A first look at the new compounds and crossbows wrapped in Realtree camo from the 2020 Archery Trade Show
The first bow show of a new decade begins today. Since 1997, members of the archery industry including manufacturers, dealers, media, state agency representatives and more have gathered each January for the Archery Trade Show — known to most as the ATA Show — where the year’s best new bowhunting gear is unveiled. If you’re a bowhunter, there’s nothing quite like it.
The ATA Show is a members-only event, and there’s a lot to cover here. But we’re going to kick things off with what we know you want to see the most: the new bows and crossbows. Here’s a look at the lineup from top manufacturers, available for 2020 in Realtree camo patterns. Be sure to check back on our ATA Show coverage each day, because as we walk the aisles of the show and see new stuff, we’ll be adding to our lists.
Hoyt Carbon RX-4 Alpha
Hoyt’s new flagship promises to continue the company’s long mastery of carbon riser performance. An integral part of the rock-solid riser is the new grip system, which adjusts left, right and laterally for a perfect fit. The third-generation ZTR cam combines Hoyt’s legendary speed with a smooth draw and solid back wall, and the modular adjustment system makes dialing in your draw length a snap. With a 29.5-inch axle-to-axle length, 6.125-inch brace height, and mass weight of 3.9 pounds, the RX-4 Alpha will be a versatile, high-performance hunting package.
Not only is the new flagship from Bear Archery capable of generating arrow speeds of up to 344 fps but it also boasts the EKO Cam System, which allows for four customizable let-off options ranging from 75 to 90%, and it virtually eliminates cam lean. The Status EKO measures 33 inches axle to axle, features the new Contraband Strings, and is ninja-quiet, thanks to the SonicStops dual string suppressors.
The 2020 flagship in Mathew’s lineup is the VXR28. The coolest thing about this bow is the Crosscentric Cam system with Switchweight Modules, which allow users the chance to change draw length and weight with a simple and quick mod change. If you’re starting out the summer shooting season and want to work your way from 60 pounds to 70 by the opening bell, you easily can, without adjusting the limbs or taking a trip to the pro shop. The VXR28 features a 6-inch brace height, is available in draw lengths of 25.5 to 30 inches, and tips the scales at just under 4.5 pounds. A 31.5-inch model is also available.
It’s tough to beat the long-term durability of an Excalibur recurve crossbow — but the newest ones are packed with modern features, too. The flagship Assassin 400 TD shoots bolts at blistering speeds (up to 400 fps), thanks to a 325-pound draw weight and 15-inch power stroke, but in a compact package that’s just 30 inches long. The bow is easy to cock, thanks to the Charger crank system, and features Excalibur’s innovative quick Take-Down system. You can’t appreciate how handy that is unless you’ve traveled with a crossbow. The package includes four arrows with a quiver and points, 30mm scope, carrying case, sound deadening system and more.
This one fits the bill for hunters who are searching for a high-end crossbow, but need to save a few pennies. The Micro 340 TD sports some of Excalibur’s best and newest features including the quick Take-Down system, but with a more bare-bones accessory package. It’s still plenty fast at 340 fps, and at 5.6 pounds, it’s one of the lightest crossbows on the market — and one of the few you'll find finished in Realtree's hot new Timber pattern. The accessory package includes four arrows with points and quiver, scope, rope-cocking aid, owner’s manual and more.
Shopping for a solid hunting setup that won’t break your wallet? Look no further than the MXR from Mission Archery. This 30-inch bow is built around the Mathews' Crosscentric Cam technology which not only produces nock-busting groups but will also send your arrows downrange at up to 324 fps. Finished in optional Realtree Original camo and built with an ergonomic profile to reduce torque, the MXR is one of the best values on the bow market today.
Elite’s new flagship, the KURE, continues with the trend of maximum adjustability without a bow press. The Versa Mod system provides 7 inches of draw length adjustment, and the new S.E.T. Technology (Simplified Exact Tuning) allows shooters to make micro angle adjustments at the limb pockets to affect cam lean and allow for an easier tuning experience. Let-off is adjustable from 70 to 90%. Of course, expect the bow to sport Elite’s signature smooth draw cycle. The KURE clocks speeds of up to 335 fps, weighs 4.6 pounds, and is available in peak weights of 40 to 70 pounds.
Obsession Bows Evolution XS
Measuring 31.5 inches between axles and weighing in at a feathery 4.4 pounds is the new Evolution XS from Obsession. Even though Obsession is a relative newcomer in the compound bow world, they’ve earned a loyal following by building bows like this one, which is capable of firing arrows at speeds of up to 338 fps, is draw-length adjustable without a bow press, and is designed with the OB Adjustable 4-Track Cam System for easy tuning and laser-like arrow flight.
Finished in Realtree Timber and measuring just a smidge less than 30 inches axle to axle, the new Thresher X is an ideal choice for small-framed archers looking for high-end bow performance without the price. Not only is this one a killer deal, it’s one of the lightest bows on the market at only 3.68 pounds, and is capable of producing speeds of up to 328 fps. Choose from peak draw weights of 30, 40, 50 and 60 pounds, and draw lengths ranging from 23 to 28 inches.
Always on the cutting edge of innovation, Bowtech didn’t take its foot off the gas with the Revolt. The new Deadlock (TM) cam system allows you to slide the cams along the axle until they’re perfectly aligned, then lock them in for a killer tune. The limb pocket is also redesigned, as is the cable containment system. With a 30-inch axle-axle length, 7.25-inch brace height and 335 IBO speed, the Revolt promises to be one of Bowtech’s most accurate, forgiving bows ever.
Prime’s new Black Series features four bows of different lengths (31, 33, 35 and 39 inches) operating on the same platform. New to the Black series is the ROTO cam technology, which features a rotating module that allows precise draw length adjustments with an Allen wrench and no bow press. Also new is the Easy Tune Shim Kit, which increases tuning capability by allowing cams to be shifted left or right for perfect arrow flight. Brace height and arrow speed are dependent on bow length.
PSE Bandit NXT
The iconic bow company is celebrating 50 years and as always, putting a full field of great new bows on the market. The Bandit NXT is designed for peak performance for smaller-framed shooters. It sports the Evolve cam, same as PSE's high-end flagship bows, but draw lengths range from 20.5 to 26 inches, with either 40- or 50-pound limbs. The bow itself is just 28 inches axle to axle and weighs 3.7 pounds. It offers speeds of up to 307 fps when set at 26 inches.
This model was released in 2019, but they pulled it from production shortly after the original launch. They opted to give the bow a big overhaul and vamp it up even more. It has a new cam system, fully adjustable module and a high-grade aluminum riser. This bow is 32 inches axle-to-axle and weighs 4.4 pounds out of the box. It has a brace height of 6.75 inches, draw length range of 25.5 to 31 inches and a draw weight range of 40 to 55 or 55 to 70 pounds. No bow press necessary to make adjustments. It flings arrows at 325 fps.
This model has the six-position, AR-style buttstock, which shortens the crossbow’s overall length of pull for smaller-frame shooters. It also has a Micro-Lite aluminum barrel that reduces overall weight to 6.85 pounds. Its total length is 34.5 to 37 inches, cocked width is 14.75 inches and uncocked width is 18.75 inches. The draw weight is 220 pounds. Trigger pull is set to 3.5 pounds and once it launches, arrows are soaring at 415 fps with 141 foot pounds of energy.
This is the ultimate hunting and target combo bow. It boasts incredible in-hand balance. This model weighs 4.5 pounds, is 34 inches axle-to-axle, and has a brace height of 6.5 inches. Peak draw weight options come in 40, 50, 60, 65 or 70 pounds. Draw length is adjustable from 26.5 to 31.5 inches, and you don’t need a bow press to make changes. It has 80% letoff and sends arrows at 345 fps (IBO).
The new MX series sports a new limb pocket design that maintains perfect alignment throughout the entire power stroke. It also includes the new Hybrid Duel Stop (HDS) cam system, which allows archers to choose between cable stop, limb stop, or a combination of both. This model weighs 4.2 pounds and measures 32.75 inches axle-to-axle. It has a 5-inch brace height, a draw length range of 25 to 30 inches and peak draw weights of 40, 50, 60, 65 and 70. It has 80% letoff and launches arrows at IBO speeds of 358 to 362 fps. That’s a bit quick.
Looking to buy a great bow on a budget? The new Divergent EKO from Bear is a solid option. Its HingeGuard technology reduces torque by using mechanical displacement, making the bow much more forgiving. It weighs 4.1 pounds and measures 30 inches axle to axle. It comes with a 6.5-inch brace height, a draw weight range of 45 to 60 pounds, and a draw length range of 26 to 30 inches. Letoff percentages range from 75 to 90%. It sends arrows at up to 338 fps.
This is one of several ready-to-hunt package bows that Bear sells. It comes equipped with six Trophy Ridge accessories, weighs 5.8 pounds and measures 32 inches axle to axle. It has a 6.25-inch brace height, draw weight range of 45 to 60 pounds and draw length range of 23 to 30 inches. It comes with 80% letoff and launches arrows at 330 fps.
The new ADX hunting bow features Martin’s new HYBRIX Cam system with Helix Groove in the lower cam, which they say eliminates cam lean by transferring the load across the cam as the bow cycles from static to dynamic position. The Mass Distribution System allows the archer to determine where in the cam to place the required weight to tune the bow and arrow. The ADX 7 has a 7-inch brace height, is 28 inches axle to axle and weighs 4.29 pounds. It sports 85% letoff, has a draw-length range of 26 to 30.5 inches, and draw weight ranges of 55 to 65 and 65 to 75 pounds. This bow is short, compact, quiet, fast and has virtually no hand shock. It comes in Realtree EDGE, Polar EDGE and Excape.
Check out all our coverage from the 2020 ATA Show including: