March 29, 2012
By Jon E. Silks
Winchester is a household name in the hunting community. It is historically associated with its repeating arms division, which has been producing world-class guns since 1866! Now, the company name can be found on a line of high-performance compound bows, one of which is the focus of this High Grade. As noted on the company's website, "Winchester Archery products are designed, tested and made in America by passionate bowhunters."
The Quicksilver 34 showcases Winchester's Accu Speed Technology (AST) Cam system, Stabil-Lock Limb Pockets, Dual Roller Guard, Sudden-Stop String Dampener, Stone Mountain string/cables, three grip choices and much more.
Winchester outfits its flagship bow with a two-track cam system powered by Accu-Speed Technology (AST). A two-track system uses one track for the string and the other for both cable letout and uptake. Keeping the cables on the same plane reduces the overall width of the cam, and when the bow is drawn, brings the load exerted on the cables much closer to the center of the system. In turn, this minimizes the chance for an unequal load applied to one side of the cam and limb piece.
A lopsided application of the load would result in cam lean, which robs the overall system of efficiency and accuracy. Another benefit of the AST Cam is revealed in the accompanying draw-force curve. The Quicksilver has one of the smoothest draw cycles I have tested all year.
The AST Cam system offers modular draw-length options from 27-30 inches, in half-inch increments, and letoff adjustments from 55-80 percent via the moveable draw stop. All hardware is stainless steel for rust-free, maintenance-free operation.
PROVEN MATERIALS & PRECISION CONTROL
Winchester goes to industry leader Gordon materials for its flagship Quicksilver 34. Gordon has earned an excellent reputation for offering materials that are specifically suited for the rigors and stresses of a compound bow.
The company has experienced tremendous success. Sets of four limb sections are CNC machined to precision thicknesses and matched based on performance values to ensure maximum consistency and efficiency. Limbs are available in 50-, 60- and 70-pound peak draw weight options in either camo or carbon-fiber finish.
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A precise limb-to-riser fit is essential to overall accuracy. Winchester's aluminum Stabil-Lock limb pockets are CNC machined to exacting tolerances for a super solid fit. Pressure forces the limb ends into a radius structure of the pocket while a post in the pocket secures positioning. The lightweight pockets pivot during the draw-weight adjustment process, which locks the limb-to-pocket interface and maintains overall alignment.
Every bowhunter I know is concerned with staying quiet in the woods. We want to stay completely undetected right up to the point our arrow finds its mark. To that end, Winchester relies on numerous features/technologies to keep the Quicksilver 34 stealthy. First, and probably most important, is the parallel position of the limbs at full draw, which cancels out much of the unwanted energy left over after the arrow is released. Parallel limbs are the standard, and Winchester follows suit.
Second, a set of Limb Saver Super Quad limb silencers is positioned between the split limbs to quell any disrupting vibration traveling along the limbs. The Sudden-Stop string suppression fixture is mounted opposite the stabilizer mounting insert. It is contacted by the string upon release and works to quickly deaden the associated vibration and noise. Last but not least, the cutouts in the riser are machined in such a way as to direct any vibration toward the stainless steel stabilizer mounting insert. This allows maximum effectiveness of your chosen stabilizer.
I really wasn't sure what to expect from a bow made by a company primarily known for the manufacture of firearms. As succinctly as I can say it -- the Winchester Quicksilver 34 was pleasant to shoot. The draw cycle alone will be enough to win many over, and the good speed that results will attract quite a few more.
Only a moderate "bump" and light vibration was noted in the handle at the shot, and the rig was quieter than average. Stainless steel hardware, Gordon material limbs, a roller guard and rock solid limb pockets let you know you are holding a quality bow.