NAW's Best New Compound Bows of 2013
July 24, 2013
Archery gear is always changing and always improving — that's pretty much a given when you hang around the industry long enough. As a result, archery companies like BowTech are constantly striving for more speed and forgiveness, and focusing on building equipment that is fun to use and hunt with. While news of the newest bows first trickles out around January, BowTech made a surprise launch this summer with the lightweight Carbon Knight, which they say is the lightest ever. It weighs just 3.2 pounds, shoots 330 fps and retails around $849.
No matter what brand it is, it's gotta be fast, smooth and straight up cool to make our list. If it doesn't make you drool a little bit, the manufacturers haven't done their jobs right. Included below are some of the best new compound bows for 2013. Get out the wish list. You're about to make some additions.
Bear Archery Motive 6
Bear Archery's Motive 6
sends arrows downrange at a blistering 350 FPS. The Motive is the fastest bow ever produced by Bear and will surely please Bear Archery fans. The speed is created by the new H13 hybrid cam system that is built for smooth shooting and ridiculous arrow speed. Features include adjustable, offset string suppressors and a rotating module that allows the user to adjust the draw length of the bow between 25.5 and 30 inches without a bow press. The Motive comes with Pre-Load Quad limbs and a 4x4 roller guard. The bow is only 32 inches long, weighs four pounds, offers 75 percent let-off and is available in draw weights from 50-70 pounds.
Price: $ 899
introduces its latest jaw-dropping flagship bow with the Experience. This bow comes with all kinds of exciting technology. For starters, the Experience incorporates the Extinguish Dampening System, which includes Revolver dampeners that can be found in several places along the riser of the bow. The system comes with the Clutch String Stop and Dura FLX string dampeners. The Carbon Core limbs are lightweight and strong, not to mention easy on vibration. In addition, the bow comes with Bowtech's CPX center pivot extreme deflexed riser. The bow uses Bowtech's Overdrive binary cam, the FLX guard and a carbon rod string stop. The Experience is 32 inches long, weighs 4.2 pounds, has 80 percent let-off, shoots 335 FPS, has a 7-inch brace height and is available in draw lengths between 26.5-31 inches.
has teamed up with BowTech
to offer the Regulator bow package, which is only available at Cabela's. The Regulator is a sleek bow with a 6.5-inch brace height that can produce speeds up to 325 FPS. The Regulator measures 32 inches axle to axle and weighs 3.9 pounds, making this bow perfect for bowhunters in search of a lightweight rig. The Regulator offers an adjustable draw length between 26-30 inches and adjustable draw weights between 50-70 pounds. The bow has a carbon rod string stop and comes with Octane strings and cables. The package includes everything a bowhunter needs, including a sight, rest, quiver, stabilizer, wrist sling, peep and a string loop.
Darton DS 3800
has long been a leader in bow technology. For 2013, they are raising the bar again with the DS 3800. This bow comes with a Dual Sync hybrid cam system that has far fewer tuning issues than other double cam systems. The DS 3800 has cool-looking Efficient Energy Transfer split limbs, pivoting limb pockets and a progressive torque reduction cable rod. With so many features, the DS 3800 is a smooth-shooting bow. The 6-inch brace height gives the bow plenty of speed. The bow shoots 350 FPS, weighs 4.1 pounds and can accommodate draw lengths of 25-31 inches. The bow is 33 13/16 inches axle to axle and comes in draw weights between 40-70 pounds.
The Diamond Outlaw
comes ready for the woods without breaking the bank. The Outlaw comes with the smooth-shooting Throttle Cam Tech and delivers speeds up to 330 FPS with a 7-inch brace height. The bow includes a rotating draw length adjustment module and comes with an R.A.K. (Ready. Aim. Kill.) package, which means it includes a pile of accessories that have been set up at the factory so the bow is practically ready for the woods. The Outlaw weighs 3.8 pounds, is available in draw weights between 50-70 pounds and has an adjustable draw length of 26.5-30.5 inches with 80 percent let-off.
For 2013, Elite Archery
is offering the Hunter. The Hunter comes with the H-cam system that produces a smooth draw cycle and a super smooth shot sequence. Elite bows are extremely forgiving, and the Hunter falls into that category with a 7.75- inch brace height. This bow should be a tack driver. The bow measures 31.5 inches and weighs 4.3 pounds. The Hunter produces speeds up to 326 FPS and is available in a wide variety of draw weights from 40-80 pounds and draw lengths from 25-31 inches.
Hoyt Carbon Element
The brass at Hoyt
created plenty of buzz when they introduced their first carbon bow a few years ago. For 2013, many bowhunters are buzzing about Hoyt's new carbon bow called the Carbon Element G3. The G3 is quieter than ever, thanks to the new AirShox limb dampeners that destroy vibration and hand shock. The powerhouse behind the G3 is the Hoyt RKT cam-1/2 system is known for speed and smooth shooting. The RKT system lets an arrow fly at 332 FPS. The G3 comes with XTS Pro ARC limbs, an inline roller guard, Fuse strings and a custom grip. The G3 weighs a feathery 3.6 pounds, has a brace height of 6.75 inches, and comes in draw weights of 40-80 pounds and draw lengths from 24.5 to 30 inches.
Many bowhunters feverishly wait to see what Mathews is going to come up with next. For 2013, they unveiled the new Mathews Creed
. Unlike most Mathews bows, the Creed comes with quad limbs, reportedly because the cam system on the Creed performed extremely well with a split limb configuration.
The Mathews motto for 2013 is 'œAdvanced Simplicity.' By making the bow simpler, it is more advanced, smoother, easier to draw and more user-friendly than previous models. The Creed comes with the new Simplex Solocam, which is extremely efficient and draws as smooth as butter. Other new features include a Reverse Assist roller guard, which reduces friction for a smoother draw cycle by positioning cables in a reverse manner, in front rather than behind like most roller guards.
The Roller Guard has a cut-out in the middle of it, further reducing weight. Like you would expect from Mathews, the Creed comes with a Harmonic Damper on top of the riser and a Harmonic Stabilizer Lite in the bottom of the riser, reducing residual vibration by 75 percent. The Creed comes with the Geo Grid Riser and is super-compact at 30-inches axle to axle. The bow offers a forgiving 7-inch brace height and 80 percent let-off. It is available in draw lengths from 26-30 inches and draw weights between 50-70 pounds.
is known for building bows that come with many bells and whistles without the hefty price tag. That trend continues in 2013 with the new Ballistic. The Ballistic comes with the AVS cam system, which offers plenty of speed and shoot-ability. The Ballistic measures 30.5 inches, making it an extra-compact bow perfect for the tight quarters of a pop-up blind or maneuvering for a shot in a treestand.
The bow comes with features normally only found on Mathews bows, including a Dead-end String Stop to quickly destroy vibration. The Ballistic has an adjustable draw length between 26-31 inches, shoots an arrow at 330 FPS, weighs 4.18 pounds and has 80 percent let-off. The bow offers draw weight adjustability from 50-70 pounds and has a 7-inch brace height, rendering it extremely forgiving. Bowhunters on a budget will be pleased with this one.
Obsession Sniper LT
Obsession's Sniper LT
was designed to be fast, lightweight and easy to maneuver, whether you're on the ground, in a stand or in a blind. At 30 3/4 inches axle to axle and 3.9 pounds overall, the Sniper LT is just that. The bow is capable of cranking out arrow speeds in excess of 330 fps, and with a moderate 7-inch brace height, it's not exactly unforgiving either. The bow offers a high-quality grip that should help to reduce torque, America's Best bow strings and an anti-torque cable guard designed to reduce cam lean. Obsession's Lethal Cam II system provides timing marks and interchangeable draw modules. Available in a range of draw lengths from 26.5-30 inches.
G5 Prime Impact
The G5 Outdoors Prime
lineup of bows has become extremely popular over the last few years, thanks to their parallel cam technology that helps eliminate cam lean. The new Prime Impact comes with the PCX cam, which produces speeds up to 340 FPS. The Impact comes with extra tough C-1 laminated limbs and Gore brand strings and cables, which are known for their extreme durability. The Prime is built with an extra strong 7000 series aluminum riser. The Impact has a 6.25-inch brace height and the smooth-operating TI-Glide cable guard system, and it only weighs 4.5 pounds. The Impact is available in draw lengths between 26-30 inches and draw weights between 50-70 pounds.
PSE X Force Dream Season DNA
has teamed up with the Drury Brothers
to produce a bow that is full of features. The new PSE X-Force Dream Season DNA is perfect for the bowhunter in search of a speed bow. The DNA features a new Core cam that is built for speed and efficiency.
This bow comes with many great features including a Center Pull Technology that places the arrow in the center of the bow, shot after shot. The DNA is built with Center Lock two-limb pockets, a FleX cable slide, and a Backstop two-string dampener. The DNA offers extreme flexibility thanks to an adjustable draw length between 26-30 inches. The DNA tips the scales at 3.7 pounds, has a 6-inch brace height, measures a mere 31 inches axle to axle and throws an arrow at an incredible 352 FPS. It comes with 70 percent let-off and draw weight adjustability from 50-70 pounds.
, a sister company to G5 Outdoors has a new bow called the Drive. The Drive is powered by the Flux cam, which produces speeds up to 323 FPS. The Drive is very stable in the hand, thanks to its 33 1/4-inch axle-to-axle length. It weighs a mere 4.3 pounds and has a forgiving 7-inch brace height. The Drive is available in draw lengths from 26-31 inches and draw weights between 50-70 pounds.
Bowhunters looking for a package bow should check out the Redhead Blackout
, which is only available at Bass Pro Shops
. The Blackout is a single cam bow that comes with the Throttle cam. Like all single cam bows, the bow is smooth and problem free, and it produces arrow speeds of 333 FPS. The Blackout is compact and lightweight, at 3.8 pounds and 32 inches axle-to-axle. The Blackout has a 7-inch brace height and comes with almost every accessory needed to get started, including a sight, rest, quiver, stabilizer, string suppressor, peep sight and wrist sling.
Those looking for a bow that is built to pack into the backcountry or deep into the whitetail woods should check out the Ross XD
. This bow is a lightweight 3.16 pounds and is only 30.5 inches long, making it perfect for a bowhunter who wants to strap their bow to their back and head into the woods. The Ross XD has a 7.5-inch brace height, so it is extremely accurate, even though it is short. The bow offers 80 percent let-off and arrow speeds up to 320 FPS. The single cam Ross XD has draw length capabilities from 26-31 inches and draw weights of 50, 60 or 70 pounds.
Strother Archery Wrath SHO
is quickly becoming a brand people recognize and respect because their bows are built to last. For 2013, Strother introduces the Wrath SHO (Super High Output). The bow is silky smooth, thanks to the Badger II cam system. The Wrath SHO offers 80 percent let-off and can accommodate draw lengths from 27-30 inches. It is available in weights from 50-80 pounds and weighs 4 pounds. The Wrath is a compact 30 3/16 inches long and has a forgiving 7 3/8-inch brace height and produces arrow speeds up to 335 FPS.
Winchester QuickSilver 34 SS
has long been known for making great guns. Now, their reputation is following them into the archery world. Their top-end bow is the QuickSilver 34. The engineers at Winchester worked long and hard to make this bow innovative, and the following features reveal the quality engineering.
The QuickSilver 34 comes with a two-track eccentric cam that is fast and in sync with the other cam, eliminating timing issues. The Sudden Stop string stop can be adjusted laterally so bowhunters can move it to the spot they desire. The bow has Stabil Lock limb pockets and a unique machined riser that forces vibration from the riser to the stabilizer bushing. The QuickSilver has a string suppressor on the string that adds additional speed and helps eliminate vibration.
The bow weighs only 3.9 pounds, is 34 inches axle-to-axle with a 7-inch brace height and pushes an arrow up to 330 FPS. It is available in draw weights from 40-70 pounds and has 55-80 percent let-off. It can accommodate draw lengths from 27-30 inches.
BowTech Carbon Knight
In a rare mid-summer unveiling, BowTech
announced the release of its newest bow, the Carbon Knight, which is being touted as 'œthe lightest carbon bow ever made.' Sam Coalson, director of marketing at BowTech, said while most new products get launched in January at the ATA Show, they couldn't wait any longer to get the Carbon Knight out there.
'œThe Carbon Knight was too good to hold any longer,' Coalson said in a press release this week. 'œWe have pushed the limits of technology in search of peak performance and created a strong, lightweight carbon bow with a smooth draw and all the speed you need.'
The Carbon Knight, which is rated at 330 fps and has a mass weight of just 3.2 pounds, is available in BlackOps. The bow also features BowTech's binary cam design and a Knight Riser, which is constructed from carbon developed specifically for toughness and minimal weight. It's also got a 7-inch brace height and is 32 inches axle to axle. BowTech offers the bow in 50-70 pound draw weights.