Ross Crave 31.5 Review

Ross Crave 31.5

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Pros

  • Smooth draw force curve
  • Decent speed with IBO speeds of 335 feet per second
  • 3.8 pounds bare bow weight meets many shooters expectations

Cons

  • 6.5-inch brace height may be a little short for some
  • Smooth draw cycle, but feels very stiff

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Editors' review

The Ross Crave 31.5 meets the lightweight standards many shooters look for weighing in at only 3.8 pounds. The Crave draw cycle producing an IBO speed of 335 feet per second is surprisingly smooth, but may be a little stiff feeling for some shooters. With lots of adjustability, top-notch technology, and an MSRP of $749.99, the Crave 31.5 may be what many shooters are looking for in a hunting bow.

Finish

The Crave 31.5 looks really great in both available finish options. The first option sports a black riser and carbon fiber looking limbs, which makes the bow very appealing especially with a colored set of stock Winners Choice strings and cables. For bow hunters wanting a camo pattern, the Realtree AP High Def. pattern not only looks amazing, but offers shooters the ability to match bow accessories to the popular pattern. The dipping finish options are done to perfection reaching all hard to reach areas of the bow without runs , pits, or blemishes.

Riser

The Crave 31.5 riser is relatively long in design making it easier to hold on target. The extreme lightweight machined aluminum riser has cutouts designed to lighten the overall mass of the bow while maintaining strength and durability. Above the shooters hand is an extra wide broad head guard, which is a neat feature shooters hopefully do not have to find out how well it works. Riser cutouts located around the limb pockets feature the DRT riser-dampening device to transfer vibration away from the shooters hand. Combined with the rear mounted string stop system, the bow has limited hand shock that does not last long. Shooters that use a front mounting stabilizer have the option to mount to the stainless steel mounting hole off the front of the riser that lines up directly to the string stop system. The traditional cable guard slide gets the job done, and the dampener located on the rod helps to eliminate even more of the bows vibration.

Grip

The side-plated grip of the Crave 31.5 fits the shooters hand very well. The thin neck widens out to a flat back that fits right where it should allowing for repeatable hand placement every time. Shooters coming from all styles of grips should not have much trouble adjusting to the Crave Grip. The plastic side plates will help with hand warmth during cold weather sits on stand.

Limbs

The Ross composite material solid construction limbs come with two finish options. The carbon fiber look alike limbs come standard on the black riser and the Realtree limbs equip the camo riser. Shooters have a variety of options for draw weight with maximum poundage in 50, 60, and 70 pounds. With the ability to adjust by 10 pounds or so, shooters should be able to find a weight to match their needs. Of the several bows tested, the maximum weight was 2-4 pounds over the heavier than listed.

Eccentric System

The 2-track dual sync cam system powers the Crave to an acceptable IBO speed of 335 feet per second. Draw length is adjustable using a module system with half-inch increments between 26-30 inches. Perhaps the best feature of the Crave cam system is the dual string stop post located on each cam that rolls over making contact with the top and bottom limb. This aides in a very solid back wall that is somewhat adjustable. Although the let off is not adjustable, 80% seems to be a popular choice for many shooters.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The draw cycle on the Crave is very stiff. Shooters choosing 70-pound limbs will know they are pulling 70 pounds. Despite being a stiff draw cycle, the draw is very smooth for producing 335 feet per second. There is a little hump in the draw cycle before reaching full draw, but it is very manageable and is easy to get used to. The dual draw stop produces a very solid back wall with a little valley. Shooters will be able to relax a little bit while at full draw, but pulling into the solid back wall will produce the best results for shooters. After the shot, there is a little hand shock, but this can be taken care of by mounting a stabilizer. The bow holds well on target for weighing in less than 4 pounds and sporting a 31.5-inch axel-to-axel measurement. Although brace heights under 7-inches gets a bad reputation, shooters should not be scared of how this 6.5 inch brace height bow performs.

Usage Scenarios

The Ross Crave 31.5 is designed for the hunter in mind. It has a relatively short axel to axel measurement at 31.5 inches, and follows the light weight trend of hunting bows weighing in at 3.8 pounds. This bow works well in any hunting situation including spot and stalk, ground blind hunting, and sitting in a tree stand. The solid back wall, fast speeds, and limited vibration make the Crave a a killing machine.

Crave 31.5 vs. Crave 33.5

Bow Ross Crave 31.5 Ross Crave 33.5
Version 2012 DRT 2012 DRT
Picture Ross Crave 31.5 Ross Crave 33.5
Brace Height 6.5 " 6.5 "
AtA Length 31.5 " 33.5 "
Draw Length 26 " - 30 " 27 " - 31 "
Draw Weight 40 lbs - 70 lbs 40 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed 335 fps 335 fps
Weight 3.8 lbs 4.0 lbs
Let-Off 80% 80%
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Ross developed two models of the Crave to appeal to all types of shooting styles. Both bow feature the same technology and virtually the same specifications including a 6.5 inch brace height, 335 feet per second, all powered by the same modular cam system. The longer Ross Crave 33.5, does hold a little better, and has a little less hand shock. However, many shooters prefer the lighter, shorter 31.5. The final decision comes down to matching the shooters needs to the axel-to-axel measurement.

Summary

Overall, the Crave 31.5 is a a nice shooting hunting bow. Although the draw cycle is a little stiff, it is not a deal breaker. The IBO speed of 335 feet per second is a nice number, and the dual draw stop posts contacting both limbs makes a great feeling back wall. Ross seemed to take note of the new trend for bows to be lighter in overall mass and shorter in axel-to-axel measurements. The Crave 31.5 addresses both trends. Shooters in the market for a reasonably priced hunting bow should find a Ross Crave 31.5 and try it out.




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