Nock, Nock..

As we become better archers and our groups get smaller, broken nocks get to be a fact of life. They are in fact a sign that you’re coming along, busting nocks left and right.

Handful of nocks

Along with getting better we also need to become more aware. Checking our arrows, nocks and tips as we pull them off the target.

When you break a complete leg off a nock it’s easy to tell you have a problem. Even if you miss it at the bale you won’t be able to nock it onto the string, the damage is too great.

Damaged nock

At first sight this nock looks fine, if you look closely though you can see where it has been struck. The legs have actually changed shape and this nock is not secure on the string.

The problem comes when you strike a nock enough to damage it. The nock at first glance looks fine, both legs are there, however it may have a small crack or it may have changed shape and the nock no longer grips the string securely.

When I nock an arrow onto the string I am listening for a “click”. If the nock is sized to the string\serving  correctly you should hear an audible “click” as the nock clears the string and snaps on. The sound may be faint depending on the fit of the nock to the string but should be there, if you don’t hear an audible “click” – STOP.

Nock - Dead on

STOP and check the nock carefully, look for any visual damage. If you find any put that arrow out of commission until you get a chance to replace the nock. If you’re unsure nix it from the bunch until you can trade the nock out and re-test it.

Broken nocks can lead to dry firing a bow, wild arrows and even to someone getting hurt. Have enough arrows in your quiver that putting one out of commission is not a big deal and is an easy decision. Having spare nocks on hand is helpful and you can swap them out at the first opportunity.

When you break nocks also check your arrows. A broken nock can mean a damaged arrow. Look carefully, flex the arrow if it’s carbon and be sure. Don’t shoot damaged arrows, just don’t.

This arrow didn't only break the nock it also damaged the arrow.

This arrow didn’t only break the nock it also damaged the arrow.

The nock bushing on this aluminum arrow has had plenty of glancing blows but the arrow and nock are fine.

The nock bushing on this aluminum arrow has had plenty of glancing blows but the arrow and nock are fine.

Your first indication that you may have damaged a nock is sound. While you’re standing on the line sending arrows downrange if the sound of the arrow hitting the butt is different make sure to check your nocks carefully when you retrieve your arrows.

It may be nothing, just a glancing blow but it may be something so stay aware and in control of your archery experience, for yourself and for those around you.


2013 NFAA Maine Indoor State Championship and 2012 – 2013 Maine Shooter of the year

I wanted to give a big shout out and a word of thanks to Tom and Jess Hartford for hosting the Maine State Indoor Championship this past weekend at their facility, Central Maine Archery. There was a lot of work to do and Tom and Jess stepped to the challenge. They in turn were helped by many volunteers from the archery community and of course by the driving force behind it all, the Maine Archery Association. Thanks to all for making it such a success!

Tom and Jess Hartford

Tom and Jess Hartford

I should also mention that Tom and Jess raffled of a new PSE compound bow and a year’s worth of free range time for a whole family. Nice.

There were shooting times Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the last shooters wrapping up on Sunday afternoon. There were some very exciting moments were I got to be a spectator and watch some outstanding archers compete head to head during tie break shoot outs for their class and some positively nail biting competition during the Triple Crown Finale.

I found myself really enjoying being a spectator during these events.

Jon Thompson and Levi Cyr battle for 1st place.

Jon Thompson and Levi Cyr battle for 1st place.

Callie Gallant and George Tarr during the shootout for the Triple Crown.

Callie Gallant and George Tarr during the shootout for the Triple Crown.

Callie Gallant and Joe Wilkin

Callie Gallant and Joe Wilkin shoot for 1st and 2nd place with Callie taking a nailbiting 1st.

Callie took first for the Triple Crown which was a money shoot earning herself some loot and bragging rights. I have to mention though that Joe Wilkin shot an outstanding round for the Triple Crown and also shot the State championship despite being on crutches and having to hobble around – that’s dedication!

1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners 2013 Maine Indoor State Championship

Winners for the 2013 Maine Indoor State Championship

2012-2013 Shooters of the Year

2012-2013 Shooters of the Year

As for me, I ended as Shooter of the Year in the barebow class which wasn’t terribly difficult seeing as I was the sole archer shooting the class and I came in first in the State Championship for barebow. I was far from my best though. Kudos to fellow barebow archer Dave Toner who took 2nd. Nice to have company.

They give you a bunch of neat stuff when you win, certificates, medals, patches, I even got a hat but the coolest by far is this belt buckle:

Shooter of the year buckleNext shoot is this Sunday at Lakeside Archery for the Traditional Classic, hope to see you there.

Jager Grip

The grip is one of two places where you connect with your bow, having it be comfortable, conducive to being repeatable and less likely to induce torque are  important considerations when you’re deciding how you will interface with your bow.

My Spigarelli Barebow came with a wooden grip that I thought might work out but after shooting it for a few weeks I chose to go with a lower wrist aftermarket grip.

Spigarelli stock grip

Spigarelli stock grip

I had gotten in touch with Paul Jager of Jager Archery prior to buying my bow in case the stock grip didn’t work out and to make sure he could supply a grip for a Spigarelli and of course he could.

I ordered through his website which was simple and straightforward and received an email a couple of days later which allowed me to pay with a credit card.

Paul has many options for custom colors and combinations of colors. You can of course just have a single color which is what I wanted.

Jager grip

You can get his grips in solid polyurethane which most of us are familiar with or solid with an added layer of firm rubber, which is cast as part of the grip, he refers to it as a palm pad. I asked for the palm pad with some hesitation because I’d never tried it and didn’t know if I’d like it, but plunge I did.

Jager Grip, low grip 2

Now that I have it and I’ve been shooting it for a couple of weeks I wouldn’t want anything else. This is not a soft or spongy layer. It is firm with just enough give for a more tactile or grippy feel not compression.

Jager grip 3

In his website it is referred to as a dual durometer grip.  I had to look up the word durometer but basically it means different levels of hardness.

Prices for these grips at this writing are $49.95 for solid black or brown which includes shipping in the US or $59.95 for swirls and or multicolors shipping in the US included. Add $10.00 for international shipping.

I get a kick out of Paul’s website, there are a couple blurbs around his site that show a bit of his spirit. The following is from his order page:

  • Lastly, if you are having a problem, let us know. If you are nice we can usually fix it quickly, if you are a jerk, we can still fix it, but it takes considerably longer.

I got a chuckle out of that one. So be nice and as Paul Jager says  Get a grip!