Bowtech Commander Review
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IntroductionThe 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.
FinishThis 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/LimbThis 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 ComponentsThe 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 SystemThe 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 PackageThis 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.
|Bow||Bowtech Commander||Elite XLR|
|Version||2008||2010 (Rev cams)|
|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.