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The Martin Archery Company had modest beginnings in the garage and kitchen of Gail and Eva Martin's home some 58 years ago. Today, Gail and Eva's son, Terry, drives the business with son Ryan at his side.
An all-new Firecat Pro-X has been introduced for 2009. It features a new Cable Containment System (CCS) along with an STS String Stop and CAT Hybrid Duo Cam system. The grip, shelf cover and riser dampening modules are made of Martin's Vibration Escape Module (V.E.M.) material.
Cat Hybrid Duo Cam
With advertised IBO speeds ranging from 335-345 fps, the Cat Hybrid Duo Cam system features Martin's Speed Bearings and stainless steel axles that are heat treated and hardened. Cams are 'chained' together so they remain in synch as they move. Martin's goal for this design is to eliminate all timing issues. Where many cam systems anchor the cables to a static connector (yokes connected to axle ends), the Martin design terminates each end of the cable on a post located on the cam. The second cable accomplishes the same task in the opposite direction.
Draw lengths are adjustable from 26-30 inches in half-inch increments via two rotating modules that do not require a bow press to adjust. Martin's standard draw module offers 26-29 inches, and the long-draw module spans 29€‰1„2-30 inches. A specially designed track in the cable hub and module feeds the cable toward the centerline of the cam and overall system, effectively reducing the troubles of cam lean. Adjusting the draw stop will allow letoff percentages to range anywhere from 60 to high 80s. Cams are anodized in black, while the modules are anodized in a contrasting gray.
The Pro-X features an all-new Cable Containment System (CCS) in place of a traditional cable guard and slide. The CCS comes off of the riser and curves slightly toward the centerline of the bow where it terminates with two machined rollers. The rollers ride on high-speed precision bearings and hardened stainless steel axle. Torque in the system is reduced by the offset angle of the rollers.
Martin wages an all-out war on shock, vibration and noise. Their Vibration Escape System includes the Thermal V Grip, Silent Arrow Shelf and two Vibration Escape Modules seated into the riser. All these accessories are made of a proprietary V.E.M. semi-solid rubber material designed to capture and eliminate vibrations.
Joining the battle is an officially licensed STS String Stopper with Martin's own String Rook Bumper. Key to the fight against noise causing vibration and shock is the parallel position of the Firecat's popular Coreflex Tri-Laminated fiberglass limbs. Manufacturers have learned that by laying their limbs back to reach a parallel position at full draw they are afforded significant benefits in the form of reduced shock, vibration and noise at the shot.
To separate what is heard from what is felt at the shot, I placed earplugs in my ears for testing. A quick 'bump' and short-lived vibration was all that was felt, and when the earplugs were out, the Firecat registered average noise levels.
A mass weight of only 3.55 pounds is noteworthy. No traditional pocket that cradles the end of the limb exists, so overall bow weight is reduced. While testing, I enjoyed the light mass weight and the maneuverability it provides.
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.'