PETE WARD

"WELCOME TO MY OUTDOOR WORLD"

Bow Review

 

 

http://www.tradtecharchery.com/

a division of

LANCASTER ARCHERY SUPPLY
2195-A Old Philadelphia Pike (Rt. 340)
Lancaster, PA 17602
1 mile East of Rte. 30 on Rt. 340

Call 1-800-829-7408 

 email  info@tradtecharchery.com

 Trad Tech

 15"  "Recon"  ILF Riser

&

 "Black Onyx"  15"  ILF  Riser

Samick  "Black Max"  Wood/Glass

&

 "Black Max"  Carbon/Wood

Recurve limbs

Review

Update May 05 2010

Trad Tech has decided to continue to produce both the Black Onyx and the Recon risers due to the popularity of each model.

The previous comment that only 1 of these risers would be kept and 1 would be discontinued has been removed.

Update Feb 17/ 2010 Black Max limbs

I have received some requests to update thie Black Max Limb portion of this review with a better force draw curve using the new Digital scale I recently received.In particular readers wanted to see the limbs drawn further, with the  precise weights from the digital scale.

To do this request I used 2 bows, the first is the 15" Recon riser with the limb bolts backed out to the lightest weight setting for the longer draw lengths. The second riser I chose is the 19"Pinnacle II , with the limb bolts backed out to their minimum weight setting, as this was being drawn to 32". I am leaving the original data below as it acurately reflects the 15" Recon and  Black Onyx risers and Black Max limbs when adjusted for me on these risers, at a 27" draw length.

 

FD curve 19" PinnacleII riser / Black Max carbon  medium length limbs drawn to 32"  {above }

FD curve Recon 15" riser / 45# Black Max Glass  medium  length limbs drawn 31"{above}

I hope that these FD curves are what you were asking for. I think that these FD curves show us  better , how smooth the limbs are to draw, and also satisfy your requests and curiosity.  On both of these risers the limbs were braced at 8 1/4" for this session. Please don't ask me to shoot them at the longer draw lengths as my arms are to short, and I do not use a shooting machine.

All future FD curves I do will be done with a digital scale and the curves will be shown in the larger format like they are above. 

 Pete

Recon Black Onyx review:

     The first Riser I received in this series was the Onyx. It arrived with a set of Black Max glass and carbon wood limbs to try. The first impression of the riser was good. It feels very good to handle, and it looks good to, The Phenolic riser with Zebra wood accents is a good match with the all black limbs. There are enough wood accents that the wood veneer Pinnacle limb also looks good on it. Better yet they all shoot good on it. The Carbon Black Max limbs have brown phenolic overlays at the tips and limb buts that some might say look better.

      All of the limbs I have are ILF mediums, making this a 58" recurve that draws and shoots like a bow costing a lot more. The first set of limbs I tried was the Black Max Wood glass. I am very impressed at how well they shoot, considering they retail for $130 US. They are easy to like, and draw smooth, shoot quiet, without vibrations. I prefer a brace height of 8 " to 8 1/2" on these risers with both the carbon and glass limbs.

 

 

Shooting the Black Onyx

Shooting The Recon

       The mostly Phenolic riser is solid, and the grip positions my hand in a very repeatable place every time. I am able to shoot the Onyx accurately like I have been shooting it for years. Tuning is a breeze with the ILF adjustable features. I set up the risers to be stack free to just past my 27" draw length. This is 2 turns out from the bottom setting on the limb bolts, which is also the most they should be turned in.  For longer draws you will want to back the bolt out a turn for each inch over 27"to a max of 5 turns from bottom. With longer than a 29" draw you will be better off with a long limb, making a 60"bow. Those with a short draw of 27" or less will be best suited to the short limbs making a 56" bow. ILF limbs come in different lengths for different draw lengths. Short limbs, long draws and limb bolts tightened down are a recipe for disaster. The principle for ILF limb adjustments is to make the bow smooth to your draw, and easy to tune, not to make more draw weight like the compounds. If you want more weight do yourself a favor and order heavy limbs.

 

Recon / Onyx

Front view,  

      I would not recommend short limbs for more than a 27" draw, and medium limbs for more than a 29" draw. This is with the limb bolts backed off to the minimum weight setting. Properly set up for your draw weight with a correct set of limbs for your draw length you will find the ILF bows are easily tuned and deliver a smooth stack free draw. There should be a long life for properly chosen and set up limbs.

 For those not familiar with ILF, it is a system that allows us to use any make ILF limb on any make ILF riser. The limbs slip in and out without the need to use wrenches. It is a good Idea to check each set of limbs for proper tuning when we change them.

      The Recon and Onyx are nearly identical, with the amount of wood accent being the only difference. Both share the exact same dimensions. Both are fully ILF compatible and have lateral limb adjustment capability should you ever have a limb that is not perfectly straight. We should not have to use this feature, as the risers are set up for straight limbs when we receive them.

 

 

Black Onyx Left Recon Right

Recon on Left Black Onyx on Right

      The 15" risers make for a good short bow that can use an economical limb one day or a top of the line Olympic limb the next. I can switch to the BF extreme Olympic quality limb from the Titan in a matter of a minute when the weather gets cold and I want a riser that is not so cold to handle, and still use the high end BF Extreme limbs or I just want a shorter bow. I can also switch to the Trad Tech ILF longbow limbs just as easy. The Pinnacle limbs look good with the clear glass and wood veneers, as well as the black Master Carbon longbow limbs. With the longbow limbs the Onyx and Recon become a 60" longbow.

       The Recon and the Black Onyx are a reasonable cost riser that is well designed and easy to set up and shoot with a variety of limbs. The finish on the Onyx is good, but not perfect.  For a perfect finish we pay a lot more. The mostly Phenolic riser should be nearly bullet proof and last a lifetime. I see no reason not to think the Black Max limbs when properly set up for your draw length will last you a long time.

       I am currently shooting the Black Max Carbon wood limbs, only because I have them. I think the Wood glass limbs for a hundred dollars less are every bit capable of doing all that I want in a hunting bow. They are a great shooting bargain that you should seriously consider. The charts below will show what I am trying to get across. Both sets of limbs were shot with the same string, 10 strands of DF97, padded loops and beaver silencers. I also installed some yarn to cushion the string slap recurves all have. Pat, my wife , confirmed the exact draw length and coached each shot. All shots were taken at a static draw length, with a well-worn cordovan tab. The bow was braced at 8 for the Carbon wood limbs. I switched to the glass limbs without making any adjustments and the brace height gained 1/8". The tiller remained the same.

 

 

 

 Black Max Wood Glass limbs {10 strand padded DF97 string}

AMO Draw length

 Draw weight

Arrow

 gr

 FPS

Arrow

 gr

FPS 

Arrow

 gr

FPS

 

 

  0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  7 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  8 

  brace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  10

 3 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  11

 8 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  12

 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  13

 15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  14

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  15

  20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  16

  23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  17

  25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  18

  27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  19

  28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  20

  30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  21

  32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  22

  34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  23

  36

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  24

  38

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  25

  40

GR450

FPS

 GR506

FPS 

GR606

FPS 

 GR

 FPS        

26"

  43

  450

162

  506

155

  606

145

 

 

27"

  45

  450

169

   506

162

  606

151

 

 

28"

 

29

30

  47

 

50

53

  450

175

   506

167

 606

 159

 

 

 

Black Max Carbon Wood limbs {10 strand DF97 padded string}

AMO Draw length

 Draw weight

Arrow

 gr

 FPS

Arrow

 gr

FPS 

Arrow

 gr

FPS

 

 

  0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  7 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  8 

  brace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  10

 3 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  11

 8 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  12

 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  13

 15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  14

  18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  15

  20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  16

  23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  17

  24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  18

  26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  19

  28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  20

  30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  21

  31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  22

  33

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  23

  35

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  24

  37

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  25

  40

GR450

FPS

 GR506

FPS 

GR606

FPS 

 GR

 FPS        

26"

  42

  450

161

  506

154

  606

143

 

 

27"

  44

  450

169

   506

160

  606

151

 

 

28"

 

29

30

  47

 

50

53

  450

175

   506

169

 606

 157

 

 

 

 

       From the charts above it seems like the Glass limbs are performing equal to the more expensive Carbon limbs. The main difference between these limbs is in Torsional stiffness. Most average shooters will not notice the difference that this stiffness with the carbon limb gives us in accuracy. At 20 to 30 yards I can't tell the difference. Both sets of limbs shoot the same for me. I have a 27" draw length and I have set the bow up accordingly to give me 2 pounds per inch thru my draw. For a longer draw length all we do is back off the limb bolts 1 turn each for each inch up to 30".  After that I would recommend a set of long limbs. If you have a short draw of 27" or less you might prefer the Short limbs.

       There is no need to have your limbs going from 2 to 3 pounds or more when we can take advantage of the ILF adjustments and experience 2# per inch thru our draw. It makes the bow so much nicer to shoot this way. If you want more draw weight order a set of heavier limbs rather than cranking in the limb bolts and shooting a stacking bow. Yes going from 2 to 3 pounds is stacking on these limbs. I adjust my ILF bows to make the jump just past my draw length.

       To sum up my feelings on the Onyx / Recon I think they a very nice to shoot bow. It is quiet, and has good performance. The Black Max limbs, either Carbon or Glass draw very smooth and those Glass, Black Max limbs are a steal of a deal. I am very impressed at how well the Glass limbs shoot, and I am also very pleased with how nice the Carbon limbs are to shoot.

      I have been hunting with the Onyx with both sets of limbs, and feel that either one is just fine. Without looking, I can't tell which one I am shooting. There are others that could tell, but I am not able to. This is a good mid range riser that shoots like it has a higher price tag.  It is not a flawless riser, however it takes a close look to find faults in the finish. If it had another coat of finish you would be hard pressed to find any flaws.  This is a good Riser and the Black max limbs compliment it very well.  As a blind hunting bow the mostly black riser and the Black Max limbs make it almost invisible. The short 58" length makes it easy to shoot in the pop up blinds .A set of short limbs would make it a 56" bow that is even better for those of us with short draws, {27" or less} that like to shoot a short bow in tight places like Pop-Up blinds.

      Since I started this review the Recon riser has arrived and I will make a few quick comments about it. For all practical purposes the Recon is the same riser as the Black Onyx, but with some more Zebra wood, and some overlays. The Black Onyx has thicker phenolic, and thinner wood overlays. The Recon shoots exactly the same as the Black Onyx, and all the comments above for the Black Onyx will apply to the Recon. I switched limbs back and forth and cannot see any difference in how each shoots. The only difference is the Onyx has a wider phenolic body and the Recon shows more wood, and has Overlays.

      To be truthful, I am not sure which riser I prefer at this time. I do know that both are hunting risers, and in all probability I will put a set of short limbs on the Black Onyx for hunting in the blinds, only because this riser has more black showing. It most likely makes no difference at all.

 

 

 Pete ward

"Welcome to my outdoor world"

 

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