Ross Headhunter Review
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Editors' reviewRoss Archery has created an impressive competitor for the annual budget flagship bow race. Their new Headhunter has a whirlwind of attributes that make this bow stand out from the rest, but the low price does come with more of a simplistic platform. This compound fits the bill for archers of all experience levels, but will not accommodate younger or smaller framed archers due to its limited draw length adjustment. Beginners and hunters alike should give this bow a long, well deserved look!
FinishRoss' Headhunter is available in two color options from the factory, both offered by the distinguished brand Kryptek. The Highlander finish is a traditional desert camouflage color, where the Typhon finish is a mixture of dark shades that is viewed as a mottled black from any distance. Both options, being uniquely designed, will stand out at the range and function desirably in the woods. The dipped riser has no visible seams, perforations, or coat separation, but the bow is backed up by a lifetime warranty if any issues would be noticeable. Additionally, Vaportrail strings are offered in two color options. Overall, there is a definite attention to detail in the construction and assembly of the Headhunter.
RiserThe Headhunter is designed with a fully machined aluminum reflex riser. Setting itself apart from other compound models, this bow has integrated dampeners, minimal limb pockets, and an exceptional string stop. Featured within the riser itself, Limbsaver dampeners were custom made for the reduction of vibration within the cutouts of the riser, reducing felt vibration after the shot sequence. Where most predecessor's limb pockets have had a reputation for being bulky, the design for this bow is simple due to its solid limb design. Additionally, where most string stops are created from a carbon rod and a block of soft rubber, the Headhunter features a Muddy Outdoors Bloodsport ZVT stop, incorporating angled brushes to slow the string down and reduce oscillations. With this system, there is no noticeable noise resulting from the contact with the string. Lastly, the large cutouts and highly reflexed riser allow for complete parallel limb design while regaining the strength necessary to transfer the maximum kinetic energy into your arrow.
LimbsThis flagship bow features a truly full parallel limb design at full draw, maximizing the cancellation of upward and downward forces to result in little to no hand shock. The solid limbs are created from a Gordon Glass fiberglass composite. Their roughly 12" length equates to a standard 7" brace height, and with a 32" axle-to-axle, is very average in regard to shooting specifications for the typical hunter or backyard shooter. Compared to split limbs of a similar nature, solid limbs will be more robust and consistent, however they will weigh more, produce less speed, and have more material to allow vibration. However, to keep with the simplistic platform, the design features of this compound are still impressive for the price range.
GripRoss' two piece molded composite grip is standard on nearly all of their models and is an adequate handle for consistent shooting from all age ranges. It is of a carbon fiber finish and has a clear coat of a smooth, yet resilient substance to reduce torque. To some, it may be bulky, due to its right or left hand specific design, but the comfortability the fitted grip creates makes up for the universal design. The grip's location on the riser allows for a natural wrist location and allows for additional stability.
Eccentric SystemUtilizing a two track binary cam system, this compound is rated IBO for speed up to 320fps. As with most typical binary platforms, letoff originates at 80% and is adjustable by a few percent with the dual limb-actuated draw stops. With a fixed draw module, adjusting the draw length will place the resting point at a different place on the draw force curve, resulting in more or less effort to hold at the back wall. Even though draw length is only changed by switching draw modules, they can be purchased at anytime from Ross Archery for a sufficient price. The cams rotate around stainless steel axles and contained sealed bearing to tolerate harsh weather conditions. Lastly, with most binary cam bows, there will be some cam lean present, and this bow does not change that fact with a small amount of lean on both cams.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityAs with other models from Ross Archery, the cams were designed for a pleasant shooting experience, not simply to produce the maximum amount of energy from the draw cycle. The binary cams build up in terms of draw weight very rapidly, provide a smooth transition to peak weight, and drop off to a sufficient holding poundage at the very end of the draw. During the cycle, you are holding at the designated peak weight for close to half of the distance; by doing so the cams allow for progressive acceleration to transfer energy into the arrow, ultimately pushing it with more velocity out of the compound. The 7" brace height allows for a high level of forgiveness, and the average axle-to-axle measurement equates to a semi-compact, yet pleasurable shooting experience. All of these attributes go well with the dual limb-actuated draw stop and provide a pleasurable shooting environment.
Silencing PackageThe Headhunter comes equipped with dual Limbsaver riser dampeners, a Limbsaver cable rod dampener, and Limbsaver string leeches. Paired with the revolutionary non-rubber Muddy Outdoors Bloodsport ZVT string stop, very little sound and vibration is produced from the shot sequence. Although solid limb dampeners can be easily installed, they would only make a minimal difference in performance. It is an exceptional silencing package for a flagship bow.
|Brace Height||7 "|
|AtA Length||32 "|
|Draw Length||27 " - 31 "|
|Draw Weight||50 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||320 fps|
| Where to buy |
Best prices online
With very similar specs, the Ross Crave 31.5 is geared more towards the "Treestand" archer. Along with a reduction in axle-to-axle length to 31.5", the Crave DRT has a smaller brace height measurement of 6.5", a higher IBO speed rating of 335fps, the option of lighter (40-50lb) limbs, and a shorter minimum draw length of 26". With that, the Headhunter is $50 less in terms of MSRP, and is their only model to be fitted with Kryptek camouflage. They both are very adequate models for the beginner or experienced archer, it is a mere personal preference that sets one apart from the other.