How Far Should My Archery Target Be? – Shoot Like a Pro

It actually depends on the stage of your training. Fun fact, distances are never as we think they are. When you start shooting you’ll train your eye for distances as your skills develop. When I started with archery, I didn’t really have a good grasp of distances when talking about them. I wasn’t sure about the distance we were practicing at and it turned out, it wasn’t always the same! It was ideally supposed to be 10 meters, but the distance was measured by that days coach steps as he paced out 10 meters. If the coach was sorter, 10 steps were not the same as my other coach. Nevertheless, when you start, those inches doesn’t really change much.

How far should my target be? For Olympic Archery, the target for outdoor shooting is 70 meters away from the archer while indoor competitions have the target at either 18 or 25 meters depending of the competition rules.

How far should my target be for Olympic Archery?

Official Olympic archery competitions shoot at 70 meters for recurve and 50 meters for compound bows. There are also international rules for competition shooting in the barebow category, which consist of archers shooting without stabilizers, sight or technology helping. In this cases, the distance is typically 50 meters, but the targets are normally larger.

There are also some competitions which shoot recurve bows at 90 meters distance, which is the maximum distance ever record in an international competition. The world record in this far target is hold by Kim Woojin, who scored 343/360 at 90 meters with a recurve bow. In case you don’t know, that score is amazing in any distance!

Are indoor targets at a different range?

Yes, they are. Indoor competitions shoot from closer range since they have smaller targets. Also, it’s probably a bit hard to find somewhere with over 90 meters of clear distance which is fully enclosed! Indoor competitions use smaller targets since archers are not affected by wind or any other outside conditions. They shoot either at 18 meters or 25m depending of the competition.

At the outdoor competitions I was already shooting at 30 meters. So when I first went to an indoor competition and heard the target distance was only 18 meters, I felt really confident. Truth be told, it’s not easier. Targets are pretty small and the artificial lighting can affect archers with glasses. Thankfully, I was able to get over that fear and I fought myself to my first ever eight finals, only 16 archers left. Sadly, I was wiped out in the first match, but it was still a good experience for my first indoor competition. So, don’t feel too comfortable by just hearing the distances, practice with the official distances and targets to get a better idea of the challenge.

How far should the target be when starting in archery?

It depends on the strength of the archer. For example, I started at 10 meters which sometimes where 8 (depending on the coach who placed the targets!). When we started we didn’t have the budget to have a centimeter on the field. If you are strong enough, 10 meters is great to start with, it is not too far so you can actually hit the target most of the time, and it is also not too close that you Will still find it challenging to aim at when starting out.

For a lot of people, 10 meters is a challenge, of course, it is meant to be a good beginning for less powerful bows. That way, the new archer can focus more on their posture and movement than in the strength they need. For some kids, it is best to start a 5 meters or 7, and is a good way to work on their confidence for the first few weeks of practise. You may not believe me, but a lot of people are afraid of missing the target, especially kids. This is a great way to teach the mechanics, work on posture and also boost their confidence.

Once you get to a recurve bow, one with at least 26 pounds of strength, you should leave behind those 10 meters and move on to 20 meters. This is where the challenge begins, since you have your own recurve bow and double the distance to cover. Again, for someone who is just getting started, but has a little more experience and equipment, this is a great range to use.

Another extra tip for coaches or new archers. Try shooting without the bullseye, I mean without the circles in the paper. Shoot straight to the naked target, or as we call it in my club, to the bale. It’s a good way to start from close range and not be afraid of arrows missing the center. Make yourself focus shots where the first arrow strikes. Then make yourself shoot all the arrows close to each other. That way, you learn from the beginning to be consistent and to fight the fear of missing the bullseye.

What is the range of a bow and arrow?

It depends on the bow and archer in question, if you want to know how far can the arrow possibly go, it generally depends on how high you aim. At a 45 degree, your arrow can get up to 100 meters depending on your strength and draw power. Some bows can even get to 300 meters. Now, please do not shoot your arrows just to see how far they go, you’ll probably loose it, and there’s a huge chance you might hurt somebody. Always be very careful with archery and avoiding shooting into an area you can’t see.

On the other hand, if you want to know the effective range of your bow, it depends on how far can you shoot and hit the same target. This is more about consistency. On average, people can shoot cnnsistlenty up to 35 meters. Of course, excluding professional archers shooting at 70 meters for competitions, this is an average. Olympic archers are effective at 70 to 90 meters.

How far can a 50 pound bow shoot?

A 50 pound recurve bow can get to a maximum range of 300 – 310 meters. Of course, this is an average range considering good conditions. Weather, wind, shooting inclination, and your strength are facts that affect your shot. Some shots might go further while others come down faster and closer. Then again, this is your range without good probabilities of hitting your target – if you had one.

What’s the difference of shooting different weight bows at the same distance?

The short answer is that it makes the arrow go straighter. More strength means more probability for your shot to go straight to the point where you aimed, regardless of the wind or any vibration in your posture. Outside effects will still impact your shot but it will be less than if you’re using a 30 pound bow like mine. I am not too strong, but I hope that eventually, I’ll be able to start using a 36 pound bow without hurting my shoulder as I train with some weights.

So, this is it, that’s all about archery distances. Remember, there is no point going directly to longer target distances without proper evaluation on the closer distances. It’s like a video game, you must go through each level before moving on to the last one. So take your time, practice, and focus on your consistency rather than your distance. Consistency is what separates amateurs from professionals, and it is not a matter of skill, but a matter of practice and sacrifice.

Keep practicing.

Happy shooting everybody!