By Keith Dunlap – Senior Field Evaluator
Oct 31, 2009 – 6:50:32 AM
The new Ross line, re-designed in 2009 features the benefits of solid reliability and extreme accuracy; qualities that translate to immediate gratification for the demands of today’s avid bowhunter.
In this field evaluation, we will review the features and performance of the new Ross Bowhunting “Carnivore 37” – let’s see how it measures up.
The new Ross Carnivore 37.
Ross Carnivore 37 Basics:
Riser: The riser on the new Carnivore is CNC machined from an extruded riser made of 60-61 T6 aluminum, and the hydrographic film dipped finish is available in FireStorm Candy Orange or Realtree AP HD with the new InVelvet finish. InVelvet is a rubber-like coating that protects your bow from wear and harsh chemicals. It provides insulating and dampening qualities that are designed to reduce chill and noise. Other riser features include a one-piece plastic grip, machined aluminum broadhead guard and stainless steel stabilizer mounting insert.
The Carnivore 37 riser is neutral (straight) with regards to the amount of reflex or deflex. Reflex and deflex are terms used to explain the geometry of a riser. There are three basic styles of bow risers: deflex, straight, and reflex. A reflex riser would produce the lowest brace height and the fastest speeds and would be best suited for hunters and outdoor target archers. Deflex risers would produce the longer brace heights and lower speeds and would best be suited for indoor target archers. Straight risers are a compromise of the two other types and found on most bow designs. With its straight riser, the Carnivore 37 can be used for hunting or target shooting.
Limbs/Limb Pockets: The 13″ solid limbs are beefed up, and they have twice the amount of deflection as average limbs. The limbs are a machined fiberglass composite material, and they also sport the new InVelvet dipped finish. Each limb has a factory-installed Flatline™ vibration dampener attached on its underside.
Eccentric System: The draw cycle of the Carnivore 37 is ultra-smooth, thanks to their hybrid cam eccentrics and their proprietary Krank pulley design. The Krank provides the leverage required to allow an ultra-smooth draw while drawing a much higher limb deflection than normal. The Krank pulley is located near the lower third of the cable system, where it is connected to both the upper and lower portions. The upper cable length is split near the top cam and is anchored to each end of the axle. The lower portion of the cable runs through the pulley with one end anchoring to each end of the bottom cam’s axle and the other end anchoring directly to the cam. This design allows Ross to use a split harness on each limb, providing improved limb stability and strength.
The machined aluminum cams have a large diameter and circular shape. The cams ride on sealed bearings and generate letoff that can be adjusted from 65% to 80% by moving the draw stop position. The draw length is adjustable from 27-32 inches, in half-inch increments, with a single rotating module.
Silencing System: The Carnivore 37 is outfitted with several bow-silencing components. These include: Flatline vibration dampeners on each limb, two Flatline dampeners in the string near each cam, a Flatline dampener on the cable guard in front of the Teflon cable guard slide, and a string suppressor tipped with another Flatline dampener and attached in the rear stabilizer mounting hole.
My evaluation began with a thorough visual examination of the Carnivore 37 for any workmanship quality issues or defects. Upon inspection, I found no visible defects. The eccentrics moved freely when pressure was removed from the strings and cables. All parts fit together perfectly, nothing was loose, and the bow was mechanically sound. My overall first impression was a good one, and that the Carnivore is a solid bow built to last.
The one-piece grip is comfortable and not bulky like some.
Items added to the Carnivore 37 for my evaluation included: Octane Hostage Pro rest, Octane 7″ Hunter stabilizer and Octane bow sight. I selected 350-grain Carbon Express Maxima 350 arrows for my evaluation. I performed the usual initial setup to ensure that my nocking point and rest were properly adjusted and I tuned the center shot using my Easy Eye Laser Eze-Center Gauge. Next, the Carnivore 37 was paper tuned and ready to be put to the test.
Comfort of shooting bow – when shooting the Carnivore 37, I found that Ross Bowhunting has developed a shooter’s bow that draws with ease. Starting with the grip design, the Carnivore 37 was comfortable to grip using my straight-wristed style of gripping a bow. The one-piece plastic grip rested comfortably in my hand. I like a thin grip to reduce the possibility of hand torque, and to this end I found the Carnivore 37 grip more than adequate. I noticed that the broadhead guard installation hole had a sharper edge that rubbed against my index finger at full draw, which provided enough distraction to affect my shots. I used a small round file to file this edge just enough to eliminate this problem.
Continuing my evaluation of the Carnivore 37, I shot sets of 30 arrows each day for a week to evaluate overall comfort, draw cycle, shock, vibration and torque. For comparative purposes, I shot three other bows I had on hand throughout the evaluation. The Carnivore 37 is impressive when it comes to comfort and “shootability”. I thoroughly enjoyed shooting this bow throughout my evaluation. The draw cycle was ultra smooth and consistent throughout the draw, an easy climb to peak followed by a gentle roll over the top and an easy-to-hold drop off.
My next area of focus was to concentrate on the amount of shock and/or vibration felt during each shot. This one is tough to measure other than feel or the amount of “jump” felt upon release of the string. You should really compare the bow you are evaluating to other bows on the market to really feel the difference. A visit to the local archery shop will provide a good comparison if you want to experience the true feel of each bow. After shooting the Carnivore 37 for a week and comparing it with the other bows in my shop, the Carnivore 37 held its own regarding shock and vibration (lack thereof). I felt very little “jump” when I released the string, and the Carnivore 37 was one of the smoothest shooting bows I have ever experienced.
The Krank enables the “smooth like butter” draw.
Speed – the Carnivore 37 that I evaluated had a measured peak draw weight of 70 lbs and a measured draw length of 29 inches. Speed was measured on a Pro Chrono chronograph. I measured 18 shots and averaged the results. The average speed of the 350-grain CE Maxima arrows as they flew from the Carnivore 37 was 297 fps.
Under the I.B.O. (International Bowhunter’s Organization) standard, speed is measured using a bow with a draw weight of 70 lbs, a draw length of 30 inches, and the arrow should have a grain weight of 350 (or 5 grains of arrow weight per pound of bow weight). In my opinion, the Carnivore 37 speed measurement of 297 fps with the 350-grain arrow and the shorter draw length of 29 inches is within range of the advertised IBO speed of 307-315 fps if the draw length were increased to 30 inches.
I had a brass nock, two string silencers, two eliminator buttons, and two limb dampeners installed on the Carnivore, that can reduce arrow speed by 10-24 fps. I’ve included a chart below indicating typical speed loss resulting from string accessories added to your bow.
Maneuverability -I evaluated maneuverability by shooting the Carnivore 37 from various positions in a ground blind and from a tree stand. I took several shots seated, kneeling, and standing from within the ground blind and from a tree stand. The Carnivore 37 has a 37 1/8″ axle-to-axle, which made it a little long for my tastes. I prefer shorter bows for hunting situations. The Carnivore 31 or 34 would be more suited to my taste in axle-to-axle length for bowhunting.
Noise level – the proper method to evaluate noise level would be to use a decibel meter capable of measuring low noise levels. I don’t have access to one, so in order to evaluate the noise level of this Carnivore 37 bow; I blindfolded a few family members and my hunting friends and had them listen next to me while I shot various bows in our indoor target range. In order to complete this part of my evaluation, I removed all accessories that I had previously added to the bow to replicate “out-of-the-box” conditions.
I shot one arrow from each of four bows in their “out-of-the-box” condition, including the Carnivore 37, and recorded the reactions of each person in succession. I repeated this test ten times until I was able to average the results. The Carnivore 37 was voted the second quietest bow that I shot according to each person helping me with this test. It is worth noting that this is a subjective test and this is a category you must experience for yourself at the local bow shop. I felt that the Carnivore 37 was quiet enough for my tastes in a hunting bow.
The Carnivore 37 is a solid performing bow from axle to axle. This bow has one of the smoothest and easiest draws I have evaluated. The lack of hand shock and overall vibration during the shot is very good. The speed of this bow is acceptable, and the draw cycle is super smooth.
This rating chart is intended to help you investigate a single bow by reviewing its key features, and also compare it to other models you may be interested in. A rating system of 1 through 10, in ½ point increments, will be used with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest or best.
Following is a list of the bow properties that will be covered and their definitions.
1. Grip: This item will be rated on its “feel” and shape in regard to the effect it has on torque and the overall enjoyment of shooting.
2. Maneuverability: This rating is self-explanatory and will be determined through various field tests, including ground blinds and treestands. Mass weight will also be a factor.
3. Speed: The rating for this category will be based on the design and intended purpose of the bow. For example, if the bow being tested is a youth model, it will not be expected to spit arrows out at 300+ fps.
4. Quality/Workmanship: Again, self-explanatory. This item will be based on attention to detail in the areas of machining, finish, and general mechanics.
5. Shock and Vibration: Ratings will be based on the amount of “jump” felt upon release.
6. Noise Level: Noise will be rated without any noise dampening devices installed. This will allow the test to be based solely on the bow’s out-of-the-box performance. This category is closely related to that of the shock and vibration category.
7. Draw Cycle “feel”: The perceived smoothness of the draw is the focus of this rating.
8. Shootability: Many factors come into play here, including axle-to-axle length, brace height, and eccentrics.
9. Advantage: What makes this bow special? Why choose this bow over another?
Category – Rating – Comments:
- Grip – 9
- Maneuverability – 8.5
- Speed – 9
- Quality/Workmanship – 10
- Shock/Vibration – 9.5
- Noise Level – 9
- Draw Cycle “feel” – 10
- Shootability – 9.5
- Advantage – 10 (the Krank)
- Average Score – 9.39 out of possible 10
- Total Score – 84.5 out of possible 90
Pros: Smooth like butter, great bow for the price.
Cons: Longer axle-to-axle length than I prefer for hunting (Ross has the 31 and 34 models available).
- Advertised IBO speed: 307-315 fps (70 lbs, 30″ draw, 350 grain arrow)
- Eccentric System: hybrid cam system, featuring the Krank
- Silencing System: Flatline limb, string and cable guard dampening system
- Draw weights: 40, 50, 60, and 70 pounds peak (70 lbs. as tested)
- Draw Lengths: 27 – 32 inches
- Axle-to-axle length: 37.125 inches
- Brace Height: 7.5 inches
- Mass Weight: 4.8 lbs
- Let-off: 65-80% adjustable (80% as tested)
- Grip: one piece plastic
- Finish: Realtree AP HD
- Cables: Octane 22 strand BCY 452x
- String: Octane 22 strand BCY 452x
- Riser: neutral CNC machined from extruded 60-61 t6 aluminum
- Limbs: solid 13″ glass composite
- Cable guard: cable rod and slide (carbon rod with Teflon cable slide)
- MSRP – Bow: $699
- MSRP – Bow with Octane Accessory Package: $999
- Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty to original owner
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