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Super-tuning is one of archery’s hottest buzzwords. Strictly speaking, it refers to a specific sequence of tuning methods performed on a Hooter Shooter machine. More generally, it means fussing obsessively with your equipment until everything is dead on. In the latter sense, Levi Morgan, the world’s best 3D archer, is all for it. “Some people take tuning way too far, but certain things are really important, and you have to get them right.” For his hunting setup, he does all his tuning with broadheads. Here’s exactly what he does and doesn’t do.
1) Prep the Bow
For his hunting bow, Morgan uses a scale to set the draw weight at 70 to 72 pounds and sets the stops all the way back for full let-off. After installing the rest 13⁄16 inch off the riser, and the nock height perfectly level (some bows shoot better nock-high; check your manual), he ties in a D-loop. Next, he sets the timing on his fallaway rest and uses a draw board to fine-tune the cam timing. “I pull back until one of the stops is barely touching, then I move the other stop to match.”
2) Set the Sight
Photographs by Patrik Giardino
He installs the sight and uses a Hamskea Easy Third Axis Level to make sure the first, second, and third axes are all correct.
3) Paper tune
When Morgan builds his arrows, he leaves one without vanes and applies black electrical tape to the back to get the same weight. He shoots this bare shaft into paper and adjusts center shot and nock height as necessary until it’s shooting bullet holes. Then he shoots his vaned arrows. “If these aren’t perfect—and they often aren’t—it means there’s vane contact.”
4) Spray it Down
To see where the contact is, he sprays the bow down with Tough Actin’ Tinactin, or a different powder spray, and shoots another arrow. “Depending on where the mark is, you may need to retime your rest, adjust your cable guard, shoot smaller vanes, or just turn them a little.”
5) Place the Peep
Morgan starts with it 5-3⁄8 inches up from the nock, then shoots to fine-tune. “Use a midrange target. Otherwise you can have trouble aligning the sight housing on long or short shots.” He fires about 100 arrows before serving the peep in.
6) Group Tune
Next, he shoots groups at a single distance to see if there are any flyers. If so, he turns the nock a quarter turn at a time, and keeps turning and shooting until he brings the flyer back in with the main group.
7) Walk-back Tune
He hangs a plumb bob from a string over the face of a target, then shoots at the string from 20, then 60 yards. You want all the arrows to hit alongside the string. If they walk out to the left, say, he moves his rest very slightly to the right, and vice versa until it’s perfect. He double-checks his third axis with the Hamskea tool, and he’s ready to hunt.