In a world of copy cats and similar products, VaporTrail Archery’s Limb Driver rest sets itself apart from the majority of drop away rests with it’s unique design of using the limb as the actuator for the rest. This sets it apart from the pack that normally uses the buss cable to drive the action. Does the Limb Driver deliver? Read on!
Limb Driver Models, Availability and Price
The Limb Driver comes in black or silver for an MSRP of $99.00 or camouflage for $114.00 though I have seen prices as low as $80 and $90 respectively. They can be found at most online archery stores and many brick and mortar shops as well. Many stores still carry two different versions, one for split limbs and one for solid limbs. However, apparently VaporTrail has changed this to only offer one model that will fit both limb styles.
Mounting, Structure and Operation of the Limb Driver
Like most rests, the Limb Driver mounts with a single bolt through a slot and into the riser. The slot is over an inch long and allows for plenty of adjustment of how far back the rest sits from the riser. There are also three smaller tapped holes that can be used to add an additional screw to fully secure the rest to the bow.
Horizontal and vertical adjustments are handled by two large screws and slots, one directly on top of the rest and one on the right side. Once again, the slots are generously long and allow lots of adjustment. The rest is also marked with both vertical and horizontal hash marks for easily seeing how far the rest has been adjusted.
What makes the Limb Driver different from other drop away rests is the what gives the rest its name, the fact that the bow limb movement drives the action of the rest. As the bow is drawn and the limb relaxes, the Limb Driver’s cord goes slack, allowing the internal spring to uncoil and the launcher fork to rise up. At the shot the limb pulls the slack out of the cord and the launcher quickly slams down out of the way.
Tuning and Shooting the Limb Driver
Tuning and testing for this review were done with an Elite Envy bow set to 70 lbs. and Easton ST Axis arrows. The arrows were fletched with AAE Max Hunters, Fusions and FOBs.
I first started by paper tuning the setup after eyeballing the center shot and vertical adjustment. The first few shots showed a slight right and up tear. Generally speaking I always tune the horizontal first and this was easily accomplished with just a bump of the rest. Making this initial adjustment made me appreciate the large screws and very visually noticeable hash marks. The combination is easy to adjust and easy to see exactly what is going on. Many rests have tiny screws for adjustments that can often be irritating to use. Three or four shots later the centershot was looking as close to perfect as possible with paper tuning.
The vertical adjustment gave me a bit more trouble. After playing around with the rest for several shots, it became apparent that there was just a touch of fletching to launcher interference; I could tell by seeing a very small smudge on the vane closest to the riser. To fix this I slightly rotated the nock and made sure the drop cord was absolutely snug. This seemed to fix the problem and the paper was showing excellent holes. Off to the range!
To verify the tuning of the bow, I did some quick bare shaft tuning. Things where looking good and the arrows slapping each other out to twenty yards. After a few shots I started to notice an audible “tang!” at the shot. The launcher arm was hitting the riser just slightly. A piece of camo moleskin quickly fixed the issue.
While shooting the different fletching types every so often one of the FOBs would hit a little off. I kept thinking it was just my shooting but it continued to happen. Inspection of the FOB, like the vanes during the tuning, showed an ever so slight smudge. Because the FOBs cannot be rotated to a different position, I was at a loss as to how to fix it or what was happening. This brought me back to the fact that the launcher arm was hitting the riser shelf. What I surmised was happening was that the launcher was bouncing back up and hitting the FOB. The only way to correct this was to raise the entire rest higher off of the shelf. This of course resulted in having to move the string loop higher as well. After this adjustment there were no further issues.
Limb Driver Field Test
The true test of a good hunting rest comes from the field. Can it hold up to a hunter’s abuse, the weather and anything else thrown its way? I hunted all last season with the Limb Driver and put it through several stalks being dragged on the ground, a tumble down the hillside and plenty of rain. The Limb Driver never failed. It’s a little worse for wear, but survived the worst I could throw at it. While this year didn’t result in any dead elk, plenty of grouse fell to the mighty Limb Driver.
Minuses I found are that the launcher fork always remains in the down position (until the bow is pulled back) and offers no containment. I did not like using the small rubber arrow holder because sometimes as the bow was pulled back and the launcher raised, the arrow would pop out of the holder and bounce on the launcher. Trimming the holder slightly so that it didn’t grab as tight helped with the issue.
Long Term Limb Driver Testing
A few weeks after hunting season was over I experienced a failure. At the 3D range I pulled the bow back and the launcher failed to come up. A couple more pulls resulted in the same result. Inspection of the rest revealed that the spring was not engaging properly. I had to loosen the screw on the bushing that the launcher rod goes through, pull it apart and reset the spring. This fixed the problem and it has not happened since. I have not been able to determine exactly why this happened, but have read of others having a similar issue.
Other than the one failure that was fixed, I have literally put thousands of shots through this rest. I like the fact that the cord is hooked to the limb and not pulling on the buss cable as most drop away rests do. The Limb Driver is does not have a lot of parts, only what is necessary with no extra fluff. I like my equipment durable and fool proof, and the Limb Driver has come very close to this. However, that one failure sits in the back of my mind and I’d like to see if VaporTrail has an answer for this.
Conclusions and Final Thoughts
The Limb Driver is tough and a fairly simple design for what it does. There are few parts which means fewer modes of failure. The parts are large as are the screws; I really appreciated the large vertical and horizontal adjustment screws as they are unlikely to strip and are easy to use. For me, this rest is meant primarily as a hunting rest. It’s quiet operation and resistance to the elements are big pluses.
What I like about the Limb Driver
- Hooks to the limb, not the buss cable
- Parts are large and rugged, screws above average size
- Easy to adjust, large, visible hash marks
- Launcher is solidly attached to rest, little chance it could bend or move
What I dislike about the Limb Driver
- Have to be careful off bounce up, rest needs to be raised high enough off of shelf
- The one spring failure I had, hate to see that when shooting at an animal!
- Cannot preset it for the shot and no arrow containment