targetcrazy.com https://targetcrazy.com Tue, 26 Jun 2018 21:29:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 5 of the Best Long Range Rangefinders Reviewed https://targetcrazy.com/optics/rangefinders/best-long-range-rangefinders/ https://targetcrazy.com/optics/rangefinders/best-long-range-rangefinders/#respond Thu, 12 Apr 2018 15:35:45 +0000 https://targetcrazy.com/?p=4398 Looking for a rangefinder that works out to 1000 yards or more? There's a plethora of options on the market. We've narrowed it down to 5 of the best.

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Long range for a target shooter or hunter is anywhere over 500 yards. 1000 yards is a pretty long shot by most standards.

In this review, you’ll find a selection of the best long-range rangefinders that are capable of ranging a target up to (and over) 1000 yards. If you’re going to hunt you won’t be going by advertised specs as a deer isn’t a reflective target, but we’ve got you covered there too.

We’ve given them a thorough once over and have the info you need to make an informed choice.

Long Range Rangefinder Picks

  • Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 – “Does everything bigger and more expensive competitors do for around a third of the price. 7x25mm optics, weighs 7.7oz, 3400 yard max range, deer @ 1200 yards.”
  • Fnova – “Simple to operate and can also measure speed. 7x.22mm optics, weighs 8.3oz, 1000 yard max range.”
  • Unieye – “Not the lightest of the bunch, but good at long distances and light on the pocket. 8x24mm optics, weighs 11.2oz, 1600 yard max range, deer @ 800 yards.”
  • Vortex Ranger 1300 – “Improves upon the previous iteration in everything but some usability. 6x22mm optics, weighs 7.7oz, 1300 yard max range, deer @ 650 yards.”
  • Bushnell Scout – “Bushnell quality, angle compensated, 6x21mm optics, weighs 6.6oz, 1000 yard max range, deer @ 325 yards.”
Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices on Amazon

Bullets drop, how much they drop depends on how far they’re going to travel.

When you want to be accurate at any decent range with any sort of projectile weapon what you really need to know is ‘what IS that distance’.

That’s why rangefinders exist.

Unless your target explodes, moves, drops or splatters you’ll find it tough to see the results of long shots with even a top-quality spotting scope.

Onto the reviews…

Sig Sauer Kilo 2000

Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 Yard Graphite Rangefinder, 7 x 25mm

SIG Sauer is known for high-quality products. After the phenomenal family of handguns and series of long guns, they introduced SIG Optics sub-brand. It includes renowned models of riflescopes, reflex sights, and thermal reflex sights.

Following this trend, SIG Sauer has taken a serious new direction in their line of electronic Laser RangeFinders. Sig Sauer released this Kilo series of that can range distances from 1,200 yards up to 2 miles.

According to the manual, the Kilo 2000 has a maximum range of 3,400 yards with reflective targets. All well and good if you’re hunting traffic signs! Another of the Kilo`s features is the detection of targets the size and reflectivity of deer out to about 1,200 yards. This is a real and useful measure you’d want for hunting.

The unit can be used on a wide variety of targets and is accurate with a tolerance of +/- 2 yards at 1000+ yards.
The accuracy of Sig Kilo 2000 is usually compared to Leica, a pioneer in rangefinders. Also to some other top-end devices with price more than three times the cost.

The Kilo 2000 performs quickly and is consistently accurate. This rangefinder can do everything its bigger and more expensive competitors can do.

Check the Price on Amazon!

What we liked:
  • HyperScan will continuously update the range 4 times a second measuring precise ranges far away targets. One of the most impressive Kilo 2000 features, this scan mode enables ranging over a mile with results shown to the nearest 1/10th yard.
  • It doesn’t have some of the bells and whistles of its big brothers, Kilo 2200 and 2400. But this comes with two basic modes: “LOS” for Line of Site, and Angle Modified Range (AMR). “LOS” means straightforward horizontal measuring. The AMR function is actually an inclinometer, which calculates the line of sight and the angle and offers tremendous help to the hunter in a treestand or shooter in the mountains. AMR is a standard feature on most top-performing LRFs.
  • The Kilo 2000 features a red illuminated reticle with a circle at the center that is the aiming point. This simple display sports an ambient light sensor with 20 different brightness settings. The display options include settings for “Best” or “Last” target and a choice of meter or yard display.
  • This Sig LRF also boasts pretty good optics, better than a vast majority of lower-priced LRFs. It has 7×25 glass and an adjustable focus. The Kilo 2000 may not be considered binocular grade but is good enough to be used for quick monocular target acquisition.
  • Because of the light magnesium housing, the Kilo weights 7.7 oz. with the battery installed. It’s also waterproof, fog proof making it a durable device is ideal for the harshest field abuse.
Downsides:
  • The magnesium body finish doesn’t wear well, with heavy use it will show wear.
  • Readouts to a tenth of a yard and a large-sized aiming reticle can make readings a little confusing.

Check the Price on Amazon!

Verdict

Inspired by military design, the Sig Kilo LRF is geared towards long-range shooting and hunting. Traditional low-priced rangefinders always seemed to be lacking somewhere and forced you to use a different LRFs for different kinds of hunting. But the Kilo 2000 is versatile enough to provide you everything you need for all of your hunting and shooting needs in one package.

Fnova LRF

Fnova Laser Rangefinder, Hunting Range Finder Ranging 5-1000 Yards Digital Rangefinder 7X Magnification Lens Golf Rangefinder for Hunting, Racing, Archery, Survey and Golf 1000 Rangefinder

This is one of the best entry-level rangefinders, the Fnova serves the middle of the road market in features, price, and quality. It boasts a newly developed 3rd gen microprocessor and a more precise and powerful laser diode than its previous models.

The manufacturers claim that their new electro-optics device features 60% increased speed, 50% higher accuracy while being responsive out to 900 yards. The Fnova rangefinder works from 5 yards all the way out to 1,000 yards of horizontal distance with an accuracy deviation of +/- 1 yard and is capable of measuring a range of speeds from 20 up to 300km/h.

Check the Price on Amazon!

What we liked:
  • Optics are based on a vertical 7x magnification scope with a 22mm objective lens. These optics may not be a large and quality as some higher priced LRF but they’re adequate to see a deer sized target in daylight.
  • This is both a long distance ranging scope and high accuracy speed measuring device, which makes it suitable for almost any hunter, explorer or shooter.
  • Straightforward operation, after locating the target within the reticle and holding the button for three seconds, the LCD will show you required target distance or speed in metric or imperial measurements.
  • Polycarbonate construction keeps the weight down to 8.3 oz., making this lightweight and portable device perfect option for any outdoor mission and operating temperatures of 32-122℉ (0-50℃).
  • Uses two ordinary AAA batteries and offers you versatility and ruggedness of more expensive brands with minor limitations.

 

Downsides:
  • While the Fnova works fine in clear weather, during the bad, hazy weather the laser is dispersed according to the density of the fog or rain and the software doesn’t compensate well.
  • You may find yourself googling how to do some things as the included manual isn’t the most comprehensive and well written we’ve seen.

Check the Price on Amazon!

Verdict

This is a very good laser rangefinder either for a beginner or seasoned hunter. The Fnova is a simple tool for ranging targets without a ton of features, but it is sufficiently rugged and comes with a two-year warranty.

Unieye

Uineye Laser Rangefinder - Range : 5-1600 Yards, 0.33 Yard Accuracy, Golf Rangefinder with Height, Angle, Horizontal Distance Measurement Perfect for Hunting, Golf, Engineering Survey (Black)

Although a new name for many gun aficionados, Uineye is a well-known professional optical product company specialized in laser rangefinders. This unit is capable of measuring distances up to 1500 meters (1600 yards). It’s powered by Lithium-ion CR2 battery and has an auto-shutoff feature after 20 seconds of inactivity.

The literature says this is intended to be a rangefinder that works for long-distance shooting or golf out to 1,600 yards with large reflective targets. In practice, it will give you measurements to a deer anywhere from 700 to 800 yards which is more than enough for hunting.

Check the Price on Amazon!

What we liked:
  • Accurate to +/- 0.33 yards, and if you are going to range past a thousand yards, you should ideally attach it to a tripod.
  • Two operational buttons, but it is very easy to use, giving you far more than just line-of-sight distances. It has a scan mode to measure distances of moving or multiple targets continuously. The unit also calculates angles between –90º and +90º with ±0.35º accuracy, allowing easy switching between two measuring systems: yards or meters.
  • 8x magnification paired with a 24mm optical objective lens offers a pristine field of view of 300 feet at 1,000 yards.
  • Unlike fully multi-coated optics of more expensive competitors, this model has only multicoated lenses but these gather light well in all weather conditions.
  • Made of plastic without rubber coating, the build quality feels slightly on the cheap side but, it is nitrogen purged and the O-ring sealed housing makes it both waterproof and fog proof.
  • The display is easy to read and offers information about distance, angle to the target, and battery life.
Downsides:
  • Though it provides angle and height measurements, there are no ballistic compensation distances.
  • The display is concise and simple to read but lacks a backlight, so may be difficult to see in low light or when you have a dark background

Check the Price on Amazon!

Verdict

Weighing in at 11.2-ounces in weight, this is not the most lightweight rangefinder on the market. With an ergonomic design, it gives you a comfortable grip for single hand vertical operation. This Uineye is more than just a simple rangefinder. It offers impressive rangefinding accuracy even beyond 750 yards making it an inexpensive alternative to some competitors.

Vortex Ranger 1300

Vortex Ranger 1300 Laser Rangefinder

One of the flagship rangefinders for 2018 the Vortex Ranger 1300. An upgraded version of the popular Ranger series. The newest iteration as the name suggests has a maximum yardage range of 1,300 yards for highly reflective objects and approximately 650 yards to deer-size non-reflective targets.

It keeps the performance of its predecessors and sports a more powerful and faster laser, which can now measure distance in less than a second.

The Ranger 1300 is a multi-purpose device perfect for bowhunters, gun hunters, and target shooters to complete those long-range shots utilizing HCD technology.

Check the Price on Amazon!

What we liked:
  • The Horizontal Component Distance mode enables an angle-compensated distance with accuracy to within -/+3 yards at 1,000 yards.
    Scan Mode for multiple reading types that is an essential feature for hunting in brush or rain.
  • A dimmable red LCD display with three brightness settings. The intuitive to use this LED screen comes with a readout in meters or yards and can operate in temperatures ranging from 14° to 131°F.
  • Optics wise this has 6x magnification and a 22 mm objective lens with an adjustable diopter for precise focus. Fully multi-coated glass gives optimal light transmission to see targets far away with good clarity.
  • Light at 7.7 ounces than other comparable products. The entire body is completely protected with O-ring seals making it waterproof to withstand the harshest conditions.
Downsides:
  • The new system of 2 buttons on top requires you to have to tap 3 times to range and the old system only required a double tap.
  • Lacks a last-target mode usually found on units in this price class

Check the Price on Amazon!

Verdict

The Vortex Ranger 1300 comes with the ability to be mounted on a standard tripod, this is a must for accurate, over 1,000 yards long-range ranging.
The unit can be used in either in horizontal or vertical position, though you need to have a completely solid stand to be able to range a deer at 750 yards as Vortex declared.

Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC

Bushnell 202355 6x21 Scout DX 1000 Arc, black

When we are talking about optics, Bushnell is one of the most, if not THE most common optic brand in the United States. That’s because of quality, innovation and a wide budget spectrum.

As a huge company that makes dozens of different kinds of optics, Bushnell has a whole family of rangefinders. One for every type of shooting or hunting.

For this review, our choice fell to a laser rangefinder with dual-use dubbed Bushnell Scout DX 1000.

Bushnell claims that Scout LRF can acquire highly reflective objects out to 1,000 yards. In reality, it actually ranges out to an impressive 850 yards. On trees, it is accurate out to about 650 yards.

For real hunting use, it’ll give you the range of a non-reflective deer sized target from as far away as 325 yards.

The Scout DX 1000 ARC can be used both for bow and rifle hunting. This tech will calculate shot distances to targets directly below and directly above the shooter and at every angle in between.

Check the Price on Amazon!

What we liked:
  • The Angle Range Compensation or ARC function is an archery-optimized feature that solves a problem for bowhunters. However incline recognition will also help rifle hunters providing them with a holdover and bullet-drop in inches, MIL, and MOA. In an ARC Bow Mode, the computer calculates the distance of the shot based on terrain angle. This gives you an accurate reading from 7 yards out to 199 yards, even displaying 1/10th of a yard. Unfortunately, this model doesn’t feature the Bushnell’s Clear-Shot technology that will alert you to any tree limbs or bushes in the way of your arrow.
  • If you select an ARC Rifle Mode, you can get true horizontal distances up to 300-yards taking much of the guesswork out of those long shots.
  • Modern marketing requires manufacturers to make ordinary things sound interesting. E.S.P. (Extreme Speed Precision) technology, which paired with a Class 1 laser with <0.5mW power output makes this rangefinder will return ranges that are precise to within -/+0.5 yard.
  • VSI – Variable Sight-In technology that allows you to switch between three targeting modes for different types of shooting. The Scan Mode provides panning the landscape with instant distance updates. With a Brush mode on, your rangefinder will ignore brush and obstructions providing distances to background objects only. The simplest close range or Bullseye mode is intended for close-range shooting.
  • Single operation power/mode button, 6X magnification and focus mechanism built into the eyepiece. The Scout DX 1000 boasts a 21 mm objective diameter lenses that provide decent clarity in daylight conditions.
  • This pocket-sized LRF weighs only 6.6 oz. Its rubber-armored body is fully fog proof and weatherproof with O-ring seals and is nitrogen filled. This makes it tough enough to withstand any weather or terrain.
Downsides:
  • CR2 battery, which shuts off after 10 seconds of inactivity to increase it’s lifespan.
  • The readings on LCD display can be difficult to see in low light or even in shadows.
  • Limited ability to resolve small non-reflective targets at extended ranges.

Check the Price on Amazon!

Verdict

All in all, this affordable Bushnell Scout is fully outfitted for both bow and rifle shooters. This is going to be a vital piece of gear if you plan to use it for short to mid-range shooting and bowhunting.

However, if you do a lot of your hunting at long ranges and during dawn or dusk, you may want to look elsewhere.

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25 Reasons Archery is Good For Kids https://targetcrazy.com/blog/23-reasons-archery-is-good-for-kids/ https://targetcrazy.com/blog/23-reasons-archery-is-good-for-kids/#respond Thu, 15 Mar 2018 22:11:10 +0000 https://targetcrazy.com/?p=4294 We've put together a list of 25 reasons why we think archery is good for kids! Take a look ... get your kids into archery, there are more benefits than you'd think.

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Are you fed up with seeing your kids with their eyes permanently on a smartphone?

Modern life is full of instant gratification, electronic interaction, noise, in fact a 24/7 digital virtual reality. It runs like a film in the heads of our youth.  

What happened to good old fashioned virtues such as concentration, focus, isolation, solitude even? And more importantly, how can you get your kids to engage with something other than electronic media?  

Many parents are worried about the effects that gadgets are having on their children. So what can you do to try and entice your kids away from their phones and tablets and into another world, the real world?  

Well you might consider target archery.

Kids will think it's cool to shoot. Bows are featured in their video games after all!  

We've put together this list of 23 reasons. Take a look there's bound to be something you hadn't considered....

25 reasons archery is good for kids infographic

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Here’s a full rundown of all those lovely benefits!

1.     Focus

Growing up with the occupation, routine and discipline of a sporting challenge central to their lives has real benefits for kids.  It keeps them away from bad company and the lure of smoking, drinking and drugs. Target archery offers an alternative focus to studies and provides a constructive and comforting structure which can be reassuring.  

The interaction with others creates friendships, team reliance, expectations and dedication and fosters commitment and accountability.  As a result many kids grow in confidence and this can really have a big hit on their academic studies too.

2.     A year round sport

Archery is completely weatherproof so no huddling in bad weather on muddy touchlines for the relieved parent!  A year round sport, archery can be conducted in a gym or sports hall or outside in the fresh air in a field

3.     Teaches self discipline

Discipline comes in many different forms in the archery setting. There is the need to learn to follow rules for the purposes of safety and competition to the inner self-discipline that is required to shoot well.  All children will benefit from this to a lesser or greater extent. 

Constant exposure to phones and Ipads and interaction on social media leads children to unfocused and random patterns of mental behaviour.  Those children who have had noted discipline issues within the classroom, will often see an improvement in their behaviour at school after time spent in the archery environment.  

Kids have to concentrate on one thing, to focus solely on their performance.  They learn to manage unnecessary and unwanted emotions and distractions in order to shoot well.  Archery requires slow and measured steps focusing on precision and preparation in order to ensure that the arrow hits the centre of the target.  

Kids quickly learn that measured concentration and deliberation reaps good rewards and this can have an almost magical effect on a difficult child.

4.     Problem solving

Success in many sports only comes about after a series of failures.  Archery is all about step by step methods, learning how to handle the bow, load the arrow, draw the arrow and release it.  Learning how to make improvements and seeing poor performance as a challenge rather than a problem creates a great precedent.  

Kids learn that if they look at each step in turn, it is possible to make incremental improvements.  This can change the whole picture and thereby the final result. Archery is a tremendous metaphor for life and teaches problem solving skills and resilience which are transferable to so many other situations.

5.     Learning how to fail

Some children don’t handle failure well because they have never succeeded at anything in their lives.  Other children have not encountered failure because they have been uber successful at everything. Archery exposes weakness and lack of technique but crucially offers a constructive pathway to improvement and skill.  Children who have been underachieving at school finally find something that they can learn and succeed at.

Talented children have to take a step back and humble themselves to be poor or average at something whilst they hone their technique through training.  Both ends of the spectrum can compete on equal terms. Both benefit in completely different ways from the failures they will encounter on the road to learning how to shoot well.  Archery teaches kids resilience and the importance to keep trying.

6.     Sportsmanship and teamwork

Archery is a unique sport in which each person takes responsibility for their individual performance but it also offers the opportunity for teamwork.  Working with other archers teaches young people the rules of engagement, teamwork and dealing with both success and failure. Within the team context, kids have to take responsibility and buy into other people’s skill set.  

They learn to assimilate performances that are weak and affect the team adversely or situations where the other archers outperform them.  Target archery offers the perfect environment for collaborative teamwork and engagement with peers both younger and older. There is the chance to look up to older participants and the opportunity to support and mentor younger shooters.

7.     Improved physical health

Archery may not shout out at you as a physical sport but there are a surprising amount of health benefits.  There is a lot of cumulative walking in an archery session, a few miles in total in a competition. Walking back and forth to retrieve arrows really racks up the steps.  

An archer can walk as far as five miles in a one day tournament so a great excuse to wear a Fitbit.  And don’t overlook the fact that it is a sport done standing up and over a period several hours or more so it is very beneficial for posture.  Drawing a bow requires controlled strength and many top professional archers spend time in the gym honing their upper body strength.

8.     Balance, stability and co-ordination

Successful archery requires strength but the key to good target shooting is control, the tiniest movement can make a world of difference.  So stability and balance are top of the list for good shooting not just strength alone. And hand eye co-ordination is essential for archery.  Endurance and stamina are also key factors on top of all of these skills.

Archery is a long and repetitive sport particularly on a tournament day.  Archery improves general co-ordination and specific hand/eye co-ordination which can be useful for other sports and skills such as driving a car or playing a musical instrument.

9.     Dealing with pressure

Competitive archers name the ability to deal with pressure as one of the top three factors in successful shooting.  Archery is a fusion of strength, control and accuracy and herein lies the pressure.

Managing a stressful situation and not crumbling or allowing it to affect performance, is one of the key life skills you can teach any child.  How many times going forward in adult life will they need to call on that reserve? And of course coping successfully with pressure really develops confidence and inner self-respect.  

10. Patience

Patience is a virtue and in archery, kids have to learn to be patient with both themselves and others.  They have to be patient, learning to wait for the right moment to release the bow. They have to be patient whilst they wait for others to shoot.  They have to be patient when their own performance is below par and try to shoot better and patient with their peers when their performances are disappointing.

11. Concentration

Archery requires total focus, the ability to block out external distractions and concentrate on one thing, how often do kids do that these days other than stare at their phone screen?  Archery teaches kids how to concentrate, how to maintain and increase their attention span. This is a great skill to harness and will pay dividends at school.

12. Self-Control

Self-control is a key essential in successful shooting.  Archery requires not only total control of the body but also complete control of the mind.  Kids have to learn the ability to control their thought processes, their emotions and their response, tough when the situation is challenging and pressurised but a great life skill.

13. Self-awareness and confidence

Coping successfully with difficult situations will always build confidence but archery offers something else too.  The process of learning to shoot and shoot competitively teaches self-knowledge and self-awareness. Understanding your weaknesses and learning about your strengths develops a self-knowledge which can prove powerful for young people as they grow up.

Self-awareness provides a response mechanism to many different situations.  Kids learn how they react under pressure, in difficult situations and as a team player.  They develop strategies for coping and improving performance which will stand them in excellent stead later on in life.              

14. Targets and goal setting

Learning how to shoot successfully is a layering process.  Skill, technique and experience layer one upon another to achieve target prowess.  Even for the most competitive child, there is always another goal, another challenge.  

So this is one sport that your child will not lose interest in due to lack of stimulation.  

And archery is not so difficult that even a newbie cannot pick up a bow and have a go.  This is important as young shooters need encouragement; they need to feel that improvement will bring reward.   Archery is accessible early but offers boundless horizons for those young shooters who want to move on and develop further.

15. Mental acuity and reaction time

Mental acuity means a sharpness of the mind.  The key components in assessing or developing mental acuity are memory, focus, concentration and understanding.  Target archery offers the young mind the opportunity to develop really good mental acuity.

Having a good understanding of the particular challenges and difficulties on the day is an important factor.  Memory allows the brain to draw on past experiences and instruction. Good mental acuity really improves school work and can in fact be applied to any life challenge.  With these pathways in place in the brain, reaction time is increased.

16. Safety and responsibility

Did you know that archery is actually one of the safest school sports your kids can be involved in?  Archery does have risks but these can be really well managed by a good archery club.

Teaching children about safety makes them take responsibility for their own behaviour and also the safety of those around them.  This fosters a community spirit and encourages children to think outside of themselves.

17. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is well recognised these days as a therapeutic technique.  In our increasing 24/7 world and virtual world, it is something that is becoming much higher profile.  This is because there is not enough of it about.

Mindfulness is a form of meditation but if you have ever tried to meditate and switch off your brain, you will know how difficult it is.  How much harder is that for a child? By providing an actual focus to work on, it is easier to achieve mindfulness and all the benefits that it has to offer.  

Mindfulness is time out from problems and difficulties, from external interaction, from any and every electronic device.  Your kids may never agree to sit in silence in a room on their own and meditate. However they may think that shooting is cool and achieve the same mental benefits through focusing on a target, literally and metaphorically.

18. Accomplishment

With practice, any kid can get good at archery.  It requires work but it is possible to become an accomplished shooter and having an accomplishment is a big positive in a child’s life.  It demonstrates perseverance, commitment and tenacity and engenders confidence.

19. Get outdoors

After this list of varied and wonderful benefits, don’t overlook the obvious, fresh air.  As sport declines in profile and importance in schools, the benefits of being active outside has diminished in the lives of young people.  It seems simple and old fashioned but there are so many health benefits to simply being outside.

For many children, they need a reason to go outdoors and archery provides just that incentive.  Going for walks is boring for most kids but engaging in a challenging and interesting sport is not.  Children who spend time outside usually have a better concentration span, greater creativity and a healthier body.  

The old adage of a healthy body leads to a healthy mind is certainly true.

20. Inclusivity

Archery can be enjoyed by all children and young people regardless of any impairment they may carry.  Enjoying a sport which is wholly inclusive is just as important for able bodied kids as it is for kids with impairments, special needs or disabilities.  

Working with other kids who have difficulties or limitations develops personal skills and a broader awareness of society. Inclusivity encourages engagement, empathy and compassion which in turn leads to greater self-awareness and self-knowledge.  Equally kids who feel that they are disadvantaged either mentally or physically will find a welcoming place in target archery. This is a sport which embraces a large range of shooters with all kinds of limitations.

21. Social mix

Archery is for everyone and kids can learn to shoot with people of all ages.  Interaction with other generations is really beneficial for children and young people and brings great opportunities for engagement.  Older people can offer tips and techniques and it’s great for kids who may not have access to an extended family at home. It gives kids the message that archery is for life and is timeless.

22. Cost

Archery can be an economical sport to get going in and this can be pretty important to families on low incomes.  But no parent wants to splash out a fortune on expensive sports kit and equipment only to find that the initial interest soon fades away.  With archery you won’t have to do this. Start up costs are minimal and even with a child that is keen, it is possible to go a long way into the sport without having to spend a fortune.  There are very few sports like this.

Checkout our articles covering a range of youth compound and beginner recurve bows.

23. Self-Improvement

Kids tend to like archery because they can easily see improvements. They can mentally or actually plot "getting better" and see that result from the application of proper practice.

24. Friendship

One of the top three reasons why kids like the National Archery in the Schools Program
(NASP®) is the friends they make being a part of it.

25. It’s cool!

How many heroes can you name who hold a bow and arrow?  Hawkeye, Cupid, Robin Hood, Legolas and let’s not forget Katniss Everdeen, Lara Croft and Guinevere.

There are also a lot of archery heroes in the virtual world

Archery is cool whatever age you are and there are plenty of modern super heroes your kids can identify with - male and female - who shoot.  Being cool is important to kids so tap into cool and offer them the chance to become like one of their super heroes. Above all, archery should be fun and doing something cool is fun.

So if you thought archery wasn’t for your kids, then think again.  Archery offers one of the widest ranges of skills and exposure of any sport and it is accessible, easy to get involved in and won’t cost you a fortune in kit when you start.  

And just remember for kids, when it comes to archery, they will need to learn to be slow in a hurry!

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What’s the Best Rangefinder on a Budget? https://targetcrazy.com/optics/rangefinders/best-budget/ https://targetcrazy.com/optics/rangefinders/best-budget/#respond Fri, 09 Mar 2018 22:26:45 +0000 https://targetcrazy.com/?p=4267 Rangefinders, essential kit for modern hunters and archers. What do you look for when you're after one on a budget?

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With all the hunting gear out there today, it can sometimes be difficult to determine what you need and what you don’t need.

If you never tried to sort it out, you would be left with a pickup bed full of stuff to take on each and every hunt. Some hunters choose items A,B,C, while others opt for X,Y,Z.

One piece of gear that is increasingly becoming standard equipment with nearly every hunter is a rangefinder. If you are on the hunt for the best and are working to a budget, this article will show you the options we think are worth your consideration.

Budget Rangefinder Picks

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices on Amazon.

What to look for...

Here are the top 8 features to consider when buying a rangefinder. We've also gone into some detail previously about how rangefinders work if you're after more background info.

Accuracy/Speed/Range 

When it comes to accuracy, rangefinder technology has come a long way in the past few decades. Even when searching for budget rangefinders, you should be able to buy a product that is accurate to within +/-1 yard/meter. Don't foget that's the advertised capability, that type of accuracy may be under ideal conditions and the type of item you are ranging will usually not! 

Range is a similar story. Some rangefinders are rated to over a kilometer, while some won’t work past 200 m. How far your rangefinder needs to work will depend on whether you rifle hunt or bow hunt.

Less than 200 yards works great for bow-hunting and the units usually cost at lot less. Don't forget that range is also impacted by weather conditions and the type of item you are ranging. Highly reflective items, such as a road signs, will range further away than a living animal like a deer. Some manufacturers tell you the max range for certain types of items, and others will not.

Ease of Operation

Another feature you may want to consider is how the rangefinder measures distance. Some work only in yards, some work only in meters, and others will allow you to toggle back and forth. For the average hunter this might not be an issue, but for some target shooters it might be worth considering.

Another aspect of a rangefinder’s ease is the number of buttons they have. Some models come with only 1 button making them very simple to operate. Others come with a variety of different buttons, giving the unit more versatility. It’s all about what you want. 

Finally, certain models have the ability to select different points of measurement. This allows you to switch between the tree branch, fence post, and buck deer that are all in your field of vision. This can be very handy in certain situations.

ARC, AI, Tilt and Elevation

Another feature you may want included on your rangefinder is an ARC, AI, Tilt, or Elevation capability. Each of these denote the same feature, it just depends on what company you are buying from. Basically, the feature automatically computes a “shoot like” distance as well as actual line of sight distance.

Here is an example that might help make the feature make sense.

Say you are in a tree-stand about 20 feet up, when a nice whitetail buck walks by a tree that is 20 yards away. If you shoot at the deer with your 20 yard pin, you will miss because of the added angle.

The ARC feature will tell you the horizontal distance is 20 yards, but the “shoot like” distance is only 16 yards. 

Power/Batteries

Different rangefinders come with different battery options. Some will require you to use standard AA or CV batteries, while others are rechargeable. Each style has its own set of advantages. Replacing batteries is nice for the fact that if you are in the field you can simply swap them out for spares you've taken with you and keep working.

On the other hand, rechargeable batteries are great because you don’t have to keep buying spares! While most rangefinders seem to have a good battery life, it is still something you should consider.

Magnification and Objective Lens Size

The next thing to consider is how the optics on the rangefinder work. Each rangefinder will come with a set of numbers, say 4 x 21mm. The first number in this number combo is the magnification. In this case the object will be 4 times as big as you can see it with your naked eye. The more magnification you have, the more precise you can be when you range.  

On the other hand, a rangefinder with more magnification will decrease the total space you can see at one time (the field of view). 

The second number is the objective lens size and refers to the size of the lens in millimeters. The larger the lens the more light it will collect and the easier it will be to see.

Conversely, the larger the lens the larger the overall unit is likely to be. If you are looking for something compact you might want a smaller lens. We've an entire piece on scope numbers if you'd like to know more.

Example of 1x, 2x, 4x and 8x magnification

Example of 1x, 2x, 4x and 8x magnification

Fog-proofing/Waterproofing

Another option you will want consider looking for when you buy your budget rangefinder is ensuring the unit is fog-proof and waterproof. On many occasions when you are out in the field these two can come into play. If your rangefinder doesn’t claim to be fog and waterproof, it could wind up letting moisture into the unit and ruin the hunt.

These simple features are guaranteed on many models, and something you will likely want to check off before making your purchase. 

Armor/Skins

One feature that you may also want to consider is getting a rangefinder that comes with armor, or a skin. These protective cases can be made of several different materials, but silicon rubber is perhaps the most common. These sorts of cases can help absorb the shock if your rangefinder happens to fall, and can help keep it clean as well. Skins can be a 'nice to have', but by no means required. 

Tethers/Cases

Finally, some rangefinders come with tethers and cases. While neither of these are required they might be appealing. Tethers are a nice way to carry your rangefinder in the field and cases can keep it from getting damaged. 

Rangefinder Reviews - Our Top Picks In Detail

Wosports Lions W600

"a compact popular choice"

Wosports Hunting Rangefinder, Laser Range Finder for Hunting with Ranging and Speed (600 Yards)

The Wosports Lions W600 rangefinder is one of the most popular budget rangefinders out there. It has a range that reaches out to 600 yards with a +/-1 yard accuracy. This capability makes it suitable for most hunting situations.

In terms of optics this unit is a 6 x 25 mm unit which would make it a good choice for rifle hunters who might need the extra magnification.

A 25 mm optical lens is good enough to let a decent amount of light in for average clarity.

One of the biggest draws to the Wosports rangefinder is the size. It is very small (127 x 80 x 43 mm) and light as well. Hunters looking for a unit they can throw in their pack for an extended backpacking trip, or those who want to keep their pack as small as possible, will certainly find this attractive.

One downside of this unit is that it runs on a CR2 3v battery. While these batteries can be picked up at major outlet stores, they aren’t common in smaller shops. If you are leaving town for an extended hunt, you wouldn’t want to leave the house without a few spares in case your battery would happen to die. The unit also does not claim to be either waterproof or fogproof. If you hunt an area with a good amount of moisture, this may not be a good fit.

The Lions W600 also comes complete with a rubberized skin and a black carrying case. The case has a small carabiner that allows you to clip it to your backpack or belt loop if you want to. While this can be handy, most hunters find a tether a more convenient option. That being said, it likely won’t be a make-or-break aspect of this particular rangefinder. 

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Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • 6x magnification
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Cons

  • Uncommon battery
  • Not fog or waterproof

TecTecTec Pro Wild

"compact and camo"

TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder - 6x24 Laser Range Finder for Hunting with Speed, Scan and Normal measurements (Camo)

Another option is the TecTecTec Pro Wild rangefinder. This unit doesn’t reach out quite as far as the Wosports W600, but it still claims to range objects out to 540 yards.

Again, this sort of distance makes it ideal for the average rifle hunter. If you are into taking really long shots, then this might not be for you. The optical lens is 6 x magnification, so objects in the 500 yard range should still be clear enough to get a solid reading. 

This is also a compact unit. Measuring at 104 x 72 x 41 mm it is slightly smaller than the Wosports unit and is also lightweight. Again, this is ideal if you just don’t have that much room in your pack or you are going to be doing a good deal of hiking. It also comes complete with a case and lanyard. 

Another feature you might find appealing on this rangefinder is the sleek camo look. The woodland camo pattern will blend into most hunting areas, and is a very common pattern for clothing, bows, and backpacks as well. Not that it is a deal sealer, but looking cool never hurts.

On the downside the TecTecTec Pro Wild is getting some feedback that it might not be the most accurate rangefinder on the market. Although it boasts a +/- 1 yard accuracy, in the field it may take a few readings to determine distance. If you shoot in situations where precision is absolutely necessary, this rangefinder may not be a great choice. However, for shooters used to Kentucky windage, the variability may not be a concern.

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Pros

  • Camo pattern
  • 6 x magnification
  • Lanyard
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Cons

  • Disputed accuracy

Halo XL450-7

"simple operation, light and ideal for bowmen"

Halo XL450-7 Rangefinder

Worth a serious look is the Halo XL450-7. This dandy little unit maxes out at only 450 yards, but that shouldn’t be a concern for bowhunters.

One feature that bowhunters specifically are sure to love is the AI feature. This is one unit that is capable of compensating the impact of an angle on the shot.

Since bowhunters often hunt out of trees, and precision is paramount, this feature is a wonderful addition. Also, with 6x magnification, whatever you are trying to draw a bead on is sure enough going to be clear.

In addition to its AI technology, this Halo rangefinder also is simple. It has a one button working mode, which makes it ideal for those hunters out there who may not be tech savvy. Another feature you may really appreciate is the featherlight 5 ounce design. This thing is so light, you won’t even know you are carrying it as you pack to your stand. Finally, the unit is water resistant but not waterproof. This means it can stand water, but shouldn’t be taken to a location known to be frequently saturated.

On the downside, the Halo XL450-7 doesn’t come with any cases or lanyards, just a simple wrist sling. For some people this won’t be a huge issue, while for others it might be a deal breaker.

Also, like many rangefinders on this list, the display can be difficult to read in low light conditions. This can cause some problems for hunters since most animals move during the twilight minutes of the day. If you have a hard time seeing in low light, it might not be a good choice.

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Pros

  • Angle compensation
  • Feather light
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Cons

  • Lack or case/tether
  • Dark display

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL 11

"simple operation, light and ideal for bowmen"

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder

One of the big company names on this list is the Nikon 8397 ACULON AL 11 rangefinder. The ACULON has a maximum distance of 550 yards, making it ideal for gun hunters and bowhunters alike.

This is Nikon’s small rangefinding unit, measuring at just 3.6"x2.9"x1.5" in size. It’s so small, it perhaps can fit inside your coat pocket. It also is another one of those rangefinders that is absolutely easy to use.

With just one button you won’t have to worry about pushing the correct one when your deer finally comes within shooting distance. 

The ACULON also does a little better in low light conditions than some of the other rangefinders on this list. This feature will likely be appealing to a wide range of hunters out there, especially those with poorer eyesight. This Nikon product also gains a mark of approval for its highly rated accuracy. Nikon is a company that has been in the optics game for a while and makes good equipment. If you are looking to buy from an experienced manufacturer, this rangefinder might be a good choice.

On the downside, while the ACULON is accurate in measurement, it is a little touchy when it comes to picking up objects. This can be especially true for many rangefinders, and seems to be so with this model. If you are into hunting small game, or are in fast shooting situation where you can’t afford to range twice, this might not be a good choice. Overall though, it a solid unit that is a good option for the average weekend warrior hunter.

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Pros

  • Proven brand name
  • Very small
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Cons

  • No tilt feature
  • Can be temperamental

Simmons 801600 Volt 600

"simple operation, light and ideal for bowmen"

Simmons Brandnameinternalv 600, Rangefinder, V 600, 4X Power, 20 Objective, Single Button, black Finish, Box 5L

Finally on our list of budget rangefinders is the Simmons 801600 Volt 600. Like the Wosport, this Simmons rangefinder can reach out to 600 yards.

This added distance not only impacts the far range of its potential, but also makes it able to pick up intermediary objects easier. It also claims to be able to pick up animals like deer at 200 yards.

Oftentimes rangefinders list their maximum range when ranging highly reflective objects. It isn’t unheard of to have a 600 yard range, but only target deer at 200 yards. Also, like many other rangefinders, the Volt 600 can read in meters or in yards, so you can make that change if necessary.

Like many of Simmons products, this model has gained a reputation for having a clear display that is easy to use. Again, if your eyesight isn’t what it used to be, this might be easier to look through. Also the one button design might be an attribute you will appreciate. Sometimes simple is best, and the Simmons Volt 600 is that for sure.

While this simple unit has some strengths, it also has some downsides as well. First off, the magnification is only a 4x. For bowhunters working under 50 yards, this shouldn’t be a big issue. However, for gun hunters this might come into play. This might be especially true given the unit claims to be capable out to 600 yards. At that distance it would be nice to have a 6x magnification on this unit.  

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Pros

  • 600 yard range
  • Clear optics
  • Simple operation
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Cons

  • Only 4x magnification

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The Mental Health Benefits of High Concentration Sports https://targetcrazy.com/blog/mental-health-benefits-of-high-concentration-sports/ https://targetcrazy.com/blog/mental-health-benefits-of-high-concentration-sports/#comments Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:08:14 +0000 https://targetcrazy.com/?p=3878  If there's one topic which appears regularly in the media at the moment, it’s mental health. It might be celebrities coming clean about their previous hidden mental health problems, or journalists and pressure groups highlighting the chronic under-funding of our health services over the last few years. I often think... is this epidemic a by-product of ... Read more

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If there's one topic which appears regularly in the media at the moment, it’s mental health. It might be celebrities coming clean about their previous hidden mental health problems, or journalists and pressure groups highlighting the chronic under-funding of our health services over the last few years.

I often think... is this epidemic a by-product of modern western living? 

Perhaps a result of economic wealth and the influence and interference of technology such as social media. Mental health issues seem less prevalent than say fifty years ago among previous generations. Are they even seen at all in the developing world?

Data reveals that mental health problems are definitely on the rise and here are some enlightening statistics:

1 in 6
Have issues

NHS Digital reveal that at any given time, one sixth of the UK population between the ages of six and sixty-four have a mental health problem  

6000 suicides / year

There are about six thousand suicides per year in the UK, the largest proportion of these people are male, accounting for three quarters of this figure. It is the biggest killer of men up to the age of forty-nine reveals the Office for National Statistics. They have control of the data gathered from the registrations of deaths in the UK.

1 in 5
Women
1 in 8
Men

Women are more commonly affected than men with one in five women reporting a mental health issue. That's compared to one in eight among the male population. These figures come from NHS Digital and their Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey in 2014

75% affected before age 24

The majority of mental health problems begin in childhood or early adulthood. Three quarters of problems are established by the age of twenty-four. Revealed by the Mental Health Taskforce in 2016.  Young people do seem to be particularly susceptible.

Services are underfunded...

A whopping 23% of NHS activity is taken up with mental health issues but the corresponding funding is only 11%. (The Kings Fund 2015)

Medicine use is growing...

The number of medicines dispensed for mental health related conditions and illnesses such as depression and panic attacks, has more than doubled in the last ten years. This data comes from an NHS Prescription Survey over the decade 2006-2016. These statistics may be tempered somewhat by the growing evidence that anti-depressants are a more effective way to treat some of these conditions, therefore patients tend to be prescribed these drugs for a longer period of time.

How high concentration sports can help

The situation in the UK with regard to mental health is quite closely reflected in the US so apart from investing more money in diagnosis and treatment services, is there anything that individual people can do to help themselves?  

As Prince Harry said quite recently, "everyone no matter who they are has physical health and mental health".

Physical activity and sport has a huge part to play in promoting and sustaining good mental health but surely it is not as simple as saying, ‘go for a run, it will take your mind off things’?  Sport in general is very much in vogue at the moment, not just for the evident physical health benefits but for the well documented effect that physical activity can have on the mind.  

This is because when we exercise, the brain releases certain chemicals which can help with mood and alleviate issues such as anxiety and depression, even if only for defined periods.  Also of course collective sport, where we engage with other people whether as a group or in a team, also promotes our mental health as it offers interaction with others, fundamental for a healthy mind and outlook.

If sport is beneficial therefore to the state of our mind, surely high concentration sports must be the best elixir for those struggling with mental health issues?  

The Four C's

The four key mental factors in sport are considered to be:

  • Concentration
  • Confidence
  • Control
  • Commitment

The demand for concentration varies with the sport and is divided into three types:

  • Sustained concentration - relevant to sports with an endurance element such as long distance running, cycling marathons or tennis matches
  • Short burst concentration – evident in golf and cricket and short sprint field events
  • Intense concentration – sprinting, bobsleigh, target archery, darts, skeet or clay shooting

Negative emotions such as anxiety, anger or depression can affect the ability to concentrate so is this not a chicken and egg scenario?  

Learning techniques to concentrate intensely for short periods of time are fundamental to sporting success and can also have proven benefits for those who are struggling with mental health issues, ergo high concentration sports can be an excellent mechanism to help support mental health in a whole range of people. Whether it is supportive to existing conditions or to some degree preventative.  

This is because the amount of focus required trains the brain to concentrate on the here and now, to ignore negative self-talk and doubt by utilizing positive self-talk. Employing strategies such as ‘parking’ techniques to temporarily remove unhelpful thoughts and emotions and put them to one side for a defined period of time.  

Focusing on the here and now and forgetting your negative emotions is key to sporting success

From this, it is easy to understand why all these techniques used by successful athletes in high concentration sports, can have a positive effect on almost anyone.

Archery and other target sports

Archery as a target sport requires high levels of concentration and offers to the individual perhaps not such an obvious benefit and that is one of self-discovery and self-truth, in fact a road to mindfulness and inner peace.

Mindfulness is a heightened state of self-awareness, a way of slowing down the moment and focusing only on that point in time, developing deep levels of consciousness, of how the body feels rather than by being solely driven by the constant jumble of thoughts and emotions in our heads.  Becoming more aware of immediate physical sensations and our environment allows us to understand and process our mental traffic; it’s not about changing it but more the ability to disassociate ourselves from it and see it for what it is which is something that does not need to govern and define our lives.

The Japanese who have not picked up a bow in anger for centuries use archery, the ‘Way of the Bow’ or Kyudo as a mechanism to provide focus and self-discipline.  Kyudo has strong links with the teachings of both Shinto and Zen, providing a whole body and holistic experience of focus and concentration – whole body control means that the mind is also completely focused; Kyudo is sometimes referred to as ‘standing Zen’ because of the total immersion that is required in the technique.

How you benefit

Archery requires significant mental input from the archer but this high level of concentration also gives rise to and develops many other faculties and emotions and some amongst these include:

  • Focus and concentration - mindfulness
  • Motivation
  • Self-efficacy
  • Patience

This can lead onto the following, positive lifestyle developments:

  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced levels of stress and depression
  • Sharpening mind and mental faculties including memory
  • A lessening of anxiety
  • Increasing brain capacity and power including problem solving skills

Other benefits may include:

  • Enjoying the great outdoors
  • Aesthetic appreciation
  • New experiences
  • New friendships and social engagement with real people rather than the virtual world
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Prevention of depression – just one hour’s exercise a week can help manage existing depression and help guard against future bouts through the physical activity and engagement with others
  • Relaxation
  • Fun and enjoyment
  • Healthy competition
  • Equality of participation, a level playing field for those who may be marginalised for example, due to physical disability
  • Co-operation, teamwork and leadership skills
  • Improved social skills through changes in brain function due to mental training and focus

Inclusion

Target archery is an all inclusive sport so can be enjoyed by children, older people and the less than physically able.  There is a level and involvement for everyone.   But don’t let me wax lyrical about how inclusive a sport archer is, meet Martin Douglas who suffers from Aspergers Syndrome and let him tell you how archery has helped him deal with this condition and how in fact, mild autism has made him a better archer.

Mel Clarke, originally from Norfolk and now living in Worcestershire, is just one example of how disability is no bar to participation in archery.  A former European Champion in 2002, Mel was the first disabled archer in Europe to make it onto the able bodied team a year later in 2003. Mel has since gone on to compete at the World Championships and the Olympics with considerable medal success of different colours.  

A wheelchair bound archer training for the Invictus games.

Participation in archery is possible with all types of disabilities and impairments and perhaps the most difficult one can imagine, being blind, is also no bar to involvement as there is a thriving organisation called British Blind Sport which promotes archery among many other disciplines.  Visually impaired archers use what is described as a tactile sight to help them take aim in case you are wondering.  

Archery has a place for all age groups from the young to the elderly and embraces a whole range of archers in between including those with disabilities as well who compete on a level playing field with their fellow archers - it is one of the most inclusive sports.

More than just the mind

So is target archery really a physical sport?  

If it is possible for the young, the old and the less physically able to participate in it, does target archery offer any physical benefit to the participant?  

Yes it does.  

The connection between mind and body welfare has already been discussed but target archery does offer many purely physical benefits including:

  • The development of upper body strength through the shoulders, chest and arms
  • Hand co-ordination and control
  • Balance and co-ordination
  • Flexibility
  • Core strength and endurance
  • Calorie burning
  • Weight loss and enhanced body shape and posture
  • Improved mood and well being from endorphin release

Target archery is a year round sport which promotes the benefits of the great outdoors and the friendship and camaraderie of others before you even lift a bow to take a shot.  

Calorie Burn

The average 35 year old female can burn 144 calories per hour target shooting and that is not within a hunting environment which clearly offers even more potential for calorie consumption with the hike to and from the target destination across varying and perhaps challenging terrain.  And don’t forget, the weight of your bow and pack and, the energy required for mental focus and concentration either when you take a shot.

Female target archer burning 144 calories / hour

Target archery burns calories (around 144 / hour)

Target archery and bow hunting is a sport that is hard to beat in terms of what it can offer the participant – stated mental health benefits, physical exercise and the companionship and friendship of other archers, with plenty of healthy competition to boot.  Inclusive to all types of people and set in the great outdoors, you will be hard pressed to find a sport that can offer as much to the individual, sustaining good mental health being just one among many of the key benefits.

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When do Bowsights Work Best (and Worst)? https://targetcrazy.com/archery/resources/bowsights-work-best-worst/ https://targetcrazy.com/archery/resources/bowsights-work-best-worst/#respond Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:48:05 +0000 https://targetcrazy.com/?p=3801 If you’re taking a Hunter Safety course, you might well be faced with this question. There's a quick answer and there are some things you should know.

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The answer? - When you know (or can estimate) the distance to your target.

If you’re taking a Hunter Safety course, you might well be faced with this question.

Based on what our research in tells us, between 100-1000 people are searching for this term every month... the fact that so many don’t seem to know the answer is surprising.

It may be down to the wording of the question, or it could be that many people assume aiming a bow at up-to 70 yards is the same as aiming a gun (it isn’t).

This short piece is going to introduce you to the bow sight, the different types, how they work, and crucially… when bowsights work best!

If you want more, there’s a more comprehensive guide on our roundup of the​​​​ best sights.

Types of Bow Sight

Bow sights are circular rectiles fitted to the front of a bow that contain either 1, 3, 5 or 7 pins. 

7 pin sight aperture

7 pin sight aperture

Each pin will correspond to a known distance to target.

The idea with these sights is that they are fitted to your bow and you are responsible for understanding and setting them so that you know the distances to target that each pin represents.

For example you’d probably ‘sight-in’ a 5-pin sight by first aiming at very short range target (say 10 yards) using that pin and adjusting until it was correctly positioned. You’d then move onto the remaining pins and adjust them so that they were accurate on or around your maximum and preferred shooting ranges, i.e.

  • Pin 1 - 10 yards - Top Pin (Minimum effective range)
  • Pin 2 - 20 yards
  • Pin 3 - 25 yards
  • Pin 4 - 30 yards
  • Pin 5 - 40 yards - Bottom Pin (Maximum effective range)

So with a sight setup like this you have a pin to choose from (to aim with) that represents a good spectrum of your effective shooting range.

All you’d need to know then is the distance to your target and you can pick the correct pin to aim with so you’re set for an accurate shot. If you don’t know (or can’t estimate) the distance to target, the pins become largely useless.

There’s a variation on the fixed pin bow sight that some people prefer called the single-pin. Single pin sights are easily adjustable out in the field, whereas adjusting the pins on a multi-pin bow sight is normally a fiddly job that requires loosening an adjustment screw.

That’s not something you want to be doing whilst hunting.

On a single pin, you set and test the sight at particular distances during practice and you then know from markings on an adjustment knob how far to adjust the dial to change the effective pin range.

You can adjust the single pin-sight easily in the field. Again though… this is only useful if you know the target distance!

Some people prefer the single pin sight adjustable to the multiple pin sight because there’s less clutter in the sight window. Here’s a good video explaining why that’s the case...

Why the answer isn’t obvious to some…

Whether it’s from kids toys, the shooting range or playing first person shooter games on the computer, pretty much everyone is familiar with sighting a gun at short range. You look down the iron sight, align it with the target and bingo, you’re set.

Snipers and long distance rifle shooters however have to deal with the fact that over long distances the bullet drops during flight, the longer the distance the more pronounced the drop and the more adjustment needed in the aim. I wonder how much the bullet in this 3,540m shot dropped?

Compared to a gun a bow is a low powered weapon with a large bullet. Shooting a bow at relatively short ranges (upto 70m) is similar to shooting a gun at very long range. You need to take into account the drop of the arrow and adjust the aim accordingly.

Because most of us are introduced to sights at a young age by way of aiming a short range gun, there’s little doubt some don’t think there’s a need to change that thinking before they ever pick-up a bow.

Judging Distance

So you know now that to use a bow sight effectively you need to know how far away the target is…. There’s a few ways you can ascertain that distance. You either use a rangefinder or you learn to judge the distance yourself and judging distance comes down to practice.

If you’re hunting electronic bow mounted rangefinders aren’t legal in all states for all types of game, you’re best to check before you rush out and get one.

Here’s a great video with Phil Mendoza that takes you through the basics of how to judge distance using a technique called ground judging.

When bow sights don’t work well...

Even if you can judge the distance expertly and pick the correct pin or pin adjustment on your sight, when you’re hunting there are situations when your prey may be a fast moving target.

Not a sedate walking pace, fast, the pace of an animal that’s bolting.

It’s pretty difficult to close one eye and align a pin on prey moving like that. Time to throw away the bow sight and aim instinctively.

Instinctive aiming is exactly that, no sight, just the line you make yourself from the tip of the arrow to the target.

For fast moving targets having both eyes open when you shoot greatly helps your subconscious to judge speed and track your aim.

Some people always shoot instinctively.

If you’re good at it, you’re a more natural and effective hunter in any situation and there’s a thrill that comes from knowing that hitting the target dead-on came entirely from your judgement.

Try it…..

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How Does a Rangefinder Work? https://targetcrazy.com/optics/optics-resources/how-rangefinders-work/ https://targetcrazy.com/optics/optics-resources/how-rangefinders-work/#respond Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:21:12 +0000 https://targetcrazy.com/?p=3790 A quick informative guide to the principles behind how laser, optical and other types of rangefinders (LIDAR, SONAR etc) work.

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There’s a whole load of reasons why you might want to use a rangefinder. If you’re shooting either arrows or bullets over any distance you’re going to have to adjust your aim to be able hit your target.

Why? Well gravity pulls both bullets and arrows towards the ground the moment they’re shot from something. 

The longer the distance to target, the longer the drop.

Some people judge distance by eye and through practice but with the technology on offer today the easiest and quickest way of assessing the distance to a target is by using a rangefinder.

So just how does a rangefinder work?

There’s a few different ways you can range find, but the most popular and common nowadays and the one you’ve likely come across is the laser rangefinder.

How Laser Rangefinders Work

A laser rangefinder has a pretty simple principle. It shoots a laser beam from an emitter at the target and measures the time it takes for the beam to be reflected back to a receiver on the finder.

Because the laser travels at the speed of light and the speed of light is a known speed it can be used alongside the time taken to calculate the distance to the target object.

Beam Divergence

The laser beam fired from a rangefinder is usually very narrow but due to the effects of air in the atmosphere the beam will diverge and spread out over long distances.

This means when it reaches a distant target the spread of the laser beam may well be wide enough to cover the target and be reflected back from other things as well as the target.

A laser beam diverging

Laser beams diverge and spread the further they travel

Reflection and Deflection

Some objects are harder to measure than others.

Rangefinders won’t work correctly on all objects. Here’s a few examples...

When the beam strikes a pane of glass, almost all of it passes through and isn’t reflected. So a reading is difficult to achieve.

Let’s also assume the beam strikes a mirror (or another object) that is angled so that all the light is perfectly deflected away and not back to the receiver. This object will also be difficult to range.

A soap bubble reflects light

Even a soap bubble reflects some light (if it didn't you wouldn't see it)

In fact any object that’s angled away from the rangefinder will deflect some of the beam away but every surface will reflect some of the available light back, otherwise we’d not be able to see them ourselves. Just how much light comes back determines how easily the rangefinder will be able to take a reading.

Why isn't a range finder confused by ambient light?

The laser light emitted by the device has a specific wavelength which is different from the wavelength of any normal light that would come from the surroundings. Using that frequency it's simple to filter out everything from the receiver on the rangefinder except for laser light that's been reflected from a target. The finder sees only it's own light. This also helps greatly when a lot of the outgoing light is reflected away by the target, even if the reflected light is a fraction of the original emitted light the finder will be able to pick it out where a human eye couldn't.

How does a rangefinder choose a reading to display?

Laser rangefinders normally work extremely quickly and fire tens, hundreds or thousands of  pulses at the target object and use this entire sample range to determine which is the correct distance to report.

In all of those readings there will be some from the target itself, and some from other objects and terrain in-front, to the side and behind it.

A rangefinder will take all these readings into consideration, analyze them and use an algorithm to pick the most relevant distance.

Across all the readings, if one distance is more common than others it stands a good chance that this is the object that the user is trying to range. So that is what will be returned.

How Optical Rangefinders Work

Optical rangefinding has it’s benefits. You don’t need a reflective target and optics are never confused by weather, atmospheric conditions or surrounding terrain and the components make them cheap to build. In the video below from Mr Wizard you’ll see how you can accomplish some primitive rangefinding with 2 small mirrors and some wood.

However... optical rangefinding isn’t prevalent today as it once was. You’ll be hard pressed to find a good optical for sale anywhere except an antique shop because laser rangefinders are so cheap and readily available and have been extended with many features that an optical rangefinder just can’t match.

Optical rangefinders can work on the principle of coincidence or stereoscopic rangefinding.

In a coincidence rangefinder images of the target reflected from 2 different sources are shown to an operator who normally looks into the instrument with one eye and must then make adjustments to match their alignment. When the images are aligned this is called placing them into ‘coincidence’ and the amount of adjustment required to get there is used to determine the distance to the target.

Stereoscopic range finding uses both of the eyes of the operator and has them align reference markings inside the reticle to determine a distance.

This is a really great video from Mr Wizard, an 80’s TV show for children that shows the concept of split-image range finding using 2 mirrors and a measurement scale.

Here’s another video from Jimmym40a2 that shows you around a 1942 Barr and Stroud rangefinder and briefly explains how it works.

There’s also a very simple and very cheap type of rangefinder that uses something called a MilDot reticle. That’s simply a marked reticle that allows you to estimate the distance to a target if you know (or can approximate) the size of the target.

Here’s a video from Ted’s HoldOver that takes you through the principles of MilDot reticles.

Other types of Range-finding

While they aren't applicable to your everyday rangefinding used by target shooters or hunters it's worth mentioning these other types of range finding equipment and explaining a little about how they work.

RADAR

RADAR stands for Radio Detection And Ranging. RADAR range-finding works similarly to laser range-finding with the exception that instead of a focused laser light beam a pulse of radio signal is sent out in a spread and the time taken for it to be bounced back is measured. As radio waves travel at the speed of light, that speed and the time for them to return from the target can be used to calculate the distance from the radar station to any objects within the spread.

Because RADAR emits over a large area and has a long wavelength it's better suited to determining the distance and speed of large objects such as aircraft and ships in open space.

RADAR isn’t affected by cloudy weather or ambient light (it works at night or in bright sun) and because the radio waves have a long wavelength it can operate over long distances.

LIDAR

LIDAR works similarly to RADAR but goes back the principle of the laser rangefinder but on a much larger scale. It sends out light pulses over a wide spread instead of radio waves or sound pulses.

LIDAR is much more expensive than RADAR but can provide detection of much small objects.

However LIDAR is affected by weather conditions such as clouds and fog and will only operate over shorter distances than RADAR.

SONAR

Sonar rangefinding uses a sound pulse and measures the time for the sound waves to travel to and back from a target alongside the speed of sound to allow calculation of the distance to a target.

Sonar is used underwater where laser light and radio waves do not travel easily.

Ultrasonic

Ultrasound is a high frequency sound-wave that can’t be heard by the human ear as it’s above the frequency we can hear at (20,000Hz). When these waves strike an object they bound back and if you know the speed of the sound wave (the speed of sound 330 m/s) you can calculate the distance to a target.

Do you have a parking sensor on your car? Chances are it’s working using ultrasonic range finding principles. Ultrasound works in the dark over short distances (something you need on a car) and is harmless to humans.

Whilst it’s great for parking sensors and other applications, ultrasound isn’t good for long range target acquisition purposes.

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Quickly Select – A Compound Bow Comparison Table https://targetcrazy.com/archery/gear/compound/comparison-table/ Tue, 05 Dec 2017 16:25:36 +0000 https://targetcrazy.com/?page_id=3700 Here it is. A useful comparison table listing all the compound bows we're reviewed and some we haven't. Clicking the little arrows in the column headers below will allow you to sort this table by any specification you want. Fastest on top? Highest let-off? Lightest? Just click the arrow in the relevant column and you can ... Read more

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Here it is. A useful comparison table listing all the compound bows we're reviewed and some we haven't.

Clicking the little arrows in the column headers below will allow you to sort this table by any specification you want. Fastest on top? Highest let-off? Lightest? Just click the arrow in the relevant column and you can sort by whichever you choose. 

If you're on a mobile device or tablet this table will seem very big, but it is scrollable, just swipe across to see the columns hidden to the right.

*The links to check prices in the table below will take you to Amazon and the links on the crossbow name will take you to our review page (if there is one)

Compound Bow

Award

Price Range

IBO
Speed
(fps)

Let-Off
(%)

ATA
Length 
(inches)

Min
Draw

(inches)

Max
Draw
(inches)

Min
Draw

Weight
(lbs)

Max
Draw

Weight
(lbs)

Bow

Mass
(lbs)

Riser

Material​

Hands


350

75

32

25.5

30

45

70

4

Aluminium

L&R


High

350

80

31

27

31

40

80

4.2

Aluminium

L&R

343

80

32

25

30.5

50

70

4.2

Aluminium

L&R

335

80

31

26.5

30.5

50

70

3.2

Carbon

L&R

332

80

31.25

25

31

30

70

4.2

Aluminium

L&R

Med/High - Check Price

330

80

31.5

26

30.5.

50

70

3.2

Carbon

L&R

318

80

31

15

30

7

70

3.6

Aluminium

L&R


Low/Med - Check Price

315

80

31

24.5

31.5

30

70

4

Aluminium

L&R


315

70

30

12

30

5

70

3

Aluminium

L&R

Low/Med - Check Price

310

75

31

13

30

5

70

3.1

Aluminium

L&R

Low/Med - Check Price

310

80

32.25

24

31

50

70

4

Aluminium

L&R

Best Buy

Low/Med - Check Price

310

80

31

13

31

5

70

3.2

Aluminium

L&R

310

75

32

12

30

5

70

3.6

Aluminium

L&R


Low/Med - Check Price

310

80

31

25

32

40

70

3.7

Aluminium

L&R

Low/Med - Check Price

290

70

27 1/8

12

27

5

45

3.2

Aluminium

L&R

270

70

35

26

30

55

70

4.4

Aluminium

R

SAS Siege

206

70

41.5

29

29

40

55

4

Aluminium

R

The Columns Explained

In case you don't know, or need a reminder here's a very quick explanation of what the contents of each column mean.

Awards

If we like a particular bow enough we'll give it a little award. We generally reserve these for those bows we think are the best for a particular use or are just stand-out in general.

Price Range

Prices fluctuate. That's one of the reasons why we don't usually list them. You can be pretty confident however in price ranges.

For each bow we see we list the price range. This can be any of the following levels as a guide:

  • High - Top spec kit, high end manufacture and high prices to match
  • Med - Mid market prices and mid market kit, good enough for most of us!
  • Low - Affordable entry level and budget bows

IBO Speed (fps)

There's a standard measurement that manufacturers use called IBO speed. This tells you how fast one bow is compared to another.

IBO Speed is the speed of a 350- grain arrow released from a 70-pound bow with a 30-inch draw length through a certified chronograph, measured in feet per second (fps).

It doesn't tell you how fast your bow will actually shoot an arrow. That's determined by lots of factors including the length / weight / tip and fletching of the particular arrow you use. So use this figure as a power comparison with other bows, don't expect to automatically achieve those advertised speeds.

Let-Off (%)

If you don't know what let-off is, take a look back at our guide, this column lists the percentage let-off you can expect from this bow as a percentage.

ATA Length (inches)

The length in inches from the top cam to the bottom cam of a particular bow.

ATA Length and Brace Height

(A) ATA Length, (B) Brace Height

Min/Max Draw (inches)

Know your draw length? Compounds are usually adjustable and can be adjusted to suit a range of draw lengths. These columns list the minimum and maximum lengths in inches that a  bow supports.

Min/Max Draw Weight (lbs)

Draw weights on compounds bows can also be adjusted to suit a range of users and uses. These columns list the minimum and maximum draw weights in pounds that a bow is available in or can support.

Bow Mass - How Heavy is it?

Carbon is lighter than aluminium. A nicer carry for a long hike. Some aluminium bows are also pretty light nowadays. The weight of something you're going to hold outstretched for any length of time matters.

Hands

If you know which handedness of bow you need you then need to know if the bow you're looking at comes in a left handed and a right handed variant because some are only made and sold for right handers.

Deeper Comparisons

If you need a little more detail, we've gone into some depth with all the different editions of the Bear Cruzer vs the Diamond Infinite Edge with a full in-depth on these two bows.

Useful Info?

Hopefully you've found this useful. Sometimes tracking down all this information is time consuming so we did it for you!

If there's anything you'd like us to add or you think would be useful, please let us know in the comments section!

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Longbow vs Recurve – Which is Best and Why? https://targetcrazy.com/archery/resources/longbow-vs-recurve/ https://targetcrazy.com/archery/resources/longbow-vs-recurve/#respond Mon, 27 Nov 2017 16:11:47 +0000 https://targetcrazy.com/?p=3577 If you aren’t sure of the differences between a traditional longbow vs a recurve we outline facts, what each is best used for, by whom, and for what reason!

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In Summary: Longbows are the longest bow type tip to tip, much larger than the recurve. They are more forgiving when shot as due to a this profile they can be less prone to string torque. A recurve can be louder due to the increased string contact with the limbs. They are however more powerful, shorter, easier to adjust, and have more market availability and choice. Hunters, youths and beginners will favor the recurve over the compound. It is also the only bow allowed in the Olympic games.

Everyone has heard of the longbow, it’s the bow of legend. The thing that Robin Hood and most of the English armies wielded to good effect back in the ‘olden days’.

If you can’t decide between, or aren’t sure of the real differences  between a longbow vs a recurve we’re going to try and comprehensively outline everything for you in this article. We’ll also give you an insight as to what each type of bow is used for, by what type of shooter and for what reason!

First let’s start with a very brief introduction to both types of bow and the defining features, just in case you are completely new to the subject.

This is a Longbow - Major feature - It's long...

The limbs of a longbow don’t curve back away from you, longbows are the classic single piece of wood style of bow that you imagine when you first think of a bow (at least I do). A D-shape when drawn.

Longbows are the longest of all the bows, because there isn’t any ‘cleverness’ such as cams or recurve to increase the power of the limbs, to make them powerful you need them to be long. Longbows can be nearly as big as an archer and stand 6 feet (1.8m) tall.

Pretty obvious why they called it the longbow, I mean it’s long right? What else would you call it?

A longbow archer

A longbow

Recurve - Major feature - Limb Re-curve

A recurve bow has limbs that curve away from towards the archer at the ends. That curve is known as re-curve and can store and provide more power to an arrow than a simple longbow of the same size could. A longbow is a standard bow shape that you’d made yourself from a stick. The limbs and string make a standard D shape, no-recurve. 

A recurve bow

A traditional recurve bow - Bear Grizzly

So next we’ll break down the various features and things you’d look for in a bow and compare the two across all categories.

Power

You can find longbows available in a similar power range to the recurve. 70 lbs of draw is going to be the maximum anyone really wants and can handle for either. The recurve on the tips of the limbs of a recurve bow will store more energy more efficiently than the simple D curve of the longbow.

Although we haven’t tried this, a straight shoot-out between two bows of the same actual measured draw weight, drawn to the optimum length to produce that weight and shooting exactly the same arrow in the same conditions, you should find the recurve to deliver a faster arrow.

Most Powerful - Recurve

Aiming & Shooting

A longbow is a more forgiving bow than a recurve. The cross-section of the riser and the limbs of a longbow is deeper and thicker than a recurve. Whilst that makes it bigger and heavier it also means there is less chance of torquing or sideways movement in the string upon release. Sideways movement of the string throws your arrow off the intended line.

That’s forgiveness for you.

Easiest to Shoot Well - Longbow

Noise

Difficult to call this one. There’s less contact between the string and the limbs on a longbow, so if you’ve got a good setup with a well weighted arrow for the bow then all the energy should just travel from the limbs, to the string and be dispersed into the arrow. There’s nothing that can slap against the limbs like on a recurve where the ends of the limb contact the string in several places when the bow is at rest.

Quietest - Longbow (less string slap)

Size

A longbow is longer than a recurve. The re-curve in the limbs of the recurve bow make it more efficient at storing power so those limbs don’t need to be as long. A modern 60 lbs longbow can come in at 64” in length whereas a 60 lbs recurve can shrink down to only be 58” long.

Size matters

Smallest - Recurve

Portability

Most recurve bows nowadays are takedown. That means you can remove the limbs and break them down into 3 pieces, riser, top and bottom limb to transport them. Whilst they are available, you won’t find so many takedown longbows on the market. Generally a longbow is self bow (or one piece bow). Made of a single piece or several pieces of laminated wood and there’s no way to take that to pieces. That gives a clear advantage to the more common takedown recurve.

Most Portable - Takedown Recurve

Adjustability

Whilst you can’t really adjust either type of bow, you can purchase different types of limbs for a recurve bow to increase and decrease the power. You can also do the same for a takedown longbow, but these are less common. As longbows are more often single piece bows, there’s no way to increase or decrease their power.

Most Versatile - Recurve

Construction

The same manufacturing techniques are used in the creation of both longbows and recurve bows. Lamination of several types of wood being the most common. No clear winner here.

Best Construction Methods - Draw

Cost

As there’s little to differentiate in manufacture and construction of either type of bow you’ll find that the cost to own and operate either is very similar.

No clear winner again!

A roll of dollar bills

What's it going to cost you?

Cheapest - Neither!

Maintenance and Repair-ability

Both a recurve and a longbow are easy to re-string by yourself and by hand, clearly no winner there. A broken one piece longbow is just that, broken, whilst a takedown bow can have limbs replaced.

Easiest to Fix - Recurve

Accessories

Both types of bow can come with a riser drilled to accept all sorts of accessories. You can fit a sight, arrow rest, quiver, stabilizer, string silencers, limb dampeners to either type of bow. There’s no real winner in this department.

Most Available Accessories - Draw

Availability & Choice

Visit any of the top manufacturers websites like Bear Archery, PSE or Hoyt and you’ll find a larger selection of recurve bow available than longbows. Recurves are the modern standard for the Olympic, tournaments and club archery. Longbows or traditional bowmen are less prevalent than their recurve counterparts so the selection of bows on the market is also much smaller.

Best Choice and Availability - Recurve

Styling

Both the recurve and the longbow can be made to look exceptional this Bear Grizzly. They can come with beautiful polished wood grain finishes in several tones. Both can be handsome and something that you’d want to hang on your wall.

Most Stylish - Draw!

Cool

Katniss Everdeen shoots a recurve (although there are shots of her with a longbow too), Robin Hood shot a longbow. Who’s cooler?

Cool People Shoot - Either!

For hunting?

If it’s a choice between the two for hunting, I’d favor the recurve. The reduction in size makes it a much more portable weapon for pushing through the brush in search of prey. Couple that with the generally better performance and you’ve a winning combination.

Hunters Favor - The Recurve

For youth?

Youth bows are normally less powerful than full size adult bows. The recurve is more modern and more widely used in competition than the longbow. If you’re starting your kids out with their first bow and want to choose between the two, I’d go with the recurve. It will be smaller, easier for them to handle and more compatible with the disciplines they’ll be exposed to.

Give Your Youth A Recurve

For beginners?

You’ll generally find that if you ‘try archery’ at some sort of even you’ll be given a recurve bow. The increased availability, performance and reduced size of the recurve mean you’re going to have a better choice and better prices.

Recurve tuition

Just getting started?

Best for Beginners - The Recurve

For target shooting?

Target shooting competitions exist for both recurve and longbow shooters, however at a high level there are less disciplines available to the longbow shooter than the recurve. With a recurve you can go from local competition right up to world and Olympic level.

The Olympics only allow recurve

The Target Shooting Elite Use - The Recurve

Well that's it! I think we covered everything, if we didn't... let me know! We monitor and respond to comments all the time 😉

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Compound vs Recurve – Which is Best and Why? https://targetcrazy.com/archery/resources/compound-vs-recurve/ https://targetcrazy.com/archery/resources/compound-vs-recurve/#comments Mon, 27 Nov 2017 15:45:17 +0000 https://targetcrazy.com/?p=3530 Deciding on your first bow, your next bow? Want to join a club? Ready to hunt? Writing a project? Just plain curious???

The post Compound vs Recurve – Which is Best and Why? appeared first on targetcrazy.com.

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In Summary: A powerful compound bow is easier to aim than a powerful recurve as the string forces at full draw are reduced due to let-off. It is also smaller, more adjustable and has more model choice and market availability. The recurve bow is cheaper, easier to maintain, more stylish and the bow you'll normally be taught to use as a beginner. It is also the only bow currently allowed in the Olympic games.

Deciding on your first bow, your next bow? Want to join a club? Ready to hunt? Writing a project? Just plain curious???

If you can’t decide between, or aren’t sure of the real differences  between a compound vs a recurve we’re going to try and comprehensively outline everything for you in this article. We’ll also give you an insight as to what each type of bow is used for, by what type of shooter and for what reason!

First let’s start with a very brief introduction to both types of bow and the defining features, just in case you are completely new to the subject.

Recurve - Major feature - Limb Re-curve

A recurve bow has limbs that curve away from towards the archer at the ends.

That curve is known as re-curve and can store and provide more power to an arrow than a simple longbow of the same size could.

A recurve bow

A recurve bow

A longbow is a standard bow shape that you’d made yourself from a stick.

The limbs and string make a standard D shape, no-recurve at the tips.

A longbow archer

A longbow

Compound - Major feature - ‘Let Off’

A compound is so called because the little wheels (known as cams) at the end of the limbs  work with the string and compound the forces held within the drawn bow.

What that means is that when a compound bow is fully drawn you don’t have to hold back all the force stored within the bow, but when you release the string the cams will unwind and accelerate the string faster than the weight you’ve been holding. The effect of this reduction in forces is known as ‘let off’.

A compound bow

A compound bow

Here’s a quick example.

A 70 lbs draw weight recurve bow will require you to draw and hold back 70 lbs when aiming. 70 lbs of force will be applied to the arrow on release.

A 70 lbs compound bow with a 50% let off will require you to pull through 70 lbs of weight during the draw, but will only require you to hold back 35 lbs of force when aiming.

70 lbs of force will still be applied during the arrow release.

Hopefully that’s made things a little clearer, but if not checkout this article we’ve written on all the different types of bows available today where we cover some of this in more detail.

Fore and Draw Curve for a Compound Bow

Fore and Draw Curve for a Compound Bow

Let’s move onto the major feature categories of both type of weapon.

Power

You’ll find that the top end of bows on the market for both styles coming in at around 70 lbs of draw weight. 70 lbs is enough power to accomplish pretty much anything anyone wants to accomplish with a bow. Manufacturers and retailers don’t tend to stock 80 lbs bows for this reason, these isn’t much call for them.

In an ideal world, with ideal conditions and ideal measurement a 70 lbs draw weight compound bow should perform better than a 70 lbs recurve drawn to an optimum length and using exactly the same length and weight of arrow. You’d think they should both impart the same force but in reality the compound system of string and cams is more efficient at flinging arrows and ends up being more powerful in the field.

Most Powerful - Compound

Aiming

Coming back to let-off once again… a 70 lbs compound bow at full draw with 80% let off (which is common) will only require you to hold 14 lbs of force back when aiming. A 70 lbs recurve bow drawn to an optimum length so that there is actually 70 lbs of force exerted by the limbs, will require you to hold and aim with 70 lbs of force straining against you.

That’s gotta give the the edge to the compound.

Easiest to Aim - Compound

Noise

Difficult to call this one. A compound and recurve can both be fitted with limb dampeners and string silencers to help lower the noise created from a shot. If you’re bow is properly tuned and you’re using an arrow that’s just the right weight for the power of the bow then you’d expect both bows to be quiet.

Loudest - Draw

Size

A compound bow of the same power as a recurve is generally a LOT smaller. A 70 lbs compound will typically measure anywhere from 30-32” from limb tip to limb tip.

Measure a recurve of the same power and you’ll be looking at 60-64” from tip to tip. That makes the recurve double the size of a compound.

Size matters

Smallest - Compound

Weight

There’s more involved in the construction of a compound bow than a recurve. Although the recurve is bigger, once you factor in the cams, stops and extra string, thickness of the riser to cope with the strain etc you usually end up with a heavier compound bow than a recurve (which just keeps things simple).

Lightest - Recurve

Portability

Most recurve bows nowadays are takedown. That means you can remove the limbs and break them down into 3 pieces, riser, top and bottom limb to transport them. You can’t do this with a compound (not easily anyway).

A compound is built and stays built. The broken down form of a takedown recurve will take up less room and is smaller than a compound, but you can’t shoot it when it’s in pieces….

Most Portable - Compound

Adjustability

You can purchase different types of limbs for a recurve bow to increase and decrease the power of the bow. An assembled bow with one set of limbs is going to give you one range of power only. You can under-draw a recurve bow to cause it to shoot an arrow with less force, however that’s not really adjustability, that’s just going to cause bad form.

Some compound bows can have their draw weight / power and draw length adjusted by using a tool to tweak the position of the cams. Some bows like the Diamond Infinite Edge allow you to adjust the weight from 5 lbs to 70 lbs and the draw length from 13” to 31” all without the use of a bow press.

Most Versatile - Compound

Construction

Both types of bow these days are constructed from a range of materials. The riser of a recurve bow can be made from aluminium, carbon or laminated wood, the riser of a compound is usually made from aluminium or carbon. The limbs of both styles of bow are made from similar wood laminations. There’s no clear winner here.

Best Construction Methods - Draw

Cost

A good mid-range recurve like the Samick Sage will only cost you half of the cost of a well respected compound bow like the Diamond Infinite Edge Pro.

There’s more that goes into the construction of a compound. More moving parts, assembly and transport is more technical, the recurve keeps it simple and is more cost effective for it.

A roll of dollar bills

What's it going to cost you?

Cheapest - Recurve

Maintenance and Repair-ability

If the string snaps on your compound out in the field you’re probably stuck with a bow you can’t use. A recurve on the other hand is easy to re-string by yourself and by hand, clearly the winner. A broken limb on a recurve is also relatively easy to fix, if you have a takedown bow you just purchase another limb (or set of limbs) and bolt them on. The same isn’t so easy for a compound bow, they’re designed to stay assembled and only be taken to pieces and repaired by a professional at a pro-shop.

As there are more moving parts on a compound bow there are more things to go wrong.

Easiest to Fix - Recurve

Accessories

Both types of bow can come with a riser drilled to accept all sorts of accessories. You can fit a sight, arrow rest, quiver, stabilizer, string silencers, limb dampeners to either type of bow. There’s no real winner in this department.

Most Available Accessories - Draw

Availability & Choice

Visit any of the top manufacturers websites like Bear Archery, PSE or Hoyt and you’ll find a large selection of both types of bow available. The compound is the favorite of the hunter and as hunting is such a large market in the USA and other parts of the world the choice and selection of compound bows is slightly greater than that of the more traditional recurve.

Best Choice and Availability - Compound

Styling

Whilst you can get some pretty exceptional looking compound bows, they are a lot less appealing to the eye and to the touch than something with a host of heritage and style behind it like the Bear Grizzly.

Most Stylish - Recurve

Cool

Hawkeye shoots a compound, Katniss Everdeen shoots a recurve. Some of the most memorable bows in video games like the predator bow in Crysis are compounds. There’s no real winner in terms of cool.

You can be just as cool shooting either…. So long as you’re accurate and maybe have super powers 🙂

One of the coolest bows ever was in a computer game - Crysis

Cool People Shoot - Either!

For hunting?

A compound has ‘let-off’ you can hold the bow at full draw easily for long periods allow you to wait hidden and stationary in a tree-stand or the woods to take-down your prey.

Compounds are also smaller and easier to carry when fully assembled. Easier to attach to a backpack and won’t snag so easily on the woodlands as you make your way through.

It’s clear to see why the compound has become the bow of choice for the hunter.

Hunters Favor - The Compound

For youth?

For a youth archer, you need adjustability. As youth grows a bow needs to adjust in draw length and power to suit the frame of the child. A good compound bow will accomplish this with far more ease than a recurve. Unless you’re specifically training your child to become a recurve archer then a highly adjustable compound bow will last longer and grow with the archer.

A Bow That Grows - The Compound

For beginners?

As a total beginner your strength and technique will develop to the point where you will want to try a higher power bow than the one you first started with. Use a compound and you’ll be able to just adjust it to suit you. For a recurve, you can buy different limbs and don’t need a whole new bow.

You’ll generally find that if you ‘try archery’ at some sort of even you’ll be given a recurve bow. The simplicity of the recurve has to compete against the adjustability of the compound.

Recurve tuition

Just getting started?

We go for simplicity...

Best for Beginners - The Recurve

For bowfishing?

You can bowfish with a recurve or a compound. Bowfishing usually requires you to attach a reel to the stabiliser mount on your bow and use barbed arrows which you can then reel in after spearing a fish. There are kits for both types of bow and speciality bows on the market of both types.

Bowfishers spend a lot of time at full draw aiming and waiting, so a compound works well here, but also you can get off a ‘snap-shot’ much more quickly with a recurve.

Which is best is probably going to come down to which you are used to and familiar with, can’t say we see a clear winner yet.

Bowfishers Prefer - Either

For target shooting?

Target shooting competitions exist for both recurve and compound shooters. The distances and target sizes are similar so you can’t really differentiate here. Depending on how ambitious and indeed how good you are, the one factor that can be used to split the two is that the only discipline allowed at the Olympic games is the recurve. No compounds in sight…. At least not yet.

The Olympics only allow recurve

The Target Shooting Elite Use - The Recurve

Well that's it! I think we covered everything, if we didn't... let me know! We monitor and respond to comments all the time 😉

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What’s the Best Budget Spotting Scope? https://targetcrazy.com/optics/spotting-scopes/best-budget/ https://targetcrazy.com/optics/spotting-scopes/best-budget/#respond Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:24:12 +0000 https://targetcrazy.com/?p=3412 Need a spotting scope but have a restricted budget? We've identified and reviewed the best budget spotting scopes for you.

The post What’s the Best Budget Spotting Scope? appeared first on targetcrazy.com.

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Spotting scopes can get extremely expensive. The further you want to be able to zoom with clarity the higher the price. Models from manufacturers like Swarovski and Leupold can set you back thousands of dollars.

When prices get to those levels you’re essentially paying pay for the quality of the glass and sometimes for the feature set of the scope.

If you’re on a budget or you’re getting your first scope to test the water, you don’t want to shell out stacks of cash for it. You want something feature packed, good quality and with a wholesome price tag.

Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope- Waterproof Scope for Bird watching Target Shooting Archery Range Outdoor Activities -with Tripod & Digiscoping Adapter

GoSky 20-60x80mm - A great budget spotting scope.

Yes, you won’t be able to see as far and with as good quality and focus as with more expensive scopes, but for the majority of users wanting to hunt, target shoot or go birding there is no need to pay extreme amounts for an optic that gets the job done.

With today's economy there are a few manufacturers on the scene selling reasonable quality optics with all the expected features that really don’t cost the earth. We’ve listed a bunch of these below and after a little discussion on what makes a good budget scope we’ll take you through each one in more detail.

Budget Spotter Picks

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices on Amazon.

Budget Spotting Scopes - What to look for

For those who like videos, here’s a general guide to choosing spotting scopes from Optics Planet…


Price to Performance Ratio

Is a $2000 dollar scope really 20 times better than a $100 dollar scope?

In order to answer that question you really need to define what ‘better’ means to you. Is it clarity, focus, field of view, eye relief, durability, water and fog proofing, or all of those features?

If you’ve not owned many scopes and don’t really know what you’re looking at it’s very doubtful that you will be able to reap the benefits of a $2000 scope investment. A budget $100 dollar scope will do 60% of the job of a $2000 dollar scope and it won’t cost you anywhere near 60% of $2000 (that’s $1200 in case you were wondering!).

Higher prices scopes with better quality will give you clearer, brighter and less distorted images at the highest zoom levels. But as you go further up the spotter scope price scale the returns on your investment diminish.

For the majority of users… unless you’re going to be pushing a budget scope to its absolute limits all the time it will work just fine for you, and save you a load of spondoolicks.

Types of Prisms/Glass

What do BAK4 and BAK7 mean? Does it matter at this price?

You’ll see reference in specifications to the type of glass used in the prism of spotting scopes. BaK stands for BaritleichKron which is german for “Barium Crown”. In short, when you’re buying a budget optic, that specification is just a small piece of the whole puzzle that doesn’t tell you anything really about the quality of one optic to another. There are so many other quality factors to consider, that really you need to pick based on reviews of what you or others see through them. (p.s. that’s why we’ve written this article!).

Optical Coatings

You’ll rarely find even a budget optic with anything less than fully multi-coated lenses inside. Fully multi-coated means that there are multiple layers of coating on all lens surfaces. A coating that is designed to help enhance the natural properties of the glass to transmit as much light as possible.

Fully multi-coated is the best type of coating. Better than coated, fully coated or multi-coated.

Again, that specification however is no testament to the number of layers of coating applied, and the quality of that process and indeed the actual type of coating. So don’t be misled.

Objective Lens Size / Aperture / Zoom

First off, you know what the numbers mean right

Very briefly a bigger objective size or aperture on a scope gives you (generally) a heavier and longer scope with higher zoom levels.  

Your choice of objective lens size should take into account how portable you want the scope to be and just how far you want to be able to see.

When you’re choosing a budget scope you may need to limit your expectations as to just how clear and focused an image you will get at anything approaching full zoom. For starters 40x-60x zoom levels aren’t practical to use without some sort of tripod, if you don’t have a tripod all you’ll see is a large magnification of your hand shake.

Warranties and Customer Service (or lack of)

One of the things the budget scope market won’t give you is a long or a lifetime warranty on their products.

In fact you’ll be lucky to get any warranty at all aside from the retailers or manufacturers guarantee that the product will work when you receive it.

If you do get a manufacturers warranty, don’t be immediately sold, how easily can you actually claim against it and how good is customer service? Is there even a distributor in your country?

Budget scopes... customer service levels may vary.

Budget scopes... customer service levels may vary.

Budget spotters simply aren’t going to have the same build quality as high-end scopes. So you can’t expect the same guarantee and quality of service. Today’s budget products are designed to be used and when they break, you buy a new one.

Features

Everyone wants a durable scope. One that comes with a little bit of rubberized armor and helps protect against scuffs and the odd knock.

Waterproofing and fog-proofing are pretty much also standard features even on low quality optics that have been purged with nitrogen gases and sealed (having no oxygen inside a scope means no fogging and protection against internal framework rust).

What you need to remember here is that just how waterproof and durable are these optics going to be? Do they adhere to any standard? How strict is the factory quality control? Your milage is going to vary with a budget optic vs a mid-high level optic.

So don’t expect something that you can use to climb the highest local peaks in a storm regularly without any sign of ever failing.

Accessories

One thing that many budget scope manufacturers have been doing recently is throwing in a host of nice little extras to make their scopes more attractive to the buyer. Soft and hard cases, tripods, scoping adapters, and cleaning cloths are all commonly found giveaways.

The quality of these extras in our picks are going to be basically up-to the job. That’s not to say you won’t be able to find a better case or a better tripod out there with more features that’s easier to use, but the freebies are certainly nice to have.

Spotting Scope on Tabletop Tripod

A common freebie accessory the tabletop tripod

Spotting Scope Reviews - Our Top Picks In Detail

GoSky 20-60x80mm

"amazing value budget scope"

Gosky 20-60 X 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope- Waterproof Scope for Bird watching Target Shooting Archery Range Outdoor Activities -with Tripod & Digiscoping Adapter

GoSky are a brand name on top of a generic ‘Made in China’ scope. You’ll see these exact same scopes listed on other sites with other brand names. This is a mass produced white-label product. But don’t let that put you off, a lot of budget stuff is sold like this.

In terms of features this scope has fully multi-coated lenses, armor, waterproofing and fog-proofing.

It’s an angled scope but the eyepiece can be rotated so you can easily use it looking skyward, or from a car window mount for example. The objective lens also has a retractable sun-shade.

With good accessories, this scope seems to be aimed at the amateur birder or nature enthusiast as it comes with a small tripod, soft snug fitting case and cell-phone adapter for digiscoping. The usual lens caps and cleaning cloth are also supplied.

The digiscoping phone adapter is a universal mount that has jaws to hold your phone and a thumbscrew to position it on the scope. This type of mount can be a little fiddly to use repeatedly and regularly as every time you attach the phone some minor adjustment is usually needed. But for basics and the odd photograph it works fine, we’d recommend a permanent swing away style adapter for more enthusiastic birding.

Due to the large 80mm lens this weighs about 1200 grams, so isn’t the lightest or most compact of scopes but it does manage to give clear pictures of target holes at anywhere from 100 to 250 yards so great for target shooters and archers.

You may struggle to get absolutely clear focus at the highest zoom levels but for most users this optic offers an exceptional price/performance point.

Pros

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  • Amazing value
  • Tripod and phone digiscoping adapter
  • Armored
  • Weatherproof
  • Sun-shade
  • 12 month warranty
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Cons

  • Angled Only
  • Fiddly phone adapter

Emarth 20-60x60mm

"great little piece of kit"

Emarth 20-60x60AE Waterproof Angled Spotting Scope with Tripod, 45-Degree Angled Eyepiece, Optics Zoom 39-19m/1000m for Target Shooting Bird Watching Hunting Wildlife Scenery

If you see this scope listed with AE at the end of the name outside of what the other numbers mean the AE stands for ‘Angled Eyepiece’. That’s because this one is also available in an SE ‘Straight Eyepiece’ version for hunters and other users who prefer to sight in exactly the same direction as their target.

As the Emarth is only a 60mm objective lens the weight and size of the scope is much reduced. This one only 600 or so grams to carry and 350 mm in length.

Emarth include a table-top tripod with this scope and a carry case that includes a compartment to hold the tripod and keep it separate from the scope. Smaller and more portable this scope is designed for the trekker or hunter that wants to get out and about with it.

With that in mind this one is also waterproof, fogproof and comes with the usual rubberized armor coating although it isn’t what we’d call ‘rugged’.

If you want to target shoot at anything from say 200 - 300 yards and see the target holes clearly you may want to look at a larger more powerful scope, but for 100 yards and normal archery distances this will work fine.

If you opt for the AE version, the angled scope, it’s worth noting that the eyepiece is fixed, no rotation. Not great for a car window mount.

Emarth another generic ‘made in china’ scope brand but this little scope is a great piece of kit so don’t let that put you off.

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Pros

  • Compact and Light
  • Straight (SE) version available
  • Useful carry bag that takes the tripod
  • Waterproof
  • 12 month warranty
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Cons

  • Eyepiece does not rotate

Barska Colorado 15-40x50mm

"an absolute bargain"

BARSKA 15-40x50 Colorado Spotting Scope

Barska is a name you may have heard of. They’re actually a brand with a decent website and a presence in the US. That’s something to bear in mind if you’re thinking about taking them up on the limited lifetime warranty offer this scope comes with.

You’ll find their gear in many US outlets and sporting good stores. The Colorado scope is their entry level scope and is usually an absolute steal in terms of price if you’re only wanting to see clearly up-to 150 yards or so.

Due to the exceptionally low price tag, not all the usual features can be found on this scope. It has fully coated lenses (not multi coated, just fully coated, so all surfaces exposed to air are coated, not internal surfaces and only once). It isn’t waterproof and isn’t fogproof.

Here's a video unboxing the Barska Colorado and taking you through the basic features.


It does however have shock proof armor. There are rubberized strips down the sides of both sections of the scope which are designed to take the impact should you drop this from any height onto a hard surface. We didn’t actually try breaking one, but this type of armor would suit an outdoorsman.

For long distance birding, shooting or hunting uses you’ll need to skip this one as even the manufacturers state that over 150 yards and you’re going to struggle to get a clear image. But this scope is an ideal choice for the short range target shooter, hunter or archer.

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Pros

  • An absolute bargain
  • Shock absorbing armor
  • Small Tripod and case
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Limited lifetime warranty
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Cons

  • Not fully multi-coated lenses
  • Not waterproof or fogproof
  • Clear only upto about 150 yards

Roxant Blackbird HD 12-36x50mm

"great optics all through the zoom range, nice features"

Roxant Authentic Blackbird High Definition Spotting Scope With ZOOM - Fully Multi Coated Optical Glass Lens + BAK4 Prism. Includes Tripod + Case + Lifetime Support

Roxant are by no means a household name yet. They don’t have a large presence online or in the marketplace, but they do offer a small range of ‘cool’ products, this scope being one.

With that lack of presence and company size also comes a seeming lack of warranty. You get lifetime support with this, not really sure what that is but it’s not a warranty by any stretch.

As you’d expect this comes with a small table-top tripod, a case and lens caps. So an okay accessory package but nothing special.

Where this scope excels is in the specification for the price. It has an adjustable eyepiece meaning you can extend or retract it to get your eyes correctly positioned if you’re a spectacle wearer.

Here's a video overview of the Roxant.

There’s an adjustable sun-shade on the end of the objective lens and the lens cap is attached to the scope so you won’t easily lose it. That’s a nice touch.

Whilst this scope only has a small magnification range 12-36x and a relatively small objective lens 50mm it does however offer crisp and clear focused images all the way through that range and doesn’t advertise itself to be usable at zoom levels that it can’t handle.

Great for all users, shooters and archers up-to say 150 yards or so and hunters, outdoorsmen and naturists who want something compact and light that gives clear images all the way through it’s zoom range.

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Pros

  • Adjustable eyepiece
  • Sun shade
  • Small Tripod and case
  • Attached front lens cap (not easily lost)
  • Compact and light
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Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • Lifetime support? No real warranty except the retailer guarantee

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