We spent a couple of days in Texas with Matt Carriker of Demolition Ranch. Before we left, we decided to have a Gun vs. Bow battle of supremacy. Watch the video to see who reigns supreme! A big thank you goes out to Delta McKenzie for supplying the Undead Fred zombie targets.
It's hard to think of a better time to be an archer than right now. Archery participation, including bow hunting, is on the rise and the bow manufacturers have responded by building more and better bows. While modern flagship hunting bows are packed full of the latest and greatest technology, even entry level hunting bows offer better performance than anything available in the not too distant past. Since it seems that most every publication focuses on flagship bows starting at $900 and going up significantly from there, we thought we'd show you what was available for the bow hunter on a budget. With the help of Shooter's Choice in Waterloo, Canada, we borrowed a Diamond Edge SB-1, PSE Stinger X, Bowtech Fuel, Quest Forge and Bear Threat. Each of these bows comes with just about everything a bow hunter needs to get started, including bow, multi-pin sight, arrow rest, quiver and stabilizer. U.S. retail prices on these five packages range from $400 to $600.
Historically I have not loved using pins on my target scopes. I know they work great for a lot of people, but it's just not been a success for me. Fortunately after watching a video from John Dudley, I found a way to use dots on the lenses of my Specialty Archery Versa scopes without running into trouble the colors blending into the paper or 3D targets.
The flagship of the Gen-X lineup is the X-Won – a target bow that retails for $299. Since I was testing target bows that were priced from $1,400 to $1,800, I found the idea of a $300 target bow really intriguing, so I reached out to Gen-X and they were able to send over an X-Won for testing. The draw cycle on this bow is pretty nice. It's a smooth daw right into the back wall. The wall is on the spongy side, though. I find this bow likes it best when I pull aggressively through the shot. It will start to creep on me if I get lazy, but I don't think that's a bad thing. Teaching new shooters to stay aggressive should help promote good form, even if it can be a little tiring. Once I get my rest set up properly, I was slapping arrows at 20 and 30 yards with little issue. I have had some trouble shooting bullet holes through paper, but the fletched arrows seem to be grouping well so I can't complain. Once I move out to 40 yards, I did start to notice some fliers, but I'd put the blame on the shooter for those. I shot some FITA-style scoring rounds with this bow at 50 meters and 70 meters and the bow didn’t let me down. My scores were definitely a couple notches below what I was getting with the flagship target bows, but this thing is a shooter. If you give a pro like Jesse Broadwater this bow and give me the Mathews TRX 7, I have no doubt in my mind he would beat me…by a lot. And that's why I'd have no trouble recommending this bow to somebody interested in getting started in target archery. The X-Won is an affordable entry point into the sport and its versatility allows a young archer to grow with the bow. And if they end up getting serious about archery down the like, the high priced flagship bows will always be there.
We recently set up our chronograph to test the speeds of the six bows that are part of the 2017 ArcheryTalk Hunting Bow Project. Each bow is set with a 60-pound draw weight and 29.5-inch draw length. We used the factory draw length settings - we did not measure each bow's draw length ourselves. We are shooting a 398-grain Gold Tip Valkyrie 4 Fletch arrow. The bows tested include the Hoyt Carbon Defiant 31, Prime Centergy Hybrid, Mathews Halon 32, Bowtech Reign 6, Xpedition Xplorer SS and Bear LS-6.
As part of ArcheryTalk's 2017 hunting bow project, we put together review videos for each of our six test bows. With that out of the way, I thought it would be fun to do some head-to-head bow comparisons. In this video, I'm going to look at the Hoyt Carbon Defiant vs. the Xpedition Xplorer SS. Both bows are outfitted with QAD Ultra Rests, Trophy Ridge React H5 sights and they share the use of a Bee Stinger Counter Slide stabilizer. Specs The Hoyt Carbon Defiant has an axle-to-axle length of 31 inches, brace height of 7 inches, ATA rated speed of 331 feet per second and mass weight of 3.6 pounds. The Xpedition Xplorer SS has an axle-to-axle length of 30 inches, brace height of 6 1/8 inches, IBO rated speed of 355 feet per second and mass weight of 3.9 pounds. Speed On paper this doesn't look like much of a fight, with the Xplorer SS having a 24-feet-per-second advantage. However, Hoyt and Xpedition use different methods for determining speed and the real world numbers are much closer. I had both bows set up with a 29 ½-inch draw length and 60 pounds of draw weight. Using a 398-grain Gold Tip Valkyrie arrow, the Xplorer SS came in with an average speed of 295 feet per second, while the Carbon Defiant clocked speeds of 283 feet per second. That's a clear win for the Xplorer, but much closer than expected. Draw Cycle If I had to choose one of these bows to shoot 100 arrows out of in one session, I'm picking the Hoyt. The draw cycle is wonderfully smooth and easy to pull back again and again. The back wall has a bit of give to it, but I've never had an issue with that. It's also a breeze to let down if the shot doesn't feel right. As for the Xpedition, I came to like it much more than I expected to. It's a bit of a stiff pull, but the draw cycle is so linear I didn’t mind. And for those of you who need a solid back wall, the limb stops on the Xplorer SS do the job.
A couple months ago I got my hands on the new Bowtech Reign 6 for ArcheryTalk's 2017 Hunting Bow Project. The bow was set up with a QAD Ultra Rest, Bee Stinger Counterslide stabilizer, Trophy Ridge React H5 five-pin sight and a ¼-inch peep sight. I was really excited to try out the Reign, as I wasn't able to test a 60-pound version at the ATA Show this year. The Bowtech Reign 6 has an axle-to-axle length of 32 5/8 inches, brace height of 6 inches, IBO rated speed of 350 feet per second and mass weight of 4.3 pounds. The bow carries an MSRP of $999. I am shooting the bow with a draw length of 29.5 inches and draw weight of 60 pounds. My test bow is dressed in Kryptek Raid Camo that is flat out stunning in person. Fit and finish excellent. I am seeing some minor serving separation on one of the cables, but it's barely worth mentioning. In typical Bowtech fashion, the Reign 6 is a bow tuner's dream. Top and bottom yokes make adjusting arrow flight really easy. I am also impressed with Bowtech's Micro Sync dial, which is a brilliant innovation. It allows you to dial in the cam timing without the need of a bow press. So as long as you've got a draw board, you can get your top and bottom cans synched up easily by adding or removing clicks as you rotate the dial on the top or bottom cam. If you don't own a bow press, this can save you a potentially costly trip to a dealer. You can also drastically change the feel of this bow by using either the Performance or Comfort settings. Changing this is as simple as flipping a disc on each cam. I started out using the Performance setting. This offers up a fairly stiff draw with a bigger dump into the valley than I prefer. However, the valley is quite generous and you can relax at full draw without worrying about the bow wanting to jump on you. And though this bow uses cable stops, the back wall is nice and firm. Let down is the performance setting is pretty aggressive. The big benefit of the Performance setting is speed. I saw speeds of about 302 feet per second with a 398-grain Gold Tip Valkyrie arrow, which is really impressive for a 60-pound bow. Flip the discs to the Comfort setting and the bow has a change in personality. The draw itself feels much easier, though there is still a hump going into the valley. Let down is also much less aggressive. As for speed, I saw an 8-10 foot per second drop compared to the Performance setting, which still makes for a quick bow. My biggest gripe with the Reign 6 is the grip, which was my least favorite of the six hunting bows I tested. It's much more rounded than I prefer, but that's a personal preference. As for accuracy, the Bowtech Reign 6 is a winner. If I am on point with my form and execution, I get very nice groups out to 60 yards – similar to the Fanatic 3.0 I tested earlier this year. However, this bow does not suffer any errors on my part. It can be crazy accurate, but isn't what I'd call forgiving. After you release the arrow, the Reign 6 is wonderfully quiet. I didn't have a decibel meter on hand, but it's definitely in the running for quietest bow I've tested this year.
G5 Outdoors sent us the new Prime Logic hunting bow for our 2018 Hunting Bow Project. The Logic is Prime Archery's first split limb bow. The riser features the Centergy-style curve at the bottom, but the Logic is a much more compact package with an axle-to-axle length of 31 inches.
Mac & Prowler's Dustin Warncke talks about different Archery Targets on the Market Today. This segment covers bag targets, all around box and block type targets, as well as 3-D targets. See more videos at www.macandprowler.com Join The Hunting Channel Online today: http://www.thehuntingchannelonline.com/169.html
When I was planning the 2017 ArcheryTalk Hunting Bow Project, I put in a call to Mathews and they sent over a Halon 32 for testing. The bow is set up with a QAD Ultra Rest, Bee Stinger Counterslide stabilizer, Trophy Ridge React H5 five-pin sight and a ¼-inch peep sight. This bow has an axle-to-axle length of 32 inches, brace height of 6 inches, IBO rated speed of 343 feet per second, and mass weight of 4.73 pounds. The bow has a retail price of $1,099. When it comes to fit and finish, Mathews takes a back seat to no one. My Halon 32 test bow came dressed in Lost Camo XD, which looks great on the stout looking long riser. String and cables are holding up well. The end loops arent' served on this bow, which I'm not a fan of, but that's just personal preference. Pick up the Halon 32 and it's immediately noticeable that it isn't the lightest bow around. The long riser definitely adds a bit of weight, but I love how it looks and it feels nice and stable in my hand. The Mathews grip has never been my favorite and while I like it better on the Halon 32 than on the TRX 7 I tested earlier this year, it still doesn't feel right in my hand. I don’t think it hurts my accuracy at all – it just isn't comfortable for me. Grip aside, the draw cycle of the Halon 32 is fantastic. It offers a really smooth, easy pull. This is a bow I could happily shoot for hours without worrying about getting fatigued. The draw is so nice that I'd consider going up a few pounds in draw weight.