String silencers are bow accessories that are attached to the bowstring to reduce the noise created upon the release of the arrow. As I said they are attached to the bowstring, which means they add weight to the bowstring which is one of the factors that can slow down the bow.
I use string silencers on my compound bow and yes I know that silencers reduce the FPS of the bow a bit. However, I have not felt this change in the field but just in detailed calculations.
I understand you want to know how and how much will the silencer reduce your bow speed. I will simply answer that it won’t affect your bow speed to the extent that it bothers your performance or trajectory in the slightest.
I have a Mathews phase 4 with two monkey tails on it which weigh a total of 35 grains. On average I have lost about 3.5 FPS with it. That doesn’t seem a lot right? Then surely it wouldn’t feel a lot or change your 30 or 40-yard trajectory.
So different string silencers have different weights that would reduce the speed accordingly. On average I have seen shooters get a weight reduction of 3 to 8 FPS.
How Do String Silencers Reduce Arrow Speed
Well, string silencers are typically made of materials like rubber or other dampening materials. When you attach these silencers to your bowstring, they add some weight to the string. This extra weight can slow down the speed of the arrow.
Another reason is that when you release the bowstring the energy gets translated to the arrow through the bowstring. When there are silencers installed on it, the energy will need to travel through additional material which will slow down the vibrations. This means that some of the energy will be absorbed by the silencer and reduce arrow speed a bit.
Now the question is should you use string silencers or not? I would say yes absolutely. The advantages of a string silencer outweigh the cons. Speed is not a huge performance factor. A lack of noise surely outweighs the 3 to 6 FPS speed reduction.
If you are a hunter then it shouldn’t even be a question. A quiet bow is much more important than a fast bow. A quiet bow will perform much better for you with 320 FPS instead of 330 FPS. The animal won’t dodge the arrow anyway but, a quieter bow wouldn’t alert all the other animals.
Another big advantage of string silencers is that they can reduce excess vibrations of the string by absorbing energy which can lead to a smooth and more accurate shot.
If you are curious about speed then, you should try our speed calculator to get an idea about your bow speed. The rule of thumb is that 3 grains on the bowstring reduce the speed by 1 FPS.
I have used many silencers but my best experience has been with Pine Ridge Wishbone, they are light and also don’t reduce the speed a lot. It is like a 2 or 4 FPS decrease. Although the manufacturer claims that it can increase speed, didn’t do much. But the manufacturer claims that they might do for some setups.
A lot of my friends use and recommend cat whisker string silencers. Those things look cool plus they are excellent for noise and vibration reduction due to their design. The only downside is that they weigh 27 grains but still, you won’t lose more than 2 or 3 FPS with it.
You should try different silencers to see which one feels the best for you. Try them at different places on the bowstring and cables. These things are pretty cheap so you can experiment with many types. Learn more about the positioning of silencers.
You can certainly reduce the impact of silencers on speed by using the following techniques.
Lightweight string silencers are typically made from materials like rubber, which have excellent dampening properties without adding significant weight to the bowstring.
Consider synthetic materials like rubber compounds, which can be both lightweight and highly effective at reducing vibrations.
Modern string silencers are designed to be lightweight while maintaining their noise-reduction capabilities. Look for silencers with a proven track record in archery.
Placing string silencers closer to the center of the bowstring can reduce their impact on arrow speed because it minimizes the distance the arrow has to travel before it’s cleared of the silencers. But this is not good for noise reduction.
Placing them near the ends of the string can have a more noticeable effect on arrow speed as the string is vibrating more at those points.
Bow tuning involves adjusting various components of your bow, such as the bowstring, nocking point, arrow rest, and sight, to ensure they are all in alignment.
When using string silencers, you may need to make slight adjustments to your bow’s tuning to account for the reduction in arrow speed. The best way to tune a bow is to paper-tune it. Check with different positions of the silencer to find the best.
- Stabilizers: Stabilizers attached to your bow can help absorb vibrations and reduce noise, complementing the effects of string silencers.
- Limb Dampeners: These are typically attached to the limbs of the bow and further reduce vibrations, contributing to a quieter shot.
- Bow Design: Some bows are specifically engineered with built-in noise reduction features, such as parallel limbs and damping systems. These can significantly reduce the need for additional noise-reduction accessories.
By incorporating these strategies into your archery setup, you can effectively minimize the impact of string silencers on arrow speed while still enjoying the benefits of reduced noise.
In conclusion, string silencers offer valuable benefits in terms of noise reduction and vibration reduction, with only a minor impact on arrow speed. While they may reduce arrow speed by a few FPS, the advantages of quieter shots and enhanced precision outweigh this minimal trade-off. Additionally, proper placement and bow tuning can further mitigate the impact of silencers on speed.