Bowtech BT-Mag Review

Bowtech BT-Mag

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Pros

  • A longer version of the Reign series, can be used for 3D or perhaps a do it all bow
  • Overdrive Binary Cam system with some added "Smartbow" technology
  • 340 feet per second with a 6.75-inch brace height

Cons

  • Draw length only goes out to 30-inches
  • $1299 price tag

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Editors' review

Bowtech has released a true do it all bow with the BT-Mag. Although this bow will make a great 3D rig, the possibilities of the 36-inch axel-to-axel bow shooting 340 feet per second with a 6.75-inch brace height truly are endless. Some hunters may feel the longer axel-to-axel measurement is a bit long, but the added stability and solid platform may be enough to look past that. The "Smartbow" technology is fairly outstanding, especially for serious shooters with a little knowledge in how to tweak their rigs for the absolute best performance possible. $1299 is the going rate for a target bow for 2017, so that price is competitive. However, despite how competitively priced the BT-Mag is, it is a lot of money for some folks to afford on a bare bow. The shot and stability of the BT-Mag will surely win over some shooters, and the finish options offered on the bow make it a sight of beauty as well. For shooters wanting a great target bow, or perhaps a longer do it all bow, the BT-Mag is going to win over a lot of new shooters.

Finish

As a potential do it all bow, the BT-Mag has the hook up with a total of nine finish options including camo patterns and some tournament colors. For shooters just wanting the BT-Mag as a tournament bow in tournament colors, options include blackops, orange, blue, white, red, and purple. For shooters wanting the bow in more traditional bow finish, shooters can choose Mossy Oak Breakup Country, Kryptec Altitude, or Kryptec Highlander. Bowtech has gotten some shame in recent years regarding the finish not holding up that well, specifically on the limbs. Although it may be too early to tell what the finish durability will be for the current 2017 model year bows, the look and feel are exceptional on the shelf. The limbs and cutouts are well covered, and the new camo options look exceptional. Shooters wanting one of the six straight color choices will be pleased with how that finish looks as well. To say these bows will stand out is an understatement. They really do looks sharp, and with some added accessories; shooters will have a legit tournament bow unique to their personality.

Riser

The BT-Mag sticks with the traditional Center Pivot Extreme (CPX) riser design, which is perhaps even more beneficial on such a long riser design. The engineers at Bowtech created the CPX riser to utilize the largest advantages of a reflexed riser and a deflexed riser together with each other, by creating a limb pivoting point between the limb pocket and the axel for the cams. With the riser on the BT-Mag being so much longer, in order to get the 36-inch axel-to-axel measurement, the benefits of having a deflexed riser increase because the platform of that riser is even more substantial than a shorter riser bow. The 6.75-inch brace height is also nice for shooters wanting even more forgiveness in the bow they shoot. The riser cutouts keeps the BT-Mag with the standard Bowtech heritage, and the overall mass is not too shabby tipping the scales at a decent 4.6-pound bare bow weight. The Bowtech FLX cable containment system stays with the BT-Mag as well, which also helps add to the typical Bowtech look and design. This roller cable system flexes towards the center of the bow as the arrow is drawn, allowing the cables to be more naturally placed. As the cables move towards the vertical midline of the bow, less torque is placed on the cable guard, and ultimately the riser. Less torque means the shot should be more repeatable and the hopefully more accurate. After the arrow is released, the FLX system snaps back to its original starting position, and the dampener added to the guard keeps the noise and vibration to a minimum. In addition to the FLX guard and dampener, the BT-Mag will also come equipped with an outrigger on the top and bottom of the riser to help with weight distribution and vibration dampening.

Grip

The Bowtech grip for the BT-Mag is a wooden side plated piece. Shooters are able to remove the side plates and tape up their own grip like many target shooters prefer. The grip as designed is fairly thick, but the tapered back keeps it solidly in place during the shot. For most shooters, the grip will be comfortable enough. However, for those used to a particular style, the tapered feel and thicker throat may take a bit of getting used to. The wooden finish gives the BT-Mag a very sophisticated feel, and adds a high-quality finishing touch to how the bow looks.

Limbs

The BT-Mag is offered in 40-50, 50-60, and 60-70-pound draw weights. The split limbs are layered laminate like most others on the market for 2017, with the exception of the Bowtech limbs featuring a carbon core. Carbon is known for its strength properties, so it is nice to have limbs with such a solid center. With the limb pocket design fit to the CPX riser design, the limbs are allowed to flex differently as well, which means Bowtech engineers have found a way to spread out the load to more of the limb. The split limbs do not come with any sort of dampeners from the factory, but those can be added simply enough by anyone interested in doing so with aftermarket accessories.

Eccentric System

The BT-Mag has the ability to accommodate shooters from 26.5-30-inches in draw length with modular adjustments every half an inch. For a bow of this size, it really is unforutante to not have the ability to go longer than a 30-inch draw length. Longer draw shooters would match up very well with the BT-Mag, and it is disappointing for them to not even have the chance to shoot a bow so well designed for their needs. The BT-Mag also shoots IBO speeds up to 340 feet per second when paired with a 6.75-inch brace height, which is pretty quick all things considered. The "Smartbow" term has been coined primarily due to the functionality and tunability added to the Overdrive Binary Cam System. Bowtech has used the Overdrive Binary Cam System for several years, and shooters have gotten used to the easy tuning and comfortable shooting it has to offer. There have been a few features added recently to eliminate the need for a bow press to do some minor tweaking. All these smartbow technologies can be done the old fashioned way with a bow press, but it is nice to incorporate a few options into the system without needing a press. The Power Disc is perhaps the coolest thing. This allows shooters to choose three distinct draw cycles to properly match their specific needs for their style of archery. It will also allow shooters to swap between the three if desired without messing up their tune. There is a slight variance in regards to speed, so shooters may need a different sight when changing the settings, but if they are changing for different styles of archery as well, different sights may already be utilized. Competitive archers may really appreciate the Micro Sync Dial as well. This technology allows for ten minor adjustments to the cam system to account for natural cable stretching. When the cables are used extensively, the materials stretch a bit naturally. This can throw the timing of the cams off a bit, which is a big deal for binary cam systems, which are designed to work perfectly in sync with each other. Each click on the dial pressures the cables a bit differently, similar to adding twists in the cable. The difference is that the dial is much simpler, requires fewer tools, and does not need a press. Shooters very in sync with the performance of their bows, will be able to make these adjustments as needed much easier than needing to fully press their bow.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The BT-Mag feels similar to other Overdrive Binary Cam System bows in the past. The adjustability is great, but that does not necessarily translate into a different feeling rig. Shooters will enjoy the draw cycle for the most part, and its fairly tame features. The performance setting has a bit different valley than the comfort setting has, but the transitions and smoothness should be similar between each of the Power Disc settings. The added length of the riser makes the BT-Mag a dream to hold on target. It holds exceptionally well with very minimal pin float. After the shot, the bow finds its way back on the target easily. It has very low hand shock is and very quiet to shoot. The performance is noticeable as the arrow slaps the target downrange with a lot of force and fairly quickly. The BT-Mag shoots well, balances great, feels outstanding, and gives shooters the ability to make fine tune adjustments with minimal equipment required. For anyone looking at a target bow with hunting bow characteristics, the BT-Mag is going to be very tough to beat.

Usage Scenarios

The Bowtech BT-Mag is a large framed bow, which is designed for 3d or tournament style shooting, but could also be used by some as a hunting bow. For shooters primarily doing competitive archery, many of the shorter axel-to-axel bows are not ideal for the stability and weight competitive shooters want. The BT-Mag takes what shooters really like about a hunting bow, and stretches it out into a larger framed model. The BT-Mag would be a wonderful do it all bow, and should make a lot of tournament shooters interested in a faster bow very happy. Shooters wanting to go back to a hunting rig with a longer axel to axel measurement, will also be thrilled to see a 36-inch long model being offered.

BT-Mag vs. Reign 7

Bow Bowtech BT-Mag Bowtech Reign 7
Version 2017 2017
Picture Bowtech BT-Mag Bowtech Reign 7
Brace Height 6.75 " 7 "
AtA Length 36 " 32.625 "
Draw Length 26.5 " - 30 " 25 " - 31 "
Draw Weight 40 lbs - 70 lbs 40 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed 340 fps 340 fps
Weight 4.6 lbs 4.3 lbs
Let-Off 80% 80%
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These two models have some similar characteristics, and share the same Bowtech technology. For many shooters, the Bowtech Reign 7 would make a pretty great all around bow. However, those shooters needing the stability of a longer axel-to-axel bow may be a bit disappointed in the Reign. Shooters wanting an all around bow, with a little more emphasis on the target side of things should be very interested in the BT-Mag. Those more concerned about hunting, and mixing in the occasional 3D shoot, will probably lean more towards the Reign 7. Either way, both models will have a great deal of useful technology, and shoot exceptionally well.

Summary

Bowtech states, "Go big or go home," when advertising the BT-Mag, and that statement is certainly true. Shooters will need to be certain they want a longer framed bow when they grab the 36-inch axel to axel bow tipping the scales at 4-6-pounds before added accessories. The BT-Mag takes what Bowtech does so well with their hunting lineup, and stretches it out a bit to make a supersized version of that bow for shooters wanting those great characteristics in a tournament rig. The pricetag is comparable to other tournament bows on the market, but that does not necessarily make it any easier to stomach. Perhaps shooters interested in a multipurpose bow will have an easier time paying the premium tournament bow price. However, some shooters are liable to shy away from even testing it out based on the sticker price alone. Another larger negative of the BT-Mag is that it only goes out to a 30-inch draw length. This bow would work phenomenally well for shooters with a longer draw cycle, and they do not even get a chance to shoot it because it does not go long enough for them. As a bow, the BT-Mag has a lot to offer shooters on the market in 2017. It shoots like a dream, holds well, and gives tinkerers a lot to do in getting the absolute most out of their rigs performance.




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