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View Full Version : '12 Cougar FC vs '11 Alien Z Heads Up Shoot-out



Rootsy
12-03-2012, 06:32 PM
With both in my hands I figured I would see how they performed in an equal competition.

Cougar FC setup
60# Power Tough limbs 1HP 9121
Nitro 1.5 cams
28" draw length
max pull 61 lbs
Limbdriver Pro V rest
Copper John Gravedigger Bulls Eye sight
D-loop (no nock sets) 5 grains
CE kisser button - 5 grains with serving thread knots
X-Factor string dampers 2@ 13 grains each

Alien Z setup
60# Barnsdale limbs #155
Hybrix 2.0 cams
28" draw
max pull 58 lbs
Limbdriver Pro V rest
Copper John Gravedigger Bulls Eye sight
D-loop with nock sets - 7 grains
CE kisser button -5 grains with serving knots
Cir-Cut whiskers - 34 grains total

Ammunition - 27" CE Maxima Hunter 250 arrows with Blazer vanes - 347.1 grains actual measured weight.

Release - Tru Fire Edge

Chronograph - Beta Chrony @ 1 foot from bow - 10 consecutive shots from each bow

-RESULTS-

Cougar FC

Lo 267.1
Hi 276.5
Avg 271.5
Spread 9.43
Sd 2.64

Calculatd IBO using average - 322 fps

Alien Z

Lo 281.6
Hi 296.1
Avg 286.5
Spread 14.49
Sd 4.12

Calculated IBO using average - 340 fps

Even with limb saver limb dampening buttons the Z has slightly more felt vibration.

I feel the Cougar could benefit from some further tuning. The string serving is also very long, over 10 inches in length. The Nitro 1.5 cams have the general profile of the Hybrix 2 cams but are scaled down. The Cougar has an easier draw cycle with the smaller cams also. Not a huge amount but noticeable.

Further thoughts and opinions?

WildWilt15
12-03-2012, 06:34 PM
I feel you should send the Z my way for further "TESTING":rolleyes:

Lab Rat
12-03-2012, 07:53 PM
After I swapped out the CCS and installed the tilt tamer on my Alien Z the speed suffered a little. Using the stock cables and string with a 420 grain hunting arrow I got 265 fps. I also could only get around 56 lb of draw weight. I twisted the cables and brought the ATA back closer to 36" but the draw weight was about 59 lb. It then shot the 420 grain arrow at 277 fps. I then twisted the cables and now have about 60.5 lb of draw and you can tell that the bow is a little faster, but haven't chronographed yet.

I read quite a few articles about wrapping up the cams on the Martin Cat cams and tried to do the same on the Alien Z. I am not familiar with the 1.5 cams. I spoke with a dealer in town that doesn't really stock any Martin bows and he admits that the Alien Z is a beast. I totally agree. I had a guy in Gander Mountain who films hunting shows and who shoots a PSE Evo Dream Season drooling over my Alien Z.

A bow with a 36 inch ATA and almost 7 inches of brace shooting a real IBO of 340 fps is just sick. I think that Martin really made a mistake not bringing it out for 2013. I guess that makes the Alien Z a collector's item.

Rootsy
12-03-2012, 08:12 PM
After I swapped out the CCS and installed the tilt tamer on my Alien Z the speed suffered a little. Using the stock cables and string with a 420 grain hunting arrow I got 265 fps. I also could only get around 56 lb of draw weight. I twisted the cables and brought the ATA back closer to 36" but the draw weight was about 59 lb. It then shot the 420 grain arrow at 277 fps. I then twisted the cables and now have about 60.5 lb of draw and you can tell that the bow is a little faster, but haven't chronographed yet.

I read quite a few articles about wrapping up the cams on the Martin Cat cams and tried to do the same on the Alien Z. I am not familiar with the 1.5 cams. I spoke with a dealer in town that doesn't really stock any Martin bows and he admits that the Alien Z is a beast. I totally agree. I had a guy in Gander Mountain who films hunting shows and who shoots a PSE Evo Dream Season drooling over my Alien Z.

A bow with a 36 inch ATA and almost 7 inches of brace shooting a real IBO of 340 fps is just sick. I think that Martin really made a mistake not bringing it out for 2013. I guess that makes the Alien Z a collector's item.

I think if I can work something out to make the grip more comfortable I will be GTG on her. Maybe the thermal grip Martin offers will do the trick.

Where are you in SW MI?

Spiker
12-03-2012, 09:35 PM
I just finished changing the clothes on my AZ so it can play Indoors this winter.
7411

hawkdriver55
12-04-2012, 05:32 AM
Do you think that you would have gotten faster speed out of the Cougar if you would have had the 2.0 cams?

Rootsy
12-04-2012, 10:38 AM
Do you think that you would have gotten faster speed out of the Cougar if you would have had the 2.0 cams?

Not knowing specific differences between the 1.5 and 2.0 I cannot answer that.

I will be giving the FC a good inspection (in regard to some of what Lab Rat was speaking of) and see how it is setup from the factory. I have not touched it except for DL, weight and to add the kisser, rest, sight and d-loop.

Jake-the-snake
12-04-2012, 09:21 PM
Not knowing specific differences between the 1.5 and 2.0 I cannot answer that.

I will be giving the FC a good inspection (in regard to some of what Lab Rat was speaking of) and see how it is setup from the factory. I have not touched it except for DL, weight and to add the kisser, rest, sight and d-loop.

I dont think so. I believe the 1.5 would be putting out more energy and operating at a higher efficency with it set on the longer draw length for the cam, rather than a larger cam set to a smaller draw length. Kinda like when Martin had the Nitrous cams, they always said the "B" cams were the fastest when compared equal with the "C" cams

Rootsy
12-05-2012, 05:51 AM
So we need to modify some numbers, for the better. When I buy a bow I have the seller (store) pull it on a scale @ max weight and then turn it out one turn and pull, then a second and pull. This gives me a correlation as to how much pull weight drops since I never had a scale and so I know a starting point. Well I bought a scale and got it hung last night.

The Alien Z pulled at 60.5 when I bought it and the FC at 60.6 (inspection card from Martin listed it as 61.6) - 2 different scales. After a check for accuracy (a few known weights) of my scale I pulled both bows cranked down. Since I am using a spring scale I only have 1 lb graduations so a resolution of +/- .5 lbs if my eyes can focus. The FC pulled at just a touch under 61 lbs. The Alien on the other hand only pulled at 58 lbs.

5 twists on each cable and now it breaks at 60 lbs even. ATA is now within 1/16th and BH is about 1/8 over spec. Guess we will see what she will do tonight. Gap between the post and cable is about a 1/16th +/- and just a touch less on the bottom than on the top.

15 turns out on the limb bolts (as far as I want to go - safely - IMEO) and the Z doesn't relax enough to get strings and cable to just slip off. Have to hand rotate the cam, under pressure and then use a soft object to slip through the cam and let it bear against the limb to hold the cam indexed such that the cable will slip on and off... This is with the CCS unbolted and free to hang.

Lab Rat
12-05-2012, 06:51 AM
Rootsy,

When I first installed the cable slide and tilt tamer I didn't have a press either. I went out and bought a Bowmaster portable press and it works great. The only downside is that I have a greater tendency to "tinker".

elkslayer4x5
12-05-2012, 07:31 AM
Rootsy,

When I first installed the cable slide and tilt tamer I didn't have a press either. I went out and bought a Bowmaster portable press and it works great. The only downside is that I have a greater tendency to "tinker".

LOL, +1 Yeah, me too. The Bowmaster Protable press is one of the handist archery tools on the market. I never go hunting without mine in my pack, because of an accident I had once while riding my mountain bike, dumped the bike, derailed my my Nitrous camed Slayer, and had to give up all the climb I had gained. Was 5 miles up a mountain, when this happened.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v728/deast-lr/derailedcam.jpg

Rootsy
12-05-2012, 09:37 AM
LOL, +1 Yeah, me too. The Bowmaster Protable press is one of the handist archery tools on the market. I never go hunting without mine in my pack, because of an accident I had once while riding my mountain bike, dumped the bike, derailed my my Nitrous camed Slayer, and had to give up all the climb I had gained. Was 5 miles up a mountain, when this happened.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v728/deast-lr/derailedcam.jpg

I was looking at this portable press. Is there any issue with cam to limb cam pocket clearance to get the portable's T ends through? For the money it looks handy and I may have to own one by the weekend.

Lab Rat
12-05-2012, 09:44 AM
I have used the Bowmaster portable on my Onza 3 and Alien Z. Just take your time and you won't hurt a thing.

Spiker
12-05-2012, 01:53 PM
Purchase the split limb adapters with it.
They work well on solid limbs too and give you more room.

Rootsy
12-05-2012, 08:47 PM
Purchase the split limb adapters with it.
They work well on solid limbs too and give you more room.

DONE and DONE... Good thing for the adapters too. On the Z it is a real PITA to get the blocks through the limbs ahead of the cams... FC should be easier. Pressed the Z tonight to open the cable gap on the top cam. Much quicker and easier than backing limb bolts out 15 revolutions each.

Now the draw weight is right at 61 lbs, draw length is 27.25 using the stop and that gives a Let off of 75%. She is clocking anywhere from 294 to 299. I added 2 more speed nocks on each end of the cable and blew up the whiskers on the string... So I lost 34 grains there. it was jumpy until I opened the cable gap on the top string and played with the STS a bit and it has settled down some now. I have some limbsaver cable leaches to try... Wish the Z had some riser damping other than that push in piece of rubber below the grip.

Then string above the serving is frayng a bit too. It was a bit like this when I bought it and has gotten a bit worse. It would be where the nose touches the stringn when shooting just a kisser. The cables also relaxed somewhat after shooting a bit after wrapping them up 5 turns last night. I only wrapped one cable 5 more turns today to open cable gap on top.

I WILL get 300 out of it darn it....just to say I can...

Lab Rat
12-06-2012, 04:18 AM
Rootsy,

In your first post on this thread your draw was set at 28". I would get your draw lengthened back out from the 27" your set at now and that should push you over the hump. I am blessed or cursed with a 30.5" draw length so getting a little extra kinetic energy stored. You would get another 5 ft-lbs of KE input. How does the cam timing look? I pulled the string leaches off of my Z, because they just didn't seem to do much and only added weight to the string. But if I had a chronograph I would probably install something close to the speed nocks to optimize placement. I find that the Z is very quiet at 60 lb with the cams all wrapped up with a NAP apache stabilizer and everything lubed and tightened down. I am shooting a 420 grain arrow also which may quiet it down a bit. Believe it or not the loudest that this bow shot was due to my arrow nocks pinching in the D-loop. I was experimenting with tying in arrow nocks with a d-loop and the lower nock was moving up into the arrow nock. This did not allow the arrow to come cleanly off of the string and the bow sounded like a cross bow. I removed the bottom nock and immediately whisper quiet. I really need to learn more about desired center serving and nock fit.

Rootsy
12-06-2012, 05:25 AM
Rootsy,

In your first post on this thread your draw was set at 28". I would get your draw lengthened back out from the 27" your set at now and that should push you over the hump. I am blessed or cursed with a 30.5" draw length so getting a little extra kinetic energy stored. You would get another 5 ft-lbs of KE input. How does the cam timing look? I pulled the string leaches off of my Z, because they just didn't seem to do much and only added weight to the string. But if I had a chronograph I would probably install something close to the speed nocks to optimize placement. I find that the Z is very quiet at 60 lb with the cams all wrapped up with a NAP apache stabilizer and everything lubed and tightened down. I am shooting a 420 grain arrow also which may quiet it down a bit. Believe it or not the loudest that this bow shot was due to my arrow nocks pinching in the D-loop. I was experimenting with tying in arrow nocks with a d-loop and the lower nock was moving up into the arrow nock. This did not allow the arrow to come cleanly off of the string and the bow sounded like a cross bow. I removed the bottom nock and immediately whisper quiet. I really need to learn more about desired center serving and nock fit.

27 really is my optimal draw length, very comfortable for me. 28 stretches me out too far, almost to the point where I have to lock my elbow and that isn't a comfortable shooting style for me. I can live with 27 1/4 but it is easy to relax from the wall at that spec. Opening the gap on the top cam seems to allow for that slight relax and not effect performance, at least that is what the chrono said. As you know, the min draw length of the Z is 28 inches with everything set @ nominal specs and this is why I ordered the FC with Nitro 1.5 cams. Wrapping the cables lengthens draw length and since I am under spec the only option I have is to use the stop to shorten my draw length which also decreases letoff... 61 lb peak, 16 lb @ full draw on the scale right now.

I may open the gap on the top cam a bit more and play with speed nock location and quantity.

Probably need to think about a new string too, if settings continue to creep.

justin
12-06-2012, 04:44 PM
The az is just a really really great bow!!! Im not planing on upgrading for quite some time.

Rootsy
12-06-2012, 05:19 PM
Now that my shoulders are tired for the night....

I opened the top gap with 5 more cable turns. Top gap is just shy of 1/8 and bottom gap is half of that. Draw weight between 62 and 63 on scale and stop set for 27 inches exactly. Consistent 294 to 297 with 3 speed nocks top and bottom each. More seems to make it more inconsistent or slow down. It managed to fire back to back 301s (301.8 and 301.3) and did a 300.6 once afterward.

One thing I have noticed is that on a fast pass there is very little riser vibration, if any at all. On slow passes the vibration is significantly more. Not exactly sure what is going on to cause this yet. Twang the riser with you finger and it rings like a tuning fork... Well that is an exaggeration...

I also got rid of the lower nock set as it was pinching the nock. The arrow would jump just before the break in the draw cycle.

Lab Rat
12-06-2012, 08:14 PM
I will not buy a chrono, I will not buy a chrono, I will not buy a chrono.......hmm maybe I'll build one..

Time to tweak the Cougar?

Hutch~n~Son Archery
12-07-2012, 03:28 AM
I will not buy a chrono, I will not buy a chrono, I will not buy a chrono.......hmm maybe I'll build one..

Time to tweak the Cougar?
They are real nice! They are real nice! They are real nice! ...They are real nice! you should buy one..





Hutch:cool:

Rootsy
12-07-2012, 05:47 AM
For as inexpensive as they are.... Just buy one...

I have a Shooting Chrony Beta model... Have had it forever. Never an issue (unless you leave it on and then the 9 volt goes dead and you never have a spare in the house)...

Lab Rat
12-07-2012, 09:43 AM
I am happily married with a really bad fishing obsession and a developing archery obsession. I told my wife that archery will not be nearly as expensive as Great Lakes fishing. I need to slowly acclimate her to archery. Somewhat like cooking a lobster I guess. I am still not allowed to have a father's day, birthday or Christmas present this year due to my autopilot upgrades for my boat this year. The archery shop in town has a prochrono digital that I have been thinking about acquiring, but also read about making one which would be interesting to mess around with also.

Rootsy
12-07-2012, 09:59 AM
To answer your question earlier Lab Rat, I think I am still going to tune on the Z for a bit before getting into the Cat. I need to sit down and document what I have done and the results in a tabulated fashion. Since I have it probably shooting as fast as it is going to with major gains per change I really need to put together a DOE plan for anything further I do. That way I can quantify results and understand what is responsible for what.

Once I have that all done in some fashion and am satisfied that the Z is tuned as well as I can get it for the capabilities of my equipment I will move onto the Cat.