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- Good Bang for the Buck with Some Issues Review by Operator7G
Value Quality Price
I bought this riser to replace my son's Samick Polaris riser, because he had an issue with the tail of his arrows (Jazz) striking the riser, resulting in the top fletching to come off frequently. We initially thought it was his arrows' spine, but it was happening at various lengths from uncut down to his shooting length. It also happened when he was shooting 14# limbs and continued when we moved him up to 20# limbs a month ago. The Polaris riser's face of the shot window is right on the centerline, which unfortunately runs directly through the centershot, so the arrow gets forced into the front edge of the riser upon release, even with the archer's paradox. I've been looking for a riser whose shot window is cut beyond the centerline, and this is the only option I've found in the 54" bow length. Just about every other 54" bow riser I found appears to be a re-labeled Samick Polaris.
The first two risers that I received were the 62" risers. Lancaster was very good about sending replacements via Next Day shipping. The 62"/66" risers differ from the 54" in that they have a separate grip piece, the limb pockets are wider (40mm vs 36mm) to accommodate the larger 62"/66" limbs, and the limb bolts are larger diameter (7mm vs 5mm) for the same reason. While somewhat frustrating, Lancaster was very apologetic about the mix ups and was very accommodating and willing to make things right. For that, I give their after-sale support a thumbs up.
Overall, the quality of the Cartel 54" Triple riser is very good, or 4 targets. The build quality of the riser itself seems to be top notch. There are some seams remaining from the molding, but nothing that I would call excessive. The shelf has been smoothed so that it's completely flat. That's the only place where I could see an exposed seam affecting the shot. It's very sturdy yet light, which is perfect since it's intended for my 8 year old son. It would have rated excellent, 5 targets, except for three things.
1) The limb bolt bushing in the top limb pocket was about 1mm too close to the end of the pocket, so I had to use a sander to remove about that much from the end of the top limb to get the bolt to line up. There is still plenty of material beyond the edge of the bolt hole, so there's no risk of failure. Even if that face did crack, there's enough overhang at that end of the limb pocket to keep the end of the limb in place. The sides of the limb pockets were very tight, but that's a function of the side walls being very thin and made from the nylon polyamide material, so they bent in a little bit. I was able to insert the limb from the very end of the pocket and work it in until it was fully seated. Once I was able to get the top limb to line up so the bolt would go in, everything was fine. Both the top and bottom limbs are very snug and aren't going anywhere. I much prefer this to them being too loose.
2) The threads on the bushing for the plunger didn't allow the plunger (Shibuya DX) to easily screw in past the halfway point. I tried from both sides, and it still got stuck midway. I chatted with Dakota on this site, and he and one of the Techs looked at two of the risers in inventory and found the same problem. They used a tap to clean up the threads. I didn't have a tap, but the bowyer at my local range had a long 5/16"-24 bolt that we used, along with some lubricating oil, to run it through the bushing until the threads loosened up enough for the plunger to be inserted fully. Hopefully they've done this for the remaining units in inventory. I would think that this may simply be a case of Cartel receiving a bad batch of bushings, but it's something of which to be aware. Too bad their QA/QC didn't find it first, though.
3) The bushings for the sight mount are too shallow to accommodate the mounting screws that were supplied with the sight (X-Spot/Decut DC-RE). They are 1/2" long, and the bushing is just slightly shorter than that. I've put in a temporary shim under the mount to take up the additional slack, but I intend to purchase some #10-24 x 3/8" screws to mount it properly. I consider this to be part of purchasing different brands, although it would be nice if there was some kind of standard depth for sight mount bushings. Then again, this is a $35 bow.
Those are the only issues that I have found with this riser. I took it to the range with me to get it set up for my son, and in the several shots that I made with it to tune the plunger and set the sight, it seemed to be very quiet and shot well. The proof willl ultimately be how well my son is able to shoot with it, but my initial impression is generally positive. In the end despite the issues I had with fitting the parts to the riser, it's a $35 bow, which is quite reasonable considering it does have mounting points for a site, a stabilizer, plunger, and clicker.
(Posted on 11/18/15)