Gillo Gold Medal G1

Vittorio and Michelle Frangilli have developed a new riser, the Gillo Gold Medal G1.

I have been following their progress on Facebook and Archery talk where they’ve been dropping hints of what’s to come. This past week they posted pictures and information about the riser. Vittorio Frangilli wrote the following:

Michelle Frangilli G1

Michelle Frangilli will debut the G1 in competition in Antalaya, Turkey for the 3rd stage of the World Cup.

“This riser is the sum of our 20 years experience in riser design, made by archers for archers and targeted to people that know what they want from a riser: performance and reliability, with minimum frills and minimum price”.

The riser is designed so it can be used as either a barebow platform or for recurve archery. Michelle Frangilli will be debuting their riser on June 10 in Antalaya, Turkey where the 3rd stage of the World Cup is being held.

The Frangilli’s have a long history of design and testing with risers such as  the Bernadini Ghibly, Best Zenit, Spigarelli VBS 2001, and the Luxor 27″. Their objectives as put by them, are:

  • ” Make a riser based on Best Zenit super tested winning geometries, but more versatile in balancing for both recurve and Bare Bow.”
  •  “Make a riser cheaper than Best Zenit, more close in price to the Best Moon in the basic version. Target retail price in Europe for the 25″ is 399.00 Euro only”

By the way that is aprox $ 550 US. Details on the G1 below:

Gillo G1 riser info

G1 optional accessories:

Gillo G1 riser info 2

Bare bow Cover – external weights:

Barebow options Gillo G1

Internal handle disk weights:

Gillo G1 weight system

With six stabilizer holes, integral weights in the body and a combination of external barebow weights available, this riser will provide an archer many options for apportioning weight, and balance to their bows.

This is what Vittorio had to say on the subject:

“This riser is born to make all archers happy about the number of possibilities they will get to make its balance different. Combining all standard options available, you will be able to reach more than 150 balance combinations without adding any stabilizer or weight to the 6 (six) x 5/16-24 stabilizers holes. But then you wil have even more possibilities adding additional weights to the 3 front holes of the special Bare bow covers, if you use it. A real toy that will fill your time for a long future… just trying to find the right combination for you.”

The riser has plenty of nice details, like a partially recessed sight window to keep clicker fasteners out of view, and I really like the windows that allow you to see limb information and limb bolt inner works, see pics:

 

Gillo G1

Gillo G1 BB

If you are a barebow archer this riser is like hitting the jackpot, the Frangilli’s have really made great efforts in providing BB accessories. The barebow external weights in aluminum (270gr) and in steel (790 gr) can also be mounted upside down for a totally different feel. Somebody on the net calculated 320 different ways to add weight and personalize the feel of this riser by also using the holes on the barebow external weights.

So, where do you get one?  The ones I know about are (undoubtedly more to come):

Congratulations to the Frangilli’s on what appears to be a real winner.

Tuning cheat sheet

Do you have a hard time remembering tuning rules?

I do.

To help myself out I made a reference card that hangs on my quiver. It is helpful when I can’t remember if tightening the spring on my plunger moves the arrow left or right, or if bareshafts left of the fletched group indicate stiff spine or weak spine, etc.

tuning cheat sheet

I am right handed so the stuff on this sheet is of course for right handed shooters. There are plenty of rules missing, I just jot the rules I can’t easily remember.

Not all the rules are on this sheet just the stuff I sometimes have to scratch my head a bit to remember.  It saves me having to stop what I’m doing, go inside and look it up. It is also helpful at the range where I don’t want to carry a reference book around or to help somebody out who is tuning their rig.

I find having one useful. If you decide to make one up, customize it with the info you need.

C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Archery and numb fingers

I first experienced numbness and tingling in my fingers while shooting barebow with a thin Damascus glove. The numbness didn’t go away, so after dealing with non-feeling fingers for a while I tried a bit of medical tape around the affected fingers in addition to the glove.

Med tape on fingers

The tape worked but was a chore because I had to apply it every time I picked up a bow. I also had to be precise with how much tape I put on, as varying amounts affected my shots differently. Suffice it to say that it didn’t take me long to make my way back to the land of tabs, and leave the Damascus glove behind.

Cavalier tab

A tab with two layers of leather was certainly better than my thin glove had been but after breaking it in, I found myself experiencing numb fingers again. This time, I did some research on the web and in the varying archery forums. I found that this wasn’t uncommon. I also learned that it wasn’t something to mess with as it could be a sign of amongst other things, tissue damage and or nerve damage. Yikes!

Should this be happening to you, stop. Take a break and give your fingers time to heal, you may also consider checking in with your doc. Nothing to mess with.

While searching the web for answers, the recommendations that made sense, and seemed to be voiced over and over were as follows:

  • Vittorio Frangilli, author of The Heretic Archer, coach, and father of champion archer, Michelle Frangilli, suggests 1mm of leather on your tab for every 10 pounds of weight being pulled.
  •  1 tab layer for every 10 pounds of weight.
  • Deep hook – Using proper deep finger hooking technique will help keep your fingers safe and numb free.
3 layer tab

Top to bottom layers – Cordovan leather, super leather and suede at the bottom.

I was already using a deep hook so I focused on rebuilding the leather layers of my tabs. I knew I wanted strong and smooth cordovan for the face or first layer. I wanted a good solid second layer but I wanted it to be less money than cordovan. Economical but tough Super leather fit that bill, as for the bottom layer or the area which rests against your fingers. I went with the comfortable, and traditionally used, suede.

Finger tab

One of the challenges of adding extra thickness is that the fasteners, for my AAE Elite finger tab, now had less reach. On my first tab which had a used cordovan face, the fasteners fit fine. I had to push while turning to get them to bite, but it worked.

screwdriver countersinking tab fastener holes

Using a number 2 Phillips screwdriver as a rough countersink so the fasteners will seat into the leather.

On my second tab which had newer layers and a whisper more thickness, I couldn’t get all the screws to catch. I happened to have a number 2 Phillips head screwdriver nearby, with it I worked the holes of the suede layer, rotating the screwdriver to and fro with a bit of pressure. This acted as a coarse countersink and allowed the remaining flat head machine screws to seat into the leather and thread into the aluminum face. I used blue Loctite on the threads, as I’ve had the screws work themselves loose in the past, and be lost forever.

P1010699

The next step in the process was to shoot the new tabs in. The additional layer, did in fact do it’s job, and eliminated the tingling and numbness in my fingers. I had also read an interesting comment by John Magera, (archer, olympian, coach and online mentor to many) that the additional thickness of the tab would help to smooth the release. I found this to be true. His exact comment in Archery talk’s FITA/JOAD forum is below:

“Another benefit of adding enough layers to your tab is that it promotes a more relaxed string hand and can lead to a smoother release. When both hands are comfortable and relaxed, you can focus on the tension in your back much easier.”

I had gone up one additional tab layer and replaced a bunch of my old leather with new leather. Now that it was all assembled I was curious as to what the thickness of the tab layers was so I used a simple caliper and measured 5 mm of thickness on my older tab and 5.5 mm of thickness on my newer tab which had all new leather.

My older tab, more broken in tab measured in at 5 mm.

My older tab,  2 new layers and 1  broken in layer, measured in at 5 mm.

My newer tab with newer layers measured in at 5.5 mm's.

My newer tab with all new layers measured in at 5.5 mm’s.

By Frangilli’s guideline (1mm for every 10 lbs) I should be able to pull up to 50 pounds with the 5 mm of leather in place, I achieved 5mm of thickness with 3 tab layers. The other guideline noted was, one tab layer for every 10 pounds, so the same 50 pounds would be 5 tab layers. A difference of two tab layers for the same theoretical weight.

Is somebody wrong? I think not. The thing to remember is that these are guidelines, places to start, both could be correct depending on the quality and thickness of materials used. Think cordovan vs a softer material, like suede.

I would say that every archer has to make the decision of what to use for a schedule of materials based on what they’re pulling for weight, feel, trial and error, money, and whatever else makes it right for them.

As for myself, the numbness is gone and my shot is improved. Life is good!

 

20 Reasons Archery is the Best Sport EVER – Archery 360

This excellent little article was posted in Archery 360, click on the picture below to go to Archery 360 to check it out.

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Spigarelli Explorer II – a review

Last spring I purchased a Spigarelli Explorer II. Previously I had been shooting a Spigarelli Barebow which, by the way, is an excellent riser for those who delve into the mysteries of barebow archery, barebow risers tend to be heavy though and I wanted a
lighter riser where I could customize the balance of the bow by apportioning weight where I wanted on the riser body and still not end up with too heavy a bow.

Spig Explorer in snow

The Spigarelli Explorer II has been a good solution for me. It is thoughtfully designed and a versatile platform for shooting either FITA or barebow archery.

The 25 inch Spig Explorer II riser weighs in at 2 pounds 10 oz (1.194 kg) with the grip mounted. Making it a comfortable mid weight riser.

What makes this riser so flexible are the many options for distributing weight. There are 3 stabilizer bushings on the back of the riser (the side that faces the target), and two additional bushings to add counterweight on the belly of the riser.

Bottom and middle stabilizer bushings

Bottom and middle stabilizer bushings

P1010406

Top bushing

Spig mid counterweight

Mid counterweight

Lower belly bushing

Bottom counterweight

Lastly there are two slots for internal handle weights. These teardrop slots take 7.4 oz (210 grams) Spigarelli weights which can be inserted into either the top, bottom or both slots. Should you choose to add both weights you’re adding nearly a pound of additional weight to the bottom half of the riser body.

P1010375

Weight in top teardrop slot of handle

P1010372

Fastener holds the weight firmly, no vibrations/noise

P1010368

Weight in bottom teardrop slot.

One of the things that attracts me to this riser is the design, it is well thought out, functional and attractive. Take the teardrop slots for example, they reduce the weight of the overall riser, play a part in the appearance of the riser and double as receptacles for the internal weights.

Other interesting design niceties are the recessed sight window, which gives you a clean view eliminating or minimizing screw heads that protrude into the sight picture. Smart clicker design, which has a formed drop/indentation at the tip, allowing for a visual cue by the inward movement of the clicker as you draw the last couple millimeters of the arrow. There are also clicker reference marks machined into the riser. Spigarelli has gone a long way to account for the details enhancing an archer’s experience.

Recessed sight window

Recessed sight window also see clicker fold  which gives visual cue, when arrow is a couple of mm’s from end and machined clicker reference lines.

Included with the riser comes a clicker, an adjustable clicker plate, a stick on magnetic rest, tools and a handsome riser pouch (The arrow rest that is shown is not the provided rest it is a Spigarelli ZT rest, which I like because of it’s adjustability).

Clicker plate

Clicker plate

Adjustable clicker plate

Clicker plate can be adjusted out or in with a machine screw.

Limbs can be aligned by removing the two locking set screws on the outside of the riser and then adjusting the limb by tightening/loosening the inner set screws on either side of the riser.

LImb aligment screws

Adjusting the weight and tiller of the bow is also possible by tightening/loosening the limb bolts. The limb bolts can then be locked down by a machine screw on the belly of the riser.

Limb bolt

Limb bolt

Locking machine screws for limb bolts

Locking machine screws for limb bolts

The wooden grip that is provided with this riser, didn’t do it for me, so I purchased an aftermarket Jager grip. When I decided I wanted to try a higher wrist grip, I modified the wooden grip that came included. If you plan to purchase a Spigarelli riser be aware that you may want to modify the grip or purchase an aftermarket grip.

Modified Spig grip

Modified Spigarelli grip

The polished anodized finish on the riser is good. I did however find a couple of places (not obvious) where if I looked closely I saw  machining marks. See pic below:

Machine mark on Spig

This is not a big deal to me, as the rest of the riser outweighs the couple marks on it but it may be for you, as I mentioned they are not obvious.

The Spigarelli Explorer II is a nicely designed mid-weight riser, it has many options for stabilizers and weight that will work well with a FITA setup or barebow, it also has many design details which may enhance your archery experience, it is nicely finished, and comes with some extras like a clicker, clicker plate and magnetic rest. The grip isn’t great but there are options for after market grips and or you can modify the existing grip. I did find some machining marks on my riser, I don’t know if this is true of all Explorer II’s, the marks I found were not obvious and do not detract from the overall look and feel of this gear.  As of this writing a Spigarelli Explorer II can be had for $375.00 to $400.00 dollars.

For those that are looking for a solid mid-level riser, the Explorer II is a good choice and worthy of consideration. If barebow is your thing but you want a riser that can also be used for a FITA setup, the flexibility of this riser fits the bill perfectly.

2013 in review

Wishing all a great 2014!  – Charles Lopez

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 59,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 22 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Changes..

In my last post I reviewed my Spigarelli Barebow and then promptly sold it… Sounds bad doesn’t it?

Spigarelli Barebow riser.

Spigarelli Barebow riser, it just looks badass doesn’t it?

I sold it for a couple of reasons, the first is I’ve taken an interest in Olympic type archery and I wanted a more appropriate riser and two I’ve developed a nagging bit of tennis elbow which gets worse with a heavy setup (and a low grip).

I did want to get some information out on this riser though as there isn’t enough said about these nicely designed and well thought out  barebow risers, hence my review.

I knew that I wanted my next riser to be lighter for an Olympic setup but have many options for controlling where I could apportion weight. I also wanted enough flexibility in the riser that I could still shoot it barebow, a tall order!

I spent a fair amount of time going through specs and in the end chose another Spigarelli. I really do like the detailing and thought that the Italians bring to the table and the Spigs have captured my admiration. If all goes well my local shop “Lakeside Archery” will have a Grey Spigarelli Explorer 2 waiting for me when I show up after work on Friday.

My wife and kids will be out of town for the weekend so aside from some chores I am planning a bachelor weekend of tuning and setting this bow up.

So, please help me out and cross your fingers that the UPS driver doesn’t have a bad day and leave my package on the loading dock…

Best, C.