diamond deadeyeDiamond Deadeye

More than a few bowhunters are willing to give up a little speed for the softer feel of a single-cam bow. That won’t be necessary with the new DeadEye, which Diamond touts as the fastest single-cam bow on the planet. At an IBO rating of 343 fps it’s got speed enough to please the most uncompromising speed demon. Diamond’s new Throttle Cam Technology places the bearing assembly on the limb tip which, among other things, puts equal tension on the string and cable to all but eliminate string creep even as it boosts speed. Diamond naturally borrows a lot of technology from sister company BowTech, and in the case of the DeadEye that starts with a BowTech-developed limb design for improved efficiency, durability, and consistency. The new Throttle Tech cam design that drives this bow includes a BowTech-developed rotating cam module, which allow for precise draw-range adjustments over a 6-inch range without the need for additional cams or modules. The FLX Guard Cable containment system, which flexes to reduce cam lean and torque, is also common to the BowTech line-up, as is the new Carbon Rod String Stop, Octane factory strings, and the In-Velvet finish. The DeadEye offers an adequate brace height of 6 1/8 inches and a very comfortable weight of 3.95 pounds with an axle-to-axle length of 32 inches. Available draw weights range from 26 to 30 inches, draw weights are 60 or 70 pounds, and letoff is 80 percent. The DeadEye is available in finishes of Blackops and Mossy Oak Treestand. A RAK (Ready Aim Kill) option includes a Hostage Pro Arrow Rest, TruGlo Sights, a 1-piece 5-arrow Camo Ultra-Lite Quiver, Comfort Wrist Sling, Alloy Peep, and 7-inch Octane Stabilizer. Suggested retail price for the DeadEye alone is $749; with the RAK option the price is $849. www.diamondarchery.com

g5 quest primalG5 Quest Primal

Bowhunters familiar with G5 expected something great when G5 jumped feet first into the bow making business with the Quest Primal. They expected the same innovative design, precision, and high quality that had, a few years ago, gained for G5 an overnight reputation for superior engineering. They weren’t disappointed: The Primal offered all that and more. It still does, and the original model has been updated with Quest’s new I-Glide Flex, a flexible cable guard rod that significantly reduces cam lean and bow torque. Riser and Locking Limb Pockets are both forged from 100 percent CNC machined 6061-T6 Aluminum, and the Primal boasts Quest’s Twin Track SYNC Modular Cam System with and adjustable draw stop. The two-piece laminated wood grip is among the most comfortable grips out there. The adjustable string suppression system is a feature that should become a fixture on modern bows. The Primal is 32 inches axle-to-axle, has a brace height of 7 1/8 inches, and weighs 3.9 pounds. Draw length is adjustable in half-inch increments from 26.5 to 30 inches, and maximum draw weights are 50, 60, and 70 pounds. It’s a quiet, soft-shooting bow that sends arrows downrange at speeds up to 332 fps. Suggested retail price for the Primal starts at $730. www.questbowhunting.com

high country speed proHigh Country Speed Pro X-10

Speed Pro X-10 In the new era of super-fast bows that are pleasant to shoot, some super-fast bows are more pleasant to shoot than others. The newly updated Speed Pro X-10 is not High Country’s fastest bow (that would be the Speed Pro X-11), but we think it’s High Country’s sweetest-shooting bow—and at 345 fps it still qualifies as super-fast in our book. New for this year, the X-10 comes with X-Armour Coating on the riser to help dampen riser noise and provide a soft feel. Powered by High Country’s Trinary II Cam and Barnsdale Laminated Limbs, the X-10 is 33 inches axle-to-axle with a 7-inch brace height. And while we often ask how a bow so fast can be so smooth-shooting, an equally good question for the X-10 might be how a bow this light can be this smooth-shooting. It weighs in at 3.3 pounds, and until you pick up a 3.3-pound bow, you don’t know how good that feels. Available draw lengths range from 27 to 30 inches on the Trinary II Cam (depending on the module selected), with an option of a 25- to 27-inch range using the optional Mini Trinary Cam. Draw weights run from 50 all the way up to 80 pounds, and the Speed Pro X-10 is available in finishes of Realtree Hardwoods Green HD, or Black Riser with Carbon Black Limbs. Suggested retail price for the Speed Pro X-10 is about $750. www.highcountryarchery.net

winchester quicksilverWinchester Quicksilver

The archery industry is very competitive. How does an upstart like Winchester hit the ground running? Easy—just hire a few of the most innovative and most experienced designers and engineers in the business and let them do their thing. Winchester jumped into the fray with half a dozen bows in its line-up, the flagships clearly being the two bows in the Quicksilver series: the Quicksilver 34 and the Quicksilver 31. Differing primarily in the axle-to-axle lengths for which they’re named, both bows showcase the all-new technology Winchester brings to the table, beginning with the AST (Accu Speed Technology) Cam, a binary twin-track system that truly offers high speed, smooth shooting, a whisper-quiet release, and easy tuning. It also provides adjustable letoff, the kind of solid back wall most bowhunters prefer, and modular draw lengths that are adjustable in half-inch increments from 27 to 30 inches. Directional Venting is another Winchester innovation. Vents in the riser are specifically designed to direct vibrations toward the stabilizer bushing, enabling stabilizers to function better and allowing hunters to use smaller and lighter stabilizers for the same effect. Winchester’s Stabil-Lock Limb Pockets are solid, secure, and lightweight. The carbon fiber string stopper is laterally adjustable—a nice feature given that some pro shooters are convinced off-center string stoppers can reduce accuracy. Another nice feature is optional grips that come standard with the Quicksilvers, allowing hunters to select the grip that works best for them. All the hardware on these bows is stainless steel—a feature that inspires confidence in wet weather. The Quicksilver 34 launches arrows at an impressive 343 fps, weighs a comfortable 3.9 pounds, has a 7-inch brace height, and is available in draw weights of 50, 60, or 70 pounds, while the Quicksilver 31 shoots at 335 fps, weighs a slightly lighter 3.8 pounds, and has a generous 7.25-inch brace height. Both bows are available in finishes of Proveil Reaper Woods or Jet Black. Both Quicksilver bows retail for about $800. www.winchesterarchery.com

darton ds 4500Darton Archery DS-4500

Though known in the industry for a number of innovations, Darton’s Rex Darlington has never been one to toot his own horn. So we’ll toot it for him. Variations on the binary and hybrid cam technology he first introduced are now common features in the line-ups of many bow manufacturers, and with the development of Darton’s DualSync Cam System he has taken that technology to another level. DualSync cams are designed with a second let out groove on each cam, and the harness is split to end in twin tracks on either side of each cam. The design not only connects the two cams so they can’t go out of synch, it reduces cam lean, torque, and limb stress, and contributes to consistently level nock travel. That cam system, together with Darton’s Quad Limbs, makes for the kind of efficiency that generates very high speeds with a smooth draw cycle, high letoff, forgiving valley with a hard stop at the wall, and a quiet, dead-in-the hand shot. The ability to easily change draw length without a press is a welcome feature, as are the tuning marks on the cams. Among the bows in Darton’s line-up for 2011 is the DS 4500. It is not the fastest bow in Darton’s line-up (that honor goes to the DS-3800 at 350 fps), but with an IBO rating of 320 fps the 4500 is one sweet-shooting bow. The longer (by current standards) axle-to-axle length of 38 1/2 inches, together with a generous 7 1/2-inch brace height, contributes to a forgiving, quiet, bow with the kind of gentle draw cycle that makes you want to shoot this bow again and again. It also features Darton’s new PTR (Progressive Torque Reduction) cable guard rod that moves the cables toward the centerline of the bow during the draw cycle to further reduce torque. Ideal for finger shooters or big guys with long arms, this is a bow any hunter can appreciate. The DS-4500 weighs 4 pounds even, comes in 40-, 50-, 60-, or 70-pound maximum draw weights and draw lengths of 27 to 32 inches. Finishes include Realtree APG and Shadow Black. The DS-4500 sells for around $780. www.dartonarchery.com

apa mamba m7APA Mamba M7

Now and then an innovative feature on a new bow prompts the old “Why didn’t somebody think of this before?” question. The thing about APA’s bows, including the new Mamba M7, is that they come with a bunch of those features. From the riser design with the built-in “handle” (which also serves to balance the bow and even acts as a stabilizer) to the carbide broadhead/knife sharpener built into the riser, to the distinctive “fangs” which make it easy to hang the bow on a tree limb, to the built in nock wrench, APA bows are ingeniously practical. More features that make the Mamba M7 one of the hottest bows around, include high performance Black Mamba cams, a true dual-cam system generating an awe-inspiring speed of 344 fps. The new EZ Tune modules simplify timing and tuning while providing a draw-length range of 7 inches adjustable in 1/2″ increments from 26 to 31 inches. The Black Mamba cams also includes APA’s Cam Lock system that allows for changing strings and cables without a press—an option that offers a lot of peace of mind when your hunt takes you far from the nearest pro shop. The new HE (High Efficiency) Stage 3 limbs are past parallel, contributing to the quiet, relatively smooth-shooting nature of the Mamba M7. Axle-to-axle it’s a moderately compact 32 1/4-inch, with a friendly 7-inch brace height, and weighs a comfortable 3.9 pounds. Maximum draw weights include 50, 60, and 70 pounds, and let-off is 75 percent. Available In finishes of Vanish Hybrid, Winter Mimicry, and Matte Black, this is one sharp looking bow, but we’re partial to the new Buckskin Stealth finish, which mimics the colors of mule deer. Suggested retail price for the Mamba M7 is $860. www.apaarchery.com

new breed genetixNew Breed Genetix

Thanks to a then-new combination of high letoff and short valleys, most bowhunters a few years ago experienced the sensation of nearly having their arms ripped from their sockets when letting down an unfamiliar bow. With New Breed Archery’s Bionix 2 Modular Cam System, letting down from full draw is smooth—almost as silky-smooth as the draw itself. The back end is firm, but this bow has a very comfortable valley. On New Breed’s updated-for-2011 Genetix, the two-track modules of this cam-to-cam system can be adjusted without the need to remove string or cables to cover a range of 26.5 to 30 inches. At 343 fps this 33-inch axle-to-axle bow has speed to burn. A nicely balanced 3.8 pounds, it boasts a generous 7 inches brace height and comes in draw weights of 50, 60, and 70 pounds with a draw-length range of 24.5 to 30 inches. What’s not new on the Genetix? Fortunately the Barnsdale Limbs are still much the same—but they’re optionally available this year in a split-limb configuration. Also retained from the original are the BCY 452X custom strings and cables, along with the Bow Rattler String Suppressor. Hand-assembled, the attention to detail shows in the fit and finish of the Genetix. Available colors include Next Vista Camo and a special all-black Samurai edition. Suggested retail price is $750. www.newbreedarchery.com

strother sx 1Strother Archery SX-1

The name might be new to the public, but the key players aren’t. Strother bows reflect years of experience with some of the best-known and most successful bow manufacturers in the nation, and this Michigan-based company generated a serious buzz at the ATA show with the new SX-1. Strother’s new Hyper S Cam System, designed to generate very high speeds with one of the smoothest draw cycles in its class, offers an unusual twist in the form of two modules, a smooth-draw module and a fast-draw module. Shooters can try both and take their pick. One, as you might guess, maximizes speed, while the other maximizes the naturally smooth-drawing characteristics of this cam system. Slimmer, lower-profile limb pockets that reduce weight are new for Strother this year, as is Precision Limb Technology, employing materials and production techniques that eliminate many of the problems associated with most bow limbs. Though it’s obviously a subjective feature, we particularly like the grip on the SX-1. Strings are made by Cracker Strings and Cables. For speed nocks, Strother takes the unusual step of using No Gloves, typically used by finger shooters to avoid the need for shooting tabs or gloves. Strother finds they can function as speed nocks while at the same time reducing string oscillation. Top speed on the SX-1 is an eye-popping 347 fps, and the folks at Strother take pride in pointing out that their stated speeds are on the conservative side. The SX-1 is 34 1/16 inches cable to cable, with a more-than-adequate 6 1/2-inch brace height and a mass weight of 4.1 pounds. Maximum draw weights run from 50 all the way to 80 pounds, with 80 percent letoff and draw lengths from 26 to 30 inches. The SX-1 is available in Predator Brown Deception Camo, Black Death, and combinations of black risers with camo limbs or camo risers with black limbs. Suggested retail price on the SX-1 is around $800. www.strotherarchery.com

carbon tech pursuitCarbon Tech Pursuit

With an IBO speed of 310 fps, Carbon Tech is clearly not pursuing the “World’s Fastest Bow” title with this model. We’re guessing the deer won’t know that, and they surely won’t hear anything. The Pursuit is a quiet, ice-cream-smooth bow with virtually zero hand shock. Built around the CT Hybrid Cam System with parallel limb construction and a forged machined riser, it’s the kind of bow you want to shoot all day. The mass weight of 3.9 pounds makes it a lightweight given the 34-inch axle-to-axle length, and the brace height is very friendly at a full 8 inches. LD and SD cams offer ranges of 26 to 32 inches and 24 to 30 inches, respectively. Available draw weights are 40, 50, 60, and 70 pounds. Available finishes are Pursuit Camo and Pursuit Black. And though it’s a great bow at any price, it’s worth mentioning that this high-end bow sells for a moderate price of just under $600. www.carbontecharrows.com

bear takedownBear Takedown

How can a thing be “legendary” and “classic” and at the same time be modern? By being ahead of its time when it was created. Fred Bear introduced this bow in 1969 and called it his best bow ever—and he backed up that statement by using the Bear Takedown almost exclusively from that time forward. Lightweight, nicely balanced, and sweet-shooting, it’s also extremely versatile. The riser is constructed from black dymond wood with a red accent stripe while the limbs are fascor-backed and faced with fiberglass. The handmade tips are fiberglass-coated to accommodate modern strings. Available optionally in a 56-inch (A-Riser) or 60-inch (B-Riser) configuration, the bow can be taken down or put together in less than a minute. It features a crowned, cut-on-center shelf with a Bear Hair Rest and leather side plate, and a red-and-black Dynaflight 97 Flemish Twist string. A compass inlaid on the riser is the finishing touch to a beautiful bow, and the Takedown is available in draw weights of 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 pounds right-handed and 35, 40, 45, 50, and 55 pounds left-handed. Suggested retail price is about $800. www.beararcheryproducts.com