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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Making a bunch of strings for stock and my question is since i am hearing mixed info on this subject is. #1What exactly is fast flight compatible? #2 how many of you use fast flight or other modern low stretch materials on older so called non-fastflight compatible bows? Im hearing mixed reviews in multiple places that say you can use fast flight on any bow. What say you? Yay or nay
 

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Reinforced limb tips would be a pretty good indicator of "ff compatible". As far as using ff on an older bow, ask the question "How well do you like your bow?"
I'll err on the side of caution if I like the bow. Another option would be to reinforce the tips. I'm thinking about trying this on an old Browning I have.
 

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I'll take the philosophical tact.

To me, "fast-flight compatible" literally means a bow that has been built within the "low-stretch era" by a bowyer attending to tip construction with modern string materials in mind.

"Dacron-era" bows were designed successfully with Dacron material specifically in mind, not knowing that string materials would radically change in nature at a future date.

So, "fast-flight compatible" takes on two meanings: fast-flight compatible by deliberate, modern design ... or fast-flight compatible because a given bow will perform successfully with a low-stretch string.

A bow designed during the Dacron-era and considered to be a great performer will certainly continue to be an equally great performer in the hands of a modern archer sporting a Dacron string ... excellence happens. The modern archer can, of course, calculate whether usage of a low-stretch string would safely enhance the bow's performance, and if so, then modify the bow accordingly to their advantage.

Other modern archers simply retain the bow's original rigging format and accept that they are shooting an older, and often quite stellar, bow. They may not desire improvement by any means and are happy with the bow as is.

Both success and horror stories abound concerning the usage of low-stretch materials on bows not originally designed for such. There is certainly a middle ground involved, for though a bow may not have been designed specifically for low-stretch material, its design may still possess an integrity that will safely accommodate such.

My older bows sport Dacron. I take them for what they were, and enjoy shooting them with their Dacron as much as I do shooting my modern bows with their low-stretch strings. Perhaps I am more casual than some when it comes to eking out increased performance, which accounts for my more sedate approach to this subject. However, I fully understand why folks place low-stretch strings upon older bows, and may well decide to perform the same at a later date.

That said, I have a few older bows with tips just demure enough to prevent me from ever removing the Dacron from their wardrobe.
 

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Basically the advice offered so far is spot on as to what "FF compatible" means and whether or not to use a modern string material on older bows.

There will be people who will assure you that you can use modern string materials on old bows No problem. All you need to do is make sure that the end loops are sufficiently padded out with extra material to about 10 times their normal diameter, bow to the West, spin around 3 times, and then sacrifice a chicken, and all will be well.

Often it is maintained that stories of modern materials damaging old bows is are just made up old wives tales. Having had it happen to me, I can tell you that was not a good a day. I can supply you with photos to prove that I am neither old, nor somebody's wife if you want. :)

It is as Bowbender Mike said, "How well do you like your bow?" Think about this. Should somebody tell you to go ahead and use FF on that nice old valuable collector's bow, will they cover your loss if damage should result?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree completly but on another site there are a few who insist you can use fastflight on any bow. I never heard of that before so i just wanted to make sure i wasent missing something. This guy told me he has made thousands of shots with his old pearson and a fastflight string.
 

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The drawback of Dacron is that it stretches and you lose energy. The advantage of Dacron is that is stretches, so you can make the tips lighter. There is a tradeoff involved. The older bows designed for Dacron work well with that because they were designed for it. You get the advantage of light tips, which partially compensates for the loss due to stretch.

The modern bows are made for fast flight, and have heavier tips. So using Dacron is a double loss. You lose from the stretch and you lose from the heavier tips.

Now any of the modern strings will give a boost on the modern bows. You have heavier tips, but the low stretch seems to give even more back. So you win a little bit in the tradeoff, ... or so the theory goes. Perhaps not everyone agrees with the theory.

But, I would not use modern string on the old bows. It might work, and you might get a performance boost, but you might break it too.

Something I've not seen mentioned, but I think is valid is that the very latest strings are very low stretch and if you use too many strands (speaking about trad bows, not compounds), you will really stress a bow. There is no give at all, and that bow better be designed to take that stress.

I think that we forget that a lot of the drive for better strings is aimed at the compound market. Trad bows are not necessarily well served (pardon the pun) with the very latest string materials.
 

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I was always told to check with the bowyer or manufacturer. They will know what specs they designed and built for. I was also always told to not use fast flight unless you know it is ok.
 

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The subject of string material spawns more myth that almost any other in modern archery. You show me an older bow and I'll find guys who shoot it with fast flight. Most people who opt to use newer materials do it for reasons other than increased arrow speed.

String CONSTRUCTION is much more important than material. You can't make them the same way as you make a dacron string, no question. I'll defer to guys like Rick Barbee on what I can and cannot shoot on an older bow.

I believe at one time strings were made from silk, which has a very low stretch rate compared to dacron.
 

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I believe at one time strings were made from silk, which has a very low stretch rate compared to dacron.
Bows that are designed to be used with silk or linen strings are probably a lot more likely to stand up to modern string materials.

One of the reasons why there are so many myths on this subject is that there are so many variables at play, and you can't always know the reason for a failure. Is it the age of the bow, or a defect in the bow, or light arrows, or the string material that causes a breakage? You can never be sure. But, there is anecdotal evidence that many vintage bows have been destroyed in the fast-flight era. It may be a combination of all causes, but if you make a sudden switch to fast-flight string, you might be placing the last straw that breaks the camels back.

Basically, you will be taking a risk if you take an old bow designed for B50 and use a modern string. Risk simply means that you may be ok, but you might also not be ok. It really depends on the bow design, the particular bow you have, the age/history/condition of the bow, the arrow weight you choose, and the string design/construction itself.

At the very least, if someone wants to use fast-flight for older bows, consider the details carefully. Make a proper string design and arrow weight choice to achieve your goals, whatever those goals might be. This does not seems like something for amateurs to do, but maybe an expert can do it with minimal risk.
 
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