Well I finally got my TAC 15i and the accessories I wanted to make certain were added before really trying this machine out. The Timney Trigger and Silencer Kit purchased from LRH went in flawlessly and gave me a real opportunity to study the gearing and other hardware that make this fine mechanical machine function. As a Tool & Diemaker/Designer by trade, I've always been accused of wanting to take things apart before I use them to better understand how they properly function. In addition, I read everything on this forum by Jon and many others and can't thank the "experts" on here enough for all they have contributed on the proper set-up of the TAC. After oiling(used Tenpoint's product recommended for triggers/gearing that won't affect strings/cables/cocking rope), waxing, installing the HHA Optimizer, doing all the necessary leveling, re-setting the scope, installing a level on the riser, checking/re-checking timing, assessing for cam lean, paper tuning, chronographing, weighing and numbering all my arrows(don't have a spine tester which needs to be my next purchase) and then purchasing a small portable table that can be easily set-up and moved I got serious on my range where I can shoot out to 100 yards on a target and have 12 3D big game animals set up out to 70 yards while shooting from a 14' tower and built in blind at ground level. I only shot to 80 yards and used my #1 arrow. After 5 shots at 80 yards I hit the 1 1/4" dot every time. Must have put 30 shots through from 20 to 80 yards and all arrows were in the 1 1/4" dot until I got to 50 yards and the wind came up which I attributed the very slight miss to. QUESTION.............Is there a simple way to check spine and what has been the experience/process out there relative to removing the PSE factory knocks??? I also purchased the necessary parts for my Bitzenberger and would like to purchase some Firenocks/Vanes. I have 18 arrows so am initially not planning on purchasing more arrows. My immediate objective is to attempt to get 6-8 arrows that I can rely on to group with one another and need to understand exactly what steps are needed to get there. Thanks in advance for any further help I can get on setting up and tuning my arrows for further consistency. This rig is unbelievable in terms of the accuracy and quietnes at the shot it provides. Now I must move forward for multiple arrow consistency to achieve the best shooting perfection as possible.
I recently got my tac 15i and have been having a ball with it, what a monster this thing is, this xbow definitely talks the talk and walks the walk. Len and his son were great to work with, and I highly recommend them.
I really don't understand a few posts that I have read on this forum complaining about different issues. This bow is about as simple as it gets, and I am certainly no expert by any means, but I do have the basic mechanic skills needed to align and level the bow allowing it to shoot quarters at 70 yds.
I can't wait to try it out on ant, deer and elk this fall in my beautiful state of wyoming. This is the best investment I have made in a while, no regrets at all.
First up, a big welcome to both you and parashooter for joining the TAC15 owners club. Like you, many of us have put in a little bit of work to perform the basic set-up and tuning steps and have since been amazed at what this crossbow is capable of doing in the right hands.
You asked about how one goes about removing and replacing the factory nocks. The factory nocks are held in place using a fast setting glue. These glues can usually be broken loose but taking a pair of regular pliers and while holding the arrow shaft very tightly with a rubber arrow puller or a rubberized mat, you can rotate the nock with the pliers until it snaps free.
For the record, it doesn't matter how much pressure you use because the nock will either break free or the carbon would break, but I haven't ever seen one break and I've personally done at least a couple of hundred shafts in recent years. On occasion, when I get a real tough one that doesn't want to break free, I wrap a cloth around my shaft and place it in my bench vice. I then carefully tighten the vice to a snug fit and then use my pliers to rotate the nock until it snaps free. When doing this you need to be careful not to tighten the vice to much to avoid the vice damaging your shaft.
Once all nocks have been removed, you will need to soak the back end of your arrows in a 6" tall narrow jar of Acetone for about 15 or 20 minutes. This will completely loosen all vanes, so they can be easily lifted right off the shaft. A second dipping of the shaft should allow you to easily wipe any remaining glue residue from the shaft with a cloth.
Once this has been done, your shafts are clean and ready to be spine tested and marked to identify the stiff side of each arrows spine.
Once the stiff side has been marked in the center of each shaft, this marking needs to be transferred to the nock end of the shaft.
Next, I personally place my new nocks into the arrow shaft about 3/4's of the way in and I align them such that when the nock is on the crossbows string the stiff side marking is in the exact 12:00 position. I do not want to glue my nocks permanently in place yet because I use the glue during the glue in step to adjust the final weight of each arrow. For now positioning the nocks is sufficient to get ready to add new vanes to the arrow, so that my vanes are now positioned in accordance with the position of my nocks.
I much prefer to use the same 3" Dynavane 3D vanes as used by PSE. The biggest difference in my arrows is the "Glue" I use. I've found that either the glue sold by Firenock (AGE9000) or G5 G-Lock Blu-Glu are my two favorites. These glues are so solid that I've never had a single vane come off in almost 3,000 shots. Apply a very thin coat and allow about 5 minutes per vane. If you can apply any extra downward pressure on your jig clamp, it strengthens the bond that's being formed. After each vane is applied, you can use Acetone on either a Q-Tip or a thin cloth to carefully clean any glue residue from the arrow shaft or base of the vane before moving on to the next vane.
After all arrows are finished, let them stand overnight before moving to the next step. This insures the glue is at full strength before going ahead.
I like to add a tiny drop of glue to the front edge and rear edge of each vane to create a ramp. This adds more bonding strength and also eliminates the edge created by the front of the vane. I stand the arrow up for several hours and allow this extra glue to dry.
Next, label each arrow using a white marking pen or any way so that you can see which arrow is which.
For the next step you must own a small electronic gram scale, that can be set to measure in "Grains". These can be found anywhere on the internet and usually cost between $30 and $100. I use one made by Easton that is designed specifically for arrows, but I've been making arrows for over 30 years, so it's paid for itself about 100 times over.
You will weigh each arrow and record its weight next to it's number that I stated you would need to mark on each arrow.
When you finish weighing all arrows you should now identify which arrow is the heaviest in your group of arrows. This will be the arrow you begin with because you can always add additional weight to all other arrows, but it's not possible to reduce the weight of the other shafts.
I use the slowest setting epoxy glue I can obtain. I like the old fashioned epoxy that says to leave it overnight to achieve final strength. The reason for this is because the slower setting adhesives provide the strongest bond strength and also allow the longest working time when installing the nocks.
Starting with your heaviest arrow, you will now add the smallest amount of glue possible and then insert the nock completely into the arrow shaft. Make sure it is aligned with the stiff side shaft marking and then immediately put it on the electronic gram scale and record the weight in grains. You want to record the weight down to the 100th of a grain position. This would be two places after the decimal point (422.XX). The XX representing the 100ths of a grain. If your scale only gos to the tenths column then record it to the tenth of a grain. and write it down next to the arrow number on your paper.
Do the nock on each subsequent arrow in the same manner, except add enough additional glue to either the outside or outside and inside of each nock so that as you weigh the shaft, it remains within (1 - 3) 100ths or tens of a grain of the heaviest shaft and all nocks are aligned to the stiff side marking, so the stiff side remains in the 12:00 o'clock position on each shaft.
Once you insert each nock into the arrow shaft and you weigh it, if the weight is either to light or to heavy compared to the heaviest shaft, just use a pair of pliers and quickly remove it and adjust the weight until each one is as close as possible to the same weight as your heaviest shaft.
By using this process, you are building a set of arrows that are not only spine matched and nock indexed, but they are also weight matched. So this means they will all oscillate in exactly the same direction on every shot and they weigh precisely the same amount as every other arrow in your group.
This cleans up all problems associated with differences in arrow performance from one arrow to another,
Last, keep in mind that your arrow points will never weigh the same as one another. I use my grain scale to weigh out 60 or 70 points in order to get a dozen that when added to each shaft will allow each finished arrow to weigh exactly the same ( + or - ) 1 or 2 100ths of a grain. This way, it makes no difference which arrow I reach for when I'm shooting. Broadheads have a wider spread of weight ms-matches, so I use broadhead washers in three different weights to adjust the final weight. There are plastic washers, Aluminum washers and stainless steel broadhead washers. Different combinations of these will permit you to achieve perfectly matched weight on all shafts.
Jon Henry..........Thanks much for the added technical info. When you refer to the stiffest part on the arrow, is this the highest point reading you would get when spinning the shaft on rollers using an indicator? I did this and was surprised to find such a variation of .002-.012 on my arrows with most of them in the .004-.008 range. I'm assuming cataloging based on this number will be important. My major question however is if the strongest part of the arrow is the highest point reading I get with the indicator and if this highest point is the 12:00 position when the arrow is nocked. I plan to use Duravanes but am wondering about using Firenocks and which specific number regarding Dorge's nocks I should order, along with what size of Bulldog Nock Collar that works with these shafts and the PSE/Firenock nocks. Thanks again for all your help!
Can anyone help me with my questions in the last post. Don't think Jon saw the questions I directed at him but will take any input I can get in terms of marking the arrows for spine and the significant variation I've seen from .002 to .012 TIR or more in terms of TIR when spinning the 18 PSE arrows. Conversely I've checked the 18 Carbon Pro's I have for my Tenpoint Carbon XLT and they are all within .001 to .003 TIR when spinning in the same jig. Also would like to know what specific regular nock and lighted nock to order from Dorge as I hunt several states where lighted nocks aren't legal. Appreciate anyones help I can get on this.
I was away in Europe for about three weeks so I'm slowly catching up on communications that I missed.
I'm a bit confused by your questions regarding spine measurements. Let me explain why. The arrows spine measurement is always represented by a decimal value. In the case of the PSE TAC15 Arrows all are in the .1XX classification, therefore your spine meter should br providing readings that are as an example .162 - .170 or .176 - .184. These would be typical examples of readings within two different spine ranges taken on a series of TAC arrow shafts. Rarely are the spine readings below .140 or greater than .190, but it's not impossible.
I always keep all arrow shafts within a given group that I'm building as close as possible so let me give you an actual example of a set that I have underway currently. Here are the actual deflection ranges for each shaft:
(68 – 78)
(69 – 78)
(70 – 78)
(71 – 78)
(70 – 77)
(70 – 77)
(71 – 77)
(70 – 79)
(71 – 79)
(69 – 81)
(69 – 82)
So, I hope you now get the idea of what the numbers look like and which number represents the stiff side of the arrow shaft. Keep in mind that the deflection range is what controls the oscillation timing for each shaft, so as long as the deflection range is very similar, then the timing will be consistent and the same for each arrow. Optimally, it would be nice if the tolerances within each shaft were tighter, but the fact is the PSE TAC15 Arrow shafts are not a very high quality shaft as you might get from other manufacturers. That's also why the shaft straightness factor is only .003 as opposed to the typical .001 straightness produced by makers like the Easton Gold Tips and of coarse the Firenock Aerobolt series of arrows.
Until recently nobody else in the industry was producing a shaft in the .150 range, so PSE had the corner market and didn't need to worry about the quality aspect of their shafts. Now that there's a new maker who's blown away the quality of the arrow and produced a shaft that's light years ahead of PSE's arrows, it's likely that PSE will loose a great deal of business in the arrow market.
Notice the weight column on my table. This is because I always maintain arrows weight through each step of the build process. I match the weight of my heaviest shaft by first applying the smallest amount of glue possible when installing my nock collars and nock, then i weigh the final arrow and write down this weight. All other arrows can have more glue added to either the nock collar or the inside of the nock until the weight of the heavier shaft is attained. If needed I will use a slow set epoxy glue and pull the nock back out as many times as necessary to either add or remove tiny amounts of glue until I'm within .01 to .03 grains of the exact weight of the heaviest shaft. When finished with each arrow it's always within + or - .02 grains of all other arrows in the group.
It's a slow process, but it's the only way to achieve that level of perfection.