Think of Bohning Archery and your mind likely jumps to arrow building—including its award-winning lineup of compact Blazer vanes that have taken the hunting and target markets by storm and spawned scads of imitators.
This past July, Bohning Archery made the bold move of jumping into an entirely new segment, bypassing its reputation as an “accessory” company to introduce its own line of weaponry—a unique line of recurve-limbed crossbows the company believes is the best-performing in the industry. And you should know that Bohning makes a powerful case to support its claims.
“The crossbow market is where a lot of the excitement in archery is,” explained Rick Mowery, Bohning marketing director. “This was an opportunity that came up and we’re always looking for new and different areas in which to expand. As we moved forward and looked into the future, we knew arrow building—while it’s our bread and butter and mainstay—can’t be our only venture into archery.”
As Mowery explains it, the company was meeting with one of its crossbow accessory consultants when the discussion expanded to include a relatively little-known line of Canada-based high-performance crossbows possessing some unique technology. Bohning quickly realized the impressive company (Middleton Crossbow) lacked only the ability to effectively market, deal with customer service, and otherwise distribute the smartly designed weapons. Soon a partnership was struck.
[The top-of-the-line Seige 375 crossbow] will outperform any compound crossbow out there; it’s got the most-efficient power stroke in the industry,” Mowery said. “For example, the Seige 330 maintains 41 percent more speed at 40 yards than other comparable bows, mainly due to the transfer of energy from the limbs to the bolt—it all starts with the limbs. If you can keep that transfer clean—minimizing oscillation of the bolt—you can increase your maintained speed downrange. [So this bow] loses speed slower than its competitors. Yes, these are heady statements, but shoot it and you’ll see.”
Introduced in early July with distribution that is set to begin Sept. 1, the Seige line currently includes four models, with names based on their speed: the Seige 315, Seige 330, Seige 355, and ultra-speedy Seige 375. There are four Seige packages (with MSRPs): 315 Package ($675), 330 Package ($750), 355 Package ($825) and the 375 Package ($985).
Looking at the Seige line one can’t help but be reminded of another Canada-based crossbow company known for its recurve designs: Excalibur. But the Seige line has no affiliation with Excalibur outside a basic, kindred belief.
“Basically, if you look at what Excalibur has been saying for years, they’re right—the best crossbows do not have wheels,” Mowery continued, again making sure to differentiate the Seige line. “Our limbs will outperform [all others]; it’s a proprietary design, and it’s the point of this whole deal. The limbs have a greater amount of stored energy through the whole power stroke. I can’t tell you about the material used in them because it’s proprietary.”
Another advantage of most recurve designs is their lighter weight—and the Seige bows follow suit.
“The heaviest model, The Seige 375, without a quiver, weighs 6 pounds; they’re very light,” Mowery said, also explaining the stock features a durable heat-treated Kolor Fusion Realtree AP camo finish that won’t chip or fade. All bows also feature an auto-engaging safety that goes to “safe” immediately upon cocking. Even more impressive is that all bows feature a lifetime guarantee.
“When the customer gets this out of the box, it’s already strung; they just need to mount the front end with two bolts, put the scope rings on and mount scope onto the Weaver rail, and you’re good to go sight it in,” Mowery said, explaining all crossbow packages include a Bohning 3-arrow Chameleon Quiver, three bolts, and a full-size specially designed Seige Pure Power Optics scope.
“With the scope you can choose to light it up with graduating red or green crosshairs, and it’s nice because it’s basically a full riflescope. To sight it in you simply set the initial crosshairs at 20 yards, and dial in the [specific model’s speed rating]—whatever your model is—and all the rest of the yardages should be accurate.”
Mowery said pro shops looking to stock Seige crossbows for 2012 should act quickly; this year a limited number of the bows will be available, and the company is taking pre-orders now. Look for the line to be expanded for 2013 and beyond.
“For Bohning, this puts us into a segment of the market we’ve never ventured into—weapons systems. That’s new for us, and I think it’s a good step for the industry. [Before us] you basically had one voice in the wilderness screaming against a storm [that is compound horizontal bows]. [But now we know] and the Seige line proves that the performance, durability, and the ease-of-maintenance factor are in a recurve crossbow.”