As a bowhunter with 4 decades of experience, I like to think that I’m a reasonable judge of product quality and functionality. In general, I adhere to an “If it ain’t broke” philosophy, but I still keep my eyes open for innovative archery products that could increase my enjoyment and success in the field. Some of these items might be new, or more commonly, they are simply new to me. Such is the case with the XV rest and Opposition Air sight from Schaffer Archery.
First a bit of background: I’ve been relying on Schaffer Performance Archery in Burnsville, Minnesota, for 20 years. While I love bowhunting, I don’t have any interest in becoming an at-home bow technician. I rely on experts such as owner John Schaffer and his knowledgeable staff. I can’t count on two hands the number of bows that John has set up for me through the years, and every time I’ve left his pro shop, my new rig performed flawlessly. Any missed bull’s-eyes or marginal hits on animals has been 100 percent pilot (me) error.
This deer season, I’m field testing two of John Schaffer’s top-selling products, his XV rest (pronounced “x vee” not “x five”) and his Opposition Air sight. These items aren’t new to the archery market, but I’ve never used them. Previously, I relied on the Schaffer Archery Gen II fall-away rest — which never failed me — and various sights from Black Gold; I started using these sights decades ago when the company was called Montana Black Gold.
Sidebar: Yes, I’m very late to the full-containment arrow rest party, but as the saying goes, “better late than never.” Because of my 20 years of success with Schaffer’s old-school fall-away rest, I figured it only made sense to try his XV full-containment design.
As promised in the title of this article, I think you should stock the Schaffer Archery XV rest and Opposition Air sight in your pro shop. I offer the following five reasons for your consideration:
1: Dealer-only products.
As a retailer himself, John Schaffer understands the value of margins. Pro shops can’t compete with big box stores on price. Period. To survive, pro shops are smart to offer higher-quality products not available in box stores. The Schaffer XV rest (retail price $149) and Opposition Air sight (retail price $179) are dealer-only. (Click here to see current Schaffer dealers across the country.)
2: Bombproof dependability.
John Schaffer is only a few animals away from completing the North American Super Slam (29 big game animals) with a bow, so he knows a thing or two about relying on equipment. Traveling bowhunters such as John Schaffer demand gear that won’t fail — no matter the conditions — and that’s what he builds into his Schaffer Archery XV rest and Opposition Air sight.
3: Extreme accuracy.
John Schaffer used to shoot competitively; he’s a former two-time Minnesota State Archery Association champion and finished second in the International Bowhunting Organization’s world competition in 1997. Since opening his pro shop in the late 1990s, John has helped countless other archers achieve tremendous success in tournaments and treestands. The vast majority of John’s customers depend on the Schaffer Archery XV rest and Opposition Air sight.
A fall-away rest should move downward, correct? Or do we think that simply because that’s how the first fall-away rests were designed? John Schaffer realized that by having two pillars move away to the sides, that they could also be used to securely hold the arrow in place while stalking and drawing. In similar out-of-the-box thinking, Schaffer believed that a bowhunter would benefit by having fixed sight pins extend into the sight picture from two opposing sides instead of only one side, thereby reducing the amount of blockage on an animal caused by pin housing. It’s a clever system that has enabled me to see more deer during the moment of truth.
5: Made in the USA.
I’m not going to lie to you and say that everything I own is built in America. But like many of your customers, I prefer to purchase products built in the USA with materials sourced in the States. And that defines the Schaffer Archery’s XV rest and Opposition Air sight.
Yes, John Schaffer stocks other arrow rests and sights in his pro shop, and he does so to ensure that he has products available to suit any archer’s budget. But the vast majority of his sales in these two product categories are his XV rest and Opposition Air sight. (Click here to read a previous Archery Business article where John Schaffer explains in detail how stocking more of fewer products can boost profits.)
The typical Schaffer Archery customer wins because he or she leaves the shop with a top-of-the-line XV rest and Opposition Air sight on their bow. (Yes, John and his staff paper-tune every bow, which is super simple with an XV rest.) John Schaffer’s shop wins because he’s not only made a good margin on the sale, but more importantly, he’s gained a loyal customer.
I encourage you to reach out to John Schaffer and his staff to learn more stocking the XV rest and Opposition Air sight in your archery shop.
Check out the video below to watch John Schaffer demonstrate some of his XV rest’s features. (Turn up the volume on the Facebook video for best viewing.) The final video (no sound) shows in slow motion what happens to the XV rest during the release.