Elite Impulse 34 Review
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Editors' reviewElite has always advertised creating the most shootable bows on the planet, and the Impulse 34 offering may be their best multipurpose bow ever created. Shooters wanting a new bow that can shoot spots, foam, and be used in the woods will be thrilled to give the Impulse 34 a try. The newly designed IM cams are a bit speedier than previous Elite bows offering advertised speeds up to 340 feet per second. This does come with a 6-inch brace height, but still maintains the well-known Elite draw cycle many enjoy. The new offering of KUIU camo in addition to the traditional Realtree patterns Elite has partnered with in the past is a nice twist as well. Shooters wanting more of a target feel also have the option to select the V-Grip on certain configurations of the Impulse 34, which is a bit more slender than the wooden side plates. The Impulse is a bit heavy weighing in at 4.4-pounds before accessories, but that may simply mean less stabilizer weight to give the bow the feel shooters desire. With the suggested price tag of $999, the Impulse 34 is competitive in the top of the line 2016 market, but that price may be too steep for some to consider. However, the Elite transferrable warranty combined with a truly multipurpose bow may be well worth the price. As with any bow, the ultimate decision will be based on personal preference, but those shooters already loving the Elite draw cycle should be careful when shooting the Impulse 34, because it may end up going home with them.
FinishElite has always offered a great looking finished product in regards to camo definition and full coverage. Because the Impulse 34 is a multipurpose bow, shooters have the choice for target finishes as well as hunting options. Brand new for 2016, is the KUIU camo choices of Verde and Vias. These two patterns have an old school look, and give the bow a customized feel with this not being offered in the past. For shooters wanting camo with a bit more comfortable feel, Realtree Xtra, Relatree Max-1, and Realtree Snow are really nice looking choices as well. Target colors include blue, green, red, orange, pink, purple, and titanium, which will be a bit shinier and include black limbs. Finally, the Impulse can also be outfitted in all black, or a combination of a black riser and camo limbs.
RiserThe riser of a bow creates the platform for how it will feel on the shot. The cams create the overall feel of the draw cycle, but the hold on target and the overall stability is more of a riser characteristic. The Impulse 34 riser is not drastically different than the Energy 35 riser, but not exactly the same either. Elite engineers decided to keep the riser cage as part of the design, which will eliminate torque and maintain strength. The cage is located above the sight window, but does contribute a bit to the heavy 4.4-pounds. The cable slide is a standard design with no roller guard or flexing components. Elite has chosen to keep this aspect of the bow fairly simple, and although the cable slide is arguably causing additional torque on the system some other options may not, it is a tried and true design. The rear cable stop is also simple in nature, but serves its purpose well.For stabilizer mounting options, the Impulse has a variety to choose from. Those wanting the traditional front mounting hole, there is a front location located directly in front of the factory string stop system. However, those wanting a rear mounting hole, there is a high and low option allowing shooters complete discretion on where the bar and weight should be located. These options allow for the Impulse to be a truly multipurpose bow.
GripTo continue with the trend of the Impulse being a well-rounded multi-purpose bow, Elite has two different offerings for the Impulse 34 grip for 2016. Those that enjoy the feel of the two-piece wooden grip will be thrilled to see it still offered on the Impulse 34. However, those that want a more target feel can choose the integrated riser V-Grip option, which is a bit slimmer and allows for a little tape customization. Both feel great, but will depend on which type of shooting and preference each person has. The two-piece grip has a banana type shape to the backside of the grip, which some shooters love and others hate. The V-Grip does not have this, and is more in line with what target shooters enjoy, and what is offered on the on the Elite Victory target bow. Each person will have their own preference, and keep in mind both are fine options, it will simply be personal preference as to which one feels better.
LimbsThe solid three layer laminated limbs are the go to choice again for Elite in 2016. These solid limbs have worked well for Elite in the past in regards to longevity and performance. They are also equipped with Limbsavers dampeners on the top and bottom limbs that can be outfitted with varying colors for a customized look and feel. The limbs are available in maximum draw weights of 40, 50, 60, 65, 70, and 80-pounds and can safely be turned down about 10-pounds off the maximum draw weight. This 50-pound draw weight range is a job well done by Elite because just about anyone wanting a 34 can get limbs to shoot it. The Impulse 34 will also see newly designed limb pockets for 2016. The enhanced Perfect Alignment Limb System puts down pressure on the limbs with tabs to help with alignment of the limbs, riser, and cams. When limb pockets have slight inconsistencies, the arrow will fly differently. This will ultimately impact accuracy, especially as the target moves farther away. The new pocket design works to eliminate any minor inconsistencies that may occur.
Eccentric SystemThe IM cam for the Impulse 34 is a new design for 2016. The cam does offer a similar feel to past Elite bows, but increases the speed up to 340 feet per second. The cam can be changed in half-inch increments by swapping out modules as with other Elite cams in the past. The Impulse draw length ranges 27-31-inches. The dual limb stops are also adjustable to allow shooters the ability to fine tune the feel of the draw cycle a bit at the back end.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityElite bows are developing a faithful following, and may be one of the fastest growing models seen in the 3D world. A large part of the new Elite crew is in direct response to the draw cycle Elite bows offer. However, Elite has taken some jabs in the past for their shootable bows being a bit on the slow side. The Impulse 34, although far from a speed bow, shoots a respectable 340 feet per second, putting it in direct competition with a large group of offerings. This increase in speed may be more related to the shortened 6-inch brace height than the draw force curve of the new cams, but the speed was demanded, and Elite responded. The Impulse takes a bit of the draw to build up to peak weight, which some people really enjoy because the weight does not come all at once at the start of the draw cycle. As the shooter continues to pull, the peak weight sems to be maintained for a rather short period before hitting the let-off and the super solid back wall. The valley is extremely generous, and letting down requires shooters to practically push the string back to rest. Some shooters have noted a hump at the end of the draw cycle, but this can feel slightly different on each bow depending on where the limb stop post is set in the grove. Shooters adjusting this post will also play with the valley of the bow, and the dump feeling in the draw cycle as the bow reaches full draw. The shot of the Impulse 34 is quite pleasant as well with the bow basically just coming to rest. There is a thumb of the string being released, but the bow does not have much rock after the shot at all. The noise is minimal, and the arrow speed is pretty quick just by the sound of the arrow leaving the bow to hitting the target. Overall, the Impulse 34 redesigned cam produces a pleasant shooting experience.
Usage ScenariosSimply put, everything! The Impulse 34 is a do it all bow from spots and foam to hunting. Elite has created a very versatile bow that will perform well in every situation it is placed in.
Impulse 34 vs. Energy 35
|Bow||Elite Energy 35|
|Brace Height||7 "|
|AtA Length||34.75 "|
|Draw Length||27 " - 31 "|
|Draw Weight||30 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||297 fps - 337 fps|
| Where to buy |
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The Elite Energy 35 was the former multipurpose bow from Elite. This bow was great, and got a lot of fame from Levi Morgan winning in what seemed like every tournament he entered when the bow was released. However, the Impulse has more speed, and arguably a better grip in the V-Grip offering. Only the shooter can decide which bow shoots better as there are many opinions either way. However, Elite did respond to what many wanted with more speed in the Elite Impulse 34, which may be the reason it gets selected over the 35.