Distinguished by its new Cat Hybrid Duo Cam system and an innovative Roto Limb Pivoting Cup design, the 33-inch 2008 Martin Firecat Pro-X is the latest addition to Martin’s Pro Series of bows. The Pro Series is composed of those Martin bows that are sold exclusively through Martin authorized dealers. In this case the Limb Cup only “cups” the pivot points, having been substantially reduced in structure elsewhere.
However, it was the structure of the Firecat handle that first caught my eye. Continuing a design practice begun in 2007, Martin engineers created a three-piece, 6061 T-6 aluminum alloy handle for the bow that consists of an upper riser, a handle section, and a lower riser. This structural concept offers lineal grain flow for all three pieces (because they are machined from individual billets) without the usual offsets that occur at the shelf area and at the top of the sight window in a one-piece billet. In addition, less machining is required, and literally pounds of offal are saved. The real problem is making the joints strong and rigid while blending the edges of the individual pieces to create a smooth and, hopefully, unobvious parting line. In my judgment Martin has accomplished this by assembling the three pieces and then finish-machining the assembly as a single unit. I had to study the finished assembly and then have recourse to a strong light and a magnifying glass to locate the separations. Martin uses five stainless steel, socket-head bolts to attach the three parts: three bolts in the upper joint, and two at the shelf. In both locations they have carefully concealed the bolted connections with coverings so that a casual glance would not disclose their locations. The upper connection is concealed by an inserted molded part and the shelf bolts are covered by the Firecat Shelf, which is a molded dampening overlay that overlays the surface of the shelf up to and over the rest mount area. It is quite functional because it deadens noise from dislodged arrows and also from a fall-away rest. *Read the rest of the report by downloading the PDF