Do String Silencers Affect Speed?

Do String Silencers Affect Speed?

String Silencer Effects

It's always necessary to consider both the benefits and drawbacks of any equipment or accessories that you want to use at the archery range. String silencers are an excellent tool to reduce noise when you fire an arrow but before buying one, you probably want to know whether they have any disadvantages. There's one main question that many archers ask: do bow string silencers affect speed? The idea of a quiet bow is an attractive one, but are there other factors to keep in mind when thinking about using a silencer?

There is a variety of effective string silencers and they can help to keep your bow quiet while lowering string vibration. However, there is a balance to be found if you want to reap the full benefit of string silencers.

So can string silencers have an effect on arrow speed? The truth is that there will be a small impact on speed if you choose to use a string silencer. Although the impact won't be very large (generally a reduction of about 3 to 7 feet per second), it's still important to realize that there is a difference. Using string silencers has a number of tradeoffs, which you should consider before using one.

Why Use a Bow String Silencer and How They Work

What exactly is a bow string silencer, how does it work, and why should you consider using one? As the name implies, a string silencer is designed to make your bow quieter when you're firing arrows. By reducing vibration, they also reduce noisy strings.

A string silencer works by spreading out the energy discharge from the string when you let go of it. It absorbs the kinetic energy created when the string is pulled back and released, preventing the vibrations from traveling through the bow and creating significant noise reduction.

Benefits of String Silencers

But why exactly should you use a bow string silencer? Bow string silencers offer multiple benefits to people in a variety of settings. They are often used by hunters, making their bows quieter so that they don't frighten the animal they are hunting. The type of animal that gets hunted often has great hearing, since they are prey animals, so being as quiet as possible is key to avoiding spooking them away. Being able to avoid spooking an animal reduces the risk of an injury that could result in a slow death too, making for more ethical hunting.

A string silencer doesn't just reduce the noise created. It also cuts down on vibration, an additional factor that can improve comfort for the archer. Fewer vibrations can also help the bow to remain sighted for longer.

Although the use of string silencers is generally seen as a factor that will slow down your arrow speed, some manufacturers do claim that they could speed up your arrow. They say that you could possibly gain a speed advantage of around 1 to 3 feet per second, which may not be a lot but can definitely be helpful.

What Are the Different Types of String Silencers?

Different bows require different types of bow string silencers. The type of bow can affect your choice of silencer, as well as where you should position the bowstring silencer to reduce the string noise.

Compound Bow String Silencers

For compound bows, the two main options to choose from are a rubber bowstring silencer or a limb dampener. Rubber bow string silencers attach to the bowstring. They are an affordable and effective way to cut down on noise when you shoot your shot. One interesting thing to note about them is that they are affected by weather conditions and often perform better in the rain. In terms of quality, there can be a lot of variation, so it's important to spend time assessing what's available and choosing the best product.

Compound bow limb dampeners are another option for reducing sound and excess vibration. Designed to go on bow limbs, these dampeners take some of the shock from the bow and archer. You can use both string silencers and limb dampeners at the same time for the best results.

Recurve Bow String Silencers

When using recurve bows, there are alternative silencers to consider.

Cat whiskers silencers are one of the most popular and common options. They are lightweight and made from rubber, and can easily be attached to your bowstring. They are waterproof and can be used for multiple shots while maintaining their effectiveness.

A beaver fur bowstring silencer is an alternative option. Beaver balls are made from tanner beaver hide and are very effective at creating a quiet bow, beating out all of the other available materials on many occasions. They are also naturally waterproof, so ideal for use in a range of conditions.

Wool bow string silencers are another natural material that can do the job. Made from wool, they are wrapped around the top and bottom of the string to prevent noise from the limb when the string is released. These silencers are often called puffs or puff balls, are naturally waterproof, and have a great look too.

Bowstring groove silencers cushion the join between the string and the limb to dampen vibration and noise. They are often made using calf hair and are easy to install, thanks to the adhesive back which makes them simple to stick on.

Crossbow String Silencers

You can use the previously mentioned types of silencers on crossbow strings too. One thing to keep in mind is that most silencers require you to be able to remove the string if you want to install them. However, there are some exceptions.

How To Reduce Impact Of A String Silencer On Arrow Speed

String silencers can reduce the speed of your bow, but there are ways to mitigate this and retain your fast bow. A tuned bow is one of the things that can help if you want to reduce sound while still shooting quickly.

How to Tune Your Bow

Tuning your bow is the first step that you will want to consider if you want to minimize the impact that a string silencer will have on arrow speed. Tuning your bow is all about optimizing it and getting the best performance, and it's important to do that after installing a silencer. Whether you prefer traditional archery or something more modern, the best way to start tuning your bow is to shoot an arrow through a piece of paper. This will show you the flight path of the arrow so you can assess it and check for potential issues.

To do this, start by ensuring you are somewhere safe to practice, such as an archery range. When setting up your target, place a picture frame with a piece of paper in it (and no backing) about 5 feet in front of it. This will allow you to shoot through the paper and into the target. When you check the paper, make sure you have a small, round hole. If the hole is vertical, the nocking point might need to be adjusted. If it's horizontal, the arrow weight or string tension might need to be changed.

This is something you should do often, especially when you're trying to find the best position for your silencer. It will help you to ensure you can optimize your performance and reduce the effect the silencer has on the speed of your arrow.

Hone Your Technique

As well as having your bow set up for the best results, you can also practice your technique. You can work on a few different areas to ensure when silencers slow your arrow, it's not by too much. Your release is the first thing that you can work on. Letting go of the string when you fire should be a smooth action to help you get as much speed as possible. Secondly, aim to improve your accuracy to make the most of the speed you put into the arrow.

Test Different Equipment

You can try out various configurations with equipment to find out what works best. Use different nock points, arrow weights, and draw points. You can find that different options work best for different types of archery, whether you're hunting or practicing traditional archery. A heavier arrow can work well for traditional practice, but you might find carbon arrows are better when you want a lightweight option for a successful hunt. Trying out different combinations with your equipment will help you to work out what's most effective and helps you to create more speed, especially if you try out equipment in different conditions.


String silencers can affect the speed of your arrows, but the benefits of using them can certainly be worth the risk, especially when hunting. The effect is usually not that large, which means that you can still use plenty of techniques to combat what little difference it can make. With the right technique and the best archery equipment, in addition to tuning your bow, using a string silencer can be the right choice.

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