This bow needs no introduction–well, actually it does, as unbelievable as that is after shooting it! Diamond Archery is one of the best-kept secrets in the bow manufacturing industry. With an inconspicuous start in 1996, the company has seen steady gains each and every year.
The first time I handled the Widowmaker3, the stylish look and solid feel caught my attention. Josh Halbert and Gary Green, the founders of Diamond Archery, originally designed this bow with ASA shooters in mind, leaving the rest of their line to fill the needs of bowhunters. What they found, was an increasing number of hunters pursuing the Widowmaker3 as well.
Centered on a riser that is appealing to the eye and full of features, the aim of the Widowmaker3 is shootability. Deep cutouts on the upper, sight-mount side of the riser were designed to serve two purposes. First, the weight of the sight is offset, and second, it creates a bottom-heavy riser. A bottom-heavy riser acts in the same manner as a plum-bob, stabilizing the overall setup. Along those same lines, another stainless steel stabilizer bushing was added. This second bushing faces the shooter and is significantly lower than the standard bushing, further increasing the plum-bob effect. To further enhance shootability, the Widowmaker3 features a 38-inch axle-to-axle measurement, seven-inch brace height, 12.25-inch Gordon Composite limbs swept back at a 33-degree angle, and a grip (without the side plates) that has the feel and characteristics of a high-priced, after-market model.
Another sign of shootability is consistency. In bow manufacturing, consistency is obtained from tight tolerances, especially in regard to limb-pocket design. Josh takes particular pride in this aspect of the Widowmaker’s design and considers it to be the best in the industry. Gary adds, “To say that our limb to limb-pocket contact area is a press fit is an understatement.” A consistent fit in the limb-pocket equates to consistent limb-tip alignment, which in turn equals greater accuracy.
New for this year, Diamond sealed flanged ball bearings in the idler wheel. This allows the flanged portions to meet at a square surface, making misalignment virtually impossible. A fully modular system, the newly designed cam features draw-length adjustments from 26 to 31 inches in 1/2-inch increments and letoff options of 65 or 80 percent.
AT THE RANGE
The initial setup of the bow produced ever so slight “high” paper tears–exactly what I was looking for. From that point, it didn’t take me long to figure out why the Widowmaker3 is gaining in popularity as a hunting bow, as well as a target bow. My hunting arrows clocked an average of 248 fps. Not impressed? Consider the setup–28″ draw length, 60 lb. peak weight, shooting a 27-inch, 2314 shaft with a total weight of 446 grains. That is good speed. Another hunting-related plus for this bow is the noise level. Right out of the box it produced only a slight string buzz that was all but eliminated with the addition of one string silencer. To truly complete the test of the Widowmaker3 as a hunting bow, it was necessary to put it to the tree-stand test. From approximately 20 feet above the forest floor, I shot several 3-D targets placed at varying distances and angles around the tree. While not as maneuverable as a super short bow, it was certainly manageable and would not deter me from tying it to the end of my hoist rope.
The defining characteristic of the Widowmaker3, however, is its consistency and overall shootability. The draw cycle is ultra smooth with just enough valley at the end to let you relax into the shot. I found myself simply enjoying the “feel” of each shot, arrow after arrow. While not my typical style of shooting, I also slipped on a finger tab and launched a dozen arrows from close range. Finger pinch was minimal and once again the bow proved to be a pleasure to shoot.
The Widowmaker3 is a forgiving and consistent shooting machine that features good speed and a super smooth draw. This bow will be right at home on the 3-D course or in the tree stand.