Hoyt Axius Alpha Review

Hoyt Axius Alpha

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Pros

  • The shortest flagship hunting bow Hoyt has ever created
  • Designed for treestand and ground blind hunting
  • An ATA speed rating of 342 feet per second

Cons

  • The changes made are not major enough for some shooters
  • Another price increase for a suggested retail of $1199

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Editors' review

Hoyt created the Alpha series for 2020, based on shop and customer feedback, in hopes of creating the best compact hunting bow they have ever made. The aluminum riser resulted in the Axius Alpha with a 29.5-inch axle-to-axle measurement, which is the most compact flagship hunting bow Hoyt has ever created. This rig also gets an ATA speed rating of 342 feet per second, with a 6 ⅛-inch brace height. The ZTR cam system is redesigned as well, to give the smoothest drawing cam Hoyt has created with the firmest back wall, and quietest arrow release ever. For Midwest Whitetail hunters, wanting the most in compact maneuverability for treestand and ground blind situations, Hoyt has created arguably the best bow they ever have for those situations. However, many critics, and reviews have mentioned the changes as being too minimal from the outgoing models. Perhaps the biggest kicker is another $50 increase to the suggested retail price, which brings the Axius Alpha to a price of $1199. although this is still relatively competitive to other aluminum riser bows in 2020, the price is at the upper end, which may impact sales. Ultra compact hunting rigs also have a high demand, and have several companies with really great offerings. Hoyt has entered a competitive market for compact hunting bows, and the price tag may force shooters to pick other models. One thing is for certain though, for those wanting a compact hunting bow, the Hoyt Axius Alpha surely meets the criteria.

Finish

Hoyt offers some of the most popular hunting patterns available in 2020, and it is greatly appreciated. Hoyt has partnered with some of the most well known, and highly sought after patterns available, giving shooters a ton of great looking options to choose from. For hunting patterns, Hoyt has gore Optifade Elevated II, Gore Optifade Subalpine, Under Armour Forest, Realtree Edge, and Kuiu Verde 2.0. The Storm and Black out riser colors also have the ability to be customized a bit by combining with any of the other finishes. For those wanting to support some of the biggest hunters in the industry, the Bone Collector and Keep Hammering hunting edition bows are also available in the 2020 lineups. Hoyt has not offered Mossy Oak in the past, so that is not surprising. However, it would be nice to see First Lite patterns added to the hunting options in the future. The Axius Alpha is not really a target bow, but Hoyt does offer a Black out riser with Red, Blue, or White limbs for a target look if shooters are interested in a bow with a target bow finish.

Riser

The Axius Alpha is the most compact premier hunting bow ever created by Hoyt. With a 29.5-inch axle-to-axle measurement the Axius Alpha is maneuverable and compact enough for even the tightest treestand and ground blind locations. Hoyt said this model took a great deal of input from pro shops, and their customers in order to create what they feel is the best whitetail bow they have ever produced. The machined aluminum riser features a 6 ⅛-inch brace height, and a bare bow weight of 4.3-pounds. The cable containment system is a stationary system, which is somewhat unique although used on Hoyt models last year. The cables slide through rollers, which help with the draw cycle feeling as smooth as it does. The TEC riser is also carried over for another year adding strength and stability to the aluminum riser. For those wanting to add a back bar, there is a rear mounting location in addition to the standard front mounting location. Shooters also have the Stealthshot string stop system as used in previous years.

Grip

The 2020 grip is a carryover design from the outgoing 2019 aluminum series bows. Those with experience using the grip from last year will support the decision to stay with the same grip. The shape and feel is just about perfect. It is not too thick, and not too narrow. The flat back is also easy to adjust to and fits about perfectly in the proper position. The grips on the carbon bows for 2020 are movable in order to fine tune the placement of the grip to accommodate for any torque that may be different based on each shooter. Although the shape and make up of the two grips are the same, the aluminum model is in a fixed position.

Limbs

Hoyt chooses to stick with the split limbs used in previous model years. Each limb configuration comes with the ability to be adjusted ten-pounds lower than the peak weight, which is the industry standard from most high end flagship models. The peak draw weights are available in maximum weights of 40, 50, 60, 65, 70, and even 80-pounds. With this 50-pounds of draw weight adjustment, almost any shooter looking for a flagship hunting bow will have their draw weight of choice. The limbs are held to the riser with a set of zero tolerance limb pockets that keep the limbs in the perfect position throughout the entire draw force curve. For added sound and vibration dampening, the Axius Alpha comes with limb dampeners straight out of the box. For those interested in swapping out the color of the black dampeners, Hoyt offers a few different colors of Limb Shox to better match shooter's personal styles.

Eccentric System

The ZTR cam system is brand new for 2020, but the changes made to the overall system have received some negative publicity for being minor tweaks at best. It is somewhat unfair to say the changes are minor, having such a major impact on how the draw cycle actually feels, specifically in firming up the feel of the back wall. The ZTR cams have two base cams to accommodate the draw length range of 25-30-inches. The first cam is 25-28-inches, and the second cam has draw length adjustments from 28-30-inches. Each cam has a rotating module, which changes the draw length in half-inch increments. Also new for 2020 is the integration of the draw stop within the module itself. In the past, the draw stop needed to be swapped to the appropriate hole based on the chosen draw length. The post was also a cable stop draw stop post. The new modular based design has an inch or space that contacts the control cable in order to make a more firm feeling when compared to the post. The performance rating reaches an impressive ATA rating of 342 feet per second, which gives the compact bow one heck of a punch.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The ZTR cams are a new system for 2020, but they do have a somewhat familiar feel to the outgoing 2019 cam system. The draw is still pretty stiff from start to finish, but Hoyt claims this system produces the smoothest draw cycle from any Hoyt hunting bow, and that is absolutely accurate. In addition to having smoother transitions throughout the draw cycle, the back wall is the firmest of any Hoyt hunting bow created. This cam system also has the quietest arrow release from a Hoyt hunting bow. Hoyt has created a lot of great rigs in the past, so for this cam system to produce the smoothest and quietest experience of any bow they have ever created is really saying something. While on target, the Axius Alpha holds very solid. For those at the upper end of the draw length,the Acuis Alpha may start to get into an uncomfortable string angle. It may be tough to keep an upright posture while having an anchor in the corner of the mouth, and the tip of the nose. However, those wanting a compact hunting rig will have already made peace with this steep string angle.

Usage Scenarios

The Axius Alpha is the most compact premier hunting bow Hoyt has ever produced. For those demanding the most maneuverable and compact hunting bow produced, it will be hard to overlook the Axius Alpha's 29.5-inch axle-to-axle measurement. Any hunter utilizing treestands or ground blinds for the majority of their time in the field should consider this ultra compact Axius Alpha series. Although the Alpha lineup comes with target finish options, there are better options on the market for the serious target archer. The Axius Alpha is made for shooters needing the most compact hunting bow possible.

Hoyt Axius Alpha vs. Hoyt REDWRX Carbon Rx-4 Alpha

BowHoyt Axius AlphaHoyt REDWRX Carbon RX-4 Alpha
Version 20202020
PictureHoyt Axius AlphaHoyt REDWRX Carbon RX-4 Alpha
Brace Height6.125 "6.125 "
AtA Length29.5 "29.5 "
Draw Length25 " - 30 "25 " - 30 "
Draw Weight30 lbs - 80 lbs30 lbs - 80 lbs
IBO Speed342 fps342 fps
Weight4.3 lbs3.9 lbs
Let-Off85% 85%
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The aluminum and carbon riser offerings have never been more similar than they are in 2020. The largest difference between the two models used to be the weight, where the carbon bow was significantly lighter than the aluminum sibling of the same model. However, for 2020, the aluminum Axius Alpha has an advertised weight of 4.3-pounds, and carbon RX-4 Alpha 3.9-pounds. This year, more than any other year, the choice between these two compact hunting bows will more than likely come down to price. The Axius Alpha is $1199, and the Hoyt REDWRX Carbon RX-4 Alpha is $1699. Those able to afford a bare bow price of $1699 may opt for the warm to the touch feel of the carbon riser. Those a little more price conscious will more than likely opt for the aluminum Axius Alpha, which could almost be fully rigged out for the price difference between the two models.

Summary

The Axius Alpha is the most compact hunting bow ever designed by Hoyt, and it marks off a large number of wants for those on the market for a short hunting bow. There is a fair amount of performance with an ATA speed rating of 342 feet per second. The 4.3-pound bare bow weight is also fairly lightweight for an aluminum riser, which will make it easier to maneuver in tight spaces or on long walks in the mountains. The 29.5-inch axle-to-axle measurement may create an uncomfortable string angle for shooters at the upper end of the draw length range, but that is a personal preference some may be fine with. The suggested asking price of $1199 is more competitive than some other bows in Hoyt's lineup, when compared to the competition. However, the price may be too pricey for the compact hunting bow market, which has a lot of really amazing offerings for 2020, which are all less expensive than the Axius Alpha. There is a lot to love about the 2020 Axius Alpha. Unfortunately, the price may force shooters to look at other great shooting hunting bows with a smaller price tag.

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