October 28, 2010
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Earlier this year, a newly formed company, Elite Outdoors LLC, purchased the assets of Elite Archery. The new company is lead by an excellent management team that includes President Peter Crawford and Vice President of Sales and Marketing Garret Armstrong, both formerly of G5 Outdoors. The team is committed to delivering cutting-edge bows that exceed the expectations of their customers.
Several bows make up the company's 2009 lineup, including the GT500. This rig is outfitted with a two-track binary cam system, parallel three-layer laminated Gordon Composite limbs, E-Suppressor string suppressor, BowJax Limb Silencers and three limb/riser finish combinations.
What's In A Cam?
Elite advertises that at least 1,000 hours of development went into the new GT500 cam. The patent-pending Revolution Cam is a two-track, binary system designed for a smooth draw with the added benefit of great speed. One of the cam tracks is for the string and the other track is for both cables.
Using one track for both cables saves space on the cam and allows Elite to center the cables with the axle horizontally (side to side). When the GT500 is drawn, the majority of the load rests on the cables — and the cables are in the center of the axle. The result is that the lion's share of applied force is centered in the system, which reduces limb twist and system torque.
The Revolution two-track binary cam system, which helps Elite's GT500 generate advertised IBO speeds of 336-345 fps, offers a smooth draw and forgiving brace height over 7 inches.
All these qualities point to a better return (speed) for your investment (energy needed to draw the bow). The Revolution Cams ride on stainless steel axles and sealed ball bearings and generate a letoff of 80 percent. Cams are draw specific, meaning you need new cams to change draw lengths. This is done to maintain the precision and performance at each draw length. Revolution cams are available for draw lengths from 27-30 inches in half-inch increments.
An optional Cuda Cam covers draw lengths from 23-26€‰1„2 inches. In testing, the GT500 had a silky smooth draw that ended solidly, thanks to the draw stops on both cams. Once the test bow was put through the paces and the speed results were in, I was even more impressed with the draw cycle. It is also important to note that these speeds are being achieved with a comfortable and forgiving brace height of 7€‰1„8 inches, which, along with the smooth draw cycle, gave rise to the Elite slogan -- "Speed without Compromise."
Balance And Stability
Many factors play into the stability and balance of a bow, including the grip, riser construction, system torque, limb action and a few others. A well-balanced and stable bow is one that clings to the target where others seem to fight you every step of the way.
The GT500's two-piece laminated hardwood grip is seated into the meticulously crafted handle section of the riser in such a way that the riser handle and wood panels form a nearly seamless unit. Add the cradling effect of the riser design and you have a notably comfortable user interface point. The test bow demonstrated excellent balance at full draw, with a structural configuration that places the center of balance directly over the shooter's bow hand. The GT500 also settled nicely onto the intended target.
Adding to the success of Elite's GT500 are several silencing accessories and features.
Each limb reaches a parallel position at full draw and is equipped with a pre-installed BowJax Limb Silencer. Parallel limbs play a major role in the reduction of shock, vibration and noise. Elite's E-Suppressor string dampener is mounted just below the grip and opposite of the threaded stabilizer-mounting insert. The test bow generated a small jump in the handle at the shot and was better than average in shot noise.
Testing was a pleasure with the GT500 because it was easy on my shoulders and generated impressive top-end speed. The bow also falls into my personal preference range for axle-to-axle length.
When it comes to the characteristics bowhunters consider most important when purchasing a new rig, the Elite GT500 successfully maintains a high level of performance across the board.
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."