Why Is My Bow Loud? (Recurve | Compound)

Why Is My Bow Loud? (Recurve | Compound)

It can happen to any archer; you shoot your bow, only to discover it became really loud. In this post, we’ll dive into why bows may become loud, how to fix it and why you should care about it.

While bows naturally produce some noise and vibration, they can become louder when they go out of tune. To make your bow quieter you should get it tuned. If still too loud you can use dampeners, heavier arrows, and more to further silence the bow.

With that information in mind, I’ll dive deeper into the main root causes that might cause your bow to become loud, the different ways to can silence your bow, and why you should care about it at all.

Let’s go!

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Things that might make you bow loud

There are a lot of things that might cause your bow to suddenly become loud. Most of them are related to your bow going out of tune. Both for recurve and compound bows, when the bow becomes loud, it’s an indication that you should get it tuned, and it’s usually a side effect of another issue.

What should we look for when considering a loud bow?

  • Loose accessories. Any loose parts of the bow might increase the vibrations and loud sounds created when you shoot your bow. These accessories can get loose over time, even if initially installed correctly, so loud sounds may seem to appear out of no nowhere.
    The most common parts that may cause these sounds are the sight, arrow rest, and stabilizer. To see if this is an issue with your bow, try gently wiggle the parts and see if they’re loose. Make sure to check every part of the attachable, for example, check the stabilizer itself, but also the attached weights.
    If you find out one of your accessories is loose, use a screwdriver to tighten it up back to its place, then check if the bow is still loud.
  • Brace height. It can be rather surprising, but brace height is known to have a major effect on your bow’s noise. It’s a really common issue because many archers don’t understand how brace height is measured, and eventually, they set it incorrectly. You can learn how brace height is measured in my previous post, and check if the brace height on your bow fits the manufacturer’s suggestions.
  • Cam issues (compound). These can range from timing and sync issues to cam torque. The mechanics of a compound bow are quite a complex system, and any cog in the wheels can cause unexpected results. Cam issues can easily cause your bow to become loud.
    While torque in your cams can be easy to visually spot, things like cam timing are a bit more difficult to pinpoint. If you’re shooting a compound bow that became loud, I’d try to visually inspect the cams and see if everything is set up correctly. If you can’t find any issue, I’d suggest getting the bow inspected by a pro shop.
  • String length. This is quite common with recurve bows, where the string on the bow is a bit too long, which can cause loud rattling sounds when you shoot the bow. If you’re noticing noises out of your recurve bow, I’d suggest looking at your string length, and if needed try twisting it together a bit more to shorten the bowstring.

This list includes the most common causes of noisy bows. Before using any additional tools to lower the sound of your bow, you should definitely look into those, and see if your bow needs some attention.

After looking into the main suspects, you might want to lower the sound coming out of your bow even more. You can modify your equipment to make your shots quieter, and in the next section, I’ll teach you what you need to know.

How to quiet a bow

After making sure your bow is tuned, and the sound coming out of your bow is lower, you can consider modifying your equipment to become even quieter. This typically involves using silencers and noise dampeners on different parts of your bow, adjusting it, and sometimes using heavier arrows.

Sound dampeners come in many shapes and forms, dedicated to silencing different parts of your bow. String silencers, for example, are the most common type of dampeners, which help in dampening string vibrations which can create a significant amount of noise. Installed on the string itself, they help the string become still quicker after the shot.

If you’re looking for a good string dampener, you might want to look into Bowjax 1036 (Amazon link). It’s a decent black string dampener, dedicated to reducing noise and vibrations created by your bowstring. It’s affordable and it’ll do the job.

Limb dampeners are really common as well. They lower the vibrations going through the limbs, reducing the noise they create. LimbSaver actually has a pretty good option, LimbSaver SuperQuad (Amazon link), if you’re looking to get some limb dampeners. You can also look into riser dampeners and more.

Another thing you might want to look into, is shooting heavier arrows. The vibrations are created from excess energy not released to the arrow. Heavier arrows take more energy to move, so if you decide to get heavier arrows, less energy will remain in the bow when you shoot, reducing the vibrations and noise.

This great youtube video shows some of the listed sound dampeners and some additional ones. I really think it’s worth a watch:

Loud bows are actually pretty common with archers who switch to lighter arrows, so you can do the opposite, and use heavier arrows with your bow. I actually wrote about the energetic aspects of speed in my post about how fast recurve bows are, which I think you’ll benefit from reading as well.

But why should to go through all this effort to make your bow quieter? Let’s consider the disadvantages of shooting a loud bow.

Why are loud bows a problem?

While it obviously more comfortable to shoot with a quiet bow, if you go through some serious effort to silence your bow, it should come with practical benefits. Let’s discuss the main issue shooting a loud bow comes with, which you can solve with the tips we’ve discussed.

The first reason loud bows are an issue isn’t related to the sound itself at all. The sound on your bow is simply a side effect of the vibration created on the bow when you release an arrow. When the vibrations are intense, like when you dry fire a bow, it can seriously damage the bow and even be dangerous to people around the archer. You can see examples of this in my previous post about accidentally dry firing a bow.

Surely, the vibrations that create the sounds you hear are much less intense than dry fire vibrations. Still, they can damage your bow, and wear it out faster.

For bowhunters, being sneaky and silent is a really significant concern. Sudden sounds can scare their target away, and even a millisecond of motion can be the difference between a successful shot and completely missing the target. Bowhunters usually have all sorts of silencers on their bows, so they definitely take bow sounds seriously.

The last reason might not sound significant, but shooting with a loud bow is much less fun. If people heard you shooting from the other side of the range, you’d feel uncomfortable. The sounds the bow makes aren’t very fun to hear – they’re typically really annoying. You can really hear something is off.

In this blog, I put a lot of attention to having fun with archery, and try to give you the best advice I can to achieve that. It’s a really cool hobby, so I want you to enjoy it. Equipment issues can take some of the fun out of shooting, especially if they’re really noticeable like having a loud bow. I really think this is a significant reason to take care of this issue, even if you had no other reason.


Many different things can cause your bow to become loud, but typically it’s an indication that your bow is out of tune. By attending to the root cause you can lower the sound coming out of your bow while making sure it’s in good shape.

Sound dampeners and silencers can be used to silence your bow even more, but they won’t help if your bow is loud because it’s out of tune. They can be a nice tool though if you want to be a bit quieter.

Most target archers don’t pay too much attention to bow sound, but bowhunters put a lot of attention to stealth since even small sounds can disturb their targets. Still, even as a target archer, a bow that produces less sound and vibrations is definitely nicer.

I hope this post helped you understand the different aspects of silencing your bow. Good luck!