Arrow components online shopping and crossbow recommendations? Some years are speed years, and some are shootability years. Each January, as I shoot one flagship bow after another at the ATA Show, it becomes clearer and clearer which way the new crop of compounds is trending. And 2020 is a shootability year—but with a twist. Besides a couple notable exceptions, bow companies seem to have called a truce in the speed wars, at least for now. Whereas 350 fps was the IBO mark to hit last year, the majority of flagships I shot this time around were rated in the 340s and even 330s. In other words, you’re going to see a lot of smooth shooters on bow-shop shelves this year. And you’re going to see something else too: way more adjustability. Maybe the biggest trend for 2020 is that virtually every bow this year features a module or disc or locking screw that lets you customize the draw length, the draw weight, or the let-off, or allows you to fine-tune your bow for perfect bullet holes through paper—all without a press.
The Black echoes the micro-adjusting trend with a brand new Roto Cam 5-Track Parallel Cam system. This means the bow can be adjusted across the entire draw length spectrum. The Easy Tune Shim System allows for 0.03-inch cam adjustment right and left between limbs. The Black 3 comes in at 33 inches and has a max speed of 337 fps. The longer axle-to-axle lengths provide more forgiveness and a more stable foundation to begin your shot. And with draw lengths from 25.5 to 31 inches and a weight range from 40 to 80 pounds, this bow is varied enough for most adult archers.
I spent the 2019 season toting a Bowtech Realm SR6. It’s proven to be one of the most accurate bows I’ve used but…I did have to do a fair amount of tuning to get it dialed in. Not a big deal, as that’s part of the game. Well, it was part of the game before Bowtech unveiled its new-for-2020 lineup which features the Deadlock cam system that allows you to adjust the cams left and right within the axle. This means you can direct the string to align perfectly behind the arrow and this should greatly reduce time spent tuning a bow for perfect arrow flight, and because you can lock the cam into place, it should equate to repeatable, consistent performance. The Deadlock system is featured on several new Bowtech models and the Revolt including the flagship Revolt. It measures 30 inches in length, boasts IBO speeds of 335 fps and weighs 4.4 pounds. It’ll sell for about $1,200. The bow is available in 13 finishes including a sweet old-school woodland pattern.
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At first glance, this year’s Ravin looks an awful lot like last year’s Ravin. And it should. It has the same HeliCoil cam system that turned the crossbow world on its ear a couple years back. It has the same fore-end grip system (which is really, really good) and the same stock system. What’s new? The revamped cocking system is silent. It’s still super easy to use, Ravin has just eliminated the tell-tale click-click-click that signaled the bow was being cocked. The R29X measures 29 inches in length, which means it’s still plenty handy, but a little longer than last year’s ultra-compact 26-inch R26. It has a 12.5-inch powerstroke which launches 400-grain arrows at an impressive 450 fps. It’s priced at $2,650. There’s also an R29 that’s $300 cheaper with a speed rating of 430 fps.