Martin ShadowCat Bow Review

Martin ShadowCat Bow Review

Martin has a long history of making bows that have been successful in both the target and hunting arenas. Their new ShadowCat looks to venture into both worlds with qualities designed to satisfy either side.

Martin's ShadowCat is loaded with features, including a long riser, CAT 1.5 cams, pivoting ROTO Cup limb pockets, STS Shock Terminator, integrated VEM Module damping accessories, 4X Laminated CoreFlex limbs and Stone Mountain string and cables.

Why the Long Riser?
It is no secret longer risers are generally reserved for tack-driving target bows. So, you have to ask yourself why the ShadowCat is available in camo. In short, the whole tack driving thing is something that not only wins tournaments but brings down trophies as well. Martin understands there are archers who are all about accuracy, and some of them shoot fingers rather than a release aid. The ShadowCat's modular riser measures nearly 33 inches long, giving the rig an overall axle-to-axle length of 41€‰1„2 inches, which is music to the finger shooter's ears.


Still, the CNC machined riser is not without its hunting qualities. You will find the Silent Arrow Shelf and two Vibration Escape Modules (VEM) seated into the riser. All of these accessories are made of a proprietary, semi-solid rubber designed to capture and eliminate vibration. Also fighting the battle against noise is an STS Shock Terminator string suppressor that is "cloaked" with the same Next G1 camo on the riser. A thin, integral grip is machined directly into the riser handle with rounded corners and a comfortable wrist position angle.


Limbs and Pockets
Martin calls on its tried and true Pivoting Roto Cup limb pocket system to handle the critical interface between riser and limb and reduce overall mass weight. ShadowCat limb pockets are extremely minimal in their construction, with little that resembles a traditional pocket. In fact, there is no actual pocket surrounding the end of the limbs.

It may be better to refer to this configuration as a limb containment or alignment system. The limb bolt passes through a large diameter counter sunk circular plate, washer, and limb before threading into a barrel nut, which is seated in one side of the riser's flared end. The other side of the flare is machined into a dished out, semi-circular structure that cradles Martin's Roto Cup.


Martin's Pivoting Roto Cups perfectly align the ShadowCat's multi-layered laminated limbs, which come to a parallel position at full draw. Vibration Escape Modules help dampen vibration.

The Roto Cup is aligned to the riser by, and pivots around, a hidden, precision polished steel pin that is pressed into the riser. Two polished steel pins then align the Roto Cup to the non-hinged portion of the limb. The system successfully controls the limbs without the extra material found in many pocket designs.


ShadowCat limbs measure approximately 13 inches long, are straight in form (not recurve) and solid in construction (not split/quad limb sets). Martin constructs the limbs with a multi-layer laminated CoreFlex glass system. Lamination is achieved with a combination of heat and compression. Limbs reach a parallel position at full draw and act in opposition to one another at the shot, effectively canceling out much of the leftover energy that tends to cause vibration and noise. This is a quality any bowhunter can appreciate.

Martin's CAT 1.5 cam system lets users easily change draw length, letoff and the feel of the back wall thanks to a modular design and adjustable draw stop.

Versatile Power Plant
Martin's CAT 1.5 cam system is easily adjustable in draw length, letoff and the "feel" of the valley/back wall. A single, multi-position module covers the entire 27-30-inch draw length range. No bow press is required to make changes -- simply remove a couple of screws, re-position the module and replace screws. An adjustable draw stop allows the valley and letoff to be fine-tuned.

Impressions
The ShadowCat balances like no other bow I have tested this year. It is absolutely rock solid on the target. Where some bows seem to fight you every step of the way, the ShadowCat draws you right into the target.

The shot produced notable kick and average noise, both of which were significantly tamed by adding a quality stabilizer and string silencers.

The draw cycle was pleasant throughout, with a slight peak just before breaking over.

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.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

CenterPoint CP400 Crossbow – First Look

CenterPoint CP400 Crossbow – First Look

CenterPoint Archery evolves in design and performance with the introduction of the new CP400 Crossbow.

Ravin Broadheads – 3 New Mechanicals

Ravin Broadheads – 3 New Mechanicals

Designed exclusively for their crossbows, Ravin has announced three new mechanical broadheads to maximize penetration and overall performance.

Ravin R29X Crossbow – New for 2020

Ravin R29X Crossbow – New for 2020

The new Ravin R29X Crossbow includes everything you need for blistering speed (450 FPS!) and deadly downrange accuracy (3-inch group at 100 yards).

Springtime Turkey Hunt

Springtime Turkey Hunt

Kevin Steele and the boys are bowhunting turkeys with the help of some well-placed decoys.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Check out our list of the best new hunting arrows from the 2019 ATA Show! ATA Show

Top New Arrows for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

Check out our list of the best new hunting arrows from the 2019 ATA Show!

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm SS performed in our technical tests! Bows

2019 Bowtech Launch: Realm SR6 & SS Review

Jon E. Silks - November 07, 2018

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm...

Mid-Summer Is Prime Time to Watch Large-Racked Bucks — and Stoke Fall Enthusiasm! How-To

Summer Scouting Spectacular

Bill Winke - July 17, 2019

Mid-Summer Is Prime Time to Watch Large-Racked Bucks — and Stoke Fall Enthusiasm!

We've rounded up the best new compound bows at the 2019 ATA Show. Here are our top picks for the year! ATA Show

Best New Bows for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

We've rounded up the best new compound bows at the 2019 ATA Show. Here are our top picks for...

See More Trending Articles

More Bows

See how this 2020 carbon rig performed in our technical bow test. Bows

Bow Review: Hoyt REDWRX Carbon RX-4 Alpha

Jon E. Silks - February 14, 2020

See how this 2020 carbon rig performed in our technical bow test.

Check out these complete bow packages to make selecting the right gear easier. ATA Show

5 New Package Bows for 2019

T.A. Harrison

Check out these complete bow packages to make selecting the right gear easier.

Bowtech returns for 2020 with two more flagship rigs. Bows

Bowtech Unveils Its 2020 Revolt & Revolt X

Taylor Pardue - November 12, 2019

Bowtech returns for 2020 with two more flagship rigs.

PSE brings all of its expertise to bear in the new Carbon Air Stealth Mach 1. Bows

Bow Review: PSE Carbon Air Stealth Mach 1

Jon E. Silks - May 20, 2020

PSE brings all of its expertise to bear in the new Carbon Air Stealth Mach 1.

See More Bows

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Bowhunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now