It struck me as I unwrapped the new Fred Bear SQ 32 that I have never investigated the actual effect that silencers and dampers have on a compound’s performance. Just how much performance does one sacrifice to achieve a quiet and smooth- shooting bow? On some recent models, limb dampers and string silencers have been included with the bow for the customer’s personal application, to use or not to use as he or she saw fit. The SQ 32 is one of these. It comes with two Sims Split LimbSavers and a pair of molded string silences (called Leeches) to be used at the customer’s discretion. Here was an opportunity to test the bare bow, apply the LimbSavers and retest, and finally mount the string silencers and test it a third time. The results may surprise you—they did me!
First, a description of the new Fred Bear SQ 32 is in order. The bow is built on a fully machined aluminum alloy riser with an overall length of 22 1/2 inches designed to accommodate short split limbs. Axle-to-axle length is specified as 32 1/2 inches. (On the test bow I measured it as 32 11/16 inches with the draw length set for 30 inches.) The sight window has a usable length of 6 1/2 inches and is cut 1/2 inch past center, with an additional cutout at the arrow pass of 1/4 inch. The string on this cam system does not run parallel to the bow’s centerline due to the way the cams are offset. This results in a 13/16 inch total clearance at that point between the plane of the string and the nearest structure.
There are two holes tapped 5/16-24 UNF for mounting an arrow rest at the arrow pass. One is directly in line with the low point of the grip while the other is centered 11/16 inch farther forward. Both are positioned 1 inch above the plane of the shelf. The standard AMO two-hole pattern, tapped 10-24 UNC, is located on the upper riser centered about 4 inches above the shelf. The hole for the straight cable guard rod is drilled into the upper riser. There is a transverse setscrew set on the sight window side to lock it in place. A single hole on the face of the lower riser below the grip area (tapped 5/16-24 UNF) is used for a stabilizer or other accessory. Two additional tapped holes are located at the end of the risers should the archer prefer a two-piece bow quiver for hunting. * Read the rest of the report by downloading the PDF