If you’re looking at the new bows for 2017, the choices can seem endless. These days, most manufactures are really improving their bow lineups by not only delivering more efficient products, but also by delivering speeds that weren’t imaginable in the past. Which bows are the best bows for 2017? Good question; let’s take a look at what we discovered at the ATA Show in Indianapolis, Indiana.
What are the best new compound bows for 2017?
We have been asked this question a lot. There is not a right or wrong answer. Every archer has different needs or expectations out of their bows. If you’re in the market for a new bow in 2017, we believe it’s important to not be a brand loyalist and give them all a shot; you may be surprised at what feels right to you.
Check out what we saw at the ATA Show 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana to see what might be the best compound bow of 2017 for you and then try it out for yourself!
New from Bear Archery this year is the Bear LS6 compound bow. This is Bear’s go to speed bow. Weighing in at 4.2 lbs, this 32.25 inch axle to axle bow brings in speeds up to 355 FPS. There is a price to pay for the speed though, and that is the 5 inch brace height. Short brace heights demand excellent form so if you have that and like speed, this might be the bow for you.
The Bear LST is Bear Archery’s main target bow for 2017. The specs look good:
- 37.5 inch axle to axle
- 7.5 inch brace height
- 4.5 lbs
- 320 FPS
The Bear LST, which has a MSRP of $899.99, looks like it has what it takes to be a solid performer in the competitive archery world.
The Bear Moment looks like a good combination of many features of flagship bows of the past, all in one bow. It has the speed (340 FPS), is compact (31 inches axle to axle), offers some forgiveness (brace height of 6 inches), and is tunable (has a top yoke). The difference between the Bear Moment and its competitors is that it is pretty affordable. The MSRP of the Bear Moment is $899.99.
The Bowtech BT-Mag is new for 2017 and delivers on speed and forgiveness. Advertised under the slogan “Go Big or Go Home”, the 36″ axle to axle BT-Mag has a 6.75″ brace height and delivers speeds up to 340 FPS. Purely looking at the specs, the BT Mag looks like a great all around bow. It’s forgiving, fast, and can be used for 3D archery and hunting.
Also new for 2017 is the Bowtech Reign. The Reign series compound bows are offered in different brace heights and they should be Bowtech’s best selling bows. Here are the specs of the different models.
Bowtech Reign 6
- Axle to axle = 32 5/8 inches
- Brace height = 6 inches
- Weight = 4.3 lbs
- IBO speed = 350 FPS
Bowtech Reign 7
- Axle to axle = 32 5/8 inches
- Brace height = 6 inches
- Weight = 4.3 lbs
- IBO speed = 340 FPS
The specs of both Reign models are respectable and combined with Bowtech’s latest innovations like their Powershift, Micro Sync Dial, and Powerdisc technologies, we think you’ll be definitely getting a quality product. For more information, visit https://bowtecharchery.com/.
New for 2017 is the Elite Option 6 compound bow. This 32 inch axle to axle bow has a brace height of 6 inches and delivers speeds up to 342 FPS. This flagship bow from Elite features double laminated split limbs for optimal performance and dual riser cages for an extremely rigid frame. Hitting the mark on both speed and forgiveness, the Elite Option 6 should be a popular choice of hunters in 2017.
Also new for 2017 is the Elite Revol. This silky smooth 35 inch axle to axle bow has a brace height of 7 inches and delivers speeds up to 333 FPS. The Revol comes with Winner’s Choice BCY-X bowstrings and also utilizes Elite’s double laminated split limbs. This bow should be making many appearances in 3D shoots around the country.
New from G5/Prime is the Prime Centergy. The Centergy has an ATA measurement of 33.25″, a brace height of 6.5″, and delivers speeds up to 333 FPS. While the specs of the Centergy are very respectable, what’s going to make this bow one of the best sellers of the year is its design.
Let’s take a look at the riser. The 82X aluminum riser features two key components that makes this bow hold like a rock. Those components are the Center Balanced Targeting System and the Swerve.
The Center Balanced Targeting System puts the Centergy’s grip in the geometric center of the bow. This lowers the center of mass compared to the shooters hand which allows more of a steady hold for extreme accuracy. The Swerve is a curve in the riser that reduces lateral movement in the riser resulting in less vibration and greater consistency in accuracy as well.
To understand Prime’s vision, visit their website and watch a few of their videos. While other companies are pushing specs and trying to wow people into buying their bows, Prime is going for what’s important, accuracy. Their innovations with the Centergy has already been proven to increase aimability and accuracy up to 45%.
New for 2017 is the Gearhead Carbon T24 from Gearhead Archery. This 24.5 inch axle to axle carbon bow has a 7 inch brace height and delivers speeds up to 355 FPS. They are a very unique bow due to their double wall riser and short axle to axle measurements. For the guy that loves to spot and stalk or shoot from confined areas, this bow might be an option for you.
New for 2017 is the Prevail lineup which features the Hoyt Prevail 40, Hoyt Prevail 37, and the Hoyt Prevail FX. The Prevail lineup is full of new innovations that will ensure that Hoyt shooters remain some of the most accurate in the competitive archery world.
The Hoyt Prevail series bows have a newly designed “shoot through” riser that results in a stiffer build for more stability, consistency and accuracy. The new riser has a new rear stabilizer mounting system. This Hard Lock system incorporates a lockdown bracket that will keep your stabilizer from rotation or coming loose; one less worry at the shooting line. These bows also feature Hoyt’s modular grip system. The modular grip system allows archers to customize their grip to one of four angle settings.
To ensure archer’s achieve optimum tuning, Hoyt Archery included an adjustable cable guard system on the Prevail lineup. Choose from 0°, 3°, 6°, or 9° to find your perfect paper tune.
The Prevail Series bows also feature your choice of 2 different cam systems. The SVX cam and a half system allows archers a choice of a rock solid back wall or a solid back wall with a little more valley. To adjust this, simple move the draw stop from one hole to another and your done. The SVX cams also come with a full set of draw length modules in half inch increments so you won’t have to worry about placing future orders to achieve the perfect draw length. The X3 cam option offers a smoother draw and like the SVX, it can be modified to change the feel of the back wall. The X3 cam system is adjustable in 1/2 inch increments with it’s stock module.
The Prevail Series bows come standard with Hoyt’s high performance BCYX Fuse custom strings. No more worrying about inferior stock strings that stretch after only a hundred shots. Let’s look at the specs of each of the Prevail bows:
Hoyt Prevail FX
- ATA Speed of 327 FPS
- Brace Height of 6.5 inches
- Axle to Axle of 35 inches
Hoyt Prevail 37 SVX
- ATA Speed of 321 FPS
- Brace Height of 7.125 inches
- Axle to Axle of 37.25 inches
Hoyt Prevail 40 SVX
- ATA Speed of 317 FPS
- Brace Height of 7.625 inches
- Axle to Axle of 40.25 inches
The Hoyt Pro Defiant Series of bows will do serious damage on the 3D course and in the woods. These bows come in 3 models: the Pro Defiant, the Pro Defiant 34, and the Pro Defiant Turbo. Let’s take a look at their specs:
- ATA Speed of 331 FPS
- Brace Height of 7 inches
- Axle to Axle of 30.5 inches
Pro Defiant 34
- ATA Speed of 325 FPS
- Brace Height of 7 inches
- Axle to Axle of 34 inches
Pro Defiant Turbo
- ATA Speed of 350 FPS
- Brace Height of 6 inches
- Axle to Axle of 33 inches
New from Martin Archery is the Marin Carbon Featherweight. The Carbon Featherweight is like the name suggests; it’s light! Weighing in at 3.5 lbs, this bow has a brace height of 7 inches, an axle to axle measurement of 30.6 inches and brings in speeds up to 340 FPS.
Also new for 2017 is the Martin Firecat. This 33 inch speedster has a brace height of 6.5 inches and brings in speeds up to 348+ FPS.
New from Mathews for 2017 is the Mathews Halon 32. The Halon 32 series is offered in three different models. Let’s have a look at them.
Mathews Halon 32/5
- IBO rating of 350 FPS
- Brace height of 5 inches
- Axle to axle of 32 inches
Mathews Halon 32/6
- IBO rating of 343 FPS
- Brace height of 6 inches
- Axle to axle of 32 inches
Mathews Halon 32/7
- IBO rating of 335 FPS
- Brace height of 7 inches
- Axle to axle of 32 inches
Also new for 2017 is the Mathews TRX. The 40 inch axle to axle Mathews TRX has a brace height of either 7 or 8 inches and brings in speeds at 332 and 322 FPS. The TRX bows feature a new low stabilizer hole for easier stabilization as well as shorter, wider limbs. The Mathews TRX also features Mathews Archery’s newly designed mini crosscentric cams for a smooth draw and fast speeds.
New for 2017 is the Moxie Gunny compound bow. This 30.625″ bow has a brace height of 7.125″ and brings in speeds up to 330 FPS.
New Breed Archery
New from New Breed Archery is the New Breed Blade. The Blade is offered in two models to accommodate different draw length shooters. The 34.5 inch axle to axle New Breed Blade has a brace height of 6 inches and brings in speeds up to 330 FPS. The draw length range of the Blade is between 22.5 and 28.5 inches.
The longer draw version is the New Breed Blade XL. This 34.5 inch axle to axle bow has a brace height of 6.875 inches and reaches speeds up to 330 FPS. The draw length range of the New Breed Blade XL is 28.5 inches to 31 inches.
New for 2017 is the Obsession Hemorrhage DE. The Hemorrhage DE has a compact riser design and features the new DE (dynamic energy) cam. This 30 inch bow has a brace height of 7 inches and brings in speeds up to 340 FPS.
Oneida Eagle Bows
New for 2017 is the Oneida Eagle Phoenix. The Phoenix is Offered in draw weights from 30 – 70 lbs. Depending on the set-up, the Oneida Eagle Phoenix has a brace height ranging from 6 to 7 inches. The string length on these popular bowfishing bows is 41.75 inches.
New for 2017 is the Parker Revolution. Featuring the new Revolution One cam, this 4 lb bow delivers on speed and forgiveness. The 31 inch Parker Revolution has a 7.25 inch brace height and has been clocked at speeds up to 320 FPS.
New for 2017 is the PSE Xpression 3D. Utilizing a shoot through riser and Wide-Track Limbs, this target bow is sure to make an impact in the competitive archery world. This 36.5 inch axle to axle bow has a 7 inch brace height and delivers IBO speeds up to 316 FPS.
New for 2017 is the PSE Evolve 35. Can you say 90% let off? PSE can with this bow. No worries on being at full draw too long on that big buck now! This 35 inch axle to axle bow has a brace height of 6.5″ and delivers speeds up to 332 FPS. The new Evolve cam system on the Evolve 35 really delivers on smoothness and speed!
New for 2017 is the Tribe K2 compound bow. The 32 inch axle to axle Tribe K2 has a brace height of 6.5 inches and delivers speeds up to 340 FPS.
New for 2017 is the Xpedition Xplorer SS. This short axle to axle bow (30 inches) produces incredible speeds while offering a smooth draw cycle. This Xplorer SS has a brace height of 6.125″ and brings in speeds up to 355 FPS.
Archived Coverage from the 2016 ATA Show
APA Archery is an “out of the box design” type of company that delivers high quality bows that are fast, accurate and have multipurpose risers. I owned a Black Mamba Extreme years ago and was a fan of the complete design and speeds. This year, their flagship bow is the APA Mamba 32 which has the following specs:
- IBO up to 358 FPS
- Brace Height of 6 5/8 inches
- Axle to Axle length of 32 inches
- Weight 3.8 lbs
These Canadian bows are shooters! I expect them to tackle more of the US market in 2016 due to their excellent lineup. We think that the Mamba 32 will be in the running for one of the best bows of 2016. For more information, visit their website at https://apaarchery.com.
Due to an aggressive design team, Bear Archery bows have been becoming more popular every year. One of the most searched archery brands, Bear Archery has delivered some bows with very respectable specs for 2016. The Bear Escape is their 32 inch axle to axle speed bow which boasts a 350 IBO speed at a 6 inch brace height. While staying unbiased, we will say that this is very impressive when compared to some other company’s flagship speed bows.
For the archer who wants an excellent balance between speed and forgiveness, they offer the BR33. The 33 1/4 inch long Bear BR33 offers a 7 inch brace height while delivering speeds up to 330 FPS for a forgiving bow that would perform well in the field and at the 3D course. Does Bear Archery have the best bows for 2016? Give them a try! For more information, visit their website at http://www.beararchery.com/.
Bowtech Archery has always been one of the top archery brands due to their innovations such as their Powershift Technology and their delivered speeds. New for 2016 is the Bowtech BTX and the Bowtech Fanatic.
The 31 inch Bowtech BTX is an impressive speed bow which delivers an IBO speed of 350 FPS at a 6 1/4 inch brace. On the competitive side of their lineup, you have the Bowtech Fanatic. The 37.5 inch Bowtech Fanatic offers a brace height of 7.38 inches while delivering speeds up to 315 FPS. Look for this bow to be a contender on all competitive archery circuits. When on a quest for the best compound bows of 2016, give Bowtech a look. For more information, visit http://www.bowtecharchery.com/.
Elite Archery has been on the rise year after year due to their bows’ performance, generous valley and rock hard wall/feel at full draw. Already one of the top choices for hunters, Elite has also made great strides in the competitive archery market. As a reflection of the excellence and performance of their target lineup, some of the world’s best archers such as Levi Morgan and Reo Wilde have joined their team of already impressive shooters. New for 2016 is the Elite Impulse 31, Elite Impulse 34, and for the competitive archer, the Elite Victory.
Featuring Elite’s popular riser cage and having brace heights of 6 inches, the Elite Impulse line up delivers speeds up to 343 FPS (Impulse 31) and 340 FPS (Impulse 34). The Elite Victory is a 39 inch axle to axle bow which delivers speeds up to 325 FPS from a 7 inch brace height. Without a doubt, this bow, which also features Elite’s riser cage technology, will win many tournaments in 2016. If you’re in the market for a new bow, we would suggest checking out Elite’s lineup. Elite Archery is definitely in the running for having some of the best bows of 2016. For more information, visit their website at http://www.elitearchery.com/.
Gearhead archery is a very unique company that makes extraordinarily short axle to axle bows that are fast! Their product line, whose names reflect their axle to axle length, includes the T18, T20, T24, and the T24 Carbon Fiber. The IBO speeds of the “T Lineup” range from 283 to 305 FPS. Gearhead Archery also offers the T15 Sling Blade which is a slingshot/bow hybrid. This unique gadget was developed for Relentless Pursuit’s Tim Wells and looks to be a fun weapon for critters and more. For more information, visit their website at http://www.gearheadarchery.com/.
Hoyt Archery has always been one of the most popular brands of compound bows and continues to improve their products with breakthrough designs and features like their industry changing carbon risers. New for 2016 is their flagship bow, the Hoyt Carbon Defiant.
The 3.6 pound Hoyt Carbon Defiant 31 comes in at 31 inches axle to axle, has a brace height of 7 inches and delivers speeds up to 331 FPS. The 3.8 pound Hoyt Carbon Defiant Turbo has a longer axle to axle measurement of 33 inches, a shorter brace height of 6 inches and delivers speeds up to 350 FPS. For the Hunter who wants a combination of forgiveness and speed, there’s the 3.8 pound Hoyt Carbon Defiant 34. With an axle to axle measurement of 34 inches, the Carbon Defiant 34 delivers 325 FPS from a 7 inch brace height.
These bows have great specs, but one of their biggest draws is the ultra strong, lightweight, cold weather friendly carbon risers. These great features come with a hefty price tag, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Due to its excellent specs and carbon riser, we believe the Hoyt Carbon Defiant may be one of the best bows of 2016. To learn more about these bows, visit Hoyt’s website at http://hoyt.com/.
New for 2016 is the Martin Hellfire 35 and the Inferno 33. With a middle of the pack brace height of 6.5 inches, the Martin Hellfire 35 is 35 inches axle to axle and delivers speeds up to 328 FPS. This bow was engineered to be the quietest bow on the market and according to two independent studies, it is. This is an interesting angle to attract buyers and we respect it.
Often times, the quietness of the shot is overlooked in favor of short ATA measurements and speed, but when a deer is jumping your arrow at 35 yards, a quiet bow could have made a difference. For a balance of smoothness and speed, there’s the Martin Inferno 33. The smooth drawing, 33 inch axle to axle Inferno delivers arrows at 333+ FPS from a 6.5 inch brace. For more information, visit their website at http://www.martinarchery.com/.
A couple of new bows for 2016 from Mathews is the Mathews NoCam HTX and the Mathews Halon series of bows. A descendant of last year’s NoCam HTR, the Mathews NoCam HTX has arrived with a shorter axle to axle measurement of 30 inches and a shorter brace height of 6 1/8 inches. In comparison to the NoCam HTR, the HTX has the new bridged riser design, the new flat back grip, and more rigid quad limbs. The Mathews NoCam HTX is more of a short draw bow offering draw lengths from 23-29 inches. When comparing speeds of the Mathews NoCam HTX to the HTR, it is actually 6 FPS faster. There is no doubt that the Mathews NoCam HTX is an improved design in this, the second year of the NoCam technology. One thing I’ll say for sure is that the Mathews NoCam HTX is a very smooth drawing bow.
A hybrid of the Monster series and the NoCam lineup, the new Halon series of bows are very efficient, tunable, and pretty fast. Far from the lightest bows on the market, the Halon series weighs in at anywhere from 4.5 to 4.95 lbs. The Halon 5,6, and 7 have an axle to axle measurement of 30 inches while the latest release in the lineup (and the heaviest), the Mathews Halon X has an axle to axle measurement of 35 inches. For more information on these bows visit http://mathewsinc.com/.
New Breed Archery
New Breed Archery is offering the New Breed GX2 for 2016. This 32 inch axle to axle bow has a brace height of 7 inches and delivers a respectable 335 FPS. To learn more about New Breed Archery and their product line, visit http://www.newbreedarchery.com/.
A company that seems to be sneaking up on the outside of the pack is Obsession Bows. In our local area, many people have already made the switch due to their eye catching design and performance. New for 2016 is their flagship bow the Obsession Defcon 6.
The 32 1/4 inch long Obsession Defcon 6 has a brace height of 6 inches and blasts arrows at a very impressive 360 FPS. Weighing in at 4.2 pounds with a let off of 80%, the Obsession Defcon 6 will be a popular choice for hunters and 3D shooters in 2016. With the Defcon’s impressive specs, it may be one of the best bows for 2016. For more information, visit http://www.obsessionbows.com/.
Parker’s two main bows for 2016 are the Ultralite 30+ and the Viking. The 3.7 pound Parker Ultralite 30+ (solocam) has an axle to axle length of 30.25 inches and achieves speeds up to 320 FPS. The Parker Viking, which is also a solocam, is 32 inches in length, has a brace height of 7 inches and delivers a respectable 330 FPS. To learn more about the Parker Bows lineup, visit their site at http://www.parkerbows.com/.
Since PSE first introduced a carbon bow in 1996, the technology has come a long way. With technologies parallelling the carbon frame construction of fighter jets and Lamborghinis, PSE Archery has developed the PSE Carbon Air for 2016.
This impressive and light 32 inch axle to axle bow weighs in at just over 3 pounds (3.2 lbs), has a 6 1/8 inch brace height and comes in at 340 FPS. Their solid two branch carbon frame features a riser attached cable guard and is filled with a proprietary noise and vibration dampening fill ensuring a dead quiet shot delivery. We think that the PSE Carbon Air may be one of the best bows for 2016. For more information on this bow and others in the PSE lineup, visit their site at http://pse-archery.com/.
New for 2016 is Xpedition Archery’s Xception. The Xpedition Xception is a 32.375 inch axle to axle bow that delivers an IBO rating of 328 FPS with a 7.25 inch brace height. This solocam bow is 3.9 lbs in weight and offers an adjustable let off up to 80%. For more information on Xpedition’s lineup for 2016 visit their website at http://xpeditionarchery.com/.
New for 2016 is the Alpine Roxstar 6.5. This bow has an axle to axle length of 34.5 inches, brace height of what looks to be 7 inches, and is bringing in speeds up to 330 FPS.
The Limbsaver 300 X Pro Series Bow
Well that does it up for our bow coverage at the ATA Show 2016. We apologize if we missed any bow manufacturers, but our two man team did the best job we could in two days. If you’re in the market for a new bow in 2016 we hope we helped narrow down your choices! Good luck and happy hunting!
New Bows of the 2015 ATA Show
We visited as many booths as we could in one day at the ATA Show 2015 but couldn’t hit them all. Here is a little write up on some of the new bows for 2015 that we did get to check out.
The guys over at APA showed us their latest and greatest for 2015. The bow that caught my eye was the King Cobra TF which boasts an impressive 370+ fps IBO speed rating. I would find results like that hard to believe, but I have owned a Black Mamba Extreme from APA and I was clocking in the mid 330’s at a 28.5 inch draw. I might have to get one of these to see how tight my pins get!
Another thing about APA is the owner, Nigel, is like a cross between Fred Bear and Inspector Gadget. He has made the compound bow not only an accurate killing instrument but a useful multi-tool as well.
Found on the APA Bows are the following:
- knife sharpener
- broadhead wrench
- nock wrench
- riser fang for hanging the bow
- carrying handle
- cam lock pin which allows you to press your bow in the field for minor repair to the string
If you haven’t shot any bows from the APA lineup, find a dealer and give them a shot!
For the slingshot enthusiasts, we have the Bad Ass Slingshot. This ‘Frankenweapon’ is of course a combination of a bow and a slingshot. Just nock up your arrow, draw back, and fire away. Originally designed for bowfishing, the Bad Ass Slingshot has been used to hunt hogs, gators, and other smaller game. The speed of this Bad Ass Slingshot is somewhere around 150-175 fps (if we remember correctly) so you better get accurate with this weapon, because it will be lacking on the kinetic energy, but it is still one Badass Slingshot!
AMS Bowfishing Bows
We stopped at the AMS display to check out their gear for 2015. We are glad we did! What a fun group over there. I don’t know about you but bowfishing puts a smile on my face and you can tell that the AMS staff love what they do as well. Very nice and willing to show us what they had.
The bow that really caught our eye was the SWAMPIT. This dual cam bow is super tough, lightweight, and offers minimal finger pinch while delivering a smooth draw and release. Here are the specs of this great bowfishing bow.
SWAMPIT Bowfishing Bow Specs
- 40-50 lb draw weight
- 15-30 inch draw length
- axle to axle = 35.5 inches
- brace height = 7.75 inches
- weight = 3.5 lbs
- Let off = 20%
Elite Archery, who has to be coming off a record year with the Energy 35 and Levi Morgan, combined the best of 2 worlds for their flagship bow of 2015. Their new Synergy is pretty much a combination of the Energy 35 and the Energy 32 of 2014. With and axle to axle of 33.5 inches and a forgiving brace height of 7.375 inches, this bow should be a solid performer. With an IBO of 323-325 fps, the synergy is not going to break any speed records, but I’m sure it will claim many 3D tournaments. The Synergy looks to be an excellent choice for an all around good performing and shootable bow.
New Breed Archery
New Breed Archery is a newer manufacturer on the archery scene and from what we saw, we were impressed. It seems like they have done their homework and have a pretty high quality bow lineup for 2015.
They are right on the mark for flagship bow specs with their model the “Genetix” delivering the following measurements:
- Brace height = 7 inches
- Axle to axle = 33 inches
- IBO Speed rating = 335-340 fps
They also have designed and made probably the highest quality youth bow we have ever seen, the Spawn. This 26.5 inch bow weighs in at 3 lbs and is adjustable. The limbs are available in 20-30, 30-40, and 40-50 lbs. The Bionix 2.0 Modular Cam System allows an adjustable draw length from 16-26 inches. This is indeed a higher end youth bow! Keep an eye on New Breed Archery.