October 28, 2010
By Jon E. Silks
For some, Strother Archery is a brand new name in the archery industry. Just like any other upstart bow company, right? Not exactly.
By Jon E. Silks
Strother Archery's SR-71, named after the rocket-fast SR-71 Blackbird long-range reconnaissance aircraft, is designed to smoke arrows down range at speeds reaching 353 fps IBO. A set of proprietary construction parallel, split limbs and modular hybrid cams are the fuel behind the performance. A two-piece, laminated wood grip provides functionality and comfort, while a string stop and set of No-Glov oscillation reducers keep vibration and noise at bay.
For some, Strother Archery is a brand new name in the archery industry. Just like any other upstart bow company, right? Not exactly. The man behind the new bow line and company name is Kevin Strother. Kevin is no stranger to the business and has gained a loyal fan base from his work with other bow companies. Strother Archery has the tools needed to make an immediate impact in the archery arena.
Leading the charge for Strother Archery on their maiden voyage is the SR-71. Named after the amazing SR-71 Blackbird, a wicked fast, long-range reconnaissance aircraft, the new Strother rig is advertised to hit IBO speeds exceeding 350 fps. The bow features a modular hybrid cam system, PLT split limbs, two-piece laminated wood grip, metal stabilizer mounting insert, riser mounted string stop and Crackers string and cables.
Need for Speed
In the words of Strother Archery, "If you have the need for speed, the SR-71 is the bow for you!" Strother chose a hybrid cam system to power their SR-71. A hybrid system has two cams that are similar in shape but not perfectly symmetrical like a twin/dual cam. Hybrid cams have a reputation for producing smooth draw cycles and good speed while requiring little maintenance work to keep timing and synchronization optimized. In the hybrid model, there is a string, control cable, split harness cable, an upper "Control" cam and a lower "Power" cam. The control cam allows the exact length of string out to match the bottom power cam, producing level nock travel. Strother's unique setup of the SR-71's hybrid system produces inmpressive arrow speed with consistent nock travel and no cam lean.
The SR-71's machined aluminum cams offer draw lengths from 24-30 inches via three sets of modules -- short, mid and long. The short and mid modules provide a system letoff between 65-75 percent, while the long draw letoff ranges between 65-70 percent. Draw stops on each cam allow for fine-tuning of the back wall feel. Both the control and power cams ride on stainless steel axles and sealed bearings.
Like the SR-71 Blackbird, the new Strother rig is designed to strike without warning. The SR-71 is equipped with a set of No-Glov oscillation reducers (finger tabs) that are positioned on the string where speed nocks are commonly found. Rather than place speed-robbing string silencers on the bowstring and then counteract that with speed-enhancing speed nocks, Strother uses the No-Glov oscillation reducers for both. Also designed to kill vibration is the riser-mounted string suppressor, which uses a rubber module on the end of a rod to dampen string vibration/oscillation after release.
Much of the SR-71's success in producing little shock, vibration or noise comes from the parallel position of the limbs at full draw. Parallel limbs work in opposition to one another at the shot, canceling out much of the vibration-causing energy remaining in the system once the arrow is away. Speaking of limbs; SR-71 PLT (Precision Limb technology) limbs are designed to strictly hold structural tolerances and deflection values. Limbs are also coated with a proprietary material that is advertised to add strength.
Strother outfits their top rig with a two-piece, laminated wood grip designed to produce a neutral wrist position at full draw.
Also found on the SR-71 is a metal stabilizer-mounting insert, pivoting limb pockets and choice of film-dipped Predator camo or Black Powder Coat finish.
The SR-71 was a pleasure to shoot, demonstrating excellent shooting characteristics on all fronts. The lack of hand shock and vibration from a rig this fast is incredible.
The grip is another win for Strother, as it cradles the shooter's hand comfortably and consistently.
The draw cycle is aggressive and smooth at the same time -- basically, that means it has the necessary curve profile to generate high IBO speeds with smooth curves at each transition.
Editor's Note: Our standardized High Grade testing includes the use of the same equipment and test methods. All bows are tested with a draw length of 29 inches and a draw weight of 65 pounds.