Field Evaluation - Diamond 'Black Ice' By Patrick Gordon
Jun 11, 2007 - 10:34:25 AM
All they hype is true. Bowtech's Diamond Archery line of compound bows are strong, smooth, and ready to shoot out of the box. I recently received the Black Ice which is the newest and greatest from Diamond and I can honestly say that I am impressed. So impressed was I that I applied and was accepted as Hunting Pro Staff for Diamond by Bowtech.
The bow arrived professionally packed from the factory in great shape with the factory logo displayed prominently on the side of the packaging. Not wasting any time on formalities, I tore into the box and pulled out the Black Ice. The camo pattern was flawless, craftsmanship obvious, and the bow just looks as if it's ready to shoot itself.
The Black Ice comes 31 and 3/4 inches axle to axle with an IBO speed of 310-318 fps. With a brace height of 7.5 inches and a mass weight of only 3.6 pounds, this is one very forgiving bow. It comes in draw lengths from 26 inches to 30 inches with half inch modules available and draw weights of 50, 60, and 70 pounds. Options include the Timberline Package which includes a very nice TruGlo 5 pin fiber optic sight, capture arrow rest (whisker biscuit), Camo 1-piece, 4 arrow twist and release quiver, braided wrist sling, peep sight, and a 4" camo stabilizer. With the Timberline Package installed, this hunter is ready to be sighted in right out of the box and nothing about any of this package is cheap or fragile.
Diamond by Bowtech describes its bow as follows: Our version utilizes a highly efficient 12", 53-degree beyond-parallel limbs and optimized center cam mass placement. A system gem that transfers an advanced percentage of stored energy to the arrow with absolute minimal hand shock and noise. The new Black Ice 4" pinnacle cam delivers unsurpassed smoothness. The redesigned modules have been extended, presenting the archer with the luxury of a tunable valley. A slender, two-piece grip, machined shelf trough and thumb groove, and repositioning of the arrow rest holes, combine to close the distance between your hand and the arrow. The result is reduced vertical torque, additional stability, and increased accuracy.
The Black Ice is also available in a target model which boasts variegated red/black anodized finish, with simulated carbon-fiber limbs, and custom matching string and cables. This bow is HOT. Absolutely one of the finest looking target bows I've ever seen. A guaranteed head turner at any event.
So what did I personally think? I couldn't wait to shoot this bow and shoot it I have. The first thing I noticed was ease of draw. I shoot the 70 lb version and have been shooting 70 lb bows for quite a few years now. Coming off a cam and a half model bow, I couldn't believe how smooth and effortless the draw was on this extremely fast and efficient single cam bow. The Black Ice also allows you to tune your back wall by installing a small stop right in the cam itself. This provides a solid wall to draw to. No more spongy feeling after your let off drops you down on this bow. When you hit the stop, you know you're releasing and anchoring the same each and every single time. I can't even put into words how much this has done for my form.
Another extremely helpful benefit to this bow is the grip itself. I hate calling it a grip because we don't actually grip the handle at all, but for lack of a better term, I'll use it. When you place your hand on this grip, your hand automatically follows its line to sit perfectly along the lifeline of your palm giving you better form each and every time you shoot. A machined thumb groove and thin grip design combine to really give you what you need for improved accuracy.
Hand shock? What hand shock? I just spent 4 days at the grand opening of a new Bass Pro Shop in Bolingbrook, IL where I represented Diamond's new line. I set up a Black Ice and let people shoot on the new indoor range and asked them how it felt, how they liked it, and what they thought of the new bow. Everyone from experienced archers to people never having shot a bow before were amazed to find that even at 70 pounds of draw, the hand shock was nearly non-existent. The bow is so forgiving that nearly everyone shooting this bow was grouping arrows tightly from the first shot on with no torque and nearly zero perceptible hand shock or NOISE. Speaking of noise, did I mention this bow comes decked out with string and limb silencers that really work? Can you tell I love my new bow?
I set my personal hunting bow up with Maxima 350 arrows, a Kwikee 3 arrow quiver, Trophy Ridge sight, Whisker Biscuit and the Hindsight instead of a peep. I am grouping under three inches at 30 yards indoors and out and can't remember the last time I was shooting this well. I don't have ready access to a chronograph, but I can say that from experience, the arrows are reaching their target at blistering speeds. I also normally like to crank my poundage down during hunting season due to stiffness after a long, cold, motionless sit in a tree stand. Most of you can relate to drawing after sitting for 4 or 5 hours in the cold without moving. It just plain hurts sometimes. I won't be doing that this year. Even at 70 lbs of draw weight, this bow draws so smoothly and effortlessly that I believe I won't have any trouble at all pulling it back and holding….even when cold and stiff.
My take on the Black Ice might sound almost too good to be true, but I challenge you all to shoot one before you make your final decision. This product speaks for itself and with an MSRP of $699.00, it's worth every penny. If you're looking for a new bow this year, I urge you to at least fling a few arrows from it and see for yourself before making a final decision. I don't sell these bows; I shoot them and have never been happier with any change in equipment prior to this.
It's very hard for me to give this bow a rating. I'm so happy with it that I'd give it a ten across the board if I were that kind of person, but I'll give it a 9.5 on all categories because I truly believe that Diamond by Bowtech somehow, some way will keep coming up with new and innovative ways to make better bows. The fact that this new company does so much to support our troops overseas also speaks volumes. As a veteran of Desert Storm, I can do no less than support this company whole heartedly.