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I started out looking for a bow in the $500 range and I didn't want to spend too much outside of the initial purchase so I looked at a lot of package bow offerings. I went through and shot every package bow that my local shop had to offer (including the one's outside of my price range) to get a feel for what I was looking for.

For me I knew that anything and everything that I tried was going to be great because I was coming from a 20+ year old PSE. I was pulling back 85# with it and it was a real workout to shoot. The first four bows that I pulled out to shoot were the Hoyt Powerhawk, Superhawk, BT Tomkat, and the Diamond Justice. I shot the Hoyt's first and knowing they were out my price range I wanted to use them as a base for what I was looking for. They had nicer accessories than any of the other package bows I shot which I didn't find to be that much of a factor in determining which bow I was going to buy, anyhow.

The Hoyt's were very smooth, the draw cycle was nice, they were quiet and I liked the fit and finish. Putting about 50 arrows through them really didn't even phase me, but there was an X-factor about them that didn't feel right. I never really figured out what it was, though.

The next bow I shot was the Tomkat. Both the Hoyt's I shot were set at 60# and the Tomkat was turned up to 70. Right away I noticed that it had a more severe draw cycle, a more dramatic break over, and was all-in-all not as smooth as the Hoyt's were, but it felt really great in my mitts. The release felt great with the Tomkat. No hand shock, almost as quiet as the Hoyts, and the arrows hit much harder. Even though the sights were fancier on the Hoyt's I actually preffered the simple Black Gold sight on the Tomkat. This one really felt like a winner from the start.

The next bow I picked up was a Diamond Rock. I shot about 3 arrows through it and put it back on the rack. It wasn't one of the bows I pulled to shoot, but it was already out and it was under my price range, so I figured I would give it a go. It had a smooth draw cycle, but the release felt awkward and it was noisy. Didn't do it for me at all. Moved straight to the Justice from there. Wow... what a difference one step in the line makes. The Justice was the sweetest shooting bow I picked up. It was the smoothest, the quietest, and it felt really balanced for me. The only minus that I took away was that it wasn't flinging the arrows near as hard as the Tomkat and it was a 60# max.

After the initial group, I pulled out a PSE Firestorm X, a Reflex package bow, and a couple others I don't care to remember. The PSE was awful, and the Reflex, although really nicely set up was just not my cup of tea.

That was the end of the first day of bow shopping. I had a pretty good idea that the battle for my soul would be between the Tomkat and the Justice. Those were the only 2 in my price/performance sweet spot and out of all the bows I shot I liked the feel of them best. I spent 4 hours shooting and pining the next day. The people at the shop were notifying me they were going to start charging rent.

In the end, even though the Justice was smoother the Tomkat grabbed at me a little harder. It may have been the special Advantage Max 4 HD camo it sported, or it may have been the little bit of extra pop I got with it but in the end I knew we were made for each other. After I decided, I slept on my decision for a night and came in the next day with my wallet open wide. New bow, a dozen Easton ST Excel arrows and a huge smile only cost me ~$560. Of course in the next week I dropped another Benji or so on stuff.

I've spent a lot of time shooting, needless to say, since the purchase. I'm so amazed at what kind of accuracy I'm getting. I've shot two knocks, both at 40 yrds., and two days ago I had my very first true robin-hood at 30yds.

As you can tell by my epic first post, I'm still really excited as I'm getting serious about archery. I know that I'll probably be back to the bow shop with an even bigger wad of cash in a couple seasons. It's become my new obsession, and I'm sure many of you have a similar story.

To close out, I guess I should introduce myself (For some reason that seems a little backwards). My names Ingo, I'm from Phoenix Arizona, and I'm 24 years of age. Nice to meet you all!
 

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Awesome right up man... feels good to get that new bow and just shoot in the back yard doesnt it. Whenever I bought my new one I shot until my shoulder felt like it was going seperate from the rest of my body. Oh and by the way... the part you said about going back with more cash in a couple seasons is exactly right. Good shootin.
 

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My father always said, "Nothing succeeds like success." When you start out with something you really like and have good success right out of the shoot, you are off to a great start.

Keep'em fly'n.

Automan
 

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Good Choice. I looked hard at the Tomkat two years ago when I was aggressively hunting a new bow. The Tomkat, unfortunately, lost out to a great clearance deal on an Elite E500 (a.k.a. Allegiance). Despite the E500's claimed IBO of 332-338, I have still contemplated getting a Tomkat for a "Back-up" bow. Now with the Tomkat gone for 2009, I'm getting a burning desire to find one of the last ones on the shelf and call it "mine".

By the way, when I tested the Tomkat, the salesman let me shoot a shop Tribute and his personal 3-D Allegiance for a side-by-side comparison. Out of the three, I was more comfortable and consistent with the Tomkat. You made a great choice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good Choice. I looked hard at the Tomkat two years ago when I was aggressively hunting a new bow. The Tomkat, unfortunately, lost out to a great clearance deal on an Elite E500 (a.k.a. Allegiance). Despite the E500's claimed IBO of 332-338, I have still contemplated getting a Tomkat for a "Back-up" bow. Now with the Tomkat gone for 2009, I'm getting a burning desire to find one of the last ones on the shelf and call it "mine".

By the way, when I tested the Tomkat, the salesman let me shoot a shop Tribute and his personal 3-D Allegiance for a side-by-side comparison. Out of the three, I was more comfortable and consistent with the Tomkat. You made a great choice!
Yeah, a few days after I bought my bow the 09's were put on the rack. I got a 20% discount on my bow for the 08' closeout. I shot the new Sniper and I wasn't all that impressed with it compared to the Tomkat. It looks fancier and is more expensive, though. I did like the S.W.A.T., though.
 

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Congrats on the Tomkat. I put one on layaway this weekend. It's a closeout package and like you I shot other brands...few of the higher end Bowtechs and Mathews and Hoyts and I knew immediately that I wanted the BT Tomkat after I drew back and let 'er fly. I was surprised at how solid the back wall was and how there was no hand shock on the shot. It just "felt" better for me than the others and I think that's the best way to get a bow. :thumbs_up
 
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