Retail Archery

So the archery side of things is continuing to improve.

The new Easton 1816 Jazz arrows Geoff got in give a more consistent grouping, and this weekend’s results were tighter still (and herself got into it as well with one of the new lighter bows we got, and disasterously has started to improve faster than I did in the beginning, getting 4/7 or so on the target at 30m on her first day). However, it’s time to start tuning really, and so there’s a list of kit forming to be bought:

  • Arrows
  • Tab
  • Rest
  • Button
  • Clicker
  • Stand
  • Arrow puller
  • Boonie hat

Of course, it’s never quite that simple.

The first thing is that the arrows have to be chosen for the poundage of the bow (this is all old hat for most archers, but it’s new to me). What this means is that the draw length is a critical measurement – and if you’ve not got the form solidly down yet, then that measurement isn’t solid either. When I started with this, Geoff measured my draw lenght at over 32″. Turns out that might be a tad high. Guesstimate methods (your tip-to-tip wingspan divided by 2.5) say it should be closer to 28″. Drawing back to a centre anchor (string touching chin and tip of nose in the middle) puts it at just a smidge over 28″. Earlier draws to a side anchor (string touching jawline on side) puts it back up at 30″. And while a range of 2″ sounds small, it’s sufficiently large that there is no single choice of arrow that fits both possibilities.

Well, I’m going to WTSC this weekend to do some more measurements. I’ll try shooting from both anchors, see which feels more normal, and take measurements. That’ll sort out one number.

The other number is the draw weight. To measure that, I’ve ordered a bowscales from and that’s in the post as we speak. I’ll work up a force-draw graph (you can buy a machine for a grand or so that does this in one pull – neat, but maybe for when the club has a few more archers 😀 ) and then it’s sitting down with the easton charts. Following advice from Ewan and the posters on the Archery forum in, I’ve settled on Easton X7s for the arrows. They’re more optimised for indoors, but they’re cheap enough to work with and tune with, and when we sort out our 50m, 70m and 90m ranges, I’ll look into ACCs or similar. Given that they’ll cost €200 per dozen, I’m happy to wait!

Right so that’s the arrows. Next up is the tab, and I’m looking at the Soma Saker II tab. Does all I need it to, has a decent few features and should last a few years. Another alternative is the Cavalier Elite which has the advantage of using cordovan which should last better.

The rest was going to be the usual plastic flipper, but since I’ll just chew them up and a magnetic rest is all of a quid more expensive, I’ll get a Cartel X-Pert magnetic rest. Cheap and cheerful.

The button’s also going to be Cartel. Cartel do a nice line in cheap beginners kit, I’m starting to notice. Granted, the Cartel sights I got are shaking themselves to pieces with every shot because of loose screws, but for a tenner, what would you expect? At least they fall apart after the shot…

The clicker won’t be a cheap one however, it’s going to be a Cavalier magnetic clicker, mainly because it’s such a critical bit, but also because it’s not that expensive (€20 or so), so I might as well get a decent one. It does bolt on under the sights though, so I’m going to have to take the loctite to the screws to stop them shaking themselves loose as they’ve been doing.

The stand is self-explanitory and is a cheap cartel model; the arrow puller is because it is a miserable job trying to get an arrow out when you’ve nailed the boss to the a-frame and the arrow’s wet because it’s raining. I now fully understand why the UK lads used to carry knives to cut arrows out of frames, and why they got so upset when GNAS ruled that they couldn’t do that anymore because of UK laws on carrying offensive weapons (Ireland and the UK have more in common than we’d ever guess – it’s not safe for someone to carry a 3″ pocket knife to extract an arrow from a target with, but the 50lb bow firing steel-tipped arrows at 300fps with a range of over 90m is perfectly fine…)

As to the boonie hat, I tried wearing a WTSC baseball cap while shooting before, but the peak hits off the string; shooting in the rain has made it very clear that some form of hat is a necessity; and bucket hats look, well, daft. Boonie hats are a decent fit. Now, to find one without some macho camo design on it. To the hat shop!