Snatch rings have been around for a while now, and one criticism has been efficiency…or lack thereof, compared to a conventional snatch block with bearings. I’ve done some testing and found that the concerns are rather over-stated, and the efficiceny of a ring is much closer to a block than has been reported and that you may think. Video below.
But now RED Winches have released a kind of hybrid; think normal snatch ring, but with a bearing, and they call it the RR50 or Recovery Ring 50, for a 50t rating – a smaller 18t version is on the way, but heavy military work too priority. The 50t rating is why the RR looks so large compared to a normal ring in the photo below :
The RRs should, I expect, be as efficient as as snatch block but lighter and smaller, and as no moving parts touch rope, easier on the soft shackle too. But, it’ll be more expensive, heavier and bulkier than a snatch ring. That gives us three choices; snatch block, ring and this new hybrid, and if it works as expected, it’ll remove the last major advantage of the snatch block.
Here’s the analysis of relative friction between rings and blocks:
And here’s a guide to choosing a snatch ring: