We pit seven of the industry's best hunting bows against each other in our 2018 Hunting Bow Shootout. Watch to the end to see who takes home the crown. In the order I received them, here are our contenders: Hoyt Carbon RX-1 APA Mamba 34 TF Mathews Triax Obsession Fixation 6 XP Prime Logic Bowtech Realm X Prime Logic
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.
We ran each of our 2018 hunting bows through the chronograph to see how close they come to hitting their advertised speeds. Each bow was set up at 70 pounds of draw weight and 29.5 inches of draw length (though the draw board shows some differences). We shot 350-grain Gold Tip Platinum Pierce arrows three times each with each bow. Bows include: Prime Archery Logic PSE Archery Evolve 28 Hoyt Archery Carbon RX-1 Mathews Archery, Inc. Triax Bowtech INC. Realm X APA Archery Mamba 34 TF Obsession Bows Fixation 6XP This video was recorded at Peel Archery Club - http://www.peelarchery.ca
I have spent the past several months shooting the Mathews Triax as part of ArcheryTalk’s 2018 Hunting Bow Project. The Triax is outfitted with a QAD Ultra HDX rest, Garmin Xero sight and a peep. The Triax has a very compact 28-inch axle-to-axle length. Other specs include a brace height of 6 inches, mass weight of 4.4 pounds, and IBO rated speed of 343 feet per second. The bow has a retail price of $1000. I am shooting this bow with the draw length set to 30 inches and the draw weight at about 65 pounds. Fit and finish on the Triax is a bit of a mixed bag for me. Every other Mathews bow I’ve tested has been basically flawless, but my Triax test bow has some junk in the cut outs – I assume from the machining process. However, I suspect if I owned this bow and showed my Mathews dealer, it would quickly be replaced without issue. On a positive note, the Stone color on the riser is one of my favorites in the industry. The riser itself looks much different than the Halon 32 I tested last year, though, as it is much more compact and has a unique stabilizer built into the very bottom of the riser near the limb pocket. It’s an interesting looking bow for sure. As for shooting the bow, the Triax feels familiar, as it uses the same CrossCentric cam system found on the Halon series, as well as the TRX series of target bows. The draw cycle is super smooth and has a generous valley. At full draw the cable stops provide a pretty solid wall with just a bit of give. It’s exactly how I like the back wall to feel. While I was concerned how steady a 28-inch bow would be, the Triax has made a believer out of me. With or without a stabilizer, this bow feels every bit as steady as the Halon 32 did last year. The Triax shot every bit as good as the longer bows I tested this year – even out to 70 yards and beyond. This really is the little bow that could. As well as the Triax holds, it’s after the shot that it really shines. Simply put the Triax is as quiet and vibration free as any bow I’ve ever laid my hands on. You really do need to experience it for yourself to understand how dead in the hand this bow is.
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.
After spending many months shooting and competing with the Mathews TRX 38, Prime Centergy X1 and Hoyt Pro Force, here are my final thoughts. All of these bows shoot awesome and are, quite frankly, much better than I am. Picking a winner is complicated, as each bow has its own strengths and finding faults sometimes feels like a fool's errand. But after sending many thousands of arrows through each bow, I did settle on one bow that worked best for me. Your mileage may vary.
We wanted to see how two of our hunting test bows - the Hoyt Carbon RX-1 and Primem Logic - fared in a FITA 720 round. We alternated six-arrow ends with each bow until we finished the 12-end, 72-arrow round. Considering we were using hunting setups with no stabilizers, the results were pretty good overall. Watch the video to see which bow shot the best score. This video was recorded at http://www.peelarchery.ca
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.
If you’ve been watching ArcheryTalk videos over the past couple of years you may have noticed I only shoot a hinge-style release (AKA back tension release). A hinge release basically saved archery for me and this video explains how I was introduced to a hinge and why it’s the only type of release I shoot to this day.
I’ve spent the past several months shooting the Hoyt Carbon RX-1 as part of ArcheryTalk’s 2018 Hunting Bow Project. Specs on the RX-1 include and axle-to-axle length of 32 inches, brace height of 6 inches, mass weight of 3.9 pounds and IBO rated speed of 340 feet per second. This bow has a retail price of $1,549. When it comes to fit and finish, Hoyt takes a back seat to nobody and the RX-1 is no exception. The swooping design of the carbon riser looks awesome. My test bow is dressed in RealTree Edge camo, which looks flawless, but I prefer the Buckskin finish I had on last year’s Carbon Defiant. Fortunately, Hoyt offers six different finish options, eight different accent color options and four custom hunting finishes, you have lots of choice. The draw cycle is nice with a minimal drop into the valley with the new ZT Hyper cams, but I probably liked how the DFX cams on the Carbon Defiant felt a little better. With 85% let off, the valley is very generous and it’s easy to hold at full draw for extended periods of time. The back wall is on the soft side compared to some of the other bows I’ve tested this year, but I generally prefer a bit of give in the wall. When it comes to holding on target, the RX-1 is probably my favorite bow of the year. I’ve shot this bow out to well past 70 yards and it groups really well. Put a short stabilizer up front and give me target sight with a lens and a single pin and I think I could shoot about as well as I can with my target bows. It is confidence-inspiring.