A couple years ago there was an unfortunate incident that has had a major impact on the bowstring industry. A custom bowstring company had a customer that dry fired their bow; as a result of the dry fire, it sent a brass speed nock flying and causing blindness to the customer. The bowstring company ended up paying a large settlement, when it was no fault of theirs. At first it was a huge surprise, but as I started to think back I soon realized that we get several bows in every year that have missing speed nocks. The customer hasn’t removed them so they must have flown off through the shrink wrap. Read on to learn more about alternatives to bowstring speed nocks.
Every day we get asked several speed nock related questions. Does my bowstring need speed nocks? What can we use instead of brass speed nocks? Will my bow lose speed without speed nocks? Do you have anything that looks better then brass speed nocks?
The answer is “no” your bow does not need speed nocks to shoot, however in almost every case they will make the bow perform better. The general rule is if your factory string has speed nocks on it try to duplicate similar weight and location on your new custom string. We have seen bows gain up to 14fps by adding some style of speed nocks, along with making some bows paper tune that wouldn’t before the install. Other bows will see little to no difference in speed but it varies from bow to bow.
Through our research and testing we’ve found 3 safe alternatives to brass speed nocks. Each of these give great performance and dampening abilities, while making the bowstring more attractive at the same time. All of these alternatives slip on the bowstring over the end loop and slide into position. You can use a cotter pin for install or my new favorite tool is a crochet hook. It will help protect your end loops during install.
- Pine Ridge Nitro XL – Available in 8 colors these weigh in at 19 grains and do a great job at adding speed to your bow while making it look better at the same time. Some of today’s most popular bows come from the factory with the nitro XL’s. Most of my personal bows carry this style of speed nock.
- Bow Jax String Sleeves – Weighing in at 16 grains and 8 color options the string sleeve also does a great job at adding performance. I do feel that these do not look as nice as the nitro XL’s but are more attractive compared to brass nocks.
- Pine Ridge Nitro Buttons – With a weight of 2.2 grains each, the nitro button is the most versatile of the alternative speed nocks. The compact size and weight allow the archer to add a specific amount of weight at the perfect position. I find these very useful on older bows that don’t require a large amount of weight on the string.
As you can see there are several options out there that will allow your bow to perform at peak performance without the dangers associated with brass speed nocks. Adding a little ‘bling’ to your bow is just an added bonus. If you would like more helpful articles feel free to subscribe to our newsletter.