Air Powered Tree Access vs Sling Shot

Discussion in 'Climber's Talk' started by mowingarkansas, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. mowingarkansas

    mowingarkansas New Member

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    Anyone tried the air powered tree access and the big shot both? If so, which is more accurate, efficient, and easy to use?
     
  2. 96coal449

    96coal449 Well-Known Member

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    Both can be accurate. That depends on the user and their aim. Big shot has rubber bands that degrade over time and need replacing. APTA needs an air source and some just use a bike pump. My chip truck and pick up both have on board air. I chose the APTA. Some use a crossbow. There is a thread on that here somewhere. I haven't used my APTA much and have no experience with the others.
     
  3. DSMc

    DSMc Well-Known Member

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    One of the secrets of SRT efficiency is being able to set your line exactly where you want it, not just close to the spot. The APTA does this better than any other line setting devise.
     
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  4. gmcttr

    gmcttr Well-Known Member

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    I am a recreational climber and have both the APTA and big shot. Both work well and I like them both but if repeat shots are needed, pumping up the APTA can get tiring. The big shot is quicker to reload and can use a wider variety of throw weights since there is no concern with "fitting the barrel".

    My aim with the big shot was improved considerably by adding a trigger and tie down strap to it and I highly recommend the modification.

    Short version...for my uses, I find myself grabbing the big shot most often even though the APTA is a lot of fun and can help when you really need to 'thread the needle' for line placement.

    Both require practice to get the feel for accurate line placement.
     
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  5. SoftBankHawks

    SoftBankHawks Well-Known Member

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    Hand throwing is cheap, fast to 're-load' and a culture unto itself.
    We routinely set anchors above 20M.
    Hand throwing is an art that cannot be achieved through any type of bazooka.

    That said, I'd swing for the Big Shot.
     
  6. Z'sTrees

    Z'sTrees Well-Known Member

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    I used to consider myself good at throwing. Built an apta knockoff and never really use it. Then I forced myself to use the bigshot, now I bigshot practically everything and my throwing skills are terrible. It's a total crutch, but not settling for a less than stellar tie in point is a beautiful thing.
     
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  7. david1332

    david1332 Active Member

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    I used to hand throw everything. Now I exclusively use my big shot . I love being able to set the perfect tie in pint every time. Never settle for less
     
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  8. DSMc

    DSMc Well-Known Member

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    True! Being able to get that "stellar" suspension point on the first try, on average, is also a beautiful thing.
     
  9. RyanCafferky

    RyanCafferky Well-Known Member

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    Personally I've never been a big fan of the Big Shot and never got very good at it. I currently own the APTA and enjoy it but most of the time I just hand throw. I would rather get a low shot that I "KNOW" is good than a high shot that I "THINK" is good. Time advancing isn't always time wasted. I like to advance and get a chance to do a thorough visual tree assessment and get a good feel for the structure of questionable trees and make sure I'm on a solid TIP which on certain trees can be difficult to do from the ground.
     
  10. southsoundtree

    southsoundtree Well-Known Member

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    I've used my BigShot zero times since I got my APTA.

    The BigShot, especially with a trigger release (horse panic-snap $8, or a better, more spendy version helps with tight shots, and is more ergonomic), holds its own. Eye pro! Face pro. Inspect and protect the rubber bands.
     
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  11. TFord

    TFord New Member

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    Desired height of tie in is important. For me 75-80' is hand throw. Bigshot up to ma be 110'. The crossbow will go over 200'.
     
  12. misfit

    misfit Member

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    I have both the Big Shot and the APTA, and I never use the APTA. Other people are different, and everyone is right. We all have to find what works best for us. The Big Shot is just simple, but I would never use it without a release snap. Either make your own with an archery release or a panic snap from Tractor Supply or buy the overpriced release snap, which is what I did. That makes a world of difference in your accuracy because you can hold it still and focus your attention on your aim. It's not a precision instrument, but I have become pretty accurate with it and can get most of my shots the first time.

    Still, I bought the APTA because there were times when I needed more precision, and I thought the APTA would satisfy that need. I was wrong. At least for me. I put a red-dot sight on it (as demonstrated in YouTube videos by an excellent APTA reviewer whose name I don't remember now) and hoped for wonderful results, but was very disappointed in the inconsistency I got. What I learned is that there are many variables that contribute to the shot, and I was too inconsistent in all of them to predict where the shot would go. I used CO2 cartridges for convenience and an air pressure gauge to know exactly how much pressure I had, and I was surprised at how much the shot could vary under the same conditions. The biggest variable is how quickly you turn the valve, and it is next to impossible, for me at least, to turn the valve without also affecting my aim. I don't have the current model nor the first one, but it is the first model with the butterfly valve. I was disappointed with the consistency, so I put it away and haven't used it since. If you want to buy one, maybe I can sell mine to you.
     
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  13. mowingarkansas

    mowingarkansas New Member

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    Sure wish I would have seen the previous post earlier. I placed an order for the APTA early this morning, along with a new saddle, rope, biners, lanyard, petzl zigzag, and more! I haven't climbed in a few years so I'm sure I'm a bit rusty. But hope to get up in the canopy this weekend at the local park on some good trees. I'm going to un-rust and re-sharpen by rope skills before attempting some work with the saw again. I went with the APTA hoping that it would simply make my life easier. I've been a hand thrower since starting. Never even used a Big Shot One of my number one hassles when climbing previously was setting the line, afterwards, I was fine. But it seemed I couldn't get tied in to the right spot, especially on brushy trees. I'm hoping the APTA will solve that hassle. I'm not expecting to hit tight crotches on my first shot, but I'm sure, over time it will make my life much easier. Misfit, quick question, where did you buy the sight at? Did you use the small sights similar to a hand gun or a bb gun? Or did you sight with the glass that you look down? Did you tape it on? How did you go about this, just centering it and placing it on there?
     
  14. DSMc

    DSMc Well-Known Member

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    Get a cheap green laser sight with adjustable turrets and a weaver mount. The mount can be double sided taped to the barrel with some zip ties for added security. Once mounted, rotate the APTA on some V notches with the laser turned on and hitting a wall about 25 yards away. What you want is to have the dot stay in the same spot as you spin the barrel.

    Use a bike pump with a pressure gauge. You do not need to use a sight with the APTA, try it first and see how you do. The valve takes a light touch and some practice to gain consistency. Good luck!
     
  15. gmcttr

    gmcttr Well-Known Member

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    I recommend the Topeak Joe Blow Ace pump for a hand pump. It's a bit pricey (~$107 on amazon) but will get the APTA up to higher pressures quicker and easier (easier being relative) than other pumps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
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  16. misfit

    misfit Member

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    If I had never used a Big Shot and started off using an APTA, I'm sure I would have adapted to it just fine and found it difficult to adjust to the Big Shot. I happened to do that in reverse instead. Whatever you use, I'm sure you will learn to use well. There are many people who use the APTA and find it meets their needs just fine; same with the Big Shot. The more you use it, the better you will get with it, whichever one you use.

    I don't remember where I bought the sight for my APTA. It was probably a local sports store, but maybe Amazon. I got the Bushnell Trophy red dot sight. It's about 6.5 inches long, and I had to go to a gun store to buy a mounting rail for it. I just strapped the rail on the APTA with zip ties pulled very tight, but that really isn't quite adequate to keep it from moving slightly. I don't remember now how I went about getting it lined up and centered. That's a topic outside my normal territory, so I'm sure I found some tips somewhere.
     
  17. mowingarkansas

    mowingarkansas New Member

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    I'm not following why so many use a hand-pump? Mine arrives tomorrow, but I'm assuming I can use my battery jump box in the truck that has a built in compressor and gauge? Should give me quite a few shots out of a charge. I've aired up my trailer tires and zero turn tires about a dozen (12) times on a single charge, which should take much longer than airing up the APTA. I'm guessing it should work great? Going to try it out tomorrow evening after work, then I will start shopping for a sight.
     
  18. Alejandro Concolor

    Alejandro Concolor Member

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    I believe the hand pump/bike pump is Good to have because it is easier to take with you if the tree is a reasonable distance from the truck. Plus you don't have to roll out a whole air hose when using a compressed air source. Low tech and quiet.
    I like the light weight of the big shot. You can get pretty darn accurate with that thing.
    I keep an old sleeping bag case (or some sort of bag) over the rubber sling to minimize UV damage.
     
  19. Alejandro Concolor

    Alejandro Concolor Member

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    Agreed. Sometimes it is just as quick to advance your line as it is to try and hit the perfect crotch up high.
     
  20. mowingarkansas

    mowingarkansas New Member

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    I could see where your coming from when comparing to an air compressor, bt my mini jump start box with the built in air compressor weighs less than a saw. ;)

    As far as being just as fast to advance the line, I don't necessarily agree. I guess it all depends on what your climbing method is. But this has been one of my frustrations in the past. Using the Petzl Zig Zag, such as myself, it would certainly be faster to hit the higher crotch from the start. I do agree that extra precautions need to be taken when doing so, because you can't visually inspect those higher crotches as much, but their defiantly more efficient when using a device like the Petzl Zig Zag.
     

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