Ross Cardiac 31 Review
The Ross Cardiac 31 is a partnership bow with Bowtech, and the result is a well-designed compact bow that many are sure to be pleased with. The 31- inch axel-to-axel measurement makes it very compact for shooters wanting that in a hunting bow, and the draw is what you would expect from a single cam in terms of smoothness. The IBO speed could be a little better, but most archers p[purchasing a single cam bow are more interested in the ease of tuning and smooth draw cycle compared to speed. Overall, the bow is a shooter.
FinishThe Cadiac is dipped in Realtree AP and is done very well. The finish looks great with the bows accent colors as well and is very pleasing to look at. Ross also finished the Cardiac in what they call TuffTech finish, which adds a softer feel. This also dulls the metallic clanking of something, like an arrow, coming in contact with the riser. It is also a bit warmer in the stand on cold weather hunts as well. All in all, the finish gets big thumbs up. It would be nice for it to be offered in a few different patterns for shooters to choose which one they like better, but this has nothing to do with performance.
RiserWith the Cardiac 31 measuring in at 31-inches axel to axel, the riser is also compact as well. Made out of 6061 A1 aluminum, the highly reflexed design gives the bow a very unique look. It would be nice for the riser to eliminate a little more overall mass of the Cardiac, which weighs in a 4-pounds, but the heavier bow does help with how steady it holds on the target. The Ross features a string stop system facing the string, which does a nice job keeping the string away from the shooters arm, and eliminates extra noise. Slightly above the string stop system, the front of the bow features a stabilizer-mounting hole for additional dampening devices or stabilizers to be added as well. The cable slide system is a traditional cable slide without any fancy technology or materials. The cable slide moves as the strings reach full draw, and return to rest after the arrow is released. A dampener is added to the cable slide to help keep vibrations to a minimum as well.
GripThe grip is a wood side plated grip, which features a thin neck that gets wider as it rests in the shooters hand. It really does a decent job promoting proper hand placement, and is sure to be warmer for the shooter in cold weather than just the riser material. Comfort wise, the grip does the trick. It would be nice for it to have some added flair though, because it looks rather cheap. Obviously, this has nothing to do with performance again, but it would help the bow look more attractive.
LimbsRoss has outfitted the Cardiac 31 with 1-piece Gordon glass solid limbs, which are available in four draw weight options. Shooters can choose limbs that range from 40-50, 50-60, 60-70, and even 70-80 pounds. The composite limb pockets are painted a sliver color to match the cams, but do seem to stand out a bit when first looking at the rig. The limbs come with a rubber dampener installed for vibration elimination, and the bottom limb features the American flag sticker highlighting where the bow is produced. The limb graphics are tastefully done and are a nice addition as well. These limbs are tough enough to withstand a lot of shooting under normal conditions.
Eccentric SystemThe single cam powering the Ross Cardiac 31 does a nice job of offering a smooth draw and decent speeds. With an IBO rating of 310 feet per second, this cam is not winning speed records, but it is more than enough to get the job done while hunting. With module adjustment in half inch increments between 25-30 inches, the Cardiac 31 is sure to fit the majority of shooters interested in a new bow. The cam features a draw stop, which makes contact with the limb giving it a solid feel, and 80 or 65% let off. The standard let off is 80%, but it is available in 65% as well for those interested in adding a little more speed and back end holding weight.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityAs mentioned before, the Cardiac 31 is not breaking speed records, but after shooting the bow many shooters will not care. This single cam draws smooth and pulls very easily through all the draw cycle transitions. The 80% let off is nice, and the valley is generous as well. The back wall is as solid as a single cam can be with the draw stop rolling over to contact the limb rather than the cables. After the arrow is shot, the dampening devices do a really great job settling everything down and removing any left over vibration. The bow is quiet and about as shock free as shooters would want. At times, the short axel-to-axel bow did feel like a short axel-to-axel bow. Although many shooters may want a bow to be a bit lighter than this one, doing so would take quite a bit away in terms of stability and anchoring on target. Overall, the bow shoots really well for a short axel-to-axel hunting bow, and the draw cycle is great as well. A little more speed would be a wonderful addition, but this would also change what the draw cycle feels like.
Usage ScenariosThis bow is a hunting bow at heart. The compact design of the Cardiac 31 does not meet the standard many target shooters are looking for, although most shooters will not notice a difference in accuracy at hunting distances. For target shooters, there are better options available, but for hunters wanting a compact smooth drawing bow, this may be the one.
SummaryThe Ross Cardiac 31 is backed by a huge name in the archery world, so shooters nervous about what they are getting should be comforted to know Bowtech has a part of this model. It is hard to find anything negative about the bow other than some appearance issues mentioned and the relatively slower speeds produced. However, hunters wanting a compact bow will love how smooth the Cardiac 31 is and how great it performs. Those interested in a new hunting bow should give this one a try.