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View Full Version : Report on my new Firecat 360



gibson 787
02-10-2011, 07:31 PM
Amongst my Alien X, Warthog and several other bows, I've always had a soft spot for my 09 Moab and at the end of the day, it was without doubt my 'go to' bow. The Moab of course, is basically a single cam version of the Firecat, as is the Firecat 360 the single cam version of the Firecat 400. Anyway, 10 days ago I took delivery of a new 2011 Firecat 360.

First impressions are important and I was immediately impressed with the new riser design, kind of similar to my Alien in some ways. The new string/cable were also impressive, as was the finish. I picked it up and was surprised with the radically changed grip. It felt weird initially, but fast forward to now and I like it, the bow holds extremely well. I did however remove the single piece of stick on leather that was on the palm side of the grip, as it only lasted a few dozen shots before it began moving and scrunching up. I replaced the leather with some of my own, (back and front) and glued it on with epoxy. It now feels sensational and is rock solid.

I put on a rest and loop and took it outside for a shoot. I was particularly interested to see how the new TRG/SOS performed It was maxed out at 73#(put it on the scale), so I nocked an arrow and drew back. It was smooth, very similar to my Moab, and held very steady. Using instinctive method, I released and the arrow slammed into the edge of the gold at 20 yards.

The hand shock was barely noticeable, less than the Moab, but it was a bit noisy. I fired 5 more arrows and was pleased to see them group into a fist sized pattern, but the noise was quite a few DBs more than the Moab. I noted that the string at rest, was touching the SOS and thought that may have something to do with it. Remember also, I was shooting a bare bow with no silencers etc.

A hundred or so shots later, I tuned it and was getting bullet holes after not much effort (it tuned very easily) Also, at this stage I had glued on the leather grips. Additionally, I fitted it with Limbsavers and attached whiskers to the string as well as experimenting with the positioning of the SOS. It didn't seem to matter where I set it in relation to the string, the noise remained. Fortunately, the silencers reduced the volume some, but it was still slightly louder than the Moab. I must admit that I am a bit fussy when it comes to noise, so to most it likely would not be an issue.

I conducted an arrow speed test and at 70#, 29" DL and 414gr arrow, I averaged 278 fps, so based on those figures, IBO would come in at around 310fps. I'm sure I could squeeze a bit more out of it by stripping off all the additives, but I'm more than happy with what I'm getting.

Now, to an important bit. I noticed that the section of string passing over the TRG was beginning to fray a little, but the problem was not evident on the bus cable. The TRG was smooth as and showed no sign of wear, but the string was definitely fraying. To remedy this, I immediately served the area on the string that was being damaged.

This was not a good idea, as when I drew the bow, the serving made a scraping sound when it passed over the TRG. Additionally, the noise level increased and I lost 5 fps in speed. Not good, so off came the serving.

I had noticed that the bus cable was NOT fraying and thought that it may be due to the fact that it contained more twists than the string. Anyway I put more twists in the string and obviously had to compensate by adding half as many twists to the bus cable. In addition to the twists, I really applied a lot of wax to the portion of string/cable that passed over the TRG.

Well, several hundred shots later, I'm pleased to say that the problem is solved, no more fraying! I should also add that I adjusted the TRG so that the string and cable passes over it squarely.

In conclusion, I'd like to say that up to this point in time, I believe the changes Martin have made, are IMO considerable improvements and you simply would not find a better product for the money spent.

Finally, I have a feeling that my Firecat 360 is in line to be my new 'go to bow' for 2011!

alex
02-11-2011, 03:11 AM
Thanks for the report, Gibson! :)

Hutch~n~Son Archery
02-11-2011, 03:14 AM
Nice write up! gives a very clear perspective on TRG. Thanks!

Hutch

archerx7
02-11-2011, 04:19 AM
Very good review on the FC360. As for the noise level, I have found that by adding an aftermarket low mount STS it reduces the noise level to near zero. Hopefully Martin will have their own low mount sts ready to ship before long.

Arrow Splitter
02-11-2011, 12:59 PM
A great review Gibson. I myself am very particular about how much noise a bow makes, so I understand why you noticed the excess noise.

gibson 787
02-11-2011, 01:07 PM
I have found that by adding an aftermarket low mount STS it reduces the noise level to near zero. Hopefully Martin will have their own low mount sts ready to ship before long.

Thanks Archer, I've got a spare one kicking around somewhere, I'll give it a go.

gibson 787
02-11-2011, 01:17 PM
I should add to this by saying that after all the cable/string twisting, to stop the string fraying over the TRG, bow specs came out pretty close to recommended.

Brace height was exactly 7 1/4" and ATA was 1/4" long (both sides) @ 32 1/4"

With the bow at rest, the string comes off the cam right between the A and the K, as in the words ACU-TRAK.

The bow is performing extremely well.

MLN1963
02-11-2011, 09:58 PM
If you brought your A2A down to 32" per the specs do you think you would get your other 10 fps?

gibson 787
02-12-2011, 12:33 PM
If you brought your A2A down to 32" per the specs do you think you would get your other 10 fps? __________________


Possibly, but more likely if I took off all the silencers etc. The bow is shooting pretty darn good, so I don't really want to begin the twisting process again, besides the reality is, 5-10 fps is not worth worrying about, better to focus on putting the arrow where you want it to go!

MLN1963
02-12-2011, 12:42 PM
But then you could have your IBO and silence! :D

Is it a PITA to do the twisting?

gibson 787
02-12-2011, 01:13 PM
Is it a PITA to do the twisting?
__________________

Most definitely! good chance it may end up worse than when I started. As I said 5-10fps don't mean much to me:D

MLN1963
02-12-2011, 01:28 PM
Okay, Noted!!!

Ehunter
02-13-2011, 04:29 PM
gibson, I was wondering if you were able to get the string and cables loose enough to twist by just backing out the limb bolts? On my Firecat400, I have backed the bolts out until they are in the outside threads of the barrel nut, and still can't get the string/cables off. I have to use a press. I was just curious. Thanks!

gibson 787
02-13-2011, 05:55 PM
gibson, I was wondering if you were able to get the string and cables loose enough to twist by just backing out the limb bolts? On my Firecat400, I have backed the bolts out until they are in the outside threads of the barrel nut, and still can't get the string/cables off. I have to use a press. I was just curious. Thanks!
__________________

Actually Ehunter, it's quite difficult on the 360 as well. What I did was back the limb bolts off until the daylight scenario, then grab the cam in my hand and turn it and with my other hand unhook the string/cable. I reversed that action when replacing, sort of like putting a bike chain on!

MLN1963
02-13-2011, 06:54 PM
A bow press might be in order?

http://www.archerytalk.com/vb/showthread.php?t=965870

http://www.eders.com/product.php?productid=129532

http://www.nitehawkarchery.com/My_Homepage_Files/Page1.html

cadmancan
04-29-2011, 11:41 AM
Cant say much since I dont know much but I can say I love this bow. I tested out a couple of Mathews, PSE's and Diamond and then the Martin and I though that this was by far better than all the other bows within the $600-900 range I was looking for. And for the 360 package, ready to shoot I think I got a heck of a deal. In my opinion I thought it was quieter than the others but the guy tuned it a bit and got it quieter. The place I bought in Mountlake Terrace, WA lets you test it at 20 yds, no where else was I able to do this. All I can say is I have some friends after firing this are jealous (Hehehe). Would have gone with the 400, double cam but for a first bow I am happy. Can wait to go hunting. Great review.

gibson 787
04-29-2011, 12:50 PM
Cant say much since I dont know much but I can say I love this bow. I tested out a couple of Mathews, PSE's and Diamond and then the Martin and I though that this was by far better than all the other bows within the $600-900 range I was looking for. And for the 360 package, ready to shoot I think I got a heck of a deal. In my opinion I thought it was quieter than the others but the guy tuned it a bit and got it quieter. The place I bought in Mountlake Terrace, WA lets you test it at 20 yds, no where else was I able to do this. All I can say is I have some friends after firing this are jealous (Hehehe). Would have gone with the 400, double cam but for a first bow I am happy. Can wait to go hunting. Great review.

Thanks cadmancan, glad you like the bow, you'd be hard pressed to find better value. :D