Bowtech Experience Review
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The Experience is a 32-inch compact hunting bow offering speeds that easily hit the IBO rating of 335 feet per second with a forgiving seven-inch brace height. Shooters interested in a new bow will love the Experience, but may be set back by the $999 price tag. In the past, Bowtech has had issues with limb peeling, and although the limbs are finished a little differently this year, some may be leery about spending that much money on a bow with a less than durable finish. With that, the Bowtech Experience fits the draw length of most shooters ranging form 26.5-31-inches without the need for modules or new cams. Overall, the Experience is a phenomenal shooter and will end up being the bow of choice for many people in 2013.
FinishThe Bowtech Experience is offered in Blackops or Mossy Oak Infinity. The finish on the riser is flawlessly done and really looks great in person. The riser has lots of cutouts, and the finish seems to be applied well on all areas of the bow. It feels durable and slightly different than some other manufacturers finish options too. Regardless of which pattern shooters decide on, many accessories can be found in either color for a matching look. In the past, Bowtech has been known for limb peeling issues. This year, the limbs are painted black before being finished, which may just mask the peeling problem rather than fixing it. Only time will tell if the new process takes care of the limb peeling issue, but for $999 Bowtech should get this problem taken care of. Hopefully the Experience will not have this long standing issue.
RiserThe Experience riser looks rigged and different than other Bowtech designs in the past. With the CPX technology (Center Pull Extreme), the riser is close to the overall axel to axel measurement, which makes it feel and shoot like a longer bow. The riser features a FLX Roller Guard, which eliminates riser torque caused by the cables being drawn. As the strings are drawn, the FLX guard flexes absorbing torque normally transferred to the riser of the bow. This leads to a more repeatable shot and improved accuracy. The roller guard also features a weighted rubber dampener to help eliminate vibration and noise as well.The Carbon rod rear mounting string stop does a really great job at cutting down on residual string vibration and the noise because of it. The string stop has a newly designed dampener that is slightly slotted for the string to be gradually stopped rather than hitting a flat rubber surface. The string vibrates inside the rubber, which also helps eliminate some vibration and noise as well. Like most other string stop systems, the front mounting stabilizer hole is directly in line with the system allowing the vibration to be transferred away from the shooters hand.The Revolver dampeners are located on the top and bottom of the Experience riser facing the strings. These are rubber dampeners, with weights to absorb even more vibration. The Cable rod also features a Revolver Dampener totaling three of these dampeners total.
GripThe Experience grip has a really great design that fits well in to proper hand placement. Although the grip is a little thicker, the handle is tapered a bit more a more comfortable fit. The grip is easy to adjust to no matter what shooters have previously shot. The grip is flat out great.
LimbsThe Experience uses Carboncore limbs, which have a carbon center for better vibration dampening. Limbs are adjustable in ten-pound increments, and available in maximum weights of 50, 60, and 70 pounds. It would be nice offer limbs in maximum weights of 55 and 65 pounds as well for shooters who like to shoot mid range weight, but have the limb bolts bolted all the way down. The CPX limb pocket technology gives limbs another contact point closer to the cams, which helps create a more accurate shooting bow.The Experience graphics are redesigned and more simplistic than in years past. For most shooters, this is a welcomed change. The new graphics look really sharp. In the past, Bowtech has had a terrible issue of peeling limbs. Although it is too early to tell how the Experience limbs finish will hold up, Bowtech is painting the limbs black before coating them with the final coat. Although it would be great if this fixes the problem, hopefully it is not an attempt to make the issue less noticeable. For $999 there should be no issues with the finish on any part of the bow. Obviously, cosmetic issues have no impact on how well the bow shoots, but bows in cheaper price ranges have no issues with finish and Bowtech should resolve this issue.
Eccentric SystemThe Overdrive Binary Cam System featured on the Experience is the same cam featured on the Insanity from last year is popular and rightfully so. The let off is 80%, and draw length is adjustable in half-inch increments from 26.5-31 inches without the need for buying modules or new cams. Everything needed to change the draw length is part of the cam sent from the factory. The binary cam flings arrows at a fast IBO speed of 335 feet per second, which is actually easily achievable without the need to super tune. Many shooters have claimed to exceed these posted speeds as well. Along with all these features, the cams are easily tunable as well. Shooters can yoke tune and sync the cams without spending tons of time doing so.
Draw cycle / ShootabilityThe Experience is a great shooting bow. The draw weight reaches its peak decently early in the draw cycle and maintains a constant pull weight until reaching the valley and then the back wall. The valley, although somewhat short is very manageable especially with the decently solid backwall. The backwall has a hard feel, but it allows shooters to hold on target without feeling like they are pulling off it. The seven-inch brace height is super forgiving considering the fast speeds of 335 feet per second. After the shot, the bow hardly moves, and is quiet. There is no hand shock felt at all, and the arrow leaves the bow fast. The Experience holds very well on target at full draw, and feels almost perfectly balanced. It is truly tough to find something wrong with the draw cycle or how the bow feels while being shot.
Usage ScenarioThe Experience is a hunting bow with a somewhat compact 32-inch axel-to-axel measurement and a seven-inch brace height. It produces really great speed and the kinetic energy needed to effectively take down big game animals. With that being said, the bow could also double as a great 3d rig as well. Shooters will love the accuracy this bow has to offer. Serious competition shooters may desire different specifications, but the Bowtech Experience will impress those wanting a bow that can do it all.
These bows are basically identical in specifications other than the inch longer brace height of the Experience and the IBO rated 20 feet per second difference with the Insanity's speed. The Experience has some added dampeners, and seems to overachieve in the speed department though. Shooters leery of the six-inch brace height offered on the Bowtech Insanity CPX will love the added forgiveness the Experience has to offer. The price is the same as well, so the main decision will come down to preference in brace height and the speed associated with that.