The purpose of the back bar stabilizer, also known as a rear stabilizer, is to offset the weight of accessories mounted on the bow.
In effect, the back bar will help to level the riser to compensate for weight on the other side.
Different rigs will benefit from different configurations, but the best way to find out if stabilizers will help is to try them out.
Depending on which hand is your dominant one, you will notice your mountings favor one side of your bow almost exclusively.
Stabilizers reduce the amount of drift created by the unsteadiness of the hand when under pressure at full draw.
Accessories such as sights and quivers, among other things, are generally mounted on the same side of the bow requiring an offset weight to be applied to the other.
A back bar stabilizer allows you to customize your experience and compensate for this unavoidable weight.
Tuning the bow will allow you to develop an exact stabilizer set-up for specific hunting situations.
The environment and distance you are taking shots from are the largest factors that affect your hunt, besides your bow.
Hunters who prefer to spot and stalk their prey will be less inclined to use a longer stabilizer. The solution, if seeking to add more stability to the bow, is to use a shorter front stabilizer and then mount a shorter one at the rear to compensate.
This type of stabilizer setup will not only optimize the balance of the bow but will also add weight in exactly the right places once the bow has been properly tuned.
Why Use a Back Bar Stabilizer?
Every bow is different. Some, such as certain models of Mathews bows, are a little top heavy while others are extremely light.
This is why it is going to depend on the individual set-up to work out whether a back bar is required or if a front stabilizer will suffice.
In most cases you can drastically improve your consistency by using one.
There will be a requirement for fine-tuning your compound bow after adding the accessories and this requires patience.
When you have reached a good set-up for your rig, tailored to your own goals, you can boast things like:
Quicker to level at full draw.
Higher resistance to hand shock.
Tighter groups downrange.
All these factors, when you truly feel comfortable with your bow, will lead to increased confidence during the moment it matters most. Weighing the pros and cons of the increased accuracy versus increased weight and carrying size will help you determine if a back or side bar stabilizer is for you.
You’ll find your set-up for the hunt by mixing and matching configurations until you feel most comfortable. Having the proper additions can make all the difference when you’re taking that shot.
How to Mount a Back Bar Stabilizer
To start, you’ll need an offset mount. If you already use a front bar stabilizer, then it will likely be attached to the same bushing. You can also affix it to another bushing that’s low and on the inside of the riser, as bowhunting.com recommends.
The back bar stabilizer mount you choose will affect how it attaches to your bow.
Matthews Archery suggests putting your bracket in a position that allows you to get the back bar as close to the string as possible, aimed slightly downwards.
With this as a start, you can begin the trial and error process of adjustment.
You’ll get the most out of your back/sidebar stabilizers if you combine them with a front stabilizer of some kind. There are instances of people using just sidebar stabilizers for hunting, but it is rare.
As a general rule, for every one ounce of weight you add to the front of your bow, you’ll want two ounces on the back. Like any other rule when it comes to back and side bar stabilizers, it’s just a guideline.
Different Types of Offset Mounts to Add a Back Bar Stabilizer
Just as your bow is unique, so too are the offset mounts and ways of equipping stabilizers.
Most modern offset and side mounts are highly adjustable. Features like indicator lines, ambidextrous design, and multiple-lock systems for maximum stability are good standards to go by when choosing a mount.
Some will be built for maximum adjustability over other factors.
Single (or mono) mounts will be made specifically to fit a single stabilizer.
V-bar mounts are made so you can customize weight with multiple connections for stabilizers at once.
Lancaster Archery Supply has an in-depth review of the Axcel TriLock Adjustable Offset Mount that shows off how important even small features on your mounts can be.
What Length Should the Back Bar Stabilizer Be?
It is not unusual for competition shooters to set up their bow with a rear stabilizer that’s half the length of the front stabilizer.
As far as hunting setups is concerned, using the competition ratio would be a good starting point.
So if you’re shooting with a 12” stabilizer up front you should try a 6” stabilizer at the rear.
However, as we have already established, every bow setup is different and this means it is essential that you do your fine tuning on the practice range.
It’s only when you have tried mixing up the combinations of sizes and positions that you will really understand what feels the most comfortable in your hand.
Improve Your Comfort and Accuracy
Using a back bar stabilizer or siderod stabilizer can improve your overall comfort and proficiency with your compound bow.
While it can be challenging at first, fine-tuning your back bar stabilizer mount or offset mount to your preferences will improve your accuracy, especially at long ranges.
It’s all about picking the right tool for the job.
Figuring out what works best for you will involve a lot of trial and error, but getting through that lengthy process will leave you much better equipped and comfortable with your bow.
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