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A plunger, also known as a pressure button or pressure plunger, is a small mechanical device used in archery to help control the flight of the arrow. It is typically located on the riser of the bow, just above the arrow rest.
The plunger consists of two main components: the barrel and the plunger button, but there’s also the string and adjustment mechanism.
The barrel is the part of the plunger that is threaded onto the riser of the bow. It is typically made of metal and has a cylindrical shape with a threaded end that screws onto the bow's riser. The other end of the barrel is open and fits the plunger button.
The plunger button is the part of the plunger that comes into contact with the arrow. It is typically made of metal and has a small, rounded tip that supports the arrow as it rests on the arrow rest. The plunger button is attached to a spring, which provides pressure against the arrow.
The plunger button is often designed with a concave shape that allows it to cradle the arrow and apply even pressure across its surface. Some plunger buttons may also have additional features, such as a replaceable tip, to make maintenance and customization easier.
The spring is the component that provides the pressure against the arrow. It is typically located within the barrel of the plunger, attached to the plunger button. The spring can be adjusted to increase or decrease the amount of pressure applied to the arrow.
The spring is usually made of a durable material such as steel and is designed to provide a consistent level of pressure against the arrow, regardless of how many times it is used. Some plunger models may have different spring strengths available, allowing archers to further customize their plunger's performance.
The adjustment mechanism allows archers to adjust the amount of pressure applied by the plunger. It is typically located on the outside of the barrel and can be adjusted by turning it with a tool, such as an Allen wrench.
The adjustment mechanism may consist of a single screw or a series of screws that can be turned independently to fine-tune the plunger's performance. Some plunger models may also have markings or indicators on the barrel to help archers keep track of their adjustments.
When an archer draws the bowstring back, the arrow is placed on the arrow rest and supported by the plunger button. As the bowstring is released, the arrow is propelled forward, and the plunger button applies pressure to the arrow to control its flight.
Using a plunger in archery has several benefits, including:
Using a plunger helps to control the flight of the arrow by straightening its path as it leaves the bowstring. When an arrow is released, it tends to flex or bend due to various factors such as the weight of the arrow, the draw weight of the bow, the archer's technique, and more. This bending can cause the arrow to veer off course and reduce its accuracy.
By applying pressure to the arrow via the plunger button, the plunger helps to minimize this bending and keep the arrow's path straighter. As a result, the arrow is more likely to hit the target where intended, improving overall accuracy.
A plunger can also help to compensate for variations in arrow weight, bow draw weight, and other factors that can affect the arrow's flight. For example, if an archer changes their arrow weight or the draw weight of their bow, the arrow's flight may be affected. By adjusting the plunger's pressure, the archer can help to offset these variations and maintain consistency in their shooting.
Using a plunger can also help to reduce wear and tear on the bowstring and the arrow rest. Without a plunger, the arrow would rest solely on the arrow rest, potentially causing damage over time. The plunger helps to distribute the pressure of the arrow across a wider area, reducing the likelihood of wear and tear on the arrow rest and bowstring.
The plunger's pressure can be adjusted by turning the barrel, allowing archers to fine-tune the performance of their arrows. By increasing or decreasing the plunger's pressure, an archer can tailor the arrow's flight to their preferences and needs. For example, if an archer wants a flatter trajectory, it may increase the plunger's pressure. If they want a higher trajectory, they may decrease the plunger's pressure.