Archery Shooting Glasses – Archery Sunglasses by Bolle

If you are like me when I am shooting outside, I can’t stand squinting at the target or having the wind blow in my face too much. So how can I solve this without spending hundreds of pounds on Pilla archery sunglasses. I wouldn’t mind trying some Pilla glasses but I don’t want to spend the money, plus you are supposed to wear them around 30mins before shooting and not take them off during.

My first idea was to just wear some general cheap sunglasses. Simple enough and cheap, but they block out too much light and make the target appear dark as well.

So I went and purchased some reasonably cheap Bolle Cobra glasses with yellow lenses. These are a wrap-around design with no central obstruction. They slightly enhance the gold, stop glare, are comfortable, don’t fall off your face and don’t fog. I quite liked them.

A year on from purchasing them I was contacted by a UK glasses retailer called ‘nothingbutsafetyglasses’. NothingButSafetyGlasses.com offered to send me a selection of Bolle glasses with different lenses in. I had advised them of what archers are looking for in a pair of glasses.

• Light weight
• Comfortable fit
• Enhance the target face
• Reduce glare
• Anti-fog
• and of course look good!

They ended up sending 5 pairs of glasses, here is the list of what they sent:

• Bolle Bandido II + Smoke Lens £5
• Bolle Contour + Polarized Lens £40
• Bolle Spider + Flash Lens £8
• Bolle Rush + Twilight Lens £5
• Bolle Cobra + Contrast Lens £8

All glasses came with neck cords to fit around your head or neck and to keep your glasses on. Most glasses also came with a soft microfibre pouch.

Some of the models did have a central obstruction, so immediately these were not my favourites. But this test really came down to outdoor archery use, so I was keeping an open mind until I used them on the field.

Bolle Bandido + Smoke Lens

These reminded me of bug eye sunglasses, as the lens part of the frame are very round and shaped. A great design and very comfortable but a bit too brown for archery really. For normal use they would be fine.

Bolle Contour + Polarised Lens

This type of lens is more expensive, but I really like the frames. These are very lightweight and the lenses are really good. I shot in these outdoors and unlike normal sunglasses these did not darken everything as much. They provided the correct amount of darkening whilst I was still able to clearly shoot, maybe because they remove reflected glare from the target face as well. One of my favourites.

Bolle Spider + Flash Lens

These have the rainbow effect lens (or multicolour lenses) in them, so look quite trendy and beach ready. Although they are great for being outside in direct sunlight I did not like them for archery, but I do really like them as a standard pair of sunglasses.

Bolle Rush + Twilight Lens

A really nice frame with the twilight lens, which is good for low light conditions outdoors. We do shoot outdoors until 8pm twice a week so these could be handy at the beginning and end of the season when the sun sets early. But for daytime archery I did not like the lens, although I suppose that is not what they are really for.

Bolle Cobra + Yellow Lens

This is my pair I originally purchased. These are used a lot as shooting glasses for rifle shooting etc. They also seem to be used a lot for night time driving. These are still my favourite lens together with the great Cobra frames. There is no central obstruction and they fit my face really well. They also really do make the target pop out and add some clarity.

Bolle Cobra + Contrast Lens

The same Cobra frame but with a contrast lens gives these a clear look but with a band of silver along the top edge of the lens. For indoors archery in any light they would be great and for outdoor use when the sun is not shining. They really are clear and make me feel like I have gone from watching SD to HD.

Lens Types

Lets run through the types of lenses that I tried in the glasses sent to me:

Smoke Lens

The smoked lens is much the same as you will find in traditional sunglasses but with the added strength of EN166 certified impact resistance on Bolle safety glasses. These will block out up to 87% of visible light. So Smoke lenses are good for full solar protection and reducing glare.

Polarized Lens

When light reflects off a surface at a low angle it reverberates. As this light enters the eye it disperses causes glare. The polarising filter minimises this reverberated light enabling better vision and reduces the need to squint through glare.

Flash Lens

These can be distinguished by their reflective appearance and as such have been very popular regardless of their special properties. Flash lenses are similar to smoked lens in that they filter out roughly 90% of visible light making them excellent for bright outdoor conditions. However, the special properties of this lens also filter out up to 60% of infrared radiation. Over time the heat carried by IR light can cause damage to the Cornea and since IR light is invisible, your eyes it will not adjust to increased exposure. Flash lenses are therefore an excellent choice for working in direct sunlight or an industrial process giving off high temperatures. Flash lens for full solar protection including additional Infrared protection.

Twilight Lens

Twilight lenses are useful for low light conditions outdoors.

Contrast Lens

The contrast lenses have a gradient of tint from dark at the top to clear at the bottom. These are now preferred by many that used to wear clear lenses as they protect from sun glare and lighting above but allow high clarity when working at eye level or below. Contrast lens are good for working under bright lights or sun.

Yellow Lens

The yellow lens will provide additional contrast and reduces glare, making it appear easier to see in low light circumstances. They are very popular when working on surfaces of a similar colour such as snow or on cloudy overcast days. During low light many surfaces can appear flat and the term ‘flat light’ ¬is often used to describe this situation. This can often happen in the middle of an overcast day which make the yellow lens highly popular in the UK.
For lens type indoors our favourite was the Cobra + Contrast Lens. They really did make everything seem brighter. May be not the best choice for a really sunny day. But they would be my ideal choice for an overcast dull day or when light was fading at the end of the day, if the nights were drawing in and shooting went on too long – usually those nights as soon as we go outdoors or just before we move indoors.

Other lens types available

ESP Lens

ESP lens is for reducing harmful blue light.

CSP Lens

The CSP lens is for working in low and bright lights conditions and in extreme temperatures.

HD Lens

The HD lens comes with the highest level or optical clarity and aquaphobic properties (repels water).

Overall Thoughts

I loved trying all these Bolle glasses as they are all very lightweight and comfortable. If I was going to choose my favourites they would be the Cobra Contrast and Cobra Yellow glasses and the Contour with the polarised lenses.

The Cobra range has no central obstruction and they wrap around your face. The yellow lens will intensify colours and make that gold centre stand out even on a cloudy day, but will also remove glare on a bright day. The clear contrast Cobra’s are also very good as they add a lot of contrast and make everything seem sharper and more defined. A great set of glasses for indoor as well. I also liked the Contour frames as they are light and a nice fit. Together with the polarised lens they cut out a lot more light but not as much as a standard pair of sunglasses, so they still work well for shooting. They just don’t intensify the colours on the target face.

A video review has also been produced on YouTube and you can find it here: https://youtu.be/lDTUCsASSa0

Thank you to NothingButSafetyGlasses.com for sending these to review. All glasses can be ordered online from https://www.nothingbutsafetyglasses.com – there are big discounts if multiple quantities of the same glasses are ordered and they have lots of choices of frames and lens types. There is also lots more information on their website about the lens types and they are very helpful.

Using Fibre Optics in Archery Sights

I’ve had my Decut Twant sight for a while now. I ordered the larger diameter sight pin the 1mm. They also come in 0.5 and 0.75mm sizes. Mine came with 2 spare fibre optic pins with another one installed. My pins were the red ones, although now I see in a lot of images online they seem to come with a green fibre optic sight pin.

As mine didn’t come with a green one I decided I wanted to try a green one out. I just think that the red/orange sight pin colour is too close a colour to the yellow and red on the target face. It seems logical to pick a sight pin colour that’s not on the target face.

So as my Decut Tawant was 1mm, I noticed that the Shibuya replacement fibre optic was also 1mm and very cheap at about £2 or £3 a length. So I purchased some and slipped it into my sight. It wasn’t a perfect fit, but one end is thicker than the other.

decut tawant with shibuya fibre optic

Originally I was going to cut the length at about 1 inch and just have that in the sight, but once I put the whole length in I noticed just how bright it really was. Cutting it to about 1 inch was going to make the optic a lot dimmer. So I decided to leave it as it was at full length and just push the other end into some hole on the sight block. As long as it doesn’t come out when shooting I should be fine.

I have shot with a few times now indoors and I really like it. It’s great if the sports hall is not well lit or like me my eyesight does not  seem to be as good as it used to be.

** I have seen in the Archery GB Rules of Shooting that all sight pins or fibre optics are not allowed to extend outwards from the scope more than 2cm before they bend. So be careful of this, I will have to measure mine. I won’t cut it down, but will just make sure it bends more if it needs to.

I have made a video on this, and it’s on my YouTube channel – https://youtu.be/Q7KZTYrMT6U

Avalon Tec X Adjustable Duo V Bar

This is a short review of the Avalon Tec X Adjustable Duo V Bar. The Kinetic Mirage compound starter kit only came with an Avalon Tyro long rod for stabilisation. You see a lot of compound archers using either dual short rods or a single short rod angled down coming from the bow.

A lot of the more expensive higher end compounds have a separate rear stabilisation thread on them, mine does not. So the main alternative is to add a duo V bar or single bar arm into the front of the bow before the long rod goes on.

I had a look round and saw that Avalon produced a Tec X single extension bar for around £15. But then found the double V bar (Avalon Tec X Adjustable Duo V Bar) was only £25. So I ordered this, as a duo version seemed more useful for an extra £10.

avalon v bar duo tec x

I decided that I could either use it on my recurve to try out lowering the side rods so they come down at an angle. At the moment my WiaWis 40 degree V bar is a fixed one. It also meant buying the Avalon Tec X Adjustable Duo V Bar would allow either a single or duo short rods on the compound bow.

The Avalon Tec X Adjustable Duo V Bar comes with just the main V bar and an aluminum washer. It does not come with an Allen key, although most of us have a pile of these. It weighs around 150 grams. This is about 100 grams more than my WiaWis CX2 V Bar.

The Avalon Tec X Adjustable Duo V Bar seems well made and is sturdy. The horizontal and vertical bolts lock in nicely and there is no way it is going to move around. The V bar also has markings on it which is useful for setting up the angles. With it being at the budget end for an adjustable V bar the Avalon Tec X Adjustable Duo V Bar is a brilliant product and recommended.

I have produced a short video review on my YouTube channel.

Archery Video on YouTube

Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel after watching!

Kinetic Mirage Compound Bow Starter Kit

Well after a couple of years of toying about buying a compound bow, I actually went and did it. I watched a couple of videos on YouTube about the Kinetic Mirage bow and it seemed OK. I didn’t want anything second hand as I knew nothing about compound bows. I didn’t want anything too expensive, in case I didn’t get on with a compound bow. Finally I wanted a bow which was easy to alter the draw weight and draw length. I am also glad I didn’t dive in and purchase a bow that was a 50lb or 60lb draw weight. To begin with I struggled with drawing 40lb.

Being a left handed archer it is always difficult to get hold of left handed archery gear. This is whether it’s in stock at the retailer or even in stock at the wholesaler – with is usually Holland or Belgium. It turned out that some LH colours were in stock in the UK but not black. I wanted a black one, and SSA in Belgium were totally out of stock. But luckily Merlin had one left sitting on their shelf. Usually with a bow, especially your first I would recommend buying from a shop in person and getting it sized and set up for you. I didn’t this time I just ordered online.

kinetic mirage

Kinetic Mirage Starter Kit Contents

The Kinetic Mirage arrived quite quickly and you certainly get a lot for your money. This includes:

  • Compound soft case
  • Avalon Tyro long rod
  • wrist trigger release
  • spare D loop material
  • string wax
  • sight and scope 4x magnification
  • arrow rest
  • Kinetic Mirage bow set to 55lbs
  • peep in place (loosely)
  • D loop fitted
  • Set of allen keys
  • Paracord wrist sling

Setting up the Kinetic Mirage

It’s worth noting the instruction manual does not tell you a whole lot, except it does contain a table of the draw length settings that match the letters on the cams.

The Kinetic Mirage bow is initially set to the full 55lbs, each full turn of the bolts makes a change of 3.5lbs. You will need to change this first. Remembering not to complete a full turn of the bolts more than 7 times from totally in to totally out or vice versa.

Then I changed the draw length by moving the fiddly screws on each of the cams. I measured my draw length against a wall finger tip to fingertip and divided by 2.5. Then look in the instruction book for your draw length and the corresponding letter, but now minus 1.5 inches from your draw length and you will have your real draw length and use that corresponding letter from the instruction booklet for setting your draw length on the cams.

The arrow  rest comes with two white sleeves on the prongs you can remove these by sliding them off.

One of the other things I immediately did was to wrap some tennis grip wrap around the handle. The handle is very thin and the metal felt very cold.

When it arrived I did notice some cam lean. I considered this to be a fault but retailers don’t as the bow is still OK to shoot. Merlin offered to look at it, but I did not fancy a 4 hour round trip to to see them. Instead I took it to The Archery Company in Sandy. They helped me a lot to set it up and added a Teflon cable guide and fitted a new D loop. They also helped me tune it a little with a walk back test and removed the cam lean and made sure both cams were in time.

Overall

It’s still early days for me and the bow, but I do enjoy firing it. I have begun scoring some target rounds as well. I can see how you could easily start to upgrade the parts of the Kinetic Mirage bow that can be removed and kept and put them onto your next compound bow.

These would be the arrow rest, sight and scope, smaller peep sight and upgraded release – perhaps a back tension or thumb trigger release.

For more on this I did create a YouTube video – find it here – https://youtu.be/ztGG7aAjNEs – and don’t forget to subscribe to my ArcheryBlog YouTube Channel.

Fletching Arrows with a Decut Nexus Jig

Previously I had learnt how to add arrow wraps and spin wings, but for some reason fletching arrows with feather or plastic vanes scared me. I think it was just about how to use a fletching jig.

I borrowed a Decut Nexus Jig from a friend and instantly thought it was well made and looked easy to use. It has 3 settings on the side, 90 degree, 120 degree recurve and 120 degree compound. 90 degree is for 4 vanes and 120 degree is for 3 vanes. It”s just a matter of clicking the large knob at the end and wait for the audible ‘click’ and you are in position ready to glue!

Make sure your arrows have their nocks on, and then place the arrow in the jog holder. I remembered to also reset both the top and bottom alignment dials of the jig before beginning. These alignment dials allow you to offset your vanes.

decut nexus fletching jig

Next find out how far you want your vanes from the end of your arrows and work this out yourself. Then remember to put your vanes in the clamp at exactly the same location every time.

The hardest thing I found was not getting glue everywhere. I used an AAE Fastset glue out of a metal tube. The tube did keep clogging up, so I had to keep pushing a pin down the nozzle to free it up. I do like the gel glues as they come out slowly, and as the name implies are a gel instead of liquid. Although I am tempted to try a glue bottle, like Dragon Spit next time.

You only need a small run or a number of balls of glue along each vane when it’s in the clamp. Then place the clamp in the jig holding down the clamp firmly so the vane bonds with the arrow shaft. After about 20 seconds, release the clamp and rotate the dial to move onto the next vane.

Overall, don’t be scared about fletching arrows. Buy a good jig, it’s then fun and easy to do. I’m looking forward to fletching some more arrows.

 

Hoyt Carbon ACE Limbs Review

I had been using my Hoyt 720 Carbon limbs for about 9 months when I found a great price on some Hoyt Carbon ACE limbs. I loved my Hoyt 720 limbs and if I had not found these Carbon ACE limbs I would never have upgraded.

Back in 2016 the Hoyt 720 limbs were the kind of the entry level carbon recurve limbs, (there is also the Excel limb which is cheaper) then came the Hoyt Carbon ACE limbs and then the Hoyt Quattro limbs. In 2017 the 720 limbs stopped being produced and were replaced by the Hoyt 840 limb. The Carbon ACE limbs were still being produced but the Hoyt Quattro limbs where replaced by the Carbon X Tour limbs which are available with a foam core or bamboo core.

Hoyt ACE limbs vs Hoyt 720 limbs

The Hoyt Carbon ACE limbs at RRP are nearly double the price, but what is the difference? Well the 720 Carbon limbs have a wood core whilst the Carbon ACE limbs have a foam core. Some people prefer a wood core, as on the Hoyt Quattro you could actually choose between the two. I think some people are worried the foam core limbs will weaken and snap.

When un-boxing the Hoyt Carbon ACE limbs you still get the nice Hoyt limb covers, a sticker, user manual and this time I also got a Hoyt keychain lanyard. I bought the medium 38lb limbs.

When shooting the Carbon ACE limbs I was expecting them to be faster and so alter my sight marks, but my sight marks barely moved at all. Also the ‘feel’ of the 720 and the Carbon ACE limbs was not really that noticeable at all.

Overall thoughts

But I certainly won’t be changing these Hoyt Carbon ACE limbs anytime soon, unless something goes wrong with them or I need lower powered limbs as I get older.

So overall I recommend trying out both sets of limbs to see if you can tell the difference. Although now you’ll probably have to compare the Hoyt 840 limbs to the Carbon ACE limbs as the 720 limbs will soon be difficult to find new.

It would be fun to compare the Hoyt 720 vs Hoyt 840 limbs though, as the 840 limbs are more expensive than the 720 – and has anything really changed other than the graphics?

 

Easton XX75 2016 G Nock Small Uni Bushings

Easton XX75 2016 G Nock Small Uni Bushings or how to get G nock smalls to fit in 2016 XX75 arrows.

I started archery with a set of 1916 Easton XX75 Platinum Plus arrows that were fitted with Easton G nock smalls. I used these arrows for ages before deciding on some Easton ACC arrows for outside which also took the Easton G nock smalls. When it came to replace my 1916 XX75 arrows I moved to a 2016 XX75 arrow. What I noticed straight away was that my favourite Easton G nock smalls were nowhere to be found instead I had now got some Easton Super nocks because the diameter of the 2016 arrows is too big to take the G nock smalls.

I shot with the super nocks for quite a while before deciding that my string was too loose in the nock and I wanted to change the nock.

So how do you fit a G nock small to an XX75 2016 arrow?

Well you buy some Easton Lightspeed uni-bushings which will fit directly into the super nock bushings.

Just remove your Easton super nocks, hot glue in the Easton Lightspeed uni-bushings (when cool) then insert your Easton G nock smalls – sorted.

Alternatively you could keep the Easton super nocks on your 2016 arrows and just increase the strand size of your string or add extra serving to your string, for me it was cheaper to add in the Lightspeed uni-bushings plus all my nocks are now the same size on all my arrows. This also means I only have to buy and carry one size of nock.

Easton Super Nock on 2016 (top) vs Easton G Nock Small on 1916 (bottom)

Easton G Nock Small vs Easton Super Nock

Remove the Easton Super Nock

remove the easton super nock

Add the Lightspeed Uni Bushing (hot glue)

Add Lightspeed uni-bushing to 2016 arrows

Now when cool attach the Easton G Nock small nocks.

Add G Nock small to 2016 arrow

Easton Screw in Arrow Points and Inserts

I bought my ACE arrows 2nd hand and it took me ages to work out they had screw-in points. It only realised it when one of the arrows rattled and I found out it was because the screw-in point had come loose. It worried me at first as all my other arrows had nibb and bullett points.

But why was I worried? I now think screw-in points are a lot nicer than fixed points. The main reason of course is that you can easily change points. This can be really useful when playing about with point weights. I just unscrew the current ones and screw in the new ones. If I had the larger break-off points I can’t test points weights as once I have broken off the weights I can’t put them back on again!

The only downside to having screw-in points is that they can come loose quite a lot – you’ll know when your arrows rattle!

Some people advise using some hot melt and then screwing in the point and then heating up the point again to unscrew them. This is fine if you are set on your point weight and don’t plan on taking them out whilst on the shooting range. If you want a more intermediate solution then just put some string wax on the threads of the point and screw them in. The points should now stay put a lot longer.

The images below show the ACE insert (59 grains) and 2 points weights for my ACE arrows. The shorter point weight is 31 grains and longer one is 41 grains.

I started off with the 59+31 = 90 grains but have since decided to go for the heavier 41 grain points which makes 100 grains in total.

When trying both out I expected the sight marks to differ greatly increasing the point weights by 10 grains, but I did not really see any change at all. The heavier points seemed to find their way to the target easier and seemed to go exactly where you aimed them when shooting 60 yards with a moderate breeze.

Do note though that the heavier points are longer so you will need to make sure you move your clicker forward.

Easton ACE insert and 31 and 41 grain points

ACE screw in points and insert

Easton ACE insert and 31 grain points

31 grain screw in point and 59 grain insert

Easton ACE insert and 41 grain points

41 grain screw in point and 59 grain insert