As certain as the sun rises, compound bow manufacturers develop cutting-edge, vertical bows each and every year. If not, they’re swallowed up by other bow sharks and quickly forgotten by the consumer. I’ve learned these flagship compound bows — in great part to new innovations and technologies — typically trump the previous year’s models and create excitement among the bowhunting crowd.
The second the Reign 7 was pulled from the box — before my eyes caught the logo on the limb — I could tell the bow was unmistakably a Bowtech. The sizable OverDrive Binary Cams with PowerShift Flip Disc Technology looked like an old friend. The barely-noticeable limb pockets, giving way to curvaceous split limbs, made me smile. Oh and the bow sports perhaps my favorite Bowtech technology of all time: the tried-and-true FLX-Guard.
Hey, if it’s not broke don’t fix it, right?
Beyond typical technologies that simply scream “Bowtech,” the design of the CPX riser was different than that of the 2016 Bowtech BT-X. An Outrigger counterweight system was added to offset the weight of accessories and, upon further inspection, the OverDrive Binary Cams showcased a new design.
First impressions are important, and after putting the Reign 7 in my Last Chance Archery bow press and giving it a thorough once over, I detected zero scratches, dings or machining marks. The black limbs melting into the aesthetically pleasing Kryptek Altitude camo pattern simply make it a showstopper. In addition to the rig’s sexy appeal, it felt amazing in the hand. The angled, smooth and narrow grip melted into my palm-swell, making me want to shoot the bow. I’ve always said, if the grip doesn’t feel right, move on and find another bow. This grip not only felt right, it felt perfect.
Tune It Up
Anyone who’s pressed, set up and tuned a Bowtech knows how simple this process is. Chalk this up to the OverDrive Binary Cams: cams that allow you to quickly yoke-tune the bow. I had a slight, left-hand tear with my first arrow, so I simply pressed the bow and put a turn in the yoke on top and bottom on the left-hand side of the bow.
And with the addition of the Micro Sync Dial (be sure to lock and unlock this dial before trying to make adjustments) the shooter has the ability to precisely time cam position without even having to press the bow. This further streamlines the tuning process. After making a few adjustments, I was punching perfect holes in paper. The bow pressed easily, the limb bolts turned without noise and I didn’t have to pop a rib out to get them started.
Let It Buck
OK, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. I realize you can read all about the bow’s technologies and specs online. You want to know how it shot, how it performed and if I’d tote it into the 2017 woods, right?
At 4.3 pounds (6.1 with added accessories), the bow boasts a lightweight feel and draws with an appreciated element of smoothness. Transition to let off isn’t at all abrupt, and the draw stops on the bottom and top cam contact the inner cable to create a firm, but not too firm, back wall. Once at full draw, this 32 5/8-inch axle-to-axle rig held like a dream. My pin just seemed glued to the target, and I could easily hold the bow back for long periods of time. Just for fun, I experimented with holding the bow until my arms and body were shaking and then attempted to let it down. The bow let down with ease, and I was able to stay in control of it.
Hushed, Accurate Speed
At the shot, the bow felt fast. Really fast. I wasn’t expecting this, especially firing a 404-grain arrow. After all, the 350 fps Reign 6 (featuring a 6-inch brace height, of course) is the speed demon. The Reign 7 is labeled with a 340 fps speed rating, and my chronograph confirmed that my 404-grain Easton was traveling at 317 fps with the bow set at 70 pounds and a 29-inch draw. That’s screaming for an arrow of that weight.
The Reign 7 is hushed and virtually vibration-free at the shot. I shoot without a wrist loop and with a very open-handed grip. I wasn’t having to catch the Reign 7 at the release of the arrow. At the shot, it simply sits in the hand, ready and waiting for another arrow.
As for accuracy, I shot field points, mechanicals and fixed-blade broadheads out to 70 yards. The bow’s mixture of balance, speed and its ability to achieve perfect tune makes it absolutely lethal. It feels great in the hand and builds shooting confidence quickly.
This bow is a tack driver and, in December, it’s going into the woods with me to thin out a few does.
Specs for the Reign 7
Brace Height: 7 Inches
Axle to Axle: 32 5/8 Inches
Draw-Length Range: 25-31 Inches
Draw Weight: 50, 60 and 70 Pounds
Mass Weight: 4.3 Pounds
IBO/ATA Speed: 340 FPS