Hoyt Charger Review
June 04, 2013
Hoyt is well-known for producing some of the world's top bows year after year. Recent hits include the innovative Carbon line, Spyder Series, Vector, CRX, Maxxis and the one you still hear bowhunters talk about today, the AlphaMax.
What you may not know is that the same company with this impressive string of top-end stars also offers one of the best "bang for your buck" bows on the market — the Charger.
Hoyt's Charger features the popular TEC LITE riser design, Charger Cam & ½, ZRX limbs, Pro-Lock limb pockets, Pro Fit grip and multi-layer lamination limbs. Parallel Split Limb technology, Alpha Shox, cable dampeners and a Stealth Shot String Suppressor all work together to tame the shot of this ultra-light budget bow.
If you have been bowhunting a while then you are well aware of the instant brand recognition afforded Hoyt through the TEC (Total Engineering Concept) riser design. The Charger is outfitted with the company's LITE version of the TEC family, which incorporates an open format with large cutouts and a network of recessed cross bridging. The truss in this design acts as a shock absorber as it channels shot vibration away from the shooter's hand.
Hoyt's Charger is compatible with the Pro-Fit Grip system, which includes four grip styles that share a common mounting platform. Other riser features include a Stealth Shot string suppression system and stainless steel stabilizer mount.
The Charger is available in Realtree Xtra, Realtree Max-1, Black Out, Half & Half, Bone Collector, Vicxen, Realtree Snow and Realtree Pink finish options. Five custom target colors also are available.
You will not pay a heavy price for speed with the Charger, as it produces advertised ATA/IBO speeds reaching 325 fps. The muscle behind the performance is Hoyt's Charger Cam & ½, which is a hybrid cam system. This means it uses two elliptical shaped cams, a control cable, a split harness power cable and an evenly placed string. The Charger Cam & ½ was designed with a forgiving valley so the archer can relax into the shot — no surprise takeoffs!
Another plus built into this cam system is a comfortable let-down for those times you decide to hold off on your shot. This all translates into a pleasant shooting experience. Cams ride on steel axles and sealed inner-race bearings for smooth, reliable performance, minimum friction and increased efficiency. A total draw-length range is covered by two base cams and a series of interchangeable modules that do not require a bow press to switch out. Cam 1 covers from 24-26'‰1â„2 inches and Cam 2 from 27-30 inches. System letoff is advertised at approximately 75 percent. Hoyt uses Fuse string and cables for the Charger.
Limbs, Layers and Alignment
The Charger is home to the ZRX Multi-Layer Lamination split limbs, which are contoured and pre-loaded using uniform stress distribution (USD) designed to eliminate potential failure areas. The past-parallel position of the limbs at full draw cause them to act in opposition to one another at the shot, significantly nullifying unused energy.
AlphaShox limb dampers are attached to each set of split limbs for even more vibration reduction. A set of Pro-Lock pivoting limb pockets provide a precise limb-to-riser interface with six, hard-locking contact points. Limb sets are vigorously tested, precisely matched based on deflection values for uniformity and are available in the following weights: 30-40, 40-50, 50-60, 55-65, 60-70 and 70-80 pounds.
Even without considering the excellent price of the Charger, I would give it two thumbs up for all-around performance. Throw in the fact that it retails at only $599.99 and you have a bow that is off the charts in terms of value.
While there is a measure of vibration and a quick bump felt in the grip at the shot, a quality stabilizer almost eliminates the vibration altogether. Hoyt is known for its smooth-drawing bows, and the Charger keeps that tradition alive with its well-rounded transitions throughoutthe draw cycle. In testing, the Charger also proved to be pin-drop quiet.