9 Top Bows from 2017 ATA

The annual Archery Trade Association show (ATA) is always buzzing with excitement, and the new flagship bows generate much of the stir. Here’s a look at nine top models we shot.

Bear Moment

($899; beararchery.com)

Specs: Weight: 4.0 lbs., Axle-axle: 31”, Brace height: 6”, IBO: 340 fps

The lowdown: Bear stuck with its proven EAZ Hybrid Cam system on the Moment, so the draw cycle is pleasant and the back wall solid. The new Naro Grip should result in greater accuracy, and the Moment is the most dead-in-the-hand Bear we’ve shot in years. There’s plenty of speed here, too, but for those who like more gas behind the arrow, check out their other new model, the LS-6, which is slightly longer and 15 fps faster.

Who Should Buy: For hunters wanting a flagship bow that’s at least $100 cheaper than most companies, the Moment deserves a hard look.

Bowtech Reign 6

($1,049; bowtecharchery.com)

Specs: Weight: 4.3 lbs, Axle-axle: 32-5/8”, Brace height: 6”, IBO: 350 fps.

The Lowdown: The Reign includes all of Bowtech’s SmartBow technology: the Binary Overdrive cam system allows for precise tuning, the Flip Disc lets shooters choose between Comfort and Performance settings, the Microsync dial allows cam timing without a press, and the FLX guard mitigates riser torque. But the cams themselves have been redesigned to eliminate harsh roll-over at the end of the draw cycle, and weight has been trimmed from the top of the riser to create better balance.

Who Should Buy: Bowtech bows always duke it out for the top spot in our bow test, and the Reign should be no different; it’s a fast bow that’s surprisingly pleasant to shoot.

($1,199, elitearchery.com)

Specs: Weight: 4.3 lbs., Axle-axle: 32”, Brace height: 6”, IBO: 342 fps.

The Lowdown: Elite made some major changes with the Option, the first Elite bow to feature double-laminated split limbs. Also new is a redesigned 7075 aluminum riser with dual riser cages for added strength, an adjustable roller guard, and a much slimmer grip designed to reduce shooter-introduced torque. There’s also a 7-inch brace height Option that’s just a touch slower at 332 fps.

Who Should Buy: While the Option is a radical departure from previous Elite models, hunters who demand “shootability” from their bow won’t be disappointed in the latest offering from the company that coined the term.

($1,099; hoytarchery.com)

Specs: Weight: 4.2, Axle-axle: 30.5”, Brace height: 7”, IBO: 331 fps

The Lowdown: The simple view is that the Pro Defiant is basically the aluminum…

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