Review: Elite Archery Impulse 31
April 27, 2016
Elite Archery has been making bows nearly 10 years now. Although that still makes them a relative newcomer compared to many industry peers, Elite has earned a reputation for high-quality bows that get the job done for hardcore bowhunters and world-class target shooters such as Levi Morgan.
For 2016, Elite seeks to build on that reputation with the Impulse 31 and 34.
The Impulse 31 featured in this test is home to Elite's Riser Cage technology, a two-track, dual-cam system that generates advertised IBO speeds up to 343 fps, laminated three-layer limbs, a new Perfect Alignment Limb System (PALS) pocket, two-piece grip and several vibration-reducing accessories.
Elite has employed its Riser Cage Technology since 2014, when their engineers built a small, flared and hollow structure into the riser just above the sight window.
Using complex computer modeling software, they pinpointed the best position, size and shape of the "cage" to increase strength by an advertised 30 percent and rigidity by 19 percent — all without increasing overall mass weight.
The 2016 Elite Impulse 31 continues to deliver a stiffer platform producing consistency and repeatability, which enhances efficiency and accuracy. The Impulse riser is forged from 6061-T6 aluminum then machined into its final reflex form.
A key feature in the overall shooting experience is the grip, and Elite grips have long been among my favorites. The side panels are blended with the contoured riser handle and possess a unique balance of angle, shape and size for a comfortable grip that encourages consistent hand placement.
Other riser-based features of the Impulse 31 include a metal, front stabilizer mounting insert, dual rear stabilizer mounts, an adjustable cable guard with a Delrin AF 500 cable slide and a Kolor-Fusion finish available in a variety of camo patterns and custom colors.
2 Tracks 2 Success
The Elite Impulse 31 is outfitted with Elite's two-track symmetrical dual-cam system, which is largely responsible for the advertised IBO speeds ranging from 340-343 fps. As opposed to the more common three-track system, the two-track cam is thinner laterally, weighs less and forces the load from the cables closer to the center.
According to Elite, this design balances the system and increases overall efficiency by limiting cam lean. Cams move in lock step with one another as they are directly linked through both cables for consistent, hassle-free operation. The machined aluminum cams ride on hardened stainless steel axles and double-sealed ball bearings.
Draw-length changes are modular; however, a bow press and T15 Torx wrench (star shaped) are required to remove and replace the modules, which are available for draw lengths from 26-31 inches, in half-inch increments. An adjustable draw stop on each cam allows the shooter to customize the feel of the back wall.
Let's Be PALS
The 2016 Impulse 31 features Elite's new Perfect Alignment Limb System (PALS) features a set of tabs built into the rocker that directly translate downward limb pressure for balanced horizontal limb alignment, which enhances consistency and accuracy.
Elite employs a three-layer laminated limb made with Gordon Glass materials, which are a proven industry standard. Limbs are solid (not split) in form, measure 12.5 inches long and are matched into sets based on deflection values within +/-1 pound. The beyond-parallel position of the limbs at full draw are largely responsible for Elite's advertised "Nothing to it Shooting," which means you should expect to feel very little shock or vibration at the shot.
Also aiding the fight against noise and vibration are an Elite String Stop and pre-installed Limbsaver limb dampeners. Limbs are available in peak draw weights of 40, 50, 60, 65, 70 and 80 pounds.
The Impulse 31 is extremely quiet at the shot, which is especially noteworthy considering the arrow speed this bow generates. A small kick and low, lasting vibration were noted at the shot, but both were virtually eliminated simply by adding a stabilizer to the bow.
As you might expect from a speed bow, the Impulse 31 has an aggressive draw cycle, but I found it well balanced at full draw and appreciated the excellent grip, which aids in consistent shooting.