Best Compound for a finger shooter?

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By: mtmike
Posted: 26-May-07

I am thinking about buying a compound,I wish to stay with shooting with a tab an no sights,kissers,releases,etc, can anyone give me their suggestion on a good bow for bare bow shooting?


By: Russ Koon
Posted: 26-May-07

I shoot fingers with sights, nearly all the time. Have for a long time. Started with recurves way back when and have usually had one around to play with on occasion.

There are two popular nethods for shooting fingers and much of the answer to which compounds you'll find to be good finger bows will depend on the method you prefer.

If you stay with the three split fingers pulling as equally as possible, as we used to use, you'll probably be better off with a compound of about 43" minimum axle-to-axle length, and a letoff of around 65% maximum. These features help to cancel some of the effects of the sensitivity of that release method to tension in the string hand and wrist, and variations in the elbow position of the drawing arm.

If you use the method more popular among newer finger shooters, letting one finger take most of the draw weight at full draw, possibly with some support from another finger, you'll find that the single release point will permit the use of a shorter ATA length, something around 12" more than your draw length or about 40" for most guys, without finger pinch. Depending on the size of the cams and the bow design, I have shot compounds aas little as 6" longer than my draw length, comfortably and accurately.

You'll also get a cleaner release without as much need for high holding weight to take the string off the tab cleanly, so you can enjoy the benefits of the 80% letoff bows.

In either case, the standard advice that's often repeated is for the finger shooter to get a round wheel or a cam with an extremely smooth draw and a long "valley".

I've found that advice to be completely outdated. Modern bows have cams with solid "walls" to end the draw and in some cases have positive draw stops. With just a little practice, you'll find the precise draw limit to be completely agreeable to either finger shooting style. Just set the bow up so that you're actually drawing all the way to this wall or draw stop, and in no time you'll get used to using it to get a consistent draw length, and to pulling into the stop as much as you prefer to get the desired amount of pressure on the fingers for a clean release. This will often mean setting the bow up for an inch or so less draw length than you had used without the limited draw, in order to make sure you will hit the limit without stretching too much and losing good form.

You may need to play with the tuning a bit to get the ability to cant the bow if desired, but it can be done with most modern compounds, too. I had one that I set up for that, then sighted in for use with sights, so that I could cant it and ignore the sights if something happened to them or if the lighting conditions were poor enough to make them unusable. Worked well in practice, but never did need it in actual hunting. Haven't bothered to do that since fiber optics came along and made the sights more useful in low light.

If you're a traditional shooter coming over to the "dark side" it may feel pretty strange for a while. If you stick with it until you get accustoned to the new feel, you should find it to be a great way to keep on shooting without the punishment to the joints that seems to go with the sticks.

By: Archerontario
Posted: 26-May-07

i would recommend a longer ax to ax bow mathews conquest. reflex caribou i have some buddies that shoot fingers and they all say stay to a long ax to ax bow

By: elmer
Posted: 26-May-07

Shoot as many bows as possible at your pro shop to determine which one feels best to you. you will know if you take your time. I shoot an old PSE nova LR, 41 inches axle to axle and I draw with three fingers but take my index finger of when I anchor so I've only got a 2 finger release. Been shooting it about 6 years now. Probably some shorter, faster and lighter bows on the market, but I'mr really comfortable with it. It Took me about 3 weeks of shooting different bows at my pro shop to figure out I liked that one best, and it was only mid priced, not super high end.

Do not let anyone tell you a matthews or hoyt or bowtech etc. is best based on what they use, because your mechanics and body type may work best with any of them or none of them. Just keep shooting different ones for a while if your shop will let you till you find the best combination of price, fit and shootability for you.

Like mentioned above, I would probably look at 39-42 inch axle to axle length to avoid finger pinch.

Adjusted for inflation....that's my 4 cents worth.

By: mtmike
Posted: 26-May-07

Thanks! I'll look for the longer models,,,,,,,


By: Ned2HT
Posted: 26-May-07

I shoot great using a short axle. Mathews Switchback XT. Have never had an issue shooting consistent with any bow, and I shoot split finger.

Don't take me wrong, I am not bragging or anything like that. Just pointing out that the long axle to axle is not neccesary.

Good luck.

By: ejes
Posted: 26-May-07

Reflex Caribou.

By: hunting1
Posted: 26-May-07

+1 to the 07 Caribou!

By: Omnivarious
Posted: 27-May-07

I use a 45 lb Mathews Sportsman for bow fishing, so I shoot a lot with it. I use the rubbers and three fingers. It is a 0 let off compound. Yes, 0 let off. They do not make it any more. It is short, 37 inches if I remember correctly, but I do not have any problems shooting fingers with it. Just try some different bows and see what works for you.

By: Gote Rider
Posted: 27-May-07

I have a PSE Dakota SU that I got for Christmas. Its 40in ata. It shoots great I have no finger pinch at all with this bow. The IBO speed for this bow is 294-302fps. You can set your draw length from 27 to 32in the weight can be set at 40 to 60 or 50 to 70#. The shorter a bow is the more finger pinch you will have. Longer is better..Good Luck with your choice.

By: oldhootowl
Posted: 27-May-07

A longer bow will give you less finger pinch, therefore a cleaner more consistent release. You will likely be more satisfied with a bow 38-42".

As far as letoff and valley or wall, that is a personal thing, depending on your style of release. Usually the best finger shooters get a cleaner release with 65% instead of 80%, and a valley. But there are exceptions. Which is why the above advice is correct: try to shoot as many as you can to see what YOU prefer.

And enjoy it, should be a pleasurable quest to investigate. Thats what archery is all about.

By: EIStone
Posted: 27-May-07

I have two bows that I shot with fingers, one is a Hoyt Aspen Carbonite @ 40" and the other is a new Darton Tundra Extreme also at 40". Have shot fingers for 35 yrs. and both these bows shoot great and would be easy for you to shoot

By: Ironbow
Posted: 28-May-07

Russ Koon has some great advice. I bought a used Ultratec on ebay a few months ago with XT3000 limbs. It makes it about 42" ATA, but the larger cams actually extend the actual length of the bow somewhat. I shoot right and left handed, and have learned to shoot a release RH, but just cannot shoot a release LH. So I am shooting the Ultratec LH, and am actually surprised how well I do with it. The wall works great for pulling into giving me a solid release. The bow length is fine, no finger pinch even with a 30" draw. I still don't like the sudden let off of the 75% cams, and might switch to the 65%. I was looking for the Reflex Caribou, but they are hard to find LH (used) and came across the Ultratec and bought it. I really like it. Try any of the longer 40" ATA bows, preferably shooting them before purchase, and you will find they work just fine shooting with fingers.

I personally wouldn't go back to barebow with a compound. I did it for years, and my success rate and confidence rose a bunch when I put a sight on. And I love fiber optic pins.

By: Scum Frog
Posted: 28-May-07

You want a minimum 38" ATA to longer ATA. Reflex Caribou & Bowtech Constitution are two popular choices.

By: hunting1
Posted: 28-May-07

I have a 06 Constitution that is my primary finger bow. Very fast and smooth, but shows mistakes very easy. My other is a Mathews Rival Pro. I really want a new Caribou, but 3-bows would just be more stuff lying around the garage.

By: catkinson
Posted: 28-May-07

3rds on the Reflex Caribou , at 45 1/2 " axel to axel and a 8" brace it's the perfect set up ! Very smooth and forgiving, I shoot one instinctively very accurately.Good luck!

By: Pruney
Posted: 30-May-07

I shoot a Matthew Icon with fingers. It is a sweet setup, but I have been teasing with the idea of moving to a Drenalin with release. How many have recently made a similar switch? Any thoughts?

By: Stickflinger
Posted: 31-May-07

The most forgiving compound finger shooting bow PERIOD

Reflex Caribou

By: bentstick 81
Posted: 25-May-08

I'm shooting a (approx.)1982 Martin Firecat, 46" ATA, 45# pull, round wheel. I am just scared one of the or both limbs might give do to age. This is a great bow and don't want to part with. I am looking to buy another bow as close to this bow i can. Is the caribou real heavy and is it a good choice? No one around where i live has one to shoot and see if i like it or not. I hate to just buy one.Thanks.

By: YeOldFart
Posted: 26-May-08

Martin has a couple of bows that are a worth looking at. I have a Spector 4 that is as good as any finger bow that I have ever shoot. It is 43" a2a the Mystic is faster at 40" a2a but has the same style riser and elete limbs.

A buddy of mine has a caribou, it is a good bow. One other you might want to look at is Mathews new Dren XL. While it is shorter at only 37-38" a2a with its paralledl limbs it is a sweet shooter.

By: bentstick 81
Posted: 26-May-08

Yeoldfart, i wish someone around where i live carried a caribou so i could try one. I am looking real hard at a mathews ovation. I want to shoot it instinctive. I hunt with a recurve but my tendonitis in my elbow is forcing me out. Your spector 4 bow, how old is it? The firecat i'm shooting is a great bow, age of it has got me worried about a limb giving way.

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