Field Evaluation - Firenocks By Keith Dunlap - Field Evaluator
Mar 5, 2009 - 1:01:05 AM
Firenock, LLC has brought the same technology in modern electronics used in arming missiles, to the archery world. Firenock has successfully developed the "G" switch that is the same technology used for the 2nd arming switch in the modern missile. This technology eliminates accidental misfire or self-arming because it requires a specific acceleration prior to arming the missile. This same technology is at the heart of the Firenock™ "G" series lighted nock. The Firenock will only light when you shoot it from a bow or crossbow. Accidental activation is prevented by the use of this triggering mechanism.
The new Firenock "G" series products do not require a magnet for activation of the lighted nock system. There is no need for an actuator magnet, so the new Firenock will not accidentally activate if exposed to a magnetic field. Additionally, the Firenock does not require contact with a carbon arrow to activate. It activates solely by the use of the built-in "G" switch when fire from your bow or crossbow.
The product I evaluated, the Firenock GS, is available in 9 different colored nocks, and fits most common standard diameter carbon or aluminum shafts with the Easton Uni-Bushing. Firenock has several models and colors available to fit just about any shaft you use. Let's take a closer look at the new Firenock.
Firenocks are available in many colors and LED combinations.
The package of three Firenock GS arrived in perfect condition, and each of the components was secure within the packaging. Upon initial inspection out of the package, I found no visible defects in materials or workmanship. The package consisted of three complete Firenocks, including the red nocks with circuitry, lithium batteries, O-rings, nock positioning tool, and three additional green matched-weight practice nocks (this is a nice option to ensure the same weight arrow for practice and hunting situations). The instructions included with the Firenocks were more than adequate to explain the function and installation of the product. Additionally, the packaging included a date stamp that indicated the date of production. This could come in handy in the event you have more than one package and want to rotate stock, or if you were to need to make a warranty claim.
Installation of the batteries into the nock circuitry was simple, and the nocks installed into my GoldTip 5575 XT Hunter shafts with a perfect fit. One thing to note, if you don't use the O-rings provided on the batteries, the nocks will tend to rattle inside of the arrow shaft…so be sure to install the O-rings as instructed. The nocks I chose to use were the red nocks with red LED. As previously mentioned, the package of my Firenock GS also came with three green nocks, which are interchangeable with the red nocks. Thus, in each package of three, you have at least two nock color choices…and you can order multiple colors and LED combinations as well (see Figure 2).
Firenock in red nock with red LED.
My evaluation included testing for function and durability. I installed the three Firenocks into my GoldTip XT Hunter shafts, and shot these three arrows repeatedly into a Block 4x4 target from various distances. I used my BowTech Tribute hunting rig with a Trophy Ridge Drop-Zone rest and a D-loop to perform the test. I shot at least 60 shots per evening for a period of a week with the Firenocks. The Firenocks lit each time I shot without any failures. The groupings of my arrows were typical, and I saw no noticeable difference in the groupings as a result of the additional weight of the Firenocks. Each Firenock adds approximately 15-20 grains of weight over a typical nock weight, so you should factor this when considering overall weight of your arrows using the Firenocks. If you're like me, lighter is better because you want to maximize the speed of your arrows. However, I am a firm believer in using lighted nocks, despite their added weight. I have used them for years, and the benefits outweigh the costs in my opinion.
Firenocks will stay lit for up to 24 hours before the battery fails. This should allow for extended use (multiple years) or extended overnight tracking situations. All components of the Firenocks are replaceable in the field, which is a great feature that should save problems while hunting and save money over time. Other lighted nocks that I have used do not have replaceable components or batteries…which can be costly each time you break a nock. This feature is one of the premier features of the Firenocks in my opinion, and one that might justify the additional cost. To deactivate a Firenock, simply hold the arrow about six inches from a hard surface, with the Firenock facing downward. Drop the arrow onto the hard surface, allowing the Firenock to strike first…and the light will deactivate. Each time I attempted to deactivate the Firenocks I was testing, this feature worked fine. There were some attempts where I had to raise the arrow higher than six inches, but I did not find this to be a problem.
The Firenocks glowed brightly and are visible up to 65 yards away in daylight. From bow to target, you will see and know your point of entry.
Each feature of the Firenock performed as advertised, and I recommend this product to anyone that hunts big game, especially whitetail deer. Those of us that bow hunt for big game know that many of our shots are launched in less than perfect light. Knowing where the arrow struck the animal, and being able to find your arrow after the shot is critical to a good starting point for tracking your quarry.
Specifications as Tested:
Overall size: 2.375" long including battery
Weight of each Firenock: 28 grains
Hardware material: gold plated connectors
Main body material: plastic nock
Colors available: available in up to 9 color nocks and LED combinations
Retail Price: $54.95 (pack of 3 "GS" style)
Warranty: 30 days limited to defects in material or workmanship
At the end of my evaluation, I've concluded that the new and improved Firenocks are everything that they claim to be. They work dependably and they glow very bright as advertised. I am a huge fan of lighted nocks and have used them for years. The Firenocks replace the need for magnetic type or contact type lighted nocks. They are a bit pricey, but you do get what you pay for and you can replace just the nocks if you break one. That is not true of some of the other brand lighted nocks.
Pros: dependable, no magnet required, bright, field-replaceable components, target models available with auto-shutoff after 12-17 seconds Cons: adds 15-20 grains to your total arrow weight, higher price
To see the full line of Firenock products, visit their website: Firenock, LLC.