BowTech has made an unforgettable mark on the archery
industry over the past few years with bows that are not only fast but also
quiet and virtually shock free. The introduction of their revolutionary new
Binary Cam System for 2005 is a good indicator of the “never rest –
continuously improve” mindset that drives Bowtech’s design team.
The Patriotic bow series from BowTech includes short
axle-to-axle rigs, super fast shooters and a couple bows particularly designed
for a smooth draw and sweet shooting experience.
For this review we will take a
close look at the 37.5” BowTech “Old Glory”, a bow intended to blend the
shootability of a longer axle-to-axle configuration with the speed of the
Riser: A long 26” riser is the central building block
of the BowTech Old Glory. Its reflex geometry measures a healthy 4.5”. The
entire form is CNC machined from 6061-T6 aluminum and includes a generous sight
window cutout and 12 weight reducing cutouts along its length. Several grooves
and ridges are also machined into the riser for aesthetics. One of my favorite
features is a stainless steel fitting inserted below the grip for consistent
and worry-free stabilizer attachment. The narrow throated grip is a laminated
one-piece style with “BowTech” engraved on one side. The bow’s serial number is
machined on the backside of the sight window and a BowTech logo emblem is glued
into a pocket just above the window. The riser and limbs are finished with
Mossy Oak Obsession camo through a film dipping process. In this process a
piece of film with the camo pattern printed on it is placed flat on the surface
of the water in a stainless steel tank.The film base is dissolved by the water, which leaves only the camo pattern
lying on the water’s surface. A cleaned and base coated part, in this case a
riser, is lowered through the ink and into the water. The ink pattern wraps
around the part creating a seamless and flawless finish. BowTech double dips
every riser to ensure complete coverage. The riser is then removed, rinsed and
dried before a hard protective coat is added.
SO WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME??
considerable 4.5” reflex geometry that is formed into this riser is a
formula for speed. Each additional inch of reflex gives you that much more
power stroke. The power stroke is the portion of your overall draw length
that generates force. The more power stroke – the more power/speed!
materials and quality machining makes for a quiet, strong and well formed
bow. All of the cutouts equal a relatively light, 4.4 lbs, 37.5”
Cams: The big story for
2005 is BowTech’s new Binary Cam System. The design of this system is based on
two components being combined and becoming one – a perfect marriage if you
will. Unlike other systems that use a y-harness/buss cable and are anchored to
the bow limb tips, the binary cams are attached only to one another. They
function as a single unit automatically correcting for any imbalances such as
limb deflection and variable cable lengths. Binary Cams are advertised to
always be in absolute synchronization. A drawback with the Binary Cams was that
they were draw length specific in that a new cam was needed for every ½”
between 26 and 31”. However, I understand this has been changed on the 2006
model to a modular draw length system that is easy to change without the need
for a bow press. An added value of the new system is the choice of two
distinctively different sets of modules that allow archers to select the
shooting characteristics they desire. The choice of an ultra-smooth draw (for
extended practice sessions or long 3D tournaments), or a high performance speed
mod (for hunting situations) or visa-a-versa, or one of each essentially giving
the consumer two bows in one.) An adjustable let-off from 65 or 80% provides
even more personalization.
SO WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME??
system that is always in time is an absolute bonus for any of us that
don’t have our own bow press.
of this new system means you get more out of what you put into it.
The Old Glory is advertised by BowTech to reach IBO speeds between 315 and
Limbs/Limb Pockets: BowTech’s pivoting limb pockets
are CNC machined of 6061-T6 aluminum. Because they serve as the critical
interface between riser and limbs BowTech maintains super tight tolerances in
this area to ensure consistency and performance of the overall system. The Old
Glory’s relatively short limbs measure approximately 14.5”. Gordon’s glass
composite material is blanked out and then machined to form the Glory’s
straight limbs. To ensure maximum consistency and output the limbs are matched
based on deflection values. Although not as parallel as some of the other
models in Bowtech’s lineup the Old Glory limb configuration still produces
vibration and shock reducing performance.
SO WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME??
would be surprised at the number of bow manufacturers that use Gordon
glass composite for their limbs. It has been proven time after time for
many years and has an incredible reputation. If you have shot even a few
bows in your time it is almost a guarantee that you shot Gordon.
Force Technology, swept-back limbs work together to give you a rig with
minimal shock and vibration.
pockets maintain efficiency when backing off peak draw weight.
Silencing System: If you ask Bowtech what they do to
silence their rigs they may tell you that they apply a “Hush Kit”. This kit is
comprised of string, cable, cable guard and limb silencers made of a
proprietary rubber-like compound. I would say that is true to an extent. What I
mean by that is that if you were to apply the “Hush Kit” to just any bow on the
market you would get “some” results. What you would not get in most cases is a
bow that shoots as quietly, vibration free and shock free as the Old Glory. You
see, the Bowtech silencing system is made up of an entire package that includes
the Hush Kit, Binary Cam System, VFT swept-Back limbs and a well designed and
balanced riser. It is the total package that makes this bow silent.
SO WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME??
quiet bow! We all want a silent bow in the woods and the Glory delivers.
that has virtually no hand shock or vibration is just plain fun to shoot.
People who have fun shooting shoot more often. People who shoot more often
generally become better shots. You get the picture – practice makes
All of my bow reviews are started the second I remove a rig
from the box. From top to bottom I go over each bow with a fine-tooth comb
looking for evidence of workmanship, fit, finish and good mechanics. The
finishing process is mature and appears to be perfected as I could not find one
bump or blemish anywhere on the Old Glory. When pressure was taken off of the
strings and cables the cams moved freely. All parts were fitted well and
Bowtech’s workmanship was apparent.
The Old Glory was outfitted with a QuikTune 3000 arrow rest
and a string nock. Nothing else was added or taken away for testing. A 70 lb
draw weight and 29” draw length were used for testing as well. The setup also
included a 350-grain Carbon Express arrow for speed testing and an Easton XX78
Super Slam arrow weighing 445.98 grains for general testing.The bow was paper tuned and tweaked for each
When first shooting the Old Glory I noticed that repeating
the same grip was not always a certainty. This was only a factor when using
what is sometimes called the “stop sign” grip. With this grip style more of
your hand is in contact with the grip than with the straight-wristed grip. When
using the straight-wristed style I had no problems with a solid and consistent
grip. The rear profile (facing the string) of the Glory’s one-piece wood grip
is rounded in an eccentric pattern and could be the source of my inconsistent
grip. Looking at the back of the grip from the viewpoint of the bottom cam will
allow you to see this. It should be noted that even with the slightly different
grips there were no noticeable negative effects on my accuracy. One of the
highlights of this grip is in the area of comfort. It seats well in my hand
especially when shooting straight wristed.
A friend shot the Old Glory as I moved from one position to
another around the bow. I came to the conclusion that no matter where you are
in relation to the Old Glory when it is released – it is quiet! I had only a
few other bows in the shop to compare to at the time but it is definitely one
of the most silent bows on the market.
When shooting the bow myself it was obvious from the get-go
that it is a well-designed bow. It is a pleasure to shoot. There is a minimal
bump that can be felt in your hand, which appears to come from the bottom limb.
It isn’t significant and is not accompanied by any vibration.
The aspect of performance that impressed me the most was the
ultra smooth draw. It really doesn’t get much better than this in a true
hunting bow. The draw curve has no abrupt changes or super steep inclines or
declines. It is well rounded. The feel of the draw cycle is enough to impress
by itself but to really appreciate it you have to look at the speeds generated
by such a sweet drawing rig. Many times when you find a bow that draws smoothly
it is sluggish and one that has a hard draw curve will give you the speed. The
overall design of the Old Glory comes together at this very point – a smooth
draw coupled with speed.
Speed was measured with an Oehler
research Inc. M35 Chronograph backed up by a Pro Chrono chronograph. Averaged
over 20 shots the Old Glory was measured at 306 fps. Bowtech’s birth
certificate that came with the bow rated it at 300 fps with a 29” draw and 70.3
lb pull. My scales showed the test rig at 69 lbs so I adjusted it to an even
70. I also measured the draw length at 28.8” not 29”. At 70lbs and 28.8” draw
the test bow came in at 303fps! Not sure where the discrepancy is but those are
the numbers from my calculations. The shorter draw length was actually
refreshing. Often bows will come to me between .25 and .75” too long. A speed
of 303 fps fits in well with the advertised IBO speeds of 315 to 323 fps with a
In my opinion the Old Glory is a fantastic all
around bow. There are only two items that may need to be looked at by BowTech’s
design team. The first is the grip shape for those that shoot the stop sign
style (2006 target model comes with a custom Shrewd® grip) and the
second is the draw specific cam configuration (changed for 2006). I almost
forgot… Maybe they could engineer that small bump out that can barely be felt
in the hands – on second thought, don’t change it. I need a little something
there to remind me I still have a bow in my hands!
Now for the
It is my hope that
this, along with the spec sheet, will aid the reader in disseminating the
mountains of influences and information concerning a bow purchase and boil it
all down into a quick reference guide. 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.
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
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.
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+
Quality/Workmanship: Again, self-explanatory.
This item will be based on attention to detail in the areas of machining,
finish, and general mechanics.
Shock and Vibration: Ratings will be based on the
amount of "jump" felt upon release.
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.
Draw Cycle "feel": The perceived smoothness of the
draw is the focus of this rating.
Shootability: Many factors come into play here,
including axle-to-axle length, brace height, and eccentrics.
Advantage: What makes this bow special? Why choose this bow
Category - Rating - Comments
Grip – 9.0 – Comfortable
Maneuverability 9.0 – Over 37” axle-to-axle
Speed 9.5 – Just about right!
Quality/Workmanship 10 - Excellent
Shock/Vibration 9.5 – So close to zero!
Noise Level 9.5 – Super quiet
Draw Cycle "feel" 10 – Can hardly be beat in a
Shootability 9.5 – A true pleasure
Advantage 9.5 – The overall package – a fine tuned machine
Average Score 9.5 - Out of possible 10
Total Score 85.5 - Out of possible 90
Draw weights: 50,60 and 70#
Draw Lengths: 26 – 31”
Axle-to-axle length: 37 ½”
Brace Height: 7 ¼”
Mass Weight: 4 lbs. – 4 oz
Let-off - Adjustable from 65% to 80%
Eccentrics: Binary Cam System
Advertised AMO speed: N/A
Advertised IBO speed: 315 - 323 fps
Available finish: Mossy Oak Obsession
Cable: 24-strand BCY 452X
String: 24-strand BCY 452X
Grip: 1-piece wood
Riser: CNC machined 6061 T6 Aluminum
Limb pockets: CNC machined 6061 T6 Aluminum
Limbs: Gordon Composite Glass
Cable guard: Carbon - straight
Warranty: Limited lifetime to original owner
For More Information On This And Other BowTech Products Visit: BowTech