What Is A Compound Bow Let-Off?

Compound Bow Let-Off

Compound bow let-off is a feature on compound bows that allows archers to draw. And hold the total draw weight of the bow with greater ease. Need to shoot accuracy, resulting in less fatigue, better form, and more time to aim. Yet not all compound bows feature this feature, and understanding how it works can help you make an educated decision when purchasing a bow.

What Does Let Off Mean? 

As you reach full draw, the let-off reduces the draw weight. To determine the let-off percentage, divide the bow’s peak draw weight by its draw weight at full draw. 

For example, a compound bow with a 70 lb. height, draw weight and 40 lb. draw weight at full draw has a let-off of 57%. The higher the let-off percentage, the more effort it requires to draw the bow back. But, it requires less effort to hold it at full draw. 

Let-Off Percentage

The let-off percentage is essential in determining a bow’s shooter performance. The higher the let-off percentage, the easier it is for an archer to hold the bow at full draw and aim. 

Generally, bows with 75% or more let-off are suitable for hunting. This allows hunters to spend more time aiming and less worrying about fatigue.

Definition of let-off percentage

Let-off percentage measures the amount of draw weight reduction from peak to full draw. You calculate it by dividing the height draw weight of a bow by its actual draw weight at full draw. 

A higher let-off percentage means more accessible entire interest and more time for aiming. This makes it an essential feature for hunters who must get off many shots.

Factors Affecting Let-Off Percentage 

Single-cam compound bows often have higher let-off percentages than dual-cam bows. Other factors, such as draw length, the peak weight of the bow, and the design of its limbs, can also affect the let-off percentage. 

Example for clarity 

To illustrate how the let-off percentage works, consider a compound bow with a peak draw weight of 70 lbs. and a total draw weight of 40 kg. This bow has a let-off percentage of 57%. This means that the archer must pull back 70 lbs.

 It will feel like they only pull 40 lbs when they reach full draw. This allows the archer to hold the bow at full draw for a more extended period with less fatigue and better accuracy. 

Compound Bow Let-Off Benefits

Compound bow let-off provides several advantages to the shooter. Apart from increased accuracy, these advantages include. It allows for a smoother draw cycle, reducing limb vibration and noise levels. 

When shooting, it is perfect for hunting scenarios where silence is essential. This feature also reduces the bow’s weight, allowing for more center-shot accuracy and better balance. 

Finally, it helps to reduce fatigue levels. Shooters don’t need to maintain a heavy draw weight throughout their shooting session. 

Advantages of Let Off 

The most obvious advantage of having a compound bow with a let-off is the reduction in effort required to hold a full draw. This allows you to aim more because you won’t tire your arms from holding that weight for an extended period. 

It also provides more time to a target when shooting at longer distances, as you don’t have to rush the shot due to fatigue.

Disadvantages of Let Off 

While let-off can offer benefits, it’s essential to consider that it also has drawbacks. The primary disadvantage is that drawing the bow back requires more effort. Shooting at higher draw weights may make the shot much more complicated. 

It could affect your accuracy due to increased tension upon release. Additionally, some individuals may encounter challenges in achieving a smooth draw cycle. This is because they are not accustomed to the reduced force required to pull back. 


Q: Does the let-off on your bow affect shooting accuracy? 

A: Let-off is crucial for shooting accuracy, allowing you to draw and hold the total draw weight with less effort. This results in less fatigue and better form, which increases your chances of hitting your target.

Q: What is the optimal let-off percentage for hunting?

A: Generally, hunters consider bows with 75% or more extraordinary let-off suitable.” This provides enough draw weight reduction to make aiming more comfortable and accurate. But, it is up to the individual shooter to determine which let-off percentage works best for them. 

Q: Does let-off affect shot noise and vibration?

A: A let-off on your bow can help reduce the noise and vibration generated when you shoot. This is because it provides a smoother draw cycle, reducing limb shock at full draw. It also helps to reduce weight, allowing for more center-shot accuracy and better balance.

Q: Are there any drawbacks to having a high let-off percentage?

A: Although it provides several advantages, a high let-off percentage can make it more challenging to draw the bow back. This is because of the increased weight. 

Q: Does an archer need to be vital to shoot a bow with a higher let-off percentage? 

A: The primary advantage of having a high let-off percentage is the reduced effort required to hold the bow at full draw. This means strength isn’t as important as form and technique when shooting. 

Final Thought 

Compound bow let-off can be important when considering accuracy and ease of use, but it is unnecessary for all archers. Let-off may be beneficial or a hindrance, depending on your draw weight, shooting style, and experience level. It comes down to personal preference. Understanding how let-off works can help you make an informed decision when purchasing a compound bow.

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