I will be ordering the 3lb Timney trigger soon so I can install it immediately upon delivery of a new TAC 15i. My dealer is fairly local and has done a great job in servicing me extraordinarily well over many years when purchasing many Mathews, Hoyt, Bowtech and PSE compound bows. Until his service has degraded I'm committed to give him my business. That said, I've already learned a wealth of information from this forum and intend to order as many of my components for the crossbow as possible from Len/Andy. The new trigger is my initial priority and I'd like to better understand which other improvements should be considered in order of priority with the primary objective of achieving ultimate accuracy in the 90-120 yard range. I'm assuming the need for the HHA Optimizer, going to the new drop-away(would also like to see reports on the new Firenock Micro rest that's coming before moving on the Ultra), new arrows/vanes Dorge has come up with.... or refletching the PSE arrows to a 3 fletch design, installing a mono-pod for hunting, etc., etc............. jon.henry and others that see this post would you please prioritize based on your infinite TAC 15i experiences the order of priorities up to and including what scope to consider down the road for the best in long range consistent accuracy.
I appreciate the vote of confidence when it comes to picking out the order of selecting after market customization components to accurize your new TAC15i crossbow, but on this issue I'd prefer to take a background position, at least until you've heard from a few other members who's opinions I greatly value.
I may have a good list of what I think is most important, but please remember that when I was doing all the changes to achieve the type of results you're looking for many had not been invented yet or perfected yet, so I was either involved in the innovating or testing of many of today's solutions. Much of the equipment was created or added slowly over several months and in a single thread one at a time approach. Often we thought we had resolved certain problems and these crossbows would then perform flawlessly, until we fixed the one we were on and then arrived at the next new barrier, then it was back to the drawing boards.
By the time some of the newer members arrived in the last several months, they had more choices to make based on the old time members having solved the majority of problems and we had long since sorted out most of the product offerings as to what worked best.
I'll answer your question if nobody else does, but I think you're likely to get some great advice from a few of our other members and I think their perspective is as good as anything I can provide.
Topgun80, Twanger, Paacrossbow and Buzzard Bait are just a couple of names to look out for, but there are numerous others as well. If I think anybody i off base with their advice I'll add my two cents for what little it's worth.
Thanks jon.henry...............Twanger responded to a similar request I posted on Crossbow Nation so appreciate having his thoughts but got nothing else on that post which is why I responded here. Please keep your eyes on this post to see if the others you've noted or someone entirely different posts up to provide their input. Even if they do I'd like your thoughts too since you've been so involved with those you've mentioned in the testing of the many advances noted on this forum regarding the TAC improvements. I'd like to have my plan in hand when my new bow arrives and at that point intend to have the 3lb Timney Trigger and HHA Optimizer available for immediate installation. Even though the other items can wait awhile I'm always one that likes to have my plan thought out and fully implementable in terms of budgeting for the improvements and then doing them in the right order to logically make step change improvements happen one by one. I've built a lot of specialized equipment and as a designer/toolmaker in my previous life before retiring I like to take things one step at a time and prove my progress incrementally by analysing the data and then quantifying the results. Thanks for the help!
I'm one of those names jon.henry755 mentioned (rmbeach here on LRH, Buzzard Bait on other forums).
I shoot an older TAC 15, a little different than your TAC 15i since I'm using a DPMS Lower which hinges open to expose the trigger.
The first thing to do when you get your new 15i is to go through the process of leveling, squaring, cam timing, etc. There are "How to's" here in the PSE Forum by jon.henry755 and several others. If you're going to use factory arrows they will need to be spine tested with nocks properly aligned and refletched accordingly. Firenock's new Aerobolts will come ready to use. Your choice! If you use Aerobolts or three fletch factory arrows you will have to modify your scope rail.
As far as accessories, I don't think there is a specific order, basic items such as a trigger, rest, HHA Optimizer, scope should be first, and then grips, forend/forarm, stock, pistol grip, monopod and/or whatever else you feel will work best for you.
The 3lb Timney Trigger is an excellent choice in your quest for best accuracy with your TAC 15i. It was my choice too! I also use a QAD UltraRest, an HHA Optimizer with a 3x9 rifle scope. I had too many factory arrows to change over to the Aerobolts, so my factory arrows have been spine tested, new nocks installed (Red Firenocks for hunting) and refletched with four white Duravanes.
I hunt exclusively from ladderstands or groundblinds, so I haven't added or changed any other accessories.
I have posted these suggestions on another site, but since you asked I'll put them up over here to.
I am by no means an expert, but have owned a Tac15 for a few months and have a few observations.
Much of what you do depends on how far you're gonna shoot.
Under 50 yards:
If you are going to limit your shots to inside 50 yards a mil-dot scope (usually shipped with the Tac15i package) is all you need. You really don't need any extras.
Set scope on 4X you can gap-shoot the dots for the hold-over you need.
The stock trigger is heavy, but adequate at closer ranges.
Over 50 yards:
Trying to shoot out to 100 yards is a whole other kettle of fish.
First, let me say that the wind-drift of an arrow shot from the Tac15I at 100 yards is worse than the wind-drift of a bullet shot from a .308 at 700 yards. There's not really a lot of equipment you can buy to help beat this... so, I really only say this so that you know what you're buying into when you're talking about shooting at 100 yards.
My Tac15i has a stock Whisker Biscuit on it and is shooting 2-3" groups at 100 yards, so I can't really recommend that you replace it immediately. There are good arguments for replacing the WB, but you'll get better mileage out of other stuff first.
Range Finder: If you don't have a range finder, get one. You have to have one to shoot effectively out around 100 yards. The arrow is dropping about 1-2 inches per yard way out there, and if you're off just a couple of yards on range then you miss.
HHA Optimizer Speed Dial: The mil-dots are cumbersome past 50 yards. The Speed Dial is a must at longer ranges.
Timney Trigger: The stock trigger is heavy but adequate. I changed mine out to a Timney @ 3lb and it's well worth it. You can shoot 3 inch groups at 100 yards with an 8lb trigger, but it'll eventually drive you batty. A heavy trigger also makes it hard to 'cheat' the surprise-pull in hunting situation without throwing off your aim.
Whisker Biscuit: I'm still using it, but there's good arguments to swap it out for a drop-away. Most of these arguments center around wear of the WB over time causing your POI to change, and you bow to slowly go out of tune. I'm not there yet, but have only shot my Tack maybe 300 times.
Modified Rail: Useful if you fletch your own arrows. Not required for 100 yard shooting.
Arrow Spine: I have not played with sorting arrows yet. Uniformity in all things is the hallmark of accurate shooting.
Broadhead: I honestly don't know where this fits into the priority equation. I've killed 3 deer with the Tac15, all under 25 yards. However, I'm guessing that at ranges past 50 yards the broadhead selection and tuning will be mucho important and plan to do a lot of this during the summer. Who knows? At 100 yards, it may be more important to get this right than any of the above factors.
You've learned a great deal more than you're willing to take credit for my friend!
If I didn't believe that statement, I wouldn't solicit your expertise. You might have only killed three deer, but you've done a good deal more shooting than most.
P.S. - Since you do more hunting than almost anybody else I know, I'd suggest you take a look at the TAC15i "Silencing Information" that was recently posted. When I tell you that the materials used are solid as a rock and unbelievably quiet, you'll have to try the modification to believe it for yourself. Dirt cheap and works like a charm.
Thanks for the kind words Jon.
In all truth I've killed about 200 deer (+/-), most of them with a vertical bow, maybe 50 with a crossbow, and only a handful of them were with a gun. Soooooo....I've spent a ton of time on stand with deer up-close and personal. While doing suburban deer management with a bow I've been wanting to find a way to get more stand-off range from the feeders without sacrificing accuracy and the Tac15 fits the bill perfectly. In the late season we often get busted sitting 15-20 yards off a feeder, but sitting 30-40 yards off a feeder we'd almost never get busted.
I will probably give the silencing kit a try... but I hate the thought of ripping the upper off the crossbow again. Hopefully I won't have to knock that blasted trigger-pin out again.