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  #1  
Old 03-12-2020, 08:39 AM
Nala Nala is offline
 
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Default How Critical is a Plunger on a Target Bow?

Hey all,

Question I'd like to get some info on, if you don't mind. I have never set up or used a target style bow so if my questions are absurd or just plain dumb, I apologize.

I am wondering how important a plunger is in setting up a target ILF bow. The only riser I have that a plunger could be used is my Morrison 17" ILF aluminum riser. When I looked into possibly using a plunger on it, I was told that I could use a simple bolt to achieve the same results. I got the bolt and put it in place and didn't notice any improvement in arrow flight so I took it off shortly after and haven't used one since.

So, can you school me on the use of a plunger with the rest on a target bow? Is one really needed or no?
Any info you care to give me will be appreciated.

Thanks
Larry
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2020, 09:06 AM
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Mike Lawless Mike Lawless is offline
 
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Default Re: How Critical is a Plunger on a Target Bow?

Needed? No.
Desirable? Yes. But a solid bolt is no better than a fur pad as far as compressibility. I reckon in order to get the full benefit of a plunger, one should use an adjustable plunger.
I have a bow set up for (pardon the overused term) "Trad Only" shoots that has to be shot off the rest. No elevated rests or plungers allowed. So I use a furniture leg felt cushion that puts the arrow in the correct lateral position. It shoots pretty dang good. The key is to find the correct thickness for your particular riser. Make fine adjustments with layers of two-sided tape
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2020, 09:09 AM
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Hank D Thoreau Hank D Thoreau is offline
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Default Re: How Critical is a Plunger on a Target Bow?

For a target shooter there is a clear advantage. A plunger is like the fine tuner on old analog televisions. It helps refine your tune in a way that is difficult to do with a hard set center shot. It also helps mitigate the impact of a poor release. When the bow is set up the arrow tip is just outside of center. As the arrow is released the arrow bends and puts pressure on the plunger causing the spring to depress, moving the arrow into center shot position. If you have a poor release, the spring will act to cushion the impact of the arrow against the bow and to keep the arrow as close to center shot position as possible. It is the relationship between center shot and spring tension that creates the proper tune.

At a tournament, or in the field, the advantage is that you can compensate for day to day variations in how you shoot. I have moved an arrow four inches at indoor distances using plunger adjustments. When I was shooting FITA target I would do final adjustments during warmup to ensure that my arrows were hitting the center line of the target. If you do not use a plunger then you will be at a disadvantage.
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  #4  
Old 03-12-2020, 09:17 AM
lumis17 lumis17 is online now
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Default Re: How Critical is a Plunger on a Target Bow?

IMO, they're not needed, but they can be very helpful in tuning your bow to your arrow. You can more easily dial in your tune from good to great with just a few turns instead of messing with your limb bolts, tip weight, or arrow length. Also, once you get it dialed in you can also use it to change your point-of-impact, which can be helpful during shoots (just remember to change it back!). With my target setup I can make the arrow go from the left edge of the paper to the right edge of the paper just by decreasing or increasing the plunger tension.

Just from a shooting perspective, the general thinking is that plungers are more forgiving of a bad release, but I think a great tune shooting off the shelf is more forgiving than an okay tune using a plunger.

If you're happy with your setup then I wouldn't sweat it, but, if not, then give on a try.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:24 AM
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Hank D Thoreau Hank D Thoreau is offline
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Default Re: How Critical is a Plunger on a Target Bow?

Comparing a well tuned bow to an "okay" tuned bow is apples to oranges. Keep in mind that if you do not have the skill or experience to tune a bow well then you will have a much easier time doing so with a plunger. My assumption is that when someone is asking about a target bow then points are the critical measure. A plunger gives you a better chance of scoring more point because it will be easier to get a good tune, more forgiving to form variations, and you can make adjustments for day to day variation in how you are shooting. If points are not the measure, then the answer may be different.
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:24 AM
lumis17 lumis17 is online now
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Default Re: How Critical is a Plunger on a Target Bow?

Yes, tuning is easier with a plunger if you know what you're doing, but I've seen many people use a plunger incorrectly. Plungers are for fine-tuning, but I've seen people decrease plunger tension when they should be cutting inches off their arrow. People need to be able to shoot semi-tight groups and be able to bareshaft tune out to ~20 yards to really make use of a plunger IMO.

Essentially, I'm just trying to convey that plungers are not a cure for bad tuning or bad shooting. If the OP is a good shooter then a plunger will help, but if he isn't then it's not going to do much at this stage.
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  #7  
Old 03-12-2020, 11:04 AM
reddogge reddogge is offline
 
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Default Re: How Critical is a Plunger on a Target Bow?

I use a Beiter on my 25" Gillo riser for indoor and outdoor NFAA field shooting. Like Hank mentioned above I can move my arrows indoor several inches using the spring loaded barrel depending on how I'm shooting that day. Sometimes I have to fine tune during the round. For field archery I can fine tune for distance over the 20 yard mark. Getting good arrow flight generally is acheived beforehand using the right and left adjustment of the center shot.

For 3-D and hunting I do not use a plunger.
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Old 03-12-2020, 11:36 AM
Carboniac Carboniac is offline
 
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Default Re: How Critical is a Plunger on a Target Bow?

Its the tuning. As long as you have a damping surface like velcro or furniture pad or plastic rest a bow potentially can shoot very well if tuned. But you dont have the means to easily do the fine adjusting.
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  #9  
Old 03-12-2020, 02:36 PM
hcorrigall hcorrigall is offline
 
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Default Re: How Critical is a Plunger on a Target Bow?

Guess if one could do it any other way,Brady Ellison would be doing it?
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Old 03-12-2020, 03:08 PM
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Hank D Thoreau Hank D Thoreau is offline
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Default Re: How Critical is a Plunger on a Target Bow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcorrigall View Post
Guess if one could do it any other way,Brady Ellison would be doing it?
I wonder what he uses on his hunting bow? It would be a good indicator of how the best approach each discipline. As a target shooter, in a hotbed for target tournaments, a plunger is what I see; it is what we use. I don't see folks on the target line shooting off the shelf or with hard rests.
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  #11  
Old 03-12-2020, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: How Critical is a Plunger on a Target Bow?

If you want one, use one. But you don't have to and as indicated above can be mis-used to compensate for issues that should be corrected. And they can vibrate loose and set screws can be lost while driving to the state championship. That happened to me.

You can get a costly more secure one, or a simpler one like the original Berger button, or use a bolt from the hardware store with a bit of leather on the tip. Or you can just tune with the little white plastic stick-on type rest and spacers, which is what I do on target recurves. (Carry spares.) Longbows I shoot off the shelf.

I can still fine tune on the day and during the match by adjusting the nut on the handle, namely me. If I get up at zero dark thirty and drive 100 miles on a misty morning my arrows do not land where they did yesterday. They hit left and low. I compensate by holding higher and canting everything a bit to the right. As the mist burns off and the sun warms my back the point of impact starts to move back and I compensate back toward normal.

I also use that effect as a sort of form and draw check. If I have a shot hit left and low when I am going OK I know I made a weak shot I and correct that. This has become second nature; I monitor and correct my form all the time. Most errors are in me not in my bow. - lbg
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  #12  
Old 03-13-2020, 07:14 AM
lameduck lameduck is offline
 
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I still don't understand how the plunger could compensate for a bad release. Does it know which exact direction you intend to shoot?
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Old 03-13-2020, 07:23 AM
c_m_shooter c_m_shooter is offline
 
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Default Re: How Critical is a Plunger on a Target Bow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lameduck View Post
I still don't understand how the plunger could compensate for a bad release. Does it know which exact direction you intend to shoot?

Set one up and shoot it. I was surprised how much my ILF bow with a plunger was hiding my bad release. As soon as I picked up a couple bows that shoot off the shelf my groups immediately spread out in horizontal strings. My 3d scores dropped from 280's to 250's.
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Old 03-13-2020, 07:37 AM
Carboniac Carboniac is offline
 
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Default Re: How Critical is a Plunger on a Target Bow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lameduck View Post
I still don't understand how the plunger could compensate for a bad release. Does it know which exact direction you intend to shoot?
Its the damping effect. The worst part of a bad release is the inconsistency. Think of trying to toss and roll(like bowling) a ping pong ball on a floor both with and with out a carpet.

This is also why people who insist on shooting off shelf with no padding at all boggle my mind.
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  #15  
Old 03-13-2020, 07:47 AM
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Hank D Thoreau Hank D Thoreau is offline
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Default Re: How Critical is a Plunger on a Target Bow?

This is how a plunger helps mitigate a bad release. As I pointed out above, the arrow begins outside of center. When it is released it puts pressure on the spring which centers the arrow in the proper position to compensate for paradox. If you have a bad release the shaft will put more pressure on the spring, but the spring will resist. The shaft will go past the optimum center spot but the spring will help keep the arrow close. Without a spring you tune the arrow to center with a hard wall. With a bad release you hit the hard wall harder and the shaft bounces. The hard wall cannot do anything to try to keep the arrow near the optimum center point.
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