How to Use Archery Thumb Rings

Written by joe white
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How to Use Archery Thumb Rings
(David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A thumb ring is an archery accessory used in the Mongolian shooting style, the traditional style favoured in most of Eastern Asia and Asia Minor. The thumb ring fits over the shooter's thumb on the drawing hand and protects the pad of the thumb from friction and chafing against the string. The shooting style that uses the thumb ring depends on a deep bow pull (more than 30 inches) and uses a recurve bow rather than a compound bow. Shooting with a thumb ring is still practised by traditionalists, although it is not as accurate as more advanced modern techniques.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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  1. 1

    Insert your thumb into the thumb ring. For right-handed shooters, the thumb ring will sit on the right thumb. Slide your thumb into the convex side of the ring so that the concave side expands outward toward the end of your finger. The ring should rest just above the last knuckle of your thumb so that the tab extends over the inside of the joint and covers the pad of your thumb.

  2. 2

    Nock your arrow, slipping the bowstring into the notch behind the fletch. Wrap your thumb in front of the string (below the arrow) so that when you draw the string, the force will be directed into the thumb ring. Grasp the arrow with your fingers like you hold a pen. Secure your thumb in place by tucking the tip of your thumb behind your index finger.

  3. 3

    Draw back the string smoothly, making sure to extend at least 30 inches. Keep your left arm completely straight during the draw. You may raise the bow so that you are pulling downwards with your right hand, and then return to shooting position with the top of your left arm completely horizontal.

  4. 4

    Release the arrow by unhooking your right thumb from your forefinger. The string will be released from the thumb ring and snap forward. Hold steady, allowing the momentum of the shot to swing the bow forward after the arrow has cleared toward the target.

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