Go from 18 to 16 strands in a string

MATTeL

New member
I am going to make a couple more strings soon and was wondering what the overall impact would be is I went from 18 strands to 16 strands.

I pull 43.3lbs and the string is on a 70inch bow (unwound I think the string is 171cm).

So at the poundage pulled is 16strands too few or will it be okay?
 


Meddler

New member
Modern materials have a higher breaking strain per strand than Dacron, and people shot 40+ pounds with 12 strand Dacron strings. So a 16 strand string should be OK (within certain limits, EO&E etc etc).

Theoretically you may get a faster arrow with a thinner string, but you have to weigh up how much you have to build up the nocking point. It could feel uncomfortable on the fingers, so you may have to add an extra layer to the tab.
 


tel

Active member
Fonz Awardee
I use 16 on my majesty strings. It did improve sight mark a little, wasn't an issue with nocking point (beiters), was a little hard on the pinkies at first, so I did add a layer to my tab.......he's good that Meddler isn't he? ;)
 


BorderBows

New member
We use fastflight plus here.
Here is an example of what we do on our personal bows here.
62" Field bow with hex5 limbs. 61lbs at 28.5" 12strand and it lasted about 8 months.
Now we think the problem with thinner strings is that it does bite into your glove/tab more... So when making your Thin string, add as many stands to the part that needs serving as needed to get back to your original happy size.
then serve. For example, if your working on an 18 strand string, and you want to run a 14 strand string, then add 4 strands into the serving section only. or even better, the contact area of your tab and nock, then serve and you have a light normal performing string withe the speed gains of a lighter one.

Now, our next concern about thin strings is the poor old nock tip.
If your shooting 16 strands, then that is what your bow can handle. Dont go cutting your tips off with cheese wire so to spreak, so do the same with the tips as you do with the serving, add some padding.
Now. With high performance weight reduction, there are warnings, the string is more prone to damage, so replace it more often... and have a back up. They do go pop! just make sure you replace it at regular intervals, and that way you can get more preformance without any draw backs other than needing a new string.
in short
you only need say 16 strands where the string is in contact with something. the rest can be less and the longevity is down to the number of strands you use...
 


cestria

Member
Fonz Awardee
I made a couple of 16 strand 8125 strings with Beiter nock points, and followed the general method of serving them.
I did however start the top serving a good finger width above the nock point and the bottom one a good two finger widths below the nock point. I kept the serving here quite tight and smooth so when the serving reversed over it, it gave a double serving thickness which is very comfortable on my fingers.
I can't take all the credit for this tip as I found it on the Internet, Serving BNPs - Tricks by TexARC
 


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oldy

New member
As you can see I am not currently a recurve archer because of injury.
However, I shot recurve for many years.The point I want to make is, in my experience the amount of strands you have, will in a recurve will affect the the way it shoots and how well it groups. If you get the strings you want to try together on the same day ,plot your groups and compare. My bet is that, if you are capable of putting down fairly tight groups you will find one better than the other. I personally found too few strands made a string unstable and critical.Too many strands made the shot soggy (took the sting out of it).
 


MATTeL

New member
Well thank you all for your feedback.

So the string is made and partially shot in, certainly it feels faster and a little sharper than the eighteen strand strings previously used.

Also the sight marks have move up the scale rather dramatically, for instance at 20m the Shub Ultimate I have would normally be set at 15 (1 hole back), now it needs to be set to 10.

The string could be more critical of bad shots bit for the most part it worked well with the rest of the setup.
 


Stretch

Active member
I did however start the top serving a good finger width above the nock point and the bottom one a good two finger widths below the nock point. I kept the serving here quite tight and smooth so when the serving reversed over it, it gave a double serving thickness which is very comfortable on my fingers.
I can't take all the credit for this tip as I found it on the Internet, Serving BNPs - Tricks by TexARC
I appreciate that TexARC knows what he's doing at that Lindsey has proven it BUT I'm not convinced. FWIW this is what I used to do and I have changed. By having the double layer above and below the BNP you make a very rigid section in the string - if you are serving onto the BNP then there is a good chance of getting it too tight. Both of these scenarios are in line with cracking teflon BNPs.

I use the method shown on the Beiter site and it works fine for me. To date I've never had one crack and I've never had one move (unless I wanted it to) :gnasher:

Back on the general topic, I've always preferred the feel of thicker strings and tend to prefer the 18str 8125 feel. But never assume that a thinner string gives you more speed. It will usually feel quicker (it'll usually be noisier too) but is it? Chrono and genuine tuned sight mark gaps are the only way to tell.

A friend of mine was shooting 90m and 70m with 16 str and then swapping to 18 st for 50 and 30 (yeah we thought he was nuts too) but he was shooting good nick 1240s. When he chrono'd the bow he found that there was no fps difference between the strings. :duh: Psychosomatic - he expected it to shoot better so he thought it did. He improved his overall consistency when he shot 18str all day (but there are other factors there - like shooting the same string all day!)

YMMV

Stretch

(18str 8125/24st 452X :cake2:)
 


oldy

New member
Well thank you all for your feedback.

So the string is made and partially shot in, certainly it feels faster and a little sharper than the eighteen strand strings previously used.

Also the sight marks have move up the scale rather dramatically, for instance at 20m the Shub Ultimate I have would normally be set at 15 (1 hole back), now it needs to be set to 10.

The string could be more critical of bad shots bit for the most part it worked well with the rest of the setup.
Dont forget to check out how it well it groups with comparison checks, as you wont get any awards for the best sight marks at a tourny.
It's easy to get carried away by good sight marks.
 


Thunk

Well-known member
Ironman
I notice that SVL has 34lb limbs and shoots a 12-strand string. I'd be interested to know how well that works...
 


BorderBows

New member
I personally found too few strands made a string unstable and critical.Too many strands made the shot soggy (took the sting out of it).
Can you explain how the string can become unstable?

Do you think it might be that the string is not unstable, its the nock fit/tab interaction...

If you can narrow down, your precise nock fit/good grouping string diamiter and density (the tightness that you serve the string at) then you can define what shoots well, and therefor all strings with this configeration should in fact shoot well. Now your down to reducing the mass to the rest of the string without compomising these measurements and you have a good string... that shoots fast and groups well...
 


MATTeL

New member
Dont forget to check out how it well it groups with comparison checks, as you wont get any awards for the best sight marks at a tourny.
It's easy to get carried away by good sight marks.
It groups just fine as the 6 target pins, three nocks and two fletchings that had to be replaced (still to be replaced in the case of the fletchings) went to show on Sunday morning.

Any lack of grouping was due more to me being a twonk on release rather than anything else.
 


oldy

New member
Can you explain how the string can become unstable?

Do you think it might be that the string is not unstable, its the nock fit/tab interaction...

If you can narrow down, your precise nock fit/good grouping string diamiter and density (the tightness that you serve the string at) then you can define what shoots well, and therefor all strings with this configeration should in fact shoot well. Now your down to reducing the mass to the rest of the string without compomising these measurements and you have a good string... that shoots fast and groups well...
To me an unstable string is one that being due to it's lightness/thinness does not absorb the vagaries of loosing as well as a slightly heavier string, which I have seen high speed film evidence of, travelling forward in a more stable manner,nothing to do with nock fit or tab fit, as they are easily remedied.
Also grouping at the longer distances needs checking out.
 


BorderBows

New member
To me an unstable string is one that being due to it's lightness/thinness does not absorb the vagaries of loosing as well as a slightly heavier string, which I have seen high speed film evidence of, travelling forward in a more stable manner,nothing to do with nock fit or tab fit, as they are easily remedied.
Also grouping at the longer distances needs checking out.
In which case stick to dacron to get a nice heavy string...
If your fingers deflect a string by half an inch or so from straight, then the light one will have less mass and straighten up quicker. the string heavy or not does not have enough mass to effect your fingers!
The bow thrust out weights any mass in the string so deflecting your fingers is a bow issue.

The next object to think about is that a peice of paino wire will not come off your fingers if your holding 40lbs on it. the reason is it has bitten into your finger so far that its in to bone. This means that a clean loose is impossible.
A thick rope will allow the string to roll more, and not dig into your fingers with such a dent! this will allow a cleaner loose.

You need to question if the slo-mo video you saw had the same diameter of string and serving at the tab contact area as each other, If not then the slo-mo video only shows that a thin string digs in more... You need to check if the same diameter serving/string on the same number of strands gives this inaccuracy...
 


SVL

The American
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
American Shoot
I notice that SVL has 34lb limbs and shoots a 12-strand string. I'd be interested to know how well that works...
I shoot a 12 strand FF string. I actually tried this out on the advice of Sid from BorderBows when I got my new limbs. I have compared a 16 and 12 strand string and found for me the 12 strand string gave better groups at my longer distance.
The centre serving area is bulked up to 16 strands so I have no problems with nocking. The wear on the string appears quite reasonable and I tend to make at least one new string per year. It also helped improve my sight marks for my longest distance as well (2 cm up), and the bow is not noisy so I think I will stick with the 12 strand.

Vanya Goud also tried a range of different strings, 12, 14 and 16 FF until she found what was right for her set-up.

I think string strand number is something worth experimenting with, especially if it helps reduce your groups.
 


Stretch

Active member
If your fingers deflect a string by half an inch or so from straight, then the light one will have less mass and straighten up quicker.
Is this information theoretical, hypothetical or can it be evidenced? I assume you're talking about strand size iro standard FF? It certainly would mean recommending strings substantially thinner than recommended by the string manufacturers and most limb manufacturers too. :scratchch

I have done a lot of personal testing of a variety of string materials on a wide variety of limbs and my results aways come back to about the same place. Currently 18strand 8125 and at the moment 24 strand 452X - which is a wee bit thicker. I even tried odd string sizes with DY02.

I tested ASB Dyneema from 16 strand through to 22 strand and unquestionably got the best results with 20st. (47lb 70" bow). I understand your theory but I would suggest there is something missing. (All setups were tuned and group sizes compared at 70m but it was only done by me.) [Yes I packed out the centre serving and I used Beiter nocks an BNPts]

The majority of the international archers I've known shoot strings in this vicinity too +/- a few strands but usually the fewer strands were on shorter bows.

Theory aside, in practice I have always found the *18* size more [oh no I'm going to use that word] "forgiving". :cake2: So I'm not saying thicker is better, I'm saying there is a balance and I've never found it to be as thin as 12 str.

:eek:ptimist:

Stretch
 


SVL

The American
Fonz Awardee
Ironman
American Shoot
The majority of the international archers I've known shoot strings in this vicinity too +/- a few strands but usually the fewer strands were on shorter bows.

Theory aside, in practice I have always found the *18* size more [oh no I'm going to use that word] "forgiving". :cake2: So I'm not saying thicker is better, I'm saying there is a balance and I've never found it to be as thin as 12 str.

:eek:ptimist:

Stretch
Interesting. I actualy shoot with a 64 in bow.
I guess stand number is something you really have to test with your own set-up. Does anybody else shoot with a 12 strand FF on bows of 66inch or more ?
 


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