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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to everyone here in the TradTalk forum. I’ve been lurking on this forum for about 2 years now and I thought it was probably about time to make an account and contribute something to this great community. The information here is part of why I took the archery path that I’m currently on now. I did JOAD back when I was a kid and took about 20 years off of archery while life got busy. When returning to the sport at the beginning of 2021, I decided that I wanted to take a more traditional approach to archery.

I was originally planning to purchase a Samick Discovery 17” about 2 months ago. On the day that I was going to pull the trigger on the SD17”, I noticed a new listing on AlternativeSS for a 21” model. Being on the taller side, a longer version seemed like it would be perfect for my 30in draw. I emailed Glyn at AlternativeSS and patiently waited until it they received stock from Korea before I placed my order. About 3 weeks ago, the new bow was delivered to my home. I ended up getting a muddy oak (matte brown) riser, 2 pairs of the older Samick Discovery limbs (35lb foam/carbon and 40lb wood/carbon), an additional limb pocket weight, and some steel limb bolts. At this point, I’ve done about 10 shooting sessions with the SD21” and I wanted to share my impressions and experiences with you all. I apologize for the very long post, but I just wanted to be thorough and provide information that may be helpful to any prospective buyers since there isn’t much information about this new riser out there.

A few problems with the order: As soon as I received my new gear, I noticed that there were a few issues that I needed to contact AltSS about. I knew from comments here that there were some potential problems with the style of limb bolts that Samick decided to put on the old SD17” so I ordered some of the “steel replacement bolts” right off the bat. Unfortunately, the replacement bolts that I received were identical to what came on my new riser. When I contacted AltSS about this, I was told that Samick are no longer producing the steel limb bolts and instead have simply changed the stock bolt to a more standard 2 piece (bolt and locking grub screw) system like you’d see on most ILF risers. The new system still uses an aluminum bolt, but has a steel core and it weighs 8g less than the full SS bolt. The threads on the new bolt and the locking grub screw do seem pretty robust and I think they’ll work fine for me. I got refunded for the steel bolts and now I have a free spare set now in case anything does happen down the road.
Automotive tire Gas Auto part Rim Electronic device


My other problem was that the mounting bolt that came with my extra limb pocket weight was for the SD17” and was too long to hold the weight on the new model. AltSS agreed to send me a new mounting bolt when they come in stock so right now I’ve only been using 1 weight in the lower pocket. It’s also worth mentioning that although they’re listed as being made of copper, the stock and the extra weight that I received are both made of brass. The result is that they only weigh 130g with the mounting bolt instead of the 143g on the product listing. It’s not a huge deal to me, but it is a little disappointing that I won’t get the total mass that I was hoping for when I bought the steel bolts and weight system.

First Impressions: This riser has a decent weight in the hand (with the pocket weight) for it’s size and it definitely holds a bit steadier than my wooden risers. The finish on the bow is very nice looking and the color is beautiful, but the texture of the finish is rough enough that it can scrape up the edges of your limbs and other things that may rub against it’s surface. Overall machining quality is pretty good and the only “flaws” would be the slightly ribbed texture left by the CNC machine when they dug out some of the recesses. That seems somewhat common as I’ve seen similar things on other mid-priced aluminum risers. The grip is mostly comfortable to hold in my hand, but I’ll get more into that later. Everything generally seemed like it was well made and finished to a high standard.

Bow setup: Everything was as easy to put together as my other ILF bows. With long limbs, it ends up being a 66” (AMO) bow. Limbs click in and out of the pockets without much effort and hold relatively firmly. The limb bolts came from the factory in what looks like the middle setting. After messing with brace height, the draw weight was within 1 lb of what I expected at my draw length so I believe that the limb poundages are measured with the bolt halfway out/in. Most of my other bows are being shot off the shelf, however I decided to throw my old AAE Free Flyte on my SD21”. It took a bit of tweaking, but mounting the FF with a nylon washer resulted in a good clearance for the flipper arm to lay flat against the window and it leaves plenty of room for the pseudo-plunger spring ("spine point") to move in. The riser is cut pretty far past center so using a real plunger on this one may be worth trying. It’s also worth noting that I don’t think a stick on rest would work on this one. You’d probably have the build up a thick base before sticking a rest on, if you choose to go that route. The shelf has slight radius so you might be able to shoot this off the shelf too, but you’d need a pretty thick strike plate for the same reason. In my testing, I’m ending up with a brace height range of about 8.5” -9”, and 9” seems to be where it resonates the least.
Plant Reptile Lizard Road surface Tree
Plant Wood Twig Tree Natural landscape
Wood Bumper Gas Automotive exterior Grass


Limbs: The R1 and R3 limbs are very nicely finished and arrived to me without flaws. I’ve only really shot the 35 lb (R3) set, but the draw is smooth and response after the shot is subdued. My previous setup was using TT BlackMax2s (wood/glass) weighing only 2 lbs heavier on the draw. These R3s feel more like 5 lbs lighter and are just as smooth overall. So far, I’m very happy with these Discovery limbs considering they’re only $105 for each pair.

Riser Details: Like some other hunting style ILF risers, it’s been drilled and tapped for many accessories. It has mounting points for a rest, plunger, stabilizer (or weights), sight/quiver, window clicker and a clicker plate. Some of the pictures floating around out there on the internet don’t show a clicker/plate mount so there may be 2 versions of this riser or they may have just changed the design prior to release. The riser also comes in a nice padded pouch that protects it well when it’s packed for travel.

Based on the comments from the other SD21” post, the new design of this riser seem to be a little bit controversial. Personally, I kind of like the new design, although I may have liked it more if it was just a longer version of the 17” design. If you squint your eyes a bit, it looks like half of a stylized eagle has been sculpted into both sides of the riser. When you actually hold it in hand, it doesn’t really have that vibe and I don’t find it distracting or off-putting at all. After mounting a 16 oz Yost weight, an SRF and my rest, that bird-like appearance sort of fades into the background.

The sight window is huge in comparison to my other bows and I find that I have a very good view of the target when I’m lining up my shots. Archers that use a lower anchor point should have plenty of room above the arrow to see their gaps if they shoot without a cant. Even with my relatively long arrows and an anchor point below my mouth, I still have close to 2.5”-3” of space above the point to see my target and gaps. I opted to try an SRF “sight” that I purchased last year and I can easily see the full frame when lining up shots, which was not the case with some of my other bows. I've attached a couple of images to see this 21" riser next to a 23" WFL and 19" Galaxy Sage Elite.
Wood Knife Tree Natural material Blade
Wood Sleeve Gesture Twig Art

Air gun Wood Trigger Sleeve Shotgun
Brown Wood Art Artifact Hardwood
Wood Artifact Art Font Hardwood


Grip: My biggest issue with the riser is simply the shape and material of the stock grip. It’s not horrible or anything, but it puts a lot of pressure on the top of the web between my thumb and forefinger. After a shooting session, I’m left with a red patch in that area. I was planning to purchase a wood grip from Rcore, but after sending them some pictures, they think it might actually need a different grip shape than the original SD17”. Hopefully they can get one of these new risers to take some measurements because I’m also not a huge fan of the stock grip material. It’s basically just plastic with a rubber coating. It feels smooth in hand, but there are already some spots on the stock grip where I’ve worn off the rubber coating and revealed the plastic underneath. Overall, I think I would simply prefer if it was wood and shaped more like the Rcore standard grip.

Shooting performance: It’s taken me a few weeks to get everything set up and tuned to how I like it, but I’m quite pleased with how this bow shoots. As of this week, I’m using the AAE FF, a 16 oz Yost Weight, SRF, limb savers, string silencers and velcro on the string grooves. The result is a bow that I can point and settle quickly on target, with a pleasantly thumpy shot. There’s a little post-shot vibration that dissipates completely within 1-2 seconds, but it’s not bad. It took some adjustment to get used to this new setup because it’s quite different than my previous 68” WF Lark setup. Things have finally started to click for me and my groups are now as good or better than I was shooting with that bow. Balance with the weights is pretty good and the bow stays close to vertical after release. I’m hoping that adding a second limb pocket weight makes the bow even more stable without making the bow tip back too much. We’ll see about that when I get my new mounting bolt from AltSS. In summary, I’m quite happy with this new bow setup, aside from the grip. It shoots as nicely as I had expected and hopefully it serves me well for a long time.

If anyone has any specific questions about this riser or would like me to take any measurements, let me know and I’ll do my best to get those answered for you. Thank you all for the great information in this forum and I hope this post helps someone else out there to decide if this riser is right for them.

-Tort
 

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Welcome and thank you for an outstanding review of a riser many of us have interest in.
 
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Wow that's a heck of a first post . Really outstanding review ! (y) I have owned the R3's in 62" on a Carbon Z15, similar to the White feather Lark in your pic's . And now shoot R3's 60" from a WF19 riser .
 

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Great review! Riser looks pretty good, though the brace height sounds on the high side for a 21" even with long limbs.

With the pressure on the grip you are experiencing, have you played with the tiller? That might move the grip pressure to a more suitable spot for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for checking out the review, y'all! I'm glad you liked it.

Welcome and thank you for an outstanding review of a riser many of us have interest in.
Jim, I've picked up some great tips from you over the past couple years. Thanks for welcoming me to the forum!

Wow that's a heck of a first post . Really outstanding review ! (y) I have owned the R3's in 62" on a Carbon Z15, similar to the White feather Lark in your pic's . And now shoot R3's 60" from a WF19 riser .
I really like my 23" WFLs too, but unfortunately, one of them has developed a crack/delamination in the middle that goes from a couple of cm above the shelf, through the shelf, and down to the top of the grip. I know micarta is a pretty tough material, but the location of the crack still makes me a bit nervous to shoot that one anymore.

Great review! Riser looks pretty good, though the brace height sounds on the high side for a 21" even with long limbs.

With the pressure on the grip you are experiencing, have you played with the tiller? That might move the grip pressure to a more suitable spot for you.
As for BH, it seems pretty high to me too. I've never had to go higher than 8.25" on my 68" bows so 9" on a 66" felt wrong at first. I started at around 8" and the string covered almost the entire string groove. It was also kind of loud on the shot and felt like it vibrated for longer. After working my way up to 8.75", that's where I had roughly an inch of string groove showing. I shot it like that for a couple of sessions and decided to try 9", just for the hell of it. To my surprise, it quieted down even more and removed most of the vibration that I was feeling at the lower BH. I'm certainly no expert on bow tuning so please correct me if it sounds like I'm doing this wrong.

I also haven't tried messing with tiller yet. It came out of the box with a nearly even tiller, with maybe an extra 1/32" on the bottom. If I'm shooting 3-under with an elevated rest, should I try going slightly more negative to move the pressure lower on my grip? or maybe I have that backwards?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would suggest that you may want to put anti seize on the limb bolts.
It might be one of your posts that I'm thinking of, but now that you mention it, I do recall seeing that someone got their (aluminum) bolts stuck in the riser. I'll definitely try to take care of that before I go shoot again. Thanks for the tip!
 

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As for BH, it seems pretty high to me too. I've never had to go higher than 8.25" on my 68" bows so 9" on a 66" felt wrong at first. I started at around 8" and the string covered almost the entire string groove. It was also kind of loud on the shot and felt like it vibrated for longer. After working my way up to 8.75", that's where I had roughly an inch of string groove showing. I shot it like that for a couple of sessions and decided to try 9", just for the hell of it. To my surprise, it quieted down even more and removed most of the vibration that I was feeling at the lower BH. I'm certainly no expert on bow tuning so please correct me if it sounds like I'm doing this wrong.

I also haven't tried messing with tiller yet. It came out of the box with a nearly even tiller, with maybe an extra 1/32" on the bottom. If I'm shooting 3-under with an elevated rest, should I try going slightly more negative to move the pressure lower on my grip? or maybe I have that backwards?
If there's least vibration it's probably right... the string grooves is usually a starting point. Luckily you have a long draw length so missing 1" of power stroke won't matter too much. I would suffer with my 27" draw length!

As for tiller, I deliberately set at +0.25" (positive tiller with the top limb longer) and I work my way down in 1/8" jumps till I get to a point where it feels right. I shoot 3 under on a fixed crawl and I've had bows shoot great with positive tiller, even tiller and negative tiller so I just try them all :) I always forget which way to spin the bolts too... I really should write it down!!!
 

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Anyone with their SD 21" riser's come up with a grip solution with theres ? Anyone know if the SD 17 and SD 21 risers share the same grip ? In pic's they look the same ?
Eventually I think I will order a SD 21" riser . It seems like it definately has not taken off not even near like the SD 17" .
I don't know seems like there would have been way more interest in the SD 21 ? Maybe its me .
Heck even on the 3rvr's SD 21" riser sale site theres no reviews or even questions about the riser .
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Anyone with their SD 21" riser's come up with a grip solution with theres ? Anyone know if the SD 17 and SD 21 risers share the same grip ? In pic's they look the same ?
Eventually I think I will order a SD 21" riser . It seems like it definately has not taken off not even near like the SD 17" .
I don't know seems like there would have been way more interest in the SD 21 ? Maybe its me .
Heck even on the 3rvr's SD 21" riser sale site theres no reviews or even questions about the riser .
Unfortunately, I don't know of any alternative grips that fit. RCore looked at my pictures of the riser and they were not confident that the SD17 and SD21 grips were the same, even though they look pretty close to me. The stock grip shape isn't horrible and another archer at my club commented that it felt good in the hand. My biggest problem with it is just the plastic. I pray to the archery gods every night in hopes that I'll be gripping wood grain some day.

I'm not really getting the sense that the SD21 is very popular either, at least not yet. Maybe it'll pick up when more people find out about it. At the time of writing my review, I think it may have been the only one that could be found online. There was so little information about it online that I wasn't even sure if there were multiple versions of the 21 or what I was actually going to receive.
 

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for the grip, you can, like me, make your own, with a piece of wood.
the advantage is that you can make a personal anatomic grip, and make your mass product unique.
 

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Unfortunately, I don't know of any alternative grips that fit. RCore looked at my pictures of the riser and they were not confident that the SD17 and SD21 grips were the same, even though they look pretty close to me. The stock grip shape isn't horrible and another archer at my club commented that it felt good in the hand. My biggest problem with it is just the plastic. I pray to the archery gods every night in hopes that I'll be gripping wood grain some day.

I'm not really getting the sense that the SD21 is very popular either, at least not yet. Maybe it'll pick up when more people find out about it. At the time of writing my review, I think it may have been the only one that could be found online. There was so little information about it online that I wasn't even sure if there were multiple versions of the 21 or what I was actually going to receive.
Great to read it's a solid and balanced riser. Seems top value at the price. I think a part of the lack of interest in it is the way it looks. I personally find that accent/flourish too styled/decorative for my especially boring, utilitarian tastes. It looks almost 'elvish'? The mass distribution is really unusual also, at least to the eye.

Good on them for having a crack at breaking rank and coming up with something a little different. I'm sure this will help bring many new eyes to Trad. After all, good to shake things up a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
for the grip, you can, like me, make your own, with a piece of wood.
the advantage is that you can make a personal anatomic grip, and make your mass product unique.
Yeah, that's definitely an option. The problem is that I don't really have any woodworking tools or the skills to use them. I do like the idea of making a grip specific to my hand but that's a big time/money investment so it probably will be my last resort. After seeing your post again, I was immediately reminded how much I loved that custom rest/plate of yours. Awesome work!

Great to read it's a solid and balanced riser. Seems top value at the price. I think a part of the lack of interest in it is the way it looks. I personally find that accent/flourish too styled/decorative for my especially boring, utilitarian tastes. It looks almost 'elvish'? The mass distribution is really unusual also, at least to the eye.

Good on them for having a crack at breaking rank and coming up with something a little different. I'm sure this will help bring many new eyes to Trad. After all, good to shake things up a bit.
Before I bought the riser, I was really going back and forth on whether or not the stylized bird aesthetic was going to bother me. I would also consider myself someone who likes things that favor function over form so I was concerned that it would be too distracting in person. I'm glad I went for it because the concern is far from my mind. Now, when I think about the riser, I think of how it looks from the belly side and how it feels in the hand when I shoot it. I can most certainly understand how the looks could be a deal breaker for some though. It would have probably been a more immediate success if they had just stretched out the 17s design, but I'm with you in saying "good on them" for trying something new even if it won't work for everyone. Samick did have a couple variants of the Discovery17 so maybe they'll change things up a little on the next try?
 

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Just ordered me SD 21" ILF of course riser in muddy oak / R hand . [New]
$300 - even to sw Fla . From a US business in lower 48 states . Seen the muddy oak colors before , I like them .
That space age new riser design won`t bother me none . Especially after I hopefully legally harvest big game with it. Think I'm going to like it . At $300 bucks even I think it's a very fair deal.
 

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Just received the Discovery 21 " riser . No limbs put on it , just giving my thoughts from opening box and handling it etc .
Nice riser . That space age new design on the 21" imo looks more radical in the pictures . In person it looks good .
Huge site window . Looks like this one came with upgraded hardware than the 17 " famous bread n butter Discoverys come with.
Also came in real nice inner fur lined case with camo trim and tools for limb mounts etc . I ordered the Muddy Oak color . Paint finish real nice . Of course they come with " no hump " for shooting off the shelf.

Now for the negative " the grip " for me at least feels at an awkward angle , hard rubber like . Don't like it even for a caveman as myself . I think it's worth the money I paid but don't think it will ever be more popular than there 17" model.
I don't regret ordering it . Got it for 3 beans even.
 

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Just sold the Discovery 21" riser . Didn't even have it 24hrs . Good friend just picked it up with a set of Samick R3s I had . Never got to even put limbs on it . Looked good for the cost . Like I said in earlier post grip seemed at an awkward angle , hard hard rubber , and I'am 6' 1" / 212 lbs and also felt small and in gloves I wear a size large .
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just sold the Discovery 21" riser . Didn't even have it 24hrs . Good friend just picked it up with a set of Samick R3s I had . Never got to even put limbs on it . Looked good for the cost . Like I said in earlier post grip seemed at an awkward angle , hard hard rubber , and I'am 6' 1" / 212 lbs and also felt small and in gloves I wear a size large .
I agree with what you said about the grip. It's kind of a weird shape/angle for me too. Also, the grip is not actually made of rubber, but rather molded plastic with a rubber coating. I wore off a bit of the rubber coating where my index finger rubs on the front edge and it was just shiny black plastic below. I also took off the grip at one point to take pictures for RCore and the inside of the grip (where it contacts the riser) is definitely hard plastic. You're right though, this explains why it's so hard. The size of the grip does feel small-ish to me too (I also wear large gloves). It's quite a bit smaller than my wooden riser grips, but larger than my Quinn Comet, which has a very small grip cast into the aluminum of the riser.

You should ask your friend what BH they end up with once they get a chance to shoot it. I needed a much higher BH with the Discovery limbs than with the TTBM 2.0 glass/wood limbs that I'm currently using. The R3s didn't lose the excess vibration until I was at around 9", but my TT limbs seemed to work best at around 8.5". I still have no idea what the official BH recommendation is so that's purely based on my 2-3 days of trial and error with both limb sets.
 

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You should ask your friend what BH they end up with once they get a chance to shoot it. I needed a much higher BH with the Discovery limbs than with the TTBM 2.0 glass/wood limbs that I'm currently using.
I will probably be involved in that when he puts together his SD 21 / limbs etc I think a good place to start might be 8" or a slight hair less .
 
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