Glossary of Traditional Terms
Actionwood: A limb core material made
form laminated hard rock maple, where the laminations run perpendicular to the
limb face and back
Alignment: The position of the
bowstring relative to the centerline of both limbs. When the limbs are aligned
the bowstring follows the centerline of both limbs.
Anchor: The point at which the archers
bow hand comes to rest when the arrow is fully drawn.
Armguard: A leather or plastic pad to
protect the arm from the slap of the bowstring.
Arrowshelf: The ledge at the base of
the sight window where the arrow rests.
Back: The front, or outer surface of
the bow; the surface facing the target.
Backing: The reinforcing material
bonded to the front surface of the bow; this is usually fiberglass on modern
Backset: A longbow design where
unbraced limbs angle backward, away from the shooter.
Belly: The side of the bow facing the
Billet: A short piece of wood that
will be used to make a bow limb, or half of a bow spliced at the handle.
Bow form: A wooden or metal form used
to press laminated bow composites into a specific shape.
Bow length: The length of a bow,
commonly measured from nock to nock along the back of the bow.
Bow stringer: A device which aids the
archer in stringing and unstringing his bow.
Bow weight: The number of pounds of
energy required to pull a 28-inch arrow in a given bow.
Bowyer: One who makes bows.
Brace: A strung bow is braced. To
brace a bow is to string it.
Brace Height: The distance between the
braced bowstring and the low point of the belly of the grip.
Broadhead: A sharpened steel arrow
point with one or more blades used in bowhunting.
Brushbuttons: A rubber button placed
on the bowstring where the string touches the belly of the bow, to prevent brush
from getting caught between the bowstring and the limb. They are used only on
Cast: A bows cast is its capacity to
propel an arrow; the better the cast the faster the arrow and the flatter its
Center -shot: The cut out section in
the bows upper limb just above the grip. In a full center-shot bow, the drawn
arrow points straight ahead, instead of being angled to one side.
Core thickness: The thickness of a
laminated limbs core materials measured at the butt end.
Cresting: The painted bands on the
arrow shaft, just forward of the fletching.
Crown dipping: The dipping application
of paint on the feathered end of an arrow shaft.
Crowned: The peaked or rounded profile
of an arrow shelf designed to enhance arrow flight.
Deflex: A deflex bows limbs, at the
fadeouts, angle toward the shooter.
Deflex-reflex: A design where the
unbraced limbs deflex forward toward the shooter then reverse attitude,
reflexing backward away from the shooter.
Draw weight: The same as bow weight.
Face: Same as the belly
Fadeout: the tapered feathered end of
the riser enveloped by the limb composites.
Fistmele: An ancient term for brace
Fletching: The feathers or plastic
vanes on an arrow.
Gap shooting: An aiming technique.
Handle: Same as riser.
Ishi: The last surviving Yana Indian.
He was discovered by Dr. Saxon Pope and influenced Dr. Popes archery interest.
Laminations: The layers of laminated
bow limb. Usually consist of wood and fiberglass.
Limb length, working: The measurement
from the end of the fadeout to the string nock along the back.
Nock: The grooved portion on the
arrows rear end; to nock an arrow is to place it on the bowstring. Also, on the
bow, the grooves on both ends, into which the bowstring loops are placed.
Paradox: Paradox is the tendency of an
arrow to fly straight ahead, although it is pointed to one side on the bow. This
is accomplished by a series of diminishing bends of the shaft, which ultimately
straightens out in flight.
Point of Aim: A spo