comfortably in the hand of the user. It can be designed as either a left or right handed grip.

Bow Sight

This is a sight window attached to the side of the riser just above the grip to assist in taking aim. The Sight is usually calibrated with a number of pins making it useful in gauging distance.

Arrow Rest

The arrow rest is designed to literally cradle and support a shorter arrow. This will allow the archer when desired to use smaller lighter arrows with a bow designed for the longer arrows. It is usually placed to the side and slightly back from the sight. It can be a part of the riser or a separate piece that is attached to the riser.


The 2 separate upper and lower limbs of the bow attach to the riser and are not interchangeable. The bow’s limbs need to be able to take the maximum amount of stress when the bow is fully drawn. Their stiffness plus the tension of the bowstring create the draw weight of the bow. Naturally the limbs therefore need to be very strong.

Modern bows are often made of carbon fibers, or composites of wood, polymers and even metals. Traditional bows often have wooden limbs made from hardwoods like oak or maple. So good quality limbs are very important to avoid breaking under stress. A bow’s limb snapping when being drawn under tension could cause serious injury.

Bow Weight

The bow weight is the amount of force needed to pull a bow’s string back to the full length of the arrow. The bow weight is usually expressed and measured in pounds (lbs). 


The bowstring was traditionally made from natural fibers like animal sinew, hemp, or silk. These natural fiber strings are sometimes still used today. However it is more common, and advisable, especially on powerful recurve and compound bows to use a synthetic string.

Dacron and Kevlar are popular but composite synthetic strings are also used. These gain the benefits of the different polymers available today. Bowstrings are attached to the ends of the limbs with a small loop that slips into the strong nock. A small groove at the end of each limb.

Fistmele (Brace Height)

This is the distance between the Bowstring and the Bow Grip. The Fistmele shows visually if a bowstring is attached to the bow with the correct amount of tension. Avoiding too much slack in the bowstring, the correct Fistmele will give more accuracy and generate more speed.


A quiver is a narrow cylindrical container or pouch used to carry extra  arrows. It is usually worn across the archers back or attached at the waist.


The groove at the rear end of the arrow to enabling the arrow to sit on the bowstring is also known as a nock. In olden days these were originally cut out by hand, but now modern arrows typically have a pre attached nock already fitted to the shaft.

Center Serving

The string of the bow comes under a lot of stress so the central part needs to be reinforced. This is done by wrapping the central part of the bowstring with another thread to increase its durability. This additional wrapping of thread around the string is known as “Serving”. Serving the center of the string has two important benefits. It protects the bowstring, and increases the diameter of the string to accept the nocking point.

Nocking Point

The purpose of the nocking point is to hold the arrow in place on the string. They are often made of brass and are crimped onto the bowstring using crimping pliers. Tying a nocking point to the string manually is very popular, but it does require more skill. Just like the fly fisherman likes tying his own flies to a hook.

You can have one or two nocking points attached to the bowstring. They are guides to ensure the arrow is always shot with consistency from exactly the same point on the bowstring. When using two nocking points they are placed close together with just enough distance between them to accommodate the nock of the arrow shaft. They are essential if you want to shoot your arrow straight.


Describes the feathers attached to the rear of the arrow. Or in the case of the crossbow, the vanes on a bolt. They assist the projectile to spin during flight which helps to keep them flying straight.

Anchor Point

The Anchor Point is usually a position on the archer’s face. A point to where he or she has fully drawn the loaded bowstring when taking aim. This is usually the nose, the lips, the ear or the chin, or maybe all of them at the same time. Drawing the bowstring to the exact same place consistently will improve accuracy.

Bow Accessories and Uses Wrap Up

Knowing the basics of bow’s anatomy is important. Knowing your available bow accessories and uses will be helpful. Even the smallest features of a bow play an important part in its function. If you are a beginner to archery, its important that you understand the anatomy of your equipment, your bow accessories and uses. This is the first step toward getting the best out of your bow.



I created this website during research to help those interested in taking up archery as a sport or for the purpose of hunting for game. It’s an activity that can be enjoyed both indoor and outdoor. In archery there is something for everyone. It is a social activity. It can be chosen as a competitive challenge competing with friends. But whatever activity you choose it to be. Target practice or hunting, indoors or out. It’s good healthy Fun!

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