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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.