Hunting Stabilizers

By Paeton Keller

Front Bar

USIAC 2016 Florida 004There are multiple functions that a front stabilizer performs. First, and most obvious, is to add weight to the front of the bow. Many times, an archer may notice that when the bow is completely set up including a quiver full of arrows, that the bow feels as if it wants to fall over towards the archer. Adding a front stabilizer will help create a more overall balanced bow which in turn will result in greater consistency. Another function that a front stabilizer performs is to reduce and torque in the bow. By placing weight away from the bow (further from the center of gravity), an archer will increase the rotational inertia of the bow. This means that it will be more difficult to rotate the bow in your hand, which can help prevent unwanted hand torque in the bow and also increase consistency. Lastly, some stabilizers also perform vibration dampening function which can also reduce noise.

Sidebar & Backbar

USIAC 2016 Florida 002Just like a front stabilizer, adding a side/back mounted stabilizer can have many advantages. The most notable of these advantages is balance. Without a sidebar, an archer will notice that the bow will feel like it wants to fall over towards the side that the quiver is on. A sidebar is often used to counteract the weight of anything mounted to the opposite side as the stabilizer. Right handed archers will be inclined to set up a sidebar on the left side of their bow to counteract the weight of the sight, rest, and quiver on the right side of the bow (vise versa for left handed archers). In addition, a side stabilizer, similar to a front bar, will increase the bow’s overall rotational inertia.  By adding balance and increasing rotational inertia, an archer will be able to gain consistency when shooting and ultimately gain accuracy.

Setup

To determine what your bow will need to achieve the maximum accuracy, first you must determine what setup is most ideal for your hunting style. Most hunters like to keep their setup compact and lightweight as possible. This may mean something different to each individual, but generally, archers who want to use a front and rear stabilizer system tend to choose an 8 inch front bar with a 6 inch side bar. Other common combinations include 10 inch and 8 inch or 12 inch and 10 inch. As seen in target archers, hunters have found that a front bar that is slightly longer than the side/rear stabilizer creates better overall balance. BeeStinger’s “Xtreme Kit” allows an archer to setup a front and rear stabilizers along with all the required mounting hardware. This is a perfect started to allow each individual to begin experimenting with balance to create the most accurate setup possible. Next step is to determine what position and weight is needed to balance your bow. Because every archer and bow setup is different, there is no “perfect” combination. In other words, the only way to find the idea spot for your own setup is to experiment!

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