Friday, 19 March 2021

Maximal Archery Gear What to look for in a good bow quiver for hunting


Maximal Archery is part of the "archersgear" organisation.

Or what to look for in a good bow quiver
 by BushCampingTools*

I got this quiver because I know from previous experience it is not necessary to spend mega bucks (one can spend over 200USD!) on a hunting quiver in order to have an effective hunt. 

What one wants is a quiver which can carry broadheads safely and is also safely secured to the riser and will not accidentally come loose should it be banged on a tree branch etc whilst crawling through the undergrowth. My first bow quiver met these criteria, however it suffered from a really "el cheapo" QR (quick release) mechanism of plastic against plastic instead of (like in this bow quiver) plastic against metal. The combination of plastic against plastic (unless one of those plastics is PTFE, is that they will have a tendency to "bind" to one another). That was, I guess a minor point because as I said it met the safety aspects which, in reality are the most important, to avoid any chance of an accident.

The Maximal Gear EDGE bow quiver is well made, light weight and provides good coverage of the business end of your arrows. The rubber grippers also appear to be made from just the right stickiness and hardness (flexibility, also more accurately known as "SHORE HARDNESS) in order to securely hold one's arrows and continue to do so for many years to come and not suffer from perishing due to interactions with chemicals or Ozone. Actually, that was another reason why my first quiver didn't last more than 2 seasons because the rubber gripper was very small in thickness and it succumbed to UV and or Ozone and hardened over time, hence it was not capable of properly gripping the shafts after a couple of years continual usage.

The EDGE bow quiver (model number PKJ-M-TP715-BLK), the "BLK" means the black version, as it also comes in a camouflage coloration (just the business end of it though); is a well- thought out bow quiver that is easily mounted via a quick release system that stays attached to the riser.

The Edge bow quiver from Maximal Archery accepts 5 arrows of either carbon or Aluminium shafts. The first thing I noted was the rubber compound of the grippers. It is very good. In fact it appears much better than the rubber compound and elasticity of  a bow quiver which comes with an expensive BEAR hunting compound (model SPECIES LD package).

The main shaft gripper is also made from the same rubber compound. This gripper can be moved up and down the main frame (the frame is made from carbon fibre tubes). The shaft gripper is held in place by friction (presumably from the rubber on the carbon shafts). This gripper also has a metal frame partially surrounding the gripper as shown above and below.

The main frame of the Maximal Archery EDGE bow quiver is made from Carbon Fibre tubing. These tubes offer good rigidity, which is important for safety.

The main attachment point for the quiver to the riser is via a die cast metal quick release plate. This plate could also be moved if desired by loosening an Allen bolt as indicated above. On that point, the quiver is supplied with 2 Allen keys, a set of Allen bolts (socket heads) of various lengths, some spacers (to move the quiver further out away from the riser and a spare riser plate. Not too shabby eh?!

Quality Allen bolt fixtures secure the end gripper on this Bow quiver.

Now here (above and below) is a very cool feature, the inclusion of a carry loop at the business end of the quiver. This allows one to easily carry the quiver loaded with arrows via this nylon cordage loop. One can put there own paracord loop here or any other color they desire if that's what turns them on!

Now to the business end of a bow quiver. I say this because the end (the hood) which encloses one's broadheads needs to be rigid and basically unbreakable in construction for maximal and obvious safety reasons. The inner "lining" also needs to be of such material which will not blunt the broadhead and also at the same time prevent any rattle and aid to help keep the arrows secure at all times prior to removal.

Side view of mounted quick release (QR) plate on riser ( you can see the two cylindrical standoffs I used-optional, this depends upon how much space one has underneath the sight bracket).

Top view of the QR plate on the bow riser.
The QR plate is mounted onto the sight bracket mounting holes. (also see below).

To fit the quiver, place it onto the QR platte (by engaging the "v" shaped metal notch on the quiver) on the riser and simply move the rubber gripper in an arc motion (shown closest to my hand) towards the bow riser and it will lock in place, felt and heard by an audible click.

Quiver in place ready for arrows!

To remove the quiver, press down hard against the flexible thumb lever and the quiver can be easily unlocked.

OK so there you have it, a bow quiver suitable for hunting and the target range that won't cost you the earth but has all of the necessary features I believe to safely carry your hunting arrows.

Finally, as mentioned earlier on, the quiver is also available in a camouflage coloration but the camouflage is only on the arrow head covering, the rest of the quiver is still black and for the added cost, there is, I believe little benefit from this small amount of camouflaging. 

You can also see this product here:

About the author's bow hunting experience:

BCT has over a decade of serious bowhunting experience in serious Australian wilderness (hunting from small game to wild pigs) without the use of: glass and baiting, hides and or dogs, using the traditional stalking and field craft techniques, on foot.

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Bush crafting with the Giant Mamba?

Tactical Bushcraft???? Why not?

Why not? One can "bushcraft" with just about any knife if you know what you are doing and what the knife is capable of. Don't let any tell you otherwise because it is BS. The Giant Mamba can handle the pace make no mistake about it. Clean lines, super strong blade, rapid drawing scabbard action. 

Chose the handle and scabbard option color scheme for the job at hand.
My only beef is why carry the milling of the fuller into the grip region? Makes no sense to me and the amount it would lighten the knife is of no  consequence.


Sunday, 28 February 2021

El Cheapo Archery Butt made with Recycled Cardboard Boxes.

El Cheapo Archery Butt made with Recycled Cardboard Boxes.

You've got all of your archery gear but now where to shoot? If you can safely shoot in your own backyard* then just go out and buy some archery butts. Well, no, because archery butts are very expensive for what they are and that's just a big block of high density foam rubber. Yes, they will not damage your 100 buck competition arrows but they might just damage the wallet unnecessarily. 

Better to collect some old corrugated cardboard boxes and hence recycle them for a better purpose and make some home made archery butts. But what is that? Your are saying there is no way they will stop my arrows on my 70 lb (no closer than 8m shooting otherwise they will go through this butt design)  draw weight bow! You must be crazy! Nope I'm not crazy I'll show you how.

You will need about a 1ft thick of folded boxes, the size will depend upon the ultimate size of your target but I would suggest at least 1 yard tall/1 metre tall. Put them all into a box that will just take them as shown above. Now as far as stopping power goes, you will need to collect some "shop brochures" made with dense high quality paper which amounts to about 3/4"thick when stacked upon one another. You can also use glossy magazines, using high quality paper which amount to the same thickness. One inch thick maximum should be fine.

Centre the magazines/brochures upon one cardboard box with gaffer tape or similar, then the trick is to replace this behind about several inches of cardboard as shown above. That way your arrows will stick in the butt but not too far in. One inch thick of glossy magazines will be able to stop or at least prevent the passing of a high speed arrow and of course there will be more cardboard behind this modified piece.

Top view

You can also use "sticky tape" if no gaffer tape but gaffer tape will be better or duct tape.
Now I covered the entire box/butt with a synthetic hessian bag, this is to help hold the thing together after you have blasted it constantly with arrows all day, every day for a week LOL!
Hey presto, your recycled archery butt and you can make these for next to nothing, maybe even from recycled cardboard from around your home!

Ready to transport to my "range" and just waiting on a target to be placed upon it. Happy shooting!

I shot with these for years and one range, where  I was a member at, used these extensively around the range in the bush, cheap to make, totally (with exception of the bag) 100% biodegradable, easy to extract field point from.

BTW, it is important NOT to compress the cardboard boxes too much.

*Disclaimer, never shoot in a suburban environment, or a public park etc. Never shoot where if one misses the target, the arrow will remain in flight to cause injury or death.

Check carefully the quality of the cardboard you use and do a test to make doubly sure it will indeed stop your arrows from passing through at close range.

Friday, 26 February 2021

Extrema Ratio T4000C SATIN

 Extrema Ratio T4000C SATIN

The ExtremaRatio T4000C is the little brother to the T4000. I own the blackened versions of both of these models and absolutely love them, especially the T4000C, ie the compact model-which gets a lot of use from me. In fact, the T4000C is a very popular model. However, many were asking about a non-blackened version. WHY? Well, my understanding from the social media is that many seem concerned* with using knives with certain coatings for food preparation. The blackened versions are just fine for military purposes where anti reflection properties are a must. However, for the civilian that wants to use such a cool design for food preparation, well that's another matter. Nothing beats an uncoated blade for food preparation. I mean how many cooking/chef knives are coated? 

Now there is no concern because ER have finally produced a satin polished finish of this great little model. The Extrema Ratio T4000C Satin finish not only looks great but is totally food safe and because of the polished finish, combined with the HRC of 58, this will indeed contribute to good corrosion resistance of this blade. 

The overall sturdiness has remained unchanged with a super thick spine that looks unbreakable. The tanto design is a winner in my book for many practical purposes in the wilds and this is nothing new since the Japanese have been using such designs for 100's of years, so something must be working right with such a design.

Just look at this "bomb proof" 1/4"spine! So just incase you want to (for some reason) shove the Extrema Ratio T4000C satin up to it's hilt into a cliff crack and stand upon it, I don't believe it will fail, 1/4" of steel is like thicker than many climbing pitons LOL! Easy to pull down clean as an Allen key, screw driver, coin or any other flat bladed object can be used to remove the handle bolt and screw.

Blade steel has remained unchanged ie Böhler N690 at HRC58.
The usefulness of this blade has been much spoken about and demonstrated in previous videos by BushCampingTools but just in brief here:

The blade tip of the Extrema Ratio T4000C lends itself to easy penetration of fish skin and animal hide. The blade lateral geometry is such that it is "not to thick and not too thin" for cutting purposes but of adequate thickness to handle the careful splitting of small logs for fire preparation if required. That's because the very strong looking tang at 1/4" (6mm) thins down past the hilt to a respectable 4mm spine slowly tapering towards the tip.

Preparing to finish a leather cow skin finger tab for my kid's long bow.

You don't need a pair of scissors to cut small holes if you have such a knife tip and a piece of wood to cut upon.

Such a knife tip is very easy to cut small holes in leather, here I made a quick but very functional leather finger tab for my son's bow out of split but thinned cow hide. Such finger tabs are way better than the El cheapo vinyl ones that come with kids bows.
The scabbard has remained unchanged in the Extrema ratio T4000C satin model and that's because it simply works, why change it? Full Molle compatible, plus easy belt carry or even in a deep pocket is easily possible. In fact I often have carried mine like this.
There is enough handle real estate for those with hand sizes up to 9 max for a super comfortable grip. It goes without saying, the ergonomic grip is the same as ever, and that is XLNT. Forprene grip, what to say, this stuff is here to stay for outdoor and military knives, it's super tough but can be made with different Shore hardnesses suitable for the end purpose.
The Extrema Ratio T4000C Satin version looks more "bushcraft friendly" as well and one is less likely to get "ribbed" for carrying what otherwise looks like a military knife (the blackened T4000C) on a hiking trip. Fact is, a satin finish is much easier to keep clean and hygienic than a matt surface finish like in their military versions, especially when covered in animal fat. 
One thing which may appear as a subtle design feature on literally all of their knives is that the fixing bolts or in this case singular bolt is set quite some distance from the hilt, so there can be no weak spots under load created by a hole in the tang near to a potential fulcrum point.

Essentially, if one wanted this knife before but was put off by the black coating, then wait no longer you can now take this classy little fellow out on your hiking, camping and hunting trips.

 A video review will be coming but I will give a heads up here, it probably won't say much more than my very first review of this model in blackened N690 stainless, because I haven't changed my mind in all these years about the usefulness of this small but sturdy knife from Extrema Ratio.

You can also see it here on the manufacturer's site


* As to whether black metal oxide coatings present any health problems, I think that is for the individual to research and come to their own conclusions. 

Thursday, 18 February 2021

 Sanlida Dragon X8

quick preview by BushCampingTools

There are many now who have posted about the Sanlida DragonX8 hunting compound bow and most reports, in fact I couldn't find one negative report on this bow model, so for me this means that the product has been properly tested at least for me to have a look at it and put in my ten cents worth. Ok so after waiting for about 2 weeks after i ordered mine (delayed shipping), the Bow shop spent some time with me outfitting and then tuning it up until they were satisfied. Their experience told them, about 1000 shots and bring it back to check the string length etc and the cam alignments/timing for a possible re tuning.

 This model is the 0-60lb version (no way could I ever envisage pulling back 70lbs of Hunting bow string, super let off or not!. 

The construction looks pretty damn good and I guess that's why I got one. Made in China by a renown bow making factory, using all of the modern equipment like anyone else, ie made by machines and CNC mills. 

(courtesy of Sanlida)

Limb manufacturing (courtesy of Sanlida)

Spray booths? (courtesy of Sanlida)

CNC milling stations (courtesy of Sanlida)

I looked carefully at all of the parts, including the sights , bolts, tapped holes, was there grease where there should be grease? YES, were the holes tapped well, yes of course because it's done by a CNC machine. How about the paint job? Was it even? Yes indeed.

In fact there is no earthly reason why this bow can't be any good is there? Unless for some strange reason the limb materials are crap? I doubt it, it comes with a warranty etc.

UV lit target sight. it works fairly well and is pretty fluorescent. (seen here switched off) and below, switched on

UV LED seen to the right and the bubble level fluid is also fluorescing, along with the sight markers. it actually looks much more fluorescent to the naked eye than the camera sensor1

CNC machined T6061 cams, the company specs just say Al riser, so that means its cast. Nothing wrong with that and it keeps the price down compared with CNC machined risers. To be honest they both scratch up the same LOL!
60 to designate these are the 60lb limbs as it comes in 70lb limbs/draw weight as well.
Limb bolts were greased
Not over the top with the product branding, the Sanlida Dragon X 8 is available in Camouflage  or Black, the bow shop told me the black is better as it's a better paint job. Who knows? (they have sold a lot of them, so they should know right? Anyway my trusty old BEAR is black and it never stopped me bagging any game. it's not the funky colors which do the shooting.

CNC machined T6061 cams, Al riser (cast) fibreglass? carbon string stop posts; ball bearings on the axels.

70-80% let off and it does fell like you are holding nothing.

it's not a particularly heavy bow at 3.8lb,s ie 1.72kg, LOL it's nothing really.

The limb bolts go straight into a tapped riser and this is one reason why it's a cheaper bow, the bolt threads if not properly cared for can damage the riser and render the bow unusable. But on saying this my BEAR is made exactly the same and once set one is usually never winding the limbs in and out. i will put a small piece of tape over the thread sights in the riser to stop dust or dirt contaminating the grease. In fact one can see a small ledge surrounding the window as if there could be some like rubber plugs to install there to do the same job but there weren't.

30" axel to axel, so compared to my old BEAR, it's short but that's better for moving around the bush too LOL..

310fps (probably wound up to  60lbs)

Draw length 18-31"

mine is set up at 28", may need redoing???

The crazy thing is that it comes with a sling (nylon cordage and a piece of thick real leather), 

a rubber stabiliser, a UV illuminated sight (came with battery), 

Accurate and well-defined graduated markings, no sloppy threading.

tooth brush arrow rest, peep sight, 


and a wrench set. Now all of u Europeans maybe saying I don't need a wrench set, well let me tell you, the allen bolts are all Imperial USA, not metric as the bow market is indeed in the USA, so don't lose your allen key wrenches, sometimes dependent upon which European/Australia etc.  country and what town, it can be hard to get USA imperial wrenches, trust me, especially when you need them!

I'll be testing it out with some carbon 0.500" Savage Skylon arrows, 6.5 grains per inch.

it's a funky looking and sort of Alien-esque riser and I know this sounds stupid but people do buy bows on what the product also looks like, so if the riser looks like some tangled piece of metal then there is a good chance it won't be a good seller, even if it shots like no tomorrow.

One final thought, for a 28" draw length we did have to use a press as the bolt was occluded but anything else probably isn't going to be a problem without a press and or course to tune the cams a press is needed. hence I had the bow tuned in the shop whilst I waited.

Why does the Dragon X8 seem to cost so little?

They use a cheap string and cabling. Cheap as in it could be thicker and more abrasion resistant.

The limb bolts are threaded directly into the riser without the use of stainless steel thread inserts or the use of a separate opposing nut within the riser (eg as in the Emperor model). What this means is if one damages the threads within the riser the bow essentially becomes useless.

The riser grip is just "bare bones", ie no fancy wooden inserts etc.

The riser is cast aluminium and not CNC machined from a single billet. What this means is that aesthetically, it doesn't look as cool as  full CNC milled riser; it may not be a strong as a fully CNCed riser (only if you are going to use your riser as a club to bludgeon to death a charing water buffalo!)

The bow is manufactured by a company wanting to deliver good value for money and it is a Chinese brand, not a foreign brand making bows in China, the latter is a completely different kettle of fish as far a QC goes IMHO.

What makes this bow so good?

They use bearings on the cam axel shafts. Even the equivalent poundage late model PSE does not feature this and the bow is a much greater price! The use of bearings can only make for a smoother movement of the cams and increase the longevity of the system overall.

The power and speed is as good as any USA branded bow in the same class.

The bow once tuned properly is essentially vibration free (it was in my hands anyway).

The Dragon X8 can be "pimped out" by putting a better string on the bow and better cabling that will last longer.  One can also fit better sights, arrow rests etc etc.

One can also apply some "grip tape" or bicycle handle bar tape (the stuff which road cyclists apply to their bars to increase grip and handleability/comfort and or tennis racquet grip tape application for the same reasons. This simple custom addition will indeed provide some good insulation during shooting in cold weather.

I need to get used to it and as soon as i do, it will be going out for something different.

OK stick around for the field shoot out coming soon on BCT!!

You can also see the DragonX8 here:and see the latest specifications