10 of the Fastest Compound Bows Released For 2017

The compound bow industry continues to advance with technological advancements helping to not only increase the speeds but also make them smoother at the same time. The result is an increasing number of bows that are capable of incredible speeds and the bows are even more accurate than ever.

We take a look at 10 of the fastest compound bows released for the 2017 season based on their advertised IBO ratings. Not only are they listed together for comparison but we will also go a little deeper with each bow to work out which ones provide the best combination of power, precision and comfort. 

The bows have been presented below in order of their advertised IBO speeds. To get a quick picture of the capabilities of each bow you should take the time to go over the provided bow specifications for each entry.

PS​​​​E Full Throttle

The Full Throttle has been the industry leader when it comes to fast bows for a number of years now and it sits at the top again in 2017. According to PSE Archery it is a feat of precision engineering because it not only has a top speed of 270 fps but it is also incredibly accurate.

The bow uses the company’s X-Technology which reduces the poundage that is being pulled when drawing the bow. It also has pre-loaded parallel limbs for a more forgiving shot which works very nicely with the very short brace height of only 5.25 inches.

The bow is powered by the large Full Throttle Cams which are typically aggressive and are draw-length specific in order to provide every last bit of speed possible.

The bow has been equipped with a number of pieces of technology such as the FlexCable Slide, Vibracheck Limb Damper Bands and the Backstop 2 micro-adjustable string stop. Each component designed to help keep the bow as smooth as possible through the entire draw cycle.

There is going to be some cost of producing these speeds and it comes during the draw with the shooter experiencing some weight but it is an even pull that won’t give the arm any bumps during the process.

For the full on speed freak, the Full Throttle remains the leader of the pack and will give you a flat trajectory shot with tremendous penetration.

Find out more about the company by visiting the PSE Archery website.


Full Throttle Specs

Draw
Length

Draw Weight

Axle-to-Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

26.5" - 30"

50, 60, 65, 70 lbs

33-1/4"

3.7 lbs

5.25"

70%

362-370

APA King Cobra TF 2

As has been the case for the last year or so, APA Archery has made a run at producing the fastest compound bow in the market and the King Cobra TF 2 is capable of just about matching the Full Throttle. The bow has an advertised IBO rating of up to 370 fps.

The bow has been given a bit of an upgrade from the previous season and the brace height has been increased slightly to 5-5/16 inches.

The bow is powered by the MX True Dual Cam System that feature Dual Sealed Ball Bearing to give it added stability and speed. The bow is adjustable in half-inch increments and includes the APA Cam Lock that allows the strings or cables to be changed in the field without the need of a bow press.

The Twin Flex Limbs have been designed so that the energy is stored among two separate areas which allows greater levels to be stored. This is done thanks to the flex in the forked section. The way in which these limbs are designed reduces noise at the shot, smooths the draw cycle while increasing the possible speed of the bow.

The bow is a high performance bow that will provide short draw shooters as well as larger framed shooters to feel comfortable drawing it back.

Find out more about the company by visiting the APA Archery website.


King Cobra TF  2 Specs

Draw
Length

Draw Weight

Axle-to-Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

24" - 30"

50, 60, 70, 80 lbs

33-3/8"

4.0 lbs

5-5/16"

80%

up to 370

Obsession Huracon

The Huracon by Obsession is a long draw bow that has been designed to fit suit the frame of the larger shooter. With a draw length range that is limited to 30 to 32 inches with half inch increments, the bow will only fit a small proportion of people. However, it has also been designed to offer those people extreme speeds.

The bow has been designed around a significant platform with an axle to axle length of 34 inches. The power comes from the Obsession two-track DS Cam system and with draw weights ranging from 40 pounds up to 70 pounds and 80% let off, it is capable of reaching up to 366 feet per second.

The bow also features the Anti Torque Roller Guard to reduce cam lean during the bow’s draw cycle and this also adds to the ability to generate extra speed.

To go with the high speeds the bow has been created with a smooth draw that ends with a solid back wall and a forgiving release. This is the choice for the long draw archer who is looking for something with high end power and speed.

Find out more about the company by visiting the Obsession Bows website.


Huracon Specs

Draw
Length

Draw Weight

Axle-to-Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

30" - 32"

40, 50, 60, 65, 70 lbs

34"

4.1 lbs

6.5"

80%

up to 366

Xpedition Xcursion 6

The Xcursion 6 was released by Xpedition Archery as another high power hunting bow that provides the shooter with a combination of precision comfort and speed.

The bow is available with the PX3 and XS Plus cams to not only provide an IBO rating of up to 358 fps but also a smooth draw cycle. The cam systems provide you with a draw range of either 27 – 30 inches with the XS Plus or 25 – 26.5 inches with the PX3.

The bow also features a dual plane riser with the bridging design that is meant to control vibration and harness the harmonics. It also adds more rigidity to the rig without adding any unnecessary weight.

The bow has a good feel in the hand and draws back to a very comfortable valley. When it completes to draw and release cycle you are struck by how quiet it is and shoots with minimal vibration. The overwhelming consensus is that this is a very nice bow that meets all expectations when it comes to speed and smoothness.

Find out more about the company by visiting the Xpedition Archery website.


Xcursion 6 Specs

Draw
Length

Draw Weight

Axle-to-Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

25" - 30"

40, 50, 60, 65, 70 lbs

32.375"

3.9 lbs

6"

80%

up to 358

Obsession Def-Con M6Z

The Def-Con M6Z is the second bow from Obsession Archery to feature on the fastest bows list for 2017 and it is an impressive piece of equipment that should have hunters looking very closely at it.

The bow is equipped with the Def-Con Z cam system and it is this, in part, that is responsible for bow’s speed capability of up to 356 fps and the smoothness of the draw. The cams also have the patent pending PerFx System interchangeable mods that allow the draw length to be altered in half-inch increments.

Unlike some other speed bows, the draw cycle is extremely smooth rather than displaying the aggressive that often comes hand in hand with high power.

The bow has a draw length that ranges from 26.5 to 30 inches and the draw weight offers options that start as low as 40 pounds and reaches up to 80 pounds.

This is a compound bow that will provide you with the perfect option for either hunting or if you are hitting the 3D range.

Find out more about the company by visiting the Obsession Bows website.


Obsession Def-Con M6Z Specs

Draw
Length

Draw Weight

Axle-to-Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

26.5" - 30"

40, 50, 60, 65,
70, 80 lbs

32.25"

4.1 lbs

6"

80%

up to 356

APA Mamba 34 TF

The Mamba 34 TF compound bow has been released as a mid-sized bow in the range that is also lightweight. The other significant feature, of course, is its IBO rating which lands it at speeds of up to 355 fps.

The bow is powered by the MX Cam System which is designed to be as smooth as possible. It also makes the bow highly adjustable. This is a dual cam system and that means care must be taken when tuning. The EZ Tune Mods make the tuning process very easy.

The bow is smooth to draw and ends with a solid back wall that allows the shooter to hold for extended periods. At the shot there is little to no hand shock thanks to the low vibration levels.

The limbs are Twin Flex Limbs and they flex all the way through the forks for greater distribution of load. They are held in place by pivoting, machined aluminum pockets and the slim line and past parallel hold helps to keep the entire rig quiet.

Other features to reduce noise and ensure smooth delivery include the Limbsaver string-stop dampener that sits on a vibration-absorbing carbon rod and a carbon roller guide to reduce cable friction. The bow riser is also coated in Soft Touch Armor coating to eliminate contact noise.

Find out more about the company by visiting the APA Archery website.


APA Mamba 34 TF Specs

Draw
Length

Draw Weight

Axle-to-Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

25.5" - 31"

50, 60, 70,
 80, 90 lbs

33-3/8"

3.9 lbs

6-1/8"

80%

up to 355

Bear Legend LS-6

The Legend LS-6 was released by Bear Archery as the flagship compound bow for the 2017 season. It was built with every piece of high-technology that could be added to a bow. This means that it was created to not only shoot at very high speeds but with as much comfort and control as possible.

The bow is powered by the H17 Hybrid Cams. These cams are large in size and feature the adjustable DrawDial modules that have been present in bows from previous seasons. The draw length adjustment ranges from 27 to 30 inches and can be made in half-inch increments.

Also helping with the high speed capability are the Max-Preload Quad Limbs that have become almost expected from the company. The bow also uses limb pockets with high-strength barrel nuts and a Hinge Guard cable-guard system that helps to reduce torque.

One of the things about the bow that is immediately obvious is its appearance thanks to the bridged riser which makes it look different to all Bear bows released over previous seasons.

The bow has a brace height of only 5 inches yet it still displays a high degree of forgiveness. As a flagship bow and as a speed bow it has proven itself to sit among the finest bows released for the 2017 season. 

Find out more about the company by visiting the Bear Archery website.


Bear Legend LS-6 Specs

Draw
Length

Draw Weight

Axle-to-Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

27" - 30"

45-60, 55-70 lbs

32.25"

4.2 lbs

5"

70%

355

Darton DS-3900

The DS-3900 compound bow from Darton has been released as an upgrade on the extremely popular previous model, the DS-3800. The bow is slightly shorter and a little bit lighter than the DS-3800. It is also a faster compound bow too.

The bow is powered by the Darton Dual Sync (DS) cam system. This is the same cam system that has been used in the majority of the high-performance hunting bows that have been released over the years. In this case though, the cam orientation is slightly more aggressive and that could account for the higher speed.

The bow features E.E.T. laminated split limbs that extend past parallel when at full draw as well as rotating limb pockets and dual string suppressors. It also has a P.T.R. cable rod and this works to move the cables toward the centershot of the bow which will reduce torque.

As with some of the other bows we have looked at in this line-up, the brace height of the DS-3900 is a very short 5 inches. The draw cycle is not quite as smooth as the DS-3800 but neither is it rough. It ends in a firm back wall and will be able to be handled adequately by experienced bowhunters who are used to handling significantly powered bows.

Find out more about the company by visiting the Darton Archery website.


Darton DS-3900 Specs

Draw
Length

Draw Weight

Axle-to-Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

24" - 30"

40, 50, 60, 70 lbs

32-7/8"

3.9 lbs

5"

80%

350 to 355

Mathews Halon 5

The Halon was first released in 2016 as the flagship compound bow for the season .The bow was part of a series of bows that featured the Crosscentric Cams that offered a semi-concentric string payout. In this case, the bow that we are examining is the halon 5 which features a brace height of 5 inches.

When the bow is set up with a let off of 75% it has an IBO rating of up to 353 fps and it has proven to live up the company’s billing of being the hardest hitting flagship bow.

There is little problem in tuning the bow with the cam system providing a draw length range from 24 inches to 32 inches. It is possible to make small modifications to the bow in the field without a great deal of effort in the field.

The bow is quite compact with a measurement of 30 inches from axle to axle. It also features a dual riser bridge and a flat back grip.

The bow is typically a speed bow and the short brace height, combined with the short length of the bow can make it difficult to hold steady at full draw.

Find out more about the company by visiting the Mathews Inc website


Mathews Halon 5 Specs

Draw
Length

Draw Weight

Axle-to-Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

24" - 32"

40, 50, 60, 70 lbs

30"

4.4 lbs

5"

75, 80%

up to 353

APA Mamba 32 TF

The Mamba 32 TF is a compound bow that has been designed by APA Archery to be a particularly efficient shooting hunting bow. The TF in the bow’s name refers to the Twin Flex limbs that help to provide the impressive top end speed.

The bow is a dual cam bow that is powered by the highly efficient MX cam system. The cam system makes it easy to tune and adjust with the draw length ranging from 25 to 30.5 inches with half inch adjustments available.

This is a lightweight bow that weighs only 3.8lbs and with a relatively long brace height of 6-5/8 inches and up to 80% let off, it is also forgiving and quite an accurate shooter.

This meets the design criteria of the company when it aimed to produce the most efficient, accurate and easy to tune compound bow possible.

Customer feedback has been glowing across the board with shooters backing up the claim as to the accuracy and shootability of the bow. It has an IBO rating of 353 fps and it sits comfortably as one of the best speed bows available anywhere.

Find out more about the company by visiting the APA Archery website.


APA Mamba 32 TF Specs

Draw
Length

Draw Weight

Axle-to-Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

25" - 30.5"

40, 50, 60, 70, 80 lbs

32-1/4"

3.8 lbs

6-5/8"

80%

up to 353

What Does the IBO Rating Mean?

When we talk about the IBO rating of a compound bow we are referring to the accepted calculation to test bow speeds by the International Bowhunting Organization. When measuring the speed of a compound bow the IBO standard requires that the bow is set at a 30-inch draw length, the maximum draw weight is set at 70 pounds and it is shooting a 350-grain arrow.

This standard measurement took over from the previously used AMO (Archery Manufacturing Organization, this organization is now known as the ATA, or Archery Trade Association) standard which also requires that the bow’s draw length is set at 30 inches. The differences from here are that the bow is set at a 60-pound maximum and the bow is shooting a 540-grain arrow.

Both speed calculation methods provide the consumer with an easily understood and consistent way of measuring bows speeds against each other. 

One of the reasons why the IBO standard was more readily accepted over the AMO standard is because when the IBO method is used the speeds are higher. This, of course, impresses bowhunters and customers are more likely to buy the bows that boast the higher speeds.

It Will Be Quick, Just Not That Quick!

What this leads to is a cautionary word about the speeds you are actually going to achieve when you use a bow that has an advertised IBO speed of, say, 355 fps. It is very likely that you will be shooting arrows at significantly slower speeds. This may be because of a number of different factors.

You may have the bow set at a shorter draw length. If your draw length is 29 inches you will lose approximately 10 fps right off the bat. Next, you may be more comfortable pulling a 60 pound draw weight. This will further reduce the possible top speed of the bow. Now you decide to use arrows that are heavier than 350 grains and still more speed is shaved off.

Further to all of that, when manufacturers perform their speed test they will have set up their conditions – bow tuning, arrow composition, removal of all components – to be totally conducive to getting the highest possible speed reading out of the bow.

When you take your bow out hunting, it is going to loaded up with vibration dampening devices, a sight, possibly a shoot-thru rest and other equipment that are designed to increase accuracy and make the bow more comfortable to shoot, both of which are likely going to affect the speed of the bow.

The point is, you will still be equipping yourself with a mightily powerful bow when you buy one advertised with an IBO rating of 355 fps. It’s just not going to achieve that speed when you take it out into the field...but it’s still going to be bloody fast!

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