Backyard Bow Speed Test: Hoyt Carbon Element and Prime Shift

Backyard Bow Speed Test: Hoyt Carbon Element and Prime Shift

Sunday was such a beautiful day here in Pennsylvania that I just couldn't resist spending some time outside enjoying the warm weather and sunshine. Although spring doesn't officially start until the 20th, I consider yesterday the "unofficial" start of the season. Anyhow, since I have just recently set up two new bows for 2012, I figured that in addition to shooting, I'd also break out my Easton Professional Chronograph and see what kind of speed I'm getting out of my Hoyt Carbon Element RKT and Prime Shift LR.

I shoot 60-pound bows and keep the limb bolts bottomed. Sometimes that will give you 61 or 62 pounds, depending on the bow. However, my digital scale shows that both the Carbon Element and the Shift are just a hair under 60 at about 59.8 pounds. And while the handheld draw scale I use is not calibrated for "official" testing, it's good enough to say that both of these bows were right where they were supposed to be and within an ounce or two of another another in peak draw weight.


I also shoot 29 inches in draw length. That's where the Carbon Element is set, while the Shift is set at 28.5 inches. I just did that because I wanted to try a bow this year at 28.5 and see what it felt like. So, the Carbon Element has a half-inch draw-length advantage over the Shift.


From these two bows, I shot the same Gold Tip Velocity Pro 400 arrows, fletched with Bohning custom crests and 2-inch Norway Fusion vanes. With 100-grain fieldpoints, the finished weight of my arrows is 366 grains.


To test the speed of each bow, I shot 10 arrows through the Easton Pro Chrono, which automatically averages the results, as you can see in the photos. For reference purposes, I will also provide the manufacturers' advertised IBO/ATA speed ratings for these bows along with my own results.  IBO/ATA speed is measured using a 350-grain arrow, 30-inch draw length and 70-pound draw weight. Since most archers use arrows that are heavier than 350 grains, have draw lengths shorter than 30 inches and pull fewer than 70 pounds, it is always interesting to see how the "real world" speeds of bows compare to the advertised speeds.

Now, onto the results:

Carbon Element RKT


The Carbon Element RKT has an advertised ATA/IBO speed rating of 330 feet per second.

My personal speed test -- at 29 inches and 60 pounds, with a 366-grain arrow -- revealed an average arrow velocity of 290.2 fps.


Kinetic energy: 68.46 foot-pounds

Prime Shift LR

The Shift LR has an advertised ATA/IBO speed rating of 332 feet per second.

My personal speed test -- at 28.5 inches and 60 pounds, with a 366-grain arrow -- revealed an average arrow velocity of 285.5 fps.

Kinetic energy: 66.26 foot-pounds

The Bottom Line: Considering the Carbon Element's half-inch draw-length advantage, I'd consider the results of my speed test pretty much a dead heat between these bows. The Carbon Element was 1.6 percent faster and generated 3.2 percent more kinetic energy. But again, with a half-inch longer draw, that makes perfect sense. Remember, both bows have essentially the same advertised IBO speed (330 fps for the Carbon Element and 332 fps for the Shift). Unless one of the companies was fudging the results, logic would say they should should about the same speed, all other things being equal. And that's what I found to be the case.

And, for what it's worth, I find both of these high-end bows to be sweet shooters, and I'm looking forward to doing some hunting with both of them in the year ahead.

Recommended for You

Mid-Summer Is Prime Time to Watch Large-Racked Bucks — and Stoke Fall Enthusiasm! How-To

Summer Scouting Spectacular

Bill Winke - July 17, 2019

Mid-Summer Is Prime Time to Watch Large-Racked Bucks — and Stoke Fall Enthusiasm!

Learn how to lure wary bulls into bow range. Big Game

Elk Calling With the Experts

Tracy Breen

Learn how to lure wary bulls into bow range.

A new generation of highly mobile bowhunters is embracing the lightweight comfort and versatility of tree saddles. Here's everything you need to know to get started in tree saddle hunting. How-To

BOWHUNTING's Guide to Tree Saddle Hunting

Greg Staggs - May 15, 2019

A new generation of highly mobile bowhunters is embracing the lightweight comfort and...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

CenterPoint CP400 Crossbow – First Look

CenterPoint CP400 Crossbow – First Look

CenterPoint Archery evolves in design and performance with the introduction of the new CP400 Crossbow.

Ravin Broadheads – 3 New Mechanicals

Ravin Broadheads – 3 New Mechanicals

Designed exclusively for their crossbows, Ravin has announced three new mechanical broadheads to maximize penetration and overall performance.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm SS performed in our technical tests! Bows

2019 Bowtech Launch: Realm SR6 & SS Review

Jon E. Silks - November 07, 2018

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm...

Bill Winke explains the benefits of both shooting techniques. How-To

Shooting Your Bow With One Eye Versus Two

Bill Winke

Bill Winke explains the benefits of both shooting techniques.

Check out our picks for the best new bow sights from the 2019 ATA Show! ATA Show

Best New Bow Sights for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

Check out our picks for the best new bow sights from the 2019 ATA Show!

See More Stories

More Bows

Mission is all about creating bows that employ get-it-done technology and then backing that up with Bows

Bow Review: Mission Hype DTX

Jon E. Silks - April 27, 2018

Mission is all about creating bows that employ get-it-done technology and then backing that up...

Hoyt's new-for-2018 Nitrux features their hybrid Cam & system and Quadflex split limbs to produce speeds of 332 fps. See how it performed in our testing! Bows

Bow Review: Hoyt Nitrux

Jon E. Silks - September 24, 2018

Hoyt's new-for-2018 Nitrux features their hybrid Cam & system and Quadflex split limbs to...

Gear Testing Editor Jon E. Silks put the 2018 Quest Thrive through all his tests for our new bow review, which can only be found on www.bowhuntingmag.com Bows

Bow Review: Quest Thrive

Jon E. Silks - July 17, 2018

Gear Testing Editor Jon E. Silks put the 2018 Quest Thrive through all his tests for our new...

See More Bows

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.