Trad Tech 17" Black Magic ILF Riser

a division of

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

Call 1-800-829-7408 


Product Description Copied from Trad Tech Website
Stunning 17" ILF hunting riser
Crafted of Walnut and Phenolic with bi-directional carbon accents
Lateral limb adjustments allow perfect alignment of ILF limbs
Weight adjustable up to 10% above minimum limb weight
Easy tiller adjustment for split finger or three fingers under
Narrow, medium wrist grip w/ radiused shelf for rug rests
Accepts TradTech & all ILF recurve and longbow Limbs (58", 60", 62" bow)
Designed in USA, custom-made for TradTech by Samick


I have reviewed many of the trad Tech ILF risers to date, and without question the 17" Black Magic it the one I like best. It looks and feels great to me. I have been shooting this riser for a couple months now with a few different limbs, ranging from the  Trad Tech Black Max  wood glass ,  Black Max carbon wood, Trad Tech BF Ext. ,  Trad Tech Black Max Carbon EXT ,  Trad Tech Masters Carbon longbow,  and Border archery's new CV ILF limbs. All of these different limbs shoot and fit  very nice on this riser. There have been no issues at all in setting up the bow to shoot good for me with any of these . Short, medium and long limbs have all been easy to set up and tune on this riser, with just a simple string / brace height adjustment.

 The Black Magic has good looks and eye candy , as well as a great feel to it. I like the slim grip . It just feels good, and hand placement is automatic every time I pick it up. The thumb groove is functional and large enough to be comfortable , so much that I don't seem to notice it being there. The palm swell  fits into my palm nicely without being big and awkward feeling. It just feels proper , and helps locate my hand naturally.

 This is a slim ILF riser with what should be excellent strength for any limb you choose to shoot. The main front section is  heavy phenolic with carbon overlay for added strength and looks. Next is a 5 band phenolic reinforcing accent made up of white,black and dark brown. The belly side is laminated Black Walnut with carbon overlays.  This is a very contoured , smooth and rounded riser. without sharp edges . The smooth contours make it very appealing to the eye and to the hand. The shelf is  well radiused for easy tuning with a simple Velcro or leather cushion on it.

 Limb alignment is possible for a slightly twisted limb by the set screws in each pocket if you should ever need it. I like this feature, but have never had to use it on any of the ILF bows I have.  The Black Magic comes with the new style TradTech bushings on the limb bolts. This is a bit different than the early versions where we set the tightest setting 2 turns out from full in. The new bushing can be set at full in, barely snug to 3 turns out  to adjust the tiller, draw weight and draw length.I have a short 27" draw and set the limb bolts full in on medium or long length limbs , for shooters with a longer draw length you will get a nicer feel by turning out the limb bolts 1 or 2 turns from snug.  When I use short limbs I set the bolts out 1 turn from snug for the best feel at 27".  Don't turn the limb bolts out to far, as this will cause the ILF dovetails to bind and ruin them or possibly ruin the limbs.   With any ILF bow follow the makers recommended limb bolt setting min and maximums.

 The Black magic has a 3 turn range of adjustment. No more no less. Note the new style brass bushing with the flange at the bottom.

 When I first took the riser from it's sleeve I saw some faint, light colored lines on the walnut. My first thought was it was cracked. It is not cracked, these are the glue lines  , that showed up against the dark walnut wood where it is shaped. The walnut is laminated from boards for strength , not a single slab. Now after a couple months of exposure to light and handling I have to look very closely to find them, and most have completely disappeared other than in very bright light at the right angle. I am sure that Trad tech is taking steps to eliminate this but it does need to be shown and commented on. I would call trad Tech and ask someone to specifically look for the glue lines when ordering a new riser and ask them to ensure it is not an issue on your riser .

 Here you can see the glue lines, however remember these photos were taken in bright sun and close up with high resolution to show them. They are barely noticeable in real life and normal lighting on this riser.

The Black Magic is weighing in at the same draw weight as the 17" Titan does with the 17" rated BF EXT limbs, so weights should be consistent on any correctly scaled 17" limb .  I get 45# at 28" with the limb bolts set at the mid range on both risers which is what these limbs are rated at.

 The Black Magic riser is the nicest looking riser I have shot in the Trad Tech lineup. Not only that , I prefer shooting it to the other risers from the Trad Tech lineup. The looks and feel are great, and the other shooters that saw and shot this bow all had the same opinion of it. One guy saw it and said he had to have one, I told him to try a few shots , and he was on his phone a half hour later placing an order. It does make a good impression on you from the first look and shot. I can not think of any changes I would suggest to Trad tech other than get a handle on the glue line showing up. The lines in question are tight , and precise, it is just the  glue showing up against the very dark wood . The satin no glare finish on the riser is a flawless .

 I will  follow up this review very shortly with a couple limb reviews using the Black Magic riser. Watch for a review of the new Trad Tech Black Max Carbon Extreme limbs,  and Border Archery's  new CV Carbon  limbs.  I could not think of a better riser to use for these limb reviews than the Trad Tech Black Magic. Normally I would be keeping brands together, however ILF is a mix and match system, and both Sid at Border Archery, and Rob at Trad Tech agreed to me using the Black Magic riser with the Border CV limbs .


Pete Ward

"Welcome to my outdoor world