Monday, June 3, 2013

Ripcord code red

Ripcord Code Red
Ripcord Code Red

If you read a previous post about the NAP quicktune-4000 drop-away rest I was disappointed in the construction and performance of that rest. I was on the lookout for something different.

A couple weeks ago I got an e-mail form an online archery shop I have shopped for year of some clearance items, one of them was a store return Ripcord code red rest being sold as used for $39 I was aware of the reputation and price of this rest, so I promptly called and ordered the rest.

Ripcord Code Red
Ripcord Code Red

Being this was a used rest, it came in a zip-lock bag without instructions and missing the cord football. i watched some YouTube videos on this rest and felt confident setting it up would be simple. Remarkably it was simple, I shot the new rest yesterday, and I am very impressed. setup was very easy, tuning simple. and I am getting the results I expected form my Hoyt.

Ripcord Code Red cord serving
Ripcord Code Red cord serving
The cable attachment was simple and adjustable. I separated the down cable in half, threaded the ripcord cable through and served it in. there was enough tension I was able to pull the ripcord through until it was perfectly timed, then trim it and melt a ball stop on the cord.

I was kinda skeptical of a full containment, and up position rest, but I really like the function of this rest. once an arrow is nocked, the thumb lever is pressed and the rest rotates into the locked up position. With a perfectly timed rest, just before the back wall is reached, the rest unlocks and drops on release.

I am curious about the durability of the launcher arm, it is a molded plastic with some softer rubber in key areas for silencing and a fabric pad where the arrow has direct contact. I did read one review that said the launcher arm broke in cold conditions down near single digits. I could see that happening, but with cautions use it should last.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Octane Deadlock Pro

Octane Deadlock Pro
Octane Deadlock pro
Being primarily an eastern treestand whitetail hunter, a Quiver is just something to hold arrows safely and conveniently that attaches to the bow. When I get settled in the treestand the quiver comes off the bow, into my open daypack with the fletching up, which is hanging neatly and consisently on my right hand side from my treestand seat.

Now that I am addicted to western mountain elk hunting, the quiver is an integral part of the weapon, no longer just something to hold arrows.While the purpose of the quiver hasn't changed, the function has been redesigned. Browse the elk hunting forums and it doesn't take long to find the unanimous choice of western hunters is the Tightspot quiver. Tightspot has taken the utilitarian quiver and redesigned it to become an integrated part of your weapon, enhancing its capabilities not detracting from it.

The only issue with the Tightspot quiver is the price. at $130 it is an expensive investment. In my search for a less expensive alternative, I found the Octane Deadlock Pro quiver. Octane is the accessory brand of Bowtech archery.

The Deadlock pro is a 5-arrow quiver. The structure of the quiver is 2 carbon rods, the hood is molded plastic, (octane calls it carbon) with a dense foam insert, the arrow grippers are a unique rubber about 2" long. The arrow grippers are hard to get arrows into at first, but after the initial time they work great.

Octane Deadlock pro under the hood
Octane Deadlock pro under the hood

Octane Deadlock pro arrow grippers
Octane Deadlock pro arrow grippers

The Deadlock pro has an attachment system that allows the quiver to be  flexible in  3-axis directions. front/back of the bow and some rotation within that axis, height up and down, and in and out from the bow. the weight of the quiver is 6.4oz per Octane.  The mounting block is molded plastic, (octane calls it carbon) and the mounting screws are stainless steel.

While the  Deadlock pro is removable, it requires quite a bit of force to slide it off. There is a quick release type skewer that clamps onto the dovetail, putting the quiver on is a non-event. removing it is another story. I ended up with a bloody forehead once, but since I have learned where to apply the force needed to remove it.
Octane Deadlock pro mounting block
Octane Deadlock pro mounting block

I got the Deadlock pro for $58 plus shipping, over half from the Tightspot, and about $30 less than MSRP from Ocatne, and it is American made.

I have shot my bow with the loaded quiver, and it is very shootable and well balanced, there is no additional noise or vibration. While I still prefer to shoot without a quiver on, the Deadlock pro does not detract from shooting.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Trufire edge 4-finger release

Trufire Edge 4-finger
Trufire Edge 4-finger
I have used a wrist caliper type release since the mid to late 80's when I was shooting a PSE Mach flite-4. I switched to fingers and when I got my Hoyt Superslam-supreme. it was a longer axle-axle bow. but after I got married and had a house and yard to take care of, I didn't have as much time to shoot, and it showed, so I went back to a caliper wrist release.

When I was updating my setup, I really needed to update my release also. I was interested in some of the hook type releases like the Scott Silverhorn and Trufire Hardcore. But in all my years of using a wrist release, the biggest frustrations I've had is climbing trees with a release on. No matter how careful I am when climbing, the release all to frequently tings on something metal.

Trufire Edge 4-finger

I was interested in the handheld thumb type release, but my fear is in loosing or dropping it somewhere, and the price. I did some online research and found the Trufire Edge4-finger. it is a small head caliper, with a rotating head. and is activated with your thumb. The edge also has a small hole near the pinky location for a rope. I used a length of d-loop material to make a wrist loop to attach the release to my bow when it isnt on my wrist, The loop is big enough to slip the release on and off without unbuckling or undoing velcro, but also secure enough to wear while walking or stalking.

The release calipers are closed until the trigger is depressed, so while sitting in a treestand the release can be attached to the d-loop of my bow.

The quality and feel of this release are great, the trigger is smooth, and the head rotates freely under load.

This release is not a shooting miracle; bad form, torquing the bow, and punching the trigger are all still possible. Tthe trigger is activated with the thumb and therefore not as prone to punching the trigger.

the learning curve is pretty easy to get used to, it feels natural after only a month of shooting with it, and it is an American made product.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Copper John Dead Nuts 3, Mark 1 sight

Copper John Dead nuts 3 mark 1 with micro-adjust
My Copper John Dead Nuts 3, Mark 1 sight was mounted on my Magnatec for almost 2-years, and it is the only component to migrate onto my Charger. this sight is built like a Tank, but doesn't feel like one. The model I have has 5 bright .019 fiber optic pins, the fiber wraps around the pin guard and gathers light thru a clear protector. The pins a very bright, and extend shooting light past what my eyes can shoot. When it is too dark to see the target, I can still see the pins.

There is a bright orange ring inside the pin guard that makes centering the sight window within the peep a happen naturally. The bubble level is very useful and glows in the dark too, so this sight is never the weak link in low light shooting.

I also have the optional micro-adjust kit (that can be added later to any Dead nuts sight) the micro adjust is such a nice feature, I will probably always have a sight with micro adjust.

I highly recommend this sight to anyone looking for a quality American made sight that while not cheap has high value.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

NAP quicktune 4000 drop away rest review

When I chose to upgrade my bow, I had the opportunity to pick whatever components I wanted to put on my bow. however, I was still limited by my budget.
I wanted to put American made stuff on my bow and support the companies that give us our jobs and support American workers and families. What I found was that a lot of archery products are made in USA, and most of the better ones are proud of the fact that they are American Made.

I had a NAP quicktune 2000 drop away arrow rest on my last bow. it performed flawlessly for 10 years, it tuned well, and stayed tuned. but it went with my old bow. When I needed a new rest, I looked at several brands NAP, Trophy taker,  Ripcord and QAD. one thing I noticed was the basic drop-away rest was either too basic, or totally enclosed in a big heavy awkward cage. (I am still kind of perplexed by the "full-containment" concept) The others like the Ripcord and QAD were like a hybrid drop-away rest that was cocked up and stayed up until release of the arrow. but even those were broke down: one goes down on a slow let-down and one doesn't. The ripcord and QAD have loyal followers, but the concept doesn't seem foolproof, what happens if it fails once on a critical shot?

The NAP quicktune 2000 was discontinued but I found an online store that had some discontinued NAP quicktune rest, after comparing the specs I decided on the NAP quicktune 4000 rest.  it had additional features of the 2000 with micro adjust (a nice feature)

When I got the rest, I was somewhat surprised by the launcher arms compared to the images form the store and NAP website. it looked like they tried to use up excess inventory of TM hunter launcher arms. they were a lot longer and curved not bent like the 2000 I had before. I should have sent it back, but I wanted to shoot my new bow. I took the rest apart and bent them closer to the configuration I remembered. but they were still too long, so I ground them shorter and got something closer to the arrangement I remembered.

The store website said the 4000 had adjustbale spring tension, but it doesnt.
The bottom line is that I am kind of disappointed in this rest. The launcher looked nothing like any image from the store or NAP, it has been difficult to tune, and I don't think it is dropping fast enough, I am getting fletch contact that shouldn't be if it was dropping fast enough.

Monday, April 29, 2013

New Hoyt Charger

hoyt charger
Hoyt Charger

When do you upgrade your weapon?

A good rifle and scope combo will last a lifetime, but it seems bows are a little different. the design and technology are constantly improving, So when do you upgrade your weapon if your weapon is a bow and arrow?
After shooting my Hoyt Magnatec for 10 years I decided to upgrade to some of the new technology in the archery world. I got my first Hoyt in 1992 a Superslam supreme.  I settled on this bow because of the long axle to axle for finger shooting.
in 2003 I bought the Magnatec, the Magnetec was the bow I was most successful with in my bow hunting career. Shortly after I got the Magnatec, a revolution of sorts in the design of bows was introduced, Parallel limb design. When parallel limb design came out, it made a lot of sense that the force of the limbs would cancel each other out reducing the recoil and minimizing  a lot of the hand shock. After I test shot some new bows, I realized how much hand shock the Magnatec had.

I sold my Magnatec and came up with some money to upgrade to a new bow. I liked the last 2-hoyts I had, and decided to remain loyal to the brand. Although when I went to the pro shop I did so with an open mind, shooting some other brands, After test shooting I stayed with Hoyt and settled on their price point bow for 2013 the Charger. 

I did not have a lot of cashto spend on a rig, and I needed to upgrade all the components except the sight,  I was limited to either a price-point/entry level bow. or cheaper accessories. My experience with the price point bows has been positive, I have never found the bow to be the limiting factor in my shooting abilities, however the components and accessories can make a real difference. Most of my bad shooting is due to user error, not bow error.

hoyt charger
2013 Hoyt Charger
Why I chose the  Hoyt Charger: several reasons;  The Hoyt reputation, the design and technology, the warranty, the value. the weight. and it is a cool looking bow.

The Hoyt Tec riser is a visual trademark of a Hoyt, it is a love/hate design, some claim it looks like a twisted pretzel, from a design viewpoint it makes a stronger truss riser with less weight. if you like Hoyts, the Tec riser is a thing of beauty.

What sold me on the new Charger was the lack of recoil, minimal hand vibration, fast arrow speed. smooth draw cycle and a solid back wall, and a price of $500  The specs are almost identical to their Spyder 30  bow which sports a machined aluminum riser and $800+, vs. the cast riser of the Charger. The Casting of the Charger riser has come a long way from the Superslam Supreme and Magnatec, not that there were problems with those risers, but there was a lot to them: heavy and large diameter. The Charger has clean lines and a smooth arc riser, the grip is slim and feels good. the weight is listed as 3.8# for the bare bow. The only minor complaint with the charger is the arrow shelf design. it is flat and narrow. and it doesn't sport the u-shaped design of Hoyts higher end bows.

I am primarily a treestand hunter for whitetails, but mountain elk hunting is becoming a big factor in my equipment choices, A lightweight bow setup is important, at 3.8# it is on the light side, but it is also a very shootable bow.

I am very satisfied with the bow and the package I put together. if you dream of a new bow, but the price tag is out of reach, the charger is an incredible value of a bow

I will be reviewing the rest, sight, quiver, and release in the near future

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mountainsmith Mountain Shelter LT

mountainsmith mountain shelter LT
      Now that I am addicted to elk hunting in Colorado, most of my gear purchases are related directly or indirectly to that passion. One of my recent gear purchases was the Mounstainsmith Mountain Shelter LT. what caught my attention on this tarptent shelter was the weight, the area, and the price.

 Mountain shelter LT weighs in at around 2-pounds including the 15-stakes and guylines. On a recent trip with my wife we got a queen size air mattress in and had room for gear at the foot and in the huge vestibule. The retail price is $129.00
compared to similar products, it is a great value.

mountainsmith mountain shelter LT
Full Weather protection with a huge Vestibule

The mountain shelter LT is a 2-person shelter, or a one person and all your backpack/hunting gear. I am not sure I would want to spend a week in the back country sharing this with another dude. there is enough room, but I wanted something I can put my pack, boots and bow inside each night. I also think that condensation could be problematic in some conditions with 2-people.

I don't carry trekking poles while hunting,But this can be set-up this a ridgeline rope, or there are always sticks in the woods that could be cut to length and the end protected with a patch of duct tape. a small folding saw is probably the route I would take and cut poles on site.

mountainsmith mountain shelter LT
The Mountainsmith Mountain shelter LT compared to Eureka Timberlite3 and Eureka Solitaire
The first official use of this tent was for a family camping trip for trout fishing. my wife and I Used the Mountain Shelter and had lots of room, even with saturated ground and cool damp conditions the tent walls were damp to the touch with condensation, but it was not dripping.

mountainsmith mountain shelter LT
Mountainsmith Mountain Shelter LT with a Kelty Acadia 4-person tent in background.
The next use was on a boy scout camp-out with my son in ground saturated, windy cold conditions. I was the only one sleeping in the tent. The first night was windy with rain sleet and snow. The second night was clear and cold with a temperature of 22 degrees in the morning, and there was light frost on the inside and outside of the tent, however it wasn't excessive, or what I would consider a problem.

There is a lot of room in this tent, But I think condensation may be an issue with 2-men.

I am pleased with this tent, pitching is fast and easy, it is very resistant to the wind
weighs almost nothing and didn't steal too much from my gear funds.
I highly recommend this tent, but I don't think it is for everyone. During the heat of the summer when bugs and spiders are everywhere here in Pennsylvania, I am reluctant to use this tent. high in the mountains of Colorado where bugs are not as numerous I wouldn't hesitate to use it