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New on the scene, Athens Archery was born out of a passion for the sport backed by a solid, thriving machining business. Jason and Amanda Hudkins started Lyntech Engineering Inc. in 2001 designing and building automotive parts. Expanding opportunities brought them into other markets. One day, during a moment of reflection in his treestand, Jason looked at the bow in his hand and realized he and his team could design and manufacture everything needed to build a top quality bow.
The first Athens Archery prototype found its way into the Indiana whitetail woods in December 2007. Jason and his crew spent 2008 designing and building their line, and in 2009, Athens introduced itself to the archery world at the annual ATA (Archery Trade Association) show.
Athens Archery sprints out of the gate with the Accomplice. This bow is outfitted with parallel Barnsdale limbs, Extreme Velocity Dual (EV2) cams, pivoting limb pockets, two-piece laminated grip, Winner's Choice strings/cables and a BowJax vibration dampening kit.
Smooth as Silk
When selecting a bow, a key factor for many archers is how smooth the draw cycle feels from start to finish. How quickly a bow reaches its maximum draw weight, how long it stays at peak, the angle of decent into the valley and, of course, how abruptly it comes to a stop all play a role in our perception of "smoothness."
The Athens Archery designers set out to create a rig that combined a pleasant draw cycle with excellent speed. Their Extreme Velocity Dual (EV2) Cams ride on hardened stainless steel axles, and each is equipped with two double-sealed bearings for decreased friction and increased efficiency. An adjustable draw stop on each cam allows the shooter to choose a letoff range from 65-80 percent. The EV2 eccentric system offers draw lengths from 27-30 inches in half-inch increments. Cams are draw-length specific. In testing, the Accomplice lived up to expectations and presented an exceptionally smooth draw with good arrow speed.
Recognizing customers want an ultra silent rig, Athens outfitted the Accomplice with vibration- and noise-dampening technologies and accessories. First, and probably the most effective in the fight against noise causing vibration, is parallel limb technology.
Continuing the battle for silence is a riser-mounted BowJax String Stopper, which reaches back to meet the string approximately midway between the lower cam and nocking point. When the archer releases an arrow, the string is caught by the Stopper and the resulting oscillation is quickly deadened to reduce noise. BowJax String Silencers and BowJax Limb Dampeners work to reduce vibration and noise further.
Although there was a small "jump" in the handle upon release, I did not detect any notable vibration. More than any other aspect of the Accomplice, I was impressed with the lack of noise. There is little or no need for additional vibration dampening accessories.
Athens offers quality throughout the manufacturing process. The company CNC machines its aluminum risers, cams and limb pockets for tighter tolerances and improved performance. Notable components include a stainless steel stabilizer insert (which should come standard on all top-end bows), Barnsdale Laminated limbs, Winner's Choice Strings/Cables and a two-piece laminated grip.
Editor's Note: Our standardized High Grade testing includes the use of the same equipment and test methods. All bows are tested with a draw length of 29 inches and a draw weight of 65 pounds. Speed tests are conducted with two different arrow weights — 375 grains and 425 grains. For more detailed information on the testing parameters, go to www.bowhuntingmag.com and click on "Bow Testing Parameters."