THE FIRENOCK CHALLENGE
By: Jason Mulvaney
I am participating in the Firenock challenge/product comparison that you may have seen posted in the past.
Here’s a break down of all the rules we were to follow by volunteering to do this challenge. This means I am NOT employed by any of the companies covered, but I AM rewarded for my time and efforts. However I will be rewarded the same as long as I finish and follow the rules no matter what I give as results. Which also includes the ideas of being unbiased and truthful to the good and the bad throughout.
For those who just want to start here, basically I was to purchase a Firenock and Extreme Shock End Kit and MY choice of 2 other lighted nock systems. I chose a Lumenok and Carbon Express Lazer Eye. I also added in a Nockturnal system later in my evaluation.
1) You cannot be a pro staff, shooting staff or affiliated to any lighted nock company. Or have done any Firenock Challenge for the last 3 year)
2) You have to purchase Firenock (with Extreme Shock End Caps) and 2 other lighted nock from 2 other companies. (Archerflame, Firefly, LazerEye, Lightning Nock, Lumenok, Nockturnal, PoNock, SilverFlame, Tracer, etc.) on your own from any retail outlet. Must keep receipts to show proof of purchase to get reimbursement.
3) You have to shoot each lighted nock no less than 100 times in the following way, unless it dies before the 100th shot (note that in the report/review).
a) Day 1: Shoot 25 shots at target
b) Day 2: Shoot 24 shots at target
c) Day 3: Shoot 1 shot at target and leave light on target for a week
d) Day 8: Replace battery and shoot 25 shots day 8
*Note if the battery are not replaceable, stop the test here.
e) Day 9: Soak the arrows in tap water for no less than 24 hours
f) Day 10: Shoot 24 shots at target
g) Optional, shoot 1 shot into cinder block to see how durable the nock is.
Firenock: Lightning S nock PD $14.79 + $2.50 S/H = $17.29 Extreme Shock End 3 pack PD $9.95 + $4.52 S/H = $14.47
This one out the package required the most work/prep for use but wasn’t that complicated. Install battery and glue in Extreme shock Cap. No adjustment or messing around required once installed. It’s on or off. By shooting or bouncing off hard surface. Orange/red color. Middle brightness light
Lumenok: Signature PD $8.00 + $1.75 S/H = $9.75
Pull out of package and put in nock, fully assembled. Took a few shots and some sanding on bulldog collar to get good contact for battery to light. Constantly flickering and touchy whether its on or off. even when nocking arrow drawing or moving arrow had times of flickering and some shots where lit would be dim or come on late. Orange in color. By far brightest light.
Carbon Express Laser Eye: PD $8.45 + $2.25 S/H = $10.70
Removed from package pushed in nock until seated good and light comes on and pull up a little to shut off. Easy to use, no prep and only occasionally it would turn on when nocking arrow if I didn’t pull it out far enough turning it off. Red in color. Dimmest light.
My weapon of choice was a PSE Omen 29/70 and shooting CX Maxima Hunters 350’s w 100 gr tips. Probably just over 400 grains total and shooting somewhere in 320-330 fps range.
Day 1: The 25 rounds went OK, the first few rounds no light on the Lumenok til I got enough paint sanded down. The CX was a little tight to push on and off at first. And the Firenock, just took me a sec to figure out how far to drop it on floor to shut it off ( was trying not to jack up the end by slamming it around). The rest went pretty smooth for all, a few flickers by the Lumenok. And some premature lighting from CX and Lumenok nocking the arrows. Never had that problem with Firenock.
Day 2: Pretty routine besides a few (but less) Lumenok flickers and not much lighting up nocking. All 3 made it 50 shots and are currently in bag lit up and waiting to see who lasts the longest. My guess, with Lumenok being brightest, it will drain quickest and on down the line, but that’s figuring batteries and lights are equal.
I picked up a 2 pack of Nockturnals after work today and I have the 50 shots done and the light burning out in the target to catch up. However this did not start off like I thought.
Nockturnal: Pd $18.14 w/ tax at Presley’s for a 2 pack. To compare to earlier purchases I found it online for $12.99 free shipping.
These are the Double Take S nock and clear in color with red light. (tried to keep all red/orange to keep brightness comparison as fair as possible). Brightness close to Lumenok, better than Firenock and CX.
Installation easy, replaced existing nock. The first nock I placed in I thought turned too easily, but didn’t wobble and stayed right on it. So I started the first 25 shots and 1-6 went flawlessly. The access hole to turn off light after shot is a little tough at first (mainly because it’s so bright it’s hard to see what you are doing and i kept knocking the nock off arrow, so I started either holding my finger over the end or nocking it on the string). But after I found a small eyeglass/watch flat screwdriver it was much easier. Harder to turn off than Lightning or CX but not as much as Lumenok, also no flickering, it’s on or off.
Well something happened to Nocturnal on shots 7, 8, 9. It did not light. Switch depressed but no light. Shot 10, nock flew off and one “fork” of nock cracked and battery bent and dented.
After a week, the Nockturnal, lumenok and the CX were still barely lit. They made a week but were next to useless so I shut them off and replaced the batteries that could be, so officially to the rules the CX and Nockturnal are out because they are not replaceable. The changing of battery in Lightning nock and Lumenok are fairly easy. You just have to be careful with the lead wires.
I went ahead and shot the 25 rounds for the two and the Lightning nock was again flawless and the Lumenok was less of a hassle than before and worked well for the most part. Now since the other two were out but still have minimal battery power I just test shot each and put them with the other 2 to soak in water for a day.
We shall see which ones make it tomorrow. Also to the questions before, at the short range there is minimal if any difference in point of impact on any of these nocks compared to standard unlighted nocks. Also a string tension test (grip or tightness of nock on bow string) was pretty even as far as I could tell. I don’t have a small pull scale to test release tension of the nocks. Also, I found in this too, the Lumenok and Lightning fit tightly in the arrow and don’t turn easy. The CX nock turns somewhat easy but has a bottom plunger that fits tight and makes unwanted nock removal unlikely. The Nockturnal fits loose compared to the rest and actually once while doing the tension test the nock stuck to the string as the arrow came away…which makes me wonder if that was part of the failure of the first Nockturnal. I think the CX came with plastic circle shims I might have to try one on Nockturnal.
After a day of soaking, to my surprise, all 4 nocks lit. So the Lumenok and Lightning went for another 24 rounds and they went on as usual for each. Now for the fun and destruction. The most destroyed nock was the Nockturnal. Battery was ripped open and the forks of the nock gone w/ light, however the plunger still worked, but basically FUBARed. The next was probably the CX nock. I could not find the battery or plunger, but the nock itself is intact and could be used by itself I suppose. Now the next two are a toss up, the Lumenok battery came out and and the spacer between it and the light was a bit messed up and I could not get the battery to re-light, did get light with a replacement battery, but could not reassemble and make functional. The Lightning stayed pretty well intact besides a small tear in side of nock that slips over circuit. I could completely reassemble but not get to light. May have to send back to Firenock for analysis.
I believe I went above and beyond anything I was expected here and I learned a lot and got an invaluable amount of preseason shooting.
GOOD : BAD
4th: CX easy on/off: very dim
Simple/reliable: can’t replace battery
3rd: Lumenok brightest : inconsistent lighting
Replaceable battery : most prep to work right
Tie-1st: Nockturnal very bright: can’t replace battery. (if hunting only) consistent: most fragile
Fairly easy on/off: loosest arrow fit
Tie-1st: Firenock Lightning. very bright: highest cost (target/hunting) most versatile:
Very durable: Battery replaceable:
I guess I would say if you only hunt and have no other needs, It’s hard to beat the bang for your buck with Nockturnal and battery replacement shouldn’t catch up to you. Lumenok is the brightest, but for optimal performance, spend plenty of time practicing. And CX are great on/off and reliable, just not bright. but… If you are an all year shooter, paper, target, hunting and want the most options then nothing touches the Firenock Lightning. I can’t wait to try the target ones myself.