June 20, 2014
The latest and greatest compound bows have hit the market. Whether you've got an extra $1,000 squirreled away for the top-of-the-line flagships or you're smashing open your piggy bank for a value-priced model, we bring to you the best of both worlds.
Here are 2 new bow models from 14 of the top brands that will save the doe in your wallets but not the ones quartering away in the field:
Bowtech | RPM 360
Ten years ago, a bow capable of firing arrows at 360 feet per second was the stuff of dreams. The engineers at Bowtech must have heard enough of us mumbling in our sleep because they've turned that blistering chronograph reading into reality with their new RPM 360.
The 31-inch RPM 360
weighs only 4.4 pounds, is available in peak draw weights of 50, 60, and 70 pounds and has a draw length range of 24-30 inches. Each is outfitted with Bowtech's latest technologies like the Center Pivot Extreme, FLX-Guard, and OverDrive Binary Cam system. It sends arrows downrange at 360 fps and is still comfortable to shoot, which is no easy feat.
Bowtech | Carbon Knight
Bowtech didn't leave out cash-strapped hunters this year, which is evidenced by the price tag on their 31-inch Carbon Knight
. Carbon bows can cost twice that amount, and if you're wondering why, consider that carbon is lightweight, wicked strong and quiet.
The Knight is only 3.2 pounds yet still harnesses 335 fps arrow speeds and stays dead quiet at the shot. Available in draw lengths from 26 1/2 to 30 1/2 inches and peak draw weights of 50, 60 and 70 pounds.
Darton | 3800 Dualsync
The latest from Darton Archery
in the 3800 DualSync line is the new DS-3714, which reaches out to bowhunters who shop at big-and-tall stores by offering draw lengths from 26-32 inches. Each DS-3714 features a 7-inch brace height, 80 percent letoff, and IBO speeds up to 340 fps.
At 4.1 pounds, the DS-3714 is lightweight enough to carry in mountain goat territory let alone the whitetail woods. With an axle-to-axle length of 33 13/16 inches, it's just the right height to be easy to shoot yet maneuverable in a ground blind or tree stand.
Darton | DS-600
31 3/8-inch bow comes with a complete set of draw modules and an adjustable draw stop to allow for a wide range of draw lengths (25-30).
The DS-600 can fire arrows at up to 310 fps, is available in peak draw weights of 40-80 pounds (10-pound increments), and features a comfortable 7 1/2-inch brace height.
Diamond | Carbon Cure
Labeled cleverly as 'the cure to the common bow, ' the 32-inch Carbon Cure
from Diamond Archery is a great-shooting bow that harnesses enough energy out of its single-cam design to reach arrow speeds of 325 fps while still maintaining an enjoyable draw cycle (7-inch brace height).
The featherweight Carbon Cure tips the scales at only 3.3 pounds and is offered in draw lengths of 27-30 1/2 inches, and peak draw weights of 50, 60 and 70 pounds. I was skeptical when I saw this bow unveiled at last year's Archery Trade Association show; however, I quickly found out it's a must-shoot-to-believe offering.
Diamond | Infinite Edge
Budget-conscious bow shoppers would do well by checking out a different model in the Diamond line, the 31 inches Infinite Edge
. This bow is perfect for youth or adults alike, due to its adjustability from a mere 5 pounds of draw weight to a full 70.
Add to that the 13-30 inches of draw-length adjustments, and you've got a bow that can grow with a shooter, or be handed down to someone and still fit perfectly. Maxed out, the Infinite Edge, which boasts a 7-inch brace height and 75 percent let-off, can fling arrows downrange at up to 310 fps.
Elite | Energy 32
Riser strength and rigidity is the foundation to a quality bow. That's why Elite Archery's new 31 3/4-inch Energy 32
is designed with the Riser Cage, which increases riser strength by 30 percent and rigidity by 19 percent while not adding an extra ounce of weight. The 4.3-pound Energy 32 is built with a 7-inch brace height, and utilizes Elite's Energy Cam to reach speeds up to 335 fps.
Elite | Spirit
While Elite doesn't offer a budget bow, they are creating a killer model designed for hunters of the fairer sex: the Spirit
. This top-notch women's bow measures just a shade under 32 inches axle to axle, weighs only 3.9 pounds, and can meet the draw length needs of shooters looking for lengths as short as 24 inches all of the way to a full 28 inches shooting 307 fps. The Spirit is built with the Riser Cage, and uses Winner's Choice Bowstrings and BCY cables.
Hoyt | Carbon Spyder 30
I've been shooting and hunting with the Hoyt Carbon Spyder 30
since October of last year, and it's safe to say this is one of my favorite bows that I've ever shot.
At only 30 inches, it's Hoyt's shortest axle-to-axle bow to date. The Spyder 30 weighs only 3.6 pounds, boasts a 6 3/4 inches of brace height, and, through the use of Hoyt's Z5 Cam & 1/2 System, In-Line Roller Guard, and revolutionary Helical Flex-Tune Carbon Riser, can achieve of chronograph readings of up to 332 fps. This bow is not cheap by any stretch, but it's worth every penny.
Hoyt | Faktor 30
If the Carbon Spyder 30 is out of your reach, but you've still got some Benjamins stuffed into your wallet, take a look at the 30-inch Faktor
. This 3.9-pound hunting rig can send arrows downrange at 332 fps, and features many of Hoyt's exclusive technologies like the Pro-Fit custom grip, Silent Shelf, Stealth Shot, and Cam & 1/2. This bow is quiet and fast.
Martin | Lithium
Nitro 3 cams, a bridged riser, and split limbs work in conjunction on Martin Archery's new Lithium
to reach arrow speeds of up to 335 fps.
This bow has a target-bow pedigree, meaning that accuracy was at the forefront of its design while engineers still managed to squeeze in a comfortable 7-inch brace height, 6 inches of draw length adjustment, and utilize the unique carbon STS system.
Martin | Blade X4
A different option from Martin that will leave you with some cash left over is the 31 1/2-inch Blade X4
. This inexpensive bow is packed with features like built-in vibration dampeners, a 7-inch brace height and the capability of whipping arrows into your targets at up to 320 fps. The 3 3/4-pound Blade X4 is finished in Mossy Oak Breakup Infinity camo to ensure you don't get busted while drawing down on deer.
Mathews | Chill X
How about a bow that's made to perform for both 3-D shooting and hunting? Mathews recently announced they are extending the dual-cam Monster Chill Series with the hybrid Chill X
. At 35 inches axle to axle, it's longer other Monster Chill bows and has a new cam design that has more perimeter weighting.
Mathews calls it the AVS DYAD Cam System. The new Chill X will come standard with all new Rock Mods, which is a big deal. Rock mods are cable stops that give the shooter a rock-hard back wall. Chill X comes standard with 85 percent mods and a 75 percent mod kit is included. Mathews said the Chill X bow will shoot 336 fps, has an adjustable draw length from 25-31 inches and a 7-inch brace height and will weigh just shy of 4 1/4 pounds.
Mathews | ZXT
The 28-inch ZXT
wouldn't be considered a cheap bow, but that's okay. It's not, and it doesn't perform like one. With a 7.375-inch brace height and ZX Single Cam, this bow draws and shoots like a dream.
It's also dead quiet thanks to Harmonic Dampers and the GridLock Riser, making this bow an obvious choice for hunting heavily pressured whitetails and other cagey game. The ZXT can produce speeds up to 326 fps, is available in draw weights from 40-70 pounds, draw lengths of 24-30 inches, and weighs just over 4 pounds.
Mission | Blaze
Mission Archery's entire line is comprised of mid-priced bows, which is made all the better when you realize that they come from the minds behind Mathews' bows. Bowhunters looking to take advantage of these well-priced bows should check out the new 33-inch Blaze
With its 6.125-inch brace height, 4.3-pound mass weight, and 80 percent letoff, the two-cam Blaze is a great choice that can handle everything from turkeys to moose. The Blaze, which is capable of achieving arrow speeds in excess of 340 fps, is available in draw lengths of 26-30 inches and draw weights of 50-70 pounds.
Mission | Flare
For those of us who value a buttery smooth draw cycle in a lightweight package, look no further than the 3.96-pound Flare
, which measures 30 1/4-inches between axles. The single-cam Flare boasts a full 7.125-inch brace height and 80 percent letoff along with draw lengths ranging from 24-30 inches and draw weights of 30-60 pounds. This is a great bow for anyone looking to get into archery or to spend less for quality.
Parker Bows | Lightning
A true steal in the bow market just happens to come from Parker Bows, with their new Lightning
setting you back a mere $300. Outfitted with the High Performance Lightning Dual Cams, this 3.45-pound bow provides draw length adjustability from 19 to 29 inches while still launching arrows at up to 310 fps.
To complement such adjustability, draw weights of 30 to 60 pounds are possible. If you've got an extra $50 in your pocket, you can opt for the Outfitter Package, with a 3-pin sight, full-containment rest, peep sight, nock point, and 4-arrow quiver.
Parker Bows | Pink Lightning
To meet the needs of the fastest growing demographic in the bowhunting world, the folks at Parker also offer the 30-inch Pink Lightning
. With the same specs as the Lightning, the Pink gives women a chance to show their colors in the woods while not sacrificing an ounce of shootabilty.
Prime | Alloy
Although they've only been around a few years, Prime bows have become some of my favorite bows due to their accuracy. The foundation of such tack-driving accuracy is their Parallel Cam Technology and Flexing Roller Cable Guard, both of which can be found on the new 33 1/4-inch Alloy
Offered in peak draw weights of 50, 60, and 70 pounds and a draw length range of 26-30 inches, each 4.2-pound Alloy is built with a 6 3/4-inch brace height and can achieve speeds of 335 fps.
949 - $
Prime | Defy
If you're looking for a shorter bow in the Prime line, check out the 31-inch Defy
. This bow is a dream to shoot with its 7 1/4-inch brace height and 4.1-pound mass weight, but don't let that fool you because the Defy can still hit chrono speeds of up to 330 fps. The Defy is offered in the same draw weight and length ranges as the Alloy.
Ross | Manta Ray
The folks behind Ross bows know that bowfishing is hot right now and to meet the needs of bowfishermen the've released the Manta Ray
, which weighs just over 3 pounds and measures 30 1/2 inches. The Manta Ray utilizes a zero let-off cam and a 30-pound draw weight to allow for snap-shooting on the water.
Winchester | Anglerfish SS
Winchester also has their hand in the bowfishing game, and their 31-inch Anglerfish SS
, at $490 bare bow and $570 package, is a perfect on-the-water rig that weighs only 4.3 pounds and offers serious adjustability in both draw lengths (17-30 inches) and draw weights (17-46 pounds).
As further proof that Winchester knows what they are doing, they partnered up with Muzzy to include the Xtreme Bowfishing Kit as an option with the Anglerfish, meaning that should you choose, your bow can be ready to go from the box to the water as soon as you get it home.
Winchester | Black Horse SS
The Winchester name may be synonymous with firearms, but they know archery. Their new 31 1/4-inch Black Horse SS
utilizes a rotating module cam, Gordon Composite limbs, and an aluminum riser to produce arrow speeds of 320 fps while still offering a comfortable 7-inch brace height. Draw lengths range from 27-30 inches and peak draw weights of 50-70 pounds are available in the Black Horse SS, which weighs just 4 pounds.
PSE | X-Force Dream Season DNA SP
PSE's X-Force Dream Season DNA SP
is the latest in a long line of quality bows that have carried the X-Force name. This particular 31 1/4-inch bow weighs only 3.8 pounds, boasts a 6-inch brace height and can burn arrows downrange at up to 345 fps.
I shot this bow for the first time last winter and can safely say for being able to generate such speeds, it's a truly enjoyable bow to shoot. Each DNA SP is available in draw weights of 50-70 pounds and carries a wide draw length range of 24 1/2 to 30 inches.
PSE | Verge
Bargain hunters interested in a new PSE should consider the Verge
. With its 6 1/2-inch brace height and X-technology, the Verge is capable of firing arrows at 300 fps with a draw length of only 27 inches, which is impressive. To meet the needs of smaller stature shooters, the 3 1/2-pound Verge is offered in draw lengths from 22-27 inches and draw weights of 40-60 pounds.
Quest | Bliss
Designed with a woman's hands in mind, the Bliss
is the perfect choice for women looking to out-shoot and out-hunt their male counterparts. Weighing a shade over 4 pounds and measuring 31 inches axle-to-axle, the Bliss is offered in two different draw weight ranges of either 30-45 pounds or 45-60 pounds. Draw lengths of 23-27 inches are also offered, with those set to 27 inches capable of generating arrow speeds upwards of 300 fps.
Quest | Radical
Quest makes some of the most user-friendly bows on the market (along with some of the most wallet-friendly price tags). Their new-for-2014 Radical
is no exception and is marketed not only to the beginner, but those with plenty of hunting experience who are looking for a comfortable, adjustable bow.
Measuring 29 1/4 inches between axles, the 3 1/4-pound Radical can be adjusted from 15-70 pounds of draw weight and 17 1/2-30 inches of draw length, meaning it will fit nearly all shooters and can achieve arrow speeds of 295 fps.
Ross | Headhunter
Ross Archery has garnered a loyal following throughout the years by producing sweet-shooting bows that won't break the bank. Case-in-point is the new 32-inch Headhunter
, which weighs a scant 3.8 pounds and can produce chronograph readings of up to 320 fps.
Draw lengths of 27-31 inches (in half-inch increments), along with peak draw weights of 60 and 70 pounds are offered with this bow. To truly stand out at the range or stay hidden in the woods, choose from either Kryptek Typhon or Kryptek Highlander finishes.