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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
While in France again for work I decided to finally put together an ILF rig I could compete with in the Traditional division (WA). Under this newish category the riser has to be wood or have wood in it. Also, I wanted a lighter bow to train on at the local Oly archery range, as my 52lb heavy arrow hunting setup (which I brought with me for no good reason) was making a mess of their blank bales, arrows too hard to remove.

I wanted a riser that:

  • Has a dense phenolic or micarta layer for mass and stability
  • Has LLA and LLA bolts going into the phenolic or micarta (not the wood)
  • Has a radiused shelf
  • Has locks for tiller bolts
  • Can reliably take at least 50lb without blowing up in my face (I carry the scar on my head of a wood riser doing just that)
  • Is 19" long (I know I won't win much with a riser that short, but I struggle to shoot longer with med limbs)
  • Ideally had Dymondwood/micro-lams for strength (like the famous Black Hunter does)
  • Be under EUR200 (I want to test the water with wood and ILF, not buy in big too early)

With this list the White Feather Lark on the top of the list. I won't pollute this thread with my reasoning but despite the White Feather Lark ticking those boxes I finally decided against it, based on the experiences of others. You can read the thinking process based on reports in this thread.

I suppose it was @Heeney that finally tipped me over the edge on picking up the little known (for now) Buck Trail Nobleton riser. I don't remember but he may have got me searching for it in the first instance. It ticked all the boxes with the exception it didn't have micro-laminations, rather a solid piece of unknown wood. I called a local vendor here in France that had a great deal going, and they assured me, in very serious French, that the Nobleton had proven to easily carry 50lb of weight in their extensive tests.

The only other candidate at 19" was the drop dead gorgeous Morrison Phenolic Wood, which at $646 is way beyond my 'wood ILF experiment' budget. Let it be known I will own that riser one day.

With that I bit the bullet and ordered from a shop here in France. EUR155. As for limbs, I ummed and ahhed about that too, until I found an incredible deal on Buck Trail 3k Cross Carbon Wood limbs, at 45lb on a 19" riser from another vendor. EUR110 (normally 2-3x that). None at 40lb, as I'd hoped.

So here goes.

Limbs and riser came from two different vendors, but in brand boxes labeled from an original supplier Archers Gear, a large European archery distributor.

Packaging

Packaging and labeling Font Wood Rectangle Box


Limbs came in high quality sleeves.

Nobleton Riser

The Nobleton looks like quality kit. Mine came very well finished. Not a flaw or burr. My bow hand immediately got on well with it. I could tell just by picking it up that I would not have to wear a glove or tape it up - no palm slipping up to grip throat. Easy to locate the thumb and lifeline. It has a similar shape to the grip on the Black Hunter, but a little shallower.

Musical instrument Wood Natural material Tableware Fashion accessory


The shelf fit the bill, albeit I could've done with a little more radiusing on the strike area. Center cut is just where I like it.

Musical instrument Wood Natural material Metal Jewellery




Limb pockets are nicely done, limbs sitting right on the phenolic. The tiller bolts are of a high enough quality at the price, and have plastic washers under the caps contacting the limbs. Brass sleeve on the bolt where it contacts the U groove on the limb is a nice touch.
Wood Camera Material property Camera accessory Cameras & optics


Bag Wood Beige Sleeve Collar

It has a 'coin' embed, with the Buck Trail logo. It's well seated in, no glue or burrs.

All in all very happy with the riser out-of-the-box. Onto the limbs (next post due to attachment limit).

----

Edited for grammar, and a photo double-up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Limbs

I was pretty excited to try these limbs, my first pair of 'cross carbon' wood limbs. Out of the box they looked great, with a fine satin finish (more matte than satin perhaps). Smooth to the touch and no issues with the clear coat. The cross carbon weave/lay is very straight and basically immaculate. Sloppy carbon weave lays really bug me personally, so I was relieved to see that part sorted.

Textile Grey Font Publication Tints and shades

Font Material property Funeral Art Logo


At this point I'm looking for flaws, as I suspect I got them at a discounted price on the sly. I possibly found said flaw, a poor finish on the side of the limbs, where you can see the machining marks. This pissed me off, but then I remembered I got them for EUR110, not EUR250 like you see most places.
Wood Beige Body jewelry Creative arts Necklace


Messy staining there too. Of course purely cosmetic, but that could be better.

Nocks are very traditional, but have nice shaping and feel very sturdy. No string eating texture to the grooves.

Wood Electric blue Blade Office supplies Writing implement


Fit into the limb pockets was a bit on the tight side. I found that the 'U' cut in the limb butts grabbed the tiller bolt a little tightly, and only would settle up against the tiller bolt washer and head when stringing it up.
Wood Bicycle part Rim Auto part Metal


A pleasant surprise was that there was no LLA to be done. String and bolt alignment was perfect on inspection. Dead on. Always a worry with wood that such things get a little noodly.
Brown Wood Twig Metal Natural material


Messed up a photo of this, but trust me they are good and aligned on the riser.

After stringing it up I could not shoot it, having to wait until hitting the range a few days later. Initially I could feel I was just getting into the stacking as this 45lb @ 28" setup was drawing 49lb at my 30.5" AMO DL. I wound out the tiller bolts to get it closer to the weight I wanted (47lb) and then it felt perfect.

Hood Sleeve Bumper Waist Collar



Full bow and testing

On range day I was very pleasantly surprised by their performance. The limbs have plenty of authority to them and the bow stable in hand post shot. At 780gram riser mass, I was expecting some post shot vibe, but it's very surprisingly still in hand. Total bow mass strung is 1160 grams.

The arrows I cobbled together for it are just 8.3GPP at 47lb, so a good test of bow noise and movement. The bow is pretty quiet at the get go, more so after whipping up some Dynapuffs for the string on the 3rd and 4th harmonics. Barely a low hum.

The limbs have ever-so-slight typical extra movement at the end of the power stroke, on hitting brace, but I only notice this as I've been shooting the incomparable Nika N3's which are basically like machines, going from A to B and stopping like a robot. Every limb I've ever shot does that except the N3's, so no valid criticism there.

Plant Flowerpot Terrestrial plant Jewellery Houseplant


Total cost, including string, EUR278.

All in all, very happy. I am already shooting this rig well and feel it to be a good solution for me to begin competing in the Traditional Division.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looks nice! I just got my first ilf set up with an optimus 2.0 19" and short limbs for around the same price, I like it but I'm still getting used to the almost 3lbs of riser mass.
You did well getting the Optimus 2.0. I'd prefer to shoot one of my heavier metal ILF risers (like the F261) but the Traditional Division doesn't allow it. Nonetheless, there is a timeless charm to wood risers that I'll never tire of, and I value what lower mass bows demand of my form.
 

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You did well getting the Optimus 2.0. I'd prefer to shoot one of my heavier metal ILF risers (like the F261) but the Traditional Division doesn't allow it. Nonetheless, there is a timeless charm to wood risers that I'll never tire of, and I value what lower mass bows demand of my form.
Yeah everyone says the weight is a good thing but all of my bows before this one have been under 2 lbs! I think this one is close to 5lbs total just guessing and my bow hand gets tired quick lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That is a handsome looking riser, especially considering the price.

Remote, you said "Center cut is just where I like it." Based solely on your photos, it doesn't appear to be cut past center. Could you comment further?
Hey there Dave, yes I could've been clearer! I meant that where the cut is suits me, right on center (it seems), or ~1mm before it. I'm without my tools, but will at some point measure it to be sure.

In any case, I'm a shelf shooter, and a little velcro as strike plate seems enough to get the arrow paradoxing out just enough for a quick and easy tune.

Hand Arm Shoulder Leg Human body
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
About Buck Trail:

They are a brand of the largest European archery distributor Archery Gear/SSA. Limbs, risers and bows under this brand are produced by Win & Win (country of manufacture unclear). Pheonix Archery (UK) has a helpful page on this:

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Have you shot this risers with the N3 limbs?
I haven't yet, only put them on and drawn. They look really good on the Nobleton, and probably shoot great. I will try at some point. For now though I want to have a clear separation between my hunting bow (19" F261 with N3's) and the bow I intend to compete with. Something that sucks a little about having these N3's is that all my other limbs feel and perform worse, and I don't want to feel bad about these new 3k carbon wood limbs on the Nobleton (which are very nice limbs anyway).
 

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Unfortunately alternativess seems to be out of stock of everything but the 17" RH.
I did find it on aliexpress for a little bit more for anyone interested.
I'll think I'll wait for alternativess to restock and get it with some Uukha Gobi limbs since they're the same price on there as N3s. Of course something else may catch my eye before that so who knows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Unfortunately alternativess seems to be out of stock of everything but the 17" RH.
I did find it on aliexpress for a little bit more for anyone interested.
I'll think I'll wait for alternativess to restock and get it with some Uukha Gobi limbs since they're the same price on there as N3s. Of course something else may catch my eye before that so who knows.
I would grab the Nobleton from a known vendor if you can for sure. You want the assurance and warranty fall back. Perhaps Archers Gear ship to the US for cheap, you could try there. Seems they're sold out for now though:


A good deal here:


As for limbs, John has the N3's for a good price, says they're a little faster in his chronos than the Gobis.

Matt on here found the same, after losing his sx50's he bought the N3s from John and found that while they had the same POA, they felt a little faster.

In my biased opinion having done the side by side comparison at the range here in France, the N3's are more bang and production quality for your buck, but not if you like the roomy back that the Gobi's have. N3's have a more conservative DFC, which I personally much prefer. Some will not. They're a very different limb in this respect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Has anyone noticed that the font used on Buck Trail limbs appears to be the same one used in the graphics on the Sanlida Blackstone limbs and the Win and Win Black Wolf limbs?
Wouldn't be surprised if they have more than the font in common.. Win and Win seem to be a production node, as much as they are a brand. Not only do they make the Buck Trail line, but also a ton of SF-Archery and other brand's products. Sanlida probably share the same designer, same cross-carbon weave (I own a pair of X10s, will compare that), same ovens. It only makes sense they would centralise.

Some W&W kit is made in Korea, sure, but (like Apple, Tesla, et al) W&W seem to be shifting production to China - where the large scale, high volume production innovation is these days. I read often they have a factory there but I've no idea where and if it is named as 'W&W' as such.

Admittedly it's hard to keep up these days.
 
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