Hoyt REDWRX Carbon Rx-4 Alpha Review

Hoyt REDWRX Carbon RX-4 Alpha

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Pros

  • Designed as the most compact carbon bow Hoyt has ever produced
  • Newly designed ZTR cam is smoother, has a more solid back wall, and quieter than any other Hoyt ever made
  • An ATA rated 342 feet per second is pretty fast for such a shootable bow

Cons

  • Some critics feel more changes should have been made
  • A suggested retail price of $1699 is really hard to pay, even for those not on a strict budget

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Editors' review

Hoyt hunting bows are made for the challenges hunters demand from their equipment, and the Alpha series delivers in just about every way. Hoyt claims the Alpha series was designed from feedback of shop owners, and their customers in the big buck states to create the best all around whitetail hunting bow ever. From a company like Hoyt, known for their premium hunting rigs that is really saying something. The RX-4 Ultra is the most compact carbon bow Hoyt has ever produced with a 29.5-inch axle-to-axle measurement. This maneuverable bow will shine brightest in tight treestand or ground blinds where a compact bow is needed most. However, at a bare bow weight of only 3.9-pounds, the RX-4 Alpha has some potential to be a very packable bow out West in the mountains chasing elk as well. The new ZTR cam system has some really nice design features, but some argue there is not much of a difference from the outgoing RX-3 model. However, Hoyt claims this model is the smoothest drawing, firmest backwall, and quietest cam system they have ever produced, and even if the changes are only minor, the results are amazing. The RX-4 Alpha gets another price jump, which brings the suggested retail of the Alpha carbon bow to $1699. Even if shooters with a less restrictive budget, that price tag is going to be hard to make. Unfortunately, many shooters will not be able to see past that sticker shock, and really put the RX-4 Alpha through its paces and appreciate how well designed this hunting bow from Hoyt really is.

Finish

The finish options for the RX-4 Alpha cover just about all the bases in regards to high end camo patterns. Shooters have an option for Gore Optifade Subalpine or Elevated II, Kuiu Verde 2.0, Under Armour Forest, or Realtree Edge for all camo options. They can also choose the popular Stone finish or the Black Out look for those wanting a great hunting finish without it being camo. Both of those options can also be outfitted with any of the limbs colors if shooters want an even more creative look. The Cameron Hanes "Keep Hammering" edition, and the Bone Collector special edition rigs are also offered on the 2020 hunting bows as well. For those wanting a target look, the Black Out riser can also be coupled with the White, Blue, or Red target colored limbs. It would be neat to see the First Lite pattern offered on the Hoyt hunting lineup bows, but shooters will be able to find a pattern that meets their needs in what is offered. A downside to having so many patterns available, is that it may be difficult to find a certain pattern in a particular shop. Of course anything can be ordered from a shop, but that may require a wait time versus a shop having a particular finish on hand already. Regardless, the number of finish options is greatly appreciated!

Riser

The carbon risers from Hoyt have been a staple in their lineup for a long time, and rightfully so. The newly designed 2020 RX-4 Alpha is the most compact carbon bow Hoyt has ever produced, and that is going to make a lot of shooters very happy. The 29.5-inch axle-to-axle measurement is very easy to hunt with, and it helps keep the bare bow weight below 4-pounds. New for 2020 is the Integrated riser design for those wanting to benefit from a cleaner connection point with the popular QAD rest. Instead of mounting to the side of the riser, QAD and Hoyt have teamed up to create a dovetail mounting system getting a cleaner mounting location, and an arguably more solid connection point. For those not wanting to use a QAD rest, other rests will still bolt on like usual. The Carbon models get some carryover technology from previous model years as well. The stationary cable slide system is the same as last year. Instead of a cable slide, or flexible cable containment system, the new Roller guard stays in one spot, allowing the cables to easily roll across the rollers. The cams are designed a bit different, so there is no longer a need for the cables to pull back as the bow is drawn, making the roller guard stuck in one spot for the whole draw cycle. Shooters also benefit from an off-set front mounting stabilizer bushing to help keep the vertical balance of the bow level when all the accessories are added to one side. Shooters will also be able to use a back bar by mounting a stabilizer adapter or quick disconnect off the back of the riser as well. For noise and vibration dampening, the Stealthshot string stop system continues to be featured, and has some adjustment built-in. Although the factory setting will more than likely be fine enough for most shooters. Hoyt also integrated Shock Pods off the bottom front of the riser to take any felt vibration away from the riser and ultimately the shooter's grip hand. Without much new to the market technology incorporated into the riser, there is still a great deal of thought going into this compact hunting bow making it a straight up killing machine.

Grip

The RX-4 Alpha grip is one of the most comfortable grips Hoyt has ever created, even if it is a carryover from the previous model year. The plastic grip loses its premium look and feel when compared to the wooden grips in earlier years, but the shape is just about perfect for most shooters. The back of the grip is flat to fit well in the proper shooting position. The grip also has a just right thickness being easy to adjust to for those coming from a thicker grip, or one that is much thinner. Another cool feature on the carbon riser bows is the ability for the grip to move on a plate to help minimize the effect an individual person's grip torque may have on the bow during the tuning process. In other words, the grip can be adjusted to help get a clean tear through paper. Now, some people will argue it is better to correct a poor hand placement on the grip versus adjusting the grip to the poor hand placement. However, this is still a neat idea only available on the carbon side of the Hoyt hunting lineup.

Limbs

Hoyt makes the RX-4 Alpha available to everyone with six different peak weight configurations and a 50-pound draw weight range. The split limbs are available in maximum draw weights of 40, 50, 60, 65, 70, and even 80-pounds for shooters wanting the hardest hitting bow they can get. Each limb has a safe adjustment range of 10-pounds, which has been the industry standard for many years. Hoyt also equips the split limbs with a factory installed split limb dampener as well, which can be swapped out for a variety of colors if shooters decide they want something other than the standard black color. The limbs are held in place by a pocket system providing zero tolerance on the limbs movement during the whole draw cycle. No matter what point in the draw cycle the limbs are in, they remain secure to the riser in the pocket system. There is also a pivoting point closer to the cam system for the limbs to flex against adding to the stability of the limbs. The graphics on the RX-4 Alpha are pretty tame, and in no way take away from the look of the bow. However, Hoyt takes advantage of branding the RX-4 Alpha to let observers know the brand and model the bow is.

Eccentric System

The ZTR cam system pairs very nicely with the carbon riser of the RX-4 Alpha. The cams come in two base cams with a draw weight range from 25-30-inches in half-inch increments. The number one cam adjusts from 25-28-inches with the number two cam adjustments from 28-30-inches. The RX-4 Alpha also has an ATA performance rating of speeds up to 342 feet per second. The ZTR cams are the third installment of the current cam system. Hoyt did some minor tweaking to an already tried system to make the draw cycle smoother, the back wall firmer, and the arrow release quieter than any other cam Hoyt has ever produced. Some shooters are disappointed the Hoyt engineers did not integrate larger updates, but the end result created a much better feeling draw cycle.From a pro shop standpoint the newly designed draw length modules will make adjustments much easier. The old cams required shooters to choose a draw length, and then move the draw stop post to the appropriate setting. The new modules have the draw length and the draw stop adjustments as part of the same modular change. Ultimately, this will make draw length changes faster, and adds to the stiffer feeling back wall by giving the cables a larger area to pull against when compared to the draw stop post.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The RX-4 Alpha is a short axle-to-axle rig. That is not a secret, but it is worth noting when discussing how well the bow is going to shoot for each archer. The Alpha's shortness creates a pretty steep string angle, especially for shooters coming from a longer bow. Shooters at the longer draw lengths should attempt shooting this bow before purchasing to make sure the tring angle works for them without having to tilt their head into the string to get the proper anchor points. The draw cycle is slightly stiff from the beginning to the end. The transitions are smooth and easy to manage, and the back wall is noticeably stiffer than the outgoing cam system. Those diehard Hoyt shooters, who have become accustomed to a spongy back wall may have mixed feelings with the new back wall feel. However, this trend is very popular in 2020, and it feels outstanding on the carbon Alpha model. The quietness after the shot is easy to get used to, and the vibration will be eliminated after accessories have been added. For a short bow, the RX-4 Alpha holds well on target, and does not really feel like a small bow in hand. The lightweight bare bow weight feels really nice, and the balance is absolutely perfect in every way before accessories are added. Everything about the bow feels great, and is worth a test shot for anyone on the market for a compact hunting bow.

Usage Scenarios

The 2020 Hoyt RX-4 Alpha has some of the best features ever created from a Hoyt hunting bow. This rig is compact, lightweight, and has some great performance. Hoyt offers this rig is a ton of finishes, and the shootability for such a short bow is much better than anticipated. As a hunting bow, it is hard to find anything wrong with the RX-4 Alpha.

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

BowHoyt REDWRX Carbon RX-4 AlphaHoyt REDWRX Carbon RX-4 Turbo
Version 20202020
PictureHoyt REDWRX Carbon RX-4 AlphaHoyt REDWRX Carbon RX-4 Turbo
Brace Height6.125 "5.875 "
AtA Length29.5 "31 "
Draw Length25 " - 30 "26 " - 30 "
Draw Weight30 lbs - 80 lbs30 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed342 fps350 fps
Weight3.9 lbs4.0 lbs
Let-Off85% 80% - 85%
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These two bows have a lot to offer hardcore bow hunters. For those craving the most performance possible, the Hoyt REDWRX Carbon RX-4 Turbo is hard to turn down. However, the difference of only 8 feet per second is less of a difference than past model years. So it may be tougher to choose which bot based on performance alone. Both models are pretty compact as well, although the Alpha is an inch and a half shorter axle-to-axle when compared to the Turbo model. Both rigs are exceptional hunting bows, and the final decision will more than likely come down to the desired performance and axle-to-axle measurement.

Summary

The Alpha series is an awesome offering from Hoyt in 2020, and the carbon RX-4 Alpha bow is worth a test shot. This RX-4 Alpha is the most compact hunting bow Hoyt has ever produced, and it came about with input from customers and shop owners from across the country with whitetail hunting in mind. For that style of hunting, the RX-4 Alpha truly shines. Anywhere maneuverability makes sense, the RX-4 Alpha will be a great option. The new cams, although redesigned with minor changes, have a great feel much different than previous models. The largest negative with the Alpha is the price. A suggested retail price of $1699 is expensive no matter how much technology is integrated into the design of the bow. Carbon risers have always gotten a premium price tag, but $1699 is a lot of money. It is a shame many shooters will not even give the RX-4 Alpha a serious consideration because of the sticker price. However, those able to spend whatever they want on a new hunting bow have a really great offering, never before seen from Hoyt. Anyone wanting a compact hunting bow, with a carbon riser should give the RX-4 Alpha a serious test shot.

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