January 10, 2019
By Tony J. Peterson
No category in the archery market is as eagerly anticipated as bows, for obvious reasons. Manufacturers somehow keep managing to incorporate groundbreaking technology and perfect the art of creating killer compounds year after year, with 2019 being no exception. If you’re in the market for a new rig this year, don’t expect an easy decision because this is a good year to be a bow buyer.
Following are 10 of the latest and greatest.
Bear Archery always offers up a nice mix of new bows ranging from easy-to-afford beginner models all of the way to top-end flagships. Rounding out the latter category is the new Perception, which promises arrow speeds of 350fps. It weighs 4.3 pounds, measures 33 inches between pins, offers a draw length range of 25.5 – 30 inches and is built on a true shoot-through riser design for unbelievable accuracy. The Perception also features Max Preload Quad Limbs, which are built to maximize efficiency by evenly distributing load across the entire limb surface.
Bowtech Realm SS
SS stands for Super Smooth, and I’ve had mine set up and shooting long enough to agree 100-percent with the name given to Bowtech’s latest. This bow is a whitetail hunter’s dream, given the draw cycle and how quiet it is, not to mention its weight (4.3 pounds) and axle-to-axle length (32 inches). The Realm SS is available in peak draw weights of 50, 60 and 70 pounds and can generate arrow speeds of up to 337fps, meaning that while it’s ideal for rutting bucks, it will also produce exit wounds with ease should you decide to head west and hunt screaming bulls.
Elite Archery Ritual
Elite Archery is known for producing bows that are buttery smooth throughout the draw cycle. This is certainly the case with the new Ritual, which is available in two models - a 30-inch bow that weighs 4.1 pounds and a 33-inch bow that weighs 4.3 pounds. Both will easily produce arrow speeds in the 330s, and both feature a grip that feels like a custom job. This is a seemingly small detail that translates to more accuracy at the range and in the field and is also a window into the overall design of the Ritual, which is a bow that was clearly designed by hunters. The thing I really like about Elite these days is that they have an entire Bow Builder experience on their website so you can have a Ritual any way you want it, and you can pay for it monthly through the company if cash is tight.
Hoyt REDWRX Carbon RX-3
While bow loyalties aren’t as strong as they used to be given the overall performance of most offerings, there are a few companies that still enjoy serious fandom. Hoyt is one of those companies, especially when it comes to the western bowhunting crowd. Many of those elk addicts, as well as whitetail junkies, will certainly enjoy the new RX-3, which measures 30.5 inches between axles, weighs a shade under 4 pounds and is capable of sending arrows downrange at up to 342 fps. You’ll probably notice that the RX-3 doesn’t sport a flexible cable guard, which isn’t necessary thanks to the combination of the ZT Pro Cam and the Split-Cable System.
My favorite bow in 2018 was the Mathews Triax, so I’m pretty stoked for the new Vertix. While this 30-inch bow will fire arrows downrange at up to 343 fps, it also happens to boast some killer new features like the Switchweight Technology. Through a simple mod change, you can adjust your peak draw weight on this bow while keeping the same limbs. How you ask? I don’t know, I’m not a science nerd. I do know that the Vertix also features the Engage Grip, which promotes consistent hand placement and reduces grip no matter the size of the mitts your sporting. A variety of finishes are offered in the latest game-changer from one of the best bow manufacturers to ever exist.
Mission Archery MXR
Mission has developed a following for producing killer bows that won’t break the bank. This year, their flagship model is the MXR, which is built around the Crosscentric Cam technology. This allows the MXR to be a tack-driver, while the whole rig produces arrow speeds up to 324 fps, which is not too shabby for a bow with a 7-inch brace height. The 30-inch MXR is offered in a Bowhunter Kit that comes with everything you need to head to the range or the field, or you can opt for the bare bow, which will only cost you $499.
Obsession Bows FX7
If you want a smooth-drawing bow that you can hold back for three minutes without getting fatigued, check out the new FX7 from Obsession. This bow offers 90-percent letoff, making it very enjoyable to shoot. It’s capable of producing arrow speeds up to 350fps, and is offered in peak draw weights of 40 to 80 pounds. Overall, the FX7 tips the scales at 4.5 pounds and measures just under 33 inches between axles, which means it is sized very well for treestands and ground blinds, or the elk mountains.
Prime Logic CT3
The minds behind Prime bows are all engineers who love to bowhunt, so while they aren’t the most entertaining guests at a social function, they do happen to design amazing bows. Their latest, the CT3, utilizes the company’s TRM parallel cam system as well as the center grip design to produce accuracy well beyond what most bows can achieve. The CT3, which measures 33 inches, can produce chrono readings up to 335 fps, is available in 40- to 80-pound peak draw weights and is offered in two new finish options – Morel and Tundra.
PSE Carbon Air Stealth EC
PSE’s latest is built from a single piece of carbon, which does two things. The first is it’s extremely strong and stiff, and the second is it’s feathery light. So lightweight, in fact, that at 3.3 pounds it feels like you need to accessorize it just so it won’t float away. The 33-inch Carbon Air Stealth EC utilizes the Evolve Cam System and HL module to produce arrow speeds of up to 342 fps. Choose from peak draw weights of 50, 60, 65 and 70lbs and 80- to 90-percent letoff.
Xpedition Archery Mako X
Xpedition Archery has quietly been amassing loyalists with their bow offerings, and this year the Mako X might put them on the map in a way that will make other companies jealous. No doubt, the spec that will get them there is their 363 fps IBO arrow speeds, which is smoking. The 3.9-pound Mako X measures a hair over 33 inches between axles, features a 5-inch brace height, and is offered in a bevy of sweet finish options.