Question about my Martin Cougar
I have a Martin Cougar bow that was custom made with SE limbs to accomodate my short draw length (24" draw). In the 2 seasons that I've owned this bow, it has blown apart on me twice. The limbs and parts are all fine, my concern lies in the string breaking. Both times the bow came apart, it was the string that broke. It broke right where the string loops around the small posts on the cam. I should also mention that I have the Nitrous cams on the bow. The first time it broke (2 weeks before the 2005 bow season)I had no idea what could have caused the string to wear so much in that spot, other than it seemed that the cams were somewhat "sharp" as if they had not been machined properly on the edges. The 2nd time it came apart was the afternoon before bow season opens. Imagine how upset I was. Regardless, the string broke in the exact same spot. This time on both ends of the bow. Since then I've sent the bow back, had the string replaced again and I believe Martin replaced the cams..they seem smoother and more "machined" this time. I'm looking for an opinion basically. I'm worried that the thing is going to come apart on me once again and am wondering if there's a possibility that my custom setup is the reason behind the string breaking. Like I said, I have a 24" draw, I shoot 47 pounds of draw weight and I checked the owner's manual and my arrow length is satisfactory for my setup. Any ideas out there?
You can check with Joel Carter at Martin about this. If I remember right it had something to do with how the loops came into contact with the string track right where the track begins. Part of the fix was to have the end loops smaller so the loop didn't contact the cam groove as far from the string end. I'm not sure whether there was a modification to the cam in this area, but I think so.
I've been shooting Martin's with Nitrous cams since 2004 and that's basically when the problem was solved. I'm sure they can help you out. Give em a call.
The set up should not be a problem....
I don't mean to cast doubt on your description of your bow as custom set up for your short draw length, but the Cougar III, whether in Magnum or SE designation, has stock specifications for 24" draw length, so your set up is not at all unusual. The SE limbs are simply Magnum limbs used with SE (parallel or laid back) limb pockets. If yours has regular (flat) limb pockets instead of the SE pockets (big wedge underneath), then your pro shop just used limbs with the SE label on them, but what you have is a Cougar Magnum.
If your bow is a Cougar 2000 or older, then someone must have custom set up the bow if you have Nitrous cams on it, but the Cougar III stock specs would still work on the Cougar 2000 riser - same riser length and pocket angles.
Your problem was likely the cam machining issue referenced in the above reply. I have 3 Nitrous cam bows, including my own custom set up Fury with Magnum limbs and Nitrous C cams (the largest body cam). This bow has an ~6" brace height and pulls 68# at 29" - it has hundreds, if not thousands of shots on one set of strings with no problems.
The only issue beyond the machining mentioned that I could see causing string separation as you described would be (a) dry firing or under weight arrows or (b) poorly constructed strings.
Hope this helps, and I hope you don't have that problem again.