|FIELD EVALUATION: Bowtech
Liberty VFT, by Dave Conrad
Recently I was involved in a test that pitted eight bows against one
another. Some of the criteria the bows had to meet were, axle to
axle in the short to medium range, single cam, and draw weight from 60
to 70 pounds. All were shot at 65 pounds with a string loop to try
and keep everything an apples to apples test.
On most tests I was blindfolded as to not know which bow I was shooting
or listening to when shot. Now a couple of the measuring sticks for
trying to determine an overall winner were; how each bow felt upon release
to determine shock, recoil and/or vibration, the best feel/grip in hand,
the tests were completed I was more than curious as to how the bows stacked
up against one another from my testing. I was very pleased to find
out that the bow I chose most in the overall testing was the Bowtech Liberty.
Several weeks ago I was ecstatic when I found out that I would be evaluating
this same bow. It was customized to my draw length as well as desired
weight and I could not have been happier when it arrived.
The first thing I did was drive to my local range and set the Liberty
up. I attached a string loop and a Golden Key, TM Hunter style rest
and within a couple of arrows had it paper tuned and shooting bullet holes.
I continued shooting the Liberty and was truly amazed at the quietness
as well as smoothness this new bow to the 2004 Bowtech lineup demonstrates.
It also features Bowtech's new Freedom cam which I believe is the secret
behind the fore mentioned qualities. The cam incorporates an oversized
idler wheel and cam which both utilize ball bearings. Combined with
the forgiving 7 ½" brace height the final result is a bow that is
easy to shoot and hard to put down.
The Freedom cam also uses an ingenious module system and draw stop for
setting the correct draw length. With the correct module, covering
a one inch increment, draw length can be set from 25 to 30 inches.
The thing that is so unique about the Freedom Cam is the draw stop can
be positioned anywhere within an extended machined slot. The slot
allows for fine tuning of not only draw length but let-off as well.
It can be set from anywhere within a 65 to 80 percent range. This
is a plus compared to systems using limited preset holes. By checking
with your authorized Bowtech Dealer you should have no problem correctly
selecting or installing the best module for draw and let-off.
I decided a chrono test was in order to find out how the oversized
cams and VFT limbs performed. Shooting a 28.75" Easton ACC 3-60 arrow
weighing 410 grains, the bow consistently measured 273 fps maxed out at
a little over 70 lbs.
The Bowtech VFT (Vertical Force Technology) Limb System Design is a
key addition to the Freedom Cam in defining this smooth shooting bow.
Bowtech defines VFT as "Any power not converted directly into arrow speed
is dispersed away from the riser, equally in opposite directions".
When these ingredients are combined with the Hush Kit (included on every
adult 2004 model) on the Gordon glass limbs, the bow responds, virtually
eliminating all hand shock and vibration. When the sight levels off
and you squeeze the trigger on the release you will be amazed at how this
bow responds as the arrow is launched toward the target.
The 33 ¼" axle to axle length makes the bow very maneuverable
and suited for treestand hunting. Because of the VFT technology most
of this length can be accredited to the fluid machined 6061-T6 aluminum
It features a large cutout sight window and extended shelf. The
riser cutouts are strategically placed to give the reflexed riser the correct
balance and feel.
Speaking of feel you will find nestled in the middle a narrow grip which
is comfortable and finds favor with my low wrist shooting method.
It is constructed of multicolored laminated wood and proudly displays the
laser etched Bowtech name.
On each end of the riser Bowtech has equipped the '04 Liberty with pivoting
limb pockets. The machined pocket pivots as the poundage is increased
or decreased over the 10 pound range allowing the limbs to maintain optimal
performance. Other features include standard AMO fittings for a multitude
of accessories for sights rests and quivers. The stabilizer fittings
can be found on the front as well as the back of the riser for customized
The riser is dipped in Mossy Oak Obsession and a close inspection reveals
a quality camo process. It should blend in nicely to any surroundings.
Design 9.0 out of 10
The combination of the new Freedom Cam, VFT Technology and limb pockets
produce a bow with a great combination of shootability, speed and quietness.
The 3 pound 14 ounces keeps the bow under the magic 4 pound range.
With all accessories and combined with the short axle to axle this bow
should be a breeze to carry to and from the treestand or on an extended
Quality 9.5 out of 10
Inspecting the bow revealed quality with tight tolerances throughout.
Quality strings using Brownell material are custom in order to provide
consistency. Each bow is inspected by a 73 step process as well as
test shot. If it doesn't meet the BowTech standard it never leaves
Bowtech continues to challenge the industry and in a short time has
become a powerhouse in the market. They offer a wide range of bows
to fit everyone's needs from novice to pro.
90554 Highway 99 North
Eugene, OR 97402
Phone: 541-284-4711 or 888-689-1289