Archery | Can You Put A Laser Sight On A Bow?
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Archery | Can You Put A Laser Sight On A Bow?

August 16, 2019


*pew* Hi everyone, this is NUSensei. Some people who have been watching my recent
Olympic archery videos have been very critical about the style and equipment
used and among other things one of these scathing comments is: “why don’t you just
put a laser sight on the bow?” Well… Don’t worry, I’m kidding. This is not a real bow. This is the AccuBow. It is a training
device that started on Kickstarter and it has a few interesting features. The
main feature is the bow shape, which is much different from a normal stretching
band. It has an adjustable latex band which allows you to train from very low
draw weights to very high draw weights but the distinctive feature of this
training device is that it does come with a laser pointer. I know most people
who say this comment about laser sights on bows do it sarcastically as a
way to mock archery equipment, but being serious though, why don’t bows use laser
sights? You can find laser sights online for bows. These are very rare. They’re not
normally used because most people have no use for them and I feel that at times
these sights are kind of sold without the best interest of the archer in mind. The other problem with these sights is that you need to see the sight and
see the laser on the target and at typical shooting distances which might
be 30 to 70 metres away. You can see lasers that far if the laser strong
enough. However, there may be legal limitations as to what kind of lasers
you can acquire. When most people talk about laser sights they refer to what
they’ve seen in the movies and video games where the laser sight is a red dot
which paints a target and that shows you where the bullet will land and therefore
you don’t need to aim. A laser sight is not that simple
and anyone who is familiar with firearms and laser sights will understand that.
There are numerous problems which can arise
even though you are using a laser sight. At the same time I’m going to address
the common criticism of Olympic style archers that apparently can’t grip their
bows and that a skilled shooter should be able to keep the bow on target. The
last criticism is often from people who have never handled a bow. You greatly
underestimate how much natural shake there is in the human form. It is
impossible for someone to entirely mitigate that shake. It doesn’t matter
how skilled you are, it is impossible to mitigate. I will show you. In archery, a
laser can be a useful diagnostic tool. An archer might use a laser to help
them identify the point of aim and their alignment. At the same time, the laser
would also help spotlight exactly how much the bow is shaking and again, there
is always an inherent amount of shake in the shooter. The body is tense. It is
impossible to keep the bow perfectly still. Let’s see. What I’m going to do
is stand three metres away from the door. I’m going to point the laser on the door
handle. I’m going to be using a 10 pound draw on the AccuBow, which is the
lightest draw, which means I should have perfect control of my bow. Pay attention
to the way the laser pointer moves. This is me holding the bow as still as I can. And that was about a 10-second hold. If I
do it again, fresh draw, on target It’s not any better
is it? This isn’t me intentionally showing that I can’t hold a bow. I’m not
a novice. But you can see that the laser sight is very twitchy on the target and
even holding the bow normally, it’s very hard to keep still. That is the inherent inaccuracy in the human body. The fact that we are supporting a bow with our upper
body and our arms with no other support means that it is impossible to hold this
still. Now you might think, well, you’re using a 10 pound draw. If you use a
heavier draw then you should be able to hold it steady.
In actuality a heavier bow is harder to keep steady especially if you’re not an
experienced shooter. But for the sake of the argument let’s wind this thing up to
a heavier draw weight and see what happens. So again, we are approximately three
meters away. I’m using what is approximately a 40 pound draw so we’ll
try to keep this still at full draw and it’s a lot harder there looks. This is
actually an increase in shake. Wow, that’s a lot of shake. Let’s try again I’m
going to be using a mid 40 pound draw. That’s even worse. All arches accept that there is an inherent amount of shake. Good conditioning
and practice and training will help mitigate the degree of shake that you
have but there will always be some sort of shake in your upper body, in your arms
in your hand, in your fingers and you saw on a tiny doorknob at 3 meters how much
variation there is. In fact, archers who are trained for target shooting are told
not to try to keep the sight steady on target because it’s impossible. The
archer will cause more problems trying to hold the sight steady than letting the
sight float. Arches will let the sight float and they’ll execute the best
possible shot subconsciously. That is why archers use
stabilizers. Stabilizers help keep the bow stable on all axes. That is also why
archers who are doing doing target shooting will keep a loose grip or keep an open grip
so they don’t have the extra tension from the hand. Every little bit makes the
sight go off as you saw before. Remember, a few millimeters off here means
centimeters or even meters off at the target at the other end. That is why a
barebow shooter or a longbow shooter or traditional shooter cannot consistently
hit the target without some kind of aid. This isn’t an attack against traditional
shooters, but many people overestimate how accurate former archers were. The
fact is, it cannot be done. It is a superhuman ability to hold perfectly
still. You will need a high-tech modern Nanosuit to do so. And if you think I’m
exaggerating, you try it yourself. Take out your cell phone use the camera app.
Use maximum zoom and try to hold the thing steady. You can’t. And that is what
professional cameramen have harnesses and rigs that
cost more than camera itself, because you cannot attain perfection with your bare
hands. What does this have to do with laser
sights? You can’t keep the thing on target. That defeats the whole purpose of
a laser sight. Another problem is that you can only calibrate the laser sight
for one distance. This isn’t too bad for a firearm where if you sight to 50 meters,
then your bullet should still impact near that laser dot regardless of
whether you’re at 10 meters or 50 meters. For a bow, the ballistics of the arrow
make a big difference. Your arrow will land completely
differently if you’re at 20 meters compared to 50 meters. You cannot make a
sight work unless that target is that one specific distance. The biggest problem
with the laser sight and sights in general is that it doesn’t automatically
make you a good shot, and the same problem is seen with firearms. With
firearms, you need a good grip, good muzzle control and good trigger control.
If you don’t have these things, then it doesn’t matter if you’re using a laser
sight. You will not hit your target. Similar things apply to archery. You
require a consistent anchor point. You need to make sure the bow is held at
the right angle or perfectly straight. You need to make sure your shot
execution and release are perfect. If you don’t have these things, it doesn’t
matter what sight you use, whether it’s barebow, iron sight or laser. The thing
with a laser sight is that the dot is on the target there, but it doesn’t tell you
what you are doing here. What if you are holding it too low and you don’t realize
it. What if it’s too angled and you don’t realize it. The sight will not tell you
that but your shot will reveal everything.
It’s not even useful in a tactical situation. Again, because painting the
target of a laser doesn’t mean you will hit it. The fact that you can angle the
bow in any way or draw it to any point on your body in a snapshot situation
means that your arrow can go anywhere from directly on target to 5 meters off.
That’s why the laser sight is really a mall ninja thing. You don’t see it on
bows because functionally it doesn’t have a place in the shot process nor
does it have a place in most applications of archery today. If you
happen to be in a zombie apocalypse scenario, then a laser sight is not your
answer. You may as well rely on instinctive. In summary, is it possible to
mount a laser sight on a bow? Yes. Physically, it’s possible. However, there
is very little reason to do so. In fact there are several reasons why you
shouldn’t. The first reason is that inherently, we humans are unstable
shooting platforms. It is impossible for us to maintain the bead on the target.
If you can’t maintain a bead on target, what’s the point of using a laser sight?
The second reason is that the laser sight does not replace form. Yhe laser
sight will not inform you if you are anchored correctly or aligned correctly.
It’s simply a single point of reference on the target. It doesn’t reflect what
you are doing here. Good accuracy is achieved from good form, not from a good
sight, and that applies to all forms of shooting. Anyway I hope you found this
interesting. This is NUSensei. Thank you for
watching and I’ll see you next time

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Lasers are meant to be used as a guide not to aim.I know hand guns and a shooter need to hold the gun right with both hands and use isosceles triangle. Breathing and kickback must be taken to account. Shooting with anything is a science with no short cuts. Thanks.

  2. You hear a distant meme from the Rainbow 6 Siege community as an angry british man says: fookin' laser soights

  3. You still have to see the Dot on the target. So at distance, this would be almost impossible without a scope, also lighting conditions would interfere. Additionally if you rely on tech you will not become a good archer. Olympic archers are just playing games, real archers point and laugh at them.

  4. Even a world class pistol or rifle shooter will tell you that there is a wobble, no matter how skilled you are. The point is, you need to keep the wobble zone as small as possible on the target. Inherently, the gun or bow is more accurate than the person behind it. If you put the gun or bow into a device like a Ransom Rest, for instance, and remove the human factor, the gun or bow will pile up shot after shot into nearly the same hole. It's the person who is using it that determines the "functional" accuracy.

  5. Laser sights are great for learning to bow fish because the laser accounts for refraction. I used one until I learned to better read depth and eventually dropped it. Use of the laser for bow fishing decreased my learning curve by at least half.

  6. Same as with a firearm except much more drop.
    If it's "dialled in" at a specific distance and set to hit the mark though the arrow is actually aimed much higher than the laser dot is,…one then only has to allow for every other variable.
    Same as with shooting.
    Though, I'm guessing "hitting a mark on the move from a non practical position is no job for a laser on any weapon unless it's fully robotised.

  7. Frankly I don't think you made a very good point here at all… Your main argument is that laser doesn't give you good form or make you stable, but if you're already a good archer and aren't trying to use laser as a cheap way to get around learning the basics then where's the problem? You also said that laser is just another reference point for aiming, but what's wrong with that? Surely another reference point can be beneficial in some cases, even if you can't see it that far?

    I've just started archery and never thought about lasers but this video sure didn't enlighten me much on why they aren't used. And as for the red dot on guns comparison, I can tell you a red dot makes a below average shooter a pretty good one pretty much instantaneously at sub 100 meters.

  8. Excellent presentation, NU. As a former jarhead sniper, I can tell you that even something as simple as a heartbeat will have a significant affect on your sighting, especially when using a long-range rifle. I could see evidence of your heartbeat (transmitted through your hands) to "throb" the laser point ever-so-slightly it in the video. Plus, after a not-too-far distance, the laser cannot be seen during daylight operations. No laser sights for this old Marine. I'll calculate "my dope" using the old method and put a round where it needs to go almost every time. Keep up the great work, NU. I thoroughly enjoy your channel although I am not an archer.

  9. Love your vids very helpful. I'm pretty much living off of deer meat right now as main source of protein. And now that rifle season is over my bow and I need to have some real time together your vids help alot

  10. I really love archery..but there is no way I can hold the bow steady as Hawkeye and Green Arrow in the comic, we're only human after all

  11. Stop comparing archery to firearms. You have no idea how firearms work, just stop.

    Stay in your lane dude, I struggle to take you seriously when you incorrectly reference firearms. They arnt equivalents and share none of the same principles.

  12. What about a laser from the peep sight to line up your pin and that line of sight should put the laser on target we’re you would actually put the arrow . If it’s possible to use a laser I think the peep sight would be the only feasible mounting point

  13. I agree that the laser is pointless, but I don't think the point about the human inability to be stable particularly relevant. When I'm shooting 300+ meters with my rifle from a rest I'm still shaking. If I stand and shoot offhand I'm shaking alot more. The instability is always there and always visible. You just always have to fire when you are on target and the most stable.

  14. Dear Computer Engineer Dudes,
    Please design a multi directional gyroscopic Lazer stabilizer to compensate for the variables associated with archery.
    Thanks in advance,
    A Caveman

  15. Only time I use a laser is when I use it to identify the night sight on my firearm and where to hold for follow up shots if my target moves. Only fixed sights are accurate for properly sighted firearms but a laser can give a reference for getting on a sight picture with fixed sights faster.

  16. This video is so pointless. But i m still watching because the asian guy looks pissed about the comments he will get which are just from people who will never hold a bow in their hands and they are here because youtube recommended them.

  17. I've seen guys with lasers on their guns at the range. Oftentimes they think their laser is crooked because they keep missing. They forget there are other factors besides placing a dot on a target.

  18. Laser sights are only for close combat aren't they? For firing from the hip?
    So if you're shooting a bow from the hip, would it still shoot straight (where the laser is pointing)?

  19. G'day David, Good, logical video. Way too many variables to use lasers in archery.
    Military snipers never, seriously, shoot from a standing or kneeling position. They always rest their weapon on the ground, a rock, a 'bean bag' or something that does not move. Without that anchor point stability the best sniper in the world is defeating the intent of his 'craft'. Cheers, BH

  20. Its not a bad idea. Especially since novices dont know what they are pointing at. They dont have a reference point as to where the arrow is going. If the laser is pointing perpendicular with the arrow. The novice will know hes at least holding the bow straight. Otherwise, when he points his bow. He doesnt know if it straight, down or up. And is shooting solely on instinct.

  21. You still have to be able to shoot. But if you know how to shoot a gun but dont know whether your gun is actually pointing straight or not. Then it wont work. Next thing you know, you are going to tell snipers not to use scopes.

  22. When you look down a scope, you can tell how unstable your aim happens to be as the reticle moves all around the target. But at least you know when is the perfect time to pull the trigger, when the reticle hovers back to the target.

  23. All you need is a good blaster at your side. 😉
    Firearms, the rifle must point naturally at the target, before and after firing your rifle.

  24. I disagree with the comment that because you can’t hold it without shaking that a laser wouldn’t work, that is the same thing on firearms and it works for me out to 400m+.Obviously shooting at night. I will make you a video of a laser on a bow. You have to trust the wobble, not as accurate but a method.i respect your opinion but there is a way

  25. The new bow sights with a builtin range finder that automatically adjusts your pin placement may be the newest technology that helps the archer.

  26. I would like to add that there are "laser sights" that are practical. They are range finding lasers though, not big bright red beams, but still a laser 😛

  27. But you dont need the sight on the target for 10 seconds, could you not just let go when the sight is where you want it ?
    Never shot a bow

  28. Another reason you shouldn't use a laser is because most countries have banned them for use in hunting, and like at gun ranges, an archery range would likely kick you out for using a laser sight.

  29. Alright, I've seen your 2 other videos (talking about Bow Drop/Bow Swing) and this, I'm gonna sub you for that reason.
    Very helpful, even though I'm not an archer (but I probably will).

  30. Barton/Hawkeye uses a 20MW laser sight. If the arrow doesn't put a hole in the target's head, the laser will…..

  31. Do people forget that medieval archers mostly fired in volleys, going for an overwhelming quantity of arrows rather than trying to make sure that every single arrow hits?

  32. Could it be interesting as a training aid for noobs : get used to the position, see in real-time how much shake you have, build muscle memory..?

    I’m not buying your pitch that the laser has to be 100% of the solution to every problem. It just has to be useful e.g. “crap, when I choke the grip the red dot is shaking all over the place… what happens if I’m looser… ah, that’s better”

  33. I used to sport shoot a rifle and I can confirm that even with the best gear you won't hold steady target 100% of the time. My technique was to let that target swing through the sights. Once I received a white ring in the sights, I shot. I used to be hella good at this. 😀

  34. How about using laser sights for training?
    it could helps to "check" archer position and give the opportunity to know help to repeat the same movements

  35. I'm not an archer by any means but it seems to me that if anything a laser sight might help give you an idea if your form is off but really wouldn't give you any idea of where the arrow will actually land. Until of course you've developed good form at which point you probably don't need the sight anymore and it would probably hurt your accuracy at that point by trying to rely on it.

  36. Most important point of all.
    Laser Light does not get influenced by Windy Air, humidity, angle, momentum of any Projectile because its a Light Particle.
    but Bullets, Arrows and any Physical Projectile thrown in atmosphere have to deal with all those stuff all the time which Greatly influence Projectiles destination.

  37. Actually shake is easy to eliminate…. Try to hold still you can't because muscles under tension not moving shake… If you keep them moving you eliminate that shake…. Most important is matching your heart beat… Every body beats with the heart every muscle beats with the heart… Learn to quiet the mind slow your heart and breathing into rhythm and control….a laser can be calibrated just as a scope can

  38. To borrow from the rifle world, it all comes down to good "points of contact". For a typical bow you only have the forward hand and the cheek hand. A crossbow allows you to shoulder it for more solid points of contact. A typical maximum range "off hand" with a rifle is 200 yards, but for a pistol, maybe 50 yards because outstretched arms are less stable than a shoulder. If you crouch and put your elbow on your knee you get even stronger support. The prone and benchrest positions increase it even more. The most you can do is where you are in the benchrest or prone position and don't even shoulder the gun, because during recoil your shoulder moves more inconsistently than "free recoiling" the gun. I would love to see a shoulder stock on a non-crossbow. You still have to hold the full draw, but there is a firm shoulder support that completely avoids the string but allows you to take more accurate shots than a normal bow.

  39. Tactical special ops snipers that sometimes use crossbows for silent night operations just use a full scope on their compound or crossbow. The scope is range adjustable and after they estimate range, or have a spotter call out the range, then they turn the dial to tune the range of the sight.

  40. What i sometimes do to train/correct my steadiness is mounting a Laserpointer on the tip of my stabiliser to visualise how much im wiggling around

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