Hoyt Charger Review
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Editors' reviewHoyt is offering the Charger at an extremely reasonable price of $499. Although the Charger does not lead in any specification area, it performs well overall. The draw cycle feels great, offers a solid back wall and has decent speeds of 325 feet per second (ATA). The compact design is available for almost every shooter's specifications and can be accessorized directly from the factory for the suggested retail price of $649. Although many feel the Charger is a price point bow not offering the bells and whistles of Hoyt's flagship models, the Charger performs competitively with the rest of the Hoyt lineup. Archers should welcome the Charger as a reasonably priced bow with high-end technologies.
Factory Package OptionThe cool thing about the Charger is that is available ready to shoot straight from the factory. Shooters interested in having a fully setup bow upon arrival have the option to add them when buying the bow. The FUSE high performance accessory kit includes: FUSE Profire 3 Pin Sight, Fuse Banshee 4 Arrow Quiver, Whisker Biscuit rest, Fuse FlexBlade Stabilizer, Hoyt bow sling, and a self aligning peep sight. For $150, shooters can have a fully setup bow for the a cheaper cost than what most high end bows are without any added accessories. For shooters on a budget, this is a good thing to keep in mind.
FinishThe Hoyt Charger is made for a variety of shooters, and the finish options are a great example of this. Shooters have tons of finish options to choose from for the Charger's look and they are all done extremely well. For shooters interested in more traditional finish options, the Charger can be finished in Realtree Xtra or Realtree Max-1. These can also be mixed with black to give shooters a half and half look as well. Other camo patterns for the Charger include Realtree Snow and Realtree Pink. Along with these finish options, shooters can also choose to have the Bone Collector or Vixcen Edition models, which feature a camo riser, black limbs, and custom graphics. Shooters will also have the option to have the Charger finished with target shooting in mind. Custom paint and powdercoat options are available in custom red, black, or blue, pearl white, and pink. Again, all of these colors are done well and look great on the Charger. Each cutout is completely covered, and the finish feels like it will last forever.
RiserHoyt's TEC LITE riser is specifically designed for strength while being lightweight. Weighting in under the 4-pound mark, the Charger meets many shooters demands for a lightweight bow that can be used in any hunting situation. The riser goes through a test of a 1,500 dry fire minimum during factory testing to ensure the riser is as strong as it can be made. The added support around the grip area stiffens up the riser and helps eliminate tension-causing torque, which could lead to decreased accuracy. The highly reflexed riser places the shooters hand behind the limb pockets, which helps add extra speed, while allowing the bow to be as forgiving as possible with a brace height around the 7-inch mark.Mounting to the back of the riser is the Hoyt StealthShot string Suppression System. Excess noise and recoil is tamed by the string making contact with this string stop system. Hoyt studies show a 70% reduction in sting oscillation and movement after the shot, which leads to a cleaner arrow release and increased accuracy. To further assist with vibration dampening, there is a front mounting stabilizer hole for shooters who need some counterweight or want the vibration further transferred from the shooters hand.
GripHoyt grips are known for being some of the most comfortable grips in the market. The Pro Form grip places the shooters hand in a repeatable spot time after time in the proper position. Although some shooters may not like the thickness of the grip, it can be removed for shooters to use the riser instead. The Pro Form grip comes in a variety of options to better suit what shooters are interested in as well coming in four different styles. The rubber 180 grip, target side plates, and wooden high wrist grip may appeal to different archers, but there is an option for all shooters.
LimbsThe Charger limbs are one of the best features on the bow because there is something available for all shooters. With the industry standard of 10-pound maximum increments for adjustment, the Charger has a draw weight range between 30 and 80 pounds. Not many bows are offered in a draw weight range of 50 pounds, which should accommodate virtually everyone in the market for a new rig. Not only are the limbs highly customizable, the Parallel Splitlimbs are sure to last a very long time. The laminated ARC limbs are designed to withstand the added pressure of being highly stressed upon full draw while being able to absorb recoil and vibration after the arrow has been released. The limbs are held in place by the ProLock limb pockets are incredibly lightweight and durable. The pockets hold the limbs extremely tight to the riser, which makes the shot much more repeatable time after time. These pockets help increase accuracy by being so repeatable. The split limbs also feature the AlphaShox dampeners, to help eliminate any residual vibration caused after the arrow has been released as well. Any vibration is absorbs by the rubber dampeners helping to make the Charger extremely shock free and quiet.
Eccentric SystemThe Charger cam and a half system power the bow to achievable 325 feet per second speeds. Although the cam system is module specific, shooters may have an issue judging which cam to start with. The first cam offers module adjustment between 24-26.5 inches, in half-inch increments. The second cam is available for shooters who need 27-30-inches. Hoyt also offers the Charger long draw (a bow that has slightly different specifications) with draw length options of 30.5-31-inches as well.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityFor those thinking the Hoyt Charger is an inferior bow, they are going to be shocked at how great this bow feels in hand. The Charger cam is a perfect balance for speed and smoothness. Although the Charger is not going to break any speed records, 325 is plenty fast. The let off is in the perfect spot and feels perfect when drawn. The back wall is solid, and the valley is generous as well. After the shot, there is a little left over vibration, but it is hardly noticeable after accessories are strapped on and a little more weight is added to the 3.8-pound bare bow frame. The 31-inch axel-to-axel measurement is an inch shorter than the 32-inch offering Hoyt has made available for several years, and the compact design is greatly appreciated for many archery hunters. The Charger performs like a much more expensive bow, and shooters will find themselves smiling after shooting this for the first time.
Usage ScenariosThe Charger is a hunting bow, but the color options available make it a target option for some as well. With a large range of potential shooters, the Charger should match the needs of anyone on the market for a bow. Although many serious target shooters prefer a longer axel to axel bow for increased stability while holding on the target, the Charger will be accurate in the hands of anyone willing to shoot it.
|Brace Height||6.75 "|
|AtA Length||31 "|
|Draw Length||24 " - 30 "|
|Draw Weight||30 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||325 fps|
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The Charger and the Hoyt Spyder share many of the same specifications. The Charger is an inch longer in axel to axel measurement, both featuring the same brace height and bare bow mass. The Spyder 30 will shoot about five feet per second faster, but the draw is a bit stiffer as well. With the Chargers smaller price tag, many shooters will be forced to decide how much the minimal difference in speed and technology is worth in terms of their wallet. The Charger will have a little more vibration after the shot, but again, the cost may help offset this for some shooters. Like most archery decisions, the final decision will come down to what the shooters personal preference really is, but the Charger is sure to win over many.