I won’t lie… I was waiting with fair anticipation for the release of the 2018 Bowtech flagship bows…
For the last few years, Bowtech has brought out killer bows, every time just pipping the previous bow with being a bit more tunable, a bit smoother or a bit quieter. The speeds seem to stay in a 340-350fps IBO bracket, but realistically, who needs more than that?!
The bows also kept on getting better in balance, and really started aiming like target bows, not hunting bows. So yes… I really wanted to see what improvement they could squeeze out this time round!
The Realm came out in two versions, the Realm at 30 3/4″ ATA and the RealmX at 33 1/4″ but unlike previous versions of the short/long combinations in Bowtech’s history, the RealmX is the faster bow this time round.
Draw Length 25-31″
Draw Weight 50, 60, 70lbs
Brace Height 6 1/2″
IBO Speed 345fps
Axle-to-Axle 33 1/4″
And that should tell you absolutely nothing… except that its essentially the same spec as every other bow on the market today. What is not obvious there is the extras brought in on this bow.
The RealmX has the standard FLX guard system as well as the Overdrive Binary Cam System which has been proven over and over again. The Powershift module system has evolved and now remains as a flipdisk, which I always thought was all that was needed. It is simplified, and it works!
The MicroSync adjustable timing module has left the cam (I understood the reason it existed, but don’t think I ever used it myself) and instead we have the new CP Dual Lock System, which brings me to the limbs. Bowtech has rebuilt their limbs system (limbs, pockets, rockers, etc, etc) and you now have a solid core, wide limb on your favorite platform. I cannot give a long term answer, but according to other reviews and people who know people, the limbs are tested to withstand a minimum 100,000 shot cycles. Ask any target archer… Thats a lot of arrows!
Two extras worth mentioning is that the wider riser has a new Clutch Grip (interchangeable) although we don’t know what the other grip styles will look like – I quite liked the flat back grip that comes as standard.
The second is the inordinate amount of mounting points on the riser for weights and or dampeners. You can balance the bow exactly how you want it. Top, Bottom and sides!
I have not been lucky enough to hunt with it, but I did spend waaay too much time with it on the range. And one thing became quickly apparent. There is no use to test this bow on 20 or 30yds. Even 40yds is just stacking arrows one on top of another. So most of my time was spent shooting 50yd spots to see how I can force and torque, and distort my shots. I definitely prefer the RealmX to the Realm, but this might simply be because my 2017 hunting bow was the BT-Mag, which is also a long Axle-to-Axle bow.
The Bowtech Reign was the “soft spoken” bow, that aimed like nothing before and packed a punch. Quiet, smooth, discreet and deadly… and according to some, too little “attitude” to be a Bowtech bow. The RealmX doesn’t have that problem. Its the Pit Bull version of the Reign.
Everything is chunkier, everything is more solid, and it definitely has more feedback on the hand than any of the previous bows from the last few years. Nothing bad, and definitely not a dealbreaker if you like a softer handling bow… its just that when you pick it up, it feels like you mean business.
Like I said, I have not been lucky enough to hunt with it yet, but on the range, its definitely on target. On 50yds, I will very rarely stray out of a CD size grouping, mostly stacking arrows in a tennis ball size group.
The bow aims dead. Doesn’t bounce, doesn’t quiver, just sucks to the spot you are aiming at and go! So yes… we can go on about all the cool new tech on the bow, but at the end of the day, all that matters is will it deliver the arrow, with enough energy to the vitals? And does it instill enough confidence to do so?
In my setup, I shot 474gr Goldtip Kinetic 340 spine arrows on a 29″ draw from a 70lbs bow on the Performance setting, giving me a very respectable 286fps and 86.1ft-lbs of Kinetic Energy, which is more than enough for anything I can afford to hunt!
I really enjoyed this bow. After the first few shots, you get used to the more positive feedback, and start to discover the rock solid back wall, and how steady the aim is. Not a dozen arrows in, I was happily throwing arrows at any target I had a range for. No guessing, no luck, no “hoping” it’s there. It’s Just solid aim… shoot… repeat.
I wasn’t planning on taking it hunting any time soon, but after a day of shooting it, I am scheming and planning my way to an early season hunt, which is what a modern bow should be, shouldn’t it? The one you wake up to in the morning, and just quickly want to shoot 5 arrows with before going to work….
Thank you to Archer’s Edge for providing the Bowtech RealmX Test bow and range time. If you would like more info, or have a go with one of the demo units, please get hold of them (and mention that you read this article… it makes us look good!)