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Walk back tuning is a quick, easy and accurate way to set the center-shot on an arrow rest.  Properly using this method will ensure that the rest is centered horizontally.

To begin, you will need a target with around three feet of vertical space, more is better.   Next, take a string or small diameter rope and put a weight on the end of it.  Attach the other end to the top of the target so that the string/rope is hanging down, perfectly vertical.  In this picture I used a length of paracord and socket that weighs enough to pull the cord perfectly straight.

walk-back-tune-target-string-weight

It is also possible to use a straight line of tape, paper/cardboard with a straight line drawn on it, etc.  If doing so, use a level to make sure the line is vertically plumb!  I cannot emphasize this enough, whatever string/line you use, it must be as perfectly vertical as possible.

walk-back-tune-target-tape-level

At the top of the line, place something that you can use as a small target.  I prefer to use orange aiming dot stickers, commonly found anywhere rifle targets are sold.  It needs to be big enough that you can see and aim at it from up to 40-60 yards, and small enough that you can make sure you are dead center when aiming.

Now go to a range that you comfortable shooting; somewhere that you can group fairly well.  This may be 10 yards for some people or 20 for others.  But do not go beyond 20 yards.  At this range shoot at the aiming spot with your 20 yard pin; shoot a group of 3-5 arrows.  If the arrows are not grouped well, try again until they are.  It is easiest if they are hitting on the aiming spot at this point, so you can move your sight if you would like until you are hitting dead on, but it is not necessary as will be seen.

If you have enough arrows, you can leave them in the target and move to the next step.  If not, retrieve your arrows but CLEARLY mark where they hit.  This is very important to the process!

Move back ten yards farther than from where you just shot and repeat the process, using the very same pin and shooting at the very same spot.  Do this until you have a satisfactory group.  Continue this process of moving back 10 yards each group until you have groups at least at 20, 30 and 40 yards, with farther being better.  Because you will be using the same pin and aiming at the same spot, each group as you move farther out will be lower on the target.

If your sight is on and your center-shot is perfect, all of the arrow groups will be perfectly aligned with the vertical line.  If the center-shot is not perfect, the target will look something like this:

Walk back tuningIf the arrows are properly spined to the bow, there will be a consistent pattern to the groups.

The pattern that moves down and to the left indicates that the rest needs to be moved to the right and the pattern that moves down and to the right indicates the rest needs to move to the left.  Move the rest a *very* small amount and repeat the process until all of the groups are lined up vertically.  The sight pin does not need to be adjusted as the only concern is to get the patterns to line up vertically.

When the rest is adjusted properly, the target should look something like this:

walk-back-tune-finish-off-centerAll of the groups are now aligned vertically and the rest is in the correct position.  In this particular case the groups are too the left of the aiming dot because the rest had to be moved to the left.  Now that the rest adjusted properly, the sight pin can be moved to adjust the horizontal impact sight and all of the pins adjusted for distance.  For further information on what I consider the best way to set the sight pins, see the “Sighting your bow in the easy way” article.

 

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