Center Point crossbows online shopping and bow recommendations? Some years are speed years, and some are shootability years. Each January, as I shoot one flagship bow after another at the ATA Show, it becomes clearer and clearer which way the new crop of compounds is trending. And 2020 is a shootability year—but with a twist. Besides a couple notable exceptions, bow companies seem to have called a truce in the speed wars, at least for now. Whereas 350 fps was the IBO mark to hit last year, the majority of flagships I shot this time around were rated in the 340s and even 330s. In other words, you’re going to see a lot of smooth shooters on bow-shop shelves this year. And you’re going to see something else too: way more adjustability. Maybe the biggest trend for 2020 is that virtually every bow this year features a module or disc or locking screw that lets you customize the draw length, the draw weight, or the let-off, or allows you to fine-tune your bow for perfect bullet holes through paper—all without a press.
Bear goes back to the midprice bow with its new Status EKO. The EKO cam technology focuses on letoff flexibility, with four easy-to-switch options between 75% and 90%. The Align Lok lever within the riser allows you to adjust any sight to perfection. It’s one of the faster bows in the lineup at 344 fps, and it’s still pretty light at 4.3 pounds. The Status offers draw lengths of 26-30 inches. The brand offers two options for draw weight, the first between 45 and 60, and the second between 55 and 70. PSE’s 2020 flagship bow series offers three different heights. Its 31- and 33-inch offerings are well within the norm of the year’s axle-to-axle measurements. But the brand also has a 35-inch in the lineup. The whole goal for this lineup was a true dead-in-hand feel and an extremely quiet experience.
The 2019 Vertix from Mathews was one of the most vibration-free bows we’ve ever ran through the paces of our annual Bow Test. The VXR seems poised to set a new standard for vibration-free performance at this year’s test thanks to a melding of the Vertix’s top vibration-killing features with a totally new riser design that Mathews claims increases overall bow stability while further reducing vibration. The bow is also lighter thanks to a reconfigured riser design. It’s not a huge reduction in weight (last year’s Vertix weighed in at 4.7 pounds while the VXR 28 scales 4.44 pounds) but it is noticeable. The VXR is also smartly available in two lengths – 28 and 31.5 inches. The 28-inch model will certainly be more popular but the 31.5 is a long-range shooting machine. Advertised speeds are 344 fps for the 28 and 343 for 31.5.
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At first glance, this year’s Ravin looks an awful lot like last year’s Ravin. And it should. It has the same HeliCoil cam system that turned the crossbow world on its ear a couple years back. It has the same fore-end grip system (which is really, really good) and the same stock system. What’s new? The revamped cocking system is silent. It’s still super easy to use, Ravin has just eliminated the tell-tale click-click-click that signaled the bow was being cocked. The R29X measures 29 inches in length, which means it’s still plenty handy, but a little longer than last year’s ultra-compact 26-inch R26. It has a 12.5-inch powerstroke which launches 400-grain arrows at an impressive 450 fps. It’s priced at $2,650. There’s also an R29 that’s $300 cheaper with a speed rating of 430 fps.