As a new archer, it’s important to understand how to measure draw length *correctly*. Every archer must know his or her draw length in order to correctly tune and shoot a bow. This is important because draw length directly impacts the way you shoot. Correct draw length plays a large role in achieving perfect form, while at the same time minimizing the amount of effort necessary.

You should not only understand how to measure draw length, but what draw length is, why it’s so important, and how to correctly measure it using one of a number of methods. The fact that your draw length plays such an important role when shooting makes it essential for you to find out your exact measurement. As a bonus, we’ve included a calculator that will help you determine your proper draw length a little bit faster.

Remember, it’s important to be as accurate as possible because your draw length directly affects your accuracy. So, here’s a quick way to accurately determine your draw length…

## Draw Length Calculator (Determine your Draw Length)

There are a number of ways to measure your draw length, which we’ll cover shortly. However, if you need you need a quick and easy solution, we’ve provided a calculator to help speed things up.

Taking a quick measurement and using a draw length calculator is the fastest and easiest way to determine your correct draw length. This archery measurement refers to the amount of distance between the nock point and the throat of your bow grip at full draw. Once you make this quick measurement, you’ll be able to use a calculator to determine the correct draw length for you.

To determine your draw length, simply measure your armspan from the middle finger of one hand, to the middle finger of your opposite hand. Take this number and divide by 2.5. This number is your draw length.

This is the arm span divided by 2.5 method, which we’ll cover in more detail below. Here you’ll find the draw length calculator, simply enter your arm span measurement in inches to determine your draw length.

## What Is Draw Length?

Draw length is an archery term used to refer to the number of inches an archer needs to effectively pull a bow to full draw. It’s measured in inches from the apex of the string to the throat of the grip.

When finding the right bow for you, know that recurve bows have slightly more flexibility when it comes to draw length, but compounds generally have a small window of adjustment. This means you’ll need to know your draw length before purchasing a bow as the wrong draw length will cause you problems.

Recurve and long bows aren’t designed with a preset draw length, but you need to determine a bow length that fits your draw length. This is because it’s possible to purchase a bow that is too small or too large. The right bow length will support the draw length you need to shoot successfully.

### Draw length vs arrow length

To determine the length of your arrows you’ll first need to know your exact draw length measurement. Once you’ve correctly determined your draw length, simply add about 2” to your draw length. This about how long your arrows should be so you have proper clearance.

## Why Is Draw Length Important?

Proper draw length is important because it supports your ability to maintain proper shooting form. This in turn supports your ability to shoot more accurately.

Proper Draw length first of all helps you find a bow that fits your frame, but second of all gives you the ability to hold steady. If your draw length is too short or too long, you won’t be able to hold steady, affecting your accuracy.

If you don’t measure correctly and choose a draw length that’s too long, both your form and accuracy are negatively affected due to an over extension of your bow arm. Draw length that is too short doesn’t allow for proper shot execution and increases muscle strain.

## How To Measure Draw Length

Learning how to measure draw length correctly is the first step to finding the right bow and shooting with accuracy. Since the sport of archery requires archers to know certain measurements before buying basic archery equipment, be sure to make these measurements correctly as they’re used to make sure you purchase a bow and find arrows that are the right size for you!

### How to Measure Your Draw Length Using 5 Different Methods:

#### Method #1: Arm Span Divided by 2.5

The arm span method aka the wingspan method mentioned above is the most commonly used method to determine one’s draw length. Stand up straight until it feels natural and then expand your arms out to your sides as far as you can with your palms facing outward. Now, have a friend or family member measure the distance between the tips of your middle fingers. Take this arm span measurement in inches and divide by 2.5 to determine your draw length. Don’t forget to use a calculator to ensure your numbers are indeed correct.

#### Method #2: Fist To Corner Of Mouth

The fist to corner of mouth method is another way to determine draw length. Stand with your bow hand near a wall and assume you’re holding up a bow (without actually holding a real bow). Now draw your pretend bow to your comfortable anchor position, making a fist with your bow hand. Move your fist forward until you touch the wall while pretending to be at full draw. Now have a friend measure the difference between the furthest part of your fist and the corner of your mouth. The measurement you come up with is your draw length.

#### Method #3: Arm Span Minus 15 Divided By 2

This method requires archers to follow the instructions in Method #1 in order to get their arm span measurement. The difference between these two methods is how the calculations are determined. In order to calculate your draw length using this method, instead of dividing by 2.5 to get your draw length you’re going to subtract 15 and then divide by 2. This is a preferred method by many archers because it offers a little more precision, which can make a big difference in shooting accuracy.

#### Method #4: Buttons To Base

Determining your draw length using this method requires you to stand up straight and tall and then stretch out your dominant hand to the side so it’s even with your shoulder. Be sure that the palm of your hand is facing forward vs. facing up or down. Now, measure the distance from your sternum to your wrist on your dominant hand. This method only provides accurate results for archers whose arms are proportionate. Archers who have unequal arm lengths, which may be more common than you think, should use one of the other four measuring methods.

#### Method #5: Bow Shop Measurement

This method for figuring out your draw length is quite different from the rest. This measurement option requires you to go to a professional archery shop so experts can assist you in figuring out your correct measurement. They’ll provide you with a bow and faux arrow, which uses an arrow-like measuring stick. All you need to do is pull back on the bow to your comfortable shooting position so the experts can look at the indicator to determine your exact draw length.

## Adjusting Draw Length

All compound bows allow for a certain degree of draw length adjustment. Generally, adjustments in half-inch increments over several inches are common and necessary to fit a larger group of people.

If you need to change the draw length of a bow, take note that older bows need a bow press to make adjustments. A bow press is a piece of equipment that bends the limbs, giving slack to the cables and strings. This allows you to make the necessary adjustments before removing the bow from the press. That said, many new bows available today don’t need a bow press to make adjustments in draw length. So, depending on which particular bow you have, this determines how simple or complicated the process will be.

Remember, there’s no shame in going to a bow shop if you need help adjusting your bow to a draw length that best supports you. Using a bow press can be dangerous and they are expensive to purchase. Going to a bow shop will likely be the safest and easiest way to get started.

## Conclusion

Now you know how to measure draw length *correctly*. Simply choose a method above and use a calculator to figure out your precise draw length. It’s essential for you to find a draw length that works for you as this helps support proper shooting form and accuracy. This measurement is simple, but crucial to determine the size of your bow, the size of your arrows, and allows you to shoot your very best.

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