Long Stabilizers and Scope Versus Pins and Short Stabilizer During 3D Archery

During the recent GBAA 3D State Championship a friend of mine, Mike, pointed out that over the previous week or so he’d been shooting better with pins compared to using his scope. To a degree I understand.

In 3D archery I’ve nearly always used a hunting rig.  This, of course, means fixed pins.  I love shooting with fixed pins.  It’s fast, fun, and like playing.  Using a bow equipped with long stabilizers and a scope is more like work.

I don’t mind work.  Work to me isn’t a negative. When I was six years old my parents asked me what I wanted Santa to bring me for Christmas.  I remember it well.  At the time we were living on 10thStreet at Tybee Island, Georgia.  What I wanted was a microscope.

From that Christmas, when Santa delivered a good boy his microscope,  I’d found a life long love – science.  Science was a hobby until I began to earn money doing science.  I always found it funny that I got paid to do what I’d do anyway.  So, work comes with variable levels of emotional effort.  There are people that hate their work, some love their work, and others can take it or leave it.

Equipment I used in a study we did on the iatrogenic progression of acute lung failure

When it comes to shooting fixed pins I enjoy it more than using a scope.  Mike was enjoying the change so much he shot in the GBAA tournament using pins in addition to long stabilizers.  On the other hand I did an experiment (a little science – I did some math).

Because I only have one bow at the moment it means switching the rig back and forth from a hunter rig for 3D to a target rig for outdoor shooting.  At this last 3D tournament, the same one where Mike competed, I just left the bow set up as it had been for the Georgia State Field Championship held a couple of weeks earlier.  This meant I’d been shooting long stabilizers, scope, and skinny arrows.  It meant I’d not have to switch back to the target set up before preparing for another outdoor target competition coming up in a few weeks.

Knowing in advance my laziness would bring me to a 3D shoot using I target rigged bow I decided to see whether or not there was any real difference in scores. The mathematical interaction was determined using an unpaired student’s t-test, where the p=0.097. This meant the two methods of shooting were not different.

In other words I shot a little better using the target rig in this test but not significantly different. Or so it would seem at first glance.

The comparison was unfair because the yardages were longer.  So, what?  A little longer doesn’t mean much.  Comparing a few 40-yard 3D yardages you guessed it, no difference using the t-test.   However, where the longest shots are out to 60 yards compared to 40 yards that’s a long haul shooting 3D.  (The GBAA max distance is 60 yards) That has to be different – maybe.  You don’t know until you test.  On the other hand, as an archer shooting those distances, 40 max versus 60 max, you know.

You’d be right, too, if you felt there was a statistically significant difference where ranges, at least the ranges I held data on, when one has a maximum distance of 40 yards interacting with another range with a max distance of 60 yards.  In this case, P=0.0075. (Which means there is a significant difference)

It just so happened that I recorded the distances in my shot notes during the last two tournaments, the GBAA and those of the last ASA tournament I shot.  Using those I learn that the GBAA tournament was longer by a level of mathematic significance.

So, while my scoring interactions weren’t significant the target distances were significant.  This suggests the scoped rigged versus the pin rig preformed a little better where the distance is increased.

Common sense says, if I can average 0.5 points more per arrow at any distance go with the equipment that provides a 0.5 increase per arrow.  That’s 10 points over 20 targets. We all know 1 point can be the difference or even the X count or even the inner X count. I’ve lost in each of those ways.

The results are that the bow with the long stabilizers and scope is the better method for shooting compared to pins and a short stabilizer when applying the most recent data I have on hand.

You can take the geek out of the lab, but not the lab out of the geek

I don’t know how Mike’s shooting went over the last weekend.  I do know this; the longest yardage I can comfortably shoot with my pins is 50 yards.  I was glad I had a scope so I could set it for greater than 50 yards.  My guess is on a coyote at 54 yards, trying to hold a 50-yard pin high on that little foam varmit might not have yielded a 12 without a little luck.

Note to Jack L and Don C:  Remember those 900C days? We did some cool stuff.

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