If this were a normal week, prior to COVID-19, right now I’d be teaching archery at the annual A Girl and A Gun (AGAG) conference. It’s supposed to be taking place, live and in person, at the Cameo Shooting Complex in Palisade, Colo. The social distancing restrictions brought on by the pandemic have caused the AGAG team to go online with this year’s event, and I’ve produced a virtual Basic Archery class with seven sessions for attendees.
Today I joined AGAG’s Robyn Sandoval, via ZOOM, for a live question and answer session. Since I have several people asking questions, and I know that some of you are also interested in archery, I’ll be sharing archery answers and tips here on the site, starting with a “Beyond the Basics Archery” talk that compares rests.
Drop Away vs. Full Containment Archery Rests
In archery, there are multiple “which is better” debates. Be it, traditional versus compound, fixed versus expandable, or drop away versus full containment, it all comes down to you, what you’re doing in archery and what works best for you.
Since I feel that most of these topics come down to personal preference, I’ll tell you some of the plusses and minuses of both styles, and add in another — the blade style, so you can make your own decision.
|DROP AWAY||FULL CONTAINMENT||BLADE STYLE|
|LIGHT WEIGHT||X||Varies with design||X|
|SIMPLE TO USE||Varies with design||X||X|
|QUIET WHEN SHOOTING||Can rattle||X||X|
|NO MECHANICS TO BREAK||—||X||—|
|DURABLE||Depends on design||Depends on design||—|
|ARROW WON’T FALL OFF REST||X||X||—|
|DOESN’T INHIBIT ARROW SPEED||X||—||X|
|GOOD FOR COMPETITION||X||Short distances||X|
|GOOD FOR LONG DISTANCE||X||—||X|
|GOOD FOR HUNTING||X||Short distances||—|
|REQUIRES BOW TUNING||X||X||X|
It all comes down to our preferences. personally, I use a drop-away rest. Why? — Because I have a short draw length and only pull 55 pounds on my hunting bow. I want the most energy coming out of my bow so that when my arrow reaches its target it does the most damage. The slightest amount of drag, or friction, against my arrow can change my shot immensely. A drop away eliminates this interference.
A blade rest also eliminates drag, or friction, but it doesn’t keep the arrow on the rest. I don’t want the arrow falling off during a shot on an animal. However, in the controlled environment of a competition, the blade rest provides minimal arrow contact. If you’re a competitor, it may be your choice.
A full containment rest is the most economically priced rest in the line-up, but I will caution you, “You get what you pay for.” If you’re hunting and are looking for durability, you may want a machined aluminum, rather than a plastic, frame on this rest style.
Regardless of which rest you choose, you need to have your bow tuned so that your nocking point, arrow and rest are in sync. When these align, your arrow will fly more true, or not “wobble” during flight. — Let me know if you’d like to learn more about tuning.
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Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, keynote speaker, and a range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast.
Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to outdoors, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.
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