October 28, 2010
By Jon E. Silks
Darton Archery has been proudly producing top-notch bows for over 54 years. Their commitment to innovation, product excellence, performance and quality drives them on each year in a never-ending quest for improvement.
By Jon E. Silks
How our editors rate this new bow, on a scale of 1 to 5.
Craftsmanship: 4 1/2 Stars; Attention to detail
Grip Ergonomics: 5 Stars; One of the best
Finish: 4 1/2 Stars; No flaws
Draw Cycle: 4 1/2 Stars; Smooth
Recoil: 4 Stars; Still needs some work
Shot Noise: 4 1/2 Stars; Quiet
Total: 4 1/2 Stars; Overall, a solid performer
Darton's flagship for 2005 is the Tempest Extreme. It is designed as the "do it all" bow ready for action.
The Extreme is centered on a 6061-T6 aluminum reflex riser that is first extruded and then CNC machined into its final form. This riser is one of the longest, approximately 26.75 inches long measured on a straight line with the limb pockets installed, which Darton has made for bows of similar axle-to-axle length. The length is needed to accommodate the Tempest's shorter, more parallel limbs. Attached to the riser handle is Darton's signature narrow, two-piece grip, which is molded from a rubber material. The Tempest's riser and limbs are film-dipped in Realtree's sharp Hardwoods Green HD.
Also, Tempest Extreme's fixed aluminum limb pockets are first cast and then machined to their finished form. The straight limbs are made of unidirectional pultruded fiberglass ground to computer-designed specs for even distribution of stress over the entire working length of the limb. Darton continues with its swept back, parallel limb design for less shock and noise. Ultra LimbSavers come installed on the limbs.
The C/P/S system consists of a large diameter upper control wheel and the bottom Power Cam. The upper control wheel has a dual track with an eccentric groove that releases the exact length of string to match the output of the bottom Power Cam. This results in perfectly level nock travel. The large diameter of the control wheel also reduces the amount of friction or hysterisis. Tuning marks are inscribed on the control wheel making the sometimes-difficult task of tuning rather easy. If the control cable passes just above the top tuning line, you need to add twists to your cable. A control cable that is just below the bottom tuning line requires you to untwist the cable for proper set up. The upper axle incorporates a sealed ball bearing system.
The Power Cam is feature-packed as well, including an improved axle boss. Other cam designs hit peak and then radically "drop off," whereas Darton has designed the Power Cam to build to peak quickly, maintain it over an increased length, and then gradually drop off to the holding weight. The Power Cam features adjustable/interchangeable modules. Three adjustable modules provide a draw length range of 26.5 to 31 inches in 1?8-inch increments.
Another of the Power Cam's features is Darton's patented control arm and adjustable module combinations. By correctly matching each cam module location to the correct control wheel anchor point location, the best stored-energy rating can be achieved for any available draw length. Matching these locations controls the relationship between the upper control wheel and the cam. The Power Cam incorporates tuning marks for super easy tuning. Letoff is available in 70- or 80-percent.
Manufacturer: Darton Archery, Dept. PB, 3540 Darton Rd. Hale, MI 48739; (989) 728-9511; www.dartonarchery.com.
Model: Tempest Extreme
Draw Weights: 50-, 60- and 70-pound peak
Draw Lengths: 26.5 to 31 inches, modular
Riser: Machined 6061-T6 aluminum, reflex
Limbs: 13.5 inches, unidirectional pultruded fiberglass
Mass Weight: 4.5 pounds
Letoff: 80-percent standard, 65-percent optional
Grip: Two-piece rubber
Brace Height: 7 inches
Axle-To-Axle Length: 36 inches
Finish: Realtree Hardwoods Green HD
Advertised IBO Speed: 313 fps
Suggested Retail Price: $699.99
Comments: Handles exceptionally well!
AT THE RANGE
The Tempest was outfitted with a QuickTune 3000 arrow rest, string loop and was set with a 29-inch draw length and 65-pound pull.
Using a 540-grain Easton XX78 arrow the Tempest was paper tuned and tested for speed. An Oehler research Inc. M35 Chronograph measured the speed at 239 fps averaged over 10 shots. Next, the Tempest was paper tuned with a 350-grain Game Tracker Carbon Express 200 arrow. The average speed with lighter arrows came in at 290 fps.
I have long been a fan of Darton's CPS system for several reasons including the smooth draw and built-in draw stop and tuning marks. The tuning marks, one of my favorite features on any bow, make it super easy for the average archer to tell if his/her rig is in tune with a quick glance.
The mass weight of 4.5 pounds is somewhat on the heavy side but not out of line for a bow of this length. The narrow rubber grip is super comfortable and sits well in my hand at full draw. It is definitely a front-runner in the feel/balance category among today's top rigs.