A&H ACS CX 1pc 56" 47#@28"
The first thing is rather obvious but the bow is very short, I have had 58" bows in the past but this seems much shorter than those, almost like a child's bow, but that all of course goes away when you try and draw it back. It's smooth in regards to being a consistent weight through the draw and that means the power comes on instantly, if you had a much shorter draw than me I would imagine you would still be getting a lot of power from the bow. It feels all of it's 47# pounds but once I had warmed up a bit getting it back to full draw was no problem (how I used to shoot 55# I will never know).
The limbs are not as needle like as the 3PC, fairly wide at the handle and getting thinner at the tips, but I would imagine the short dimensions make them look wider than they actually are, I didn't have a chance to compare them with the 3PC. The limbs are all black with the standard matt outer finish, that scratches easily so I will have to be a bit more careful with it than I am usually, that's not a problem with the TD as you can always send them back to A&H to refinish, doing that with a 1pc won't be so easy. The other difference is the grip, it is much fuller that the 3PC which itself is very thin, I'm so used to that now anything else seem bulky and this one does too but it is more like a standard American long bow grip.
As always with A&H the service is top class, we have mentioned before but the only other bow we have purchased brand new was a Border and we were very disappointed with the overall service, for example the bow was delivered with no arrow rest, no knocking point and the string wasn't in anyway set up. Not only did the ACS come with an arrow rest installed, they had set the string up correctly with the nocking point installed and the string set to the optimum bracing height (Dan Palmer one of the guys at A&H had personally tuned the bow before delivery). Of course the bow needs to be tuned to my draw length and the arrows I'd be using but for them to take the trouble to get it set up at all is in my opinion exceptional service. This of course meant I could literally take it out of the box and start to shoot.
Obviously I haven't got a lot of room but I was able to see how it felt. It's basically what you would expect for a bow of the quality and cost. Getting the right hand position took a bit of time but once that was sorted it was working well. Zero hand shock which as always goes without saying, no noise that I could tell but because of the short range the arrow hitting the target quickly and all I could hear was the thud of the arrow. I don't really know what the speed was like but would imagine it's up there with the 3pc. The other issue of course is finger pinch, as with other short bows I have used (particularly the Black Widow SAG I had) finger pinch is not an issue while shooting, what tends to happen is I feel it in the tips of my fingers afterwards, I think in time that will be reduced when that area of the finger hardens up. I definitely wasn't getting issues with the release however as the arrows were so close they were constantly hitting each other (due to a combination of consistency in the bow, really well matched arrows and me shooting at about 5 yards). The other thing to mention is that it is also super light, I was worried that might effect the shooting of it but in all honesty once I'd started shooting it was fine, I managed to put about 60 arrows through it so gave it a real good test.
From memory it is very different from the O.L. Adcock 1PC, from what I remember they are very similar in look to the 3PC with a more square handle, this looks very different (but still very ACS). Unstrung there is definite reflex/deflex but once strung it is in one continuous curve, however having just looked at the NFAS AFB rules it falls foul of this one....
"The handle may incorporate a cut-away of less than centre-cut to provide an arrow-shelf and the shelf may have a protective cover."
It's cut to 1/8" past centre.
I took this bow to an open shoot at Westcott archers, I didn't shoot particularly well but up close and personal the bow excelled. It's a wonderful bow to shoot as there is no hand shock whatsoever, however that is also a minus point for me as it seemed it didn't matter what you did, good or bad there was no feeling there at all, a bit like a wet fish. Funny really that something all bowyers strive for should in fact be a hindrance. It was when the targets moved further away that I started to struggle, don't get me wrong this bow is more than capable, but it is underpowered when compared to the longer 3PC ACS bows and it really did show. I'm sure in time you would learn to adjust accordingly but having shot a 3pc of the same weight for a good 18 months there was some considerable difference.
What you immediately notice when you pick it up is the weight or rather the lack of it, this bow in fact was different to every other bow I have used in a couple of ways, the first was the balance and feel, beautifully light and balanced so well that with your eyes closed you couldn't be totally sure you had a bow in your hand at all.
It’s short, much shorter than I am used to and shorter than I like to shoot… but I was looking forward to shooting it as I use most often a 3 PC ACS of similar weight.
The first thing you feel upon shooting it is… nothing, and I mean nothing. Let me say this, I have shot many bows, most of which are billed as “little or no shock” in fact I shoot a 3 PC ACS which I believed had no shock, that was until I shot the one PC, it’s almost as if this bow has anti-shock built in, even whilst holding it you barely notice it and nothing changes when you shoot it, the merest dull thud as the arrow leaves can be heard but not felt, you won’t quite believe it when you shoot it , I had to shoot several dozen from it and at every shot I marvelled at the non feeling, some folk like some feedback from the bow but I can happily live with a bow being seen but not heard or felt and the 1 PC ACS is the singular most wonderful shooting experience I have ever encountered.
Shooting a 3 PC ACS will make you a tough critic, it is well documented that the take down is the fastest # for # Longbow out there, it’s a good reason to shoot one but of course not the only one and from chatting and reading stuff on the internet they have the reputation of Marmite – you either love ‘em or hate ‘em, it is always a great shock for me to see any ACS being offered second hand as I couldn’t imagine selling mine and there are some makes of bow that you just never see offered for sale.
But as I said the speed alone is not enough, the 3 PC feels great to shoot and unless you have shot the 1PC you will believe it to be shock free.
Here’s the thing though, the 1PC despite having the ACS limb profile does not shoot as hard as the 3 PC, some quick chrono testing put it shooting the same as a 40# 3 PC ACS, the 3 PC ACS bows advertise on the fact that you can shoot 5# lighter and get the same arrow speed as you are accustomed to, given that, why would you want to haul 47# of draw weight to achieve what you could with 40# ??
For me this isn’t the end of the story though because I would like to try a longer length bow, the shortness didn’t hamper me in any way it’s just that I am used to a longer length. I would actually be willing to sacrifice some of the speed from the 3 PC just to shoot this bow, it really is a joy and so far ahead of any other 1 PC I have ever shot, but 7# is a lot to pull just to experience a true “shock free” experience. As with all bows the proof is in the shooting and if you are not desperate to have the fastest bow on the block but you do want the sweetest, then this is the bow for you… period !
Do not however underestimate the power of this bow, it stands quite happily with every performance Longbow out there, only when put beside the 3PC ACS does it look slower, but having said that all bows are slower than the 3PC
Features & Design
It's essentially a bit of wood with some carbon on the out side so not packed with features, but the Cocobola version we tested is simply stunning.
Possibly out performs any short bow out there, but lacking in performance compared to it's longer take down brother.
Value for Money
At a shade over $1000 it's cheaper than the take down version, but not offering the same bang for your buck
Disappointing in comparison to the take down ACS CX, and seemingly not as good as the O.L Adcock original. But don't be put off it is brilliant but for me will constantly stand in the shadow of it's 3PC brother.