Fact checked by Steven Lines, lifelong Hunter and Outdoorsman.
String silencers can be a great way to reduce the amount of noise that your bow makes when you fire an arrow. They might also have a range of other impacts on the way your bow works. But do string silencers affect speed?
When you use a string silencer, you will often notice a small reduction in the speed of the arrow. However, this will only be a tiny change, usually between 3 to 7 feet per second (FPS). As a result, the benefits of adding a silencer often outweigh any downsides caused by a slower firing speed.
As you can see, the speed that you will lose will often be negligible. But why does this loss occur at all? Let’s take a closer look at this issue.
Why Use A String Silencer?
String silencers are reasonably standard in the archery world. But what benefit does this provide? Why use a string silencer?
In most cases, they will be used by hunters. Because the bow is quieter, they’ll be able to get closer to the animal, making sure that they don’t spook it.
In some cases, the vibrations caused by releasing the string can be enough to alert the animal to your presence. Because of this, you might end up missing a perfectly lined-up shot.
While this is the most common reason, there are a few other reasons why you might want to consider using a string silencer on your bow.
For example, competition archers might find the noise distracting, making it harder for them to focus on hitting the target.
Others might want to make the bow more comfortable to hold, reducing the amount of vibration that they experience when firing it.
How Does A String Silencer Work?
So, there are multiple reasons why someone might want to consider using a string silencer. Now we can start to look at how they will reduce the speed of the arrow. To do this, we need to know how a string silencer works.
When you release the string, you are also releasing the stored-up energy. This is converted into vibrations on the string, which produces the twanging noise. The silencers prevent this by spreading out the energy discharge.
The string silencers can absorb the kinetic vibrations caused by the bowstrings. By giving the excess energy somewhere to go, the noise produced decreases significantly.
It might also help you extend the longevity of your equipment. Without the silencer, the vibrations will travel through the bow. As we mentioned, this can be very unpleasant for the archer.
But it can also take its toll on the bow. Over time, some elements might shake loose and need to be re-tightened. You might also need to re-tune the bow frequently, to make sure that you aren’t going to miss a shot.
What Effect Does A String Silencer Have On Arrow Speed?
Now that we know a little more about how the silencers work, we can look at what impact they can have on your archery. Most importantly, what effect does a string silencer have on arrow speed?
The silencer is there to absorb the excess vibration from the string, keeping your bow quiet. However, this can often result in slightly less energy being transferred to the arrow.
Thankfully, this tends to have a very mild effect. In most cases, an archer can expect to lose between 2-7 feet per second (FPS).
For closer targets, you often won’t notice any differences. In exchange, you will be able to get closer to the goal, giving hunters a much better chance of landing a shot without spooking the animal.
The change in arrow speed will depend on several factors. Often, this will depend on the type of silencer that you are using and the way that you’ve installed it. How much power your bow has might also affect how much speed you will lose.
How To Reduce Impact Of A String Silencer On Arrow Speed?
As we mentioned, there’s often a minor reduction in the arrow speed that you can achieve when using a string silencer. But how to reduce the impact of a string silencer on arrow speed?
The best way to minimize the amount of speed that you will lose when using a string silencer is by tuning the bow. You might also want to consider practicing your technique.
These two simple changes can make sure that you are getting the most use out of your bow. Let’s take a closer look at how they work.
How To Tune Your Bow?
After you put a silencer onto your bow, you want to make sure that you tune it properly. This will let you test what impact adding the silencer has had and allow you to optimize the bow. But, how to tune your bow?
The easiest way of doing this is by shooting an arrow through a piece of paper. This will let you observe its flight path, making it simple to spot potential problems.
To do this, you need to head to an archery range or a place where you can safely practice your archery. Set up the target and bow, as standard.
Before the target, set-up a large picture frame that doesn’t have any backing material. Then, place a piece of paper into it. Place this around 5 feet (1.5 meters) away from the target.
At first, stand five to ten feet (1.5 to 3 meters) away from the target, and fire the arrow. It should pass cleanly through the paper and land in the target behind it.
After removing the arrow, check out the impression left in the paper. This can tell you a lot about the flight of the arrow and some of the issues that you might be experiencing.
Ideally, you should have a small, round hole, caused by the arrow and its fletching.
If you have a vertical hole, you might need to adjust the nocking point. If you have a horizontal tear, try changing the weight of the arrows or the tension on the string.
By making sure that you make these adjustments to the bow frequently, you’ll be able to improve your accuracy. This will let you compensate for the reduction in speed caused by using a string silencer, as your arrows don’t waste any energy in flying towards the target.
It might also take a few adjustments to find the best place to put the silencers on your string so that they have the best sound absorption.
Practice Your Technique
The second way to compensate for a reduction in speed is by practicing your technique. In this area, there are several aspects that you should be perfecting.
First, you should look at your release. This is how you are letting go of the string when firing the bow. Ideally, it should be as smooth as possible. This will ensure that you don’t lose any more arrow speed.
You should also be improving your accuracy. This will ensure that all the speed of the arrow goes directly into the target.
A string silencer can be a great addition to your bow if you want to improve your stealth by lowering string vibrations. However, they might reduce your arrow speed. The decrease in speed, though, tends to be minor. Often, you will only have a reduction by 3-7 FPS. To minimize the impact that this has on your archery, you should tune your bow frequently and make sure to practice your technique regularly.
Steven Lines is a hunter and outdoorsman from Safford, Arizona, USA. He has been hunting and fishing since a child, and has over 20 years of experience in the outdoors. Steven works as a hunting guide in Arizona during his spare time and runs a Youtube channel dedicated to sharing his outdoor adventures with others.