bbcmed.jpg (8924 bytes) Bighorn Bow Care and Tuning


IMPORTANT: A bowstringer should be used at ALL TIMES to string and unstring your bow.  Not using a bowstringer is extremely dangerous and can cause serious bodily injury.  DO NOT EVER use the "step-through" method of stringing your bow.  Using the "step-through" method just one time can ruin the bows bottom limb.

Bighorn Bow Care Instructions

Bighorn Bows are hand-crafted of the finest materials available and will last many years with the proper care.  The finish on your new bow is very durable and should not require wax or polish.  While polishes will not damage the bow, they will put a shine on the bow that my be objectionable to some people.

The bowstring that you received is a wax impregnated self string, also known as Flemish string.  This type of bowstring is highly adjustable as it can be twisted or untwisted to adjust the brace height.  NOTE: Untwisting the string too far will cause it to stretch apart.

A properly tuned bow will make a dull thud sound when shot rather than a "twang".  The two main ingredients in achieving this are proper brace height or wrapping the string with yarn. A 3" or 4 " strip of moleskin placed over the string groove will dampen any noise of the string striking the limb.

We do not recommend using a fast flight string on our '88 and '89 style recurves because of the increased noise levels in hunting situations.   This problem can be reduced or in some cases eliminated with the following steps:
1.) Wrap the string loop with yarn.  This will dampen noise and protect the bow limb & tip.
2.) Shoot arrows weights of 550 grains or more.  
Also using these tips and substituting the new Nitro string for the fast flight string is recommended.

Our NEW Ram-Flex '98 style limbs are designed for shooting fast flight or Nitro strings.


The performance and feel of recurve bows can be improved by using the correct brace height or fistmele.  The brace height on a Bighorn longbow is not as crucial as on recurve.  The feel of the bow after release will determine the best setting.  Recommended brace height ranges for all Bighorn Bows lengths and models are:

6 1/4" to 7 1/2" from the back of the sight window to the string:

braceheight.jpg (3076 bytes)

In order to select the proper brace height measurement for your bow, begin by stringing the bow with a stringer.

Measure the distance between the riser and the string as shown in the diagram above.  Once you have the brace height between the lowest and the highest recommended measurements (begin near the lower end of the recommendations), begin shooting the bow and raising the brace height about 1/8" at a time, listening to the sound of the bow noting it's feel at different settings.

You will note that the brace height decreases as you shoot.   This is normal.  The string is stretching.  It will stabilize after a few shots.  Generally you will find that the lowest brace height that gives a good sound and feel will be the most efficient.

If the brace height goes below the lowest recommended setting, unstring the bow with a bowstringer and slide the top loop of the string down the top limb. Unhook the bottom loop from the bottom tip and while holding the bottom loop, twist the string in the same directions as the existing twist in be bow string to shorten and thereby raise the brace height.  Try 5 or 6 twists to start, then restring the bow and remeasure the brace height after you have shot a few arrows and allowed the string to stretch again. The brace height can be lowered by twisting the string in the opposite direction.

You will definitely observe a setting at which the bow feels best and shoots the quietest.  Finding this spot may require your lowering, or going back to a brace height tested earlier.  For Example, once you've raised the brace height to 7", you may decide that the bow felt better at the lower brace height of about 6 1/2".  In which case, you should untwist the string back to about 6 1/2" and try the brace height again.  Play around with it a's fun and it'll teach you a lot about your bow.

Arrows that hit consistently right or left of where you aim normally are spined too heavy for your shooting style and/or bow weight.

Erratic right to left arrow flight (waggling) can be caused by too high or low brace height; twisting of the bow hand upon release; improperly spined arrows.  This can be corrected by adjusting one variable at a time.

Erratic up and down arrow flight (porposing) is most often caused by too high or low nock point.  A commonly used nock point location would be from 3/8" to 5/8" above 90 degrees.  Those who shoot 3-finger under the nock must have a higher nock point.

These are guidelines only.

The proper brace height, nock point and arrows for you may be different than for someone else; there is no incorrect setting.  If it works well and feels good to you, then it is correct.  Draw length, shooting style, release and the characteristics of the individual bow all play a part in what will work best for you.


Should the attachment in the limbs and the locator hole in the riser dry out, a thin film of silicone grease should be applied to maintain a tight limb to riser fit and also to ease the removal of limbs form riser.

We highly recommend reading Instinctive Shooting, Instinctive Shooting II and Stalking and Still Hunting or viewing the video Instinctive Shooting by G. Fred Asbell.

If you feel you are having any problems with your bow, please notify us as soon as possible. Use our Contact Form.


When shooting a wax impregnated self string, also known as a Flemish string, you will notice upon pulling the bow back, a ticking noise as the string pulls away from the limbs.   This is the wax sticking to the limbs.  This noise is amplified as the string strikes the limbs after release.  This noise must be eliminated to properly tune your recurve (you will not experience this noise with a longbow). To eliminate any noise from the string, use approximately 1/16" to 3/32" diameter synthetic yarn and wrap the ends of the bow string as follows: (see diagram below)

  • With bow strung take measurement from bottom of loop to where string comes off limb.
  • Cut 2 lengths of yarn approximately 3/4 of the length of the string.
  • Stretch string moderately tight between two nails.
  • Remove excessive wax from surface where yarn is to be wrapped.
  • Thread yarn (see diagram below) through loop and bring end of yarn down along side of the string approximately  1/2" below loop
  • Begin wrapping yarn tightly around string at base of loop. Completely cover bow string with yarn like the serving on the bow string.
  • Continue wrapping yarn down to just beyond where the string comes off bow.
  • Make half hitch on string.
  • Take tension off, thread the yarn through the bow sting and trim close to string.

  Call us at 970-339-3554 or use our Contact Form.