Whether you like to window shop or are in the market for a new arrow-slinger this year, you need to check out these fresh models.
by Brad Fenson
Some of the many intriguing aspects of the archery and bowhunting world are the technological advancements in materials and designs which continue to push the envelope of performance. Every January, manufacturers roll out their latest offerings and we always ask ourselves, “What will they think up this year?”
We spent three days cruising the aisles and checking out the displays at the 2020 Archery Trade Association show to learn just that. And the industry didn’t disappoint. Here’s our take on the top new hunting bows you’ll see at your local archery dealer this year…
TenPoint Vapor RS470
TenPoint has engineered a safe and easy way to cock and de-cock its Vapor RS470 crossbow with the new ACUslide. Little effort is required to cock or de-cock the bow with the hand crank that works in conjunction with the Auto-Brake-Gear-System, allowing for silent cocking and safe and controlled de-cocking with minimal effort. As the name implies, the reverse system limbs produce an elongated power stroke, creating arrow speeds up to 470 fps. When cocked, the limbs are 6.5 inches wide. A new rail system allows the arrow to launch with less friction and contact. A two-stage trigger provides greater accuracy and shot consistency. The Vapor RS470 ships assembled and includes the Evo-X Marksman Precision scope, a STAG hard case, 6 Evo-X lighted CenterPunch carbon arrows, 3 Evo-X CenterPunch rear deploying broadheads, a sling, and a quiver. MSRP starts at $2,899; tenpointcrossbows.com.
Bear Archery Divergent EKO
Buying a high-performance bow requires some serious financial planning before most of us can take the plunge. Bear Archery’s new Divergent EKO bucks that trend by delivering up to 338 fps with a broad range of let-off, draw length, and weight adjustability at a price under $700. By utilizing the company’s EKO cam technology, shooters can choose between 75%, 80%, 85%, and 90% let-off without impacting performance. Draw lengths range from 25.5 to 30 inches, with available draw weight ranges of 45-60 and 55-70 pounds. With its 30-inch axle-to-axle length, 6.5-inch brace height, and 4.1 pounds overall weight, the Divergent EKO from Bear Archery is nimble in the brush and agile in the trees. Camo options include Veil Alpine and Veil Stoke. MSRP is $699; beararchery.com.
Wicked Ridge M370
If you’re looking for incredible value in a crossbow, check out the Wicked Ridge M370. This crossbow is loaded with technologically advanced features based on a forward-limb design that is powered by VX-5 reverse cams. By reversing the cams, there is increased rotation and a longer power stroke. The bow is 6.5 inches wide when cocked and shoots 370 fps. The traditional-looking crossbow is one of the lightest on the market, weighing in at 5.8 lbs. The M370 comes with a TenPoint Multi-Line scope, 3 Alpha-Nock arrows, plus a quiver, and is easy to assemble. MSRP: $669 with the rope-sled or $769 with the ACUdraw cocking device; wickedridgecrossbows.com.
Excalibur Assassin 400TD
The Excalibur’s Micro crossbow line is now lead by the Assassin 400TD, featuring a Quick-Loc Technology system that allows the limb assembly to be removed from the stock and then reattached with the push of a button. The tight tolerance of the takedown feature ensures that accuracy is maintained. Once disassembled, the bow can be packed for transport or protection. New High-Output Express limbs send arrows off the rail at speeds up to 400 fps. A Pro-Shot frictionless, two-stage trigger, and TACT-100 illuminated scope ensure accuracy and consistency. The Assassin 400TD includes a silent crank cocker and an anti-dry fire mechanism. The crossbow measures 20.5 inches wide when cocked and weighs 7.9 lbs. It comes with a scope, quiver, 4 Black Eagle Pro-Flight bolts, and a soft case. MSRP: $1,799; excaliburcrossbow.com.
PSE Carbon Air Stealth Mach 1
The PSE Carbon Air Stealth Mach 1 features a longer, newly design carbon riser. The unidirectional carbon fiber elements are lightweight and extremely durable, keeping the total weight of the bow to 3.5 lbs. The laid-back limbs offer 80-90% let-off and generate arrow speeds up to 332 fps. The 6 1/8-inch brace height makes the bow forgiving and easy to shoot. The bow comes in 50, 60, 65, and 70-lb draw weights, with draw length ranging from 25 to 30.5 inches. An 80-lb bow can be custom ordered at no extra charge. Recognized Evolve Cam technology is smoother and faster, with pinpoint precision. Made in the USA, the bow is available in Black, Kuiu Verde, Mossy Oak Country, and First Lite Fusion. MSRP: N/A; psearchery.com.
Bowtech Revolt X
Bowtech debuted its 2020 lineup of bows, featuring a new DeadLock cam system that allows the user to adjust the cams left and right within the axle. Being able to adjust the cam means you can direct the string to align perfectly behind the arrow and reduce the difficulty and time required for tuning a bow for picture-perfect arrow flight. When the final adjustment is made, the cam can be locked to ensure repeatable, consistent performance. The Revolt X has an easy draw cycle and is extremely quiet on release. It measures 30 inches in length, boasts IBO speeds of 335 fps, and weighs 4.4 pounds. Custom orders allow you to choose from 13 finishes for the limbs and riser. MSRP: $1,200; bowtecharchery.com.
HeliCoil Technology, which Ravin has built its reputation on, powers the company’s new R29X crossbow. Billed to deliver long-range accuracy, the R29X is quiet, with sporty-looking narrow limbs measuring six-inches axle-to-axle. A new Silent Cocking System allows the user to cock the bow quietly. A speed of 450 fps with a 400-grain arrow is generated on the 12.5-inch power stroke, producing 180-foot pounds of kinetic energy. The upgraded R29X Sniper Package features a tactical crossbow scope, .001 Arrows, and the Jack Plate Adjustable Elevation Mount. The R29X is available in Predator Dusk Camo. MSRP: $2,649.99 standard; $3,049.99 Sniper Package; ravincrossbows.com.
Barnett HyperFlite EVO 420
Barnett has changed the look of the standard crossbow with its HyperFlite EVO 420, with cams mounted directly to the bow’s riser instead of the limbs. The sleek design was engineered to improve accuracy while reducing vibration, noise, cam lean, and torque. The HyperFlite Track decreases arrow contact along the rail, enhancing accuracy and consistency. As the name indicates, the EVO 420 has a speed rating of 420 fps with Barnett’s 22-inch, .204 small-diameter HyperFlite arrows. The combination of speed and small-diameter arrows increases penetration. Weighing 11 pounds, this crossbow is solid with its reduced vibration. A TriggerTech trigger features a reliable and crisp 3-lb. pull, Anti-Dry Fire, and nock sensor for added safety. The HyperFlite EVO 420 is packaged and ready to head to the range. MSRP: $1,600; barnettcrossbows.com.
Prime Black Series
Prime has launched a new Black series bow for 2020, available in four models ranging from 31 to 39 inches long. A new Roto cam system has an easy-to-adjust rotating module to change draw length. A floating yoke system and adjustable cable stop keep the bow quiet while a beefy riser designed with Centergy technology keeps the Prime Black series perfectly balanced in hand. The Prime SHIELD program allows for a new set of strings and cables free of charge every two years for the life of the bow. The Black 1 measures 31 inches axle-to-axle and weighs 4.3 lbs. A forgiving 7-inch brace height produces an IBO speed rating of 332 fps. The bow is available in draw weights of 40, 50, 60, 65, 70 and 80 lbs. MSRP is $999; g5prime.com.