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What Is Brace Height?

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Whenever you start learning or trying out a new activity or sport, there are hundreds of terms and concepts that you need to know about, in order to master the sport and excel at it. When it comes to archery, you may already know about the bow, arrow, quiver, draw length, draw weight, bow size, and much more. But do you know about the brace height?

Brace height is something every archer or bowhunter should know about, no matter which bow they use or the purpose for which they indulge in archery. Since it is so important to know what brace height is, we have compiled this article to help you understand it better.

What is Brace Height?

Brace height is a factor that applies to only compound and traditional bows, and it refers to the measurement of the deepest part of the bow grip to the bowstring. Usually, it is the measurement from the center of the mounting hole rack to the bowstring. Most standard bows come with a default brace height of 6” or 7”, but the measurement can vary between 5” and 10”, according to the manufacturer’s requirements and standards.

How Does Brace Height Affect Performance?

The brace height is instrumental in the performance of the bow. For instance, a shorter brace height allows the bow to shoot arrows at a higher speed, thus allowing you to shoot with more accuracy over longer distances.

Moreover, the brace height also corresponds with something called the ‘bow forgiveness’, which refers to the margin for error that the bow provides you with. Bows with a shorter brace height have a lower margin for error, since the archer has to keep them pulled perfectly for a longer period of time. On the other hand, longer brace heights can help you get away with slightly improper form or a misdirected shot. This doesn’t mean that you can keep shooting with poor or improper posture.

When it comes to shooting precision shots or bullseye shots with compound bows, the brace height shouldn’t be less than 7”. However, you can also find 8” and 9” brace heights. On the other hand, compound bows that have a lower brace height are specially designed for hunting or 3D target shooting, as they require a higher arrow speed.

How is the Brace Height Measured?

Although it is called the brace height, the measurement is horizontal instead of vertical. The measurement can be done through the help of a measuring tool called the T-Square, which is a specialized ruler for measuring the brace height of a compound or recurve bow. They are named a T-Square because they look like a T.

To measure the brace height, you can place the horizontal part of the T-Square with the deepest part of the grip, which is usually the point from where the archer grips it. When you place it in this manner, the ruler part of the T-Square will coincide with your bowstring at some point, and you can check the measurement against this point in inches.

There are some general ranges for brace heights, which are dependent on the bow size. For instance, if you have a 62” to 64” bow, they may have a brace height between 7½” to 8½”. Moreover, bow sizes between 66” to 68” may have 8” to 9” brace heights. Lastly, you can also find 70” to 72” bows with 8¾” to 9½” brace heights.

How to Adjust the Brace Height?

Now that you know what the brace height is, you would definitely be interested in knowing how you can adjust it according to your archery preferences. For this, you need a bow stringer and a bow square. Let’s have a look at the steps you need to complete this process.

1. String Your Bow

If you have a compound or recurve bow that comes disassembled, attach it together by joining the limbs with the riser, and you can make use of the manufacturer’s instructions. Once you have done this, locate the top string loop and slide it down the top limb. Once you have done this, take the bottom loop and push it through the bottom string loop, which is located on the bottom limb of your bow.

Once you have done this, take the bottom loop and push it through the bottom string loop, which is located on the bottom limb of your bow. Now is the time to use the bow stringer to string the bow properly. The bow stringer is attached to the bow in a similar fashion to the bowstring.

The saddle end of the bow stringer goes over the top limb and lies securely in place when you pull it further along the limb. Next, take the pouch-like end of your stringer and slide it over the bottom limb. Since the bottom end is designed to securely hold the tip of the bow, it doesn’t slide off from the limbs.

Lastly, hold the bow with the stringer close to the floor, and step onto it with your feet spread slightly apart. Next, hold the bow by its grip and pull it upwards to stretch the limbs. While doing so, slide the top string loop into the string grooves present on the top limb.

2. Measure the Brace Height

The next step is to measure the brace height and as you can notice in the sections above, and note it down somewhere.

3. Adjust the Brace Height

Lastly, you have to unstring the bowstring from at least the bottom limb, if not both ends. When you have done so, all you need to do is to simply add twists to the string if you want to add to the brace height. If you have done this before and want to decrease the brace height, you can untwist the string and put it back into place.

If you think your brace height isn’t accurate, maybe there is a problem with the bowstring and it is shorter than it should be. If this is the case, you can simply get a new bowstring and replace the existing one. After you have done so, you can try adjusting the brace height once again and checking the bow. This concludes our guide on brace height, its importance, and adjustment techniques that you can try out with your bow.