The Pantera Magnum will find itself at home just about anywhere you could take it. Its "middle of the road" specs will be sure to please anyone looking for an all around, do everything bow. Published at up to 330 fps with a generous 34" axle to axle, and 7" brace height, the bow screams forgiveness and accuracy, all the while boasting reasonable speeds.
Decorating a bow is no simple task. From initial machining to the final clear coat, many steps are taken to ensure that the end product meets a high standard. This is an area where this bow has a little room for improvement. Some small machine marks were present in areas of the riser. Not glaringly bad, but noticeable to a discerning eye. This is no way affects the performance or overall looks of the bow, but is probably worth mentioning. The film dip however, was nearly flawless. The camo was crisp and clear, with out any noticeable runs, fold or blemishes. Other than the slight machine marks, which in all honesty could be found on many bows, the overall finish was more than acceptable.
The riser section of the bow is actually 3 separate pieces, that are precision mated using polished steel dowels and screws. For such a reflex riser, the bow felt very stable and balanced. The riser cutouts are sleek and complementing of the aesthetic form and flow of the bow. Integrated quick disconnects for the stabilizer and rear facing STS, add to the function and portability.
The Powertough limbs are a carryover from previous years. The short limb design disperses the load over a greater area, allowing the limb to return more of its stored energy on the shot. More efficient means better performance. The limbs firmly connect to the riser with the use of the RotoCup. The limb cup index's directly to the riser with a small steel pin, and securely holds the limb in place using a press fit. As well, the limb bolt bezel press fits into the butt end of the limb, adding to the overall stability and accuracy of the system. Two words come to mind. "Simple" and "Reliable".
Originally introduced on the upper end sister line Rytera, the saddleback grip really shines. The grip is nicely contoured and slim as can be. The backside is wrapped in a self adhesive soft leather, offering some protection from the cold morning hunts. On either side of the grip, classy wood inlays prominently display the name of the bow. Comfortable and functional, the grip is arguably one of the best features of any of Martins new bows.
The Pantera is equipped with the new Fury XT single cam. A rotating module makes for quick and easy adjustments in draw length from 25-30 1/2", a pretty impressive span. The wall on the cam is rock solid due to the limb contact draw stop. Adjusted independently from the module, the draw stop can be used to customize the valley and letoff, and to microtune the draw length, a pretty cool feature.Probably the most noteworthy feature of this cam is the ability to adjust draw weight by adjusting the routing of the cable. A series of pegs used to effectively lengthen and shorten the cable combine with the built in 15 pound weight range of the limbs to offer a full 35# of weight adjustment
Even tho the new cam design feels a bit more aggressive, it isn't by any means harsh. Loading fairly quickly at the front end, the cam draws well with only a little hump noticeable at the very end of the cycle. Keep in mind that the feel of the draw cycle will change some depending on the draw setting of the cam, especially at the longer lengths. Small variations are just a characteristic of bows with this much swing. Although adjustable, the valley is fairly narrow. It wont pull an arm out of the socket, but if you get timid or too relaxed it will definitely remind you that its there.
Probably the single largest improvement Martin has made recently is in its strings. The Hammerhead strings are about as high quality as is available from a "stock string" point of view. Serving separation and peep rotation ave been minimized, but not entirely eliminated. With that being said, the new strings are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were, and all but the most fickle will be happy with them.
Neat little silencing features include the weighted VEM's (Vibration Escape Module) located at the ends of the riser, helping to absorb some of that errant after shot vibe and noise. A carbon fiber STS also aids in the reduction of string noise and oscillation. Built in quick disconnects, allow for quick installation and removal of stabilizers, complementing the multiple sight mounting holes adding up to a very customizable package. Shot noise without a stabilizer was average, while there was just a mild residual, after shot vibration. An inexpensive rubber stabilizer would easily tame any after shot vibes you might feel. Overall, the bow was quiet and solid on the shot. There was no perceivable movement, with just a slight roll forward after the arrow was on its way. Rated at up to 330 fps, real world speeds are in the mid 315 range.
All in all the Pantera Magnum is a pretty impressive package. Its user friendly specs and easy to make adjustments will appeal to shooters and dealers alike. Though primarily designed as a longer axle to axle hunting bow, it should perform equally well on a 3D course or on an NFAA face. Keen new features and trusted technology blend together well, and even with a few areas having room for improvement, the overall value of this bow is very good. Priced respectfully in the 500$ price range, its a tough competitor with similar spec'd bows with even higher price points.