August 15, 2014
Ross Archery is driven by the idea that the average bowhunter should be able to shoot a top rig without visiting a loan officer at the local bank. The 2014 Headhunter is designed to embody that notion.
Built around a machined aluminum reflex riser, the Headhunter employs a two-track binary cam anchored to fiberglass composite limbs through a small limb pocket. Shock, vibration and noise are attacked with a series of dampeners on the riser, limbs, string and cable rod. Other highlights include a 2-piece, molded composite grip and stainless steel stabilizer insert.
Limbs and Containment
The Headhunter's limbs are made with industry standard Gordon Glass materials and machined into their solid form (not split). They are then set to an angle that results in a parallel position at full draw.
This configuration causes the limbs to move in equal and opposite direction when the string is released, which cancels much of the excess energy traveling through the bow. The fiberglass composite limbs measure approximately 12 inches long and 1€‰1„2 inches wide and are aligned to the centerline of the riser via the almost nonexistent limb pockets.
The nose of the limb is held only by the limb bolt, which threads into a stainless steel barrel nut set into the riser. The only other component in the limb containment system is a machined aluminum U-bracket that attaches to the riser and cradles the limb approximately 2€‰1„2 inches from the limb bolt. Each bracket is green anodized and contains a rocker that contacts the limb. Limb sets are available in 50-60 or 60-70 pound draw weights.
As the name implies, the Headhunter's two-track binary cam system uses only two tracks to harness the string and two cables. One of those tracks is dedicated to the string while the other serves both cables, which share a piece of real estate during the draw cycle. This allows Ross to keep a greater percentage of the load closer to the axle's center. A centered load equates to less limb twist and less cam lean.
Cams ride on sealed bearings and stainless steel axles for reduced friction and increased efficiency. The IBO rating is 320 fps on a 7-inch brace height and 80 percent system letoff. Draw lengths are adjusted through its range of 27-31 inches, including half-inch increments, by switching out modules.
Modules are clearly marked with a code that correlates to a specific draw length and also indicates the optimal position for the adjustable draw stops. A washer with a notch cut into its perimeter is located under the draw stop for easy positioning. The adjustable draw stop allows for customization of the valley and small changes in letoff. A bow press is required.
The Building Block
Ross builds the Headhunter on a machined aluminum reflex riser that is home to several features. A two-piece, molded composite grip is designed to produce a neutral wrist position while also serving as a comfortable interface for the shooter. A carbon cable rod and a LimbSaver Teflon slide keep cables clear of passing vanes.
Ross outfits the Headhunter with a LimbSaver dampener on the cable rod, as well as a Muddy Outdoors Bloodsport ZVT, which catches the string upon release and is advertised to reduce noise by 60 percent. The Ross exclusive DRT modules sit inside the riser structure and are designed to dampen any excess energy traveling through the riser.
While shooting the Headhunter, I noted very little vibration at the shot, but there was a bit of notable hand shock. The grip proved comfortable and seated my hand consistently. Noise was low and the draw was consistent from start to finish.
Overall, this is a rig that will reliably get the job done in the field, and the simple, quality components should provide years of dependable performance.
Manufacturer: Ross Archery, 877-504-7677
Cam System: Two-Track Binary
Weight: 3.8 pounds (advertised); 4.1 pounds (as tested)
Brace Height: 7 inches
Axle-To-Axle Length: 32 inches
Draw Weights: 50-60 or 60-70 pounds
Draw Lengths: 27-31 inches, in half-inch increments; modular
Riser: Reflex, machined aluminum
Limbs: Fiberglass composite, parallel
String: Vapor Trail, 59.44 inches
Cables: Vapor Trail, 36.375 inches
Grip: 2-piece side plates, molded composite
Finish: Kryptek Highlander or Kryptek Typhon
Advertised IBO Speed: 320 fps
Suggested Retail Price: $699.99
Comments: A no-nonsense, get-it-done hunting rig.