Yesterday, the guys from GarminSA was at my range, setting up the new Garmin XERO we saw launched at ATA.
Having had to set up bow mounted rangefinder systems in the past, I was ready for pain, but slightly optimistic ( because its Garmin, not the worst UI’s in the world) – we mounted the sight, which is a lot lighter than I expected, and switched on the system. Basic intro (language, yards or meters, etc) and got down to calibrating. Redge Grant from Archer’s Edge volunteered his personal Bowtech Realm for the exercise, so we decided to set up for his eye.
The system asks you to range a 20yd butt, and then to align your red “pin” to a green circle (your rangefinder) you have two sliders that essentially does what 3rd and 2nd axis does on other high end sights. Nice little extra: If your pin is off centre, there are green arrows on the Heads Up Display to show which direction you need to move. Makes it super simple! We did it in a Hooter Shooter on full draw, which took about 2 minutes to get spot on perfect.
Then onto getting the ranges set… 20yd pin: set
Adjusted the sight that the projected pin height and left/right is spot on… next…
System asks to confirm the spot by shooting another arrow. Boom! Robin Hood…
Ok, I think its there… moved back 10yds and repeat. In no time at all the system was set and we were shooting everywhere and anywhere up to the max distance for the bow/arrow setup we had here (88yds) If your bow is faster, or your arrows lighter, your distance will increase. This limitation is due to the size of the sight head, nothing else.
I was hoping to be impressed, but was ready for the sight to be a gimmick. It’s not.
The sight is lighter, and doesn’t look out of place on the bow when its in your hand. It doesn’t feel as robust as a aluminum sight but doesn’t feel flimsy either. Other concerns? I’d like more robust mounting and adjustment bolts, they are not flimsy, but iv’e seen people tighten up bolts on their bows like they should have had a torque wrench… secondly, im not sure what dust would do on the HUD… I doubt it will be a problem, target archers with lenses are not bothered, no reason this should be an issue… will have to wait and see.
The first XERO’s will be available at Archer’s Edge in Pretoria as soon as the shipment lands (they have a ‘first order’ list, so if you think you might want one, let them know)