What’s new at Martin Archery? Pretty much everything, if you consider all the tweaks, fine-tunes, and just plain newly developed technology Martin’s designers have produced. Every compound bow in the line-up seems to offer some new features, but we’ll take a closer look at three bows, beginning with the all new Pro Series Firecat 400, which showcases all Martin’s new-for-2011 technology. The Nitro 2.0 Hybrid Pro Cams are designed for speed, smoothness, and low vibration. The Roto Cup Pivoting Limb System is simple engineering at its best, eliminating forward and lateral movement for durability and consistency. Hammerhead strings keep creep and peep rotation in check, and Martin boasts that its TRG (Torque Reducing Guard) produces the least amount of torque of any cable guard now available. The Silent Hunter Arrow Shelf is a useful feature, and the Quick Lock Integrated Quick Detach Stabilizer Mount is a nice touch, as is the new Saddleback Thermal Grip, which is comfortable at colder temperatures. The result of all this technology? An impressively fast (345 fps) bow that is smooth-shooting with 80 percent letoff, a forgiving 7-inch brace height, and a comfortable weight of 3.7 pounds. Axle-to-axle the Firecat 400 is 32 inches, and draw length ranges from 27 to 30 inches, with maximum draw weights at 50, 60, and 70 pounds. A wide range of camo and solid color finishes are available, and—we’ve got to say it—Martin’s “cloak” option, in which the entire bow including cams, cable guard, and string suppressor are finished in the same pattern, looks really cool. Suggested retail for this bow is about $600, which is a great value for a bow offering the Firecat 400’s features.
For the growing number of bowhunters who prefer very compact bows, Martin offers the Crossfire, which lost some weight thanks mostly to a new riser. Another Pro Series bow, the 30.5-inch axle-to-axle Crossfire is another bow loaded down with new Martin features ranging from the Hammerhead strings to the PowerTough limbs, the TRG, SOS, and nice touches like the Quick Lock stabilizer mount. It’s available with Nitro 2.0 or 1.5 Hybrid Pro Cams to offer a wider range of draw lengths (25 to 30 inches) and a respectable top speed of 325 fps. Brace height is a full 7 inches, and at 3.4 pounds the Crossfire is among the lighter bows in Martin’s (or anyone else’s) line-up. Retail price on the Crossfire is about $520.
Also new for this year is a Gold Series bow, the Onza 3. Designed around the bridged riser of the original Onza, the Onza 3 nonetheless offers a number of entirely new features, beginning with the PowerTough limbs featured on all Martin’s bows for 2011. The TRG and SOS (String Oscillation Suppression) are new as well. The Onza employs the same new Nitro 2.0 Hybrid Pro Cams as the Firecat 400 to develop top speeds of 340 fps with a slightly higher brace height of 7.25 inches, slightly longer axle-to-axle of 33.25 inches, and a correspondingly heavier weight of a still very manageable 4 pounds even. Like the Firecat 400, the Onza 3 is available with Martin’s special “Cloaked” option. Like the Firecat 400, the Onza 3 retails for about $600. www.martinarchery.com