This accessory will change your grouping forever

Want a better grouping? Improve it using this accessory

One of the goals most pursued by archers is to reduce their grouping. If you are a beginner shooter, you’ll find this post very useful, and it will change the way you shoot forever.

Rule number one: Don’t grip the handle

Gripping the riser too tight will introduce errors with just a slight wrist twitch

This is, perhaps, one of the most common misconceptions of beginner archers. When we start archery (I did the same), as the shooting process involves the accumulation and releasing of energy on the string, we tend to think that we must grab the riser’s handle as tight as possible, so the bow doesn’t fly away when we release. This is partially true but this gripping will likely introduce a new source of error in our precision (which is not the same as accuracy). When we grip the handle, we are prone to flick our wrist, making the arrow to leave in a different direction than the intended.

Luckily, we can easily fix this by using a sling.

A sling? Wasn’t this archery?

A sling, or also commonly called bow sling (or even bowsling), is an accessory that you put on your bow’s hand (more precisely on your fingers) to prevent the bow to fly away after the release. It’s a piece of cord (or elastic) with two loops on its ends. Usually, these loops are adjustable, so you can put it on and take it off quickly after you finish your round.

My instructor always tends to say:

“The archer does 50% of the work, but the bow does the other 50%. Let the arrow do its work”

And that’s where the sling comes into play. 

What does a sling have to do with grouping?

Let me put the white coat and go a bit to the physics class.

When we pull the string, the limbs store a lot of potential energy that, when we release, they will transfer it to the string. The string, in turn, will transfer this energy as kinetic energy to the arrow, although partially. The remaining energy is absorbed back by the limbs. When they do so, they will push the bow forward, trying to continue the string motion and, thus, its natural movement. If we have a sling strapped, it will prevent the bow from moving forward and falling to the floor, risking damage.

Is it difficult to use?

There are different type of bow slings

Not at all. Using a sling is easy, just follow these steps and you’ll be ready.

  1. Grab the handle. Remember to grab it putting your hand in a 45-degree angle with the riser.
  2. Insert your bow hand’s thumb in one of the ends and the index finger on the other. That way, you wrap the handle between your palm and the sling, forming a closed loop. Note: there are some models (most suitable for hunting) that consist of a strap that goes on the wrist and is bolted to the handle. In that case, just pass through your bow arm’s wrist into the strap and that’s it.
  3. In the case of a finger sling, make sure that both loops are securely strapped or, if you are using a wrist sling, the wrist is completely passed through.
  4. When you start pulling the string, just open the hand loosely and let the riser rest on your palm.
  5. Aim and release. You’ll notice that, after you release, the bow will try to go forward, but the sling will catch it and stop it from going away.

As you see, using a sling is very simple. So, don’t wait any longer and start doing it.

Avoid these common sling problems

Although using a sling is absolutely a piece of cake, there are, however, some things that can usually happen at the beginning that can be easily avoided. I, myself, went through several of these.

Check the straps

Especially if you are using a finger sling, make sure you adjust tightly the loops to the fingers. If not done properly, when you release, one of the loops will slide through your fingers and the bow will fly away. If you are indoors (like it happened to me), the bow will land on the floor, and you’ll feel like a piece of your heart is being ripped apart. Luckily, my bow didn’t break, although it has some tiny scratches.

Trust the sling

It is very common that, when you use a sling for the first time, it may feel uncomfortable not grabbing the riser. This is especially true if you, like me, went through a “flying bow” experience before. You have the constant sensation that the bow will go flying away in the next shot. This fear makes you try to grab the bow an instant after you release the string.

Let me tell you, this is nearly impossible to do. You may, sometimes, be able to do so. But it requires an inhuman coordination ability. You’ll end up grabbing it just before you release, altering the shot as if you weren’t using a sling. Trust the sling, and don’t try to grab the riser in the last moment. You won’t be able to and, if you manage to do it, you’ll be more focused on that than in aiming or performing a correct form, ruining your shots.

Don’t use a sling too large

When you use a sling, either finger or wrist ones, make sure the cord used is not too large (especially if it’s a DIY sling). If the cord is too large, it will wrap loosely around the handle. This might cause the bow to slide downwards after you release the string. This is nothing dangerous for you or the bow, but it’s annoying having your bow sliding through your fingers. So, you must check the sling wraps tightly the handle when you strap it on.

Is it an expensive accessory?

I can’t assure it 100%, but I think that a sling is one of the cheapest accessories, if not the number one. It’s so simple, that you can build one with nearly any type of cord. The most common DIY slings are made using a shoelace, with two adjustable loops. 

If you are not a DIY person, you can get some on any archery shop. Avalon, for instance, has a finger sling model, which is affordable. You can check its price here (affiliate link). If you prefer the wrist strap, you can check the price of this Ten Point Gear sling here (affiliate link). 


As presented here, you see that using a bow sling is nearly essential. It will help you remove any error you can introduce with your wrist. So, whatever sling model you prefer, get one right now and easily remove one of the error sources. You’ll be getting closer to a better shot.


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