Bowtech General Review

Bowtech General

Average user rating

Bowtech General Review4.655 out of 5 user reviews


  • Fast, accurate, and smooth
  • Noise and vibration free
  • Versatile


  • Still carries the stigma of limb problems; Bowtech voluntarily replaced limbs on all Generals to ensure the problems were corrected
  • No longer part of the lineup; has to be purchased used

Where to buy


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Editors' review

The Bowtech General was added to the Bowtech 2008 lineup. With an ATA just over 31", an 8 1/4" brace height, and a 315 fps IBO, this rig was quiet and was a premier hunting bow. Because of limb problems, Bowtech issued a voluntary recall on all the bows and replaced the limbs, and discontinued making the bow. The General is still one of the best bows ever designed by Bowtech. This bow is slower than todays speed bows, but should be a consideration if the shooter is looking to make a purchase. Since the limbs have been replaced, the only reason not to purchase this rig is because you feel you have to have the newest bow on the market.


This rig was designed with the Realtree Hardwood Green In-Velvet coating. Archers order this rig in Realtree APG HD, Advantage MAX-4, Mossy Oak Obsession, Mossy Oak Treestand, or Mossy Oak Brush. This finish is still used today and provides a rubber-like feel and enhances the vibration dampening properties of the bow.


This rig came with a fully machined forged riser providing strength and stability. The riser also has a short pivoting leg at each end which provides the center point for the pivoting limb. This "leg" provides some movement along the limb to aid in maximum bend for shooting stability. The limbs for this bow are a 12" center pivoting split-limb system that are machined out of a unidirectional fiberglass. This particular material is known for its strength and durability, making it perfect for bow limbs. There is virtually no limb pockets. The limbs are secured to the riser and use a pivot point where the riser supports the limb at a midway point. This provides additional limb stability and allows the limb to bend more from the midpoint out to the cam. This design helps the bow generate more power while dissipating the shock throughout the rest of the bow. This bow also used Vertical Force Technology, which was introduced in 2002 and basically meant parallel limbs. It was not long before other bow manufacturer realized that Bowtech was onto something revolutionary. The General was only one of the Bowtech rigs that boasted this technology.

Other Components

This bow came with BCY 452X strings, a Short Stop integrated string stop, roller guard cable guard, center pivot limb pockets, and a hush kit. As this rig is no longer in the Bowtech lineup, if the archer is looking to purchase one, it will be used. This means that it will most likely have a host of add-on components.

Eccentric System

This rig used the Center Track Binary Cam System. This cam system generated the speed produced by the General. This cam system not only provided excellent speed for 2008, but also was able to provide that speed without creating any bow torque. The General boasted an IBO of 315 fps. A test bow, straight out of the box, setup for 70# draw weight, 29" draw length, and shooting a 360 grain arrow chrono'd at 285 fps. Although not right on IBO, but very close. Draw length can be adjusted by changing the draw modules. The modules will allow for adjustments in 1/2" increments. When changing the draw length of the General, it is necessary to adjust the draw stop as well. Adjusting the stop post will allow for additional draw length adjustments in 1/16" increments. It is also very important that the shooter not try to adjust the draw stop while at full draw.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

Pretty smooth draw throughout the cycle to a solid back wall. At full draw, there is no bow creep. However, if the shooter must let off the shot, they should use caution. The shooter will have only about two inches of movement toward letdown, and then the bow will pull with a lot of force and accidental release is a real possibility. It is very difficult to hold on to.The draw weight of this rig is based on the peak weight of the limbs, and adjustability of up to 10# from there. The limbs come in weights of 50#, 60#, and 70#. Any adjustment from there is done simply by loosening the limb bolts. The archer must be careful not to loosen the limb bolts too much. This rig was a very shootable, quiet, and accurate bow, but limb problems caused Bowtech to voluntarily recall the bow to repair the issues. Bowtech eventually discontinued this rig. If an archer can find a General on the used market, they should be wary and have the bow checked out prior to purchase to ensure the repairs have been completed. Any authorized Bowtech Dealer can perform this inspection.

Silencing Package

This rig is quiet out of the box. The slightly heavier riser, the In-Velvet finish, the string stop, and the hush kit make this bow very quiet. Even when shooting a light arrow (at or near IBO) there is almost no noise from this bow.


Bow Bowtech General Bowtech 101st Airborne
Version 2008 2008 (Binary Cam)
Picture Bowtech General Bowtech 101st Airborne
Brace Height 8.25 " 7.25 "
AtA Length 31.188 " 36.25 "
Draw Length 26 " - 30 " 37.5 " - 31.5 "
Draw Weight 40 lbs - 70 lbs 50 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed 307 fps - 315 fps 320 fps - 340 fps
Weight 4.2 lbs 4.1 lbs
Let-Off 65% - 80% 65% - 80%
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The Bowtech General can be compared to the Bowtech 101st Airborne. Even with the limb problems the General had before the recall, it was still one of the best overall bows ever designed by the guys at Bowtech. The 101st, although a good bow in its own rights, was never a flagship quality rig. The 101st is an overall bigger bow with five more inches ATA. The brace height of the 101st is slightly shorter at 7 3/16" instead of the 8 1/4" of the General. The 101st also offers an additional 20 fps than the General, but does not compare when it comes to quietness, smoothness, and accuracy. Since neither of these bows are in the current Bowtech lineup, they both must be purchased used. Because of this, the shooter can definitely find either one of these bows in a price range that they are comfortable paying. The limb issues encountered by the General have been corrected, but the purchaser would be advised to have it checked out to be sure. Although this issue has been corrected, the General still carries the stigma of limb problems that some just can't get over.

Usage Scenarios

This rig was designed specifically as a hunting rig. It will fit well on a target course or a 3D range, but make no mistake, it is a hunting bow. When originally designed, the designers at Bowtech were looking for a rig that was fast, quiet, and smooth. They found this in the General, and it was their flagship bow in 2008. With an IBO of 315 fps, this rig is fast enough, and is quiet enough to fit any hunting situation.


When this bow first hit the market, it sold for around $849. They can be found used today for as low as $250. Although this rig was involved in a voluntary recall by Bowtech, the limb problems that caused the recall should have been fixed. If you can find a Bowtech General and the limbs have been replaced, this rig is a very good bow to purchase. There still are very few bows that are as quiet as this bow, although there are quite a few that are faster.


The guys at Bowtech were looking to create a rig for the hunter that was fast, quiet, and smooth. They eventually came up with the General. This bow not only met the call, but did so with no vibration or noise. With an ATA of just over 31" and a brace height of 8 1/4", this bow is accurate, fast, and consistent. The Center Track Binary Cam system provides a smooth draw and an IBO of 315. This is about 15 fps slower than the average bow today, but in 2008, it was respectableThis rig is adjustable as well with a draw length range of 26" - 30" in 1/2" increments, and a draw weight range of 40# - 70#. The limbs are the primary determinate for the draw weight with the weight being adjustable to 10# below peak weight of the limbs. This rig was added to the 2008 lineup, but shortly into the year Bowtech voluntarily recalled the bow as it had received 255 work orders for defective limbs. Although they recalled all the bows and replaced the limbs, the damage had been done and they discontinued the bow. The shooter can still find them for sale online. The limb issues should have been corrected, making this a very good bow to have in your arsenal. The shooter would be advised to have the bow inspected by an authorized Bowtech dealer prior to purchasing the bow just to make sure it didn't slip through the cracks when the recall took place.
Bowtech General Review4.655

User Reviews

  • 5 reviews
  • ( out of 5 reviews for all versions)
  1. On a short list of "my best bows ever".

    Version: 2008 Bowtech General


    Pros: Forgiving brace height.
    Quietest bow I have ever shot. (subjective)
    Solid wall.
    Easily adjusted draw length.

    Cons: My only con with this bow was the string stop. I didn’t care for the position of the factory stop.
    The only other thing was the negative press it received related to limb issues with early production runs.

    Full review:
    The Bowtech General is an excellent bow for new shooters. Easily tuned and forgiving because of its attributes. I have never shot a bow that had as many of the subjectively good aspects as this bow. When you shoot the bow, the feeling is amazing. As long as you aren’t looking for blazing speed,although it does have decent speed, you won’t be disappointed.

  2. Super quite and dead in hand

    Version: 2008 Bowtech General


    Pros: Absolutely the smoothest and quite bow ever developed by a bow manufacturer.

    Cons: With the string stop in the position its in you can’t use a kisser button. Had to get new limbs put on…just for recall not because mine busted.

  3. Smooth draw,deep valley and back wall,no hand shock and dead quiet One of their best bows ever!

    Version: 2008 Bowtech General


    Pros: Everything about this bow is top notch.

    Cons: The position of the cable guide needed to be relocated.

    Full review:
    This bow will do it all,target,3D and all hunting scenarios. Shoot ability is grreat. Very smooth draw with no hard hump. The valley is and the back wall is very solid and allows a small amount of creep forward. Easy to set up and make some adjustments. This bow is whisper quiet,and virtually no shock when released. medium ata length with a really forgiving brace height of 8 1/4"
    The cons of this bow from my perspective if the position of the roller cable guide,this needed to be modified with a angled bracket to move it upward or move it below the grip. An adjustable cam that didn’t require a module change would make this the perfect bow!!

  4. Love my General

    Version: 2008 Bowtech General


    Pros: Great beginner bow quiet as a mouse

    Cons: Factory steering stop position

    Full review:
    I am new to archery this year. That being said I have shot several bows since then ranging from an old Bear Black Bear to a Ross Crave. I bought The General in February and love it. Easy to shoot, quiet, and hardly any vibration. Love the bow to death but gonna buy an after market string stop so I can move my kisser button up to my desired height. Absolutely 100%satisfied with my purchase

  5. Amazing bow

    Version: 2008 Bowtech General


    Pros: Apsolutly the best bow I have ever owned the quitest most accurate bow easy to shoot and deadly accurate

    Cons: None

    Full review:
    The most amazing bow I have ever owned prbly the last bow I’ll buy for my self reliable accurate fast and fun love this bow if you can find one buy it you won’t regret it I got mine for 250 fully rigged can’t wait to hunt with it this season

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