I recently finished off my roll of Precise 3rd 0.5- my favorite elastic for 3/8" and 5/16" steel. I have noticed in the forum that many like the Precise 3rd 0.55. So as long as I was paying the shipping, I ordered a roll of each. For this installment of Friday Funday Flingday, I got the chrony out and compared the two.
Yes, they are very close to each other in size so I didn't expect much of a difference, but I still wanted to look and see. They are close enough (same color, very close in thickness) I couldn't tell the difference between the two while making the bands. In fact, it crossed my mind that if Precise wanted to it could probably just pick one or the other and just label it as both. So I was really curious to see if I could notice a performance difference.
For those who want to spare themselves a boring video that spends most of the time focussed on the chrony, the short answer is in in the table below. Yes, there is a slight performance difference.
I made identical 27-18 taper bands from each thickness using identidal SS med 'roo pouches and mounted each on a PP sideshooter with a 5.25" active length for my ~29" draw length (~550% stretch). I should note that the Precise is very stretchy and these bands are far from maxed out here, stretching a bit under 600%, but this is a good compromise between performance and lifespan for Precise 3rd. I don't know the max elongation for this latex but have shot it at ~625% without noticing it stacking. It may go to 650% or so if somebody wanted to get every single fps out of it. But 550% has always done well for me when shooting the 0.5 before, so that's where I did this testing.
The data in the table below shows that the 0.55 did pull just a bit heavier and shot just a smidge faster than the 0.5. So they are different elastics with noticeably different performance.
One thing to note is the draw weights were a bit "heavy" for 0.5ish bands. I believe this is because of the wide taper (27-18). Maybe something to test another day, but I bet thinner tapers, something like 18-12, would draw under 10 lbs and still send 5/16" steel screaming out. But since I haven't tested that yet, it is just my best guess.
So which is my favorite? I have to say both. Not sure there is a big enough difference to pick one over the other, especially since I use this latex on my "light" setups where I want to get a velocity with 3/8" steel that is close to what my heavy setups do with 7/16" steel. And both of these are in the ballpark. If somebody is looking to max out fps with 5/16" the 0.55 is the better choice, if somebody wants a slightly lighter draw for longer shooting sessions or slightly steadier aim the 0.5 may be the choice.
One final note, while I absolutely love these thicknesses of Precise 3rd, I have tried the 0.7 version and found it to be good though not my favorite. Not sure if it is the different dye used on that thickness or if I got a bad batch, but the 0.7 doesn't seem to be as supple and stacks sooner. In my hands it also lags a bit on velocity compared to others in its class. That said, I have been loving the 0.5 and now am equally enamored with the 0.55.
Bottom line is I think both perform very well. Someday soon I will have to see if any of the other latex brands in this class can outdo either of these.
Precise 3rd gen, 0.50
Precise 3rd gen, 0.55
Warning, several cans were abused in the making of this test. And while none of that abuse was captured in the video, evidence of the can carnage it is captured in the picture below.