2022 Bows Reviewed by Newbie for Newbie

AaronMColeman

Well Known Rokslider
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Nov 20, 2018
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887
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Wyoming
So I've been shooting archery for several years now. But it has been through a 20 year old bow that was not really set up for me. I figure there are a few others on here who are newbies when it comes to equipment, but have some experience as shooters. Here are my impressions amongst the (mostly) 2022 bows I shot recently.

I walked out of the shop with a Bowtech SR350, but almost grabbed the PSE Evo, and Matthews V3x 29 was my least favorite. As a newbie I don't really even know what I am looking for but I used a few criteria: feel, speed, natural aiming point, and (subjective) how much fun I think I'm going to have shooting this on my property.

All 70#ish, 28" draw, 400ish grain arrows. Yes, very scientific review...this is more of an "impressions" and feel review because I don't know enough to give technical reviews.

Bows I tried (in order from least to most favorite):
- Bear (whatever their top of the line is). Didn't like it so it went on the rack. Smooth draw but it felt, for lack of better words "slow" and not a ton of fun (I wish I had a fun scale to help define this).
- Matthews V3x 29". The draw was stiff at the beginning. Stiffest of all the bows I tried. I was surprised at this because everyone talks about how smooth it is. Very very very dead in the hand, like it does not move side to side front to back nothing! For me I did not like the draw cycle.
- Matthews V3x 33". Mostly the same impressions, it just had a nicer feel than the 29" to me. I did very much prefer this to the 29", and as an elk hunter I think this is where I was leaning from the beginning.
- Bowtech Solution. Really sweet draw cycle, great speed, very quiet. This is a fun one to shoot. Speeds on comfort versus performance, the Matthews V3x 33" falls right in the middle of these two so speed is no issue.
- PSE Evo. This one surprised me, really nice draw, felt great in my hand, slight vibration but I don't mind it one bit. From reviews online this was my least favorite and it's a 2021 bow. But, I almost walked out with the PSE. If you have a PSE bias or have watched a million videos, throw that out and try one. I really liked it. If I went back 10 more times I might walk out with the PSE 5 times.
- Bowtech SR350. I know you aren't getting anywhere near 350fps but other than the BS marketing this was the best shooting, among the fastest (within 5fps), smooth smooth draw on comfort, not bad draw on performance. Normally I'm in the camp of take into the field what is least likely to break, and that would be the PSE (simple), but at the end of the day being able to shoot the same bow all year on comfort and switch over to performance when tuning broadheads was a big plus to me.

So that's the newbie's mostly worthless review of mostly 2022 bows and a couple 2021 bows, with maybe 10 or so arrows through each bow.
 

PSE_Aaron

Newbie
Joined
Jan 4, 2022
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Not looking for a new bow anytime soon. But I will have to look into the new Bowtech's, as I haven't even seen them this year.
 
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AaronMColeman

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Nov 20, 2018
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Wyoming
What on the bowtech did you think was more likely to break than on the PSE?
I don't know. Bowtech has more going on in the limb pocket with the dead lock system, and more going on with cams with the dead lock cam system. The PSE seemed simpler and less things with lock downs. I'm a fan of simple things that do what they're supposed to. I don't care about versatility, I just one something that does the one thing I want well. That said, the more I learn about tuning the bowtech, and the more I shoot it, the less I think these are mechanical items that could fail...it seems rock solid with the dead lock systems.
 

UTJL

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
92
As a slightly more experienced archer I think your selection process was great. Across the reputable brands their isn’t a significant difference in capabilities or quality. Find whichever one works best for you and learn to shoot it well.
 
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AaronMColeman

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Nov 20, 2018
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Wyoming
Nice write up, curious which EVO model? 32 or 34? Or one of the XF
I shot several PSE and honestly liked them all so much I think I'm going back to get a Drive NXT soon. It was such a nice shooting bow, fast and really I couldn't tell much difference between the Drive NXT and the EVO series.

I shot the EVO 32 and 34. I liked the 32 better but it was simply a size issue. I put a lot of miles in carrying a bow so shorter is nice and the sweet spot seems to fall at 32 for me. 34s I end up with the cam touching the ground when I'm walking around.
 

quinnjalan

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2022
Messages
17
I don't know. Bowtech has more going on in the limb pocket with the dead lock system, and more going on with cams with the dead lock cam system. The PSE seemed simpler and less things with lock downs. I'm a fan of simple things that do what they're supposed to. I don't care about versatility, I just one something that does the one thing I want well. That said, the more I learn about tuning the bowtech, and the more I shoot it, the less I think these are mechanical items that could fail...it seems rock solid with the dead lock systems.
I have a 2021 Bowtech Reckoning (my second bow) and as far as tuning is concerned its a breeze. so far its holding up well and I shoot it a bunch. For 2022 I looked at the RX7 Ultra and the Levitate. The weight of the bow is my number 1, speed comes second. However, I really cannot justify somewhere north of $2200 when its all said and done. However, I'm about to pay for a 2020 Mach 1 all set up bar the sight and front stab (which I have). As mentioned very nice write up.
 
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AaronMColeman

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Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Messages
887
Location
Wyoming
I have a 2021 Bowtech Reckoning (my second bow) and as far as tuning is concerned its a breeze. so far its holding up well and I shoot it a bunch. For 2022 I looked at the RX7 Ultra and the Levitate. The weight of the bow is my number 1, speed comes second. However, I really cannot justify somewhere north of $2200 when its all said and done. However, I'm about to pay for a 2020 Mach 1 all set up bar the sight and front stab (which I have). As mentioned very nice write up.
I have about 1200 arrows out of the SR350 now. It took me (first time half ass tuning a bow) a total of 30 min to paper tune, and zero the site at 20, 30, and 40y. Now I'm working on getting the 40y slider pin set up for up to 80y over the weekend. Any concerns with the deadlock system go out the window once you start to mess with it and see how it truly works and feels.

I was also able to get bowtech to send me the new faster mods. Through some online calculators I got it at about 343IBO in performance, 330+ in comfort. So I'm shooting comfort all day every day and have no desire to ruin the draw cycle for the extra speed. I've got 465grain arrow going about 270fps right now and I think that'll get the job done.

The new PSE are so nice across the board. I haven't shot the Levitate but even their mid-range bows are really impressive.
 

CO-AJ

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Apr 23, 2020
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333
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Colorado
Interesting read, my story is just a bit different except I too am a bow newbie. I went into the store expecting the Bowtech SR350 to be my first bow. I shot the V3X, Ventum Pro, SR350, and PSE EVO. Prior to the opportunity to shoot all 4 I had only shot the Ventum, but firgured if I was going to spend over 1K on a bow I owed it to myself to try out a few others. I would really have liked to try an Elite as well, but the shop did not carry Elite. Bottom line I went with the Mathews. I am a 29.5" draw, 60# draw weight, and I felt the draw and arrow release to be the smoothest over the Hoyt by just a bit, but quite a bit more smooth than the BT or PSE. I also liked the brace height of 6.5" on the Mathews as well as the mod system for changing out draw weights as I get stronger. Like many others I don't think any of them are bad and it likely boils down to personal feel or a brand preference which as a newbie I did not have.
 
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