Buy the Drop Away Style Arrow Rest right here at the LRH Store.
Provided to LRH by Russell Beach.
I decided to write this article to help all those PSE TAC owners who were either having consistency problems or who just wanted to upgrade their crossbows to a better performing, more consistent type of arrow rest. In doing so, I decided to break this article into two halves; the first half will explain the benefits of changing to a Drop Away Style Arrow Rest and the second half provides the Step-by-Step instructions with photographs to walk you through making the conversion. There is a third part to this conversion process which is optional
that will also add a tremendous amount of versatility to your crossbows capabilities. This deals with the modification of your crossbows Weaver Style Rail (Scope Rail), that permits you to use standard three fletch arrows, so you are no longer locked into shooting only PSE TAC15 four fletch arrows. This option will be discussed in an add-on article that will follow these instructions at a later time.
Ok, so let’s open with exploring the obvious questions which are: “Why should I consider changing my current Whisker Biscuit Arrow Rest, which is fairly new and in good shape? What makes the QAD Ultra Rest Pro HDX Drop Away Rest any better than my current rest?
The stock manufacturers choice of using the “Whisker Biscuit” style arrow rest had more to do with the crossbows initial intended tactical use and far less to do with accuracy or performance. The crossbows ability to be loaded in complete darkness with total simplicity for military tactical needs was a major driving force in its design and selection of this type of rest. I’m sure as a PSE TAC15/15i owner you’re already aware of the wear factor on the bristles of your Whisker Biscuit Rest. Any wear at all will undoubtedly change your scopes elevation point of impact at all shooting distances. As you increase your shot distance these variations become magnified, so this means that your site settings will need to be modified more frequently as you shoot more, due to the wear and tear factor on the bristles of the rest. If this was your only concern I might be able to live with it, but there’s much more going on that you’re probably also not aware of, so let’s talk about the other major issues that are affecting your shooting accuracy with this type of an arrow rest.
In the world of archery we have something known as the “Archers Paradox”. This deals with the dynamics and effects of g-forces on the shaft of an arrow when launched from a bow or crossbow. These extreme forces are produced when the pull weight of a bowstring or cable are released against the weight of an arrows point. The resulting forces cause an extreme series of bends or flexes in an arrow shaft as it abruptly moves forward, such that when viewed in slow motion an arrow shaft can often bend in its center well outside the range of a typical arrow rest. I strongly recommend that you Google the term “Archer’s Paradox” so you can understand more about this topic.
The key point being that with all the violent flexing back and forth, do you really believe the friction from all these bristles can remain consistent and not interfere with the uniform flexing of your arrows shaft each time you release the cable during a shot? Well, if you do, you need a significant amount of engineering schooling to get you up to speed with the technology.
It’s extremely likely that every few shots your Whisker Biscuit is going to apply a different amount of pressure to your arrow shaft as it attempts to launch an arrow through those bristles. As I've stated in writing numerous times, you have something called the "Archer's Paradox" taking place and with all the violent flexing back and forth, how would you expect the friction from all those bristles to remain consistent? In order to achieve some level of consistency you would need to have first aligned your arrows stiff part of the spine with the indexing of your arrow nocks to insure they were all flexing in the exact same direction. This would require a Carbon Spine Tester and removal of the nocks from all your arrows, then alignment of the arrow spines to the position of each nock so that the stiff point of each arrow aligns in the exact position with each nock. Even doing this will not totally prevent the inconsistencies associated with the bristles of the Whisker Biscuit during shooting.
The common problem of not being able to get your arrows to group well consistently is a result of two basic factors after initial set up and tuning. It is either caused because your arrow shafts are not properly sorted, spine marked and nock indexed or you are having rest interference issues when shooting. Often it can be a combination of both of these issues and since we have already documented how to sort, spine test and index your arrows in previous articles, we are covering the arrow rest replacement in this article.
We could argue that it's because all my spines have been perfectly matched and all my arrows spines are indexed exactly the same to my nocks, that since changing my arrow rest for a drop away I no longer have any inconsistencies or occasional fliers, but I’m willing to bet that getting rid of the arrow flexing restrictions and friction caused by the Whisker Biscuit rest you’re using will go a long way to correcting these problems also. If I didn't think so, I wouldn't have changed my own rest out and I wouldn't be recommending it to others.
Your crossbows “front end” is very limited as to what can cause these types of problems? I'm not a believer in the limbs being a culprit in all but the most extreme circumstances, possibly one in a couple thousand cases. The biscuit however is an entirely different story. I believe it can account for the majority of these types of deviations in arrow flight performance on a very regular basis. In any archery shooting situation regardless if it’s a crossbow or a standard compound bow, this is always considered the likely culprit. You don’t need to take my word for it, you can speak with any good archery pro or a good pro shop and get the exact same information.
Knowing this was a historical problem and its potential impact was exactly the reason I dumped the “Whisker Biscuit” type arrow rest as soon as a good Drop Away replacement became available. The logic is simple; if a rest isn't there it can't be in the way or interfere and cause problems during launch. Your arrows then have the ability to flex naturally and therefore fly the way they were designed to fly according to their specific spine designations. The Whisker Biscuit type arrow rests attempt to contain and alter the spine properties and limit the shafts dynamic flexing properties. In simple terms for you novices, this is all bad and should not be taking place.
Another key benefit of the QAD Ultra Rest Pro HDX Drop Away Rest is the fact that there’s nothing to wear or change. Therefore once you have it set-up and tuned you need not worry about changing your site settings do to wear and tear. Your settings will remain the same year after year unless you change something on your crossbow, but there are no bristles to wear down or to be replaced.
Once you change out the arrow rest you can also modify your crossbows Weaver Rail so you don't need to shoot 4 vane arrow configurations. You can shoot standard three vane arrows and achieve tighter groups and no more vanes rubbing anything. With the new higher quality arrow shafts by other manufacturers which have hit the market, it allows one to easily change to these far superior offerings.
I could easily list another several reasons why all shooters will easily benefit from dumping their current Whisker Biscuit Style Rest and making the switch, but I think I’ve probably gave you enough reasons at this point to more than justify the logic, so let’s move into how you can accomplish the conversion. The step by steps below were created and produced by a gentleman from Alabama by the name of Russell Beach and Russ has produced an outstanding set of instructions that make the conversion as easy as possible, so read the instructions below carefully and pay attention to the pictures that go along with the verbiage.
If you’re hunting, I do not recommend changing anything at the moment because no matter what you touch it's going to change the way your crossbow is shooting and this will affect your current accuracy until to have it adjusted and tuned properly.
Wait until you are done with the hunting season and then make your customizations, so you have time to work on it without it affecting your hunting capabilities.
Fact! I received an immense amount of help and advice from xbow755 and information from Super 91 for completing this modification. Thanks fellows!
Following is an outline of the steps and some photos to illustrate the installation of a QAD Ultra Rest Pro HDX Drop Away Rest and Bracket on my TAC 15. Installation on anyone’s TAC 15 or TAC 15i should be pretty much the same.
- Remove the old Whisker Biscuit and retain the 2 screws used to hold it to the riser (PSE nomenclature is Prod); you will need these screws to attach the QAD Rest Bracket.
- I found it easier to attach the QAD Rest to the Bracket before attaching the Bracket to the riser (my fingers are too fat and stiff for small spaces). Directions for assembly of the QAD Rest to the Bracket will come with your Bracket. Snug screws for now.
I had to use a spacer between the Bracket and riser to ensure the Bracket cleared the curve of the riser (see photo below looking down on bow). You shouldn’t have to use a spacer for your installation as the current supply of brackets has the spacer built in. The Launcher is rotated to the 80 degree Capture Position in the photo (no felt is installed on Launcher in this photo). Note the Timing Cord going down through the Collar.
Timing Cord attachment was my next step and is different than the instructions included with the QAD Rest.
- I initially centered the vertical and horizontal rest adjustments (instructions for these adjustments come with the QAD Rest) and then mounted the Bracket, with the rest attached, so that the bottom of the vee in the Launcher was centered on the riser and barrel channel and level with the nock point string loop on the bow string. See photo below. If you look closely under the middle level, you can see the nock point on the string lying against the Anti-Dry Fire Catch near the center of the bottom of the Launcher vee. Don’t laugh too hard at all the levels I used; this is simply my method of keeping everything aligned and level with the barrel and riser (prod). The yellow level is sitting on the limbs, the black level is sitting on the riser and the one in my hand is against the bottom flat of the Bracket. Limbs and riser are level with the Barrel. The photo is canted slightly because I didn’t hold the camera level, but the bubbles are all centered. Paying attention to alignment and leveling will pay off when shooting longer distances. Tighten the screws, but be prepared to loosen and readjust the bracket during final adjustment of the rest.
- You will need to locate a point on the cable that goes around the cam on the right side of the bow (do not use the cable with the yoke that goes to the axle posts). This point is the attachment point for the Timing Cable for the Launcher. (This point would be on the downward traveling buss cable on a vertical bow.) Locate this point 1/8 inch to ¼ inch from the string stopper rod. I used white out to mark the point on the cable which can be seen in the photo below. This photo was taken from below the bow (looking front to rear) with the string in the full draw position to illustrate how close the point marked on the cable comes to the cable groove in the cam. Use extreme caution and keep the safety on and no arrow nocked when in the full draw position!
- The Timing Cord should be attached to this cable before it is threaded through the hole in the Collar on the Launcher shaft (the Collar comes with the Bracket). This is sort of opposite the installation instructions included with the QAD Rest for attaching the timing cable to a vertical bow. The cable clamp that comes with the rest won’t clear the cam so the Timing Cord can be served to the cable with serving thread or attached with a string loop knot or your method of choice. I used about 1/3 full draw for space while serving the Timing Cord to the Cable. However the Timing Cord is attached to the cable, it must clear the string stopper rod, the cam and must not slip. See the three photos below.
- The first photo below is the top view of my attachment; the second photo is the bottom view. The bow string is against the string stoppers in the first and second photos.
- The third photo (taken from directly below the cam) shows how close the timing cable attachment comes to the cam in the full draw position. (Use extreme caution when in the full draw position and always keep the safety on!)