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Thread: How do Barnsdale limbs compare to Martin PowerTough limbs for speed

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    Senior Member Rockyhud's Avatar
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    Default How do Barnsdale limbs compare to Martin PowerTough limbs for speed

    OK everyone, after months of doing "honey dos" around the house, I finally got to shoot my hunting arrows through my chronograph this past week to check the speed. Just to get everyone up to date, I got a nearly complete rebuild of my 08 Firecat earlier this year with Martin doing all this under warranty even though they didn't have to. I got new Nitro 3 cams, new limbs (1-1/2" wide the whole length), new roto-cups, new cables and string and it's shooting nicely as far as the draw cycle and accuracy are concerned. However, the arrow speeds are down from when it had the original CAT cams and limbs. It used to shoot my almost 500-gr arrows consistently at 262 fps with a tad over 64-lb DW and 29" DL. The DL is still the same but at 65-lb DW the speed is now down to 255 fps - a drop of 7 fps. I had to crank the DW up to 69+ lbs to get 261 fps. I can shoot it OK at that DW but I'd rather have it around 65 +/- with the speeds like it used to have. With that in mind I've been wondering whether I could get some or all of the speed back by replacing the limbs with Barnsdale limbs. I know they're supposed to be super reliable but I thought I had read somewhere that some shooters had gotten better speeds by simply replacing their Martin limbs with Barnsdale limbs with equivalent DW. So, has anyone this forum had any experience like this or am I just dreaming?

    Thanks,
    Steve
    08/12 Martin Firecat Pro-X (29" DL, 67,5# DW), Nitro 3 cams, home-made bent cable guard rod, new VEMs, DS Advantage/HHA Pro-5519 front sight, No-Peep Sight Eliminator, Limb-Driver arrow rest, B-Stinger stabilizer, custom lower & upper STS with offset stops, G5 Head-Loc quiver on custom mounting bracket. Gold Tip Velocity XT300 arrows with Bi-Delta 2.5" Sharkstooth vanes and Grizzly single-bevel broadheads, 498 grains at 262 fps (22% FOC)

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    Senior Member wscywabbit's Avatar
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    Hey Rocky, I'm just gonna throw this out there (and I don't really have the numbers to back me up here); I don't know that you will see any real difference in speed from the limbs you have to new Barnesdales. The reason being that all things being equal (length, deflection rate, etc.) it really should be a wash with the limbs. Might one brand be more reliable? Maybe, I don't know.

    I think the difference in speed you are seeing is most likely from the difference in cam geometry and power curve. I think one of the reason Martin had problems with their limbs blowing out from 2008-10 was from the CAT cams being too aggressive for the limbs they were using, and the perhaps the Nitro 2.0/3.0 cams are not as aggressive.

    You can try to eek some more performance out of your current setup by moving your mods up a number or two and moving the draw stop to maintain your draw length; this will put you closer to the beginning of the valley, and increase your hold weight (decrease your let-off %). Also food for thought; if switching to Barnesdales did increase your speed the 7 fps you're missing, is 7 fps worth $150 or so?
    In God and guns we trust;
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    • A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


    2011 Onza 3: 70#, 28.25 draw (AMO), 384 gr arrow, 288 fps
    2005 Saber: 70#, same arrow, 250 fps

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    Super Moderator Arrow Splitter's Avatar
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    I agree with Wabbit. I'd go with the bow and cam geometry as the reason for speed differences. Limbs shouldn't change much of anything as far as specs go.

    A.S
    2011 Martin Firecat 400/NAP Apache Dropaway/Truglo Xtreme Sight/Custom 8" Stabilizer/Victory V6 Arrows
    2007 Martin Jaguar /Trophy Taker Dropaway/Extreme Sight/Custom 21" Stabilizer/Victory V6 Arrows
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    Senior Member Rockyhud's Avatar
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    Thanks for the quick feedback guys. I've kind of wondered if the slightly more pleasant draw cycle of the Nitro cam is due to it possibly not being quite as aggressive as the CAT cam. Do either of you have any first hand experience with having replaced Martin limbs with Barnsdale limbs on the same bow? If so, did you notice or measure any differences? Not challenging you, just curious if you've done this as it would be great to know if you have. I've also read a few threads where others who've replaced their Martin limbs commented on their new Barnsdale limbs having a noticeably smoother draw cycle. If that is the usual case it might make a little higher DW not feel quite as high.
    08/12 Martin Firecat Pro-X (29" DL, 67,5# DW), Nitro 3 cams, home-made bent cable guard rod, new VEMs, DS Advantage/HHA Pro-5519 front sight, No-Peep Sight Eliminator, Limb-Driver arrow rest, B-Stinger stabilizer, custom lower & upper STS with offset stops, G5 Head-Loc quiver on custom mounting bracket. Gold Tip Velocity XT300 arrows with Bi-Delta 2.5" Sharkstooth vanes and Grizzly single-bevel broadheads, 498 grains at 262 fps (22% FOC)

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    Senior Member wscywabbit's Avatar
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    Sorry, I have not had the luxury as of yet. If my Onza goes through another set of powertuff limbs though, it will probably get a set of Barnesdales and then I'll be able to tell you for sure
    In God and guns we trust;
    • One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
    • A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


    2011 Onza 3: 70#, 28.25 draw (AMO), 384 gr arrow, 288 fps
    2005 Saber: 70#, same arrow, 250 fps

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    Member SixShooter14's Avatar
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    I don't have a chrony, but I do know, after I changed my limbs 5M Ptuff --> B96's, I didn't notice any difference...maybe quieter, but the Ptuff had a splinter coming off the corner could have made it louder
    2010 Alien Z (Hybrix 2), 29", 65lb
    2011 Firecat 400(Nitro 2), 29", 62lb
    2012 Silencer(Nitro 2), 29", 60lb
    Old PSE Infinity(dual cam), 30", 70lb, LH

    "If you don't respect yourself, I can't respect you"

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    Senior Member Rockyhud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SixShooter14 View Post
    I don't have a chrony, but I do know, after I changed my limbs 5M Ptuff --> B96's, I didn't notice any difference...maybe quieter, but the Ptuff had a splinter coming off the corner could have made it louder
    Thanks for that feedback. You didn't notice any speed difference but did you notice anything else, like smoother draw cycle or more consistent shots and grouping?
    08/12 Martin Firecat Pro-X (29" DL, 67,5# DW), Nitro 3 cams, home-made bent cable guard rod, new VEMs, DS Advantage/HHA Pro-5519 front sight, No-Peep Sight Eliminator, Limb-Driver arrow rest, B-Stinger stabilizer, custom lower & upper STS with offset stops, G5 Head-Loc quiver on custom mounting bracket. Gold Tip Velocity XT300 arrows with Bi-Delta 2.5" Sharkstooth vanes and Grizzly single-bevel broadheads, 498 grains at 262 fps (22% FOC)

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    Member SixShooter14's Avatar
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    Sorry, I was shooting "good-for-me" before and I really didn't notice much difference

    uploadfromtaptalk1408419936505.jpg

    40 yds. With 5~10 mph wind swirling
    Last edited by SixShooter14; 08-18-2014 at 10:52 PM.
    2010 Alien Z (Hybrix 2), 29", 65lb
    2011 Firecat 400(Nitro 2), 29", 62lb
    2012 Silencer(Nitro 2), 29", 60lb
    Old PSE Infinity(dual cam), 30", 70lb, LH

    "If you don't respect yourself, I can't respect you"

  9. #9
    Member SixShooter14's Avatar
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    I should also add....I did NOT re-tune the cams, and I did NOT adjust the sight or rest....

    I just pulled 1 axle, changed the limb, replaced axle then did the next....my strings never came off the cams....I DID grease the balls of all 4 bearings
    2010 Alien Z (Hybrix 2), 29", 65lb
    2011 Firecat 400(Nitro 2), 29", 62lb
    2012 Silencer(Nitro 2), 29", 60lb
    Old PSE Infinity(dual cam), 30", 70lb, LH

    "If you don't respect yourself, I can't respect you"

  10. #10
    Member SixShooter14's Avatar
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    @ 50...same 5~10mph wind, with shots timed between gusts

    uploadfromtaptalk1408420387147.jpg

    It's hitting a little left, but with Broadheads it is right on (actually about 1" high)
    2010 Alien Z (Hybrix 2), 29", 65lb
    2011 Firecat 400(Nitro 2), 29", 62lb
    2012 Silencer(Nitro 2), 29", 60lb
    Old PSE Infinity(dual cam), 30", 70lb, LH

    "If you don't respect yourself, I can't respect you"

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