SaddleBrooke Archers tour local bow factory

Bobby Vargas from PSE Marketing Department shows Ed Snyder some features of a compound bow.

Bobby Vargas from PSE Marketing Department shows Ed Snyder some features of a compound bow.

Members of the SaddleBrooke Archers during a tour of Precision Shooting Equipment’s Tucson factory, left to right: Bobby Vargas (PSE Marketing), Ed Snyder, Laurel Snyder, Philip Cotton, John Horton, Mary Hopping, Ken Hopping, Dan Eggleston, Manny Lunga and John Monfore

Members of the SaddleBrooke Archers during a tour of Precision Shooting Equipment’s Tucson factory, left to right: Bobby Vargas (PSE Marketing), Ed Snyder, Laurel Snyder, Philip Cotton, John Horton, Mary Hopping, Ken Hopping, Dan Eggleston, Manny Lunga and John Monfore

Charla Blacker

Eighteen members of the SaddleBrooke Archers toured the Precision Shooting Equipment Archery factory in March. PSE Archery is one of the largest manufacturers of bows in the world, providing over a quarter of all bows sold in the United States. PSE makes all of the components for their compound bows at their Tucson factory and ships world-wide, shipping over 110,000 bows in 2014. The company employs 320 full time employees and is known for producing high performance bows. Many of the recent U.S. Olympic archers have used PSE bows in recent years; however, they also make entry level models. PSE makes and sells both compound bows and recurve bows (like Robin Hood is pictured using).

Modern bows often use lighter, very durable materials in the construction such as fiberglass for the recurve bows and aluminum for compound bows. While both types of bows are popular within the club, many of our archers choose to shoot compound bows. Compound bows are designed to reduce the force required to hold the string at full draw, therefore allowing the archer more time to aim with less muscular stress. Most compound designs use cams or elliptical wheels on the ends of the limbs to accomplish this. A typical let-off is anywhere from 65% to 80%. For example, a bow that has 80% let-off may require 40 pounds to draw back the string but only requires eight pounds of force to hold at full draw. Compound bows have become the most widely used type of bow for all forms of archery in North America.

Historically, archery has been used for hunting and combat. In modern times, it is mainly a competitive sport and recreational activity. Recent movies such as The Hunger Games series has sparked renewed interest in the sport. Members of the SaddleBrooke Archers have competed and medaled at the Tucson and Phoenix Senior Olympics. Earlier this year, Ken Hopping won the Silver medal for the 64 to 69 age group in Tucson, albeit within a small field of competitors. Most club members practice at either a location just outside of SaddleBrooke or at the Oro Valley Archery Range on Naranja Road. Club officers are actively involved in helping individuals interested in archery try out this fast growing sport. If interested, please contact Ed Snyder at 520-825-0964 or [email protected]

PSE is located on Fairview Avenue in Tucson and includes both an indoor and outdoor range for archers of all levels. It has a store with knowledgeable staff that fit the bows to the archer’s size, ability and budget. The SB Archery Club is grateful to Bobby Vargas, PSE Marketing Department, who provided a fascinating look behind the scenes at the factory.