Bowtech Commander Review

Bowtech Commander

Average user rating

Bowtech Commander Review4.052 out of 2 user reviews

Pros

  • Quality Bow
  • Good Speed
  • Versatile
  • 26" - 31.5" Draw length adjustable
  • Available in 40# - 70 limbs; Limbs up to 90# can be special ordered
  • 65% - 80% adjustable let-off
  • Very smooth and very forgiving

Cons

  • Long axle-to-axle makes it cumbersome to shoot from blind or tree stand
  • Heavy at 4.5 pounds
  • 2008 model changed cam bearings that caused increased failures
  • Discontinued in 2009, so will have to purchase second-hand or locate some stashed away

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Editors' review

Introduction

The Bowtech Command first hit the market in 2007. This 37.25" axle-to-axle bow introduced the innovative center-pivot limb system and a twin Center Track Binary Cam system. With this system, the limbs pivot at full draw into a position beyond parallel offering the shooter improved accuracy and respectable speed of up to 303 fps. Also, since the bow has been discontinued, the bow can be found at an affordable price for a quality piece of gear. With a bow that shoots this well, coupled with the fact that it is exceptionally quiet out of the box, this is a very good option for any archer.

Finish

This rig comes standard with a Mossy Oak Obsession finish, but since Bowtech has in-house dipping Mossy Oak Brush, Real Tree Hardwoods, and Real Tree Green are easily provided. Bowtech also offers many other colors and schemes to help the purchaser "personalize" the new purchase. However, any other colors and/or color schemes must be special ordered. At this time, the archer would be required to purchase a bow and then work with Bowtech's customer service to see if the bow could be refinished with the desired graphic.

Risers/Limb

This bow comes with a forged Deflex fully machined aluminum riser forming a solid base for this bow. The riser is somewhat straighter and longer than most bows, offering stronger and better accuracy, and removing torque when shooting. This riser also gives the rig a 37.25" axle-to-axle. At the ends of the riser, the shooter will note the center-pivot technology that supports the split limb setup. This technology allows the limbs to pivot beyond parallel at full draw, while still generating ample speed and kinetic energy to easily take down whatever game the archer is hunting. This center-pivot design also eliminates almost all hand shock. The limbs are split limbs solidly mounted on the ends of the riser. The draw weight can be adjusted within 10# increments by turning out the limb bolts, but the limb is the primary factor for the draw weight. The bow can be ordered with 30# -40#, 40# - 50#, 50# - 60#, and 60# - 70# limbs. Heavier limbs up to 90# can be special ordered for additional charges, but are not covered under Bowtech's warranty. The longer riser, the split limbs, the Center Tracking Cam system, and the 7.5" brace height marry together to offer the shooter a very forgiving and shootable piece of gear. A note of caution though, there were reports of limbs "peeling" on the 2008 models, so if purchasing this bow, be certain to check this carefully.

Other Components

The Commander is very basic when it comes out of the box. The bow comes with string and cable silencers and a cable slide, but nothing else. The rig is ready to be outfitted with components necessary to fit the shooters preference, whether setting up for the next hunting adventure or the next 3D shoot. The bow does have a one-piece grip that fits well in the hand of most shooters making the bow comfortable to shoot.

Eccentric System

The Bowtech Commander is engineered with a high-speed, twin Center Tracking Cam design. This cam system is crucial in generating the speed needed to make this a top-end bow. The design eliminated limb torque and cam lean, improving accuracy at further distances. The 2007 models had sealed bearings while the 2008 model changed to a needle bearing which rode directly on the axle causing excessive wear and eventual failure. While rated at up to 318 fps, with the bow set up at 60#, 29" draw, and an arrow weighing 300 grains, this rig hit a peak speed of 303 fps. It stands to reason that if set up with 70# limbs, this bow should hit pretty close to the advertised IBO speeds. The cam system also houses the modules for draw length adjustments. The modules allow for adjustments to be made in 1/2" increments, and can easily be done with an allen wrench in a matter of minutes. The draw length can be further adjusted in 1/6" increments by adjusting the draw post up or down the length originated by the module. The overall draw pressure is determined by the limb weight, but is not harsh at all. The twin center tracking cam system is not overly aggressive, keeping the draw cycle smooth from start to finish.Let-off can also be easily adjusted by simply moving the post. It is important to note that when making this adjustment, the post should not be adjusted beyond the half-inch point of the module. Doing so could negatively affect the let-off and draw stop. The bow has a solid draw stop that can be adjusted, providing a let-off between 65 percent and 80 percent. It is easy to transition to let-off and hold for a solid shot. Some archers have commented that they were even unaware they were approaching the break point and suddenly were at let-off.

Silencing Package

This rig is deadly quiet out of the box. It never hurts the serious hunter to add some extra silencing equipment such as string stops or limb dampeners (bowjax), or a vibration dampening stabilizer, but the Commander is quiet. Surprisingly with a bow this long, it is almost vibration-free, even without any vibration dampening equipment. As this bow will primarily be purchased today as a used bow, there is a better-than-average chance the bow will be set-up with silencing already.

Comparisons

Bow Bowtech Commander Elite XLR
Version 2008 2010 (Rev cams)
Picture Bowtech Commander Elite XLR
Brace Height 8 " 8.5 "
AtA Length 37.5 " 37 "
Draw Length 26.5 " - 31.5 " 29 " - 32 "
Draw Weight 40 lbs - 70 lbs 50 lbs - 90 lbs
IBO Speed 310 fps - 318 fps 310 fps - 316 fps
Weight 4.3 lbs 4.25 lbs
Let-Off 65% - 80% 80%
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For the archer that prefers the longer axle-to-axle, the Commander is comparable to the Elite XLR. The Commander has an extra 1/4" ATA than the Elite XLR, but the Elite has a one inch larger brace height. Both have longer draw lengths and come with up to 70# limbs, with the option to special order up to 90#. Both bows are advertised with almost identical IBO speeds with the Commander at 318 fps and the Elite XLR at 316. Both of these bows are very shootable and will not disappoint. The Elite as almost a half-pound lighter. This may seem minimal, but if you are dragging it through the woods it can be the world. Both bows have their fans. Each bow also retailed for almost the same price new, and can be purchased at comparable used prices today. Many of those that have shot the Commander love the feel and the shot from this bow. There are also many that have moved on to other bows have wished they never changed, or some even have kept the Commander as a back-up bow and still shoot it on occasion.

Usage Scenarios

This rig is versatile and can be used in any archery situation from basic target shooting, to the 3D range, to the tree stand. The bow is accurate and fast, and will provide any archer a pleasant experience. Many archers do, however, feel this bow is better suited on a 3D range, or for target shooting, because of the longer axle-to-axle. The bow also weighs in at a heavy 4.5 pounds which makes it more suitable for the 3D range. Dragging this rig through the woods to your favorite stand, or packing it into the wilderness for that trophy elk hunt will definitely wear out any shooter.

Value

When new, the Bowtech Commander was an upper-middle priced bow, running around $800. Today, this bow can be found for as little as $200 on the used bow market. If the buyer is on a budget, but is looking for a very good bow that will provide speed, accuracy, and shootability, this rig will not disappoint. Although this bow is a little older, it will match many of today's newer bows.

Summary

The Bowtech Commander was initially released in 2007 and was the first bow to use the center-pivot technology. This new design reduced cam tilt and almost eliminated hand shock completely. The new design also improved accuracy at any shooting distance, at any draw length the bow is set at. Most archers that have shot this rig swear by it, commenting on the speed, accuracy, and silence when shooting. With an axle-to-axle of 37.5," this bow fits any archery situation whether 3D, target, tree stand, or ground blind, but many archers prefer to stick with using the rig for 3D. Along with the long axle-to-axle, the bow weighs in at 4.5 pound making it heavier than most bows. The heavier weight is good in the fact that it helps create a more solid shot, but is also not-so-good because it gets very heavy by the time the shooter finishes the 3D course or finally makes it to the stand. The bow was discontinued at the beginning of the 2009 model season, so if the archer is interested in this bow, they will have to find a used bow. There is the occasional new-in-box bow that turns up, but they are rare. The used bows can be found for as little as $200, making it an awesome deal for someone on a budget. The purchaser should be cautioned though, that when considering to buy a Commander, there was an issue with the cam bearings in the 2008 models. The new "needle bearing" did not have a race and the bearing rode directly on the axle. This cause excessive wear on the axle causing the bearings to fail. With that in mind, the 2007 and 2008 models are very good shooting bows.
Bowtech Commander Review4.052



User Reviews

  • 2 reviews
  • ( out of 2 reviews for all versions)
  1. Would recommend this bow for anyone with long draw lenghts

    Version: 2007 Bowtech Commander

    Rating:  

    Pros: Quit, fast, holds rock steady, great string quality,

    Cons: the bow is a little heavy, longer ATA is a propblem for shoting out of ground blinds and carrying bow when still hunting.

    Full review:
    I bought the Commander because of the draw lenght and that it was fast and quit. The grip and wood side plates felt good in my hand. I did not crono the bow but I shot heavy arrows and found there was not much drop from 20 to 30 yards.

    The factory string is still on the bow today (5yrs) and I have experianced no peep turn. The finish and limbs are holding up well even after many trips to the fields. The bow is set up with a 31.5 inch draw, QAD drop away rest, HHA, one pin sight D loop. I shoot Beman ICS Hunter 340 arrows cut to 30". I use 100 grain 2 bladed mechanical broadheads.

    I will state that you need to purchase your bow from a knowlegable bow shop. In my opinion you will not have a good experiance with any bow if it is not set up propely.

    I have taken many deer and turkeys with this bow and still shot it today because even though I moved on to a newer bow.

  2. Fast, Quiet, Smooth Draw, Durable, Little to NO hand shock

    Version: 2007 Bowtech Commander

    Rating:  

    Pros: Extremely smooth and steady. No Hand shock. Fast. Quiet. Great bow for stalk hunts. Like that I can change string on my own.

    Cons: It is on the heavy side. After a 30 shot 3D shoot, your shoulder will be tired. But the weight helps me to be steady also.

    Full review:
    I set up my 2007 Commander with the drop away arrow rest and Spot Hogg sights. This seems to be a very good combo for me. My bow shoots just above 300 when pulling 65# w/ 28.5" draw length. I personally am fond of the double cam with center pivot tech because the draw cycle is very very smooth (especially) with an even pull-back. I cannot get over how little hand shock the commander has. Next to none! It is quiet and durable as well. I like the fact that I can change string at my house. I would say the only down side is the weight. After I added my quiver and stabilizer, my bow is tipping the scales at 6+lb. Quiet heavy especially when tired. But I can get over this "Con" because of all the amazing "Pro’s" this bow has. I’ve adapted to the extra weight. This bow definitely has everything I need as the average Joe hunter/3D shooter.


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