The all-new Petersen's Bowhunting X-Ring Machine is a custom-built, one-of-a-kind, automated bow-shooting device that takes the accuracy and repeatability of the magazine's testing far beyond anything offered by anyone else in the bowhunting media.
Click through this photo gallery to learn more about the X-Ring Machine and how it is helping us evaluate the performance of the latest bowhunting gear.
The bow-mounting area on the X-Ring Machine features a rounded steel rod that meets the bow's grip and a customizable bracket that can be attached to the sight-mounting holes for added stability.
Windage and elevation settings on the bracket are fully micro-adjustable, and an attached laser aiming devices helps to speed up the process of sighting in bows.
Weighing several hundred pounds, the X-Ring Machine offers an extremely stable shooting platform that is far sturdier than any commercially available shooting device.
The shooting bridge on the machine moves on linear slides driven by a servo motor in tandem with electronic sensors that know exactly when the desired draw length is achieved. The bowstring is released via an external plunger button. Shooting arrows from the X-Ring Machine ensures exact repeatability of the draw cycle and release shot after shot.
One of the keys to the X-Ring Machine is that it completely removes the human element from our test shooting. The only thing the operator has to do manually is nock the arrow onto the string.
The actual drawing of the bow and release of the shot is fully automated, which takes any errors in shooting form or form inconsistencies out of the equation.
Going forward, the X-Ring Machine will play an important and growing role in BOWHUNTING's gear tests, generating even more accurate, reliable data for readers of The Modern Bowhunting Authority.
'The bottom line is, only Petersen's BOWHUNTING has it, and that just demonstrates our commitment to take our testing as high as we can, ' Editor Christian Berg said.
'We want the accuracy and precision to be such that it's setting what we do apart from anything else out there. And when we present data to our readers, they can take that like money to the bank when making decisions about what to shoot, the setups they want to have with their bow and the equipment they want to take into the field. It's really, really exciting. '
The X-Ring Machine has an integrated laptop docking station that allows the operator to interface the machine with our exclusive Silks Outdoors Bow Evaluation Software, as demonstrated here by Gear Testing Editor Jon E. Silks.
The software allows for the operator to set the exact draw length of each bow and — in tandem with gauges on the machine itself — automatically gather other important information such as peak draw weight, holding weight, stored energy, dynamic efficiency and draw-force curve.
In addition to the laptop docking station, the X-Ring Machine also features an LED digital readout so draw length and draw weight can be easily monitored throughout the testing process.
The X-Ring Machine made its debut in the specialty vane test published in the June issue. To give you some idea of how accurate the machine is, consider that while 'qualifying ' shafts for use during testing, the machine shot 39 of 48 arrows in a group less than one inch in diameter.
'Actually, the group was probably closer to three quarters of an inch, ' Gear Testing Editor Jon E. Silks said. 'If you don't pull your arrows after every shot, you're going to ruin them all using this machine. '