Bowtech Brigadier Review
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The Bowtech Brigadier; an excellent bow built with a target shooter in mind. A crazy long 40 3/16 inch axle to axle, a very generous brace height, and the CenterTrac Binary Cam system all come together to form a real tack driver. Not the quietest bow ever released by Bowtech but it's rare for a target to jump the string.
Limbs/RiserUnlike some of the other bows that were released in 2009, the Brigadier did not go with center pivot limbs. Perhaps if Bowtech could have figured out a way to make to turn this into a center pivot bow all the speed issues of this bow could disappear. Instead they used typical limbs. The riser is a machined aluminum riser that has some great length to it, which sets the base for having a long axle to axle.
GripBowtech integrated the grip into the riser along with wood grain inserts which is different from a lot of other target specific bows. By choosing to use these inserts it made the grip a little bit wider and possibly creating hand torque issues for some shooters. If a shooter is used to a slim line grip it may take some getting used to, but the grip is comfortable and not to wide.
Color OptionsThe Brigadier comes standard in Hardwoods Green HD with Bowtech's InVelvet finish. The InVelvet finish was developed by Bowtech; it gives the bow an almost soft to the touch feel. It protects the shooter against the harsh elements and even aids in vibration dampening. Along with the standard camouflage color there are also four target colors; Black Ops, Firestorm, Candy Blue and Testarossa.
Eccentric SystemThe eccentric system of the Bowtech Brigadier utilizes the CenterTrac Binary Cam System. With this system two almost identical cams are used, the only difference is where the power cables are attached. Bowtech's engineers thought that a way to eliminate cam lean was to attach the power cables onto opposite sides of each cam, this way it would split the force of the entire shot cycle equally. Out of this comes a cam system that is highly tunable; with just the twist of the string in either direction the cams can be brought into square making the eccentric system as efficient as possible.Another part of the eccentric system is the amount of adjustment that is possible with this cam. Instead of needing to buy a new cam or cam module the Bowtech Brigadier uses a rotating mod system. This allows for an easy change in draw length from 25-30" in half inch increments. Along with an easy to adjust draw length; the draw stop is also easily adjusted. One of the downfalls of this bow is its lack of speed. With an IBO speed rating of 307-315 it is one of the slowest bows from the 2009-2010 line up, not counting the Soldier (the youth bow from the group.
Draw CycleThe draw on the Brigadier is nice and smooth and feels solid against the back wall at full draw. However, some shooters complain of a small valley on this bow so it is important to pull into the back wall until release because creeping could end poorly. With an infinitely adjustable draw stop it is possible to mitigate this issue though. There is a small peak about 2/3 of the way back toward full draw which is pretty common for the Binary Cam designs. The release though seems to be slow, so form is very important, but it is dead in the hand even though it sounds like someone plucked a string on a banjo.
Vibration DampeningWhen it comes to vibration dampening, Bowtech went with a carbon rod string stop. Seeing that carbon is a natural vibration dampener it makes this bow feel dead in the hand upon release. Another pro with this sting stop is its location; by placing it directly in line with the stabilizer it allows for vibrations to be carried from the string, through the sting stop and then out the stabilizer, this way the shooter doesn't feel the brunt of shot.
Best UsageBowtech defiantly had the competitive target shooter in mind when designing this bow. Its long axle to axle actually makes it a great candidate for a fingers shooter; especially considering that this bow has a let off adjustable to 80%. If it came down to deciding whether this bow was made for spot shooting or 3D however, some aspects would make it stand out as more of a known yardage bow; due to its lack of speed.
The Brigadier Vs. The Specialist
|Bow||Bowtech Brigadier||Bowtech Specialist|
|Brace Height||8 "||7.5 "|
|AtA Length||40.19 "||37.5 "|
|Draw Length||25 " - 30 "||26 " - 30.5 "|
|Draw Weight||40 lbs - 70 lbs||40 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||307 fps - 315 fps||330 fps|
|Weight||4.2 lbs||4.1 lbs|
|Let-Off||65% - 80%||65%, 75%|
|Where to buy|
Best prices online
|compare more bows|
The Brigadier from 2009 and the slightly modified 2010 was completely replaced in 2011 by the all new Bowtech Specialist. While sharing a lot of characteristics like long brace height and long axle to axle the Specialist evolved into something a little bit smoother and a little easier to tune. There were shooters spending up to 10 hours tuning in the Brigadier and the Specialist is needless to say much easier.When it comes to shooting though, the Brigadier and the Specialist are close contenders due to the 40 3/16in axle to axle and 8in brace height on the Brigadier. If the Brigadier had another 15-23fps for speed they would practically be the same bow but, when figuring in the speed that is generated by the Specialist it would be considered to have the edge over its older brother. However, when price comes into play the odds are evened up a little. When it is possible to find a used Brigadier in the $425 range it becomes a very noticeable option. The color options are very similar however, on the Brigadier instead of being locked into having black limbs; it is possible to get color matched limbs which give it a very appealing look.