Today I’m going to teach you how to string a recurve bow with a stringer. First, I want you to forget everything you’ve ever seen in the Hunger Games movies or on a TV show like Arrow.
Nearly all of what you see in movies or on TV is either CGI or the result of having a great on-set armorer handling the equipment for the actors. Second, this is a very simple process. All you need to get it right is the stringer and a little patience.
Step-by-step guide- How to String A Recurve bow with a stringer
Pick up your bow and hold it face up with the upper limb to your left. Place the upper (larger) loop of your bowstring over the upper limb and pull it down the bow until it stops.
It should be snug, but don’t pull it too tight. It’s not necessary and you’ll want to be able to move the bowstring with one hand later.
Run the bowstring under the bow and hook the lower (smaller) loop on the lower limb nocking point.
Set the lower loop nice and tight, you won’t need to move this end again. If you have a tip protector, place it over the lower limb to help keep the lower loop in place.
You have to get both properly set. If you don’t, you run the risk of one popping off while trying to string the bow. If that happens, at best you’ll just embarrass yourself. At worst, you’ll give yourself a black eye.
Look up images for stringing a bow. There’s one guy out there that looks like someone hit him in the face with a two by four. Remember, it’s only funny until it happens to you. Then everyone else will think it’s funny.
Now, pick up your stringer. Like the bowstring, it has a larger loop and a smaller loop. Some of the more expensive stringers have a pocket in place of a larger loop that fits over the entire tip of the lower limb.
This provides more stability and holds the bowstring more firmly in place in the lower limb nocking point.
Take the stringer’s larger loop or pocket and place it over the tip of the lower limb. Then take the smaller loop and place it over the upper limb. You’ll need to pull this loop down the limb until it is just past the lower loop of the bowstring.
It needs to be here so that it doesn’t interfere with the bowstring when you pull it into place. If you place the smaller loop too far below the bowstring loop, you’ll throw the bow off-balance and you’ll find it nearly impossible to properly string it.
Now that you have the stringer is in place, it’s time to get yourself set as well. Grab the bow with your right hand on the grip, place both feet on the stringer about shoulder width apart.
Don’t try this with one foot. If you’re not 100% centered, it is possible to pull yourself off-balance. Always use your stronger hand when pulling back on the bow. These instructions work regardless if you’re right or left-handed.
If you do use your left, start with the upper limb pointed toward the right.
Make sure you don’t have any string slack between your feet. It will quickly go taut once you begin pulling on the bow. This can also pull you off-balance and cause you to either let go of the bow or have the stringer slip off out from under your feet.
It’s not likely you’ll give yourself a black eye this time, but you could certainly fall over or crack yourself in the shins with the bow.
With your feet set, begin pulling up on the bow slowly. Once you have it bent back slightly, start to slide the smaller loop toward the groove on the upper limb with your left hand.
Set it in place and make certain the bowstring is centered. Now, begin to slowly let the bow return to its natural position.
As you let off the pressure, the bow should remain steady in your hand. If it begins to turn in either direction, that means you don’t have the upper loop set properly and the bowstring isn’t centered.
If that happens, pull back on the bow again so you can adjust the loop. This should take only a few seconds.
the bow away from you and bring it up so you can examine the underside or belly of the bow one last time. You need to do it this way on the off-chance that the loop might slip off or the bowstring snaps. This is rare, but that one in a million accident could happen to anyone. Like I said before, your black eye will still be funny to everyone else.
If everything looks good on the upper limb, remove the stringer loop from it and then remove the larger pocket from the lower limb. Drop the stringer to the ground and take a couple of steps away from it. Now slowly draw back the bow a few times to see how it feels.
Congratulations! You’ve just strung a recurve bow with a stringer. Once you’ve done this several times, you’ll find that you can accomplish it safely and without error in just a couple of minutes.
Related Buyer’s guides