January 6th, 2004, 06:58 PM
compound bow review
After tens years of hunting with a PSE Mach Elite I decided it was time for a new bow. I used research and live testing of all the models I could find. I conducted live tests at two pro shops and Bass Pro shops. I wanted to find a smooth drawing bow that was quiet and at least as fast as my Mach Elite. Here is a list of bows that I shot along with the bow I ended up deciding on, The Martin Prowler SE.
Parker Hunter Mag--very smooth and quiet came in second. I would have been just as happy if I had chosen this bow.
Reflex Growler--smooth but excessive noise and vibration in grip--did not feel balanced.
Darton Fury--too much noise
Bowtech stalker--loudest bow out of the group, didn't feel right
Mathews Icon, lx, legacy--good balance, not nearly as smooth as many less expensive bows--all were quiet but I liked Hoyts, Parkers, and the Martin better still great bows, almost bought the Icon.
Hoyt Magnatec, Ultratec, Ultramag, Cybertec---Believe it or not but my favorites were the Magnatec and the Ultramag--cam .5 bows are very smooth. The Cybertec was the fastest. I couldn't have gone wrong with any of these.
PSE--Most of the lower-middle end PSE bows were not up to par with the other brands. The Primos bow is the only bow made by PSE that I have shot that I would consider. It was very smooth and quiet, the pro shop I shot it at offered it to me for $500 but I also shot the Ultramag along side it and liked it much better at $400. Overall I was very disappointed with the products PSE now carries.
Bear BuckmasterGL, trx, both were really good bows and would have been good choices. I didn't like the red all over the Buckmaster bow.
Martin Prowler SE, Cougar SE---both of these bows are awesome,,I chose the Prowler because out of the box it was the quietest bow of any tested by a wide margin. The Prowler was the only bow to shoot faster than IBO. I wanted to shoot a tracer magnum but everyone was sold out of that model. The Martins and the Parkers were also the smoothest drawing bows.
I brought my digital chronograph with me and used the same PSE cardon forse extreme arrows on all bows tested and the Martins, Hoyts, and Mathews were the only Manufactors whose bows came close to IBO,,my arrows were a little heavy at 375gr and had offset fletchings but I was consistent with weight and lengh at 70lbs-30" draw on most bows. I had to shoot 29" on the Ultramag and the Bowtech Stalker. I always brought a friend and had them shoot a few while I listened and watched arrow flight. I brought a notepad and took notes and returned to shoot a bow again if need be.
This process took about two months to complete but the end result is a bow that I'm very happy with and fits me. I hope to get ten years out of this bow. I think that most of the bows tested were incredible. I hope anyone looking to get a new compound goes out and looks hard before they buy. If the salesmen had it their way I would have spend twice the amount. Look hard there are excellent bows for less than $500.
April 30th, 2004, 06:15 PM
Thanks for the great report!
I'm kind of in a quandry. I may be facing the prospect of moving to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area in a couple of months (job transfer). My local Martin dealer doesn't stock the Prowler SE, but he is a terrific guy and I'd love to order the Prowler from him. Problem is if it takes upwards to 8 weeks to get the bow I could be on my way to Texas by then. He has the Hoyt UltraMag in stock and I love this bow too. So, I keep going back and forth as to what I should do, buy the UltraMag or wait and buy the Prowler SE (Tru_ARC) when I get to Texas. I called Eders and they have 2 RH Prowlers in stock with the Tru-ARC cams. Buying from them would dis the local guy who will give me 10% off all the accessories when I buy the bow. It really sucks.
Anyway, thanks for sharing all the hard work you went through to find your bow. Information like this is invaluable to folks starting out or getting back into archery (like me).
April 30th, 2004, 06:25 PM
May 29th, 2004, 05:46 PM
I got my prowler SE in a package from Hunters Friend. The Bow was set up perfect and exactly how I asked. Their price was the lowest I found and I had the bow shipped to me within a week.
I recommend that anyone in the market for a bow check out their site first www.huntersfriend.com
May 29th, 2004, 11:29 PM
It's always great to hear that after all the testing you bought a Martin. There is no one bow for everyone but we do work hard at trying to make the best bows we can. Hope you have years of great shooting.
Thanks for the report
May 29th, 2004, 11:58 PM
weezy, you didn't tell us - Dyna cam or Tru-Arc??
December 3rd, 2009, 11:16 PM
After years of use
I haven't been to this forum in years but I thought I'd come back and give my thoughts on this bow after a few years of service.
I still hunt with this bow. I have recovered every animal I've shot with this bow. I've taken several nice deer and a couple of big boars since I've purchased the Martin.
It is still much more quiet than my hunting friend's bows and it is a real nail driver out to 40 yards. My friend's tend to care more about speed than I do. They like bows with shorter brace heights. One of the things I like about this bow is that it has a longer brace height and I was able to get it in a 31" draw.
I did have to return it during the warranty period. During a summer hunt I notice I had a cracked limb while preparing to draw up on a boar. I sent it to Martin and they got it back to me within in month in time for Whitetail season. They were nice and send me a free ball cap for my troubles.
I haven't had to deal with them since. Mechanically the bow still works perfectly.
The camo finish is intact for the most part. I do feel it wore away in some spots too fast. I've had to use a sharpy a couple of time to touch up the paint.
The bow is heavy compared to today's bows. This bow is extremely forgiving and it holds on target easily. If I need to let down I can do so very slowly and quietly. The rubber inserts are all original as is the rubber grip. The bow is still in very good condition.
I'm please with how well the bow has held up and I have become attached to it because I've taken more game with this bow than any previous bow.
The negative would be weight and speed compared to what's available these days. The positive is this bow is extremely quiet with the right arrows and set up. It has turned out to be a really good working man's hunting bow. I've had no trouble tuning this bow.
When the times comes to purchase a new bow I'll do the same thing I did last time. I'll go shoot everything that is in my price range and get the bow that best fits me and my style of hunting. Hopefully that bow will hunt as well and as long as this one has.
limb savers and short rubber stabilizer
Terminator Hunter carbon arrows
Snake proof boots
a bunch of camo
a map and compass
and one very sharp knife.
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