Reviews of the Best Recurve Bows for 2017

Martin Jaguar Takedown BowRecurve bows have recently made a big comeback as a popular weapon for hunting, target shooting, and even some competitive archery. With all of the options on the market, finding the best recurve bow to suit your individual needs can be a time consuming process. This guide will break down the many differing bow options on the market, outline which bows are designed for which purposes, and review the most important considerations when purchasing a bow.

The #1 Recommended Recurve Bow

For shooters looking for the best overall bow at a reasonable price, without any specific needs in mind, check out the Martin Jaguar Elite Takedown Bow. A fairly priced recurve that is available online anytime, the Jaguar is a great bow from one of the world’s leading bow manufacturers. On top of the excellent accuracy and power, the takedown design means it is incredibly easy to transport and pack wherever needed.

Best Recurve Bow for Target Shooting

The PSE Blackhawk Recurve bow is a beautiful option for target practice and hunting alike. The bow works wonderfully for the neophyte as well as the expert archer. The PSE Blackhawk has a highly durable limb design: one resistant to twisting damage. The arrow rest that comes with the bow lends to shooting accuracy. The bow has a quiet shot and delivers an arrow free of vibration. The PSE Blackhawk is known for its level of accuracy. The price of the bow is equally reasonable, right around $250.00. This recurve bow is not a takedown recurve option.

Best Recurve Bow for Hunting

Martin Archery Hunter RecurveOne of the leading recurve bows for hunting is the Martin Archery Hunter Recurve: a bow best for a person who is right hand dominant. This bow has a mid level price of $620.00. The bow has a Shedua riser, a 62-inch string length, and weighs two pounds and three ounces. The draw weight on the Martin Archery Hunter Recurve is 35 to 65 pounds. This bow has been in production for the past 50 years and remains popular among hunters today. The Hunter lives up to its name as it was built to deliver a speedy, accurate shot. Its long length helps to provide accuracy and stability. The bow comes with a stringer, Flemish bowstring, and an arrow rest. The limbs on the bow are made of hard Maple laminations coupled with black fiberglass materials.

Best Takedown Recurve Bow

The PSE Coyote Recurve Bow is an overall great takedown bow. It has a 40-pound draw weight and a 60-inch length. The price is quite reasonable, costing just under $260.00. The recurve bow’s 40-pound draw makes it great for hunting or target practice. The Coyote sports a classic style; the bow’s limbs are made of wood materials and a machined aluminum riser. The takedown functionality makes for easy transport and storage. The grip is comfortable and form fitting, and the bow comes ready for a sight, mounts, and stabilizer. The exterior has a Mossy Oak Camouflage finish.

Most Powerful Recurve Bow

Even the diehard archery traditionalist will appreciate the features of the Hoyt Buffalo Recurve Bow. With a 50-pound draw, it is one of the most powerful bows on the market. The bow is priced around $815.00, and features an attractive wood finish. The Hoyt’s Fred Eichler Signature bow offers stability and considerable accuracy. The bow has a machined aluminum riser, a dual radius shelf, and an exclusive limb system called the Paralevel Limb System, which ensures an ultra smooth draw. Every bow is assigned its own specific number. The bow comes with a calf hair side plate, rug rest, bow stringer, padded carry case, and Flemish string.

Best Recurve Bow for Beginners

If you are new to archery and want to get a taste before investing hundreds of dollars into the sport, the Bear Firebird Youth Recurve Bow is priced at an affordable $47.00. The bow has limbs made of composite material and is compatible for both left hand and right hand dominant shooters. The bow measures 60 inches and has a draw length of 22 to 28 inches. The draw weight of the Bear Firebird is 30 to 35 pounds, meaning its a better bow for learning to shoot, rather than hunting. This bow is ideal for people ages 12 and older. Another plus for beginners, the Bear Firebird Youth Recurve Bow is covered by a warrantee that addresses any issues with the limbs during the first five years of ownership.

Best Youth Recurve Bow

If you are looking to get your youngster started with archery practice the Martin XR Recurve Bow Kit 135 is a real deal. The Martin XR Recurve kit comes with a 46-inch bow that can be used by a left or right hand dominant beginner. The kit comes complete with a target, tab, armguard, belt quiver, and arrows. This bow is a takedown recurve for ease of storage, and the kit also comes with an elevated arrow rest, a full sight window capacity, and a bowstring. The draw weight of the Martin XR Recurve is between 10 and 20 pounds. The nicest part of the kit is the price: everything included for right around $90.00.

Best Recurve Bow for the Money

The Bear Archery Super Kodiak Recurve is a mid-level bow with an exceptional design. This bow has been the favorite of many archers due to its durability and accuracy. The bow has a 60-inch length, a leather side plate, bear hair mat, and an arrow shelf cut on center. The structure of the bow is rich and deep brown hardwood laminates. For only $730.00, you definitely get your moneys worth with the Bear Super Kodiak.

Best Recurve Bow Under $300

The Martin Archery Jaguar Elite 55# is an excellent option for those with a budget of $300. The bow offers a vibration free experience and the riser is comfortable to grip. The bow has a 55-pound draw. It is light with an ultra sturdy build and the capability to add a stabilizer or additional accessories. The bow comes with an adjustable arrow rest. The limbs on the Jaguar Elite are created from wood and are made even sturdier with a lamination of fiberglass materials. The riser is made of magnesium and aluminum. The grip has Thermal V protective dampening for a non-slip grip on the bow riser. The bow is a takedown option, which disassembles with the release of a couple of screws. This bow has been known to last for more than a decade due to its exceptional build.

Best Recurve Bow Under $200

The Martin Saber Takedown Recurve Bow features a 30-pound draw and a camo dipped exterior. The bow has a list price between $180.00 and $199.00. The riser is crafted out of durable, long lasting, laminated hard wood. The upper and lower limbs of the bow are crafted out of fiberglass. The takedown structure ensures ease of disassembly and storage. The bow features Vibration Vortex VEMs and a grip with Thermal V protective dampening features to ensure a vibration free shot. This bow delivers a powerful shot from a high quality riser and has a solid, well-made grip with an ultra-smooth draw. The Martin Saber Takedown Recurve Bow comes with an owner’s manual ensuring ease of use. The draw weight is 30 pounds, the length of the bow is 64 inches, and the bow weight is 3.4 pounds in total.

Best Recurve Bow Under $100

The Martin Archery Alder Recurve bow has a 15-30 pound draw, making it an ideal bow priced under $100.00. The bow is available for right or left handers and is great for recreational target shooting. The bow is made of all wood materials and it is a takedown option for ease of transport and storage. The bow is sold with draw weights ranging from 15 to 30 pounds in five pound increments.

Best Recurve Bow Brands

PSE

When compared to the other companies in the archery industry (such as Martin, Hoyt, and Bear), PSE is newest to the scene, with its beginnings in 1970. Former Magnavox Corporate engineer Pete Shepley offered his ideas to other, already established companies, but when they didn’t bite, he decided to pursue his passion for archery full-time and started up his own company. Shepley began making release aides, arrow vanes, and compound bows, and in the early 1980s, the company moved to Arizona. Today the company’s home office, factory, and facilities span an entire city block. The company has more than 20 patents for archery products and bow design. PSE was one of the first businesses to machine accessories and bow risers from solid aluminum materials, and the company has developed an innovative, four stage creation process for making ultra-light bows.

The PSE Blackhawk Recurve bow is available for the right or left hand dominant individual. This bow is ideal as a traditional bow and it is a single piece structure. The draw weight of the bow is between 35 and 50 in five pound increments. The draw length of the Blackhawk Recurve is 60 inches. Laminated wood is used to craft the riser. This bow is part of PSE’s Heritage Series. Priced at around $250.00, the Blackhawk is a highly affordable recurve bow option.

Martin

Martin Archery has been in the industry since 1951 when the company was first established. The company has existed as an American icon for nearly 65 years, which makes it even harder to believe that following Martin’s death in 2013, the company faced difficulties and near extinction. An executive, Rich Weatherford, saw promise in Martin Archery and thought the business would be a good investment to turn a profit and create American jobs. In October of 2013, both Weatherford and Diversis Capital partnered up in a joint venture to buy Martin Archery a mere three days before the company was to be put on the auction block. Weatherford seeks to revive the ideals of the founder of the company, Gail Martin.

The new owner seeks to integrate the best technology for manufacturing compound bows. Three new product lines have been added to the company since 2014 including accessories, compounds, and takedowns. In fact, in 2014, Weatherford ensured the revamping of the entire Martin product line. As of 2015, the company entered the market with 14 brand new compound bows, a revamped takedown bow product line, and bows that have been added for both target archery as well as bow fishing lines. The brand new compound bows are sporting high-end, durable upper and lower limbs. Clearly, Weatherford has put a breath of life back into the company as he pursues business success backed by dedication, passion, and hard work.

The Martin Jaguar Elite Takedown Bow has a framework made of fiberglass limbs and a riser made of aluminum and magnesium. The draw weight of the bow varies from 40 to 50 pounds and the bow’s mass weight of 2.6 pounds makes it ideal for easy transport. The Martin Jaguar Takedown bow is only available for right handed dominant individuals. The bow’s length is 60 inches. Ideal for a neophyte, the Martin Recurve bow comes complete with a user’s manual. The bow’s riser is attractive, durable, and offers a comfortable grip. The bow is sold with an arrow rest for greater shot accuracy. The listing price for the Martin Jaguar Takedown bow is just $199.99.

Another fantastic option in the market for a high quality takedown recurve bow is the Martin Panther Takedown Bow. The price listing of the Martin Panther is right around $300.00. The bow features draw weights of 30, 35, 40, 45, or 50 pounds. The riser is crafted out of durable machined aluminum. The bow length is 62 inches and the entire bow weighs just 2.7 pounds. The limbs are made of Italian wood and the bow’s design is modern, sleek, and light. The bow has a VEMS (Vibration Vortex) in the riser to help minimize vibration after arrow release.

Hoyt

Hoyt is a company that sells compounds, recurves, and archery accessories. The company has been in the archery industry even longer than Martin Archery, preceding the launch of Martin by two decades. Hoyt was officially established in 1921. Today, Hoyt has 14 compound bow models available, including Carbon Spyder ZT, Tribute, Faktor, Ignite, Nitrum, Ruckus and Ruckus Jr, Pro Comp Elite FX, Freestyle, and Charger. Additional compound options include the Pro Edge Elite, Podium X Elite, and Pro Comp, and Elite FX. In terms of recurve bows for target archery, Hoyt has the Formula Series Limbs and Risers and the Grand Prix Series Limbs and Risers. Additional recurves made available by Hoyt include the Gamemaster II, Tiburon, Buffalo, and Dorado. The recurves come with natural or camo finishes.

The Hoyt Gamemaster II Recurve Bow is available in two bow lengths: 60 or 62 inches. The recurve bow is available in one of several draw weights including 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, and 65 pounds. The entire bow weighs about 2.9 pounds. The Gamemaster II brings new technology and old school design together in a single product with its slim riser, custom wood core, and impressive accuracy. The bow comes with a compact carrying case for ease of transport. The Hoyt Gamemaster II is priced around $615.00.

Bear

Fred Bear is the founder of Bear Archery. After seeing a documentary on bow hunting, Bear became interested in archery and crafting his own arrows, bows, and strings, and he mastered the art through the teaching of Art Young. In the early 1930s, Bear was making equipment for himself as well as his friends, and within six years he had dedicated all of his attention to the creation of Bear Archery. By the late 1940s, Bear Archery moved to Michigan. The founder of the company passed in 1988, but his dedication and commitment to crafting high quality equipment remain alive and well in the heritage of Bear Archery.

The Bear Archery Grizzly Recurve bow is for a right hand dominant individual. The price of the bow is right around $400.00. The Bear Grizzly Recurve bow comes with limbs made of a clear Maple core surrounded by fiberglass material. The structure of the Grizzly bow has remained unchanged since 1964. The bow features a Dacron Flemish string and is crowned. The bow is fitted with a cut on center arrow shelf featuring a Bear Hair Rest and a leather side plate.

How to Buy the Best Recurve Bow for Your Individual Needs

Recurve BowThere are many different factors to consider when buying a bow, and all of the options listed above may have added to the confusion. If that is the case, continue reading this guide on how to buy the perfect bow to fit your needs.

What is a Recurve Bow?

The recurve bow is a weapon that can be traced back to 2000 B.C.E. in Asia. The bow is crafted from multiple pieces in order to achieve the curved shape. Early recurve bows featured limbs that were thin and wide. When the bowstring was removed on earlier bows, the bow limbs jutted forward from the bow’s grip. The recurve bow differs from the longbow in that the bowstring connects with the bow’s structure. The string on the recurve bow has a few inches of contact with the end of each bow limb, whereas the string on a longbow connects at two distinct points. When using a recurve bow you will find the limbs are forced vertically which speeds up the rate at which the arrow travels while simultaneously minimizing the shock to the hand holding the bow. To learn more about the history of the recurve bow and how they work, check out this Wikipedia entry.

Bow Performance

Getting the perfect recurve bow for your needs requires that you determine the bow’s performance level. The formula for determining bow performance is the combination of assessing how a bow shoots, how it feels when used by the archer, the accuracy of the shot, and the level of smoothness the archer experiences when making the draw. The same formula also requires the assessment of grip comfort, the amount of hand shock the bow produces after an arrow is released, the quality of the bow’s structure, the materials the bow is made of (hinting at its durability), transport conveniences, and the speed of the arrows used.

One way to get a good idea about what bow might serve you well is to talk to other archers. Other people familiar with archery can make recommendations pertaining to the bows and brands they have used in the past specifically for target practice or hunting. Dealers in sporting goods stores or archery shops are also useful for recommendations. You should consider taking a close look at reviews online, especially those written by users of the product in question. Check out customer feedback to see what features bows have to offer, which are favored, and which ones users say you can do without. Of course, the specific features of your bow will be based on your particular user interests and your current archery skill level.

Recurve Bow Structure

The term “recurve” describes the framework of a bow. When you look at a recurve bow the equipment’s structure features a riser in the middle and two limbs extending from the riser. The bow is made of carbon, fiberglass, or wood. Each limb has an end portion that curves out and slightly back, resulting in a recurve. The framework was originally designed in ancient Egypt. The benefit of this design is that the bow can store up a greater amount of energy and can also deliver that energy with greater precision and effectiveness than a straight limb bow counterpart.

You will see the recurve bow is used heavily in the Olympic competitions, and the bow I personally prefer for hunting and field practice. In the past, horsemen used recurve bows as a form of protection. If you are a neophyte archer, you might opt for using a bare bow recurve fitted with a single bowstring and a rest for your arrow. Archers with a greater amount of skill might choose a recurve bow with all the bells and whistles including clickers, stabilizers, sights, and pressure buttons.

Recurve Bow Variants

Recurve bows are available in three types: Basic, Takedown, and Composite. If you invest in a Basic Recurve Bow, which is the least expensive option, the bow is made of opposing grains put together with glue or wood laminates. This process allows for the bow maker to get the right curve in the bow’s structure. The Takedown Bow is one that can be taken apart for ease of transport from one place to another. There are different methods for the breakdown of a Takedown Bow, including the Fred Bear Takedown option or the pocket and locking system method. Finally, a Composite Recurve Bow is the oldest type of bow, which were made from materials like laminated sinew, wood, and horn. Many hunters like recurve bows because they are lightweight, easy to use, and shorter and faster than other options. Before investing in any of the recurve variants, however, it’s important to determine your correct draw weight.

Deciding What Recurve Bow Works for You

Before you make that important bow investment, make sure you cover all your bases. There are certain things to watch out for when buying a recurve bow and there are definitely some coveted features to keep in mind when purchasing a bow. Here are a few things to consider while you are looking to buy the best recurve bow on the market.

The Reputation of the Manufacturer

Have you looked into the bow manufacturer and how long the company has been in business? What kind of bows does the company make? Are there any available user reviews that can tell you something about the quality of the bow you want to purchase? The top notch companies working in the archery industry take pride in their work and make bows out of quality, lasting materials. It is in your best interest to invest in a recurve bow made of exceptional materials and preferably one that comes with a product warranty. In contrast, some manufacturers are not as reputable and may produce a bow of substandard quality. Potential issues to keep in mind include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Inflexible bow limbs — The limbs on a recurve bow need to have the right level of flexibility in order for the bow to work correctly.
  • Poor quality bowstring — The bowstring needs to be of the highest quality which also means you will need to wax the string occasionally to ensure the bowstring’s integrity.
  • Uncomfortable poorly made bow risers — The riser of the bow is the portion in the mild of the upper and lower limb. As the grip area, it should be comfortable.
  • A bow that cannot adapt to changes in the atmosphere — This can lead to potential damage to the structure of the recurve bow in the future.

Bow Weight

Bow weight and draw weight are two entirely different things. When considering bow weight a lighter recurve bow will serve you well. If the bow is light it is easier to tote around and will allow more shooting time without exhausting yourself physically. Of course, with practice, you will be able to extend the amount of time you use the recurve bow with each session. Experts recommend a recurve bow less than three pounds in overall weight if you plan to use the bow for actual hunting. If the bow is for a female or youth, weighing closer to two pounds is ideal. However, if you are just using the bow for a bit of target practice, the weight of the bow should not be a profound concern.

Draw Weight

Getting a recurve bow with the appropriate draw weight is crucial for your shot to be accurate. The draw weight is the amount of force put on the bowstring to make a desired shot. For the purpose of hunting live prey, a bow with a minimum draw weight of 40 to 45 pounds is required. If there is a draw weight less than 40 pounds and you attempt to cover an length of greater than 15 yards, it is more likely to miss a lot of shots during the hunt. This is due to the arrow not having enough force to penetrate the prey. The draw weight will determine the amount of force an arrow uses to penetrate your target. If your main concern is target practice, draw weight is not as critical as when hunting live game. Having a correct draw weight on your recurve bow will ultimately allow you to make an ethical kill as it contributes to the consistency of your shot.

You need to determine your draw weight based on your own gender and body weight. If you are new to using a recurve bow, go for the lighter draw weight that is ideal for your body type so you have an opportunity to get used to drawing back and using a bow. After spending time with the recurve bow, drawing back the bowstring should become more familiar. As your strength improves, upgrade to a bow with a higher draw weight. At this time, you can begin to base your draw weight on comfort level. Below are the draw weights recommended for beginner youths, women, and men:

  • For small children who weigh anywhere between 70 and 100 pounds, the recommended beginner recurve bow weight is between 10 and 15 pounds.
  • For older children who weigh anywhere between 100 and 130 pounds, the recommended beginner recurve bow weight is between 15 and 25 pounds.
  • For females who weigh anywhere between 100 and 160 pounds, the recommended beginner recurve bow weight is between 25 and 35 pounds.
  • For small-framed males who weigh anywhere between 120 and 150 pounds, the recommended beginner recurve bow weight is between 30 and 45 pounds.
  • For other males who weigh 160 or greater, the recommended recurve bow weight is between 40 and 55 pounds.

Recurve Bow Length

When making a recurve bow investment you must consider bow length. To be able to make long shots, a longer recurve bow is necessary. Take for example the longbow when it was used in medieval England — the bow was often a bit taller than the shooter and the greater size of the bow allowed it to cover a distance of some 200 yards. A recurve bow that is 60 inches or greater in length is within the realm of being a “long bow.” To test the length, hold the recurve bow out in front of you as if you were releasing an arrow. The bottom limb should not come in contact with the ground. A bow 10 inches longer than your height is sufficient. Alternatively, you can use a formula of doubling your draw length for determining bow length, thus, if you have a draw length that equals 30 inches, you will need a bow length of 60 inches.

Quality of the Bow Riser

When buying a recurve bow, look for one with an ergonomically styled grip for maximum comfort during use. A good grip helps to minimize bow vibration following arrow release. It is good for the riser to have brass bushings so it can add important accessories to your bow as well, such as a bow sight and a stabilizer. The riser will be crafted out of aluminum or hardwood. Either way it needs to be light, but durable.

Quality of the Bow Limbs

Typically, a recurve bow’s limbs are made of fiberglass material. The fiberglass will make the upper and lower limb less prone to breakage over the course of time. The exterior of the limbs might be camo dipped for additional color, or the limbs might be a solid color like black. There are even some bows featuring a pink camo exterior for women.

Special Options

Some recurve bows come with special features. Take for example the takedown recurve, where you can remove both limbs from their connection with the bow’s riser by unscrewing the screws that connect the parts. Essentially, the takedown bow is all about convenience and ease of transport, and it is in no way a necessity. The benefit of a takedown bow is that if something breaks you can replace a part instead of the entire bow.

Some new bow buyers wonder if they should invest in a left handed or right handed bow. The selection should be based on your dominant hand. If you are right handed, you will buy a bow to hold in your left hand, and if you are left handed, you will buy a bow to hold in the right hand. If you are ambidextrous it does not matter, as long as you are comfortable holding the bow. Essentially, bow orientation focuses on what hand you use to draw back the bowstring, not hold the bow itself.

Accessories

There are a number of accessories you can use with recurve bows, all of which help to have an improved experience during target practice or hunting. Some of the primary accessories to consider include stringers to help get the bowstring on the bow more easily, and a bow holder to ensure the safekeeping of your recurve bow when it is not in use. An armguard can prevent potential injury in the event the bowstring accidentally strikes your arm. The armguard is actually a sheath that you place on your bow arm. It is sometimes identified as a bracer. A recurve sight helps to see the target with greater clarity and from a distance. An arrow rest is an accessory that attaches flush to the bow’s riser and holds the arrow in position until you release the bowstring.

Conclusion

Clearly, when it comes to recurve bows, there is a vast array of models to choose from, which means it is important to have a good sense of what you are looking for before you shop. It is a good idea to sit down and note the different features you are looking for in a recurve bow. Make sure you know the draw weight, length, and whether or not you want a takedown structure. Also, consider how you plan to use the bow. To begin, check out models from any of the leading manufacturers mentioned in this guide.

Reviews of the Best Crossbows for 2017

When checking out the market for the best crossbow to fit your needs, the expanse of options is overwhelming. The following guide contains information about how to choose the best crossbow for every situation. You will also find a concise breakdown of crossbows to fit all budgets. This guide will provide a clear understanding of a crossbow’s capabilities, the features that are most coveted, and familiarize you with some of the best brands of crossbows on the market today.

The #1 Crossbow We Recommend

Barnett JackalIt is nearly impossible to pick a single crossbow to recommend, especially considering the wide range of options. But, if we had to do it, our #1 pick would be the Barnett Jackal. While it is moderately priced, it is also an extremely high quality weapon that fulfills most shooter’s needs. The Barnett Jackal is one of the top sellers on the market and has excellent reviews from both customers and professionals.

Best Crossbow for Hunting

TenPoint Carbon XtraThe TenPoint Carbon Xtra Deluxe crossbow featuring ACUDraw is a top of the line crossbow ideal for hunting conditions. Priced around $2,700.00, the TenPoint Carbon Xtra Deluxe is an upper-level choice featuring all the coveted bells and whistles. The bow has a speed of 345 feet per second, and a laminated stock with a thumbhole for comfort while aiming the bow at prey. The unit is sold with a Range master Pro Scope for ease of visibility and comes with a crank cocking aid. Without question, this high-performance crossbow with a stock of heirloom quality proves a screamer delivering a high speed, accurate shot. It is a strong, durable crossbow that shoots 20-inch bolts.

If the sticker shock of the Carbon Xtra sounds a bit much for you, you should consider the Barnett Jackal. With it’s 150 lb draw weight and 315 fps shooting speed it is more than capable of handling game animals. It also is reasonably priced, and has over 500 reviews on Amazon with an average of 4.2 stars.

Best Tactical Crossbow

SAS 185 TacticalThe SAS 185 Pound Tactical Compound Crossbow is an ideal option for a tactical bow with a mid-level price. The bow is affordable, powerful, and well designed. The listing price is between $400 and $600.00. The SAS 185-Pound Tactical Compound Crossbow comes with the capability of shooting bolts 335 feet per second and has a 185-pound draw weight. The tactical stock is an AR style and the foregrip is adjustable with five positions. Additionally, the SAS 185 Pound Tactical Compound Crossbow comes with an anti-dry fire system. The kit comes complete with safety glasses, rail lube, a rope cocking device, a crossbow sling, a 4X32 scope, aluminum arrows, and a quiver.

Best Youth Crossbow

Velocity Lionheart Youth CrossbowThe most impressive youth bow on the market today is the Velocity Lionheart Compound Crossbow, a bow promising longevity and considerable durability. First, the reasonable affordability makes the crossbow a practical option, the price ranging between $250.00 and $370.00. The bow offers a high-speed shot and comes complete and ready to use. The limbs are made of fiberglass with a rail made of aluminum. The crossbow’s speed is 310 feet per second. The bow comes complete with a quiver that can hold up to six bolts, padded sling, three-dot sight, roller assist cocking rope, and four bolts in all. Even veterans will appreciate the features of the Lionheart.

Most Powerful Crossbow

Barnett GhostThe Barnett Ghost 410 BAR-78228 CRT is one of the most powerful crossbows you can buy, and the price is exceptional for a bow of this quality. The speed of the bow conquers 410 feet per second, sending a bolt screaming toward its target. The draw weight on the bow is 185 pounds. The bow has a mid to upper-level price between $875.00 and $1,200.00 for the unit. The Barnett Ghost 410 BAR-78228 CRT comes complete with a 3X32 Scope, talon sling, three bolts, a quiver, and a rope-cocking device. The bow features a riser made of Carbonlite® materials, thereby offering a five to one safety factor and the ideal balance between speed and weight.

Best Crossbow for the Money

Barnett Wildcat C6The Barnett Wildcat C6 Crossbow is a great bow at an affordable price. It comes fit with a 4X32 Scope, a composite stock made of lightweight material, and a magnesium riser. The price range of the bow is between $345.00 to $410.00. The bow is capable of shooting a bolt at 320 feet per second. The Barnett Wildcat C6 Crossbow comes with finger reminders and the foregrip has a pass through feature. An anti-dry fire trigger is included, and the bow’s draw weight is about 140 pounds. It is sold with 20-inch bolts (3 in all), and a three arrow quiver.

Best Crossbow Under $600

Barnett Buck Commander Raptor Reverse Draw CrossbowPriced around $580.00, the Barnett BC (Buck Commander) Raptor Reverse Draw Crossbow (camo exterior) has a form specific geometric design for ease of hand placement repetition. The design of the crossbow allows for elevation of your index finger for the perfect placement, and the perfected design allows for ease of target acquisition. The limb pockets are positioned closer to the bow’s trigger assembly so the bow’s center of gravity shifts nearer to your body and lends to a balanced bolt shot each time. The Barnett BC Raptor Reverse Draw Crossbow shoots a bolt at a speed of 330 feet per second and the bolt is backed by 97-foot pounds of kinetic energy. The butt pad is adjustable and the unit comes with an anti-dry-firing trigger.

Best Crossbow Under $500

Barnett Quad EdgeThe Barnett Quad Edge Crossbow shoots bolts at a speed of 350 feet per second. The model bears a price tag between $429.00 and $499.00. The Barnett Quad Edge is crafted with a riser made of magnesium, finger reminders, a foregrip with pass through features, and comes sold with three bolts, a quiver, and an anti-vibration foot stirrup. The unit has a CNC machined 7/8 Inch Picatinny rail. This bow will also appeal to the consumer who appreciates buying products Made in the USA.

Best Crossbow Under $400

SA Sports CrusaderPriced as an entry-level crossbow beginning around $389.00, the SA Sports Crusader Crossbow is a promising piece of equipment for the avid archer. The limbs are crafted out of compression fiberglass and camo colored. The manufacturer constructs the bow out of durable machined aluminum. The unit comes with the quick detach quiver, anti-dry fire features, and a 4X32 Multi Reticle Scope. Fitted with a 225-pound draw weight, the Crusader features a 13.5-inch power stroke, a precision trigger assembly, ambidextrous auto safety functions, and a rear stock that is lightweight and cleanly designed. This camo-dipped crossbow comes with the assembly hex keys and four 20-inch carbon bolts for firing. Also called the Crusader 330 FPS, the overall weight of the bow is 6.5 pounds.

Best Crossbow Under $300

SA Sports AmbushThe SA Sports Ambush Crossbow has a listed price between $235.00 and $299.00. The bow is light, weighing in at only 6.5 pounds. The limbs are created out of compression fiberglass and the unit comes complete with four bolts, a quiver, and a 4X32 Multi-Reticle Scope as well as a Rope Cocking Device. The model features a 150-pound draw, a large stirrup, and can shoot a bolt at a speed of 285 feet per second. The SA Sports Ambush Crossbow is an ambidextrous option and requires 16-inch 2219 Aluminum arrows or 20 in carbon bolts.

Best Crossbow Under $200

SA Sports Empire TerminatorWith a starting price of $179.00, the SA Sports Empire Terminator is an exceptional entry-level bow. This model is available in a camo or black exterior, has a 175-pound draw, and has a speed of 260 feet per second. The Empire Terminator is lightweight (only 4.5 pounds) making it easy to tote around. Some call the Empire Terminator one of the best values in the industry. The Empire Terminator Crossbow has a quick detach quiver, ambidextrous auto safety, a Precision trigger assembly, scope mount, and the manufacturer’s trademark Gull Wing™ design.

Best Crossbow Brands

Barnett

Barnett has proven a tremendously successful name in the arena of archery equipment sales. The company has sold as many as a million crossbows to date. Barnett was launched over fifty years ago, and with each passing year works to make improvements on its existing line with groundbreaking patents. Barnett ranks number one in terms of crossbow manufacturers and the company creates bows built for hunting as well as bows known for their efficiency, accuracy, and speed. Barnett is known as the creator of the first compound crossbow, called the Demon, and the Commando Self-Cocking Crossbow.

Barnett JackalThe Barnett Jackal Crossbow is a spectacular specimen in terms of what this company has to offer. The mid-range price makes the bow affordable, with an upper price of about $400.00, and the unit comes complete with a premium red dot sight, bolts, a quiver, a cable system, synthetic string, high-energy wheels, and a military style bow stock. This bow is capable of shooting an arrow at a speed of 315 feet per second and has a draw weight of 150 pounds.

Excalibur

Excalibur is a refreshing player among archery competitors. Rather than focusing on major profits from the archery industry, the company was established by hunters who exude a passion for hunting and enjoy building high-quality crossbows. The brand Excalibur is in no way cheap as the manufacturer places value on quality over affordability. The goal of the manufacturer is to make bows that are accurate, reliable, and efficient. No engineers work for Excalibur, rather the ideas come from those who are familiar first-hand with hunting. The company has been in business since 1983.

Excalibur MatrixThe Excalibur Matrix Crossbow features a 260-pound draw and delivers a speed of 380 feet per second. Excalibur crossbows are the upper-level bows on the market, with a listing price between $1029.99 and $1,099.99. The bow is equipped with an ergo-grip stock meaning it is ergonomically designed to ensure a proper grip for maximum comfort and minimal risk of injury. This recurve bow promises functionality, reliability, blazing bolt speeds, and a quiet shot. The bow comes with a Tact-Zone compact crossbow scope.

TenPoint

In 2012, TenPoint saw its 20th year in the business of selling archery equipment. The company is headed up by Richard L Bednar, who serves as the CEO, Chairman, and President. Rick’s father is Bill Bednar: The Archery Hall of Famer, and his mother, Edith, is the Ohio-based Portage Archery Center’s founder. Rick and his sisters Joanna and Cindy operate TenPoint as a family business. TenPoint has a number of innovations under its belt, including the 1995 patented VibraCush®: a bow to barrel sound dampener. The company also created the Dry Fire Inhibitor, a mechanism made specifically for the prevention of accidental firing. Since 1995, TenPoint has gotten 29 US patents, two Canadian patents, and now has at least 19 more in pending status. TenPoint also acquired Horton Archery and the Wicked Ridge line in the acquisition.

Tenpoint Stealth FX4The TenPoint Stealth FX Crossbow has a starting price of around $1,270.00 and an uppermost price of about $1,300.00. The bow can shoot speeds up to 370 feet per second. The archer gets an impressive and unparalleled level of maneuverability with the TenPoint Stealth FX Crossbow because of the bow’s lightweight construction. This crossbow weighs 6.8 pounds in total. The Stealth FX is one of the sleekest, most compact, and shortest crossbows TenPoint designs.

Wicked Ridge Invader G3Also, Tenpoint now sells Wicked Ridge models with ACU-52 features. The Wicked Ridge Invader G3 has a listing price that is between $500.00 and $550.00. The Wicked Ridge can shoot bolts at a speed of 330 feet per second. The bow only weighs 6.6 pounds and has a 3.5-pound trigger, a quiet shot, and a 165-pound draw. The body of the bow features the Mossy Oak® Treestand® camouflage pattern, thereby making it a perfect choice for hunting. The bow’s riser is made of aluminum materials and features cutouts that minimize the weight of the bow while simultaneously increasing the crossbow’s strength. The dry fire inhibitor feature is also included with the addition of Tenpoint’s DFI.

SA Sports

Mark N. Ambrose is the founder of SA Sports, LLC. Ambrose has at least two decades of industry-related experience, particularly with the crossbow, and remains an avid outdoors enthusiast. SA Sports makes premier outdoor gear and crossbows. The company keeps innovation and customer value at the heart of every product it creates. The current line of archery equipment includes the Ripper, Vendetta, Fever, Crusader, Ambush, and the Empire Recon, Terminator, Dragon, Beowulf, and Aggressor. SA Sports offers a one-year warranty with all of its equipment.

SA Sports VendettaPriced between $600.00 and $650.00, the SA Sports Vendetta Crossbow is an affordable mid-level bow with a superior design. The Vendetta has a draw weight equal to 200 pounds and weighs 8.5 pounds in total. Each shot from the SA Sports Vendetta moves at 375 feet per second. You can expect top-notch performance from the SA Sports Vendetta and get a series of features that make the crossbow a worthy investment, some of which are associated with the far pricier models on today’s market. The SA Sports Vendetta comes with an ambidextrous auto safety feature, a 4×32 illuminated and multi-range crossbow scope, a 3.5-pound Precision Ultra Refined crossbow trigger pull, and anti-dry fire protection. The unit is sold with four-carbon bolt, a quick-detach quiver, hex keys for assembly, a padded shoulder sling, and a rope-cocking device along with the included scope.

How to Choose the Best Crossbow for your Needs

In this section, we will cover the factors that should be taken into consideration when buying a crossbow, as well as provide a general overview of crossbow features and use.

History and More

Crossbows are an innovation first occurring in the 4th century B.C.E. Their ease of use and accuracy of striking a target led to the adoption of the weapon for use in battle. Circa 209 B.C.E., China had an army in which every soldier was armed with a crossbow, all 50,000 of them. If you want to read more about the history of crossbows, check out the Wikipedia entry on the weapon.

all about crossbowsThe crossbow’s greatest asset is the simplicity of its use. The user can aim the bow and fire, just like using a gun, and the learning curve for using crossbows is fairly mild. The same was not the case with the Welsh longbow, however, as the bow was more difficult to draw back and to control the direction of the arrow.

So many crossbow options are available, it is not uncommon for the neophyte archer, or even the individual experienced in archery, to be confused about where to begin in the shopping process. In fact, in the past two decades alone, the equipment available for archery, whether for competitive or hunting purposes, has changed dramatically. Brand new bow designs, arrows, strings, sights, and materials are making archery equipment more durable and diverse than ever before.

Crossbow Types

Two chief forms of this innovative weapon are in use today: the compound and the recurve crossbow. Each bow type has pros and cons, and understanding these will affect the choice you make when looking for the best crossbow for your individualized needs.

Design

Recurve crossbows were in use before compound crossbows. In terms of bow design, it becomes easy to identify the recurve configuration of a bow: the limbs of the bow will form an inverted letter “U” and the end of each limb will curve out and a bit backward. On a compound crossbow, however, the limbs do not curve at the ends. The recurve crossbow is equipped with few breakable components. The recurve does not have the asymmetrical wheel or round wheel components found on a compound model. The bow is simple to maintain and if the string becomes damaged or breaks, it can be easily replaced. Recurve bows don’t have a cocking mechanism, which makes cocking the bow a bit more difficult. The absence of the cocking mechanism makes the recurve model slightly less accurate than the compound crossbow. Between the recurve and compound crossbow, the recurve is the unit with the quieter shot. Beginners looking for a suitable bow will do well by the recurve crossbow, it is less expensive and generally easier to use.

Strength

If having a strong bow is of great importance, the compound crossbow is the better option. Recurve crossbows end up being weaker because they have greater width than the compound bow. The wider bow makes recurve bows more difficult to handle. The compound version of the crossbow is fitted with pulleys that attach to the limbs. The bowstring is shorter and drawing the bow is easy due to the inclusion of a cam system. The cam system makes for easy drawing of the bow. The system permits the storage of energy, and it helps to make the compound crossbow more powerful. Bolts released from a compound bow fly faster and a cocking mechanism makes for easy bow drawing. With shorter limbs, the compound crossbow is ideal for the archer who covets a bow that is easy to manage, especially in tight areas.

Bear in mind that the extra components on the bow, like the pulley system and camshaft, add to the weight of the bow. In addition, more components means more parts that potentially need replacing in the future. In terms of price, an archer can expect to pay more for the compound model.

Modern Innovations

Modern design has resulted in a change of material used for crafting the crossbow. Just a few decades ago, every crossbow was fit with limbs made of durable steel. Current models are made of composite materials or fiberglass. Split-limb composite builds lend to the equalization of stress and a reduction in the bow’s weight.

Modern bow stocks are laminated wood and plastic with reinforcing metal components. Molded stocks allow for greater variation of design and style. If looking for a bow with a lighter weight, the archer can choose one with a skeletal stock to contribute to the weight reduction. Bear in mind, however, that heavier crossbows have greater firing accuracy; heavyweight contributes to bow stability.

Power

powerful crossbowsCrossbows are ranked according to pull weights ranging from 80 to 200 pounds. The string is stressed and in turn propels a bolt at a speed up to 340 feet per second. For hunting deer, a 150-pound draw weight is sufficient and should be The latter easy enough to accomplish when making use of the foot stirrup. Using a rope cocking aid lends to greater accuracy and an evenness of the string drawback. Plus, it lessens the weight of the pull by as much as half. If you opt for a crank cocking aid, it takes between 10 to 15 pounds of pressure to cock the bow. The crank aid is cumbersome and slow.

Crossbow Uses

Its good consider why and how you will be using the crossbow. Do you plan to use it for hunting game, target practice, or competitions? There are different bows better suited for different uses. If you plan to use the equipment for target practice with field points or arrowheads, the size of the crossbow and the weight of the unit do not play a serious role, since you can fire the arrows while remaining stationary. In this scenario it will also be easier to avoid the tight spaces where you might have trouble maneuvering a crossbow. Alternatively, if you plan on hunting prey, it becomes necessary to buy a durable crossbow, preferably one with a scope for ease of spotting prey during the hunt.

Draw Weight

Before buying a crossbow, know how you plan to use it. The draw weight for a crossbow appropriate for hunting will differ from the draw weight one needs for target shooting. To that end, some states have issued laws regulating the minimum draw weight a crossbow can have as well as the weight of the bolts it uses. You will need to look into the acceptable draw weight for hunters/archers in your residing state. The average range of draw weight noted in varying state regulations falls between 75 and 125 pounds. This amount is sufficient to kill a white tail deer when within a moderate range of the animal. The crossbows crafted by leading manufacturers in the industry feature draw weights between 150 and 175 pounds on average, with some bows having a bit less in terms of weight or climbing as high as 200 pounds for a draw weight. The higher the poundage, the faster the shot a crossbow delivers.

Manufacturer

Its not a bad idea to find out a bit about the crossbow manufacturer. The more you know about the company who creates the bow, the more you know about determining bow quality. Check out the official websites of crossbow manufacturers who make the bows you are considering for purchase. Additionally, look into the company’s reputation, the year of launch, and make sure you use some research tools to see what other archers are saying about the various crossbow brands.

Noise

The amount of noise a crossbow produces is of particular importance when planning to hunt live game. Keep in mind that you cannot escape making some kind of noise with a crossbow, but there are some models that prove quieter than others. For instance, a that bow features cam mechanisms will be noisier than a bow that does not. A compound bow is often noisier than a recurve crossbow. If the crossbow features parallel limbs, it will likely have a quieter shot.

In the event you are dissatisfied with the noise level of the crossbow you buy, there are accessories to muffle the noise. These accessories are made for the purposes of diminishing the amount of vibration generated by the crossbow’s limbs once a shot is fired. The archer must attach noise-dampening accessories directly to the limbs to quiet down the movement.

Velocity

If you are concerned about the amount of speed your bow will deliver, you should opt for a compound crossbow rather thane recurve models. The compound crossbow is capable of storing a greater amount of energy. Using the correct bolts with your bow will also influence the speed of each shot. When buying a new bow, the bow’s manufacturer provides you with information on bolt size. If bolts are not the correct size, your bolt firing will end with erratic results. Even worse, if you use an excessively light bolt with a powerful crossbow, it can end up breaking the bolt or causing potential damage to your equipment.

When it comes to the velocity of the crossbow, references of speed will appear as feet per second or FPS in a crossbow’s description. This figure explains the amount of force behind each arrow. Speeds over 200 feet per second are ideal for hunting small game, even though you can also use such crossbows for target practice. If you want to hunt big game, you will need a crossbow that has a velocity ranging from 201 to 410 feet per second. The latter velocity range is commonly found in upper level crossbows.

If you choose a crossbow that delivers considerable speed it will likely be noisier than a crossbow with a lower velocity. In addition, the higher speed crossbows will most certainly deliver a harsher recoil when you fire a shot. The main difference between a crossbow that shoots 200 fps and a crossbow that shoots 350 fps is that the latter will deliver a trajectory that is flatter once you fire the weapon. The flat trajectory lends to the ease of making distance judgments. Many manufacturers increase the speed a crossbow can deliver by increasing the bow’s weight, power stroke, and by adding cams. The tradeoff for additional speed includes increased recoil intensity, and a louder shot.

Weight

Weight is an important factor to consider. Firstly, if you plan to use the bow for hunting, its important to consider the portability of the unit. That said, you will find heavier crossbows lend to greater shot accuracy. This is because the weight of the bow stills the bow and causes less vibration that lighter options. Hefty crossbows are recommended for the novice seeking to get an accurate shot. As an archer, you need to consider your physical limitations as well, and what bow weight you can handle with the most ease. Bear in mind that if a crossbow is excessively light, it can cause the bow to have a harsher recoil when fired, and in fact, can be more difficult to control. In contrast, a crossbow that is too heavy can be tiresome and difficult to control.

Accessories

crossbow accessoriesWhile shopping around for a crossbow, some will be sold with a kit containing everything for immediate use. Others may require specific accessories such as rope-cocking devices or a scope. Take the time to price and compare accessories so you can create the ultimate crossbow setup.

Triggers

Its important the trigger of your bow is of good quality. The creep affect and trigger poundage play a role in how accurately the crossbow shoots. A trigger without any creep is one that essentially releases a bolt with no warning or travel before release. The latter type of trigger and creep combination can prove dangerous. In contrast, a trigger with excessive creep can become difficult to squeeze or set off with any level of consistency. The premium triggers on the market lend to the accuracy of your shot because they have optimal poundage and travel.

Crossbow Buying Tips

Tip #1: Check out more than one crossbow option before you buy. Make sure you take the time to examine several different brands before you make your final purchase. Before ordering a bow online, you might want to visit a local dealer so you can compare prices, try holding the different crossbows to see how they feel, and talk to the dealer to get some advice about a crossbow investment. Whether you buy from a shop online or in-store, it is your job to do all the comparative research in terms of features and price. It is better to take your time to discover all the options available than to act on the first good deal you find. There may be an even better deal waiting for you in continued search.

Tip #2: Make sure you know the laws regulating archery. It is important to reflect on the kind of bow you desire, the type of archery you will perform, and what you are willing to spend on your bow investment. As a future archer, you must find out about state and local laws pertaining to bow use and adhere to all state and federal hunting regulations. Each state has varying laws regarding crossbow use.

Tip #3: When shopping for a crossbow, do not forego quality for a lower price tag. There are crossbows for sale that can meet any kind of budget imaginable. It is of incredible importance that you take the time to assess a crossbow’s features, what others have to say about a crossbow, and the reputation of the bow’s manufacturer before you buy. Do not let a low price rush you into buying before fully considering the investment. Durability and longevity are key considerations to get the most for your money.

Tip #4: Consider purchasing a complete package instead of an individual crossbow. In addition to the bow itself there are packages containing everything you need to get started with archery. Packages often contain the crossbow, quivers, bolts, and scopes. Of course, the initial pricing for a package will be higher than the price for a bow alone, but packages can save you a considerable amount of shopping time. Additionally, packages are pre-packed by the manufacturer which ensures that all the bolts are the correct size and weight.

Tip #5: Review the crossbow’s warranty, if applicable. Check to see if a warranty comes with your purchase, and if so, how long it lasts and what it covers. Knowing what a warranty covers is crucial since some warrantees have clauses that include an explanation of actions that are not allowed in terms of the care/repair of the crossbow. If you violate the terms of the warranty, you will likely lose the coverage entirely.

Conclusion

Due to the precision a crossbow can provide, crossbow equipment is in high demand. To address this high demand, manufacturers create a variety of unique crossbow models which thereby increases the number of options a consumer has to consider. When shopping for a crossbow, the sheer number of options can be overwhelming. The key to finding the best crossbow for your needs is in understanding different bow styles and what they as well as how certain accessories work in compatibility to a particular bow. In depth research of bows and accessories (in terms of both cost and features) is imperative to find a crossbow that will serve your needs for many years to come.

Reviews of the Best Binoculars for Bowhunters

Binoculars today are much more efficient than those used in the past. Bulky binoculars with vision that does not last past sundown are nearly obsolete. The optics used nowadays have the ability to collect light in complete darkness, which is very convenient for the adept bowhunter. Regardless of the animal or the landscape, a good pair of binoculars is a key asset for catching prey.

Key Aspects to Look for When Purchasing Binoculars for Bowhunting

Before trying to identify the best binoculars for bowhunting, take the time to know exactly what qualities you are looking for. Here are some of the key aspects to consider before purchasing binoculars for bowhunting.

Amplification

Binoculars are sold in three primary powers of amplification: 8x, 10x, and 12x. The amplification indicates how magnified the target will appear to your eyes.

  • Lower magnification (7x or 8x) provides a larger view and heat waves are less noticeable, which means the view will be clearer in warmer temperatures. Naturally, a more high-powered pair of binoculars will provide better detail.
  • Medium (and sometimes lower) powered binoculars can be useful if you often experience headaches and weary eyes during long periods of glassing.
  • High powered bowhunting binoculars offer superior zooming ability at longer ranges to determine tines or the animal’s sex. However, these binoculars often have a restricted field-of-view (FOV), making them less practical for glassing unidentified animals. However, if you have already identified the animal’s location, and there is no need for “spotting,” higher magnification binoculars are ideal to reflect finer details.

Objective Dimension

In addition to amplification, it is important to consider the binocular’s objective dimensions. Objective dimensions are represent the diameter of the back of the lens. For example, if you have a pair of binoculars that are 10×50, the first number indicates the amplification and the second number indicates the objective dimensions. A larger objective dimension number means the lens is wider, which allows more light to pass through, and enhances vision as dawn and dusk, or in any situation where light is limited. However, a larger objective dimension will likely be heavier than smaller sizes that don’t collect as much light.

Price

The prices of bowhunting binoculars can vary widely. Some cost as low as $29.00 while  others can cost beyond $3000. It all comes down to your specific binocular needs. As a rule-of-thumb, the more pricey the binoculars, the better the lens. Pricier binoculars will also likely have enhanced clarity and light gathering features. That being said, by prioritizing your needs and evaluating the trade-offs, there’s no need to raid your savings in order to purchase a good pair of binoculars. Consider also the warranty provided by the manufacturer. Some companies offer an unconditional lifetime warranty, which is most likely the best option available, and should be factored in to the total price you are willing to pay for the product.

Secondary Aspects to Consider When Purchasing Binoculars for Bowhunting

Field of View (FOV)

There is no set guidelines for selecting the “correct” field of view (FOV). If you plan to use your binoculars in broad open spaces, high FOV will be beneficial. However, if you are more focused on finding game that moves quickly, a high FOV is not required.

Prism Category

Hunting binoculars come in two key “prism” categories: porro prisms and roof prisms. The main difference between the two is that porro prisms are usually larger and heavier as they require a larger model to reflect the light several times, while roof prisms are usually lighter, with a sleeker design. As a result, roof prisms are typically deemed more practical, and porro prisms tend to be more affordable.

Eye Relief

Eye relief is a key consideration if you wear eyeglasses or sunglasses. Eye relief determines the distance you can hold your binoculars from your eyes while maintaining the full image in focus. If you are a bowhunter who wears eyeglasses, a minimum of 14 to 15 mm will likely be the best fit.

Focus Style

Binoculars come equipped either with a center focus, or a separate eyepiece focus. The separate eyepiece is helpful for medium to long distance use. Additionally, if your target is more than 30- 40 yards away, binoculars with a separate eyepiece require zero focusing on your part. There are also no exterior parts, which makes them more resistant to dampness and wear-and-tear. Center focus binoculars work best for targets that are not more than 30 yards away.

Dimensions

Even for the most experienced bowhunters, full-sized binoculars can feel quite heavy. The type and quantity of glass used to execute the binocular design adds significant weight to the product, which can be especially burdensome while hiking. If you plan to be wearing your binoculars around your neck for long treks, be sure to consider that a lighter, 30 mm objective design may be easier on your back and neck.

Water Resistance and Rubber Coating

Rubber coating is a key feature for bowhunting binoculars as it makes it easier to grip the binoculars during damp weather and provides greater durability. Water resistance or waterproofing are also important factors to consider, along with resistance to soil, dust, and other weather conditions. Additionally, a sealant can keep binoculars from fogging up or leaking.

Accessories

From time to time, manufacturers will include a decent set of accessories to come along with binoculars, usually a case, strap, and body harness.  Out of these three, the case is probably the most important as it protects against abrasions and damage during transport, and provides additional protection for binoculars that are not rubber coated or waterproofed.

Six of the Best Binoculars for Bowhunting

Below are six of the top binoculars for bowhunting, in no particular order. Keep in mind that the origin of manufacturing is crucial not only to ensure quality, but also to know that there is a local branch near you, should any problems arise. The quality of the manufacturer can hint towards the quality of warranty and after-sale service. If you are planning to make worthy investment on your binoculars, companies with a good product and reputation should be given preference.

Prices are categorized by lower-range (under $300), middle-range ($300-$599), and higher-end binoculars ($600 and up).

1. Vortex Optics Viper HD 10×42

This superior binocular is one of the best on the market and comes equipped with a myriad of features, including an O-ring that seals against moisture (fog), water, and dust. The Vortex Optics Viper HD has a multi-coated design that provides superior image quality due to its highly dense and extremely low-level dispersion glass. With a high user rating, this state-of-the-art binocular is for the serious bowhunter. The rubberized structure and custom grip is unparalleled in other models. The Vortex Optics comes with a variety of accessories as well. Some bowhunters may find this model a bit heavy, but not uncomfortably so. In addition, the FOV (field of view) is smaller compared to other higher-end models.

Features:

  • Durability
  • HD low dispersion glass
  • Multi-coated lens offers sharp details with supreme hues and clarity

Price: Higher-end

2. Upland Optics Perception HD 10x42mm Binoculars

Upland Optics Perception HD is a more reasonably priced choice among the highly rated binoculars for bowhunters. With a 10x magnification and a 42mm objective lens, this multi-textured binocular is a moderately priced option for more casual bowhunters. Buyers of the Perception HD found the product a superior optic purchase with quality imagery and lucidity. On the whole, this model has great value for the money.

Features:

  • Enhanced magnesium chassis
  • Dielectric coating and multi-coating enhancing color, images, and light transference
  • Moisture, fog, debris, and dust protection
  • Small hinge for easier management

Price: Medium-range

3. 40049 Leica 10×42 Geovid HD-B Ballistic Range Finder Binocular

Listed as one of the best-selling binocular models around the world, this 40049 Leica 10×42 is unmatched when it comes to superior quality. The Leica brand has a pristine reputation not only for producing amazing binoculars, but for producing some of the top-rated microscopes and cameras on the market today. This binocular model has all the features you are looking for as an experienced bowhunter. Probably the biggest disadvantage to this model is the high-end price. Nevertheless, it’s filled with up-to-the-minute ballistic properties, a barometer, thermometer, and inclinometer. This binocular design is worth saving up for.

Features:

  • Water and fog proof
  • Nitrogen filled
  • Advanced technology for effortless hunting

Price: High-end

4. Leupold Rogue Binoculars

This top-quality binocular offers more than sufficient attributes on the lower-end cost spectrum. The Leupold Rogue Binoculars offers bountiful eye relief and a large knob for focusing on prey.

Features:

  • Generous eye relief
  • Waterproof
  • Porro prisms and multi-coated lens
  • Great price

Price: Lower-end

5. Swarovski Swarovision 10×42

The Swarovski EL Swarovision is one of, if not the most, elegant and sophisticated pair of binoculars on the market today. They are the Rolls-Royce of binoculars with a hefty price tag to match! A top-quality protective cover and amazing lens with additional top-of-the-line attributes place this pair of binoculars at the top of the market. You will see what you’ve been missing once you look through the lens of this superior product. It will be hard to find a better pair of binoculars for hunting to compete in form, texture, size, lavishness, and overall sleekness. The Swarovski Swarovision 10×42 is a bit heavier than less costly hunting models, but its to be expected when purchasing higher-end binocular designs.

Features:

  • Field view of 336 ft at 1000 yds
  • Crystal clear images
  • Three different types of coatings: Swarobright, Swarodur, and Swarotop
  • Outside lenses coated with Swaroclean guaranteeing incredibly easy cleaning

Price: High-end

6. Vortex Talon HD 10×42 Binocular

The medium-range Vortex Talon HD binocular is reasonably priced for the included attributes. With extra low dispersion-glass and HD, this set of binoculars is both lucid and damage resistant. What’s more, a view of nearly 350 ft at 1000 yds is exceptional and rare for a 10 power, 42mm objective binocular irrespective of the price. Vortex cleverly designed this mid-priced quality product with features comparable to higher-priced, European models.

Features:

  • High Density ED Glass
  • Waterproof and Fog proof
  • Phase Corrected

Price: Middle-range

Conclusion

Finding the ideal binoculars for bowhunting will require time and effort. You will need to consider particular qualities like eye relief, FOV, focus type, and more. Nevertheless, if you know what you want, you will find your perfect pair of binoculars with a bit of patience. By doing your research, you will be a happy hunter with the perfect bowhunting binoculars to help capture your game!

The Best Rangefinders for Bowhunting

A rangefinder could be a useful tool for your next hunting trip. As there are many options on the market, each with their own set of pros and cons, it can be tricky to identify what’s best for your needs. Keep in mind, not all rangefinders were created equal.

It is always beneficial to make an informed decision; in this post, we will review rangefinder basics, and what to consider when buying one of your own.

What is a Rangefinder?

Rangefinders operate as a type of monocular fit with a laser that can be pinpointed onto a target. Rangefinders measure the time it takes for the laser to reach the object and return, which allows the hunter to judge the distance between himself and the target.

As you can imagine, this means rangefinders aren’t very efficient in foggy conditions, or in situations where the target isn’t very reflective. Every laser rangefinder features a target reticule, which helps you pinpoint the target.

Some rangefinders use LCD displays that superimpose black lines over the target. Although helpful, it will be a bit harder to distinguish between objects in low light conditions.

Other rangefinders use LEDs to supplement vision. While most LEDs are adjustable, they tend to get washed out in very light conditions making them nearly useless. Using an LED rangefinder can also really hamper your night vision if your eyes have adjusted to low light conditions.

Basic Considerations

It’s important to keep the obstruction of view in mind, as it will carry over to anything else that appears on the screen. An LCD display with a backlight will allow you to hunt in all light conditions.

The size and weight of all your equipment will have a big impact on your hunting experience. It’s vital to bring enough to be adequately prepared, but too much weight can wear you out, and make you less agile. This means a lightweight and compact rangefinder is likely the best choice.

Priority Modes

Rangefinders are typically either set to be in first priority mode or second priority mode.

First priority mode is commonly used for golfers, as it finds the first object in sight and disregards farther objects. This is ideal for an open area (like a golf course) where the unobstructed view allows you to flag the target with pinpoint accuracy.

Second priority mode, on the other hand, is better for hunting, as it disregards closer objects to range more distant ones. This means that any foliage that lies between you and the quarry will be ignored, and the rangefinder will focus on the target instead.

There are rangefinders on the market that allow you to switch between the two modes, utilizing each of them at the appropriate time.

Rangefinders are usually marketed to highlight the maximum distance they reliably range a target. Keep in mind, though, that this distance is often only obtainable under perfectly optimal conditions. Take some advertisements with a grain of salt.

It’s also important to consider how waves from the sun, glare off of snow, and air pollution could all contribute to your rangefinder being impaired. Consequently, a game animal can typically only be successfully ranged at one third or one half of the distance that was advertised for the rangefinder.

Some models of laser rangefinders come equipped with magnification capability, which means they effectively function in the same way as a common set of binoculars. It’s important to note, however, that this doesn’t extend the potential range of the rangefinder. This feature only works to magnify small objects in order to make the ranging process feel a bit more streamlined.Since magnification won’t work if your lens is cloudy or foggy, companies often also offer updated lenses to enhance the ranging experience.

In addition to first priority or second priority mode, rangefinders also come in either horizontal mode or scan mode.

Horizontal mode is useful in mountainous regions. This feature uses trigonometry to factor in elevation changes when ranging so you can range uphill or downhill.

Scan mode allows the hunter to “scan” back and forth over a ranging area in order to look for multiple targets at the same time.

With these rangefinder basics in mind, we are going to take a look at a few rangefinder options and evaluate pros and cons to help you make a more informed purchase.

SIMMONS RANGEFINDER VOLT 600

The Simmons Volt 600 uses an LCD display that can range between 10 and 600 yards. In much the same way as their rifle scopes, Simmons uses state-of-the-art technology to get the job done.

This option is totally weather proof, making it durable and useful in any conditions. The simple design doesn’t have as much advanced technology in its components, but as a result, is reasonably priced.

NIKON ACULON LASER RANGEFINDER

Similarly to Simmons, Nikon is known for both its superb rifle scopes as well as rangefinders. Nikon produces many rangefinders, but the Aculon proves to be their most representative product at a reasonable price.

The Aculon is the smallest rangefinder on this list, meaning its easy to pack and saves space for other priority items. The owners manual for this rangefinder claims accuracy up to 550 yards, but some have claimed it remains accurate up to 650 yards. The optics are all multi-layer coated providing an optimal viewing experience.

The Aculon also has a clear and easy to read LCD display, as well as a one button operation. The simplicity of the product gives you more support to focus on catching the quarry and spend less time adjusting the rangefinder. The Aculon is waterproof and rainproof and is affordable even for those on a budget.

WILDGAME INNOVATIONS HALO XRT LASER RANGEFINDER

The Halo XRT rangefinder is a multipurpose tool that is great for the golfer and the hunter alike. This rangefinder has gained popularity for its ergonomic design and can range up to about 500 yards with a 6x magnification level. It has a built-in scan mode which makes it ideal for hunters who are constantly on the move. This rangefinder is also completely waterproof.

As mentioned above, hunters swear by the ergonomic design of this rangefinder. Not only does it have a gripped hold, but it includes finger indentations that make it even easier and pleasant to use. It’s priced surprisingly well, which is a nice bonus.

BUSHNELL MICHAEL WADDELL BONE COLLECTOR CAMO VERSION

This simple, lightweight rangefinder is ideal for hunting. It can target at up to 600 yards and has a 4x magnification. What sets this rangefinder apart is that it’s both rainproof and has a frame that is much sturdier than many other rangefinders on the market. The durability of this rangefinder can withstand the inevitable knocks and bumps of an extended hunting trip.

Another great feature of the Michael Waddell Bone Collector is that it performs well even in low light conditions. This will help you squeeze out every last bit of light in your hunting excursion. Although relatively new to the market, it’s become a quick favorite in the hunting world.

 

While this list isn’t exhaustive, it should give you an idea as to what to look for in a rangefinder. All rangefinders are not of identical quality, so it’s best to shop around and compare specs before you buy.

Drop Away Arrow Rests: The Best Options for Your Bow

A good arrow rest can make a world of difference for the performance of your compound bow. Regardless of whether you prefer to go hunting with, or spent time on the target range, an arrow rest is an integral component to the optimal functioning of a compound bow set up. There are different types of arrow rests oriented towards beginners and pros, and hunters and target shooters. For those archers who are not rank amateurs or total nubs, a drop away arrow rest offers the best balance between top notch performance and mobility. And these arrow rests can function equally well on the target shooting range as well as in the wild as part of a hunt. So if you are a pro, a drop away arrow rest is the best addition to your compound bow.

What is a Drop Away Arrow Rest

there are different kinds of arrow rest designs out there, ranging from the shoot through or prong arrow rests, to the full capture or containment arrow rests and the drop away or fall away arrow rests. The latter combines the best features of the former in an advanced package ideal for the more experienced bowmen.

The other two designs face some problems when it comes to the arrow fletching clearing the arrow rest. If parts of the arrow rest comes in contact with the fletching, it can seriously affect the accuracy of the shot and even cause damage to the arrow. In a drop away arrow rest, this problem is completely taken out of the equation due to its innovative design. In the other arrow rests, the parts that touch the arrow shaft and anchor it in place are what usually comes in contact with the fletches as the arrow leaves the bow. But in a drop away arrow rest, a trigger mechanism pulls down these parts as the arrow is released, creating ample space for the fletching to pass through unimpeded.

In most drop away arrow rests, the arrow is usually placed in a “Y” shaped cradle that has to be pushed up into place. There are different trigger mechanisms available at present. The installation and calibration of these mechanism can be a little tricky, which is why a drop away rest is considered more appropriate for archery pros rather than beginners.

Things to Consider While Picking A Drop Away Arrow Rest

Unlike other arrow rests, a drop away arrow rest has no compatibility issues with different arrow sizes or fletching designs. As long as you are talking about a modern compound bow, the primary considerations when buying an arrow rest of this kind falls into the following main categories:

Cost: drop away rests tend to be the most expensive arrow rests in the market, due to their complicated designs and advanced trigger systems. The top of the line products from some high-end brands could set you back by a few hundred dollars even. So if you are on a tight budget, you might find your options somewhat limited when compared to the cheaper arrow rest designs.

Bow condition: drop away rests are not simple plug and play attachments. Their performance will have to be tuned to match the speed and power of individual bows. And in order to get this done, you have to ensure that your bow is properly tuned, especially if it a brand new one. Once that is done, the arrow rest trigger mechanism has to be fine tuned to match the release speed of your bow, to ensure that the cradle falls away at the optimal time. Unless you fully know what you are doing, these operations are best left in the hands of seasoned pros.

Trigger Mechanism: Buss operated systems are easier to install and calibrate for the average archer. Limb driven designs, on the other hand, offer better performance, though they can be a bit of a pain to properly install. Improper setup can result in fletching contact and damage, while a perfectly installed system will give you more accuracy and forgiveness than the average buss operated rest. Another newer variant of the buss system, called the inertia trigger release can be found in some higher end variants. They offer total containment, which is of vital use to hunters in the field, while providing full clearance even for bigger arrows and fletchings. Each of these designs have their pros and cons, and the choice is entirely dependent on the requirements of the individual bowman.

Top Drop Away Arrow Rests Reviewed

Vapor Trail LimbDriver Pro V Rest

A smooth functioning and efficient drop away arrow rest from Vapor Trail, the LimbDriver Pro V is a limb driven system with not too complicated set up. Once you manage to install it properly, the drop away function performs flawlessly. Since this is a limb drive system, you don’t have to get yourself tangled up in any kind of buss cable or slide trigger mechanisms. The V shaped rest will hold position longer than average, ensuring a stable arrow flight, will still finding time to duck out of the way of the oncoming fletching. You will have to pay anywhere between a $100-$150 for this baby, but the performance and hassle free use is well worth that price.

Pros

  • Extremely easy to install and set up, compared to the average drop away arrow rest.
  • Ideal for target shooters looking for tighter groupings.
  • Lightweight, improves stability and accuracy.

Cons

  • Doesn’t have full containment, might not suit some hunters.
  • The plastic build doesn’t guarantee the most durable arrow rest in the field, again a con more for hunters than target shooters.

NAP Apache Drop-Away Arrow Rest

New Archery Products are well known for their evocatively branded Apache series of rests. This is purely a hunting oriented arrow rest, or at least, that is how the manufacturer has branded it. With an all metal durable frame, wilderness camo, sound dampeners and full capture, it is not hard to spot where its ambitions lie. At sub $100 retail prices that drift closer to the $50 mark with discounts, this is an affordable drop away rest for hunting enthusiasts. At the offered price, the Apache has a nice array of features that should make this a worthwhile purchase for almost any hunter.

Pros

  • Easy to install and tune.
  • Sound dampeners are effective in the field.
  • The rugged all weather build quality with camo is great for hunting.

Cons

  • The large mounting bracket may not fit all bows.
  • The all metal construction means that this is definitely a heavy rest.

QAD Ultra W-QURH Rest Quad Hunter

This innovative drop away design from Quality Archery Design uses a proprietary velocity drop away technology. It has to be attached to the downward buss cable to trigger the mechanism. With little contact to the arrow, this is a great option for both hunters and target shooters. Hunters especially will appreciate the full containment design and noise dampening rubber parts during stalking. The trigger mechanism works superbly, dropping away only at actual release. You can come to full draw and it will stay up even during slow letdowns. At around $40, this is a great piece of equipment that could keep a lot of bowmen very happy.

Pros

  • Innovative VDT technology
  • Full containment and noise dampening for hunting.
  • The rest stay up solidly and will only drop away if the arrow is launched.
  • Has a very quiet thumb switch to engage and disengage the trigger mechanism.
  • Excellent pricing.

Cons

  • Not the most durable options out there.
  • The fasteners and screws can give some problems.
  • Some users have reported regular fletching contact.

Ripcord Technologies Ace Micro Rest

This is a really good fall away rest with ultra slimline clearance for excellent vane clearance. And it also offers full containment for the bow-hunters. If you use some of the newer vane designs, this Ace Micro Rest is one of the options that have managed to keep up with the evolving arrow design technologies. Though they don’t exactly come cheap at beyond the $100 mark, you get what you pay for, with advanced micro adjustment options. Pro target archers and tinkerers alike should find its feature list to their liking.

Pros

  • Works well even with the shorter thicker vanes.
  • Advanced tinkering options are great for pros.
  • Doesn’t fall away if you come to full draw and let down.
  • A ThumbCock allows for speedy and efficient reloading with one hand.

Cons

  • More oriented towards pros and target archers rather than beginners and hunters.
  • The price might be a deterrent for some.

Conclusion

As far as the question of choice is concerned, there seems to be a great diversity within the drop away or fall away arrow rest models available in the market. From the amateur-hunter oriented $40 rests to top of the line models for pro target archers at $150, there is something for every kind of archer out there. And most drop-away rests are advanced enough to handle both hunting as well as target shooting. If you are an archer who likes to dip into both jars, this category offers a lot of choices.

Reviews of the Best Arrow Rests for Archers

There is nothing too complicated or convoluted about arrow rests when it comes to their purpose. They hold the arrow in place on the bow, giving it support until you draw and let loose, shooting the bow. That is all there is to it. It aids in improving your overall stability and accuracy of your shots. Though its purpose is straightforward, choosing the perfect arrow rest is not that easy. If your choice is a design that is not compatible with your technique, skill level or purpose, the arrow rest will adversely affect your accuracy and aim.

Why Arrow Rest Designs Matter

The complications arise because in archery, there is wide diversity in terms of bow design, archery stances, release aids, body alignment, and whether you plan to use the bow for hunting or target practice. So archery encourages a fair amount of diversity. Beginners may prefer a simpler recurve bow while the more seasoned pros will usually opt for a modern compound bow. You may opt for a traditional finger release or a more modern mechanical trigger release.

Problems arise because the performance of a particular arrow rest will differ depending on how you hold the bow at a particular angle, the type of arrow you use, and your release technique. The fletching of the arrows in particular, will get affected by a particular arrow rest design if it is not compatible to a particular release mechanism. Also some arrow rests will fail to hold an arrow in place in certain situations. So there can be no single design which can claim to be the best arrow design for all bowmen. What works well for one may actually ruin the experience for another. So depending on your requirements, the best arrow rest will vary.

So lets keep things as simple and straightforward as possible. There are three major arrow rest designs popular among archery enthusiasts at present. They are:

  • Shoot Through Rests (Prong rests)
  • Containment Rests (Capture rests)
  • Drop-Away Rests (Fall-Away Rests)

We will broadly analyze their features, capabilities and suitability for different kinds of archers. The reviews of some of the top arrow rest designs in each category will also be included therein.

Shoot Through Rests

These are one of the oldest arrow rest designs still in the market. And they are still popular despite the arrival of more modern arrow rest designs because of their simplicity and effectiveness. And they are also one of the cheapest arrow rests around.

The Design: they have two prongs, whose spacing can be easily adjusted, depending on the diameter of your arrow. These prongs create a kind of “cradle” where the arrow will stay at rest until released. They have a spring loaded mechanism that cause the prongs to fall forward creating an extra space for the fletches to pass through without getting impeded by the prongs. After the arrow has been fully released the mechanism brings the prongs right back up again.

Pros and Cons:

  • They are easy to operate and adjust.
  • They are the cheapest models.
  • They don’t work with arrows with helical or offset fletchings.
  • They don’t secure the arrows properly.
  • They use outdated technology.

Suitable For: A very cheap option for beginners and especially target shooters. Though they can be effectively wielded by all kinds of archers, hunters will face more issues with the prongs. Inclined shots or canted bows tend to cause the arrow to fall away from the rest position, delaying your shot and wasting precious seconds that might allow your quarry to get away. They have been largely eclipsed by the more modern arrow rests.

Recommended Products:

NAP QuikTune 800 Arrow Rest

A very cheap arrow rest that can be had for anywhere between $20-$45, this will work well in all weather conditions. They are very easy to attach, tweak and tune. Good value for money.

Mossy Oak Steady Launcher Arrow Rest

If you need a dirt-cheap arrow rest with no frills ideal for beginners, this could be the arrow rest for you. At less than $15, you get exactly what you pay for. Nothing more, nothing less.

Allen 171 Archery Arrow Launcher Rest

Another inexpensive option for beginner target archers looking to improve their scores on the range. You may have some issues if you have a recurve bow as this is better suited for a compound bow.

Containment Rests

These modern arrow rests offer a direct improvement over the older prong based models. The patented “Whisker Biscuit” type arrow rest has become one of the most popular arrow rest designs in the market.

The Design: Instead of having the arrow rest precariously on prongs, the containment or capture rest totally encircles the arrow shaft, in essence “capturing” it and holding it firmly in its grasp. While the very popular Whisker Biscuit variant has a disc of soft bristles with a hole in the middle where the shaft of the arrow rests, the “three point contact” models have three spokes that hold the arrow shaft firmly in place. This design has the maximum contact on the arrow shaft.

Pros and Cons:

  • Firmly anchors the arrow in place, with zero chance of the arrow falling from the rest, even in different stances, alignments and angles
  • Whisker biscuits work with all types of arrows while the 3 point variant will require standard fletchings.
  • They dominate the market with numerous models and variants.
  • The increased contact means that prolonged use will cause damage to fletching and vanes.
  • There will be a decrease in forgiveness as well as performance of shots.

Suitable for: Bow-hunters without even a shred of doubt, especially beginners. The firm grip on the arrow means that it will not dislocate from the rest even while moving. This level of stability is exactly what hunters need in the field. Target shooters will not benefit much from this, since they largely shoot from stable stationary stances. And the performance hit will put them at a slight disadvantage in competition. These rests are great for beginner who are still learning to keep a stable stance and aim.

Recommended Products:

Wingeler Medium Arrow Rest

Incredibly cheap at around the $10 mark, this is a great option for beginners and especially kids to hone their archery skills. A basic Whisker Biscuit design, it offers adequate performance so long as you don’t expect too much from the cheap plastic frame.

Trophy Ridge Sure Shot Pro Whisker Biscuit

A more expensive proposition at around the $80 mark, this original Whisker Biscuit model is nevertheless worth that extra cash. With its sturdy aluminum body frame and durable nylon bushings, this is an arrow case made for rough use in the field. Excellent choice for hunters who mean business.

NAP QuikTune 360 Capture Arrow Rest

A decent three point contact model in a sea of whisker biscuits, this design allows minimal to zero vane contact and improved speed and accuracy for pro hunters who don’t like the performance tradeoffs that whisker biscuits make. A good product around at around $30.

Drop Away Rests

A modern improved take on the older shoot through rests have resulted in the fall away or drop away arrow rests. They offer some of the best performances of all arrow rests thanks to zero contact with fletchings upon release. But they are also the most complicated to setup and get running.

The Design: The prong design has been improved to create deep often “Y” shaped cradles where the arrow can rest snugly without much risk of falling off. Some designs even offer an extra arm above the prongs to fully contain the arrow. When the arrow is released, after a set time, the cradle will fall away completely, leaving the arrow fletchings free of any encumbrances in their path. To achieve this, the rests have a push up design, one that has to be raised into position with a nylon cable/cord. The release of the bow triggers a movement in its buss cable or cable slide, either of which is connected to the

triggering mechanism of this rest. This movement triggers the rest to fall forward, but only after the arrow has achieved stability in its flight.

Pros and Cons:

  • Combines the best aspects of shot through and containment arrow rests
  • Zero trouble with all fletching designs.
  • Can accommodate a wide variety of vane sizes.
  • They are complicated and require some effort to set up, which can be hard for beginners.
  • The most expensive type of arrow rests.

Suitable For: both hunters as well as target shooters. The more experienced they are, the better. The triggering mechanism has to be properly programmed according to the characteristics of the bow being used. This can be a bit overwhelming for beginners. But provided they can get a pro to take care of that, this can be a fantastic option for beginners as well. Works exceptionally well in the target ranges. Is also favored by pro hunters who dislike the performance downgrades on whisker biscuits.

Recommended Products:

QAD HDX Archery Rest

Drop away rests tend to be quite expensive and this model from QAD has a decent price of around a hundred bucks. For that price, you get a sturdy stainless steel frame, a sleek design and all the top of the line features like lock down, vibration dampening and velocity optimization. Excellent for both target shooters and hunters.

TruGlo Downdraft Drop-Away Arrow Rest RT Xtra

For a more budget oriented drop away rest, this TruGlo model ticks all the right boxes at around $80, and can be picked up for as low as $50 on sale online. With sealed bushings and rubber dampeners, it offers superior performance and silenced arrow loading, crucial if you are a pro hunter. For added flavor, it comes with a camo finish.

RipCord Technologies Ace Micro

A top of the line full containment model, this will put you back by a good $140, slightly lesser if you can get it at a discount of course. Designed for pros, this has all the advanced adjustability features that target archer would want. If you want to improve your scores on the range, this might be one of the best option for you that money can buy.

Conclusion

Regardless of you skill level, purpose and choice of equipment and arrows, there is an ideal arrow rest out there tailor made for you, at a budget you are comfortable with. The challenge is in identifying your needs properly. Hope this article helps you in that in some meaningful way. Happy target shooting/hunting!

Choosing the Best Bow String for Your Bow

When you own a bow it features three basic parts that are considered fundamental to its operation. Your bow is made of a riser, limbs, and a bowstring. If the bowstring is absent or it breaks, the bow is no longer operational until the bowstring is replaced and restrung. The bowstring you choose for your equipment is significant as it influences the fine-tuning of your bow, the amount of noise a released arrow produces, the amount of vibration generated from a released arrow, and the size of the groupings that are the end result of several shots striking a selected target. Contemporary bowstrings are made of different materials depending on the manufacturers of the bowstrings you choose.

Bow String Materials

Dracon: For hundreds of years, bowstrings were primarily made of waxed linen material and this was the basic structure of the bowstring right up to about 66 years ago. The other materials used for making bowstrings include Chinese grass fiber, silk, catgut, cotton, and horsehair. By the late 1950s and early 1960s, synthetic materials were preferred over the waxed linen so often used for bowstrings. Of all the synthetics used for making bowstrings, the very first to be introduced to the industry is the Dacron polyester material. Dacron is a highly stretchable material, gives a 2.6 percent stretch and it has a 50-pound strength per included strand. Dacron is still the ideal material for bowstrings fitted to older bows, wooden bows, and archery equipment for the neophyte.

Kevlar & Vectran: The Dacron strings were considered the best string on the market for about ten years when the 1970s and 1980s brought the novelty of the Kevlar non-stretch bowstring: This ended up replacing the coveted Dacron in terms of popularity. Kevlar, and another synthetic material, Vectran, both of which are liquid crystal polymers, offered archers faster shooting speeds due to the thinner threading. The advantages of Kevlar and Dacron included longer durability, the ability to remain long lasting even in extreme temperature changes, and moisture-proof attributes. The downside to Kevlar, which only has a 0.8 percent stretch and offers 70 pounds of strength per strand, is that the string will last about 1000 shots before it breaks and requires replacement. Kevlar intensifies bow limb stress, and because of its bending at the nocking point, it will often fatigue to the point of sudden and abrupt breakage.

Dyneema & Spectra: In the early to mid-1980s, the introduction of Dyneema and Spectra bowstrings served to remedy the issues that were are common with Dacron and Kevlar strings. The Hoyt Archery Company brought the Allied Signal Spectra bowstring material to the forefront of the industry and it proved wildly popular: more so than any other material in the prior three decades before its introduction. Both Dyneema and Spectra are made of a special fiber material called Ultra High Modulus Polyethylene or UHMPE for short. There are a few differences between Dyneema and Spectra, but, for the most part, they are similar. The strings are durable, resistant to moisture, environmental conditions, and solvents. Only seriously elevations in temperature weaken the string, which presents as stretch and creep issues following the introduction of high tension and heat, often times during a competitive event.

Blends: In the mid-1990s, manufacturers were yet again looking for a means to improve the quality of bow strings on the market. This is the time when blending of existing synthetics came into play and the first blended material was a combination of UHMPE and Vectran. The latter mix ended up remedying issues related to creep, but eventually the string would wear out. However, the issue was manageable if the bow owner took good care of the string and waxed it regularly with some string wax.

Bow String Construction

If a bowstring is constructed with care, it can contribute to the bow’s performance and the archer’s accuracy. First, when a bowstring is manufactured, the strand tension needs to remain consistent throughout the string. If there is no symmetry and evenness in the tension of the string strands, it will make the string unpredictable in terms of the way it will behave. The lack of consistent tension can contribute to irregularity in shot consistency and it can make getting tight groupings on a target next to impossible to achieve.

In order to make sure your string has the appropriate amount of tension per strand and that there is a decent distribution of the tension required, you can remove the bowstring from the packaging and remove any twists in the bowstring. Take the string and using your stringer you can string your bow. Then, take three to four shots just for practice: doing so helps to stretch out the material in the bowstring. Allow your bow to set aside for at least eight hours. Then restring the bow after you have retwisted it so that it fits to the brace height you need. You should have about 20 to 60 twists in the string when you have got the right brace height. If you want less noise and a slower shot, put more twists in the string. If you want some speed and fewer twists, brace yourself for a little bit more noise when an arrow is released.

Tips for Buying a Bow String

When buying your bowstring you will need to get one of the appropriate length. If you fail to get the correct length it will be impossible to achieve the brace height and the overall bow mechanics will be negatively affected s well. If you have a string on your bow already, your problem is half solved: All you need to do is to take its measurement from one end of the bowstring to the other. However, if you have no string to measure, there are several steps you can take to try to figure out what the right size bowstring is for your needs.

First, check out the factory numbers on your bow. Bear in mind the numbers on all bows are not always accurate and the numbers you do see may not be all inclusive in terms of measurement. For example, Hoyt bow factory numbers reflects the length of the cable but not the yoke. The next best thing you can do is call the manufacturer of the bow to find out what size bowstring you require: You can often get this information for the company’s tech support.

In the event the company that made your bow is out of business, you can sometimes still find owner’s manuals online. You might do well to contact a professional at a sporting goods shop who can advise on figuring out the correct string length. Otherwise, you can put the bow in a press and use some fishing line to make mock thread for gauging in order to get a sense of the size string you require.

The B-50 Dacron Recurve Bowstring

Cir-Cut Archery Products is the maker of the B-50 Dacron Recurve Bowstring. The string is available in several sizes and strands. The 12-strand string is recommended for bows up to 40 pounds. The 14-strand bowstring is recommended for bows with a draw weight up to 50 pounds. The 16 strand strings are ideal for bows with a draw weight of 65 pounds. When you buy the string it ends up being four inches shorter than the actual measurement you order as the string’s measurement is different when the bowstring is under tension. The bow is available in 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, and 66 AMO lengths. You will find the string more than reasonable in terms of pricing as well.

The Samick Sage & Polaris Replacement String

Another excellent bowstring you can buy for restringing your equipment is the Samick Sage & Polaris bowstring. The bow is available in a 14-strand version suitable for bows with 24 to 40 pound weights. Alternatively, for bows weighing 45 pounds or more for draw weight, you can get the 16 strand bowstring as well. Each string is pre-twisted and the string is adjusted for brace height. The Samick Sage & Polaris is a bit more costly than Cir-Cut Archery Products’ B-50 Dacron Recurve Bowstring.

The Flemish Fast Flight Plus Bowstring

Trad Gear Archery sells the Flemish Fast Plus Bowstring that is suitable for bows that can easily handle high performance, low stretch bowstring material. The string is twisted in such a way it allows for a quieter shot, and the bowstring’s tuning will adjust naturally as the string is stretching. The strings contain 18 strands in all in a construction presenting as three bundles of string. The nock fit is perfect and the string is a good thickness to ensure its longevity. The string color is primarily black while the strands are bronze and black in color. String sizes vary from 44 inches up to 62 inches. The sleek and durable design makes this bowstring a coveted option among archers.

In Conclusion

Since your bowstring is one of the most basic components of the bow and the equipment will not work without it, it is a good idea to spend some time shopping around for the best bowstring on the market. You do not want a bowstring that will not allow for shot consistency, and you do not want a string that is too weak and ends up breaking at a critical moment during a hunt. Locating the perfect string has all the advantages an archer requires: noise reduction, greater control, a better shoot, and bow longevity.

Reviews of the Best Bow Stabilizers

bow stabilizerIf you are an archer and you are interested in hunting live prey, you want your initial shot from your arrow to be as quiet as possible. You do not want to startle the animal and give your prey a warning of your presence before your projectile ever takes flight, as it may very well cause the prey to do what is called “jump the string.” Essentially, your selected target will hear you release your arrow and will bolt off into the woods to safety long before your shot can make contact. Now, while there is no way to eliminate all the noise that a bow produces when you are hunting, an investment in the best bow stabilizer can help in minimizing the bow vibration and noise releasing an arrow produces. A quieter shot will definitely contribute to a greater likelihood of getting that kill shot to happen.

Achieving a Quiet Shot

Even the avid archer who has been years of experience backing every single shot can benefit from buying one of the best bow stabilizer selections on the market. While some archers believe they can take down a deer or other prey by speeding up how fast the arrow actually travels, this is not really the case.

Essentially, the belief that the arrow will be able to fly fast enough to get to the animal before the sound of releasing the bow gets to the selected target is physically impossible, despite how fast the arrow might actually be moving. Consider the fact that some of the top of the line bows can release an arrow at a speed of about 400 feet per second. Next, consider that the majority of bow users are relying on equipment that allows for arrows to release at speeds between 250 and 300 feet per second. The fact that the speed of sound travels at a rate of 1088 feet per second flies in the face of the notion that any arrow will ever reach the prey before the sound produced when you release your bow.

When you release an arrow not all of the energy that comes from the tension of the bowstring releases with it. When the arrow flies, the energy that remains following the shot passes through the body of the bow and results in some sounds and vibration. The sounds that are produced are both low and high-frequency noise. The bow has an upper limb and lower limb that vibrates and makes an extremely quiet thumping noise. At the same time, the bowstring and the accessories on the bow produce additional noise, with the string vibrating at a fast rate so it produces a high frequency reverberation.

This is when buying the best bow stabilizer becomes so important. The stabilizer is capable of dampening some noise and, when coupled with a high quality silencer, you will find you can quiet the bow considerably. Hunters and tournament archers alike appreciate high quality stabilizers because the accessories come with so many benefits. For instance, in addition to taking on a bit of the vibration from a shot, the stabilizer lends to greater shot accuracy, and it helps in reducing the torque and achieving bow balance. Of course, stabilizers have the most important job of stabilizing the bow and shot.

Bow Stabilizers: The Basics

You get plenty of selection when it comes to choosing a stabilizer for your bow; the accessory is sold in various sizes, shapes, and under different brand labels. Any stabilizer you buy will have to be attached to the bow via screws. To that end, some bows are sold with a stabilizer as part of the package. If you got a stabilizer with the bow package, you can test it to see what it does are far as helping improve the accuracy of your shot and the stabilization or steadiness of the bow.

Design

At one time a bow stabilizer was of a very basic construction and manufactured with either a rubber or metal body. The stabilizer was attached to the bow with screws and with this attachment the two pieces were unified into a single body. This allowed the stabilizer and bow to share any vibration made, but it was not really effective in quieting the noise produced. In contrast, today’s stabilizers have an evolved design combining the weighted frontend, dampener made of rubber, and the metal stabilizer body. The combination of all three features allows for a significant difference in terms of sound dampening and vibration control.

Stabilizers are manufactured out of an array of materials including plastic, metal/stainless steel, and rubber or a mix of all the latter. The primary part of the stabilizer, the rod, is created out of a tube-shaped piece of material: Usually, this material is extremely light in terms of its design. ABS plastic and carbon are the two most common materials used in contemporary stabilizers, whereas older stabilizers were often made of a metal material. Many archers have demonstrated a preference for the models made of light, durable, but thin carbon material because it is durable and resistant to the wind.

Dampening Device: The best bow stabilizer will also feature a piece made of sand, gel, or rubber material: This is the dampening device. While it is true that all of the latter materials are something that will quiet the vibration of your bow, the rubber material is what you will find in the best bow stabilizers because rubber easily absorbs the shock to which it is exposed. Some stabilizers are sold with the dampener and sometimes the unit is sold separately.

Weighted: Some stabilizers are fit with a weighted front portion and this piece is most efficient if it is positioned at the stabilizer’s end and at the furthest point from your bow. In the frontend position, the weight becomes a convenient counterbalance and contributes to shot stability. With improved stability, it allows for more consistency for each shot and smaller, tighter groupings. The weight that goes with your stabilizer is usually sold with the unit. Sometimes you get more than one weight, so the counterbalance becomes adjustable.

Stabilizer Length

The best stabilizer for one archer will differ from the best model for another archer: This is because there are so many factors that go into choosing the unit and one such factor is length. If the archer is using the stabilizer to shoot at targets then a longer stabilizer is a great choice. The longer length lends to greater accuracy with each shot because there is extra stability. Hunters do not necessarily need a long stabilizer and some are actually more comfortable working with those of shorter length. The best way to decide what length is right for you is to figure out what will help you make the most accurate shot so that you also end up with a humane and ethical kill. A stabilizer as short as one inch in length may be all you need if you are shooting close range, but longer lengths are best for the hunter who plans on using blinds and stands.

Still, longer stabilizers come with some major benefits. Since many new bows today feature reflex limbs and measurements from one axle to the other equaling roughly 35 inches: This means that most stabilizers are not as necessary as they once were. A stabilizer ranging from 4 to 10 inches is sufficient for any hunting endeavors. For tight groupings with each shot, you can rely on a 6-inch stabilizer. With the combined used of the rod, dampener, and weight system, you can reduce the vibration of the bow, minimize torque, diminish hand shock, and limit noise.

Trophy Ridge Static Stabilizer

The Trophy Ridge Static Stabilizer is one of the best bow stabilizers you can buy. The unit is reasonably priced, and it features a durable, but light design. The bow stabilizer is the perfect length to give you stability and a quiet shot: It measures 6 inches in length. The stabilizer comes with two weights that are customizable for added balance and weight. A wrist sling made of braided materials comes with the stabilizer. The special design of the rod, where there are holes in the body, allow for air to move through the stabilizer if it happens to be windy outside: You can remain steady in windy conditions. The stabilizer also comes with a Ballistix Copolymer system.

The Pro Hunter Maxx Stabilizer

Bee Stinger is behind the development of the Pro Hunter Maxx Stabilizer unit. The model comes with a SIMS de-resonator and the bar is a full 10 inches in length for tighter shot grouping s with every shot. You get three one-ounce end weights for adjusting the unit. The model comes with an internal Harmonic Dampener, and a 100% Ultra-Rigid Carbon Rod. This bow stabilizer is nicely priced too, and you can get in one of 11 colors. The Pro Hunter bow stabilizer supplies you with exceptional shot control.

SAS Archery Aluminum Bow Stabilizer

The SAS Archery Aluminum Bow Stabilizer weighs all of 5.3 ounces and it measures 5 inches, 8 inches, or 11 inches. The stabilizer is fit with a dampener to reduce vibration, and it has a high quality aluminum design. The unit comes with a full draw counter balance. The unit features a unique design with holes all through it so it is something that will still lend considerable stability if you are shooting in windy conditions. The exterior is solid black in color.

In Conclusion

Whether you have a penchant for striking targets on the range, participating in archery tournaments or you crave the chance to take that kill shot when you are hunting, a stabilizer is an exceptional accessory to use with your bow. A quiet shot is vital to a successful strike on an animal, and some of the best bow stabilizer selections allow for noise and vibration dampening. With greater control over the shot and the noise it produces, there is a greater likelihood that the hunter will get more kills on various hunts.

The Best Arrows to Shoot in 2017

With different manufacturers making arrows of varying lengths and material, shopping for arrows can be overwhelming. There are arrows suitable for fishing, hunting, target shooting, and competitive use. In addition to the use of the arrow, keep in mind the materials used in crafting the arrow, and the length and weight of the arrow as well. Below is a brief guide to make your arrow evaluation process a bit friendlier.

Arrow Types

The oldest evidence of the use of arrows as a weapon with a tip made of stone dates back 64,000 years ago. Arrows crafted out of pinewood materials date back some 10,000 years, and 4,500 years ago the practice of archery as we know it now came into being.

Arrows for fishing and traditional use: Since arrows used for fishing will be shot into bodies of water, they have to be made with extra durability in mind. Despite hitting water, fishing arrows are projectiles that stop short after release from the bow. When fishing, the arrows will likely strike parts of the underwater landscape such as rotting logs and rocks, so while they must be durable, these same arrows must have a set degree of flexibility so they do not break when they come in contact with obscured landscape. These arrows feature barbed tips made of aluminum material. Near the nock one will find a line where the fishing line can be inserted and attached to the arrow; this same line is connected to a bow mounted fishing reel.
As an alternative, one could use traditional arrows made of cedar or pinewoods. These wooden arrows are exceptional when using long bows or recurve bows, and are fairly dense and stiff. When an arrow is made of wood it can certainly be used in the hunt or even target practice, however, the spine and weight of wooden arrows can often be inconsistent thereby making such arrows less ideal for tournament usage.

Arrows for hunting and target practice: Hunting and target practice arrows are specifically designed to deliver a greater degree of shock and more kinetic energy when released. Arrows for hunting are crafted out of materials like carbon fiber or aluminum. The type of metals used to make these arrows make them stiffer and heavier than the types of arrows one would use for recreational pursuits. Arrows used for target practice usually have plastic or metal non-piercing pointed tips. These arrows must be light and flexible yet durable enough to penetrate a target made of hay, insulation, or foam materials. The most common kind of target arrows are those made of carbon fibers since such arrows are a perfect blend of lightweight and flexibility contributing to greater consistency in every shot. Points have a precise weight to ensure flight balance and down-range target accuracy.

To learn more about the types of arrows available, here is a Youtube video on the subject:

Design

It can be beneficial to familiarize yourself with some of the common terminology used to describe arrows and their use before purchasing. “Shaft” is a term used for describing the main portion of the arrow; it is a tube made of graphite composite, carbon, or aluminum. The tube is hollow so it is light and aerodynamic. Each arrow shaft has one end with an arrow tip or head and the opposite end fit with a molded nock made of plastic materials. The “arrowhead” is what pierces the target or prey. The “nock” attaches to the bowstring and makes it easier to draw back and take a shot. An “insert” is at the arrow’s upper end; this insert is what fits between the arrowhead and the shaft, connecting the two. A “screw in tip” allows you to swap out different points including fishing, field, and judo points as well as blunt-tips and broad heads. The “fletching” of the arrow is made of feathers or plastic vanes of varying colors. There are often three fletches, two of matching colors, and one of a mismatch. The non-matching colored fletch is also called the “cock-fletch.” Each of the fletches has a parabolic shape.

Aluminum Arrows: Affordable, Straight, & Well Constructed

First hitting the market in the ‘40s, then increasing in demand in the ‘70s, aluminum arrows are still the most desired arrows on the market today. These arrows are affordable because they are inexpensive to make, and the integrity of the arrows in terms of construction is exceptional. Aluminum arrows have excellent rebounding qualities, are resistant to humidity and other weather conditions, and have nearly perfect straight shafts to ensure down-range shot accuracy.

Carbon Arrows: New, Improved, Stronger, and Split-Resistant

The earliest carbon arrows offered the archer great flight, but their excessively small diameters limited arrow strength. Modern carbon arrows, however, have overcome the limitations of their predecessors and are stronger and straighter than ever before, which means they are more resistant to splitting. Carbon arrows are wrapped or weaved to reduce the likelihood of splitting and to increase their strength. What’s more, with lighter weight arrows, the archer is getting more feet per second with every shot. Carbon arrows have good energy transference, are straight flying, durable, and are becoming more affordable with each passing year.

Arrow Hybrids: Carbon & Aluminum Mixes

A bit less common than aluminum or carbon arrows alone are those that bring the two materials together in a single arrow. These hybrids give the archer the best of both worlds by providing them with a stiff, but light, fast flying arrow with superior energy transference. The hybrid arrows are as powerful and flexible as aluminum arrows. The shaft is light and made of an aluminum core wrapped in a carbon covering. There are also new carbon core, aluminum covering hybrid arrows as well. The hybrids are the priciest of arrow models to date.

A Word on Draw Weight

Shopping for arrows requires you know your draw weight. A comfortable draw weight will determine what, and how much you can shoot with an accurate shot. At a comfortable draw weight you should be able to fire 25 arrows, one after another. If after eight or nine shots you are starting to feel fatigued, reduce your draw weight to something more comfortable. Keep in mind that draw weight is not determined by your experience as an archer, rather by what you can comfortably handle at a given time.

To Determine a Comfortable Draw: Using a bow release that is locked so it cannot fire, attach the release to the bowstring to the nocking loop. Only hold the release and allow the bow to hang as you imagine you are in a tree stand looking down on your prey. Behaving as if you will make a shot straight toward the ground, bend at the waist, grab the bow grip, and pull back the string. Remember to bring your elbow all the way back past your ear so your hand aligns with your ear and lower jaw. Gain your anchor point and then release slowly by letting it down as you guide the string back into position.

Common Buying Considerations

Before you buy, figure out your bow length and your draw weight as well as the kind of tips you are planning to use. All of these will factor into your arrow selection. Arrow charts are available for use with listings for point weight, arrow length, make, model, brand, and whether to use a recurve bow, modern long bow, medium cam, compound bow, or medium hard cam. These charts can help you quickly find the appropriate arrow for your target practice, tournament, or hunting needs.

Straighter, lighter, and longer arrows are the most expensive as the quality of the make lends to a better shot. There is a big difference between aluminum and carbon arrows when it comes to weight. For every three grains an arrow varies in weight, it increases or decreases the speed of that arrow by about a foot per second, respectively.

Carbon arrows do not bend as easily as aluminum arrows. When an aluminum arrow strikes the target, the remaining kinetic energy will force the arrow to flex from side to side. Carbon arrows do not have this type of flexibility, and the remaining kinetic energy naturally causes the arrow to drive forward with the impact.

You should use the same arrows for hunting and practice. When you use the same arrows, your sights remain the same, the weight feels the same, and you are honing your skills using the same arrows you will use during the hunt. Practicing with your hunting arrows means greater familiarity with the look, feel, speed, and penetration of the arrows you have chosen initially.

Best Hunting Arrows

By far the best hunting arrows on the market are produced by Easton. Their XX75 Jazz Aluminum Arrows are available in packs of six and come in 28, 29, and 30-inch lengths. The arrows are feather-fletched and made out of an aerospace alloy with a weight tolerance of ± two percent. Every XX75 Jazz arrow features a hard-anodized finish. The arrows are ± .005 straightness guaranteed, and precise, nock designs featuring a flawless throat design. Easton’s Jazz arrows are great for archers ages three and older. Easton makes the arrows with a right helical three to four-inch fletched feather for the purpose of causing the shaft to spin while in flight. When spinning in flight, the offset causes the arrows to have greater flight stability. The fletch feathers are Easton’s Trueflight feathers, meaning that authentic domestic turkey features are used to make the fletches or each arrow. The arrows are ideal for 15 to 50 pound bow weights. Best of all, Easton’s XX75 Aluminum Arrows are inexpensive.

Best Target Arrows

Wizard Archery makes the best target arrows appreciated for their high quality design and affordability. The fiberglass arrows are available in a 12-pack, and are available with a black-colored spine measuring 26, 28, or 30 inches. Wizard makes the arrows with extended durability in mind; each arrow comes with a high-quality target point made of steel and an Eastern nock. The arrows are perfect for both synthetic and Styrofoam targets, and work with long and recurve bows alike. The tips in the arrows are permanent and made of nickel-plated stainless steel. Wizard’s target arrows are exceptional for beginner archers as well as adept archers looking for a durable set of practice arrows for target shooting. The AAE plastic fletching and nock are colored.

Best Carbon Arrows

By far the best carbon arrows an archer can buy are the Maxima Red arrows by Carbon Express. The arrows come complete with nocks and collars, and they arrive with shafts in full length. The arrows promise the archer a consistent shot thanks to the repositioned arrow flex, the section of the arrow the manufacturer identifies as the RED ZONE™, which minimizes font end oscillation. With a reduction in oscillation during flight, the archer benefits from tighter groupings with every shot. Each arrow comes complete with the LAUNCHPAD™ Precision Nocks for superior control when the arrow is released. The nocks also ensure greater arrow alignment and shot consistency. Each arrow also comes with Blazer® vanes, Plastic fletchings, and the BullDog™ Carbon Express® Nock Collar to minimize impact on the arrow shaft. The Maxima Red arrows are available in two sizes: 250 and 350, and with shafts measuring between 33 and 34 inches in length.

Best Arrows for Recurve Bow Use

Allen Company makes some of the best arrows for recurve bow use. The manufacturer makes Adult Carbon Arrows and sells them in an affordable three pack. Each arrow Allen Company produces is tested to ensure its durability and quality. These arrows are made for users that might be a bit rough or tough when handling the arrows during the hunt, thus the shafts are made of carbon. They arrows are rated for 55 to 70 pound draw weights and every arrow has a helical fletching to lend to greater flight control, reduced oscillation, modeled vanes that are individually injected, and shafts with a high carbon content. The inside diameter of each arrows is .245 inches. The exterior diameter of each arrow is .295 inches.

Best Arrows for Compound Bow Use

The ICS Hunter Classic by Beman is one of five arrows the company manufactures. Absolutely the best arrows for compound bow use, they are made of multilayer carbon shafts available in four sizes: 300, 340, 400, and 500. The available weight grains/inches are as follows: 9.5, 9.3, 8.4, and 7.3. These arrows have a straightness of +/-.003 and they include CB inserts. Direct S-Nocks are also pre-installed on the arrows for you. These carbon arrows even feature the words “Don’t tread on me” along the shaft. They are priced at a midrange level thereby making them relatively affordable for every hunter seeking quality arrows for use with a compound bow.

Best Arrows for the Money

XT Hunter’s Gold Tip 5575/400 arrows are fit with blaze wraps, blazer vanes, and are made of carbon material. By far the best arrows for the money, they can be purchased by the dozen for under $150.00. These arrows are durable, light, fast in flight, and accurate. The vanes on the arrows are chocolate and white colored and the wrap has a mossy oak camo pattern. These arrows are good for a 55 to 75 pound range. The arrows are rigorous, stiff, stringent, and tough. These arrows are 8.2 grains for every inch of shaft. The spine deflection on the arrow is .400. Each arrow has an aluminum insert and a nock that rotates 360 degrees.

Conclusion

Getting the right arrows for target practice, tournaments, or hunting will undoubtedly define the overall success of whatever archery endeavor you undertake. Even the most powerful, well made, visually appealing bow on the market won’t be effective without the right arrows to supplement the perfect shot. When shopping for arrows, prepare in advance by knowing exactly what you require. Knowing the type of archery, the draw weight, the preferred material, and the ideal speed per foot will help you get the best arrows for all of your archery pursuits. The right arrows mean a more accurate shot, a more ethical kill, and a more productive target practice.

The Best Broadheads for 2017

Broadheads for archery hunting

The Stinger Buzzcut 4 Blade Broadhead is a great option for your next hunting trip. Click the image to learn more about them.

There are a lot of options on the market when shopping for broadheads. Manufacturers are constantly improving the existing models and adding new broadheads to the mix every year. As you shop, you will need to make decisions about the size and the number of blades the broadhead employs. This guide will help to simplify your selection process, and provide tips for finding broadheads to fit all your hunting needs.

A Bit about Broadheads and Bow Hunting

Broadheads are important because they are the very thing that penetrates your prey. The broadhead needs to be of high quality to ensure an accurate shot and an ethical kill. Broadheads with a cut on contact head begin penetration the moment they meet the animal’s flesh. Ideally, a broadhead should be durable enough to cut through the animal and leave a large exit wound, ensuring an easily trackable blood trail.

Considerations for the best broadheads for your weapon all come back to the ethical kill. Although form and skill-level can also contribute to an ethical hunt, high quality broadheads can make it easier to penetrate prey and kill with near immediacy. Durable broadheads can also assist in leaving a large enough wound for an unmistakable blood trail so you don’t lose your target in the woods when the blood trail fades away.

Chiseled Edges & Cut on Contact

Top notch broadheads will come with one of two types of blades: Chiseled Edge Tips or Cut on Contact. When the blade features a chiseled edge, it means the broadhead will begin to penetrate the flesh on impact. The benefit of using chiseled edge broadheads it that the blade will remain inside the prey long enough for the kinetic energy behind the arrow to catch up, and drive the arrow through the animal at an appropriate angle and trajectory for an optimal kill. These broadheads are extremely durable and have been known to tear through bone with ease, and no damage to the broadhead itself.

The second type of broadheads have a cut-on-contact design, which actually mimics designs of arrowheads made by Native Americans that cut through flesh immediately using very little energy. If you are using a low poundage bow or if you are an adept archer, you may find that the cut-on-contact broadheads are a more appealing option; more damage upon impact with less exerted force.

The downside to cut-on-contact broadheads is that they only establish one wound channel. If the arrow strikes an animal at the wrong angle (especially if you are relying on a two blade broadhead), the blood trail might end up being limited. Increasing the number of blades to three or four can often eradicate this issue. Bear in mind that cut-on-contact broadheads are not very forgiving when striking bone, either, and may require replacement after striking bones following penetration of the prey.

Broadhead and Blade Configuration

The two main types of broadheads are fixed and mechanical, however both types will be more complex to use if there are more blades at the tip. The neophyte archer is advised to simplify their shot by relying on broadheads with a limited amount of blades. More adept hunters might prefer having three to four blades. As mentioned earlier, the blades are fixed and fit or slide into a ferrule. A small tip holds the blades in position.

Style: Fixed

“Fixed” broadheads are a single, one piece broadhead, and are one of the oldest types of broadheads available. The majority of these blades are fit with cut-on-contact designs. Fixed broadheads are ideal for whitetail deer, bears, and elk.

The diameter of most fixed broadheads is around 1 ¼ inches, so the entry/exit wound is sizable enough to ensure fast bleed out if the kill shot isn’t instantaneous. This is a prime consideration for an ethical kill. Fixed broadheads have a fairly flexible construction, even when they strike bone like shoulder blades or ribs.

Fixed broadheads are not without their disadvantages, however. There is some necessary upkeep; resharpening or replacing the heads from time to time is a must. Additionally, fixed broadheads might slightly hinder the flight of arrows in faster shots. As a general rule, the faster the bow, the less reliable a fixed broadhead will track during flight. It is a good idea to do some practice shots with the broadhead tips to see what kind of grouping you get down-range before you head to your favorite local hunting spot for the real challenge.

Blades on fixed broadheads are non-moveable and remain set in one position. Many hunters prefer the fixed broadheads because they leave a sizable exit wound, ensure a solid blood trail, and you can simply replace the tips by dropping in a whole brand new blade.

To replace a dull blade, simply insert it in the metal ferrule once you have unscrewed the arrow tip. Be mindful that changing your own blades is dangerous and you run the risk of self-injury. Additionally, keep in mind that blade replacements are often on the expensive side, and don’t always deliver the best possible penetration.

Style: Mechanical

Alternatively, mechanical broadheads, or expandable broadheads, are those that have moveable parts. The mechanical broadheads on the market today are better than their predecessors that were often fragile and unreliable. In the past, mechanical broadheads were actually deployed from the front, meaning the impact of the of the broadhead triggered the expansion of the folded blades. Sometimes, the front triggered mechanical broadheads only expand once inside the prey, leading to smaller blood trails.

The newer makes have a slip cam, or something similar, that triggers the blade expansion from the back of the broadhead. The blades still remain tucked away during the flight towards the selected target. This increases the aerodynamic properties of the broadhead, and allows for the broadhead to work similarly to a field or target point. As longer blades are being used to create the newest mechanical broadheads, some have a cutting diameter of up to four inches.

These broadheads will fold into the body and remain that way as the arrow is in flight. Upon reaching the target, the blades expand to make the penetration entry wound. The folding blades minimize drag and allow for speedier flight, and will expand as they move through an animal’s flesh. There are alternative versions of these mechanical broadheads where the blades open following the penetration of the prey.

Mechanical broadheads have excellent flight attributes and appeal to even the most particular of archers. The best mechanical broadheads offer superior penetration and the blades work best with thin skinned animals. The best results when using broadheads will come from targeting your prey broadside; on deflections, the performance and penetrative power of mechanical broadheads may diminish.

Still, there are downsides to using the mechanical broadheads of today. Additional moving parts increases the likelihood that certain parts might not work as they should. The potential of a failed deployment is not a concern with fixed broadheads.

Best Mechanical Broadheads

Excalibur X-Act tips stand among the best mechanical broadheads you can buy. These 100-grain arrows are available for sale in packs of three. The midrange pricing as well as the specific attributes make these broadheads appealing. The Excalibur broadheads ensure flawless accuracy, explosive velocity, and the promise of immediate expansion of the blades on impact. The mechanical units by Excalibur measure 1 7/16 inches in diameter. The broadheads have a Clip Loc® feature that controls the blades so they remain secure during the crossbow’s acceleration. This feature wipes out the need for O-rings or rubber bands to secure the blades.

Best Fixed Broadheads

Carbon Express makes the 55545 Mayhem EXT fixed broadheads. They are available in packs of three, each weighing 100 grains, and are made of exceptional grade stainless steel. These broadheads feature a three blade construction, and since each unit has a low profile construction, they fly like a light field point. The blade thickness of each unit is 0.017 inches and each blade has a one-inch cutting diameter.

Also among the best fixed broadheads are the Trocar three blade, 100 grain units by Muzzy Broadheads. These units are available in packs of three and feature an offset blade. The arrow has maximum stability due to the right helix design. The blades, measuring a thickness of .035 inches, ensure a larger entry and exit wound, and a larger blood trail, respectively. The Helix Blade design contributes considerably to the accuracy of the shot. The ferrule and blades are made of stainless steel materials.

Best Broadheads for Deer Hunting

When hunting deer specifically, one of the best broadheads on the market is the G5 Montec broadhead, which is ideal for a compound bow. The G5 Montec broadheads are fixed offerings that deliver the same amount of accuracy as mechanical broadheads. Many hunters consider the G5 the number-one choice when it comes to broadheads for deer hunting. These broadheads are moderately priced and have blades that are actually multi-tapered to make them extra sharp. Spin testing and Monoflow technologies ensure a profound degree of accuracy. These broadheads are made of solid stainless steel and feature three blades. They are designed for use when hunting and work with the crossbow and compound bows.

Best Broadheads for Elk Hunting

When it comes time to take down larger prey like an Elk, you will want the best broadheads you can buy. For this, you will want to look into the 100 grain Boss SST 4 blades by Wasp Archery Products. Manufactured in the USA, the Boss broadheads are aerodynamically constructed with a short ferrule made of aluminum and a four blade design for a greater degree of cutting and larger entry/exit wounds. With the Boss broadheads, you are getting tips that are honed, precision ground, and super sharp blades with edges that can tear through bone.

Best Broadheads for Turkey Hunting

Specifically for the turkey hunt, the Spitfire Gobbler Getter three pack by New Archery Products contains blades that are 100-grain broadheads, preferred by pro archers everywhere. Spitfire is considered a trusted broadhead for its notable performance and pinpoint accuracy. The broadheads are made of Diamize® blades which are rigorous and weather resistant. The blades are made with Micro Grooved Slimline® designs which improve penetration power and accurate flight. The broadheads offer a shock-inducing turkey point to ensure fast takedown of your prey. The blades are available with a cutting diameter of 1 ¾ inches and in 100 or 125-grain offerings.

Best Broadheads for Hog Hunting

For hogs, look no further than the X-treme Two Blade Broadheads by Rage. The company proudly calls the X-treme Two Blade broadhead “the most lethal” to ever be created. The blades feature a 2.3 inch diameter when cutting into prey, and since each broadhead has a sweeping blade that is angled precisely the kinetic energy built up from flight is maintained even longer. This promises greater penetration of the prey and even bigger entry/exit wounds to ensure quality blood trails. These broadheads are made with a Shock Collar patented structure so blades remain intact and in place until impact. The broadheads feature an easy to recognize yellow aluminum ferrule composition. Each broadhead has a 100-grain weight, and will work with bows featuring draw weights greater than 60 pounds. These broadheads are sold in packs of three.

The Four Blade Arrow Broadhead by Stinger Buzzcut is also available in packs of three blades and is among the best broadheads for hogs. The broadheads weigh 100 grains and the units are constructed from 420-grade stainless steel. The main blade is serrated and .040 in terms of thickness. These broadheads come in 85, 100, 125, and 150 grain and they also come with a lifetime replacement guarantee from the product manufacturer. Additionally, every broadhead is spin tested to ensure its quality. The serration of the blade is chiseled; this feature ensures a more ethical kill as the cut inside the prey is more efficient and effective. If the kill is not immediate, entry and exit wounds are larger thereby ensuring more reliable blood trails. The stainless steel grade used in these broadheads is knife grade quality. These broadheads are precision machined to ensure a good shot and flight every time you release a projectile from your bow.

In Conclusion

There are many factors that will have to go into determining what broadheads will serve you best. Consider the details of your hunting excursions, the type of prey you are hunting, and your skill level, when purchasing broadheads. Buying the right broadheads is not just about getting good options at a reasonable price, but about choosing the equipment that will maximize the likelihood of success in your hunting endeavors while simultaneously making the most of your archery skills, and ensuring an ethical kill. See if you can test some of the competing broadheads on the market to see which equipment works best for your own individual needs.