schaffer archeryYou could say that designing and building arrow rests was really a “step up” for Schaffer Performance Archery.

“I started back in college, not with arrow rests, but with overdraw brackets,” explained John Schaffer, owner and founder. “Back then, overdraws were a big deal. Everyone was trying to get more speed by shortening those heavy aluminum arrows.”

Schaffer’s first overdraw bracket incorporated the cable guard. First, it put the cable guard in the center of the bow—which wasn’t being done at that time—and second, it was configured so that the cables could slide around the overdraw bracket without hitting the back of it. This allowed Schaffer to build a longer overdraw, letting archers shoot shorter arrows than with competitive models.

“McPherson Archery was our first customer,” Remembers Schaffer. “Of course, that was Matt McPherson’s [Mathews Inc.] first company. McPherson actually installed my bracket directly on the bow straight from the factory. That was my first product and my first customer.”

Incorporating an arrow rest into the overdraw was simply the next logical step. Within a few years, Schaffer was selling OEM models to bowmakers Bear/Jennings and Darton Archery. Not long after that, Mathews was really making a name in the industry. “That’s when we shifted from strictly an OEM business. With Mathews coming on strong, we decided to make a short overdraw to fit its models and began selling them dealer-direct. From there, things just morphed into more, smaller, and lighter. We’ve made at least 10 different models since then,” explained Schaffer.

About three years ago Schaffer ventured into another arena with the introduction of its first archery sight, the Opposition. “Sights gave us a chance to spread out into another new segment of the market,” Schaffer said. “Last year we also came out with the Opposition arrow rest. It’s a totally new concept in arrow rests that we pioneered.”

The unique Opposition rest uses two pylons that move side to side instead of simply going up and down like a conventional rest. John believes that the horizontal movement of the rest has several tuning advantages over a vertical-design rest.

“We’ve found arrow spine to be less critical with the Opposition,” Shaffer said. “It also provides total containment for the arrow—this is really helpful to the archer.”

Rather than making a “universal” rest that relies on setscrews to hold it in place, Schaffer has always designed products to fit specific bow models. For 2011 he has focused on adding “fitments” to the Opposition rest, including a model for Hoyt’s new Carbon Element.

Who knows if Schaffer is thinking outside of the box—but when you look at the Opposition sight, you’ll immediately see that it’s looking at both sides of it. The Opposition features four or six pins that stretch out from both the left and right side. “The Opposition sight provides an entirely new level of customization and brings a ‘balance’ to the sight picture not seen on pin sights of the past.”

(952) 894-6169; schafferarchery.com