Firenock Challenge #5



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Firenock Challenge #5

By Thomas Neumeier, of Bullard TX

Nov 21, 2009 – 7:34:38 AM

 


T

he basis of this review is to compare 3 commercially
available lighted nocks and document their performance over 100 shots.  In addition to the above basic performance
comparisons a DIY nock was also compared as well as having all the nocks tested
through different bows of varying poundage. 
The final test was to fire each nock into a 2″X12″ piece of lumber at
30yds to simulate a sudden impact from either a bone hit or other hard impact
after the shot.  The 3 commercial nocks
used were the Firenock S1 type, Carbon Express Lazer Eye, and Allens Shooting
Star.  The DIY nock consisted of a mini
light stick pushed into the rear of a standard Carbon Express nock.

 

The bows chosen for the test were a Monster Bows Phoenix 65#
(Primary), AIM 50# Recurve, and Mini-Genesis 12#.  Each nock was only shot in non-primary bows
10 times in order to test activation only. 
The target used was a large Styrofoam block similar to what is used
under boat docks for floatation.

 

DIY Nock

 

            As stated
above this nock was simply put together utilizing a mini light stick pushed
into the end of the nock.  The fit is not
loose but does not require much effort to seat the light stick to the base of
the nock.  The nock was by far the least
bright of the 4, but would be bright enough to find the arrow in the event of a
miss provided the ambient light was low. 
The nock functioned when it struck the target, but came out of the nock
and slide down the arrow shaft upon impact with anything denser ie dirt.  The light stick once activated is a one-time
use and glows while nocked on the string or in the quiver.  Gluing to solve the fit problem would ruin
the nock, and not be worth the effort in my opinion.

 

Allens Shooting Star

 

            I bought
this nock to establish a baseline for what was available in lighted nocks.  The packaging was rather sparse and offered
no fit chart unless ‘Fits most carbon arrows’ counts as a fit chart.  Luck would have it that my GoldTip
Traditional XT fit into the ‘Most’ category. 
The package a large Made in the

USA
at the top, but the battery clearly had Made in

Korea.visible through the
plastic.  Assembled may be more
appropriate.  Not a big deal, but a
little truth in advertising would be a welcome change.  The mechanism for operation uses 2 metal
prongs at the base of the nock to make contact with the shaft completing the
circuit.  It appeared unreliable at best.  The color choices available were orange or
orange.  The instructions were adequate
and went into some detail about how to fix fit problems that may arise.  This came in handy as I had to both sand the
shaft very lightly and slip a piece of paper along side of the nock in my arrow
to hold the nock in contact with the shaft completing the circuit.  The brightness of this nock was only better
than the DIY nock, however, it was adequately bright enough to follow the arrow
trajectory and recover the arrow should a miss occur.  The nock failed to function in 6 of the 10
shots from the mini genesis, but functioned in 10 of 10 shots from the 50#
recurve.  The 12# draw weight was just
not enough force to seat the nock.  The
nock functioned as designed on the first 28 shots through the primary bow.  The piece of paper was adjusted and the nock
functioned as designed for another 13 shots then would only flash upon release
and sometimes upon impact.  The nock was
reserved until the final test and was fired into the 2″x12″” piece of lumber
where although dead the nock survived mechanically.  This test was inconclusive because the nock
was dead upon release and only the mechanical integrity of the components was
tested.

 

Carbon Express Lazer Eye

 

            The Lazer
Eye had basic packaging, but clearly had more fit information than the base
level nock.  This nock is available in
red, green, and yellow.  The fit chart
consisted of  ‘Fits all standard carbon express arrows with 0.244″ ID’, not
overly helpful if you don’t shoot Carbon Express arrows or had taken the time
to verify your particular arrow ID prior to shopping.  The design is simple and its use pretty
straight forward.  This nock like the
previous is mechanically actuated, but does not use the arrow shaft as part of
the contact.  The directions for
installation are sparse, but given the simple design adequate provided your
shaft fits in the ‘Most’ category.  This
nock functioned on all 3 bows during initial testing.  The nock will come on while nocking the arrow
on the string which is a little annoying, but posed no concern while shooting
in the yard.  I would however take care
if I was trying to make a second shot on an already alert game animal and not
draw attention with a somewhat bright light in a tree or ground blind.  This nock is the next brightest compared to
the previous 2.  The nock functioned
without fail for 83 shots from the primary bow. 
The 84th shot did not light. Upon inspection the o-ring on the battery
had moved down the arrow shaft with the nock. 
I installed one of the clear plastic discs provided with the nock and
this remedied the problem.  The nock
failed to remain lit when shot into the ground at 10 yards.  The impact backed the nock out just enough to
lose the connection.  The final test into
the board destroyed the nock sending the battery down the shaft a couple
inches.  I have been unable to retrieve
the battery so I’m unsure if it can be reinstalled in the nock and if it will
function again.

 

Firenock S1

 

            This nock
had the most informative and attractive packaging.  There is a typo on the package stating there
are No Tolls required.  I assume this
was to mean tools.  The large wrench
picture to the left helped with the determination.  Although I purchased the nock online, the
package was ready for hanging on the shelf. 
There were ample instructions for installation and the fit chart was in
another class from the others.  The
battery was not installed like the others so that should minimize DOA
issues.  The nock came with 2 additional practice
nocks and matching weights.  I chose the
red colored nocks although there are several colors to choose from.  This was by far the brightest nock of those
tested.  The brightness was actually
distracting in very low light conditions while shooting it in the recurve.  The 3 under placement puts the nock very
close to the eye and you get a red flash on release.  This was only noticed under very low light
conditions beyond those that would be considered legal shooting hours.  The nock functioned in every shot from the
recurve and only failed 4 of the 10 shots from the mini genesis.  The instructions clearly state that it takes
65G to activate the nock so this is not to be considered a fault in the
construction of the nock.  The 12# draw
does not accelerate a 460gn arrow very well. 
I did not have access to a lighter arrow for this bow that used an
internal nock.  The firenock functioned
from the primary bow in all 100 shots. 
The nock also remained lit for the dirt impact.  The nock survived the 2″x12″ lumber shot
although it did unseat about half of the overall length it did remain on.

 

 

 

Conclusion

            The DIY
nock while it did function was not worth the effort for anything where serious
sight or arrow recovery was needed.  If
you needed to outfit a dozen boy scouts for an evening cheaply yes anything
more it’s not an option.  The Shooting Star
was used and the base entry model and it even does that rather poorly.  The design is poor and based on that it will
be unreliable for anything more than the backyard.  The Lazer Eye nock performed well and
survived all but the harshest abuse.  For
the money it is a good buy for general shooting and hunting.  The Firenock is the ‘Top of the Line’ and is
reflected in price at twice that of the Lazer Eye.  That said it functioned without fail through
all the tests.  If backyard shooting is
your game then you can certainly get by with one of the cheaper nocks, but for
serious hunting I would not chance the failure rates of the others.  Firenock does offer a less costly alternative
in the Lightning Nock, but since I did not review it I reserve comment to only
saying if it is of the same quality as the S style it’s a bargain. 

For more go to: Firenock

 

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