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A bow builder once told me that he was a hunter and as much as he liked shooting 3 under, he would shoot split finger because it was the quietest. At the time, I did not know any better. Actually quite a shame that a reknown bow builder had not learned his trade. His thinking was a result of "living inside the box". Always having done it "this way". I understand that maybe his market or the style he promoted may have wanted it "that way", but his comment was not marketing but rather lack of knowledge. So, I'm pondering tiller, thinking about noise and handshock, thinking of where/what is the noise. I may have even read something along these lines, maybe David Sosa's article on tiller. We often think about the string at the shot having a bit of slack or temporary un even pressure as the lower limb catches up to the top limb, caused by 3 under. I would love to see this slow motion. But my main thoughts at this time is in regards to the noise/hand shock felt by someone shooting a tiller not suitable for the shooting style whether 3 under or split. I would like to discuss this. What it seems to me is that both limbs are arriving at "slam shut" at different times. And the unseen rebound timing is different. If they arrive at slam shut at the same time and the rebound is at the same time, the limbs or rebound would tend to counter each other. Now since I'm not a bow builder, I would like to see if those in the know could validate or clarify anything I've said.
 

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I'm gonna throw something out there…I may be as wrong as you can be…but based on recent discussions with Sid at Border bows, and also bonding with my new to me Border Black Douglas with a high grip I wonder if how you grip the bow can either make the limbs in balance better or worse…
For example, I've been shooting fairly low grips with the last few bows I owned. The BD is the first high grip I've had in a few years…At first I tried shooting it by mainly putting hand pressure in the throat of the group - now I am shooting with more of the heel of my hand in the grip. This way seems to have less vibration and the bow 'shoots better' for me than the 'throat pressure' grip I started with.
Just seems to me you can alter the limb timing to some degree based on how you grip the bow and can offset some of the 'imbalance' caused by three under or string walking…
….
What do you more technical toxophilites think?
 

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On the practical side, there is no way to get a hunting bow quiet enough to hunt Texas whitetail at close range. They will be moving before the arrow gets there, period.
 

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I don't normally get too worried about where my tiller ends up or where it comes from the bowyer. Tiller is a static measure and you could have a textbook tiller and still have a loud, harsh bow. As I understand it the best way to really get the quietest, softest shot would be to time the limbs at full draw. Put the bow on a draw board and trace the upper and lower limb at your draw length. Fold the paper in half and see if the line up. Adjust tiller until the limbs match and than the limbs are dynamically tuned together.

I've seen guys force a bow to pull unevenly simply because of hand size or grip pressure. A bowyer sending a bow can't really account for this. Might be why you see so many bows being sold because they wouldn't tune or couldn't be calmed down...
 

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When it comes to noise and vibrations, I think it's a combination of grip pressure distribution (high/low wrist), tiller, and how you hold the string; split or three under. I don't have any ILF bows so all I really have experience with is solid, non-adjustable bows.

I think very highly of Blacktail recurves, but their standard grip definitely benefits from a high wrist grip. I have to get the heal of my thumb off the grip and take the pressure up in the "v" between my index finger and thumb, something that doesn't really come natural for me. Any thing other than a high grip makes for a loud bow, regardless of whether I'm shooting split or three under. Held correctly for the grip shape and shot split finger they are probably the quietest recurves I've had. I have other recurves that work best with a more neutral grip, but none really shoot their best with the low grip you might use with a compound. They are all tillered split, but I have not actually measured them... might be interesting to do.

When I shoot my recurves three under (I normally shoot split), no matter who made it or how much I work at tuning they are not as quiet as when I shoot them split. They aren't exactly loud though, just a little more buzz and vibration in the bow after the shot. They shoot fine and I would not hesitate to use them for hunting. I know most bowyers ask how you shoot and will adjust tiller accordingly.
 

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Great idea but I don't see how you could accomplish it. I have seen pictures of bows at full draw(Jimmy Blackmon) so you might be able to make that work to compare your limbs at your full draw..
 

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To throw another perspective if you have one limb pulled more than the other, it also has more weight on it, so while it has more distance to travel it will do so faster. So what does this do to the limb closing speed idea? SloMo video would answer this question.

Tiller would also depend on the grip and shelf location relative to the riser center. Not all risers are the same, some split the center, some the grip is the center. In the later a 3 under would actually be pulling the middle of the string and in theory would be even tiller situation. But I confess very little experience with tiller so there might be more to it than this. All I know is an 1/8" either way in tiller does very little with my bow.
 
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