Bows > Compound

15 Best Compound Bows for 2011, Part 2

For bowhunters shopping for a new compound, 2011 will have the biggest array of smooth-shooting, quiet and fast bows ever offered.

1/7/2011

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this two-part series, my assignment at the Archery Trade Association (ATA) trade show in Indianapolis, Ind., this month was to shoot new compound bows from virtually all the major manufacturers, then choose the best bow from each and give you a brief overview. I have listed the manufacturers alphabetically, not necessarily in the order in which I personally liked one bow over another. Here's the last 8 in my top 15 compound bows of the year.

Hoyt CRX Series: I love Hoyt hunting bows, and have shot different makes and models a lot over the past 30 years. The new CRX series (CRX 32 and CRX 35) is based on what the company's engineers call the "sleekest, leanest TEC Lite riser ever." They also feature XTS Pro Arc limbs and the efficient Fuel Cam, which together produce a fast, quiet and forgiving bow. The difference is overall length, the 32 being 32-inches axle-to-axle, and the 35 being 35-inches long. IBO speeds are 323 and 318 fps, respectively. Top features include Hoyt's In-Line Roller Guard, StealthShot String Dampener and the same offset stabilizer found on the high tech—and very expensive—Carbon Element bows that is designed to counterbalance attached accessories like a bow quiver. These bows are hot stuff. The suggested retail price is $799.99.

Limbsaver Proton: Best known for its superb vibration dampening products, Limbsaver also builds some very fine hunting bows. This year's new 32 ½-inch Proton is just one example. It features a reflexed riser-which helps make it very shootable-and a new cam system that moves the cable string track to the other side of the cam, which pretty much eliminates cam lean and torque. It also has the only precisely adjustable draw weight system with the unique Posi-Lock technology that permits limb weight adjustments in exact 2-pound increments. The Proton has a 7-inch brace height, weighs in at 3.8 pounds and has an IBO speed rating of 330 fps. And as you might expect from a company that specializes in noise reduction, vibration and noise are essentially nonexistent. The suggested retail price is $749.99.

Martin Archery Firecat 400: Gale Martin was one of archery's true pioneers, and Martin Archery continues that tradition today with such cool hunting bows as the 32-inch Firecat 400. With a 7-inch brace height and IBO speed of 335 fps, it is an excellent choice for serious bowhunting. Here are two very cool yet subtle features unique to some new-for-2011 Martin compounds: First, the Torque Reducing Cable Guard (TRG) lets cables move naturally as the bow is drawn, then moves them out of the way when the string is released-which pretty much eliminates cam lean and torque. The String Oscillation Suppressor (SOS) is designed with a bracket that holds string dampening material loosely, which permits it to move at the shot for better vibration absorption. The suggested retail price is $599.99.

Mathews Z7 Xtreme: Though they do not exhibit at the ATA show, no report would be complete without featuring Mathews Archery. Last year's Z7 bow was so successful that this year they are offering a few variations on that theme, of which the new Z7 Xtreme appears to be the best of the bunch. It features the unique Grid Lock Riser, parallel limb design, Reverse Assist Roller Guard, SlimFit Inline Grip, Zebra Barracuda bowstring and Mathews string suppressors. It is only 28-inches axle-to-axle and weighs less than 4 pounds, which would normally make it tricky to shoot, but the 7 3/8-inch brace height helps solve that dilemma. IBO speed rating is 330 fps. The other bows in this family include the eZ7, Z7 magnum and Z9. You really need to shoot one at your local dealer to understand what all the fuss is about. The suggested retail price is $899.

Mission Archery Craze: If you are looking for the ultimate in adjustability, no other bow on the market can touch the Craze. Say what? How about a bow that has a draw length adjustment between 19-30 inches and draw weight adjustment from 15-70 pounds-without changing limbs or cams? Or a bow press? Are you kidding me?? It's 28-inches axle-to-axle and has a 7 ½-inch brace height and can reach IBO speeds of 308 fps. This bow is good for young or beginning bowhunters who are learning to shoot and will grow into their bow as they do. And with a suggested retail price of $299, you have to give it a look. I have shot one, and this thing is no toy.

New Breed Archery Split Limb Genetix: A young, innovative company, New Breed Archery's 33 ½-inch split limb Genetix bow really caught my eye. It has a 7-inch brace height, mass weight of just 3.8 pounds and an IBO speed rating of right at 340 fps. It features the company's Bow Rattler String Suppressor and Vapor Trail VTX bowstring and cables and two-track Bionix Cam System. The bow has a firm wall at the back end, which makes it simple to draw and shoot both easily and accurately.

PSE Bowmadness XL: Precision Shooting Equipment has several really cool new bows this year, but the 36-inch long Bowmadness XL stood out from the rest. This single-cam hunting bow has an IBO speed rating of 340 fps, and when you shoot it you notice that it is very quick but also very quiet and lacks much vibration. It has a 6-inch brace height, 75 percent let-off, and features PSE's unique Posi-Lock inner cam module that makes changing draw length as quick and easy as it can possibly be. The other thing I like about this bow is its suggested retail price of $699.99, making it a couple hundred bucks less than many other high-end hunting bows.

Winchester Archery Quicksilver 34: The Winchester name on bows? Absolutely! And the new split limb Quicksilver 34 produces an IBO speed rating of 343 fps in a very shootable package. The 34-inch bow features a 7-inch brace height, patent-pending Accu-Speed Technology (AST) eccentrics and a true 2-Track system that allows the premium Stone Mountain rigging to positively synchronize one cam to the other. It also has a compression-forged and machined aluminum riser and a mass weight of 3.9 pounds.

Share |

Comments

ADD YOUR COMMENT

Enter your comments below, they will appear within 24 hours


Your Name


Your Email


Your Comment

26 Responses to 15 Best Compound Bows for 2011, Part 2

Mathewz wrote:
November 01, 2013

mathews is by far the best bow out there every bow i have shot is sweet but the mathews has just enough speed and as smooth as they get if u want a fast bow get a bowtech but if u want a bow 2 jump outta ur hand then thats the bow 4 u

CKIMES wrote:
October 14, 2012

YOU GUYS DONT NOW WHAT YOUR MISSING IF YOU DONT SHOOT PSE IVE HUNTED AND DID 3D SHOOTS WITH EVERY BOW AND NONE COMPARS TO PSE SPEED DONT MATTER THATS WARE YOU ARE NOT THANKING RIGHT IM IN A BOW SHOP EVERY DAY AND IM HERE TO TELL YOU NOTHING COMES CLOSE TO PSE THE TECH NOLIGY 2 TO NO ONE GO AHEAD THAT THEM MATHEWS ARE GOOD ITS JUST AND OVER PRICED MILK CRAIT THAT WAS THE WORST BOW I HAVE EVER USED THAT Z 7 IS NOTHING IM SHOOTING A PSE REVENGE AT 70 POUNDS 350GRAIN ARROW AND SHOOTING 331FPS MY BUDDY HAD Z7 SHOOTING THE SAME AND ONLY SHOOTING 298 AND WAS ONLY PUTTING THE ARROW ALITTLE IN THE TARGET MINE CLEAR TO THE FLECHINGS SPEED DOES MATTER HE NOW OWNS A PSE

Kolto moench wrote:
June 08, 2012

Im looking at a whole bunch of bows ihave never bought one. Im looking for a good starter bow im thinking the mission craze will do good

Bone crusher wrote:
March 29, 2012

I just want to say that a bows fps only accounts for so much. If you look at ladies/kids bows most are 285 to 3 something, and they shoot deer all the time. It is all about how the bow feels in your hand, smoothness and quietness is where its at. So next time you go to the shop don't go for speed go for reliability. Try it you'll be impressed.

tater wrote:
March 16, 2012

Hoyt THE BEST are you kidding me lol Hoyt is still trying to quiet down their bows. If you take a Mathews,PSE or Bowtech and put it next to a Hoyt what is the first thing you see? A bunch of rubber vibration dampeners! Hoyt has not caught up on speed or noise dampening. I think the Mathews Z7 or PSE Omen Pro are top knotch.

DRPTNE88 wrote:
February 02, 2012

I have hunted and shot 3D with Hoyt, PSE, and XI I think even a Golden Eagle or two. But the BowTech Assassin is my choice, I'm shooting 60 lbs at 310 fps with a 515 gr Gold Tip. Fast, quiet and extremely smooth.

Bob wrote:
January 28, 2012

Go to thepro shop shoot different bows...find the one that fits ergonomically...is quiet...is tune-able , don't be. blinded by brand x loyalty...

Cope wrote:
January 27, 2012

Once again, probably the best bow made, has been left out. ELITE!!! When you you guys want to step up to a real bow company that stands behind it's products, come on over, you won't be disappointed.

Jacob wrote:
January 22, 2012

If you want the best bow on the market then just buy a hoyt bow! For targ/3D for exampel the HOYT contender elit RTK must be the best bow in the world for the job!

Brannon Bryson wrote:
January 15, 2012

I've tried about all the bows for 2011 and it took me about 2 months but the bowtech assassin is by far the best bang for the buck

jamie b wrote:
December 18, 2011

Pse omen pro baby this is the fastest production bow on the market. This is a man's bow. I had monster, destroyer 350 and iron mace. Pse u got the best bow ever.

HeadHunter79 wrote:
November 10, 2011

I have shot Mathews, Hoyt, Bear and Bowtech they all make great bows but hands down Bowtech is the best very smooth forgiving and fast

Treelimb wrote:
November 08, 2011

ASSASSIN ALL DAY, definately the BEST bow i have ever held in my hand

Ran canning wrote:
November 06, 2011

I'm trying to find a good second hand bow to start out with. Something 2008 or newer. If anyone has one that they can sell for cheap to a beginner send me an email at goblin1488@yahoo.com. I'm a 30' draw I believe

J.russell wrote:
November 03, 2011

I'm a lil confused and need some answers. I've read the specs on the hoyt rampage xt and it says 323 fps but everybody I've talked to is only getting around 280 what's goin on?

Michael Edwards wrote:
November 01, 2011

Well Where is it. I mean just because they do not pay the professionals to shot there equipment. You don't list the # 1 bow on the market INVASION I mean who did this top 15. I Shot every bow he list and not one comes close to the performance of the Invasion. SPEED GO Ahead and measure the speed to any of them yourself

J. Taylor wrote:
October 23, 2011

I have owned multiple bows from pse, multiple hoyts, reflex(hoyt), multiple mathews. I recently switched from a mathews sq2 to a z7 magnum, and im stuck. There's no reason for me to buy another bow. From 0-60 yds and in-between i'm dead on. Best bow ever, even though my biggest scoring whitetail ever came from my cheapest bow ever, which was a reflex.

Ismael wrote:
October 20, 2011

Z7 extreme is no easy smooth Draw z7 is

Buck master wrote:
September 30, 2011

I have the new z7 extreme, there is no better bow... Mathews technology will never be cough up too. Its so much smoother and quieter then ALL of the comp. If you realy need more then 330 fps for north american hunting (you dont), then by all means go for something LESS smooth and ultra quite. If you are good hunter that wants the best get the Z7 extreme. If you a speed hound and need to tell your hunting buddies that your bows faster, then your just a rookie.

jon wrote:
September 22, 2011

to anyone wanting a carbon matrix can you please explain why. Crx35 is basically the same bow for $400 less? Yeah the matrix is lighter but most people put a stablizer on to add a little weight out front. So cut a half a pound off the bow weight to add onto the stabilizer in the end??? A little heavier bow = smoother shooting for me.

larry wrote:
August 02, 2011

If you dont mind doing some exercising to prepare yourself physically to handle this bow, you cant beat the Xforce by PSE at 350fps.This bow aint for sissy's

matt wrote:
March 25, 2011

i recently went to albertsons guns and archery. i wqas able to try out. the hoyt carbon, the hoyt maxxis, the hoyt crx, and the mathews z7. all felt pretty good. the z7 was by far the smoothest bow of the bunch. feels great. i indeed bought the z7

Ric wrote:
January 22, 2011

I was a Mathews advocate for 15 years and still think they make great products but switch to a Bowtech Destroyer 340 last year after much deliberation and testing including comparing against the Z7 Mathews. My 340 does everything the Z7 does ut with a touch better speed. I can't believe the new Bowtech Invasion didn't make the top 15 bows given it integrates the best aspects of the Destroyer line of bows with the smoothness and shock free shooting qualites of the center pivot models with 7" brace and 343 fps. Check out bowsite.com for their comprehensive annual review of high end compounds where they blind the reviewers. Bowtech has been on or near the top consistently aand I betting the Invasion will be as well this year. I think the NRA reviewer missed the boat big time in omitting the Invasion which was unveiled at the ATA show!

John wrote:
January 18, 2011

You talked about the z7,in the Mathews section. But they have more than just that one, for great shooting like the Reezen,DXT, Monsters,Drenaline,Switchback,They all are subperb bows. I think Mathews has the best line for any shooter out there. As for Woody's comment on the Mission Craze That's one sweet little bow.My son bought one for his son for chirstmas, like Woody said will last for a long time to come..

Bill wrote:
January 18, 2011

Would have liked to see you mention that the Hoyt carbon fiber bows have dropped substantially in price for 2011. Although still on the high end (around $1150, compared with last year's $1600), it is one of the lightest and smoothest bows you will ever shoot and this year they also have a 32 inch version (I bought the 35").

Woody wrote:
January 18, 2011

I bought a Mission Craze for my 11 year-old son for Christmas to get him into shooting. After it was complete with a hard case and arrows, I spent around $475. The BEST money I ever spent! It's a quick and quiet bow that is fun to shoot. I was amazed. It's the first and last bow I'll have to buy for him. He can shoot it until he moves out. I will buy another one for my 9 year old this year.