How to Really Test a Compound Bow
We teamed up with Stress Engineering to run a battery of tests on this year's crop of compounds
Video footage by Alex Robinson, edited by the author.
For the objective components of this year’s compound test, we partnered with Stress Engineering Services, a consulting firm that tests everything from rifles to treestands at its Ohio-based outdoor division, for the second year. Bows were set to IBO specs and verified by the staff of Broken Rack Archery in Batavia, Ohio. We then shot them through a Hooter Shooter inside a semi-anechoic (echo-free) chamber. We calculated speed using a chronograph, a fletchless 350-grain arrow, and a capture-style rest. Draw cycle is an evaluation of a compound’s overall feel throughout the draw curve. (Stress also measured draw-force curves to confirm tester impressions.) Multiple microphones recorded noise, and Stress filtered the data to account for how we perceive sound. Stress measured vibration with a micro-accelerometer and applied a hand-arm perception filter.
To see the results from the bow and crossbow test, pick up a copy of our Summer issue or check out the story online.