Top 4 Common Arrow Impact Faults And How To Fix Them

by | Dec 30, 2022

You may be getting your shots on target, but why are they hitting high and left, or low and to the right? Or above and below the target? There are 4 common arrow impact faults that are surprisingly easy to rectify.

Shots that impact high, low, left and right are usually down to subtle, uneven changes in pressure, either on the string or on the grip; drawing back too little or too far, as well as an inconsistent anchor point.

Consistency in archery is everything, from bow hand position to string alignment, the slightest deviation can have a massive impact down range at the target.

Whatever direction your arrows are heading in, there are many elements that can affect where your groupings are heading. In this article, we’ll look at the main four impact faults and the steps you can take to avoid them.

The Top 4 Common Arrow Impact Faults And How To Fix Them

A lot of the below issues relate to recurve archery, but you will find that they are also relevant to compound archery, especially if you have issues with bow hand position or bow arm issues.

For this article, we’re going to assume that you’ve tuned your arrows in and your arrow spine is matched correctly to your bow.

If you’re interested in learning how to bare-shaft tune your arrows, then you might like to read this article

1. High Impact

Grip – One of the main causes of a high shot is that you are applying too much pressure at the bottom of your grip. This will cause the bow to rock back and kick up, sending the arrow high.

String Pressure – The other main reason you could be sending your arrows high is the change in position of the fingers on the string and the uneven pressure from the fingers on the string.

If you have a tendency to curl more on the index finger, this could be the reason your arrows are hitting high.

Inconsistent Draw Length – if you’re shooting bare-bow without a clicker, you might be pulling more draw length than you normally would. More draw length means more power behind the arrow which will make the arrow fly faster, and consequently higher.

Adding even just an inch to your draw length at around 28 inches will increase the poundage of the bow by 2lb. And while that may not seem like a lot, at distances of 50, 70 and 90 metres, it’s enough to cause your arrows to hit high.

Archery Draw Length

Even a quarter-inch difference will add 4oz to the draw weight, and considering that arrows barely weigh 4oz, that translates to quite a significant increase. These small changes will magnify into huge changes at the point of impact on the target.

Consider using a clicker for that extra consistency on your draw length.

Your Teeth Aren’t Touching – If you anchor at full draw just underneath your jaw, then keeping your jaw open can affect the angle and consistency of your shot.

Keeping your teeth together means that your anchor point will always be consistent, meaning that your shots will land where you want them to.

Wind Direction – If you’re shooting with a tailwind, then your shots will most likely hit high.

2. Low Impact

Mostly doing the opposite of everything that makes your shots hit low.

Grip – More pressure through the top of the grip will cause your arrows to hit low.

String Pressure – Pulling more through the bottom fingers will cause the bow to dip and your shots to land low.

Shorter Draw Length – Similar to adding an inch to your draw length causing your shots to go high, drawing too short can make your arrows hit low.

Bow Arm Position – Dropping your bow arm will cause your shots to drop.

Hitting your Arm or Chest – Any contact with your body from the bowstring can also potentially drop your impact point.

Wind Direction – In general, if you’re shooting into a headwind, your shots will more than likely hit low.

*The following points are for right-handed shooters, so just reverse everything if you shoot left-handed!

3. Right Impact

Canting the Bow – If you cant your bow to the right, chances are that your shots will also hit slightly right.

String Alignment – If you lose your string alignment during the shot and it’s moving over to the left in comparison to where it should be, then your shots will impact to the right.

Your string is essentially your rear sight, so to get those shots on target, it needs position needs to be consistent.

Weak Shots – Weak shots can include plucking the string, collapsing the bow arm and string creeping. All of these have the potential to send your shots to the right.

Try to work on the structure and solidity of your bow arm to drive that bow forward, while making sure that your shot process is dialled in with consistent release and anchor point.

Common arrow impact faults

4. Left Impact

Basically doing the opposite of what causes your shots to go right, plus:

Weak Bow Arm Structure – This is a little contradictory to the above, but if your shoulder tends to be elevated and your elbow rotated up, and you’re in a more defensive posture in relation to the bow as opposed to being more aggressive, then your shots are more than likely going to end up heading left.

This defensive positioning can cause excessive contact of the string with clothing, the inside of your arm, or your chest. All of which will lead to your shots hitting left.

*If you get impact points that are a combination; let’s say a high-left, or a low-right impact, then it will probably be a combination of two of the faults listed above.

Final Thoughts

The best approach to fixing these 4 common arrow impact faults is to monitor how you feel your shot went, verify the impact point, and then make sure what you feel and what you see on the target are speaking the same language.

If one of those two aspects isn’t making any sense, then it’s probably time to revisit the drawing board to sit down and analyse the shot and impact points and try to figure out where the errors are occurring.