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A bumper crop of sticks and strings sure to tempt you.

Trends come and go, but revolutions remain. Several revolutionary designs of the past three years continue to shape new bows. Two years ago, Darton Archery was the only company with a hybrid cam. After Hoyt enjoyed tremendous success with the Cam & 1/2 Performance System last year, there are now at least six companies offering these systems. Parallel limbs are another archery industry revolution. Almost every company now has some form of the parallel limb design that Mathews first pioneered six years ago. These bows produce little recoil because the acceleration and deceleration of the limbs works in opposite directions.

There are still many short bows on the market--and some almost ridiculously short bows. You will also see more super-smooth-drawing cams that place the emphasis on comfort and ease of shooting rather khan arrow speed. It's all here. Prices are suggested retail unless otherwise noted.

Mathews Archery

Matt McPherson claims the Outback is the sweetest shooting bow he has ever made. It produces very little recoil--nearly zero hand shock or vibration--and is very quiet. Features include an in-line grip, smooth-drawing Straightline HP single-cam, ball bearings in the cam and idler, Mathews's Roller Guard, String Suppressors, the Harmonic Damping System in the riser, Zebra ZS Twist bowstring and the V-Lock limb cups for perfect limb alignment. The Outback is 31 1/2 inches long and produces an IBO speed rating of 308 fps with a 7 5/8-inch brace height. The bow weighs 4.3 pounds. $729


The TR-4 is 36 inches long and has a 7 7/8-inch brace height. With the Flamethrower Cam single-cam, introduced last year, it produces an IBO speed rating of approximately 305 fps. A rubber coupled weight attached to the archer's side of each limb pocket absorbs shock and vibration. The TR-4 features Renegade's new CPT Lazermatch limbs that are perfectly matched for consistent arrow flight. $475

Hoyt USA

The X-Tec shows off all of Hoyt's latest technology. It has short, parallel limbs and a long riser to minimize recoil. The new XT 1000 limbs are an inch shorter than Hoyt's popular XT 2000 limbs. The riser features refined Tee-series bridge design with the addition of Triax limb pocket pivots. There are three points of contact between the riser and the limb pocket pivot axle to increase the stability of the limbs. The XTec is 35 1/2 inches long, features the Cam & 1/2 Performance System and has a seven-inch brace height. IBO speed for this bow is 310 fps. $775

Precision Shooting Systems

The Scorpion has short, parallel limbs and a noise-attenuating feature called Harmonic Disruptors. These bell-shaped hollow rubber units mount on the archer's side of the riser under each limb pocket where they can disturb the normal vibration patterns within the bow. The new smooth-drawing NRG Cam--a modular single-cam--powers the Scorpion to an IBO speed of 305 fps. The bow has a forgiving eight-inch brace height and is 33 inches long. $599


There are three new bows in the CK line. The 4.0 is 40 inches long, the 3.5 is 35 inches long and the 3.3 is 34 inches long. Respective IBO speeds are 300, 308 and 302 fps. The CK bows are all equipped with the Perimeter Weighted OneCam. The 4.0 and 3.5 also come standard with the Jennings Shock Stop rubber string-cushioning cradle built into the cable guard slide. CK 3.3, $400, CK 3.5, $500, CK 4.0, $600


The Mirage 1.5 features the new Cyber 1.5 Hybrid Cam System. This is a similar cam system to Hoyt's Cam & 1/2, Darton's CPS and AR's Ram & 1/2. These hybrid cams permit easy control of vertical nock travel when using cams with modular draw length adjustments. The Cyber 1.5 features Browning's inner cam system and can be adjusted in haft-inch increments from 27 to 20 inches. The bow is 32 1/2 inches long and has a 7 1/4-inch brace height. IBO speed rating is 310 fps. $500


Rex Darlington has used little else at Darton since he invented the hybrid cam in the early 1990s. The Tundra features the new CPS Extreme. It promises a very smooth draw, fast arrow delivery and an IBO speed of 311 fps at 60 pounds with a 300-grain arrow. The Tundra is Darton's alternative to the short bow. It is 40 inches long and has a 7 1/2-inch brace height. $660


The Liberty VFT employs a new smooth drawing cam. The FreedomCam feels like bows did 10 years ago but with a solid back wall. The cam's draw stop is highly adjustable, permitting you to tweak in exact draw lengths. Pivoting limb pockets now move with the limb to insure alignment with the riser remains perfect. The bow is 33 1/4 inches long and weighs 3.8 pounds. It has parallel limb geometry to produce a shot that is recoil free. Brace height is 7 1/2 inches, and IBO speed rating is 300 to 308 fps. $729

Martin 9

The new SlayR has a 6 3/4-inch brace height and an IBO speed rating of 325 fps with the new Nitrous two-cam system. This makes the bow one of the fastest on the market. The SlayR's has a long riser and short limbs that angle sharply toward the archer for reduced recoil. The riser also incorporates Martin's Vibration Escape Modules, soft rubber pieces that absorb vibration. The SlayR is also available with two other cam options: Dyna-Cam and Tru-Arc. The DynaCam is a standard single-cam design, and the Tru-Arc is a hybrid cam. $933 (list)

High Country

High Country is the only bow company making carbon riser bows, and that has become its trademark. The latest is the TSS. It is super light, weighing just 2.5 pounds. Possibly even more impressive than the riser is the bow's cam system. The PerfX Cam is a single-cam system that you can adjust for draw length over a six-inch range and for draw weight (by moving the position of a module) over a 35-pound range. You can even adjust letoff from 65 percent to 80 percent. The TSS has a 7 1/8-inch brace height and is 34 inches long.


Alpine bows are among the quietest available, primarily because they don't have a traditional limb pocket; there is no place for the sound to resonate. The new SVX is a workhorse. The draw length module in the Fast Trac single-cam rotates so you can get five inches of adjustment. It also features the Interloc limb pocket system that Alpine introduced last year. After making draw weight adjustments, you lock the split limbs into place securely with a pair of Allen head screws. The bow is 34 inches long and weighs just 3.4 pounds. It has a 7 1/2-inch brace height and produces an IBO speed rating of 300 fps. $439

Archery Research

AR offers hybrid cams on all three of its bows: the AR 31, 34 and 37.These bows are now available with either the original Ram Cam single-cam or the new Ram & 1/2 hybrid cam. This new hybrid cam produces level hock travel over a wide range of draw lengths. The AR 31 Ram & 1/2 has a brace height of 8 1/2 inches and an IBO speed of 300 fps. The 34 has a brace height of eight inches and an IBO speed of 309 fps, and the 37 has a brace height of seven inches and an IBO speed of 312 fps. $600


Reflex has benefited from all the excitement surrounding the launch of Hoyt's Cam & 1/2 last year. New for 2004, select Reflex bows also come with truss-style risers cast from magnesium. They have a very similar look to last year's Hoyt MagnaTec. The Grizzly is one of these bows. It is 37 1/2 inches long, has a 7 1/4-inch brace height and produces an IBO speed of 305 fps. $300 to $350


The heart of the new Ace is a true modular single cam called the PLX-Treme. Both the let-out side and the take-up side of the cam must be adjusted at the same time to preserve ideal performance and nock travel qualities over the entire adjustment range (from 26 to 31 inches). This is a bigger advantage than many believe, especially at the extremes of the range. The bow produces an IBO speed of 300 fps with a 7 3/8-inch brace height. $628


The new Phoenix comes in three sizes: 32, 34 and 36, the numbers corresponding with length. All three bows feature the same limbs, cam and idler system, but have different risers. These are amazingly quiet bows. All feature a new Phoenix single-cam that is film-dipped in camouflage (along with the idler wheel) to match the bow's Mossy Oak Break-Up pattern. Specs vary by length. The 32 has a 6 3/4-inch brace height and 315 fps IBO speed. The 34 has a 7 1/4-inch brace height and 310 fps IBO speed. The 36 has a 6 3/4-inch brace height and 305 fps IBO speed. $620

McPherson Archery

New company president, Ed McPherson, says the new Edge highlights much of the new technology at McPherson Archery. The new Magneto Cam is a case in point. This hybrid cam system promises level nock travel over a draw length range of 28 to 30 inches. Such cams are also less sensitive to changes in harness length and therefore will not go out of time easily. The Edge features the VibX stabilizer insert and a very comfortable, trim new grip. It is 34 inches long and has a 7 5/8-inch brace height. IBO speed rating is 310 fps. $700

Pearson Archery

Pearson introduced the first Spoiler compound in 1988. It soon became the No. 1 selling bow and was among the fastest and shortest of its day. Now, more than a decade and a half later, Pearson has once again raised the Spoiler name to honor. The new Spoiler is 33 inches long and has a 7 7/8-inch brace height. The new Z-4 single cam, a more aggressive version of the proven Z-Cam, powers the bow to IBO speed ratings of 305 fps. $390
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Title Annotation:New Bows for 2004
Author:Winke, Bill
Publication:Petersen's Hunting
Date:Sep 1, 2004
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