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Updated August 3, 2022 at 9:47 am
for 2022field and riverMain bow test, Instead of waiting until spring to put the newest bows on the wringer, we were able to get test models in late fall before many were available to the public. This means we had more time to photograph them, test them and even hunt with them. it doeskill a deer with a bowaffect your score? well it all dependssize of your horns. Just kidding, of course. But with the bows in the fieldfezHelp us evaluate bow performance where it matters most.
However, the heart of our testing took place in theCargo engineering servicesLab in Mason, Ohio, and mineFarm in southwestern Kentucky, where we turn all the arcs and face each other. Our test panel included engineers from Stress's outdoor division, as well as myself; former pro shop owner and archery technician Danny Hinton; and Zach Bell, a serious bow hunter and marksman. This is exactly what we did.
How We Tested Legendary Compound Bows
Each bow was set for a draw length of 28 inches and a draw weight of 60 pounds. Upon completion, we prepared the IBO (5 grains per pound draw weight) specification, 300-grain darts to measure velocity and noise and vibration. We used Whisker Biscuit supports and a D-loop for all objective testing, but the bows were otherwise empty. We also weigh each bow (with arrow rest and D-loop only) on a Lyman digital trigger scale.
Under stress, engineers used a soundproof camera and a bow-mounted accelerometer to measure noise and vibration. They also mapped the pull force curves that affect our pull cycle results and measured the efficiency of each arc. Back home in Kentucky, we measured velocity by averaging three shots on a chronograph. (Remember that with the 30-inch IBO spec, you can expect an additional 20 fps or more to be added to the velocity ratings listed in the arcs below.) To test accuracy and tolerance, we have five groups of three shots averaged per shooter and bow. This test was conducted indoors at 25 yards over three days with hunting-spec Carbon Express Maxima Red darts, HHA scopes, and Peep scopes installed. As we filmed, we took each bow and compared them based on subjective things like fit, finish, and handling.
Finally, we rate the arches on a 100-point scale in the following categories with the following values:
- Accuracy and Forgiveness:20 points
- Speed:20 points
- Character Cycle:20 points
- Noise (lack of):10 points
- Vibration (absence):10 points
- Fitting and processing:10 points
- Balance, handling and grip:10 points
Our test is an invitation and some brands are missing because they did not respond to our invitation. Putting an arc through our test takes courage, and I congratulate any company that has done it.
Top Compound Bow Trends for 2022
In a few years new trends are evident. Improved adjustability and new fit systems were important in 2020. Other years like this mark just another steady step in overall performance. Which is not a bad thing. Some big improvements made by individual companies have livened things up for 2022, and one or two oddities caught our eye.
Belt heights "Forgive me"
For example, we had some sling-height longbows called "Forgivers" in the mix that shot pretty well, but no better than the sub-6" speed bow that also shipped. There was a time when 7-inch was considered the go-to. magic number for belt height but that was a long time ago as best I can tell you that the only thing that will guarantee you a 7 inch riser height is a slower arrow.
shaft to shaft length
Another piece of conventional wisdom that may be disappearing is the idea that a long axis-to-axis length ensures greater accuracy. The riser design now seems more important than the overall length of the bow. As proof, the most accurate bow this year was the shortest at 29 inches long, and the second shortest bow at 30 inches was the second most accurate. What I mean is that the specifications are no longer enough to distinguish this bow from that one. If you really want to know what's going on, you have to shoot them all. And if you don't get the chance, this review is for you.
Finally, a note about the price tags, which I'm sure readers will complain about when the sun goes down. Nearly $1,000 separates the last place winner here. This is not alien to us. But we didn't take price into account when ranking bows in this test, as it can skew the results so that the best performing bow doesn't get what it deserves. A main bow is, by definition, the best a given manufacturer can build, and it's expensive. Are there $500 bows that would serve deer hunters well? Sure, and we tried them too. Just not here. These are not the best deals of the year. These are thebetter2023 new arches, period.
Test results:field and riverThe best compound bows of 2023
1)Editors Pick: Hoyt Carbon RX-7
- Specifications:321fps | 30" axle to axle | 6" belt height | 4 pounds, 11 ounces | $1,849
- final result:95,5
I spent much of the 2021 season huntingHoyt Vento 30, which showcased the brand's HBX binary camera system. EITHERCarbon RX-7There's a slightly modified version, the HBX Pro, that's gotten even better, and the bow itself was good enough to take top honors in this year's test.
As is often the case with our winning flagship, the RX-7 won because it basically did nothing wrong in any of the objective categories and was a crowd favorite in all of the subjective categories. He missed the fastest bow by a few meters per second and was among the most accurate shooters in the event (and for me personally).omore precisely, with average clumps of just under an inch). The RX-7 has several built-in anti-shake features, and they work. This bow feels dead in the hand, and according to a Stress Engineering test, only the elite bow had less vibration. The RX-7 was louder than some of the competition, but in a still field of arcs, the difference in sound was something none of us could tell without measuring voltage.
The pull cycle is a bit demanding up front but smooth throughout, with a perfect chase valley and a solid rear wall. In this category, this bow shared with the Xpedition Smoke as the test panel favorite. Add in perfect fit and finish, light weight, and convenient dimensions, and the RX-7 won by less than a full point. But still he won.
2)Matthew V3X 29
- Specifications:315fps | 29” axle to axle | 6" strap height | 4 lbs., 14 oz. | $1,299
- final result:95
The Mathews CrossCentric series is the most successful arch design of the last decade. Starting with Halon 2016,these bowsthey have won our test every year except 2017 when they finished second. EITHERMatthew V3Xhe missed out on this year's win by a half point, but if you said this was the best fighter model in the series, I couldn't disagree. I even used it to shoot a nice 8 in Tennessee the day after taking it out of the box.
In terms of performance, the V3X is nearly identical to last year's V3. At 29 inches from axis to axis, it was the shortest bow in the test and also the most accurate. Bell scored a ¾-inch panel average with it, the best overall in the test, and as a panel, ours averaged 1.04 inches. The V3X was also the quietest bow, but it landed a few bows further down the list due to a lack of vibration. That was really his only stumbling block, besides being slower than the winner.
The V3X is characterized by its excellent accessory design. For example, their stay-on-field system uses a series of attachments on the chambers and a short string that allows you to push the bow down the field without the need for a traditional vise (you'll have to back off the limb bolts a few turns). first). ). Of all the home tuning systems I've seen over the years, this is the simplest and most practical for most bow hunters. Most hunters do not adjust the tilt of their camera. Almost all of us have had to pull a string to straighten a cross at some point.
The V3X also features a Bridge-Lock sight system that mounts the scope directly to the riser instead of the side and is equipped for an Integrate-style arrow rest. The LowPro case system is the most compact quiver I've tried, but if, like me, you prefer to remove the quiver once it's in the holder, get the detachable 5-arrow version instead of the fixed 6-arrow version. I had a test sheet.
3)Best value: expedition smoke
- Specifications:324fps | 32" axle-to-axle | 5.375 in. belt height | 5 lbs., 4 ounces | $1,099
- final result:94
oexpedition smokeIt's a low-rise, uncompromising speed bow that nearly won the test. It features a hybrid cam system that is specific to the length of the train. Ours came from the factory at 27.5 inches. Normally we'd scale this to the 28-inch spec used in our review, but that wasn't possible here. And even with that handicap, Smoke was long the fastest bow of 2023. It also had a remarkably smooth draw cycle that was consistent from start to finish. Hinton and I rank this as our favorite character cycle from the test. Zach Bell didn't like it very much as the shallow valley made him a bit nervous in the full draw. So we average these things out.
The Smoke was in the middle of the table in terms of (lack of) vibration and noise, but it was also by far the most efficient bow in the test. He was a good shooter, with a group average of 1.23 inches. I was hunting with Smoke for a few days and found him a bit big and heavy in the cabin. In the end, we all agreed that it wasn't exactly up to par with some of the other bows in the test, particularly the ones that finished first and second, in the categories of handling, balance, and grip, as well as fit and finish. Still, he was a point and a half behind the winner and costs $750 less. The fastest bow of the year also gets our vote for the cheapest big bow of 2023.
4)First in line 1
- Specifications:311fps | 31" axle to axle | 7" belt height | 4 pounds, 13 ounces | $1,199
- final result:91,5
If we were to give it the Most Improved award, the Prime Inline series would beat it by a mile. The Prime's parallel-cam system, like that of the 2015 Ion, which clinched Test victory this year, has long been known for a good pull cycle and particularly strong rear wall. But it was actually designed to reduce cam droop and improve bow shooting. We've never had any complaints about the Prime Bows being hard to shoot, but the dual cameras havefezthey have their flaws. The bows with them tended to be noisy with a lot of vibration, and the chambers themselves were large and heavy. But they are gone.
The new in-line series replaces the more conventional single top and bottom cam parallel cams in a binary system, but when pulled from the bow, the cam module actually shifts the cables under the chord and toward the center of the stock , which Prime calls balancing the Chamber in the same way as the parallel system. It is much more simplified.
Our half-time snack? The Inline 1 is a lightless shooter (especially in Hinton's hands). We averaged a full 1.22" groupset with it. It was also light and almost perfectly balanced (we all love grip) and tied with the Elite for the second-quietest arc in the test. It finished the race fluttering in the middle. from the field, but had she had a little more speed, the Inline 1 would have been contested for the win.It loosened up more than I like in a hunting bow (it's one of those bows that actually feels stuck in the full aperture), but that's a subjective and minor complaint.
- Specifications:315fps | 33" axle to axle | 6" belt height | 5 pounds, 1 ounce. | $1,199
- final result:90,5
The SR350, like other recent Bowtechs, features an adjustment system called DeadLock, which allows the user to adjust the bow by moving the cam along the axis and locking it in place. We first tested it in 2020 on the Revolt X, which came in third in this year's test. It works just as well as the Elite S.E.T. system, but in my opinion it is more complicated to use.
The SR350 has a half-inch shorter strap height and a higher IBO rating than the 2020 Revolt X, but it's a similar bow. My gripe with DeadLock isn't the system itself, but that Bowtech ditched a lot of true dual-chamber bows (including the Realm SR6, which won the 2019 test) to accommodate it. Newer bows that use a binary system are actually easier to tune at home, but they don't work as well.
Still, the SR350 is a great bow, finishing at the top of the field in the noise and vibration categories. It was pretty fast too. Although we averaged 1.35-inch groups with it, the SR350 missed a few points in the accuracy and error tolerance test. Simply put, other bows were easier to shoot. It also deducted points for a comparatively difficult draw cycle.
For years newer Bowtechs have come with a rotating disc module that allows the user to cycle the pump to either a comfort (slower, but easier) or performance (faster, but more challenging) setting. Since this bow was sent to us running, we tested it like this. While it's smooth and has a good back panel, the extra effort required towards the end of the cycle was uncomfortable in the field, and something you wouldn't want in the woods. To be fair, Hinton switched to the comfort setting and went hunting. It's a pleasure to shoot like this, but the performance lags behind. At the end of the day, some of the faster bows in this test were also easier to shoot.
- Specifications:299fps | 31" axle-to-axle | 6.875" belt height | 4 pounds, 15 ounces | $1,199.99
- final result:90
The Elite Kure came in second in our 2020 test, and the EnKore, its faster successor, got my vote for the best Elite bow of all time. I spent most of the fall of 2020 hunting with one. Like its predecessors, Envision uses the intuitive S.E.T. Adjustment system that allows adjusting the inclination of the camera on the arch with screws, making one or the other of the divided elements of the arch more flexible. With this system, the paper setting process is really fast and accurate.
The Envision has a much more robust elevator and shorter, stronger limbs than its predecessors. In fact, his profile is not unlike that of a younger Mathews. This squat profile helps achieve a short shaft-to-shaft length while also making the bow easy to shoot.
Performance wise, the bad news first: This bow is surprisingly slow. That only made him fall down the rankings. The good news is that if you're primarily looking for a quiet, easy-to-shoot compound, the Envision is your bow. It had the least vibration of anything we tested and was second-quietest after the Prime Inline (the Mathews V3X was first). We shot well, averaging 1.28" groups. The lower limb has a habit of swinging towards the target after the shot; some shooters might like that, but I personally don't. The bow also features a modular system that allows a 1/4-inch draw length adjustment (most bows adjust half an inch at a time.) Overall, the Envision design cycle has been pretty good, but previous models have been better.
7)Use Refine EKO
- Specifications:304fps | 33" axle-to-axle | 6.375" belt height | 5lbs | $999
- final result:80
The Refine EKO is the latest in the Bear's Legend series and I think it's a big step up from the Divergent EKO, the last model in the series we tested in 2020. Refining is more efficient and scores a full 5 points more in our test . It features a wide range of adjustments, with a module that allows draw lengths from 26.5 to 30.5 inches and lift-off values from 75 to 90 percent. The bow comes with two handle inserts so you can easily swap it out for whatever you prefer. We managed to hunt a few days with this bow and found it worked well in the woods.
Still, it lagged behind in several performance categories. It was the second slowest bow in the test, and while it was fairly quiet, it vibrated almost two and a half times more than the Elite Envision - the deadliest bow in the test. This created a difference in recoil that we could feel at the test range and also seemed to affect bow accuracy and forgiveness. We averaged 1.5-inch clusters with the Refine EKO, which isn't bad. We just shoot all the other bows better.
What is the fastest compound bow on the market right now? ›
1 | Hoyt Carbon RX Twin Turbo
Hoyt's new carbon riser Twin Turbo really scoots, with an ATA speed rating of 350 fps. This 33-inch axle-to-axle bow has a short, 5.875-inch brace height, but's smooth, too, thanks to the Short Stop stabilizer, Shock Pods, and other vibration-absorbing features.
Engineered to be the most accurate and comfortable shooting speed bow ever developed, Bowtech launches its new flagship design for 2022, the SR350. Powered by their optimized DeadLock Cam System, this forgiving, 33-inch axle-to-axle gem generates an IBO speed rating of 350 fps.
- By far, the compound bow is the most popular bow for hunting and target shooting.
- Many styles are available, but they all work basically in the same manner.
Xpedition Smoke — 370 fps
Topping this esteemed list is the limited edition Smoke from Xpedition Archery. Heralded as the fastest bow they have ever developed, it comes in with a reported IBO rating of 370 fps, which is an impressive number considering their Maco X from a couple of years back held the title at 360 fps.
Ideally, bows used for hunting deer should have a draw weight of at least 40lbs, at a peak draw of 28 inches. In Olympic archery, competitors use recurve bows with a mechanical sight that draw an average of around 48.5 pounds for the men and 33 pounds for the women.What is the quietest hunting bow? ›
The quietest bow in the lineup, the Mathews V3X, takes the Silver award for 2022.What is the hardest bow to shoot? ›
Due to the lack of technological advancements, the longbow is the most difficult of these four types to handle and shoot accurately. As the bow gets longer, the draw weight also increases. These bows required incredibly strong archers in warfare and provided deadly power.What is the longest accurate bow shot? ›
The furthest distance shot with any bow is 2,047 yards (1,871.84m) . This was shot by the late Harry Drake in 1988 using a crossbow. The furthest with a hand-held - and pulled - bow is 1,336 yds 1' 3" (1,222.01m) , shot by Don Brown with an unlimited conventional Flight bow in 1987.What bow company sells the most? ›
The most popular archery brand is Bear Archery. Bear Archery was established back in 1933.
Bow: In Olympic archery, competitors use recurve bows that draw an average of around 48.5 pounds for the men and 33 pounds for the women. The bow may have a mechanical sight, but no optical enhancements. It also may feature stabilizers on the bow.
What is the easiest bow to shoot? ›
Most people when learning will start with a recurve bow. There is a reason for this. Recurve bows are easy to find and easy to use by everyone no matter what age, and they are very forgiving to shoot. Shooting your recurve arrows from a shelf rather than your hand is easier.What is Mathews new bow for 2023? ›
The all-new 2023 Phase4 is our most silent and stealthy hunting system to date. Over the last several months, Mathews Team Shooters tested the Phase4 in the field, testing it in all types of conditions. After months of development and testing in the lab, no bow hits the market unless it passes our Proving Ground.What is the best shot on a deer with a bow? ›
You have room to aim 4 or 5 inches back from the shoulder crease, which increases the margin-of-error on a broadside deer. A few inches forward, no biggie. A few inches back, and you'll clip the tail-end of the lungs or the liver, or both.What is the hardest animal to hunt with a bow? ›
A mature high-country mule deer buck is one of bowhunting's most formidable challenges. Some would say that a mature mule deer buck is the most difficult critter to take with a bow and arrow.What is the easiest animal to hunt with a bow? ›
Whitetail deer and wild hogs are some of the best game animals to hunt when you are new to bow hunting.What type of bow shoots the fastest? ›
Xpedition Archery Smoke
It's the fastest bow they've produced, perhaps the fastest hunting bow ever, and it rockets out of the gate at a meteoric 370 fps. It has a 32- inch axle-to-axle length and a 5.375-inch brace height. It has either 60- or 70- peak draw weights, 28-30-inch draw lengths, and weighs 4.4 pounds.
The longer the draw length, the longer the effective powerstroke. This factor, as well, will make the bow propel the arrow faster and more powerfully. However, the downside to a short brace height (5 to 6 3/8 inches) is that it can be more difficult to shoot.How fast were Native American bows? ›
These bows shot arrows at almost 180 feet per second and under the right conditions with the right choice of arrowhead, they defeated all the armors.What draw strength bow should I get? ›
Today's bows are extremely efficient and 40lb compound bows are more than capable of harvesting many big game animals. For whitetail deer hunting anything above 40 lbs is fine. For larger game such as elk or moose a good recommendation is at least 60-65 lbs of draw weight.What is the ideal arrow weight for deer? ›
Dr. Ed Ashby recommends a much heavier setup for maximum performance, starting at 650 grains for deer-sized animals.
What grain broadhead should I use for deer? ›
Selecting an option that's 125 grains or greater tends to increase penetration depth. Fortunately, this year, there are numerous options that are 125-200 grains. A heavier arrow also boosts kinetic energy. Paired with a faster bow and heavier broadhead, this can be a deadly setup.What is the smoothest shooting bow? ›
The good news is that if above all you're after a quiet, soft-shooting compound, the Envision is your bow. It had the least amount of vibration of anything we tested, and it tied with the Prime Inline for second-quietest (the Mathews V3X was first).What size bow is best for hunting? ›
Popular hunting bow lengths normally fall in the 58 to 62-inch category. These bow lengths result in a bow that is short enough to allow hunting in thick cover, from a treestand or ground blind but still produce a comfortable string angle.How far should you shoot a deer with a bow? ›
I think it is safe to say that most bowhunters practice at an average distance of 20-30 yards. And, while this may be the standard, there are those times when the buck of your choice will walk right into your lap.What are the worlds strongest bows? ›
Immortalized by the Mongols during the 3rd-century onwards, the Mongolian recurve bow is widely considered one of the most powerful, and deadly, bows in history.How many times a day should you shoot your bow? ›
If you want to be a “great” archer, someone that can put the arrow into the yellow all the time, you need to shoot 100-120 arrows per day 5 times a week. If you want to be a “champion” archer, someone who can put the arrow into the 10 most of the time, you need to shoot 5 times a week with at least 120 arrows per day.How far can the average person shoot a bow? ›
While modern bows can shoot arrows up to 400 yards at speeds exceeding 200 miles per hour, the bow is a short-range hunting tool. Depending on the circumstances, the maximum distance is 30 to 40 yards.How many times a week should I shoot my bow? ›
Instead, you should be out enjoying shooting arrows and feeling the excitement of hitting the middle whenever you execute a good shot. It's highly recommended that you only shoot once or twice a week (with a maximum of 100 or so shots each session) to give your muscles a little time to recover between sessions.What brand of bow does Ted Nugent use? ›
Shemane & I love our Mathews bows! Best damn bows on earth! Build your very own custom Mathews now for the ultimate mystical flight of the arrow dream!What are the two most common bows? ›
- Much like the longbow, but the limbs curve back away from the belly of the bow, which can provide more power in a shorter bow than the longbow.
- A popular choice because it's smooth and quiet.
What bow Did Native Americans use? ›
Most indigenous forest peoples use simple self-bows constructed of local materials such as palmwood, beechwood and letterwood. The extremely long arrows commonly used – up to 2.5 metres – are tipped with bamboo or wooden heads, depending on their use, and are too long to make quivers practical.What brand of bow do Olympic archers use? ›
There are three types of bows used in archery – recurve, compound and barebow. The recurve bow is the only one used at the Olympic Games. A recurve archer pulls the string towards their face with their fingers and aims at the target through a sight.How far can a 30 lb bow shoot? ›
Contrary to what most people think, a 30 or even a 25 lbs. draw weight is more than enough for recreational target practice. If you have the aim for it and your form is on point, you can successfully hit a target from 60 or even 70 yards away with this kind of draw weight.Is Hoyt or Mathews better? ›
Hoyt makes great bows and has for years in the industry (around 60 years more experienced than Mathews). Smoothness – Even some people who don't like the cam system say it's pretty simple and hope they keep it that way. Hoyts always shoot smoother. Durability – I truly believe they are the toughest bow you can buy.How much should you spend on a good compound bow? ›
How Much Is A Good Compound Bow? If you're a beginner, then you can get a good Compound Bow to start with for around $300. If you're not just starting out, and have some experience behind you, a good compound bow will likely cost around around $500 to $1000.What bow does Joe Rogan shoot? ›
Joe Rogan's current bow is the PSE EVO NTN 33, with a Spot Hogg Fast Eddy Sight, Carter Target 4 release aid and a Bee Stinger stabilizer. The bow was designed for Joe by John Dudley and is set it up to Joe's preferences, including tying the nock points to the mounting of the bow sight.What draw weight do most bow hunters use? ›
Ideally, bows used for hunting deer should have a draw weight of at least 40lbs, at a peak draw of 28 inches. In Olympic archery, competitors use recurve bows with a mechanical sight that draw an average of around 48.5 pounds for the men and 33 pounds for the women.What pound bow should I shoot? ›
The standard of 60 to 70 lbs is more than enough for North American big game. However, there are some folks who want to pull 80 to 90 lbs of draw weight.Are Mathews bows made in China? ›
Quality CraftsmanshipMade in the u.s.a.
From start to finish, your bow is engineered and built by the same team that delivers our high-end Mathews bows, in the same quality controlled confines of our factory in Sparta, Wisconsin.
While modern bows can shoot arrows up to 400 yards at speeds exceeding 200 miles per hour, the bow is a short-range hunting tool. Depending on the circumstances, the maximum distance is 30 to 40 yards. At that range, it's common for an arrow to pass completely through an animal.
What distance should you sight in a bow? ›
It's recommended to sight this pin at 20 yards. Today's high-speed bows don't need to be sighted in for less than 20 yards as a general rule, but be sure to practice these close shots after you are sighted in. The subsequent pins, below the top pin, are recommended to be sighted in at 30, 40, and 50 yards.What is the ideal arrow weight for elk? ›
We don't have the space to get into all the physics, and there is plenty of dispute among bowhunters on this topic, but without knowing your specifics I would recommend an arrow weighing at least 450 grains (total arrow/broadhead) for elk.Are carbon arrows better than aluminum? ›
Carbon arrows are way better than aluminum due to their durability, strength, and weight. Aluminum arrows are cheaper than carbon, yet they are not nearly as resilient or effective. Therefore, when choosing arrows for archery, carbon is the best option.