Founded in 2009, New Breed Archery has grown rapidly from a small custom bow shop to a widely known manufacturer with a dedicated and growing following. The new flagship bow from New Breed is the Blade, which naturally boasts all New Breed’s best technologies, including a T6061 aircraft-grade aluminum riser featuring a fluted design that is stronger and lighter than those of New Breed’s previous models, a titanium bolt and stainless hardware kit, and String Addiction strings and cables. The skinny split limbs are matched Gordon Glass composite limbs, and driving it all is New Breed’s Bionix 2.0 two-track cam system. The Bionix 2.0 Cam features a modular system adjustable over a half-inch range. Letoff is adjustable by changing the draw stops. These are factory set, and New Breed recommends adjusting them only when changing the strings/cables and further suggests employing a draw board. New Breed also recommends that the stops be offset by a few thousandths of an inch, with the top stop touching before the bottom stop. Most shooters would be well advised to leave these adjustments to a local archery pro shop.
Newly designed limb pockets increase stabilization of the limbs while achieving some additional weight savings. The limbs themselves are past parallel and these, together with the new gusset-brace riser geometry, make for a very aggressive appearance. Fit and finish on the test bow was excellent, with no discernible flaws in the coating and no visible machining marks.
Shooting the Bow
The riser design appears to easily accommodate any style of rest or sight, including our testing standard QAD drop-away rest and TruGlo sight. New Breed recommends a starting centershot of 7⁄8 inch, and using this and a 90-degree nock point, with a little tweaking, I was soon shooting bullet holes through paper.
Threads were all perfectly aligned and smooth, and the limb bolts turned easily and smoothly to adjust draw weight. Maxed out, the test model was slightly over 70 pounds, so I backed off slightly to reach 70 pounds. New Breed (along with numerous other manufacturers) warns against backing the limb bolts out more than four turns from maximum, a warning I tend to take seriously. Backed out four turns from the maximum, the draw weight on the test model was 63 pounds, so as you’ll note in the objective test chart above, the bow was tested at 70 pounds and 63 pounds, as opposed to our standard 70 pounds and 60 pounds. Apart from slightly complicating our testing procedure, this does not strike me as problematic. Shooters who prefer to shoot at 60 pounds are generally better off purchasing a 60-pound bow, as this maximizes efficiency. The Blade is available in a 65-pound peak draw version as well.
The grip on the Blade would make a lot of shooting coaches happy, being about as close to no grip as you’ll find. I like a skinny grip, and for me, the smoothly rounded riser and soft side plates make this one comfortable. The 6½-inch brace height is skinny enough to boost speed and wide enough to be comfortable for most shooters, and the moderate length of 34 inches, while not fashionably compact, offers a little extra forgiveness, especially at longer ranges. The draw cycle feels (as touted) smooth but fairly aggressive, with a steep climb to peak weight and a sudden but not uncomfortable drop-off into the valley. Draw stops assure a rigid back wall. At full draw the Bionix 2.0 cams are neither “grabby” nor difficult to let down. That quality not only adds to a bow’s general shootability, but can be important in a hunting situation when the need arises to let down without creating a lot of game-spooking motion.
Quiet is the new norm in compound bows, and the Blade is no exception here, being plenty quiet enough for hunting. At the shot there is a small amount of vibration.
Like a lot of bows in recent years, the Blade seeks neither to blow the bark off trees with its speed nor to offer the kind of silky-smooth draw cycle achieved only by bows at the lower end of the performance spectrum, aiming instead at the sweet spot where a good degree of shootability intersects with reasonably fast arrow speeds. That spot will vary from one shooter to the next, but hunters looking for an excellent all-around hunting bow should take a close look at the New Breed Blade.
New Breed Blade Specs
Letoff:……………………… adjustable up to 85%
Brace Height:………………6 1/2 inches
Weight:…………………….. 4 pounds (approximate)
Axle-To-Axle Length:…….. 34 inches
Speed:……………………… 325-330-335 fps ATA/IBO
Draw Lengths:…………….. 27 to 30 inches in half-inch increments
Draw Weights:…..………… 50, 60, 65 and 70 pound peak
Options:…………………… Samurai Edition (black), Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camo, Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camo/Black
Suggested Retail:………… $979
Objective Tests (30 Inches Draw)
Peak Hold*:…………………70 pounds
Weight, Full Draw*:………16 pounds
*Rounded to nearest half-pound
At 70-Pound Draw Weight
|Arrow Weight||Speed @ Launch||Speed @ 20 Yards||K.E. @ Launch||K.E. @ 20 Yards|
|385 grains||292 fps||281 fps||73 ft. lbs.
||67.5 ft. lbs.|
|500 grains||263 fps||256 fps||77 ft. lbs.||72.5 ft. lbs.|
At 60-Pound Draw Weight
|Arrow Weight||Speed @ Launch||Speed @ 20 Yards||K.E. @ Launch||K.E. @ 20 Yards||Sound Level|
|385 grains||284 fps||277 fps||69 ft. lbs.||65.5 ft. lbs.||57.4 dBA
|500 grains||251 fps||246 fps||70 ft. lbs.||67 ft. lbs.||46.8 dBA|