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View Full Version : Old Cougar Magnum M-15 Cable Length?



proto57
02-22-2010, 08:21 AM
I cannot find the proper cable length for my older (80's?) Martin Cougar M-15. The label specs are:

Peak weight: 60-75
Holding weight: 50
String Length: 38"
Draw Length: 30"
Bow Number: 41830

I have a set of NOS Martin teardrop steel cables, which are supplied about a foot longer than needed. On this type bow, there is one cable, which runs all the way from the teardrop, around and through the wheels (anchored in the wheel with an allen set screw), and then dead-ends to a single loop around a single aluminum pulley on each axle.

The old cables were cut before I got this, so I cannot measure them. I think I can figure this out... maybe... as I have it all set up, with the limb nuts loosed all the way, and the axles at their factory specified distance from each other (45 1/2"). I have a new 38" bow string in it... and so, I am assuming that by fixing the cable at this point, and securing the loops (with my nicopress fittings and tool), that when I tighten the limb bolts, it will stay about where it should be. I mean, the axles should not move apart much, except for string stretch and so on.

So I think this would work. And maybe this is how it is normally done for these type bows... BUT: If there is a factory length for these cables, from teardrop to loop end, then I would rather simply measure and make up the cables this way. I do have the manual, which Martin helpfully posts:
http://www.martinarchery.com/manuals/Cougar_web.pdf
However this does not have a set cable length listed. I apologize if this information is somewhere on this site, or elsewhere, but I could not find it. Thanks, proto.

bfisher
02-22-2010, 01:10 PM
Not sure if I can be of any help, but the only place I can think of that may have this info might be Lancaster Archery Supply. 1-800-829-7408. I know they sell full length cables and may have at one time made them up so may have the data on hand. Other than that the only other source might be Martin Customer Service at 1-800-541-8902.

Maybe one of the other guys can be of more help on here.

proto57
02-22-2010, 03:26 PM
Bfisher: Thanks I may try Lancaster then... although I don't like bothering them as I already have my cables. I'm sure they are busy with the their customers!

I also emailed Martin tech staff from their contact page, so maybe they will have the figures for me soon. Thanks again, proto.

bfisher
02-23-2010, 04:54 PM
Where are you located? Emails don't work with Martin. Phone call is much better.

proto57
02-23-2010, 08:10 PM
Bfisher:


Emails don't work with Martin.

OIC! Ok then... I did wonder, because they say no Hotmail, MSN, or Gmail. I used my Lycos account... but since the others won't work, I still worried about that.

Ok then I'll call. We have one of those unlimited nationwide plans, so the distance is not an issue. Thanks again for your help... I'll let you know how it goes.

proto57
02-24-2010, 09:34 AM
I just got off the phone with a nice guy from the Martin Tech department. He says they do not have cable length specs going back that far... for bows older than maybe the late 1980's. The bow number was of no help... he said they were not too good at keeping such records.

I asked if setting it up the way I was originally intending... I mean, fixing the axle distance to spec, then making up the cable to that... seemed to make sense. He said "that should be close enough". So we will see. It will be interesting to see how far apart, if at all, the axles move when I release the tension onto my new set of cables, and my new string. Who knows? Maybe it will actually work!

bfisher
02-24-2010, 07:44 PM
I just got off the phone with a nice guy from the Martin Tech department. He says they do not have cable length specs going back that far... for bows older than maybe the late 1980's. The bow number was of no help... he said they were not too good at keeping such records.

I asked if setting it up the way I was originally intending... I mean, fixing the axle distance to spec, then making up the cable to that... seemed to make sense. He said "that should be close enough". So we will see. It will be interesting to see how far apart, if at all, the axles move when I release the tension onto my new set of cables, and my new string. Who knows? Maybe it will actually work!

Thanks for letting us know. Wish you luck with your endeavor. At least you're not afraid to try something.

proto57
03-01-2010, 02:52 PM
FYI: Today I finally got around to finishing the project: I swaged the cable ends, and tightened the limb bolts. The axle distance did not change from 45 1/2". I put shrink wrap on the cables to hide the ugly swages... and I used two on each end, as I had never used this type of swage end, and wanted insurance.

The bow did not work at first: It was far too hard to pull. I don't have anything to compare it too... as I had only pulled back one compound bow, one time, over 30 years ago. But I knew it was wrong. So I looked it over, and figured out the problem (I think).

On these bows the cams are really wheels with offset axles. The orientation of the wheel on the limb is paramount to the progression of the pull. The only thing left of the original cable had been the teardrop ends... and I had put the new cables to the length of these from the wheel... which was 10 1/4". I thought this would be necessary to allow the 38" string length, and for the cable to come off at the proper point on the wheel... which is just before it goes back into the wheel.

But that was wrong. I adjusted the amount of the cable coming off the wheel until I could match the orientation of the wheels to pictures on the internet...They are now about 2/3 of the wheel above the upper limb surface. This gave a cable length of 9" from wheel to teardrop. This did not change the distance between the axles, and the cable still came off the wheel at about one turn... but what it did do was to allow the wheel to turn forward a bit more. I think this means it is begun at the hard part of the pull, and allow one to pull back through to the hold position quicker. And the draw is 30" like it is shown on the label.

Now I was able to "pull" the bow... whatever you call it. And I was able to hold it, and shoot one arrow... which I lost in the 2' of snow in my back yard, about 200 feet away. That, because I am an idiot. But it flew pretty straight for everything else being unadjusted and whatnot. What a rush!

Again I don't have anything to compare this to... it was only the second arrow I have ever fired, so I do not know if the pull is what it should be. The bow is a 60# to 75# bow, and I have the limb bolt backed off about halfway of recommended for 60#. The pull seems hard to me, still... but I am a 52 Y.O. noob... and maybe it is right for what 60 plus pounds should feel like. Maybe I can rig a scale to it somehow. But I think I'm going to have to work out if I want to keep doing this. It will be fun to learn all the adjustments, and see if I can hit a target at 60 yards.

Thanks for your help... Proto.

bfisher
03-01-2010, 04:51 PM
Hey, good for you. I'm glad you came back and let us know what's going on. Is there any possibility you can post some pics of the bow and cams showing the cam orientation? Maybe we can help "fine tune" this thing.

It sure sounds like you have a little common sense about building things. I don't know about the part where you shot the bow, though. You sure that wasn't just intestinal fortitude or a brain fart?

proto57
03-02-2010, 06:31 AM
bfisher asks:


Is there any possibility you can post some pics of the bow and cams showing the cam orientation?

Sure:

http://www.santa-coloma.net/general/martin_upper_wheel.jpg

Since you asked, and I made this image up, I can see that I overshot the rotation of the wheels a few degrees forward, from what is shown in the manual. That is, if the dark dot in their drawing is the setscrew, and the dark diagonal line in the wheel is the cable running through. Maybe I will back it up a bit.

But I am able to pull it easier, now that I got used to it. And I looked up on the internet to see if something was wrong... but it seems that a 75# bow is just really hard for a newbie to pull. I backed it off to 60#, and it is doable for me. I'll practice it.


I don't know about the part where you shot the bow, though.

Do you mean the danger of it, or the loss of the arrow? Remember I'm new at this... I tried to look up the laws, and could not find the rules for New York State. So I had to use common sense on the safety... I had a good 325 feet to the rock wall at the edge of my property, where a field starts a rise on the next property. The nearest structure is a barn, about 80' elevation, 30 degrees to the left, and maybe 1200' away. The worst I could do would be to reach the very bottom of the field, if I tried, or fell over or something. Was this a no-no? Maybe I cannot shoot on my property at all if those distances are not allowed.

As for losing the arrow... certainly a problem. It's aluminum, and I can get out the metal detector and find it, though. Proto.

bfisher
03-02-2010, 04:38 PM
That pic helps a lot. This is an older bow. I haven't seen wood/glass laminated limbs for years. It brings back a lot of memories--good ones.

How is the draw length for you? There's a way you can fudge this thing to make the draw length longer and backroll the cams. A longer string. How long is up to you, but you can backroll the cams to where the cable almost touches itself. I'd keep about a 1/4" gap. If the cables slap each other it makes noise and vibration and there's always the rare chance that it could derail the cable and string.

The draw back is that the draw weight might increase, the draw length will be longer, but there should be a touch more letoff.

Something else to be careful about is that I would not recommend using fast flight strings or any of the more modern versions. Most wood/glass laminated limbs won't take the added stress imposed by no-stretch strings. Use either Dacron or B50.

proto57
03-03-2010, 04:15 AM
I haven't seen wood/glass laminated limbs for years.

I had to sand and varnish the tips while it was apart... they got marred from bumping on stuff over the years. While cleaning them up, I really got to appreciate the construction of this thing. It's like a piece of jewelry, or a musical instrument. Really carefully made. The shrink wrap does not do it justice... I may wrap the swages with seizing for a better look. I'll take a pic of the whole bow when I have a chance. It's snowing again, right now, or I would take it outside.


How is the draw length for you? There's a way you can fudge this thing to make the draw length longer and backroll the cams.

At this point I'm too unfamiliar to even know if it would be ideal for me... but when I draw it back to my cheek, my thumb comfortably touches my jaw. I'll keep it where it is for now, and learn how to use it. But if it does not seem right, and I need to change it, I'll use your instructions about the string.


Something else to be careful about is that I would not recommend using fast flight strings or any of the more modern versions.

Wow didn't know that! I had heard that I could not switch to modern cables, as these older bows need the plastic covered steel ones. As for the strings I have, I don't know the composition... I bought them back the first time I thought I would put this together, and I might not have even known then what they are made of. I will get a new set when I have a chance, of the type you recommend: Dacron or "B50". Thanks, Rich.

bfisher
03-03-2010, 12:50 PM
To determine a draw length that would fit you try getting on www.huntersfriend.com and fish around in the technical section. Basically it's wingspan Divided by 2.5.

Also get on Archery Talk and search for articles involving "Form". One user there, Nut&Bolts is very good at helping people.

proto57
03-06-2010, 08:35 AM
Thanks again... I'll check out that information then. Meanwhile I do have a pic of the bow ready, FYI:

http://www.santa-coloma.net/general/Martin_M_15_Cougar_crop.jpg

Spiker
03-06-2010, 03:05 PM
Very nice old bow!!!

bfisher
03-06-2010, 07:53 PM
Yes, this is an oldie but goody for sure. Definitely stay away from Fastflight strings. B50 or Dacron is what to use.

I like the background shot, too. Looks like what we have around here, or at least did till a couple days ago. 3D shoots are fun with 2 foot of snow on the ground.

proto57
03-13-2010, 08:47 AM
Thanks again... I have some catching up to do, and I will get back to the forum when I have some new news on the project. Later, proto.