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3 Things You Should Know About Arrow Nocks

It may be one of the smallest components of archery, but the arrow nock is one of the most important. The nock connects your arrow to the bowstring, and it’s responsible for transferring energy from the bow to the arrow. Let’s look at three things you should know about arrow nocks.

Nocks Come in a Variety of Styles

Archery gear is meant to be customized to suit your individual needs. Nocks are no exception. Arrow nocks are available in a variety of styles, but the most common are pin nocks, insert nocks and out-nocks.  Which one you choose will depend on the arrow shaft you are using and your needs. For example, if you want to protect your expensive arrows from getting split from the impact with another arrow, a pin nock is an excellent choice. Another great option is an insert nock paired with a collar.

Nocks Should Be Frequently Checked

Tight groupings and repeated use take their toll on nocks. They can develop cracks or become worn. If you’ve shot a tight group, inspect your nocks for cracks. If you shoot a cracked nock, it can break and have the same effect as dry-firing your bow. Or maybe you have an arrow that doesn’t seem to cooperate. If it’s been a while since you’ve changed your nocks, try swapping them out like world champion Brady Ellison suggests in the Instagram post.

Nocks Need to Fit Your Bowstring

Sometimes your equipment can hold your groups back. The fit between your arrow nock and bowstring is an important consideration that’s often overlooked. The ideal fit has an audible click onto the bowstring – with a light tap, the arrow comes off the string. If your nock is too tight, it won’t cleanly release from the string and can disrupt accuracy. If your nock is too loose, the arrow might come off the string while you’re drawing, which is unsafe. If you have an ill-fitting nock, re-serve your bowstring to better match the nock. You can also change your nock for one with a different throat size. Some brands offer nocks in either a large or small groove.

Another consideration is nock pinch. This is when the string’s angle is so severe it pinches the nock and can cause the arrow to lift off the arrow rest. To test for nock pinch, remove the point from your arrow and pull back your bow, but don’t release. The arrow should stay on the arrow rest as you pull back the string. If it lifts, you know you have nock pinch.

Need help with nocks? Your local archery shop is a great place to get expert advice on which nock to use. They can also re-serve your bowstring for better nock fit.



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Learn the basics here, from the different styles of archery to how to choose the bow that’s right for you.


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