Bowtech 101st Airborne Review

Bowtech 101st Airborne

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  • Quiet out of the box
  • Smooth
  • Versatile
  • Fast


  • The only con to this bow is it cannot be gotten new; only used


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Editors' review

The Bowtech 101st Airborne was named in honor of the US Army air assault division with the same name. The 101st was new to the Bowtech lineup in 2008, and got its name because of their tradition of honoring the military. For this particular bow, the 101st was used because their nickname was the "Screaming Eagles." Eagles are known for the ferocity in which they attack enemies, and it is said this is the feeling one gets when shooting this rig.This rig was designed with a 36 1/4" ATA, 7 3/16" brace height, and delivers an impressive 335 fps and is very quiet. Even though this bow is a little older, it still can "keep up" with almost every bow on the market today.


To add a finish to this rig, Bowtech used what is known as their WaterDog Surface Technology to add a camo finish. The riser was covered using a film dipping process used to add any one of the several In-Velvet finishes. This bow comes in Realtree Hardwoods Green HD, Realtree HPG, Advantage Max-4, Mossy Oak Obsession, Mossy Oak Brush, Mossy Oak Treestand, Firestorm Gray, Testaroza, and Cottonwood.


The riser for this bow is 30.5" long and is CNC machined from forged aluminum. This aluminum is very strong. During the machining process, varying shaped cut-outs are placed along the riser to reduce weight without compromising the strength of the riser. Once the machining process is completed, the riser is then dipped to add the desired finish, and other components are bolted on. One of those components is a pair of pivoting limb pockets.The zero tolerance limb pockets eliminate any limb movement, enhancing the overall accuracy of this bow. This is done by removing any "slop" and increasing the consistency of performance shot after shot. These limb pocket secure the single-piece composite glass limbs that are film-dipped in a carbon weave pattern and completed with a clear gloss finish. The forked ends of the limbs are completed with metal end caps to help reduce stress to the ends of the limbs and to eliminate splitting. The limbs come in 60# and 70# peak weights, and the weight can be adjusted in a 10# range for each set. The weight is easily adjusted by using the limb bolts at the ends of the riser. It is important not to turn the bolt out too far as it can cause failure, and possible injury, during the draw.

Other Components

The 101st Airborne comes in a bare bow package without too many amenities. It does come standard with the Bowtech Hush Kit, roller guard, a one-piece laminated grip or a two-piece ergonomic grip, and Bowtech's 22-strand 452x BCY strings.

Eccentric System

This bow is outfitted with Bowtech's Third Generation Binary Cam System, where each cam is a slave to the other. This allows them the cams to work as a single unit. By tying these cams together, the archer will see better shot consistency and improved accuracy. This cam system also provides a smooth draw cycle. The cam system also incorporates the modules for making draw length adjustments from 27.5" to 31.5" in half-inch increments. The modules come in either speed or smooth design. The smooth draw modules provide a much smoother and manageable draw for the shooter. The speed modules are a little rougher and load up a little more through the draw cycle, making for an overall stiffer draw. The speed modules do, however, offer about 12 fps more for those that like to brag about bow speed. The draw length can be adjusted easily by replacing the module with the appropriate module for your length.The draw stop is also set on the cam as well. This adjustment allows for fine-tuning the draw in as little as 1/16" increments. The draw stop is designed to stop against the limb. It is important that the shooter not attempt to set the draw stop while pulling back on the bow. The let-off can be adjusted between 65 - 80 percent by adjusting the draw stop. Bowtech recommends not adjusting the draw stop more than 1/2 a mark off of factory settings. It is also critical to make sure the draw stop is adjusted properly, because if you get any string creep at all, you have just lost an arrow or injured a shoulder.

Silencing Package

This bow was designed to be deadly quiet. The rig comes out of the box with Bowtech's Hush Kit. This kit comes standard with two string silencers, and silencers on the cables. The roller guard, string suppressor, cam design, and the In-Velvet finish all aid in vibration dampening and silencing of this bow. Another added component is a rubber washer placed between the riser and the contact point of the limb to further reduce noise and vibration. To finish it off, the inside portion of the limb pockets is coated with a synthetic material to aid in vibration absorption.


Bow Bowtech 101st Airborne Martin Alien
Version 2008 (Binary Cam) 2013
Picture Bowtech 101st Airborne Martin Alien
Brace Height 7.25 " 7 "
AtA Length 36.25 " 32 "
Draw Length 37.5 " - 31.5 " 25.5 " - 30.5 "
Draw Weight 50 lbs - 70 lbs 35 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed 320 fps - 340 fps 335 fps
Weight 4.1 lbs 3.5 lbs
Let-Off 65% - 80% 80%
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The Bowtech 101st Airborne was designed with the hunter in mind. Strong, quiet, and accurate to meet the challenge of an elk hunt in the Rockies, or a stroll around the local 3D tourney. This bow could be compared to Martin Alien. Both have single-piece limbs, an aluminum riser, and both are fast and quiet. The Martin only has a 32" ATA, while the 101st has a 36 1/4" ATA. Both bows have an adjustable let-off between 65% and 80%. Each also has an adjustable draw length, easily accomplished by moving the adjustable module on the cam. The 101st has an extra 3/16" brace height and both use binary cams. Both of these bows also produce an awesome 335 fps. The primary difference in these bows is that the 101st was in Bowtech's 2008 line-up and the Alien in part of Marin's 2013 line-up. At this time, the 101st can be found at a much more affordable price, and if you are looking for a high quality bow at a reasonable price, this is it. Even though it is a little older, it is still as quiet and as fast as any of the new speed bows on the market today. The only reason not to buy this bow is because you are one of those shooters that has to have "new" everything every year.

Usage Scenarios

This rig can be used effectively as a hunting bow or a target bow, but it was designed primarily with the hunter in mind. With a 36.25" ATA, 7 3/16" brace height, and a weight of 4.2 pounds, this bow provides a smooth and accurate shot that fits any situation. The longer than average ATA may not work so well in a blind, but will be good in a treestand without a shooting rail attached. The rig also weighs a little more than the average hunting bow, but that added weight will also help the shooter hold steadier on the shot making it a good bow for the 3D course as well.


Since this bow was put out in Bowtech's 2008 lineup, it would be a very rare occurrence to find one new-in-the-box. When they were new, these bows ran between $749 and $829. The can still be found on the used market for as little as $250. It would depend on the seller as to what components would come with the bow, but at this price, the buyer has the flexibility to upgrade those components to whatever they wish to add. This bow gained rave review when new, so there is no reason why it still would not be a very good bow for any hunter.


The Bowtech 101st Airborne was put on the market for the 2008 lineup. It boasted a one-piece CNC machined aluminum riser, single-piece glass limbs, a third generation Binary Cam system, unmatched quietness, and a smooth draw. This rig does have a stiff valley to overcome to transition to let-off, but is otherwise smooth. It does begin easy and steadily builds, but never becomes overbearing. It does have some string creep that should be noted. If the shooter must let down on the shot, they must be very careful, because the string creep will come as a surprise and you may inadvertently release an unwanted shot.The finish on the limbs and the riser are made up of the usual Bowtech In-Velvet camo that comes in a wide variety of color schemes. Although this bow was designed for the hunter, it is good for anything the archer can throw at it.

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