Review: Zniper Barebow Tab

Andreas Phillip is a big fan as he gives his thoughts in this Zniper Barebow Tab review!

A large Zniper with the plate in place

At a glance

Zniber Barebow Tab:
It’s legal. It’s got a lot of advantages. Fancy it? 
Material: Aluminium, cordovan, kangaroo leather, available in two sizes
Price: from around £95
Availability: Available from archery dealers now

The rise in barebow archery, especially using the stringwalking technique, keeps bringing us new products that are designed to provide more precision with new features.

Michael Meyer is currently a pioneer in the field, after he caused a sensation around the stringwalking world a few months ago with his innovative Zniper arrow rest.

Now, after a lot of tinkering, Meyer has launched a new tab, the Zniper Barebow Tab. At a price of around £95 in the UK, it is anything but inexpensive, but has some surprises on board as you’ll find out in this review.

To get some things out of the way: yes, the tabs can be set as desired, and yes, they are World Archery compliant. The barebow rules speak exclusively of “uniform markings”, and there is no mention of the spacing anywhere.

Accordingly, there is nothing to be said against uniform markings that are set at your own discretion. The DSB (German shooting federation) has long since adopted this interpretation and communicated as such via the referee newsletter in December 2018.

Detail of the pins with the plate removed

Apart from that, the inventor Michael Meyer shot the tab at the European field championship in Slovenia without complaint and won two medals (gold in the team and bronze in the singles). 

The Zniper Tab is available in two sizes, small-medium and large-2XL, which should give you an idea of its adjustability. It is delivered in simple packaging made of transparent plastic, stapled onto cardboard. Also on the cardboard is a QR code with a link to video instruction on YouTube, as well as scales that can be cut out with scissors. 

The tab itself consists of an ergonomically shaped metal plate with a base plate, a soft bottom leather made of kangaroo and the upper leather made of cordovan. There is little argument about the shooting properties of cordovan leather.

As a piece of equipment, the not exactly inexpensive tab immediately convinces. It quickly becomes clear that you can do a lot with the tab thanks to its modular structure. In addition to the tab itself, there are plenty of replacement screws and marker pens along with the appropriate Allen keys. There is also a finger separator and two anchor plates. 

The biggest difference with this tab is that the markings are not fixed, but can be set freely. The shooter has the possibility to position his markings exactly on the marks when stringwalking. To do this, the tab is screwed apart and the pins are simply inserted at the desired locations.

The adjustable elastic band for the middle finger is attached to a separate plastic plate

Thanks to the grid spacing in millimeters and the U-shape of the pins, they hold in place quite well before they are firmly and securely fixed by screwing on the plate. This will take a bit of fiddling, but you don’t set up a tab every day.

With the help of the cardboard scales we simply took the marks from our old tab – all in all, it took about ten minutes. For me, I placed markings at five-meter intervals from five to 50 meters and another one for the hall distance of 18 meters.

If you do not yet have a shot-in tab to transfer, you can simply stick one of the scales onto the metal plate with double-sided tape or similar, shoot out the distances and mark them on the scale to place the pins afterwards. The ability to limit the markings to what is necessary is practical and avoids errors when counting markings before the shot.

Another positive thing is that the pins are easy to feel, a dream for the next twilight field tournament when you can no longer see your own hands. The main disadvantage is that the design is not intended for quick corrections; you would need to allow a few minutes to make changes. 

The Zniper Tab also has other advantages. The adjustable elastic band for the middle finger is attached to a separate plastic plate. Three different positions can be screwed to the tab, so that adjusting to the thickness of the fingers is not a problem.

A plastic finger separator can also be screwed onto this plate; two positions are also possible here. Together with the good ergonomics of the main plate, it is no problem to configure the tab so that it is always safe and in the same place in your hand; this eliminates other possible sources of error when shooting.

Also useful are the two different sized anchor plates that come with the set. The anchor plates can simply be inserted at the top of the tab and secured with a small screw.

This is particularly useful for shooters who shoot at field distances with a lower pull weight, since the anchor point is shifted slightly downwards and therefore more range can be achieved.

The slightly oblique shape can usually be easily placed under the cheekbones – practical for shooters who have to “hold over” from 40 or 45 meters. But if you don’t need these plates, you can just leave them out. 

Rear of the Zniper tab, without the band

The Zniper Tab is currently one of the most expensive tabs on the market, but thanks to its modular design and the releasable markings, it has options that currently hardly any other tab (if any) has to offer.

The only small points of criticism are the somewhat pointed upper edge of the base plate, which could leave a mark on your cheek if your release is extremely bad, and that small corrections to the markings cannot even be carried out quickly.

Fortunately, the former did not happen to us during the test shooting with the Zniper Tab. We were able to compensate for a marker that we set incorrectly on the course by simply shooting on the top edge instead of the bottom edge of the marker pin concerned and fixing the pins later at home.

Otherwise, the great ergonomics of the tab impress, and I feel it should be adaptable to almost any hand. The materials and the thickness of the leather are also almost perfectly chosen, and many small details have been thought of. I fully recommend it for ambitious string walkers.

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