Today’s compound bows are built for speed and light weight, but if you’re not accounting for these four factors, you should be…
by the HuntDaily staff
Lightweight composite materials and advanced engineering processes have given us the lightest weighing, fastest shooting bows and arrows ever. That’s good news for many reasons, not the least of which include improved portability on backcountry hunts, reduced fatigue, better shooting control, optimal arrow flight and penetration, and a generally quieter and smoother shooting experience.
But as with most things in life, there is a caveat to all of these high performance gains—balance must be maintained. Just as a high performance race engine can never reach its potential while sitting in a production car, neither can a premium bow and arrow combination achieve its maximum capabilities if add-on accessories don’t augment the overall platform. In other words, adding overweight accessories to lightweight bows can cause havoc before you get out of Turn 1.
What kind of accessories are we talking about here? Primarily bow sights, arrow rests, and quivers. These are the three items 99.999 percent of bowhunters use on their vertical compound bows. And think about this…where are all of these accessories located on a bow? That’s right. Above the centerline, which is the worst possible location for weight imbalance. What’s more, the lighter the bow the greater this unbalanced effect will be if these key accessories are on the chunky side.
We are all about comprehensive solutions when it comes to our personal hunting gear. When manufacturers develop products designed with a common goal in mind, the result is one-stop shopping and greater assurance that the goals we’re after will be achieved. That’s why we got excited when TRUGLO introduced their new line of Carbon XS archery accessories.
The Carbon XS series represents a comprehensive approach to maximizing shooting performance while reducing weight, minimizing noise, and boosting overall balance in your bow setup. The common denominator across the Carbon XS line is, of course, the implementation of ultra-lightweight an high-strength carbon composite materials. Oh, and the fact that these accessories boast desirable features usually found in items costing significantly more is an added bonus.
Weight – As we all know, carbon offers significant weight advantages compared to metal…even aluminum. While shaving an ounce or a few tenths of an ounce from a bow accessory may seem like a marginal gain, it is important to think of the cumulative weight of all the accessories you intend to put on your bow. When you consider a fully outfitted hunting rig, with arrows, broadheads, perhaps some limb dampeners, a sling, and possibly lighted nocks, every tenth of an ounce you can trim from your bow’s total weight suddenly makes a big difference. Carbon composites get you there.
Strength – While carbon fiber is a relatively strong material, it is its stiffness and overall weight-to-strength ratio that makes it an ideal material for high-performance bow accessories. When you need accessories that stand up to the repeated shock and vibration a bow delivers, require precision machining and alignment for shooting accuracy, and need it LIGHT, carbon composite is the answer.
Noise/Vibration – Machined metal parts, assembled via screws and dovetail joints, pick up and transmit vibration with greater efficiency than those parts made of carbon composite. As a result, carbon composite accessories, intelligently designed, do not transmit as much vibration, create as much noise, or promote the loosening of attaching hardware (screws and pins) and joints as much as metal-on-metal components. For the bowhunter, this means a quieter, smoother shooting bow with accessories that won’t as easily succumb to the tortures of bow shock.
That was a lot of explanation to say that TRUGLO’s Carbon XS accessories form a unified trifecta to pare back top end bow weight and reduce noise and vibration while ensuring accuracy and durability.
Now that we’ve taken care of the top end of the bow, we must examine the lower end.
Every bow needs a stabilizer. A stabilizer does as its name implies—stabilizes your bow so that you can execute a more controlled shot. The weight of heavy accessories above the bow’s centerline (top heavy) can also be mitigated with a stabilizer added below the centerline, helping to bring your bow back in balance. And with conventional lightweight, high-speed bows, a stabilizer offers another important function—that being to dissipate as much vibration and noise as possible.
The effectiveness of a stabilizer to perform all of these functions comes down to the right materials designed to work efficiently to provide balance and to transfer vibration out to the stabilizer’s end. Variations in material harmonics and bow designs mean that not every stabilizer will provide optimal performance with every bow. Just as a truck’s wheel/tire assembly requires varying weights and balance points to roll smoothly, so does a stabilizer work best when it can be tuned dissipate the vibrations of your particular bow setup. This requires two things to work effectively.
First, you need a stabilizer made with a rigid body, such as carbon composite, that can efficiently transfer vibration from the bow riser to the weighted/dampened end of the stabilizer. Second, you need a stabilizer with adjustable weights on the end of the stabilizer body, preferably with a vibration-absorbing rubber-type material in-between the weights and the stabilizer shaft. With this set up, you can custom-tune the stabilizer to better cancel out the harmonics of your rig.
As you know, the modern vertical compound bow is an awesome blend of advanced material construction and precision engineering. That said, we can upset that factory perfection if careful consideration is not given to the accessories that will ultimately be added to a bow. By taking the lightweight, high-strength carbon composite route for our top-end accessories, and maintaining the balance on the bottom end with a quality and tunable stabilizer, we can ensure smooth, quiet, and accurate performance on the range and in the field.
article copyright © 2016 by HuntDaily.com; promoted by TRUGLO, Inc