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Here’s the fourth in our seven-part series of tests designed to prove or disprove some common conceptions about compound bows. These tests all appeared in the July issue of Field & Stream, but keep reading for more content exclusive to our website.

The Conventional Wisdom
The latter is foolproof in the field; the former, with no fletching contract, is faster and more accurate. This is bowhunting’s .270 vs. the .30/06 debate.

But Wait a Minute
What’s the real speed and accuracy difference?

The Test
Comparing a Whisker Biscuit (WB) to a Trophy Taker Smackdown and a Quality Archery Design UltraRestHD on the same bows, we chronographed and shot them on the range.{C}

The Results
Speed-difference range: 3 to 6 fps. Total average group size for WB, fallaway:
30 Yards: 2.68, 2.55
40 Yards: 3.67, 3.15
60 Yards: 5.29, 5.19

The Conclusion:
Not to speak of. The average difference in accuracy was peanuts. Brantley, a fallaway devotee, shot the WB just as well all the way out to 60. Bestul and I, both WB fans, shot the fallaways better at distance. There’s no denying the speed difference, but it’s slight.

The Inside Story:
This was a fun one, featuring a whole lot of smack talk between Bestul and I, both WB fans, on one side and Brantley and his bow-shop pro Danny Hinton (the barrel-chested Irishman), both fallaway fans, on the other. If you’ve been bowhunting any time at all, you don’t need me to tell you how this argument goes.

But once we shot our groups, each of us had to shut his yapping pie hole. The silence was a little strange. I had to shut mine because although I love the simplicity of the WB, I shot better with the fallaway. At 30 and 40 yards, my average groups were virtually the same. But at 60, I shot the fallaway almost a full inch better at 4.49 inches vs. 5.45. Bestul shot the fallaway better, too, although by a very small margin at all three ranges. Meanwhile Brantley, certain his precious QAD UltraRest would thump the WB at long range, actually shot better with the latter at 60 yards (5.65 vs. 6.32 with the fallaway).

When we averaged up all the groups, the fallaway came out very slightly ahead in terms of accuracy. But, as stated above, the difference was peanuts. We didn’t have room in the print version for Brantley’s full quote on this topic, so here it is: “The WB’s accuracy blew me away, and I actually did have a mechanical failure with the fallaway during my test. I guess I can’t bust on Hurteau and Bestul for using a WB anymore.”

Did you all get that? I have room here to write it again….

Anyway, the speed test was very straightforward. We ran this using both a Velocitip Ballistics System and a chronograph. There’s no doubt, the fallaway gives you a little extra speed, between 3 and 6 fps.

Bottom Line
If you want to squeak every iota of accuracy and speed out of your bow (which is perfectly understandable) use a fallaway. On the other hand, you can bolt on a foolproof WB, knowing that you’re giving up very little. Yes, you’ll have to re-fletch your arrows more often, but you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing your rest virtually can’t fail and that it will hold you arrow while you do Pilates. Most important if you’re a WB fan, you can use this test to beat back your smack-talking fallaway friends who claim a whopping accuracy advantage.

Now you’ll have to excuse me while I go install a fallaway on my long-range bow.