Why an integrate arrow rest is best
It was 2018 when Mathews machined a dovetail mount into the risers of its bows and introduced the world to the integrate-style arrow rests.
Starting with its 2020 line, Hoyt became the second bow manufacturer to offer this unique rest-mounting feature on its bows.
PSE added it to its flagship bows in 2021.
Is it possible more bow manufacturers will jump on board the integrate train going forward?
It might be a good idea, when you consider the benefits integrate rests offer over traditionally-mounted rests.
“The simplicity of the dovetail mount and the increased security it offers are two really big benefits,” said John Scovil, a design engineer with Mathews.
For years, arrow rests have been mounted to compound bows via a bolt that threads through an arm on the rest and into the backside of the riser, just above the shelf. The threaded hole on the bow that receives the bolt is called the Berger hole.
It’s a pretty secure connection point. But it relies on a single point of compression to hold the rest in place, and the possibility exists that something striking the rest could move it up or down if the compression isn’t tight enough.
“The mounting block and bolt method works, but the Integrate mounting system is a much better method,” said Kevin Fry, vice president of Quality Archery Designs (QAD) which created the integrate rests.
Some bows have two Berger holes side by side to allow rests to be connected by two bolts, which eliminates the possibility of the rest moving.
But that setup adds the weight of a second bolt, and, according to Scovil, it can affect the stability of the bow.
“If you’re adding a second hole to the riser in that location, it can weaken the riser,” he said.
Integrate rests attach to the dovetail mount via claws that clamp onto the dovetail rails. Just attaching an integrate rests eliminates one of the leading headaches of attaching a Berger hole rest. As you tighten that bolt, often times, the rest wants to move in the direction you are tightening the bolt, forcing you to pull down on the rest to keep it level.
When you tighten the claws on an integrate rest, the rest automatically levels itself as the claws lock into place.
According to Fry, when the rest is attached to a dovetail on the back of the riser, QAD is able to slim down the rest considerably. Fewer parts are needed, since the arm and side bolt are eliminated, and less left-right movement is needed since the rest body is in the middle of the riser, rather than outside.
“Eliminating all these parts and weight allowed us to design a rest for this system that has more features packed into it than any other rest - including the most precision click micro adjustments - and still be the lightest, sleekest-looking rest on the market,” he said.
Additionally, by eliminating rest parts sitting on the wide of the bow, Brian Gold, assistant product engineering manager for Hoyt, sees potential for quivers to be mounted closer to the riser.
“We can slim down bow accessories, now that we don’t have to work around the rest,” he said.
Because of all the weight cuts associated with an integrate, QAD was able to make an integrate drop-away rest with aluminum containment arms, rather than the less durable plastic arms, and still offer a rest that weighs less than competitors’ rests.
True enough, the weight cuts we’re talking about are measured in ounces or fractions of ounces. But to the weight-conscious bowhunter looking for the lightest rig possible, every little bit helps.
And so the question is: Will the dovetail integrate mount become the new standard for arrow rest connection on compound bows?
Fry thinks so.
“As of now, Mathews has had it on their bows for three years, Hoyt for two years and PSE launched with it this year,” he said.
“As you can see, it continues to gain momentum, and to answer your question – yes, there will be more bows launching with the system. There are more companies in the works as we speak for their future bows.
“This is the new standard and most likely you will eventually see this on all bows. You will also begin to see this technology used on other accessories as well. It’s because it is a better system and is what the industry is changing to.”
Gold expects to see some Hoyts continue to offer only the Berger-hole mount option in order to keep costs down, but flagship bows – hunting and target – are certain to have the dovetail mount going forward.
“We see it as a high-end feature, and archers are going to want to have that option available,” he said.