Hot New Bows for 2017 (Part 1)

Bow makers continue to experiment with designs that reduce torque and defeat cam lean to make bows more consistent, more forgiving and generally more pleasant to shoot at any speed.
Hot New Bows for 2017 (Part 1)

Mathews Archery Halon 32

The name suggests one of several differences between last year’s popular Halon and the new Halon 32: it’s two inches longer than the original Halon to provide added stability and decrease the angle of the string at full draw. The riser offers a slightly different geometry, too, though the Crosscentric cam system with the AVS design slaving the cams together is retained to equal the top speed of the original Halon at 350 fps. That is with a 5-inch brace height; like its predecessor, the Halon 32 offers three brace-height options (5 inches, 6 inches and 7 inches), the 6- and 7-inch brace heights reaching top speeds of 343 and 335 fps respectively. Draw lengths vary with brace height, ranging from 25 to 30 inches (5-inch brace height), 26 to 31 inches (6-inch brace height) and 27 to 32 inches (7-inch brace height). The Halon 32 features speed nocks as opposed to Monkey Tails, and it offers an all-black Flatback grip instead of last year’s walnut-inset Flatback grip. However, the new bow retains some other now-familiar Mathews technologies, the most significant of which are probably the Rock Mods, which allow shooters to switch between 75 and 85 percent letoff. Peak draw weights are 40, 50, 60 and 70 pounds. Weight is 4.73 pounds (slightly more for the 5-inch brace-height version), and the Halon 32 retails for $1,099.

For more information, visit or call (608) 269-2728.

G5 Prime Centergy Series

Prime claims a 49 percent steadier aim for the 2017 flagship Centergy, and lest you think that’s pure marketing hype, they’ve used laser studies to demonstrate it. How did Prime achieve a steadier aim? First, they put the vertical center of the bow at the grip, instead of above it, as is commonly done. Then they put more weight below the grip, as opposed to above it, to arrive at a bow that is balanced. Prime also made the top cams larger than the bottom cams to pay out more string and produce exceptionally level nock travel. The result is something you can feel. Of course, Prime retained the Parallel Cam System that put it on the map, and that technology, along with the super-stiff 82X aluminum riser, contributes to a bow that is smooth-drawing, rock-steady, quiet and virtually dead in the hand at the shot. With a respectable top speed of 333 fps, the Centergy weighs in at 4.3 pounds with an axle-to-axle length of 33.25 inches and a brace height of 6.5 inches. Available peak draw weights of 40, 50, 60, 65, 70 and 80 pounds and draw lengths starting at 24.5 inches ranging to 31 inches make this bow accessible to most any shooter. (The Centergy Air is a slightly lighter version with a more slender grip, and the Centergy Hybrid is slightly heavier and slightly longer, and it cuts the brace height by a half-inch to gain a higher speed of 338 fps.) Available finish options are Black, Optifade Elevated II, Recon Grey and First Lite Fusion, in addition to a variety of target colors. The Centergy retails for $1,200.

For more information, visit or call (810) 392-8431.

Bear Archery Legend LS-4

Part of the Legend Series, the LS-4 sports a different cam system, different limbs and a different riser, making it a different bow from the LS-6 (see Bow Report on page 16) in just about every possible way. A top speed of 330 fps is more than adequate for any hunting scenario but suggests this bow leans more in the direction of pleasant shootability than top-end speed. The ES Hybrid Cams and Endurafiber Quad Limbs no doubt contribute to the LS-4’s smooth draw cycle, and many shooters who lean toward the shootability end of the spectrum will also like this bow’s moderate 6 ¼-inch brace height and the 80 percent letoff. Another key difference is that the LS-4 is a Ready to Hunt model boasting Trophy Ridge accessories. Weighing in at 4 pounds even, it has an axle-to-axle length of 32 ¼ inches. Draw length is fully adjustable from 25 to 30 inches, and peak draw weights are 60 or 70 pounds. Available in Realtree Xtra Green, it’s a great value at $650.

For more information, visit or call (800) 694-9494.

Elite Option Series

From its inception Elite has touted the shootability of its bows – though it wasn’t long before a growing crowd of enthusiastic bowhunters was doing it for them. For 2017, Elite doubles down on that reputation with a new skeletonized riser design featuring 7075 series aircraft aluminum and not one but two riser cages for a super-rigid shooting platform, new split limbs, an all-new limb-pocket design, a new roller guard cable system and a new grip. And we can’t fail to mention Elite’s two-track modular-cam system that builds gradually to peak weight and offers a comfortably wide valley. Among the new bows benefiting from all that technology are the two Option Series bows, the Option 6 and the Option 7. Most of the specs are the same for the two bows, including an axle-to-axle length of 32 inches, a mass weight of 4.3 pounds and peak draw weights of 50, 60, 65, 70 and 80 pounds. The primary difference is the brace heights of 6 and 7 inches, respectively, which produce slightly different draw lengths of 26 to 30 inches for the Option 6 and 27 to 31 inches for the Option 7. That difference also contributes to a top speed of 342 fps for the Option 6 and 332 fps for the Option 7. Finish options for the two bows include KUIU Verde and Vias; Realtree Xtra, Max I and AP Snow; Solid Black; Hardwoods Brown and Olive Green, as well as Elite’s wide assortment of Rhinodized colors. Take your pick – both bows retail for $1,199.

For more information, visit or call (877) 503-5483.

Hoyt Archery Defiant Series

For 2017 Hoyt’s Defiant series consists of three bows: the Defiant, Defiant 34 and Defiant Turbo, each of which is available in a carbon-riser version (Carbon Defiant) and aluminum-riser version (Pro Defiant). Except for the weight savings achieved by the carbon risers, the specs are virtually identical between the carbon and non-carbon versions. Behind them all is some new technology, including the DFX Cam system with UltraFlex Limbs. At full draw the cams are farther apart relative to similar bows, so that a compact 31-inch hunting bow has the feel and performance of a 34-inch target bow. Retained from previous models is Hoyt’s Pro-Lock limb-pocket system, among other Hoyt design features. The series offers a very smooth draw cycle and a quiet shot. The Defiant bows produce top speeds of 331 fps, the Defiant 34 bows reach 325 fps and the Defiant Turbo bows eke out 350 fps. Brace heights are 7 inches for the Defiant and Defiant 34, and 6 inches for the Turbo versions. Draw lengths run 24 to 30 inches (the Defiant 34 runs 25 to 31 inches), and peak draw weights are 40, 50, 60, 65, 70 and 80 (the Turbo versions do not offer the 80-pound option). Retail prices are $1,099 for the Pro Defiant and $1,199 for the Pro Defiant Turbo and Pro Defiant 34. The Carbon Defiant sells for $1,499, while the Carbon Turbo and Carbon Defiant 34 sell for $1,599.

For more information, visit or call (801) 363-2990.

PSE Archery Carbon Air 32 ECS

For 2017 PSE introduces the new Evolve Cam System, a quad-track design which, paired with wide-track limbs, significantly reduces cam lean. The new cams are at the heart of this year’s flagship bows, including the Carbon Air 32 ECS. It’s touted as “buttery-smooth” despite an impressive top speed of 342 fps. Also earning some bragging rights is an option to adjust letoff from 80 to 85 or even 90 percent in one version of the bow, with another offering a range from 65 to 75 percent. The bow’s draw force curve – not to mention the subjective impression upon shooting it – reveals a bow that rises very smoothly to peak weight, decreasing gently into the valley with a solid back wall. Consistent with other PSE offerings, draw length can be adjusted over a wide range without a press or the purchase of additional modules. Uniquely (to our knowledge) the draw stop adjusts automatically with draw length. Brace height is a comfortable 6 3⁄8 inches, and available peak draw weights are 60 or 70 pounds. Mass weight is a very pleasing 3.3 pounds, thanks largely to the carbon construction. Available in Black, Black/Camo Limbs, Country or Skullworks 2 finishes, the Carbon Air 32 ECS sells for $1,500.

For more information, visit or call (520) 884-9065.

Bowtech Reign Series

For 2017 Bowtech introduces the Reign Series, featuring the Reign 6 and the Reign 7, each boasting a new CPX riser and a redesigned-for-2017 Overdrive Binary Cam System. Also offered on the Reign bows is Bowtech’s new Outrigger offset weight design that positions accessories in such as way as to balance the bow for a steadier, cant-free hold at full draw. Back from last year is Bowtech’s Powershift Technology Flip Disc, which allows shooters to choose between a slightly smoother draw cycle (with correspondingly less speed) or a faster top speed. Also back is Bowtech’s Micro Synch Dial, which makes micro-tuning the cams as simple as turning a dial. Top speed for the Reign 6 is an impressive 350 fps, with a 6-inch brace height. The Reign 7, with a (you guessed it) 7-inch brace height offers a top speed of 340 fps. Axle to axle the Reign 6 and 7 are 325⁄8 inches, with a mass weight of 4.3 pounds. Draw lengths are 24 to 30 inches for the Reign 6, 25 to 31 inches for the Reign 7. Peak draw weights are 50, 60 and 70 pounds for both bows. Available finishes include Mossy Oak Break Up Country, Black Ops, Kryptek Highlander, Kryptek Altitude, Kryptek Raid and Gore Optifade Elevated II. Suggested retail price for the Reign 6 or the Reign 7 is $1,049.

For more information, visit or call (877) 901-1934.

Parker Revolution

Showcasing the long-on-performance Revolution One Cam, the new-for-2017 Parker Revolution is smooth and easy to tune, and it hits a respectable speed of 320 fps. Made in America and backed by Parker’s trusted Lifetime Warranty, the affordable $350 Revolution weighs a mere 4 pounds without attached accessories and features an extreme parallel design. Measuring 31 inches axle to axle, the rig is fitted with a tunable string suppressor system and Micro-Lite Limb Pockets. Available in Next Vista Camo, the bow is offered in draw weights ranging from 45 to 60 pounds and 55 to 70 pounds. In addition, the Revolution One Cam allows for draw-length adjustability between 26 and 31 inches and promises a feel-good 80 percent letoff. The Revolution is available in an Outfitter Package that features name-brand accessories, including a three-pin fiber-optic sight, Whisker Biscuit or Hostage arrow rest, angled peep sight, nock point and a premium four-arrow Quick Detach Quiver. With the Outfitter Package, the Revolution runs $400.

For more information, visit or call (540) 337-5426.

Obsession Bows Hemorrhage DE

Obsession is well known for its scalding-fast bows; our favorite among this year’s offerings is the Hemorrhage. At 340 fps it is not Obsession’s fastest bow. On the other hand, 340 fps is plenty fast and would put the Hemorrhage among the fastest bows in many manufacturers’ lineups. And thanks mostly to Obsession’s DE cams, it attains that speed while remaining super smooth-drawing, quiet and vibration-free. Among other user-friendly design features it offers a full 7-inch brace height, 80 percent letoff and Obsession’s Perfex System for adjusting draw lengths in half-inch increments. Axle to axle it’s a compact 30 inches, and mass weight is 4 pounds (minus dampeners). Draw lengths run 25 to 31 inches, with peak draw weights of 40, 50, 60, 65 or 70 pounds. It’s a great-looking bow available in Kryptek Highlander, Kryptek Typhon, Realtree Xtra Green, Black and Moonshine Muddy Girl, as well as an assortment of custom options. Retail price is $999.

For more information, visit or call (478) 945-3340.

Darton Archery Maverick II

I’ve long been a fan of Rex Darlington’s designs and still regularly shoot the original 3800 that came out in 2010. That bow has been tweaked with improvements over the years since and has given rise to a few spinoffs, but for 2017 Darton has produced an entirely new flagship in the Maverick II. (Its namesake from an earlier era was a great bow in its day.) The Maverick II does share much technology with the 3800 but is slightly more compact axle to axle and boasts a very different and more aggressive-looking riser. It also boasts a new limb-bolt system and is tapped under the grip for an extra accessory, such as a video camera or counterweight. At its heart is Darton’s now-familiar Dual-Synch hybrid-cam system with the torque-minimizing DS-Yoke system. It also features 3-Axis Center Pull, which centers the arrow on all three axes of the bow, and Darton’s Signature grip, which comes with optional side plates. Top speed is billed as 345 to 350 fps with a 6-inch brace height and a very pleasant 85 percent letoff. It weighs a moderate 4.2 pounds with an axle-to-axle length of 33 inches. Peak draw weights are 40, 50, 60 and 70 pounds, and available draw lengths are 25 to 31 inches. Camo patterns for Darton’s 2017 bows include Kryptek Highlander, Kryptek Typhon and Carbon Black, as well as several Soft Touch target bow colors. The Maverick II sells for $890.

For more information, visit or call (989) 728-9511.

Martin Archery Carbon Featherweight

If you like the light weight, stability, strength and other advantages of a carbon-riser bow but have always balked at the price, join the crowd – and meet the new Martin Featherweight. Test-shooting this bow at the Archery Trade Association Show in Indianapolis confirmed the rumors we’d heard: It’s a sweetly smooth-drawing bow that, despite its shootability, produces a top speed of over 340 fps. That is thanks largely to Martin’s Kestrel Cam System, which includes Low Traction Ride technology to reduce string wear. Among other Martin features it boasts the Sightstacker design with alternate sight-mounting locations to accommodate various sights and shooting forms. A limb stop makes for an immovable back wall, and the smoothly rounded grip adds to the comfort of carrying a bow that weighs in at a grin-inducing 3 ½ pounds. It’s a compact 30¾ inches axle to axle, with a full 7-inch brace height and 80 percent letoff. Draw lengths run 25½ to 30 inches with easy-to-adjust rotating cams, and peak draw weights are 60 or 70 pounds. It’s available in Black Flame or Mossy Oak Infinity. For $499 it’s a whole lot of bow – or get the ready-to-shoot accessorized package, which includes a peep sight, quiver, Whisker Biscuit rest, Copper John five-pin sight and a bow sling for another $100.

For more information, visit or call (509) 529-2554.

Featured image: Bear Archery's Facebook page/EverWild Collective


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