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Monday, December 17, 2012

Late Season Archery

Late Season. Many hunters can't wait until snow is on the ground, the temperature is below freezing and the woods have that special stillness of a crisp winter day. Big bucks who can survive the archery season and the several week gun season will eventually find a wintertime safe zone. It is challenging to sort out the puzzle. Educated whitetails may find a place  where they have a vantage point to observe approaching hunters or hole up in dense growth where they feel protected and getting close can be a challenge if not impossible. These smart bucks have patterned hunters for several weeks and recognize slamming truck doors, footsteps of hunters on organized drives and the rhythmic steps of a solo hunter making a trek to a deer stand. The deer may have gone nocturnal for a period but as hunting pressure eased off after gun season, more normal movement slowly resurfaces. Deer will begin to feed at the field edges as the sun goes down. The buck in these camera photos survived at least 60 days of intense hunting pressure and will probably make it to next season. The odds were possibly tilted in the hunter's favor early in the season and during the peak rut but everything has now changed. The odds clearly favor this smart and wily buck who is slightly on edge and now may travel in a group with many eyes on the lookout for human danger. Here are a few Kodabow ideas that could be helpful during this period.
1 - The magic hours of 10AM - 2 PM.  Deer conserve energy and look to burn less calories during the cold weather. Bedding areas may be found on a southern facing hillside to capture the morning sun. After a snowstorm, a little scouting will tell you where the deer are hanging and moving. Deer may time their feeding movements when the sun is at the highest point and during the warmest time of the day to keep heat loss to a minimum. Position yourself in a good browsing area during this time. 
2. Hunt the Snowstorms and Bad Weather. If your buddies think you are nuts, it is possibly a good time to be in the woods. We have seen then biggest bucks move freely when the snow is falling. The caveat is if the wind is howling like a mad dog - reconsider only because of the danger risk associated with falling trees and branches. A soft snow and a slight covering wind that muffles the littlest noise can be ideal for the stalking hunter. Pay attention and move slowly. When you see a branch that appears to be a portion of a deer antler, your mind must be attuned to think "Deer" and not "Tree." Quiet and slow approaches can result in walking up on bedded deer within 10-15 yards especially if you know their hangouts. 
3. Dress warm. Hunt all day. The days are short and sunset comes early. The only way to do this safely is with appropriate clothing and gear.
One of the more memorable hunts was the day after Christmas. It was cold and I was hunting alone as I often do. Huge deer tracks were discovered in the freshly fallen snow. It was easy to recognize and appreciate where this deer bedded down the night before. The huge tracks showed a jagged pathway of the deer's morning travel through a feeding area. The right hunting decision was to back out of the area and put together a strategy for the next morning. Late season deer can be predictable and that was my expectation. Well before daylight on the 27th, I checked the wind and positioned a climbing tree stand along the previous morning's trail but well away from the bedding area. As the sun came up, I watched a farmer doing morning barnyard chores several hundred yards away. Then it happened - a large 10 point buck duplicated his movements from the previous morning. Like many hunters, I always have a strategy but most of the time, the best plans never seem to come together. (This is when my hunting friend always says, "That's why they call it hunting" --  like I didn't know that.) That morning, I guessed right. At 9:30 AM, on a calm still morning of the 27th of December, the late season came through again. See you out there! 
Chuck Matasic - Kodabow 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Iron Sights on Crossbows"

 Iron Sights ? Not really ...... the first thing you notice is the new KodaBRO Sight contains a lot more high tech gadgetry than what your dad had on "Old Bessie." 
This is a fiber optic sight with four crossbow aim points calibrated for 30- 40 - 50 - 60 yards using our Kodabow Magnum arrows and a 200 lb Bravo Zulu. The 225 Big Rhino will shoot slightly flatter and the Koda-Express 185 will require a small adjustment to shoot just a touch high at 30 yards to hit the remaining extended range marks.
The sight uses a rear peep and is specifically built to mount and be used on a Kodabow. In the production phase, we decreased the size of the overall rear peep mass and mounted it lower. We also doubled up the mounting screws that hold the sight to the rail because that is how we do things at Kodabow. The rear peep is where elevation and windage adjustments occur. The optic colors are Green - Yellow - Red - Green. The "BRO" part stands for Bad River Outdoors who teamed up with Kodabow on the production of this sight. We shot 2" groups at 50 yards and the experts at BRO shot 2" groups at 60 yards with a Kodabow so it was a green light all the way. Here is exactly what you can expect when using this sight. These observations are after extensive testing with the initial prototype and then the first actual production model coming off the line which incorporated several changes. Upon receipt, we promptly mounted the production sight on a crossbow and went out shooting and then on an evening hunt. First, the sight is accurate. You can expect to hit a 2" to 3" bull at hunting distances and fine accuracy is governed by your personal ability to align the rear peep with the front sight.
This is what the sight picture looks like from the rear of the crossbow. 

Sighting takes a little practice as compared to a regular scope but will come naturally to shooters who have used a peep sight on a vertical bow or learned to use open sights on a firearm. You can hunt with high confidence that your KodabBRO crossbow shots will hit the heart/lung vitals every time with a properly placed shot. There is also an accessory feature which mounts on the front sight (not shown) for determining range to deer and elk so the sight can also be used for range finding. As sunset arrived, light rain moved in and what would have been a hassle with a regular scope was a non-event for the KodaBRO. It is an all weather sight. The deer were not moving in the rain but I patiently waited for the last minute of legal shooting time which was 30 minutes after sunset. The final test was to determine (in actual hunting conditions) whether the fiber optic gathered enough light to clearly see the aim points in the last 30 seconds of legal shooting. Yesssiree! I could see all 4 sight points.
It was just as expected. I would have made the shot if the deer were more cooperative. Granted, I was hunting a field edge where there was possibly more ambient twilight than in the thick woods but I could still see the sight markers well past shooting time because of the wound fiber optic cables designed for maximum light capture. This is a perfect solution where hunters require a non-magnifying sight for legal reasons or just prefer the simplicity of a well made,  rugged, lightweight fiber optic sight that is foolproof in its design.  First shipments head out this week and the sight sells for $189.99.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Accuracy Basics

Accuracy Basics
Some shooters are very focused on accuracy. Here is a checklist that might help your shooting results.
1 - The scope must be mounted correctly. One quick way to check your scope is to place a carpenter's level across the top of your limb pockets and orient the crossbow to a perfectly level position. Use gravity to help by tying a string with a weight from a tree limb about 20 yards out. Determine if your vertical crosshair is aligned "up and down" with the plumb bob hanging from the tree. (We have tied our cocking rope to a tree in camp when in a jam.) If not, loosen the scope rings and rotate the scope until you achieve perfect alignment. Your shots will move either left or right as range is increased if the scope is not 100% vertically correct. Naturally, hold your crossbow level when shooting. Target shooters will mount a leveling glass on their crossbow to ensure the bow is absolutely horizontal.
2. Pull your limbs back evenly. When cocking the crossbow, make an effort to pull both limbs back together using the cocking rope without twisting or loading one side of the crossbow more than the other. If you have left and right variance with the same arrow, the cocking procedure is suspect. If there is "up and down" variance with the same arrow, check to see if your scope or fasteners are loose in any way. 
3. Use a rangefinder. Until laser rangefinders made their way into the commercial hunting market about 15 years ago, archers had to visually estimate range or pace off distances in advance to shoot well. Today, for just slightly more than the cost of a full tank of gas, a laser rangefinder can be in the backpack. For crossbow hunters who are also rifle hunters, obtain a rangefinder with a rating for 1,000 yards and it should work perfectly well for both archery and firearm requirements.   
4. Know your crossbow ballistics. A crossbow is a system consisting of the crossbow, the scope and the selected arrow. We are often asked what is the best crossbow. The answer is one that you can cock easily without creating variance and have the confidence to hit your aim point regularly. For most hunters, this is our 185 lb or 200 lb crossbow. After the trigger is pulled, it is all about ballistics. Typically, the 200 lb Bravo Zulu will shoot the 6 aiming points in our scopes very precisely when using the supplied arrows with 100gr heads. (There are 4 crosshairs in the scope but the top and bottom posts provide 2 additional aim points.) It works out nicely for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 yards. The Koda-Express works equally as well with a slight adjustment. For this 185 lb bow, typically sight in 3/4" high at 20 yards and the ballistics adhere to the scope reticles at 30, 40 and 50 yards with the last aim point coming in at just under 60 yards. Confidence goes up as yardage decreases for most hunters. There are less obstructions to deal with (trees, bushes, twigs) and fewer environmental effects (wind, sound, animal movement) so a 20 to 30 yard shot with a Kodabow should be a deer hanging in camp 100% of the time. That is providing you take your time, know your deer anatomy, and avoid a case of "buck fever." Remember when shooting uphill or downhill, your aiming point must be lowered vs. the normal flat, level surface that you might have used in practice. Study your angle/ballistic charts or use one of the compensating range finder devices that calculates angle adjustments. 
5. Shoot from a rest. Even the best rifle shooters avoid taking game without using a rest. Shooting sticks are the norm in Africa. Smart rifle hunters will find ground or external support to steady their aiming point. Crossbow hunters should do the same. For this hunter, the last three animals taken were from these positions: - Prone, - Sitting with knees as support, and again, Sitting with knees as support.  We love that sitting position! 
For tree stand hunters, consider using your rail or a monopod. 
6. Think about what you are doing. A good friend called one morning complaining about his crossbow. He said the crossbow shot fine last year but now he can't get the crossbow scope sighted in at all.  He pulled his bow out for the upcoming deer season and it was shooting way off. He said he required some major scope adjustments just to get on target at 20 yards but when he stepped back to 30 and 40 yards, it was no where close to the target (shooting very low) until he finally gave up in frustration. It seemed the more he shot, the worse it all became. We spoke for a few minutes until it became clear that the poor fellow started the morning off using the bottom 50 yard reticle at 20 yards. 
(He got mixed up should have been using the uppermost reticle.) Every adjustment he made after that was hopeless. After the few dozen clicks changing his former 50 yard aim point to 20 yards, when he stepped back to 30 yards, he was even further off because he was basically using his scope upside down. We had a few laughs. Take your time. Don't rush to judgement and if something isn't acting right, also consider that the shooter just might be the problem. Looking forward to a great season!  Another friend said, "Be early to rise and stay in the woods until last shooting light if you want to take the the big buck." Good advice..... My best, Chuck

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ruger Invests in Kodabow

Pictured is our good friend, Rick, who lives in Michigan with a few of his favorite shooting tools. Nothing says Made in America like a Ruger .44 Magnum, a Ruger M77 in .30-06., and a Kodabow Big Rhino crossbow.  

Long ago, when this writer was 16 years old, Dad and I walked into a sporting goods store and picked out a Ruger Standard Mk I semi-automatic .22 caliber handgun. I marveled at the design and how it always functioned perfectly. It was the first of many Ruger firearms that would grace my collection.  A .22 handgun is an odd choice for a youngster but I was an accomplished shooter at 16. It was a simpler time with no Internet, Facebook, cell phones or text messages. The kids I knew best spent every moment camping, hunting or playing high school sports. Trust, Safety and Responsibility when it came to firearms was expected. Yes -- we actually left school and hunted on the way home. The 60's and 70's were just different. That Ruger .22 served me well and its a testament to its flawless design that it is still in production decades later. The next Ruger turning point occurred in the Navy when a fellow officer took me under his wing and taught me how to properly and safely reload ammunition. There was only one brand of revolver that he suggested I purchase - a Ruger .357 Magnum. Today, and many Ruger firearms later, one of my favorite Ruger pistols is the Single Six Convertible that allows the shooter to switch the cylinders between .22 Magnum and standard .22 Long Rifle. It is admirable when a company steps out and makes differentiated products they believe should be made. Bill Ruger took that approach and it was even recognizable by a 16 year old. After selling well over a million guns in the past year, Ruger continues to deliver innovative products that consumers demand. Rugged and Reliable Firearms - Ruger. 

Naturally, the Kodabow Team was very pleased when Ruger chose to make an investment in our company. We do share common values. We make our product right here in the US and we are not afraid to do things differently. Bill Ruger dared to be different and you find that same spirit at Kodabow today. The same qualities you expect in a fine Ruger firearm are built into each and every Kodabow. Here is the announcement. Enough said.
My best,  

Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. Invests in Kodabow Crossbows 
June 26, 2012 
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is proud to announce that it has purchased a minority interest in Kodabow, Inc., a crossbow manufacturer based in West Chester, PA. Ruger's investment will help Kodabow accelerate its business plans and expand its infrastructure.

"This investment reflects our interest in participating in one of the faster growing segments of the hunting market," said Ruger President & CEO Michael O. Fifer. "Crossbows are increasingly becoming a new and exciting choice for outdoor-oriented consumers as they bridge the gap between traditional archery and firearms. Crossbows are gaining broader acceptance and more states are adopting crossbow hunting seasons. We have watched Kodabow make steady progress with its innovative crossbow platform and USA-based manufacturing. We expect that Kodabow will have a bright future and this Ruger investment will assist the company in moving forward," he concluded. 

"We are extremely pleased to have an association with Ruger," said Chuck Matasic of Kodabow. "Ruger shares our vision that delivering dependable and innovative hunting products made in the USA will drive industry leadership and success. Ruger's investment validates our business model based upon high quality and customer satisfaction, and most of all, crossbow products that are accurate and reliable - qualities very evident in Ruger firearms," he concluded.

To learn more about the extensive line of award-winning Ruger® firearms, visit www.Ruger.com. To learn more about Kodabow crossbows, visit www.Kodabow.com.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Target Shooting in the UK

We  started following the shooting exploits of a new Kodabow target shooter in the United Kingdom. He shared a story with us that we found very interesting and we decided to print his narrative in full detail.
Thank you Sean  - congratulations on your finish!

"It's a windy wet Saturday morning and I'm driving down to the practice range which is set in 60 acres of glorious woodland, with rolling hills open scrub and hard wood trees abundant. As I pull up I see my shooting buddy with his crossbow, mmm this is going to be fun I'm thinking. After exchanging the usual pleasantries and several cups of coffee later I retrieve my Kodabow from the car,"there's something different about you bow"shouts Denis "but I can't put my finger on it",oh yes there was something different alright, I had fitted a red dot scope hoping that it would improve my scores. Sighting in didn't take too long, and the result seemed quite respectable,I was able to shoot groups of 2 inches at 60 yards.

Unfortunately over here in the U.K.we are not allowed to hunt with a bow,so the nearest we get is to shoot 3d's, we do score in a similar way to yourselves, all our targets are at unmarked distances, 20 points for a first arrow kill with an extra 4 points for an inner kill,14 points for a second arrow kill or 8 points for a third arrow kill.
16 points for a first arrow wound,10 points for a second arrow wound and finally 4 points for a third arrow wound. The whole reason for trying to be as accurate as possible is because I decided to enter myself into the N.F.A.S. (National Field Archery Society) 3d championships, which is next week This is the biggest championships I have entered with over 650 archers attending.

After we finish walking around the woods shooting the club course of 20 targets,it has become quite apparent that the red dot sight has its advantages over a telescopic sight with no obvious parallax, combined with the accuracy of the Kodabow I hope I have a winning combination. After more coffee and a discussion over the performance of our two crossbows we say our goodbyes and go our respective ways.

Finally day one of the champs and there's lots of interest in my bow as no one has ever seen anything like it, I am paired up with 4 other archers 2 crossbows and two compounds, the siren goes off for the competition to start.10 targets in the kodabow and red dot combination are working fantastic, a perfect score, the next 10 I have dropped 4 points,great I'm thinking could be in with a good finish,some of the top crossbow archers in Europe are here competing.

Crunch I open my eyes and all I can see is blue sky,then the pain in,I've tripped over on the undergrowth and twisted my back and neck. As I compose myself again,I pick my bow up which had been thrown out of the path of my fall, check it over,and continue to shoot, however it is now painfully to cock and my scores are beginning to drop. After a hard days shooting (40 targets in all) in 8 hours it's off to the tent for food and painkillers.

Day two and it raining no pouring down,the scores are posted and I'm sitting in 7th place only 20 points behind the ex European champion with everything to play for, but my backs still sore from the fall,even after taking painkiller that morning.
Rain rain rain and more torrential rain but the Kodabow's shooting like it's on fire. About an hour and a half into the shoot and the sight starts to steam up"OH NO IT'S NOT WATERPROOF", gradually there is nothing visible through the sight only the dot and lots of white fog, I continue shooting but my scores are suffering, finally it's over.
There had been over 100 retirements due to equipment failure In the rain.

We finished in the top 10 not to shabby for someone with a sore back and fogged up scope. This is a testament to Kodabow it never once let me down after being thrown on the floor and soaked in the rain it still shot true it was only let down by myself and the accessories I fitted.

It's a week later and I have a new red dot fitted a waterproof one this time and we are again a winning team,me,red dot and Kodabow."

Thursday, May 31, 2012

33 Elements in Crossbow Performance

Many crossbow buyers only look at a few specs and make a quick purchase decision.
Mark Gurnee - builds triggers and crossbows at Kodabow. Kodabow people are hunters.

Let's examine how it all works and look at some of the important elements that need consideration for "satisfying" crossbow hunting. Crossbows are complex - as complicated as a modern semi-automatic rifle if not more so.
At Kodabow, we have identified 33 elements in overall crossbow performance that drive hunter satisfaction. This is our opinion and it's OK if you don't agree. We live in America - thank goodness! At Kodabow, we look deeper and really think through the overall hunting experience. It is a reason why many hunters who do their own detailed research and homework or already own other crossbows choose Kodabow. Some factors like accuracy, weight, noise or speed are easy to think about. Safety is always important. Especially in these times, value is key. This should not be a surprise but you don't always get what you pay for. At Kodabow, we attempt to exceed what you might expect and give you a shooting system that is possibly equal to or better than your favorite long gun. We've met more than a few hunters who saved a few bucks with the "discount special" only to have later regrets. A crossbow is useless if it requires constant attention. Many elements can be overlooked. Hunting reality is not faced at the department store sales counter. Reality is in the field when all the crossbow performance factors come together after many, many hours of hunting to effectively kill a game animal. 
Here is your checklist. (with a few Kodabow comments.)
1 - Accuracy. - Simply stated, Kodabow is unsurpassed. Shot placement kills game animals when using archery equipment. Accuracy is always critical. Hitting a 25 cent piece at 40 yards should be readily attainable and repeatable.
2 - Accuracy over time. Your bow won't drift as the season progresses due to stretching of components, timing or cable issues. As an example, Kodabow scope rails are machined aluminum,; they don't flex and are built to the quality level that you would find on a sub MOA battle rifle.
3 - Initial Cost. Kodabow crossbows are under $1000 and come with many integrated features. The scope will be dialed in upon arrival and you won't be nickel and dimed spending $70 a few times over for other "add-ons" like sound suppression kits. Customers tell us that they are glad they "bought right the first time."
4 - Long Term Cost. No crossbow is easier to maintain than a Kodabow. You can change your string in the field. Most other bows require "Pro Shop" support for simple string or cable changes so get your greenbacks ready - that's not cheap. 
5 - Safety Function. Kodabow has an Anti-Dry Fire and a firearms quality trigger group. No MIM or offshore parts. The Kodabow trigger system is intuitive, ambidextrous and the safety is automatic at cocking.
6 - Speed. Hunting models (Koda-Express, Bravo Zulu and Big Rhino) will kill any game animal in North America and are among the fastest recurve crossbows produced. Frequently, a hunter will visit our facility and shoot a Koda-Express 185 at 50 yards. The most common reaction is "Wow - why would I want or need anything more." Don't chase more energy and speed than is necessary at the expense of other variables like reliability, noise or accuracy over time.
7 - Construction. No shortcuts. As an example, we won't give you a critical plastic part (like an arrow hold down) and try to tell you that its better than a solid metal spring steel component. When a plastic part breaks, it's a failure.
8 - Consistency in Performance. A recurve limb travels the same way shot after shot. Speeds are consistent and the Kodabow crossbow has minimal variance with its tight manufacturing tolerances. More variance comes from "arrow to arrow" manufacturing differences and individual shooter skill.
9 - Reliability. Kodabow will shoot a single crossbow for 9 days straight with consumers and launch 2,000 arrows. Example: 2012 Eastern Outdoor Sports Show. Do you see anyone else doing that?
10 - Warranty. Our expectation is that you will have zero warranty issues. If you do have a problem, Kodabow will take care of it quickly. A warranty is meaningless if the underlying product is problematic and a hunter suffers through a series of $75 - $100 shipping expenses to get a bow serviced and misses hunting seasons. That is not what Kodabow is all about. We shoot our crossbows before they go in the box.
11 - USA Country of Origin. Kodabow is made in the USA. Really. That does not mean we bring parts in from a distant land from folks we don't know and then say "Made in the USA." The bow from riser, trigger components, to scope rail is made in the USA. 99% of our accessories are also US made.  Even soft goods like our quality Black Crossbow Case - yep. USA.
12 - Manufacturer Orientation. We test our gear and ensure it works. Our children shoot Kodabow. Whole hunting families and hunting camps now shoot Kodabow. We shoot with the public because we have a lot of confidence in our product. We have a military orientation because the top Kodabow guy is a former Naval Officer. In the military, shooting systems need to work. Kodabow is in the crossbow business for the long haul and today, we are 100% product quality oriented and 0% phony marketing hype. Our customer satisfaction is extremely high. We expect that you will hand down your Kodabow to your son or daughter years from now. We are doing it our way --- the right way --- one bow at a time.
13 - Weight and Size. The bow is built tough --- it is not the fastest, slowest, lightest or  heaviest crossbow; it is not the widest nor is it the narrowest but we like the feel and maneuverability in hunting situations. It just works. While the Kodabow recurve limbs are slightly wider than cam and cable bows, we think the fewer moving parts represents a very favorable tradeoff and the cocked width of 27" is easy to manage in the field.
14 - Ease of Travel in the Field. Check out the photo of Mark closely. He is more of a walking hunter than a sitter. With the Kodabow EL-2 sling, he can go all day.
15 - Durability. Take any other crossbow and start banging the limb ends into the dirt and see how much excitement can be created. Kodabows are built like a tank and can withstand the rigors of hunting hard. Some of us less nimble types have been known to lose footing on mountainous terrain and watch their crossbow take a spill. With Kodabow, you should be able to keep on hunting.
16 - Balance. Kodabow has a 50%/50% mid-point balance - most hunters shoot the bow very well offhand and the perceived weight is much lower because of the proper balance. 
17 - Product Confidence. Shooters with considerable crossbow experience and past ownership experience with multiple crossbow brands often reach for Kodabow -- it is a bow they know will shoot predictably and without a problem.
18 - Accessory Options. We have them but there is a whole lot more you can do yourself with the Picatinny Rail System. Use your imagination. Want a bipod? Do it.
19 - Ease of Travel to Foreign Lands. The entire crossbow can fit into a Postal Service Priority Mailing Box about 15" x 12 x 3" making it the smallest takedown crossbow in production. THAT'S SMALL. With Kodabow 's tight manufacturing tolerances, the crossbow will be on target at reassembly.
20 - Little Things. Hunters have raved about the many "hard to evaluate" Kodabow things like the manner in which the Kodabow crossbow rests on your knee when sitting in a deer stand for hours or the way Kodabow avoids the use of sling swivels to keep the bow quiet. There is a whole bunch of these little things -- so you can end up liking the Kodabow crossbow more and more over time.
21 - Quality of Accessories. It is one thing to offer an accessory but its a whole other matter to ensure the delivery of quality items. For example, our quivers have been tested in hunting conditions over multiple seasons and pass with flying colors. It would be cheaper to buy a lesser made import quiver and you wouldn't know the difference - until it broke 3 weeks into hunting season. Yes -- we could supply cheaper arrows and maybe make more money and still sell them at a lower price. We don't. You deserve better.
22 - After the hunt. Decock your crossbow without shooting an arrow. Seems like a small thing. It's HUGE . 
23 - Multi-User Suitability. Want your son or daughter to step into your crossbow to take a turkey. Adjust the stock. Possibly move the grip and you are ready to roll.
24 - Vibration. Shoot a Kodabow and you won't find much vibration. No requirement to put a death grip on the crossbow to keep it from torquing and shooting inaccurately. The design and solid mass of the crossbow allow you to shoot and follow through with your sight picture after the shot.
25 - Cold Weather Usage. When your Kodabow is covered with ice and snow is piling up on your rail and limbs, you will appreciate the all season nature of this crossbow. We hunt in the weather extremes.
26 - Limb Interchange. Buy a set of lighter limbs if that's your thing and have two sets that will work on the same bow. Maybe a 200 lb Bravo Zulu and a 125 lb Alpha Strike. Why?
Answer: Do you own a 12 ga shotgun and a 20 ga. shotgun?
(plus you can change the limbs yourself.)
27 - Trigger Function. We think the Kodabow is the best crossbow trigger made. We are biased of course but you will find this trigger to be smooth and feature rich with a clean break and minimal travel. It one reason why so many shooters can shoot accurately with a Kodabow.
28 - Customization Options. Feeling like a pink stock or tan stock? All possible. Kodabow uses an AR-15 style platform so the options are endless. And if you think a $800 battle rifle optic is your thing - it will work on a Kodabow and look right at home.
29 - Impact Resistance. The limb ends are usually one of the weakest areas of any crossbow (or any bow for that matter.) Knowing the world is full of surprises, we made this zone to be one of the strongest areas. The solid metal construction, battle rifle components and hardcoated parts give many components a Rockwell hardness greater than steel.
30. Ergonomics. The safety location is where you need it. (Same as the AR-15 rifle.) The crossbow shoulders well and the hand grips come naturally into your hand.
31. Ease of Cocking.  The 14" power stroke helps ... and if you shorten the cocking rope, maybe only 11" is required. If that doesn't work for you, buy our mechanical cocking aid and you are good to go. The Safety automatically goes to SAFE when cocking.
32. Safety Noise. Small thing but if your safety makes a LOUD and AUDIBLE CLICK, that is not real positive. It's bad. You will either send the game animals running or you will be tempted to hunt with your safety off - neither are recommended. Kodabow has a very quiet safety movement. Costs are higher to make it that way .... but remember, no shortcuts are taken.
33. Sound at Firing. Crossbows can be notoriously loud at firing. Not a Kodabow. The split limb recurve design eliminates any string slap and the related "22 rifle shot sound" commonly evident in many crossbows. So your buddy in the next stand of woods won't hear your shot and with Kodabow - you will be shooting one of the quietest crossbows made.
That sums it up. 33 factors to consider.
Yes -- it's our view. When it comes to Kodabow, these crossbows  measure up and deliver the highest overall performance across the widest range of hunting requirements. What's the secret? Why and How do we do it? 
The ultimate answer is that we hunt. We welcome you to our Kodabow hunting community.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dealing with Arrow Variance

This is a technical article and to fully understand the message, you will need to follow along. On Saturday, Kodabow was shooting with an outdoor writer. We numbered three brand new arrows - #1 , #2 and #3 and stepped back to 40 yards. The first shot sequence is shown as the orange dots. Arrow #1 was 2 1/2 inches high and left. Arrows #2 and #3 (both orange dots) were about 3/4" apart just right of the bullseye. The second shot sequence (blue dots) nearly replicated the first sequence. There was a clear pattern being defined. Arrow #1 was flying high and left but the other two arrows were grouping less than 1" apart. In fact, looking at the group made by the two consecutive shots of arrow #2, the arrow #2 group was less than 1/2" --- the same for the two shots of arrow #3. Individual arrows were grouping within 1/2" at 40 yards so the crossbow was shooting very well. For the 3rd shot cycle, we made one change. We rotated Arrow #1 so that the cock feather was now at 2 o'clock vs. the typical 6 o'clock position. The resulting shot is the yellow dot. By changing the orientation of the arrow #1 on the rail, arrow #1 joined the rest of the group. Note that when arrows #2 and #3 were fired in the third shot sequence (green dots), they grouped as expected and were still shooting 1/2" groups on an individual basis.
Here are the lessons learned.
#1 Number your arrows on the vanes with a felt tip marker. This allows you, the shooter, to make sense of target results.
#2 Shoot a few sequences until you see a pattern emerge. Prior to shooting with the writer, he was told to expect "zero crossbow variance" with the Kodabow crossbow shot to shot ..... and when we pull the trigger precisely, we will have "zero shooter variance." The pattern that we will likely see emerge will be attributed to arrow variance.
#3 Correct for arrow variance. Kodabow uses flat nock arrows. A shooter has 3 options for placing an arrow on the Kodabow rail. That is the cock vane can be placed, down at 6 o'clock , right at 2'oclock or left at 10 o'clock. (This is an advantage of flat nock Kodabow arrows.) A shooter can optimize results by trial and error and tighten groupings by also keeping track of arrow placement and then marking the vanes accordingly. We could have easily culled arrow #1 from the pack and labeled it a bad arrow and tossed it aside but a little analysis went a long way.
Why is this happening?
Arrows will have slight variance in spine within the same arrow --- that is, one side of the arrow might be a little heavier than the other. This causes the arrow to fly slightly up/down/right or left. Some shooters go real deep into the matter and float their bare arrow carbon shafts in water and after a few moments, the carbon shaft orients heavy side down and light side up. They will mark the arrow and then fletch the arrow with the cock feather on the heavy spot expecting more consistency when all the arrows are built in that manner. We just shoot the arrows and get at the same result --- works better for us because we are dealing with actual shooting results. By the way, if you are interested in seeing how consistent your crossbow is shooting, use one single arrow (to eliminate arrow variance) and look for very tight groups.
The final result. Outdoor writers are very discriminating consumers. They see lots of gear and in some cases, get plenty of free stuff. After shooting Kodabow with us, this particular writer promptly said, "I need to buy a Kodabow" and placed an order for a Koda-Express 185. We hope this helps you on the range. Be safe.
The Kodabow Team

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Accuracy and the Kodabow Experience

"There is no greater feeling than shooting a projectile and watching it perform as intended." - Chuck Matasic, Kodabow

To the left is the cover page of the 2011 Barnes Bullet catalog. The picture depicts a spent .30 caliber X-Bullet perfectly mushroomed that was recovered from a game animal after a 200 yard shot in Africa a few years ago. This actual photo was taken in the African bush --- not in a fancy photo shoot studio. It's the real deal. How would we know?

We were there ..... the hand in this photo belongs to Chuck Matasic, President of Kodabow. Chuck reloaded the cartridge himself. He knows a few things about ballistics and shooting. A Kodabow crossbow will never deliver the game killing power at the longer distances of modern center fire rifles. But at archery hunting ranges, 10 to 50 yards, you can expect precision and superb crossbow performance from Kodabow everytime. Kodabow is an archery shooting platform that is comparable to a fine firearm at an exceptional price. Chuck would know. He knows how to build rifles and firearms and it carries over to Kodabow. He was shooting competitively when he was 11 years old. In the military, he qualified as "Expert" in Rifle and Pistol. He is a shooter. According to Chuck, "Kodabow crossbows are built to hunt and kill game animals in a reliable manner - they are the total opposite of so many products manufactured today which are heavy on marketing and light on quality."

We are shooters and hunters. The Kodabow people shoot everything .... from traditional recurve bows to flintlocks. The team just finished shooting 2,000 arrows with consumers at the 9 day Eastern Outdoor Sports Show in Harrisburg, PA. Amazing when you think about it. You just don't see other companies stepping out and doing that level of intense shooting. Everyone likes to shoot at Kodabow and all the experience shows up in a Kodabow crossbow. Here is a quote from a 3rd party reviewer of Kodabow that was recently published.

"I was very surprised when I shot this bow. It was as quiet as most compound crossbows, which means a heck of a lot quieter than any other recurve limb bow. It was well balanced especially compared to other recurve
limb style crossbows, reasonably light weight and a pleasure to shoot. It was so accurate that I was able to pick dime size spots on a target and consistently hit right on." -- Tony Warden

We will add that Kodabow doesn't know the gentleman that wrote the piece. We did post the review in its entirety on our Kodabow Facebook site and we think he got right.

Kodabow hears this type of statement often from Kodabow shooters -- but it never gets old. Some companies pay a writer to do this type of review (big surprise) - but Kodabow doesn't do that - not the style. The preference is to let the Kodabow crossbow do the talking. If you ever see Chuck, say "Hello" and shake his weather beaten hand..... ask him if he has been out shooting.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kodabow Crossbow News

9 days straight ..... 2000 arrows ..... zero issues.
A gentleman purhased a Kodabow the other day.
He already owned a crossbow but fell out of love with that bow saying it just wouldn't shoot accurately for him. He did plenty of research and thought Kodabow would be his next crossbow. After shooting a Kodabow at 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards..... he was all smiles. Many Kodabow shooters have owned other crossbows before selecting Kodabow.

At the recent Eastern Outdoor Sports Show, we shot a single crossbow for 9 days straight. After 2,000 arrows went down range, we were still knocking out the bullseyes - no problems.
What was nice was seeing all the Kodabow shooters who stopped by to say hello .... and they told how much they enjoyed their Kodabow during the recent Fall hunting season.
A competitive shooter sent us a note. He said "I can hit 3 to 4" groups at 60 yards, hand cocked and stood up which impresses me greatly." So this gent is shooting offhand and handcocking a 125 lb Alpha Strike because that is the nature and rules of his competition and doing very well.
Kodabow began shipping our Koda-Crank Mechanical Cocking Aid this month. They sell for $169.99 and are worth every penny. Here is a photo in assembly right before the units are strung up with rope and hooks. Customers often call and ask us "what is your best bow?" Around the Kodabow shop, Mark is a fan of the 185 lb. Koda-Express. Mark likes the way the crossbow cocks (easy) and the way it shoots at bowhunting distances to 50 yards. Brad shoots a Koda-Express as well. Chuck is a fan of the 200 lb. Bravo Zulu because the way the ballistics match up with the 4 reticle scope ..... 6 aiming points 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 yards. Kodabow sells more 185's and 200's followed by the 225 Big Rhino. Alpha Strike crossbows are lighter weight and typically used for special applications such as recreational and target shooting. The 155 lb crossbows are temporarily sold out but that will be remedied shortly.
Do you check your carbon arrows before shooting? You really should follow the manufacturer's suggestions and flex your shafts before shooting to check for cracks or damage. Unfortunately, most shooters do not do this which can result in a small carbon explosion at firing. One way damage can occur is an arrow impacting a hard object in a target like another shooter's field point left behind when the insert glue failed. By the way, we use Big Shot Targets on our commercial range and think they are great value. Big Shot Target's owner, Al Perelli, uses a Kodabow on his target testing facility. Why? Kodabow has proven to be the only crossbow that holds up to high use rates without failure during target testing. Think we are kidding. Call Al and ask him at http://bigshottargets.com/ Like we said..... 9 days straight.
Get ready for Spring Turkey hunting with your Kodabow. Be safe.
Thank you for supporting our business --- from your friends at Kodabow.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How to shoot 2,000 Crossbow Arrows

2,000 arrows fired at the Eastern Sports Show! Ask anyone who visited with Kodabow at this very large trade show that just wrapped us this week. 2,000 arrows --- and it required 9 days of straight shooting and we did it with a single crossbow. Zero issues.
We had a chance to talk with a lot of hunters. Here is one of the best lines.
One gent told us the following about the brand of crossbow he owned: "My dealer said I shouldn't shoot my crossbow a lot. He said the crossbows they make today are really meant to be shot a few times and then only hunted with. If you shoot too much, you will have problems with the limbs, cams and cables." That is not the type of product we make at Kodabow. You get what you pay for. Sadly, sometimes you might not even get that. Reminds us of an old Linda Ronstadt song that says something about how bad you feel if you ever were taken for money. We have a lot of confidence in our product. As shown in this photo, we would not shoot with your kids if we didn't also shoot with our own children. A Kodabow is built to hunt and the bow will stand up to hard use. A Kodabow hunter told us he actually ran over his Kodabow with his truck after forgetting it was leaning against one of his wheels. No issues except a slightly bent stirrup. Several hunters drop their Kodabow crossbows from their treestands and we hear those stories. "The bow banged its way down the metal steps but what was amazing is that it still shot accurately." One very nice lady dropped her Kodabow from her treestand but was embarrassed and reluctant to mention the mishap to her husband until after she bagged her deer.
At this trade show, we banged our limb ends into the floor and then fired off an arrow. You would never do that with a cam bow or most recurves because the limb ends are relatively fragile on most bows. We had huge crowds who listened to our presentations on how to safely carry your crossbow in the woods (Answer: Kodabow EL-2 Sling) or how to finish your hunt safely by unloading your crossbow into the ground, discharge target or using the Kodabow Decocking Aid. We also provide advice on good shooting practices such as ..... Never placing your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot. We find that about 60% of all shooters at these trade shows immediately put a finger on the trigger when they first pick up a crossbow. This is how accidental discharges happen with handguns, rifles and even crossbows. 40% of the shooters have good shooting habits and check the safety status of the crossbow, get a good sight picture and then only address the trigger. More often than not, it is the young shooters who have been properly trained that do the best and actually shoot most accurately. The kids listen very well. If you have the chance, get the Kodabow Experience.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Archery Trade Show - 2012

Kodabow just returned from the 2012 Archery Trade Show held this week in Columbus, Ohio. (January 2012)
We had a great show. This is an "industry show" and is primarily attended by the media, manufacturers, dealers and distributors. It is an opportunity to stand on a carpet for 8 hours a day over three days. Deer hunting in 50 mph winds in a 40 foot high treestand is easier. As an attendee, we opted to have a shooting lane as well as a booth. Many dealers were seeking out Kodabow looking to add Kodabow to their stores .......and in many cases, they were replacing existing big name crossbow lines. You will see these dealers in 2012. Our reputation as a quality and dependable US crossbow maker is growing fast.

Thank you to Big Shot Targets for supplying us with their new range target for the three day event. (Very nice and VERY LARGE target that we avoided hauling around.) On the shooting line, if we had a dime for every time someone said this Kodabow trigger is "the best crossbow trigger available", we would have about $10.50 which is a lot of dimes when you think about it.

There were 513 companies attending ATA and just over 60 companies were new exhibitors so there were plenty of booths up and down the aisles and things to see. There is a company --- their name we can't remember but their tag line we cannot forget.
We say "Strike with Deadly Precision".
They say "The Worth of Transcend. Time and Space." Who can argue with that.

One big improvement over last year was our location -- last year, we were across from the skunk scent company. Not good. Kodabow is moving up in the world so we had clean air in 2012. Some manufacturers show products a little ahead of their time at ATA and every once in awhile, these bows don't work so well on the shooting line and quickly and covertly disappear never to be seen again. Loud noises are not good. It is OK. Things happen.

We enjoy the the writers and editors --- this should be no surprise but in some settings, a large amount of paid advertising by a company results in a very favorable magazine product review regardless of actual product performance. (Didn't someone say you can't believe everything you read?) Other editors tell it straight up. Those editors are better. We think there are about 500 outdoor TV Shows on various networks now and it seems like everyone is filming their hunts. We sponsor two young men who host a show called Killbillies Outdoors. They are a lot of fun to be around. If you have some free time, start your own TV Show and stop by the Kodabow booth next year. Everybody needs work so that is how the game is played.

We enjoy talking with attendees and dealers since they visit from all over the US and overseas. Competitors are also always nosing around comically acting "as if they are not nosing around." We suppose it is better to have the competitor companies show interest in Kodabow technology than if they all walked past without stopping. They all stop. It is nice to be noticed. One competitor engineer was pulling our Kodabow pretty hard thinking we must have designed the world's worst trigger. Eventually, he figured out that he still had the crossbow on SAFE. We say nothing in these situations .... well...maybe a "Mmmmm". Look for a Kodabow ATA video that we will post shortly. Glad to be back and off the carpet. Looking forward to the Eastern Outdoor Sports Show next -- February 4th. See you there.