Throughout the 1940’s, archery developers and novice designers began to make their own bows and arrows. These creations eventually led to modern day bowhunting and archery hunting. A bow stabilizer wasn’t even a thought, nevermind a crossbow.
Not until the 1960’s was any type of modern technology discovered. During that decade, fiberglass was used in bow limbs for the creation of the compound bow, which ultimately led to the development of the crossbow. Today’s modern day archer has moved on from the old days and upped their game with a bow stabilizer.
Stabilizers can perform a variety of functions. Besides absorbing vibrations in the bow at the shot and reducing the shock, they can also make the bow quieter. In addition, a stabilizer keeps the bow properly balanced by adding weight below the grip.
Archery is the sport, practice or skill of using a bow to propel arrows. A target archer needs to consider many factors when using a bow. Vital elements such as good accuracy, stability, balance, and target placement are concerns of today’s archery target shooters.
But there are some archers who feel that a stabilizer is not necessary with a bow. In reality, when it narrows down to hunting or target shooting, stabilizers can truly make a difference.
Archers new to the sport may not even understand the purpose of a stabilizer. Others, like some experienced archers, may wonder if a stabilizer is needed. One thing is for sure — every target shooter or hunter has their personal choice. You don’t need a stabilizer to shoot a bow, but they do offer extraordinary advantages.
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Weight of a Stabilizer
A stabilizer is mounted to the riser back and is screwed into a threaded hole, located below the grip. Stabilizers can also combat bow torque, which is applied by unnecessarily gripping the bow handle.
For example, when an archer releases the bowstring, the riser torques as the energy makes contact. As this happens, it allows the stabilizer to resist the torque because of its weight in front of the bow.
Therefore, weight is a crucial aspect of a bow stabilizer. The weight between a stabilizer and the bow should have good balance. If it’s too heavy for your bow, you won’t be able to hold it correctly and it will impair your accuracy. If it’s too light, the vibration will be more dominant.
Your best bet is to use a steady bow for a precise shot. Usually, the weights can be placed at different points of gravity to balance your bow and the best bow stabilizer will have the weight fixated at the furthest end from the bow to counteract.
Length of a Stabilizer
Before you purchase a bow stabilizer, you should try out different lengths and types to see what best suits your needs. If you’re the type of bowhunter who shoots at game no more than 20 plus yards away, you might prefer the lightweight version of a 6-inch stabilizer.
On the other hand, if you’re a professional competition archer shooting at targets over 70 meters (roughly 230 feet) away, you might favor a more steadier option, such as a stabilizer over 20 inches. This extra length can help tighten arrow groups at longer distances.
For example, in competition, athletes competing in archery at the Olympic Games use a recurve bow to propel arrows towards targets set 70 meters away. Consider how you shoot, where you shoot and what you shoot at before you make the decision about which stabilizer to purchase.
Will You Use it for Target Archery or Hunting?
Generally, you’re moving when you’re hunting, so a shorter length is usually the preferred choice. Shorter length equals to higher reduction in torque, shock and vibration, thus reducing noise.
Longer length equals higher accuracy, precision, and stability. Longer stabilizers are most suitable for target archery because of their capability to travel a farther distance. Some archery experts recommend choosing the length of the stabilizer based upon your height.
Other experts recommend choosing a stabilizer based upon your type of archery. For example, bowhunters usually choose short stabilizers (1 to 7 inches), so it’s easier to handle in cramped hunting situations. Target shooters prefer long stabilizers, which are generally measured longer than one foot.
Noise Reduction and Vibration
If you’ve ever shot a bow, you’ll understand the vibration which happens in your hands when you release it towards your target. This is a result of the tension of the bow string — when it’s released, the energy is discharged at the arm guard area. The end result is a very distinct vibration.
But don’t let this stop you. The stabilizer will absorb a portion of the energy when your bow is drawn backwards and released. Therefore, the vibration is reduced, as well the noise reduction.
Incidentally, because animals have such distinct hearing capabilities, the lesser the noise and vibration, the better chance of success. Please keep reading for our review on some of the best bow stabilizers on the market today…
Trophy Ridge is one of the most trustworthy brands when it comes to the best quality bow accessories. Their bow stabilizers are available in 6 inches and 9 inches, and the weight is designed for users who seek comfort and lightness.
For your convenience, this stabilizer comes complete with added weights, which you can adjust to your preference for increased balance.
Let’s begin with the 9-inch model. It’s longer and better for archers because its focus is on an object that is not moving. It will provide higher precision, plus better accuracy. It will also prevent your pins from swinging too much and it will give you a more balanced experience.
The Trophy Ridge Static is available in various colors. Obviously, camouflage is the most popular for hunters, as it blends in with the contour of the surroundings. The structure of this solid stabilizer features holes in between for better airflow, which is great for balance.
Perfect for Amateurs and Professionals
Whether you’re an amateur or a professional archer or hunter, you’ll really feel the exceptional stability of this stabilizer. Designed by the Trophy Ridge team, this rugged stabilizer is fully capable of enduring harsh weather conditions, which is always a great advantage.
Constructed of ballistix copolymer system, the Trophy Ridge Stabilizer has the strength of aluminum, but nevertheless is very lightweight. Weight is a very important factor when it comes to a stabilizer, because it greatly impacts the performance and accuracy of your shot.
Another factor to consider in a quality stabilizer is the type of coating used. The Trophy Ridge features a soft-touch coating to enhance the ability of the stabilizer to reduce vibration and noise.
Perhaps the single con to this stabilizer is its adaptability to only a specific range of bows, such as a recurve bow. Nevertheless it’s a great performance bow stabilizer.
- Extreme lightweight design
- Includes two customizable weights for added weight and balance
- Braided wrist sling also included
- Exclusive design allows air to pass through for a steadier shot
- Features ballistix copolymer system
- Offered in both 6-inch length and 9-inch length
- Availiable in pink and black
- Check latest price on Amazon
Another excellent choice for archery is the Bee Stinger Sport Hunter Xtreme Stabilizer. This model comes in multiple lengths and weights. The weight is focused at the end — very popular for target hunters.
With the Bee Stinger, you have a wide variety of equipment for both target and hunting archery. Did you know that many Olympians use a longer stabilizer? This is because it helps in the stability of the shot as well as a more accurate shot at a further distance.
The ultra-light carbon fiber rod was created to make your stabilizer rigid as well as steady, and to give you greater accuracy in your shot. In addition, vibration is reduced significantly. The carbon rod is detrimental to resist the energy when a bow is discharged, where it helps to absorb the vibration.
The structure is made with SIMS Internal Harmonic Dampener and De-Resonator component and it utilizes rubber for its significant material. The goal with this stabilizer is to give you a steady and clear shot and deliver uncomparable results. Additionally, this bow stabilizer is really comfortable, thanks to the soft-coating material.
The Bee Stinger Sport Hunter Xtreme Stabilizer is highly durable and will last you for many years. Although its price is higher compared to other stabilizers, this con is outweighed by the pros and is a solid stabilizer to say the least.
- Provides superior stabilization while combatting shot-induced vibration
- Ultimate hunting stabilizer
- Individual one ounce end-weights allow users to customize their stabilizer to meet their specific balance requirements for each particular hunting bow
- Available in 6 inches, 8 inches, 8/6 inches, 10 inches and 10/8 inches
- Offered in in 12 different colors
- Check latest price on Amazon
The Limbsaver S-Coil Bow Stabilizer is affordable, stylish and extremely functional. Measuring at 4.5 inches in length and weighing only 4.5 ounces, it’s very lightweight and small in size — ideal for a hunter.
The Limbsaver is designed to withstand tough weather conditions, especially when it’s very windy. When the wind is strong, you always need the added security to ensure the bow is stable and capable of traveling in the desired direction.
In addition, the Limbsaver S-Coil uses the innovative NAVCOM (Noise and Vibration Control Material) technology. It provides a quiet shooting experience for users because of its short length and light weight. It’s well-balanced and supplies hunters the comfort they seek in an advanced stabilizer.
The Limbsaver is sturdy, reliable, and capable of hitting your target in all weather conditions. The installation is pretty easy and doesn’t take up much of your time when assembling. The only disadvantage to this stabilizer bow is the fact that it’s not suitable for all types of bows or for target archery.
- Lightweight bow stabilizer
- Features a unique continuous spiral design
- Uses Limb Saver’s proprietary NAVCOM material to dampen vibration and noise
- Coiled design increases the surface area for smoother feel and reduced bow jump
- Quick and easy installation
- Ideal for all harsh weather conditions
- Standard-sized S-Coil measures 4-1/2 inches; weight: 4.5 ounces
- Available in black, red, camo, pink, purple, pink/black and red/black
- Check latest price on Amazon
Perfect for both hunting and target archery, the NAP Apache stabilizer is versatile in that you can customize it to your personal preferences. It measures 8 inches in length, which is suitable for target archery and with a minor adjustment it can be converted to best adapt to your hunting needs.
When it comes to considering a stabilizer, weight is a major concern. This stabilizer weighs a mere one pound. It’s absolutely ideal for target activity, and when you remove the 2-ounce carbon fiber accessory bar, you’ll feel the greater balance difference.
The NAP Apache stabilizer isn’t expensive and quite reasonable for the convenience factors. One huge perk is the reduction in bow and noise vibration. You can easily make your shot without your targeted prey hearing the sharp noise.
Excellent Target Accuracy
Some users even claimed that because this stabilizer is so quiet, they hit their target 80% of the time. This is a huge advantage for the NAP Apache stabilizer. With the NAP Apache stabilizer, shooting beyond 30 yards is not impossible — and it can be achieved with great accuracy — something that is very attractive to a target archer.
Another feature of this bow stabilizer is its ability to hold up in strong wind conditions. Simply adjust this stabilizer to the shorter length — you’ll be happily surprised with its consistent balance and stability.
Probably the only disadvantage of the NAP Apache Bow Stabilizer is when it comes time to dismantling it to achieve a shorter length. Some users discovered that by dismantling the removable section of the stabilizer, the balance is not quite right and the frontal area seems to have a stronger weight tension.
But without a doubt, this stabilizer system has solid construction and great qualities that New Archery Products offer their consumers. It features proprietary dampening materials which eliminate vibration and noise with each shot.
Available in traditional black and camouflage, the Apache can be converted down to a 5-inch stabilizer by removing the extender. In addition, this stabilizer has a hard plastic layer on the back. The layer is to keep the finish of it protected when you place it on your bow. Overall, it’s a top-quality bow stabilizer.
- Trusted, solid design and features
- Vibration control and bow silence from patented dampening materials
- 8-inches in length with removable 3-inch 2-ounce carbon fiber accessory bar
- Hard plastic layer to protect finish
- Check latest price on Amazon
As an archer or a hunter, your goal should be to hit the target. While many think a stabilizer isn’t necessary, ultimately it comes down to a personal choice. You may be a veteran archer or a seasoned hunter, but if you want to hit your target more than half of the time, make sure to try out a stabilizer and experience the difference.
A reliable bow should be steady when it’s fully drawn backwards, while the movement is minimized after a shot is made. With a good stabilizer, you can certainly achieve this, as it will give you more confidence in your shot.
Regardless of the products presented (Trophy Ridge, Bee Stinger Sport Hunter Xtreme, Limbsaver S-Coil, or the NAP Apache), it’s always up to the archer/hunter to choose what they’re most comfortable as well as what best suits their needs. But if we had to choose the top pick, we’d go with the Trophy Ridge Bow Stabilizer.
Finally, a word to the wise — give a few bow stabilizers a try before you buy, get a feel for all different types, and then make your decision. And don’t forget to put more thought into your options — the right bow stabilizer can make the difference between great success and disappointment.