Carbon Tech's New Bows for 2011

April 13, 2011

Take a target archer who has won eight world titles and two Olympic silver medals, a bow designer who has himself won numerous national and world titles in target and 3-D and is responsible for innovations that are today being used by most bow manufacturers, and a manufacturer whose bows won the 2008 Olympics and the 2009 World Championships, and put them all on one team. That would describe Rick McKinney, Chuck Nease, Kyung-Rae Park, and the partnership between Carbon Tech and bow manufacturer Win&Win Archery. Long known for their high-end arrows, Carbon Tech for 2011 has made changes to each of the three bows in their line-up. The focus for all three bows is obviously on shootability. In several days of shooting dozens of bows one after another, these bows stood out for smoothness and a truly dead-in-the-hand feel. That’s not to say they’re not plenty fast enough for hunting or target shooting, but with speeds in the low 300s they clearly are not aiming to compete in the “World’s Fastest Bow” competition. The CT Hybrid Cam System used for all three bows is billed as easy tuning. The bow most likely to draw the most attention is the Phantom, an all-carbon riser bow with the properties you’d expect from all-carbon construction, including strength and weights approaching those of traditional recurves and longbows. With a moderate axle-to-axle length of 34 inches (hunting) and 39 inches (target), the Phantom weighs in at 3.4 and 3.65 pounds, respectively, and sports a new designed riser. As with the other Carbon Tech bows, the Phantom design incorporates SORBA-FLEX, which absorbs energy to dissipate vibration. Hunting bows have additional silencing devices, including a standard Z-Stick Stabilizer, while the target model employs silencing devices only on the limbs. The Phantom generates quite respectable speeds of 310 fps (hunting) and 300 fps (target), and has a super-friendly brace height of 8 inches (hunting) and 7.5 inches (target). The hunting version is available in draw weights of 40 to 70 pounds, with two optional cams providing draw lengths of 26 to 32 inches or 24 to 30 inches. (The optional cams are another new feature for this year.) The target model is available in draw weights of 30 pounds to 60 pounds with optional draw lengths of 27 to 33 inches or 25 to 31 inches. Finishes include black and several other solid colors. Suggested retail prices start at $1,400 for the hunting bow, $1,500 for the target bow.

For the bowhunter seeking a little more speed in a bow that is nonetheless very pleasant to shoot, Carbon Tech offers the Lightning, topping out at 315 fps (hunting model) and 305 fps (target). Built around a forged aluminum riser, a compact 32-inch length contributes to the hunting model’s enjoyably low weight of 3.7 pounds, and the 7 1/2-inch brace height contributes to a forgiving nature despite the speed of 315 fps. This bow comes with the Z-Stick Stabilizer and other CT silencing technology, and is available in draw weights ranging from 40 to 70 pounds and LD and SD draw length options of 25 to 31 inches or 23 to 29 inches. Top speed on the target model is 305 fps, with a longer axle-to-axle of 37 inches, 30- to 60-pound draw weights, and draw length options of 26 to 32 inches or 24 to 30 inches. Mass weight is 3.95 pounds, very light for a 37-inch bow, and the brace height is 7 inches. Finishes include Lightning Camo and several target colors. Suggested retail price on the Lightning is a very agreeable $500 (hunting) and $1,000 (target).

Another forged aluminum riser bow, the Pursuit, gives up about 5 fps compared to the Lightning to achieve an unsurpassed level of quiet and soft-shooting qualities. At 310 fps (hunting) and 300 fps (target), it still offers more speed than most bowhunters are going to use. It contains all the bells and whistles mentioned for the other CT bows. Basic specs are 34 inches axle-to-axle for the hunting model, 39 inches for the target version, with mass weights of 3.9 pounds and 4.15 pounds and brace heights of 8 inches and 7 1/2 inches, respectively. The weight range for the hunting version is 40 to 70 pounds for the hunting bow, 30 to 60 pounds for the target bow. Draw length options are identical to those of the Phantom models, including the new LD and SD options. The Pursuit is available in Pursuit Camo and several target colors, and the suggested retail price is $700 for the hunting model and $1,100 for the target model—a great price considering that this bow (along with the other CT bows) compares very favorably to higher-priced bows.