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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.