November 04, 2010
By the Bowhunter Staff
Should you be looking for a new bow this year? Will you find new and better features that justify turning in your old bow for a 2003 model?
Bow Length This measurement is taken from axle to axle. Whenever we refer to bow length, we mean axle-to-axle measurement.
Feet per second (fps) Throughout the text, fps refers to feet per second, a measurement of initial arrow speed, normally 3 feet from the bow.
ATA This is the Archery Trade Association. It used to be called the AMO. Thus, former AMO industry standards are now ATA standards. For example, AMO letoff is now called ATA letoff.
ATA speed This is the speed for a bow set at 60 pounds draw weight, 30 inches draw length, and shooting arrows weighing 540 grains (9 grains per pound of draw weight).
IBO speed This is the speed for a bow set at 70-pounds draw weight, 30 inches draw length, and shooting arrows weighing 350 grains (5 grains per pound of draw weight).
Letoff the reduction in draw force from a bow's peak weight to its holding weight at full draw, expressed in a percentage.
Absolutely. Manufacturers continue to refine and improve their bows to make them stronger, smoother drawing and shooting, easier to tune, quieter, more adjustable, better looking, and more accurate. Before getting into specifics for each company, let us review a few trends we are seeing.
In recent years, bows have shrunk, many models to 30 inches axle-to-axle or shorter. However, that trend may be slowing as the law of diminishing returns sets in. Some manufacturers tell us they are selling fewer super short bows these days.
Mike Ziebell at Mathews said, "It seems like people are leveling out at 34 to 35 inches. Last year the 35-inch Legacy was our top seller." Scott Landwehr, general manager of Martin archery, said his company is starting to see some reaction to the 30 and 32-inch bows in favor of 35 and 36-inch bows.
In terms of cams, adjustability is the operative word. Companies are building more and more draw-length, letoff, and even draw-weight settings into their cams than ever before, a boon to both hunters and pro shop owners.
Virtually all companies offer most of their bows in 75 or 80 percent letoff standard, with the option of 65 percent. On many you can change letoff by switching a module, while on others the entire cam must changed.
Grips are generally getting slimmer to reduce hand torque. And it's a rare bow these days that doesn't employ special devices to dampen vibration and noise.
"Parallel limbs" also have become popular. The limbs aren't truly parallel but are set at such an angle that they nearly parallel each other. At the shot, the limbs don't sweep forward but move straight up and down. Bows with parallel limbs have a relatively high brace height and shoot quietly with little vibration.
Total packages consisting of a quality bow equipped with arrow rest, sight, string peep, silencers, and arrows Ã‚ — and pre-sighted and tuned Ã‚ — are catching on.
And as bows become more dependable and durable, many manufacturers are offering lifetime warranties, no questions asked. Before buying, check the warranty to understand the terms.
Information provided by manufacturers varies widely. For example, some list ATA speeds, some IBO speeds, some both, and some neither. For simplicity, we've tried to compare apples to apples, but sometimes we're dealing with oranges. Fortunately, we haven't found any lemons. Companies are listed in alphabetical order.
In its continuing effort to build the quietest, most accurate bows, Alpine has introduced the Inter-Loc Limb Mounting System and the VX Series of risers. Alpine now encases bow limbs in a nylon liner so that the limbs don't contact the riser. The vibration absorbing liner fits snugly into a specially designed limb pocket that locks onto the riser via a unique clamping system.
The new VX Series of risers features a rigid structural design and Bi-Polar Dampeners, which reduce recoil by absorbing vibration in the ends of the riser. The VX riser complements Alpine's parallel limbs.
The new Fatal Impact has the VX riser and Inter-Loc Limb Mount. The long riser gives an 8 1/2-inch sight window. The bow measures 34 inches long and weighs 4.2 pounds. With a 7 1/2-inch brace height, this smooth shooter is available in draw lengths of 27 to 31 inches and peak draw weights of 50 to 70 pounds. It comes with a perimeter weighted one-cam in 65 or 80-percent letoff, and in Realtree Hardwoods Green HD.
Other popular Alpine bows include the Ravage with Fast Trac cam, Sidewinder, billed as the company's fastest bow, and the super quiet SS Stealth.
Since rolling Ben Pearson and McPherson Archery into one company a year ago, President Tom McMillan and his team have introduced some eye-catching innovations. VIB-X vibration absorption, the Accu-Trac idler wheel that uses two different kinds of string grooves, frictionless Z-cams and Laser cams with precision-balanced ball bearings, and factory applied Velvet Antler Finish on the arrow rest shelf, are just a few.
Independent research shows that VIB-X reduces vibration by 40 percent. Introduced last year, this technology centers on a special chamber built into the riser below the bow handle and filled with Vibrachek's vibration-absorbing gel called Vibrasorb.
New for '03, the Freedom compound incorporates all of these innovations. Measuring 35 3/16 inches long, with a 6 11/16 brace height, the Freedom comes in draw lengths of 23-30 inches and peak draw weights of 50-70 pounds. It has a machined riser with 42-degree limb pockets, a Z-cam and Accu-Trac idler, and 65, 75, or 80-percent letoff. SuperFlauge camo finishes off this setup. IBO speeds are 310-315 fps.
Also new this year from Pearson are the 34 1/2-inch Predator VX with Laser cam, 29 1/2-inch Cherokee, and 29 5/16-inch two-cam Cold Kit. And from the McPherson Pro come the new SDS VX (Short Draw Special) and the women's Diva VX in Caged Cat Camo.
Of this company's 17 bows, the Extreme VFT (Vertical Force Technology) is the newest. As do many of the Bow Tech bows, the VFT features parallel limbs, which create smooth shooting, quiet bows. The Extreme VFT, measuring 34 inches long, has a brace height of 6.6 inches, and a mass weight of 3.75 pounds. The standard model comes in draw weights up to 70 pounds, but the Extreme Samson VFT is available in draw weights of 80, 90, and 100 pounds. The BowTech catalog lists IBO speeds of 325 to 333 fps for both.
At one extreme of BowTech's single-cam line, the BlackHawk measures 28 inches and weighs 2.85 pounds; at the other extreme the Pro 40 measures 38 inches long and weighs 4.10 pounds. The Generation 3.2 Force Multiplier has a unique third wheel/cam mounted on the riser that "creates perfectly level nock travel."
The new Pro 40 Dually has twin cams, 38-inch length, 7.4-inch brace height, and a weight of 4 pounds. The catalog lists IBO speeds of 329-337 fps for this bow.
The Pro 40 Wheely, ideal for fingers shooters, is equipped with dual wheels that make for comfortable, easy shooting. This bow has a length of 38 inches, mass weight of 4.1 pounds, and a 7.25-inch brace height.
BowTech bows feature VibraBlocks vibration dampeners and a Hush Kit with string silencers and cable muffler.
For 2003, the new ESC Black Eagle uses an ESC (Engineered Structural Composite) Outboard Limb, which incorporates space age technology in the form of a super strong carbon composite material molded to .001-inch tolerances. The ESC withstands extreme moisture and temperature changes.
The ESC Black Eagle measures 43-46 inches tip to tip, has a 6 1/2 to 8 1/2-inch brace height, and comes in draw lengths of 26-34 inches, draw weights of 33/55, 50/70, and 60/80 pounds. Of course, the bow features the unique, riser-mounted Black Eagle Cam.
Small-frame archers will be pleased with the new 3.8-pound, 40-inch-long Hawk, which promises high performance with a smooth draw. The Hawk comes in draw lengths of 22-26 inches and draw weights of 25-45 pounds. The brace height is about 6 inches. Camo is Mossy Oak Break-Up. Oneida's other two hunting bows, the Black Eagle and Pro Eagle, are now available in Skyline Excel camo.
Darton's CPS (Controlled Power System) has been around for years, but a new version, the CPS Extreme, reduces hand vibration and shoots quieter and faster. Tuning marks throughout the draw-length range make tuning easy. With interchangeable modules, you can adjust draw length in 1/8-inch increments. This hybrid cam system assures level nock travel, and the two cables and standard-length string reduce potential nock movement from string stretch.
Two new Darton bows feature the CPS Extreme wheel. The Avalanche Extreme measures 34 3/8-inches long. Its brace height of 7 1/4 inches and parallel limbs combine to form a sweet-shooting bow with an IBO rating of 308 fps.
The Magnum Extreme, at 32 5/8 inches long, has a brace height of 6 3/4 inches and an IBO rating of 312 fps. Weighing 3.4 pounds, this bow should make backcountry hunters happy. These two models are available in 65 or 75 percent ATA letoff.
The Maverick SD Recurve is a compact new model with a draw-length range of 23 to 27 inches specifically for short-draw archers. Darton also offers economy priced bows in its Action Series. These are high-performance, single-cam bows with modest prices, ideal for the whole family.
The new Machete has a length of 32 inches, a mass weight of 3 pounds 6 ounces, and a brace height of 7.75 inches. Parallel limbs make for quiet, vibration-free shooting. IBO speed is listed as 315 fps.
Another new model, the Widowmaker, has a length of 38 inches, mass weight of 4 pounds 9 ounces, and a 7-inch brace height. This bow also has parallel limbs and an IBO listing of 310 fps. The riser is machined with cavities only on one side for perfect balance.
Last year, Diamond's best selling model was the Stinger, a lightweight powerhouse at 28.5 inches length and 3 pounds 4 ounces mass weight. Even with an 8 3/8-inch brace height, this bow has a listed IBO speed of 312 fps.
In all, Diamond offers eight single-cam bows that come standard with 80 percent letoff but can be converted to 65-percent letoff with a module change. New for 2003 are 1/2-inch draw-length modules. Idler wheels contain sealed, dual ball bearings for smooth, trouble-free service.
Forge Bow Company
For 2003, Forge introduced its CW33 bow, a new Dream String power cable, and an optional inline draw stop for all of its older cam models.
The CW33 measures 32 1/2 inches long and weighs 3.3 pounds. The brace height is 8 1/2 inches. The "one bow fits all" CW33 features draw lengths from 25-30 1/2 inches and draw-weight adjustment from 35-63 pounds. Built around a machined aluminum riser and the Forge single-cam and idler combo in 65 or 80-percent letoff, the CW33 has an IBO speed of 290 fps. Camo is Autumn Leaves.
Other popular models are Forge's best-selling PF34 and PF36, F2 and F2XL, fingers-shooters X/Star, and the Lightning Strike and Firestorm HC dual-cams. Hunter and Pro Hunter Promotional Packages are also available.
Fred Bear Equipment Co.
All bows sold by the Fred Bear Equipment Co. carry the Fred Bear seal of approval, an image of Fred Bear shooting with his inimitable left-handed style.
Buckmaster by Jennings continues its standard with the G2, a 31-inch bow with a 7.5-inch brace height and a mass weight of 3 pounds 9 ounces. New for this year is the G2XL with a length of 35 inches and a weight of 4 pounds 5 ounces. Both bows have an IBO rating of 309 fps, come in Custom Hardwoods camo, and are equipped with Carbon Quad Straight limbs, Shock Stop string suppressors, and Sims LimbSaver vibration dampeners built into the machined aluminum risers. The perimeter weighted cam comes standard at 70 percent letoff, but 65 percent modules are available.
The new Fred Bear bow this year is the TRX 32. This Team Realtree bow, measuring 32 inches long, has a brace height of 7.5 inches and weighs 3 pounds 15 ounces. IBO speed is 305 fps. Also in the same line are the TRX and Vapor 300. All of these Fred Bear models come standard with Realtree Hardwoods HD camo. Also part of the Fred Bear line are the Little Delta, Brave, and Warrior youth bows. The smallest, the Brave, is available in draw lengths of 20 and 22 inches, and a draw-weight range of 17-22 pounds. All come with Hardwoods HD camo. And a new addition is the Family Bow. Because it has no set draw length, this bow can be shot comfortably within a draw-length range of 14-28 inches. It comes set at 20 pounds but can be adjusted down as much as 7 pounds. The Family Bow is a great tool for getting the whole family involved in archery.
The 2003 Golden Eagle machined aluminum riser is a fresh new design equipped with Golden Eagle's Gold Dot Perimeter Weighted OneCam on three new bows. The Obsession has a 34-inch length, brace height of 7.8 inches, and mass weight of 4 pounds 5 ounces. The Mossy Oak 32 is 32 inches long and has a brace height of 8.4 inches. The Mossy Oak 36 measures 36-inches long and has a brace height of 8.4 inches. All have 4-inch ball-bearing idler wheels, Carbon Quad Straight Limbs, and New Mossy Oak Break-Up camo. All are equipped with the new Shock Stop string suppressor to eliminate string noise. Draw length and letoff are adjusted with cam modules.
Top Jennings models are the Grandmaster and Trophymaster. Unlike other bows under the Fred Bear name, which have Carbon Quad limbs, the Jennings bows employ solid, straight Carbon Twill Limbs. The woven twill fabric in the limbs gives "Jennings carbon a three dimension matrix of strength." The new Rock Stop Module on the Jennings perimeter weighted cam assures a rock solid wall at full draw. The 40-inch Grandmaster has a brace height of 7 1/2 inches, weight of 4 pounds 5 ounces, and an IBO speed of 300 fps. It's available in draw lengths up to 33 inches and letoff of either 65 or 70 percent. Specs for the Trophymaster are similar, but the length is 35 inches, and IBO speed is 308. Both have Sim
s LimbSaver dampeners in the riser, and both are dressed in Custom Realtree Hardwoods camo.
In addition to a full line of Fred Bear accessories, North American Archery Gear offers seven accessory packages including quiver, rest, sight, stabilizer, peep, and silencers for simple outfitting of the bows listed above.
The Mathews Genesis, with zero letoff, has become a staple for families, schools, and clubs, because one bow will fit many different shooters. On the original Genesis, draw weight is adjustable from 10-20 pounds, draw length from 15-31 inches.
New this year is the Genesis Pro, a competition-quality bow with an adjustable draw stop that allows customizing draw length from 15 to 30 inches and creates a solid wall at full draw. The Genesis Pro, with a draw-weight range from 15 to 25 pounds, will be excellent for clubs and pro shops.
High Country Archery
Simply by pivoting a lever on the new PerfXCam, you can choose one of three draw-weight ranges. For example, bow models with the heaviest draw weights have a total range of 45-80 pounds. Within this range, you can set the lever for draw-weight ranges of 45-60, 55-70, or 65-80 pounds. In addition, each PerfXCam has a draw length range of 6 inches, and you can choose 65 or 80-percent letoff.
High Country's Military Grade Carbon Tough Bows are the lightest on the market, weighing just over 2 pounds. HCA says it will honor the lifetime warranty even if you're shooting arrows at 3 grains per pound of draw weight.
New for 2003 is the Max-Xtreme in lengths of 32 and 37 inches, which complements other bows previously in the carbon line Ã‚ — the SSR, Triple S, Carbon Force, Carbon 4-Runner, and Carbon Lite. The new Max-Xtreme and the 4-Runner also are made in machined-aluminum versions. HCA builds several other aluminum models.
These bows are equipped with patented V-Split limbs encased in a Vibra Flex Armor Limb Shield, which prevents abrasion, splintering, feathering, and dents. Inside the pivoting brass limb pockets, Super S-D Tech Pacs reduce vibration and noise. HCA offers complete accessory packages for its bows.
For 2003, all Hoyt bows employ Hoyt's new Cam & 1/2 system. With this system, the string sides of the top and bottom wheels are shaped identically. The result, according to Hoyt President Randy Walk, is guaranteed level nock travel. Thus, erratic porpoising of arrows from an erratic nocking point is a thing of the past.
If the top and bottom wheels are shaped the same, doesn't that make the Cam & 1/2 a two-cam system? No, because the wheels are rigged differently. Rather than having two buss cables, like two-cam bows, the Cam & 1/2 has a power cable, a buss cable, and a standard-length string.
"The power cable 'slaves' the two wheels together, so they must start rolling over at precisely the same time," Walk said. "That's why cam synchronization is never a problem."
Riding on sealed stainless steel ball bearings, the Cam & 1/2 system is reported to be fast, quiet, forgiving, and maintenance free. The TEC (total engineering concept) bridged handles are the centerpiece of the entire Hoyt line, and now all have super-thin grips with wood inlays for minimal hand contact.
Hoyt Tec bows range in length from the potent little HavocTec measuring 31 inches long and weighing 3 pounds 5 ounces, up to the ProTec at 41 inches and 4 pounds even. The RazorTec, Cybertec, and SuperTec are popular mid-length bows. All Hoyt hunting bows are equipped with Sims Limb Savors and String Leeches.
This young bow company is designing and building some of the sharpest bows on the market. The 32 and 36-inch bows in Kodiak's Bow Logic Series really have raised eyebrows with their simple designs and advanced performance. The bows also feature cam choices between Kodiak's Quik Draw, L2R, and QLS Systems. And each Bow Logic bow comes standard with an integrated Quik Clik sight and rest in matching Superflauge camo.
The Fuzion Cam, a solid, fast, smooth, vibration free cam powers Martin's popular single-cam bows. This cam has a draw-length range of 6 inches, and you can change draw-length modules without relaxing the bow and without altering draw weight. Modules give 65 or 75-percent letoff.
The new Fury-X cam has three tracks. This unique two-cam system with Tri-Track design eliminates string wear, limb torque, cam lean, and the need for a cable guard. This system is available only on certain bow models.
The 2003 Onza II has a super-strong bridged riser. The bridge is offset 1 1/2 inches to give major clearance between the bridge and the wrist on your bow arm. The Onza comes in three lengths from 40 down to 32 inches and brace heights from 7 1/4-8 1/4 inches. It's available in the Fuzion single cam or Fury two-cam system.
According to Scott Landwehr, two of Martin's best sellers are the Phantom and the Cougar. The Phantom, a mid-priced bow, comes in three lengths and five cam options. The Cougar has been a staple in the Martin line since 1978. The newest version, with a sleek new riser and grip, is available in five cam versions and four lengths - 42, 40, 36, and 32 inches. Landwehr said the 36-inch model is most popular. Camo patterns are Advantage Timber HD, and New Mossy Oak Breakup.
Most Martin bows come equipped with VEM (Vibration Escape Modules), which dampen riser vibration and noise. Martin also carries a complete line of accessories to match its bows.
Two new innovations stand out for 2003. One is the HP (High Performance) Single Cam, which, according to the company, is the "the fastest cam we've ever tested." At the same time it is straight line, smooth shooting, and simple in design. Spokesman Mike Ziebell called the HP the "most efficient" cam ever designed.
The other is the V-LOCK Zero Tolerance Limp Cup System. Close tolerances make for accuracy, and Mathews' V-Lock limb pocket is said to have zero tolerance and, thus, ultimate accuracy. V-shaped limb butts fit perfectly into the machined, V-shaped limb pockets to eliminate any play that might affect accuracy.
These features are prominent on the new LX, a bow that measures 35 inches long, weighs 4.25 pounds, has a brace height of 6 5/8 inches, and produces an IBO speed of 317 fps. It is available in 80 or 65-percent letoff.
The Black Max has been upgraded to the new Black Max 2 with String Suppressors and Harmonic Dampers. With a length of 35 inches and 60 percent letoff, it's one of the fastest bows on the market. IBO rating is 330 fps.
The new Conquest 3, with a length of 41 inches, offers the options of MaxCam, Mini MaxCam, and Super Soft Cam, and letoffs of 80, 65, and 60 percent. This is the bow fingers shooters are looking for.
Also for the first time in 2003, all Mathews bows come with Realtree X-tra Gray camouflage, and the rest system can be converted into a fall-away model.
Parker's new E-Z cam, which is nearly round, provides an easy draw with a gradual dropoff at the back of the force-draw curve. Yet the EZ-Draw 33, a 33-inch bow equipped with the E-Z Cam, still smokes an arrow at 290 fps IBO. This bow weighs a mere 3.1 pounds, and is dressed up with Superflauge camo.
Parker's No. 1 seller remains the Ultra-Lite, a 31-inch bow weighing 2.9 pounds and producing an IBO speed of 310. Parker doesn't make only short, light bows. Two popular Parker bows are the Stealth Hunter and Hunter-Mag, both measuring 37 inches long. Both of these bows, powered by Parker's Super One-Cam, yield IBO speeds over 310 fps.
All of these bows also come in "Outfitter" models. That is, the bows are rigged with a bowsight, peep, arrow rest, wrist sling, quiver, and arrows. And they're tuned and sighted-in at the factory. You might have to slide the peep up or down the string to match your specific build. But that's it. Otherwise the bows are ready to rumble.
Parker's unique Force-Multiplier II, with its riser-mounted cam, produces an impressive ATA speed of 250 fps. And Parker makes excellent short-draw bows like its Challenger, with draw lengths from 23 to 27 inches.
Precision Shooting Equipment
Archery Research. New to the PSE stable of bow companies, Archery Research or AR, is a precision-machined line resulting from 2 years of development. Light, compact, high-performance AR bows feature machined risers with cutouts strategically placed so that vibrations flow away from the handle. Except for different lengths, AR bows are very similar. The AR-31, AR-34, and AR-37 all use the same AR parallel-limb and vibration-dissipating methods, 70-percent letoff Ram Cams, 4-inch idlers with precision ball bearings, and Mossy Oak Break-Up camo. The bows also have the same draw lengths of 26-30 inches and peak draw weights of 60 or 70 pounds. AR bows weigh 3.6-3.7 pounds and have IBO speeds over 300 fps.
Browning Archery. Since joining the PSE family, Browning has added innovative new products to its line. Among these are the Cyber ZX cam and Twin Idler in the Split Harness One-Cam System, which elimin
ates the cable wear common to single-cam bows; the Hyper Max 10 Cam, which allows a full 10 inches of draw length adjustment without the use of a bow press; and the Radial-Lok limb pocket system with an ImpacStop visco-elastic insert that fits between the limb and riser to absorb cam/limb vibration.
The new Mirage ZX incorporates all of these innovations. With a machined aluminum riser and laminated 15-inch XP Limbs, it measures 33 inches long, weighs 3.8 pounds, and has a 7 1/2-inch brace height. The bow comes in draw lengths of 26-30 inches and peak draw weights of 60 and 70 pounds. At 75-percent letoff (adjustable to 65 percent), the Mirage ZX has an IBO speed of 300 fps. Other new Browning bows are the 33-inch two-cam Adrenaline SX, the Mirage 33S with Cyber 5 single cam, the 32-inch Impulse, 37-inch Tornado single cam, 35-inch Rage, and the Micro Adrenaline XS and Micro Midas 3, all with the new Hyper Max 10 Cam. Browning hunting bows feature Mossy Oak Break-Up camo.
PSE. Some new developments for PSE this year are the smooth-drawing, high performance Maxis-Plus Twin-Cam; PSE's professed best-ever Centerfire One-Cam; and a new lightweight riser design with patented Trimline pivoting limb pockets that ensure precise limb-to-riser alignment.
The 36-inch Nitro incorporates these new design elements to produce a 6-inch brace height (6 1/2 with the Maxis-Plus Twin-Cam), draw lengths of 25-30 inches (26-31inches with the Twin-Cam), and peak draw weights of 60 and 70 pounds. With Centerfire One-Cam the Nitro can be adjusted for 80 or 65-percent letoff. With the Maxis-Plus Twin-Cam, letoff is 65 percent. Both setups feature the Phase III Grip System, NV Vibration Dampening System, Patented Pivoting Limb Pockets, Locking Limb Bolt System, and PSE's Brush Camo. The Nitro weighs 3.95 pounds and rates IBO speeds of 315 fps with the single cam, 308 with the dual cam.
For 2003 PSE has teamed with Primos Hunting Calls on the the Primos STL, a well-balanced 38-inch hunting bow with the Centerfire One-Cam. PSE has also redesigned the 30-inch Firestorm Lite, the 36 1/2-inch Thunderbolt, and the Nova bows. Plus, four new models have been introduced in the Pro Series Ã‚ — the Xcellerator, Enforcer, Triton, and Diamondback II. For an economical package, check out PSE's Deer Hunter Combo Set.
Manufactured by Darton Archery, the well-known ProLine brand is reborn in 2003 under the distribution of Jordan ProLine and the guidance of President Chuck Jordan. This company has specialized in short, fast, but forgiving hunting bows. The longest model measures just over 37 inches, and half of ProLine's eight models are shorter than 32 inches. "Even with a comfortable brace height of 7 inches you have a selection of bows that consistently shoot IBO speeds in the 300 fps range," Jordan writes.
ProLine's newly patented PFC System (Post Feed Cam) boasts level nock travel, 6 inches of draw-length adjustment ( with modules), and optimum performance at each draw length. Combined with ProLine's patented Tuning System you'll find these bows to be dependable, smooth performers.
The signature model is the Mountain, available in the Mountain 30, the Mountain Supreme, and Mountain 32. All of these bows feature CNC machined aluminum risers, efficient DualFlex limbs, and the new 75-percent letoff PFC single-cam system. The bows are available in draw lengths from 25-30 inches and peak draw weights from 50-70 pounds. Most ProLine hunting bows are available in Skyline's Excel camo.
Because Reflex is a corporate partner with Hoyt USA, it should come as no surprise that the Cam & 1/2 System is the big addition to the already impressive, Chuck Adams-proven Reflex line. Four of the five Reflex bows carry this new technology (all but the Caribou, which has the Accuwheel). Much has already been written about the benefits of the Cam & 1/2, that it is fast and quiet, eliminates cam-timing problems, assures level nock travel, is forgiving, has a solid wall, and presents minimal tuning and maintenance issues.
Popular bows in the Reflex line are the machined 36-inch Timber Wolf, 34-inch Buckskin, 37 1/2-inch Growler, 39 1/2-inch Gamegetter, and the 45 5/8-inch Caribou for fingers shooters. All have forgiving brace heights, and are generally available in draw lengths from 27-30 inches (28-31 inches for the Caribou) and peak draw weights of 60 and 70 pounds. All but the Gamegetter have split limbs. The Timber Wolf is the fastest bow in the line at 315 IBO.
For 2003 Renegade has added a new Flamethrower Cam to augment its proven One-Cam and EZ-1 Solo Wheel. The One-Cam and Flamethrower are available in 65 or 80-percent letoff, while the EZ-1 comes only in 75 percent letoff.
The Flamethrower cam is exclusive to the new Alpha-1, a 31-inch bow with an 8-inch brace height and a mass weight of 3.6 pounds. IBO speed is listed at 302 fps. The Alpha-1 also comes with the smooth drawing and shooting E
Z-1 Wheel. Alpha-1 bows are equipped with Renegade's new CPT Lazermatch PTS solid limbs.
The other five Renegade bow models are equipped with Renegade's solid PTS limbs from Gordon Glass. These are the SBD (31", 6 7/8" brace height, 3.2 lb.), Tominator II (34", 7 1/4" brace height, 3.8 lbs.), Trophy Rac Plus (35", 8 3/4" brace height, 3.8 lbs.), and Nontypical XL (41", 9 1/2" brace height, 4 lbs.). The SBD is available only with the One-Cam, but the other four come with either the One-Cam or the EZ-Solo Wheel.
Renegade offers a unique one-time discounted upgrade. If you buy a 30-pound bow to start off with, you can bring it back to your dealer and have the wheels and rigging changed to a heavier draw weight.
Two totally new models for 2003 are the F-14 and F-16. Both are equipped with the new StormLine P-38 Adjustable Cam with modular 65-80 percent letoff and are reported to have an IBO speed in excess of 310 fps. Both feature Deep Woods Camo.
The F-14, built on the reflexed 300 Series riser, is 34 inches long, has a brace height of 7 1/4 inches, and weighs 4.25 pounds. This bow has a unique "cable controller" in place of the standard rod-type cable guard.
The F-16, built on the strongly reflexed 400 Series riser, is 32 inches long, has a brace height of 7 1/4 inches, and weighs 4 pounds.
Storm makes several other favorites ranging from 31-40 inches in length, including archery champion Burley Hall's favorite, the 36-inch F-28.
Storm also equips its bows with Storm matching accessories Ã‚ — sight, arrow rest (spring loaded or drop away), and quiver. The adjustable two-piece quiver sits close to the bow for excellent balance and a low-profile only 4 inches across.