Here’s the problem with the Darton DS-3800: It’s super-fast, super-smooth on the draw, extremely quiet, very forgiving, and dead in the hand at the shot. The problem is, what more is there to say about a bow when you’ve said that? Having shot and had an opportunity to hunt with its predecessor (the Pro-3800), we were expecting a lot from this year’s incarnation. We weren’t disappointed. It’s the same “muscle bow with manners” that Darton proclaimed the original to be, but tweaked in a couple of ways. The patented DualSync Cam design, based on the original hybrid cam that put Darton on the map, was modified with a slightly deeper string track, and the cable guard rod was replaced with Darton’s Progressive Torque Reduction cable guard rod that is curved to reduce torque while at the same time providing additional clearance for fletching. Basic specs remain the same, including the 33 13/16-inch axle-to-axle length, 6-inch brace height, and 4.1-pound overall weight, and of course the eye-popping 345 to 350 fps top speed. Draw length can still be modified without a press or the need to re-tune, and draw stop modules allow easy adjustment of letoff from 65 percent to 80 percent. Each Darton bow comes with a second set of grips; a checkered rubber grip is installed, and an attractive, slimmer wood grip is included for bowhunters who prefer the skinnier grip and the feel of wood.
Hunters who require a shorter draw length (all the way down to 23 inches) will want to check out the DS-3800SD, a spin-off of the DS-3800 modified to provide the shorter draw lengths. The DS-4500 boasts many of the same design features as well, but with an axle-to-axle length of 38 1/2 inches, an extremely forgiving 7 1/2-inch brace height, and draw lengths extending to 32 inches. Shooting at a still-impressive speed of 315 to 320 fps, the DS 4500 is great for finger shooters or the tournament shooter who wants to fling a lot of arrows without fatigue. www.dartonarchery.com