Bow Review: Bowtech Realm SR6
Bowtech's 2019 flagship has it all. Let us break it down for you!
Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy! If you haven’t gotten the message from Bowtech yet that it is focused like a laser on extreme accuracy, let me be the first to point the bullhorn in your direction and yell, “The cornerstone of Bowtech Archery is accuracy!”
Accuracy is truly at the core of our efforts as archers. So, it makes perfect sense that a manufacturer would drive its design and engineering toward that same end. For 2019, Bowtech added the SS and SR6 models to the company’s Realm Series of bows, all of which represent a platform that ties directly into its focus on accuracy.
Bowtech’s Realm SR6 boasts the company’s SmartBow Technology, which features its perimeter-weighted OverDrive Binary cam system. FlipDisk Technology changes the draw experience, while the Cam Synchronization Axles work with the adjustable yoke system to customize the rig for each shooter. A set of solid-core limbs are anchored and aligned to the reflex riser via CP Dual Lock limb pockets. The Realm SR6 also features Bowtech’s FLX-Guard, string stop and more.
Versatility in OverDrive
Key to Bowtech’s SmartBow Technology, the Cam Synchronization Axles are splined and pressed into each cam and the pillow-block cantilevers, which locks them into the rotation of the cams. These, together with the split-cable system, allow for custom tuning by each archer. Instead of moving your rest side to side, you simply set the rest to the centerline of the bow and adjust the double-yoke system to tame any misaligned arrow flight — the result is better consistency and accuracy. You’ll also find a simplified version of Bowtech’s PowerShift Technology in the form of a FlipDisk, which includes Performance and Comfort settings. The difference can be felt in the draw cycle and seen on a chronograph, which will likely show an eight to nine fps spread between the two. The same disk is rotated to the position that correlates to your draw length and locked in place. Draw lengths from 25 1⁄2-30 inches, in half-inch increments, are available.
If you think of the overall structure of a bow, you soon realize just how critical the limb-to-riser interface is. Misalignments here, even those that are seemingly insignificant, can have a devastating impact on consistency and accuracy. Bowtech handles this important junction with a combination of its CP Dual Lock riser ends and carbon-polymer limb pockets. A tongue/tab on the pocket actually protrudes into the end of the flared riser, which is specifically machined to accept the tab. The length of the tab and the precision machining used on both components maximize the fit-up and, in turn, overall alignment. A screw locks the riser and tab down for a super-secure connection.
It's All About the Stance
Bowtech understands that a wide stance creates stability, so it applied that principle to the SR6 in the form of a relatively wide stance for the Cam Synchronization Axles, limbs, limb pockets and even the ends of the riser. Why? It supports a centered and aligned mechanical action, which enhances consistency and accuracy.
Bowtech has made a few changes to its limbs over the past couple of years — the company has moved manufacturing in-house, where it can control quality and testing, and it has gone away from a laminated structure to a solid-carbon-core limb to enhance precision, ruggedness and longevity. Limb designs are now subjected to more than 100,000 shot cycles, too, ensuring reliable and long-lasting performance. The wider footprint is designed to increase stability and improve energy distribution. Limb sets are available in peak draw weights of 50, 60 and 70 pounds.
Bowtech’s CP Dual Lock riser serves as the hub on which the rest of the components are anchored. The Center Pivot-style riser is reflex in configuration, forged and machined from 6065 aluminum and finished in one of six options.
Multiple threaded holes on the riser accept Bowtech’s Orbit Vibration dampeners, which can be positioned and stacked to create the perfect balancing and vibration-dampening combo for your rig. A stainless stabilizer-mounting insert and String Stop are also featured on the riser.
The Clutch Performance modular grip is outfitted with a removable polymer plate that is interchangeable with other designs for profile and height customization. The SR6 can also be shot without any plate. Bowtech’s FLX-Guard cable-containment system uses a mini limb-like arm and rollers that flex toward the centerline of the bow during the draw cycle to reduce torque and increase consistency and accuracy, and then springs away at the shot for vane clearance.
Right out of the gate, the Realm SR6 and its SmartBow Technology have something to offer in terms of setup. Using Bowtech’s adjustable yoke system, which is anchored to the unique Cam Synchronization Axles, I was able to customize this rig to my shooting form in short order. There was a small “bump” felt in the handle at the shot; however, little to no vibration was detected. Remember, this is a 350-fps bow. The draw cycles on both settings were similar up front, but the Comfort setting has a smoother drop into the valley. The Performance setting produced speeds eight to nine fps faster than the Comfort setting. Bowtech’s modular Clutch grip was particularly well suited for my hand and provided both comfort and consistency, which fed right into the excellent balance this bow has at full draw. After the shot, the SR6 sits still for a second before slowly falling away. The personalized draw cycles, shooter-specific tuning and customizable counterbalancing combine to set the Bowtech Realm SR6 apart.