Here is a simple checklist/series of steps to take if you suspect something may be wrong with your equipment. (How to troubleshoot if you’re having trouble shooting)
For unfamiliar terms, check the jargon page.
Very simple, just check that everything in your bow is screwed in tightly. This includes stabilisers, sight screws, button and limb locking bolts. If things keep coming loose, try rubbing wax onto the thread or, if all else fails, Loctite. If your sight block is a problem, put layers of electrical tape or washers underneath it. Alternatively, the threads of your screws might be worn down and should be replaced.
2. Bracing height & Nocking point
Make sure that your bracing height is in the correct position: inconsistent bracing height means inconsistent powerstroke and arrow speed, so you should keep this the same all the time, by writing it down or memorising it. Also make sure that your nocking point has not slipped to an incorrect position. Even a millimetre of movement can have a big difference on your tuning (Usually up-down error).
Using a bracing height gauge, check that your tiller is correct. Again, you should have the value written down or memorised.
4. Limb alignment
Place limb alignment gauges on your limbs, then look down the bow. Align the string with the limb bolts in the middle of the riser, and make sure that the string aligns with the centre of each limb. It may be possible to fix alignment by adjusting the riser, but damaged or twisted limbs may need to be replaced.
Arrows should be checked before shooting, and whenever you suspect one is flying differently to the others.
Inspect every fletch on every arrow, making sure that none are loose. Look down the nock end of the arrow, and see that they are all 120 degrees apart. It is better to shoot without a fletch than with a loose fletch. It’s hard to know how much difference fletches that are slightly different heights or not exactly 120 degrees apart make, but you might as well re-fletch them.
If a nock is damaged, it may not clip on to the string in the same way as the others, and should be replaced.
Check that each nock is pushed all the way into the bushing (and that the bushing is properly glued into the shaft). Look down on the arrow from above the nock and check that the nock is exactly aligned with the cock fletch. Nocks can be twisted in with a nock turner. If a nock is loose in the bushing, it may be replaced or pushed in along with a piece of plastic shopping bag.
Check that the pile (point) is fully inserted into the shaft. If not, carefully and evenly heat point with a lighter to melt the glue, and push back in against a wall. May need to completely remove and re-glue if it keeps coming out.
Place the point of the arrow in your hand and spin it. If bent, you should be able to feel and see a wobble as it spins. Bent arrows can be straightened with an arrow straightening jig. Dented arrows may not be fixable, and should be binned.