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Bow Report: BOWTECH "Experience"

BOWTECH has earned a reputation for producing high-quality, high-performance bows. For 2013 BOWTECH’s designers, in response to input from customers and potential customers, backed off on the throttle just a little to design what BOWTECH touts as “the smoothest drawing, quietest shooting, most forgiving bow” they have made to date. Dubbed “Experience,” it is loaded with all BOWTECH’s newest technology, starting witt he well-known Overdrive Binary Cam System and the FLXGuard cable guard and including a whole package of brandnew features designed to keep noise, vibration, string oscillation, and hand shock to an absolute minimum.

Revolver Dampeners are located at either end of the riser, and the cables sport Dura-FLX string dampeners, while a unique Clutch String Stop captures the string at the shot to greatly reduce string oscillation. BOWTECH’s Hardcore carboncenter limbs, beefed up just a tad for this year’s bows, also contribute to reduced vibration. The riser is slightly deflexed. That is a little like being slightly pregnant, since a riser is deflexed or it is not. In terms of reducing torque, slightly deflexed is as good as greatly deflexed. The grip, with wood laminate sideplates, is very narrow.

All BOWTECH bows are shipped at 29 inches draw length; however, draw lengths are not module-specific and, in the case of the Experience, can be adjusted down to 26.5 inches or up to 31 inches simply by rotating the modules and moving the draw stop pegs to a corresponding position. It is necessary to press the bow to accomplish the draw length adjustment, but not to move the draw stop pegs. Draw weight is adjusted by simply loosening or tightening the limb bolts, with one turn on each bolt conveniently representing about one pound in draw weight. Limb bolt inspection holes make it easy to see if the bolts are nearing their minimum draw weight, which is a convenience as well as a safety feature.

BowTech is widely acknowledged to offer excellent fit & finish, and the Experience is no exception. The Infinity camo version with BlackOps limbs makes for an interesting and really sharp-looking contrast.

Shooting The Bow

At 4.2 pounds, the Experience is not a featherweight by current standards, but it is not a heavy bow, either. Like many bows, it’s slightly top-heavy, but it balances nicely, especially with a stabilizer installed.

I found this bow easy to set up and tune. Determining centershot on BOWTECH bows is as easy as moving the rest until the arrow is parallel to the riser; when the distance from the face or front of the riser to the arrow is the same as the distance from the back of the riser to the arrow, the arrow is at centershot. Assuming correct arrow spine and good shooting form, that should work for most shooters; in any case if some experimenting is required, centershot is usually a good starting point.

Squaring the arrow to the string so that it lined up with the Berger holes, and determining centershot as outlined previously, arrow flight and accuracy were excellent with no further adjustments necessary.

The draw force curve for this bow suggests it is exceptionally smooth, and that is the subjective impression on drawing it as well. It builds gradually to the peak and then levels off, dropping almost as grad-15 fps off the highest attainable speeds to gain a quieter, more forgiving bow.

The Experience, though, is arguably the benchmark for that category. It’s a testament to BOWTECH’s designers that even with a torque-reducing deflexed riser, exceptionally smooth draw, high letoff, forgiving brace height, and minimal noise and vibration, the Experience nonetheless achieves very respectable top speeds of 335 fps.

Download the full report (PDF)

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