Field Evaluation - BowTech 82nd Airborne By Jason Balazs
May 28, 2008 - 6:07:46 AM
It is hard to believe that another year has gone by already. During the last two years, Bowtech has released bows that are in support of our Armed Forces. This year is no exception. Bowtech has come out with not only one bow, but, three of them. Their names being: General, 101st Airborne, and the 82nd Airborne. I was sent the 82nd for an evaluation this year and will also be testing the General in my 2008 bow review. One great thing that I must mention is the fact that out of the profits from everyone one of the 82nd Airborne bows that sells, Bowtech will donate a portion of the proceeds to the organization Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). For more information visit the TAPS website www.TAPS.org.
The 82nd's riser is made from forged aluminum then fully mahcined to give it strength and reduce it weight. There are around 12 or so cut-outs (depending on if you count small ones) that reduce the overall weight of the bow. With having a forged riser, the bow retains strength and makes it more resilient. Bowtech is famous for their Waterdog technology for applying the camo patterns to their bows. The 2008 line of Bowtech's come with five camoflauge patterns to choose from as well as three target colors . This year Bowtech has done something different with their finish on their bows. They have applied a finish that they call InVelvet. It is almost what you would call a micro fiber that is resistant to deet and other chemicals that strip a finish. The great thing about it is, it absorbs shock and disperses cold tempratures away from your hand, giving it a "velvet" (pun intended) feel. Continuing with the riser, the shelf has been machined to have a wide flange, which creates a larger sight window. This Machined trough allows the shooters hand to be closer to the arrow which increases their accuracy. Instead of a cable slide, Bowtech has installed a roller guard on their bows this year. This roller guard protects cables from wear and increases the speed of your arrow. They have also added a string suppressor that captures your string as it reaches your bow. This eliminates the need for string silencers which slow your bow down, yet it still keeps your shot silent.
The pivoting limbs on the 82nd are made from a high constructed glass and are tapered on the end. The Pockets on the 82nd are zero tolerance pockets. Meaning, they are tapered to conform to your limbs, ensuring that the limbs are perfectly matched to their pockets. This creates a single element that does not allow for limb movement off of center and increases the accuracy of the shot.
Bowtech came screaming into the market with the binary cam system that they have. There is no reason to change a good thing right? The 82nd is outfitted with binary cams that enslave each other versus working against each other. This forces them to work in unison and correct themselves. The result is the most accurate and efficient shot every time you release the string. With interchangeable modules you can adjust the draw length form 26.5 to 30.5, making the 82nd a prefect bow for anyone.
Bowtech uses BCY strings that provide minimal stretching and increased speeds. There is something to say about the strings that Bowtech uses. My wife's 2006 Equalizer still has the original strings on it. There is no fraying or wear beyond normal. Plus, the string has not stretched or changed at all.
I was really happy that Bowtech decided to go to a roller guard this year. Add that with the string suppressor and you are in hog heaven. One thing about the velvet finish that I noticed is the feel of it. The bow is not slippery in your hands. I know while hunting, I will put a cam on my boot and hold on to the limb. My hand would get cold or even slip while I am wearing my gloves. This is not the case anymore because of the InVelvet finish that is on the bow now. It provides warmth and does not let the bow slip from your hands.
This is the speed bow this year for Bowtech and with advertising IBO speeds of 342 to 350; I was excited to see what I could obtain. The reason Bowtech has two speeds posted is they produce a speed mod and a smooth mod. However, there is no reason for the smooth mod on this bow. I thought that there was going to be a lot more resistance when pulling the bow back; but at 70 pounds, it was like slicing through butter. The valley was very smooth and that back wall was solid. I was able to hold the bow back at full draw for a considerable amount of time without feeling fatigue. Every time I drew the bow I was starting to enjoy it more and more. There was zero hand torque and you feel like you are in control with your hand being closer to the arrow.
When I tested the speed I was shooting a 410-grain Victory Archery V-force arrow. I like to see what the bow is going to do with my hunting shaft versus a really light arrow. If this thing provides speeds that are fast with a hunting arrow, just imagine what it would do with a 3-D Competition arrow. I shot the bow about 20 times through my Chronograph, each time with the same arrow. The average speed was 313 FPS, providing 89 pounds per square inch of kinetic energy. Wow, that is some serious punch and would prove deadly on any of North America's big game. Also, I must mention that Bowtech has really gone over the edge on zero hand shock. The 82nd hardly even moved when I shot it. It is amazing to shoot something that has that much power behind it, yet it yields such soft recoil. Sound? There was none. I shot this bow inside at an archery range and there was very minimal noise associated with it. Compared to the Guardian from last year, I would say it is even quieter.
Overall I am very impressed with the 82nd Airborne. Every year Bowtech keeps coming out with some of the best shooting bows in the industry. My favorite bow of all time has to be my Tribute from 2006, but I think I just might have replaced it. The overall shootability of the 82nd exceeded my expectations for it is quiet, smooth to draw, and fast! One thing I am very surprised of is how forgiving the 82nd is with only having a 6 1/8th brace height. I have shot bows with larger brace heights and they do not provide the forgiveness that the 82nd does. I think the combination of the binary cams, zero tolerance limb pockets, and grip placement has made this the perfect shooting bow for all archers. I can't wait to see what they come out with next. I thought that they could not top last year's models, but I was wrong. Bowtech's ability to produce a perfect bow has always amazed me and they keep amazing me year after year.