Speed Nock Review

The nice fellows at Nomad Warriors sent me some various nocks to test out for speed shooting. Very helpful, because it’s hard to know what will work best for you! Thanks, guys. In return I’ll share the results of my testing, hopefully someone else can benefit!

My “style” is holding arrows with thumb and middle finger, using the index finger to hold the arrow against the right side of the bow. The index finger is straight and ends up between two feathers, so there are three random ways for the arrow to “load” but only two ways for the nock to be attached to the string. So it’s necessary to either:

  1. Twist slightly right
  2. Twist slightly left
  3. No twist at all (the best)

In order to go very fast, it’s vital to know which direction you have to turn the arrow the instant the nock touches the string. Better yet, before it touches the string, and preferably without ever looking at the fletching – it’s better to keep your eye on the target. I’ll hopefully do a whole video on this technique soon.

A speed nock is designed to make this process easier, so you don’t struggle to know which way to turn – either by:

  1. Letting you know by feel how the arrow is oriented the instant you grab it
  2. Making twisting onto the string easier or more natural

So here’s my review!

Koc Babur Nocks


  • “Helical” nocks which smoothly twist either left or right
  • Large and easy to “index” before the arrow ever touches the string


  • They simply don’t stay in the arrows and often stay behind on the string (or fly into the grass)
  • A tad bit too large sometimes, can get in the way of each other when holding 3+ arrows

Koc Standard

Same as above, but smaller. I have some of these from a previous order, and they also have trouble staying in arrows (lost a couple this way). Some people glue them in.

Not my favorite kind of nocks, but they are darn good, the big ones are probably #2 for me. Even these smaller ones are better than normal nocks.

Alibow Slim

Way too loose in my standard arrows, falls out instantly. Can’t even test. Might be a different size?

Alibow Aluminum

Good nock, very durable. It shoots a bit faster than normal nocks, but not as fast as other options.

Batur Castle

Very interesting concept, apparently a very old (1300s) design. Unfortunately it works very well in two nocking positions, but fails badly in the third. The string gets caught between three prongs, and the first one I tried broke instantly.

If one was using a four-feather fletching, these could be *very* good, but I don’t have any such arrows.

Vermil K

My favorite so far. I didn’t expect to like these because they look pretty much the same as other ones, but they are more predictive because of the curve/cutaway (you can see it best in the second one above). They just seem to fall on my string… to put it another way, my hand always seems to know which way it’s oriented.

I can shoot these very fast. Nomad Warriors generously sent me two of these, so I could test two at a time. Tonight I set up a metronome at 120 BPM and had little trouble firing the two arrows at that pace. I can’t wait to get my hands on three 🙂

Vermil U

Good idea, good execution. The big flare at the top allows you to easily index these fast. Unfortunately they easily get stuck at that annoying position where I’m not sure whether to twist right or left. For me, this makes them unpredictable.

Vermil X

These are perfect for the “Hungarian” or “Slavic” draws, or American Indian style “pinch” draw. Very comfortable for these styles. For my style they are 90 degrees the wrong way. Alice loves these as she uses the Slavic draw most of the time.

Vermil Y

About the same as the aluminum and “U” nocks. An improvement over normal nocks, but nothing particularly special (not helical like the Koc nocks, for instance), and for me tend to get stuck when nocking fast.

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