Some hunters want to use the fastest compound bows possible while others are looking for the smallest, most maneuverable that are lightweight.

But there is a growing number who are happy to trade off a few extra feet per second for a smoother, better feel in a bow that holds firmly on the target. This is commonly referred to as the bow’s forgiveness and there is a bow or two in every manufacturer’s line-up that has been designed to deliver a better feel, greater control and, in many cases, a slower speed.

These are the hunting compound bows released in 2020 that have been designed to be the most forgiving bows of the season. They have been put into alphabetical order based on compound bow manufacturer. We have also included the bow specifications of each bow, a short description as well as details about where you can go to buy each bow.

Bear Salute

The Salute is the bow in the Bear range that has been created to offer the perfect shooting experience for new and seasoned hunters alike.

The bow has an extremely smooth draw cycle that promises significant speed with an efficient action.

It features a 7.25 inch brace height for plenty of forgiveness, something the relatively inexperienced shooter will appreciate.

The draw length starts at only 20 inches and can be increased out to 30 inches offering great adjustability to grow with its owner.

The Ready To Hunt package includes a Trophy Ridge 3-pin sight, the Trophy Ridge Quick Shot Whisker Biscuit, a peep sight, and D-loop.

You can see all of the 2020 Bear Archery compound bows here.

Salute Specs

Draw
Length

Draw
Weight

Axle-to-
Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

20 - 30"

50-70 lbs

31.125"

4.0 lbs

7.25"

70%

300 fps

Bowtech Realm SS

The loudest advertised feature of this bow is that it is incredibly smooth to draw and shoot. It has been developed with comfort in mind and this simply makes it a very forgiving compound bow.

It is powered by the company’s Overdrive Binary cam system and it is this that helps in making it such a pleasure to shoot.

This bow has one of the shortest brace heights of those that have been nominated as among the most forgiving of 2020, but at 6 inches it is still a very accurate shooting bow.

The frame is quite small at 32 inches from axle to axle making it ideal for close quarters shooting but the weight is not overly light and the IBO rating of 337 fps is testament to the power it can generate.

Realm SS Specs

Draw
Length

Draw
Weight

Axle-to-
Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

25 - 31"

50, 60, 70 lbs

32"

4.3 lbs

6"

n.a.

337 fps

Bowtech Reckoning

The Reckoning compound bow has been around for a couple of years now and has been created as a reliably accurate crossover bow.

It will perform equally well on the 3D course as it will as a hunting bow out in the field.

The bow has been engineered with a feature the company has called DeadLock technology. This provides the shooter with far greater accuracy by allowing you to adjust the cams to the left or right to ensure the string path is perfect.

On top of that, in terms of forgiveness, the bow is good sized at 35” axle-to-axle and has a brace height of 7 inches.

This will help to achieve a comfortable position when drawing and releasing, exactly what a hunter is looking for in a reliable bow.

Reckoning Specs

Draw
Length

Draw
Weight

Axle-to-
Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

26 - 31"

50, 60, 70 lbs

35"

4.5 lbs

7"

n.a.

335 fps

Diamond Edge 320

This is a great value for money compound bow that has been aimed at a wide range of hunters from the very experienced to the newcomer.

The draw length and draw weight ranges cater to all body sizes and the brace height of 7.25 inches suggests that it will help enormously with accurately holding on the target.

It is powered by the Synchronized Binary Cam System giving it superior tunability and is also capable of 320 fps.

Add to all of that the fact that it has been released with an MSRP of only $449.

Edge 320 Specs

Draw
Length

Draw
Weight

Axle-to-
Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

15 - 31"

7-70 lbs

32"

3.6 lbs

7.25"

85%

320 fps

Elite Ritual 33

The Ritual series of bows have been designed by Elite Archery to deliver a bow that is extremely efficient in its operation.

The Ritual 33 measures just over 33 inches from axle to axle and epitomizes the efficiency that many hunters are looking for to achieve extreme accuracy.

The bow suits hunters with draw lengths ranging from 26.5 to 31 inches and it combines a brace height of 6.75 inches with up to 90% let off.

The bow is suited primarily for hunting but is also an ideal choice for use on the 3D course or at the target field. This should all add up to a bow that is extremely enjoyable to draw and shoot.

Ritual 33 Specs

Draw
Length

Draw
Weight

Axle-to-
Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

26.5 - 31"

50, 60, 65, 70 lbs

33.25"

4.3 lbs

6.75"

90-75%

345 fps

Hoyt Axius Ultra

The Ultra bows in the Hoyt range have been proven to be the most forgiving and accurate bows available this season and hunters have expressed their pleasure with the shooting experience on an ongoing basis.

It must be noted, this is a bow that is suited to larger shooters with a draw length range from 27 to 32 inches.

The bow is a good size at 34 inches from axle to axle and it boasts a brace height of 6.75 inches. With an IBO rating of 334 fps it will provide hunters of all sizes of game plenty of stopping power.

Axius Ultra Specs

Draw
Length

Draw
Weight

Axle-to-
Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

27 - 32"

30-80 lbs

34"

4.6 lbs

6.75"

n.a.

334 fps

Mathews Tactic

The Mathews Tactic compound bow is a shorter framed bow that offers the hunter a draw and release cycle that is incredibly smooth and very accurate.

The bow measures 30.5 inches from axle to axle which puts it in the running as the perfect bow for shooting from a tree stand or blind.

It caters to the vast majority of hunters with a draw length range from 23 to 30 inches and the brace height is a comfortable 7 inches. It has an IBO rating of up to 335 fps.

For a bow with an MSRP of only $849 this is a quality hunting bow that gives the hunter a great shooting experience from start to finish.

Tactic Specs

Draw
Length

Draw
Weight

Axle-to-
Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

23 - 30"

50, 60,70 lbs

30.5"

4.24 lbs

7"

80%

335fps

New Breed BX32

The BX32 was first introduced in 2019 by New Breed and the bow is returned for the 2020 season, still sporting the innovation of the Split Gusset Riser.

The bow is mid-sized measuring 32.25 inches from axle to axle. It boasts a brace height of 7.25 inches for a forgiving and comfortable draw and shoot cycle over longer distance shots.

The Bionix 2.5 Modular Cam System is used to power the bow and it is this cam system that has enabled new Breed compound bows to grow in popularity with the hunting community.

With a draw length range of 24.5 to 30.5 inches and a bow weight of 4.2 pounds, the bow sits neatly in the center of the specification range making it a bow that will appeal to the vast majority of hunters.

BX32 Specs

Draw
Length

Draw
Weight

Axle-to-
Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

24.5 - 30.5"

50, 60, 65, 70 lbs

32.25"

4.2 lbs

7.25"

n.a.

330 fps

PSE Drive 3B

The Drive is one of the most tried and trusted models in the PSE Archery range and is built with a binary cam system that has been offered for years at a very affordable price. It is known for the shooting comfort it provides.

It is returned again in 2020 with a cam system that provides plenty of available adjustment with a smooth draw cycle.

The bow is powered by the 3B cam, a 3-track binary cam, which allows for a draw length of 25.5 – 31 inches. It has a speed rating of up to 330 fps.

The bow has been created to be a smooth shooting bow with 85% let-off and it only weighs in at 3.7 lbs. With a brace height of 7 inches it all adds up to one of the more forgiving and accurate bows in the marketplace as well as being one of the most affordable thanks to its MSRP of $699.99.

Check out this bow and all of the bows in the 2020 PSE Archery range.

Drive 3B Specs

Draw
Length

Draw
Weight

Axle-to-
Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

25.5 - 31"

60, 70 lbs

29.5"

3.7 lbs

7"

85%

330-322 fps

Quest Thrive

The Thrive compound bow from G5’s Quest range uses a new lightweight 82X aluminum which is stiffer and lighter than the aluminum used elsewhere.

The bow, as a result, is a high performing bow that torques less and makes less noise with reduced vibration. All of this means that it will be more comfortable to shoot and will be capable of greater accuracy.

The  forgiveness comes from a combination of the size of the bow which measures 33.75 inches from axle to axle and the brace height which is a full 7 inches.

The bow is also blessed with a great deal of speed at 328 fps.

Thrive Specs

Draw
Length

Draw
Weight

Axle-to-
Axle

Weight

Brace
Height

Let Off

Speed
(IBO)

26 - 31"

50, 60, 70 lbs

33.75"

4.3 lbs

7"

n.a.

328 fps

Why Brace Height Is Important to a Bow’s Forgiveness

There are many factors that contribute to a compound bow’s functionality but one of the measurements that is linked to its forgiveness is the brace height.

The brace height is the measurement from the throat of the bow’s grip to the center of the bowstring.

The longer the brace height, the more forgiving the bow is said to be.

The reason for this is that because the longer the brace height, the shorter the distance the string travels from the “at rest” position to the archer’s full draw position. This reduces the time the arrow is in contact with the string thus reduces the chances of torque (or any other shooting imperfections) affecting the accuracy.

It should be pointed out that because the powerstroke is shorter when the brace height is longer the arrow velocity will be lower. It’s a trade-off that must be considered.

In short, the technique of the archer is far more crucial if you are shooting a bow with a shorter brace height. You get away with less than perfection when the brace height is longer, hence, more forgiving.

The bows that are examined above have all been designed to give the shooter the best possible shooting experience in terms of comfort and accuracy. This may come at the expense of speed but not everyone believes faster is better.

Shooters who are smaller framed might also be interested in our list of Short Draw Compound Bows Released in 2020.


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