A&H ACS CX 64" 45#@28"
I spent 2 years buying, selling and trading traditional bows, in all that time, other than my first cheap starter bow (read the review here) they had all been second hand. So when I came to the point I felt ready to actually spend some serious money on a brand new bow I had a very good idea what I was going to go for. At the time there was a years waiting list for an ACS CX from A&H, I had put my name down a year previously, before I had ever shot one and my number came up in early 2008. At that point they had cleared most of the waiting list but there were still as rare as hens teeth, however but that time I had managed to own about 3 second hand examples and so had an idea what I wanted. A&H suggest dropping a few pounds from you normal bow weight and that's exactly what I did, normally around 50#, I jumped in with both feet and ordered a 45# bow. To be honest there isn't much to do when choosing an ACS, the limbs have a standard finish and there is a limited selection of stock risers, I went for Zebra Wood. With the bow ordered I then had about a 4 month wait for it to be made and wing it's way over to me.
I took delivery of the bow in mid June, a week before I left for the European 3DI competition in France, I took the bow with me but decided to stick with what I had been shooting which was a 51# Adcock ACS. When I got back I had time to get to know the bow, I spend some considerable time setting the bracing height, there was never a lot of noise and vibration but it completely went at 7 1/4". I have never been one for silencers on the string or limb savers but this is the best bow I have ever shot without them, the term no hand shock is used a lot, most of the time erroneously but in this case that's definitely what it was. There is still some feel which I like, the bow is very forgiving but when you make a mistake, especially a poor release you can feel it. The draw is super smooth, progressing in power in a linear fashion, the 45# is very easy to hold.
The bow is cut past centre so is centre shot, this in many ways is it's biggest downfall as finding the perfect arrow has been the hardest part of the process. Originally I went super heavy and super stiff, that worked fine but I wasn't getting the range, I then switched to Easton X7's which ultimately turned out to be too light. Finally I settled on super short wooden arrows at 50-55# (53# seems to be the best), which I have been using for some time and to very good effect. The other thing to mention of course is the speed of the bow, from what I have seen pound for pound this is the fastest thing out there, definitely from the bows I have shot, which is not a small list.
While I have shot and owned a lot of bows you really do need to settle on a bow and use it as much as possible. I have been using this bow for the last 18 months and it has been excellent, improved my shooting and been totally consistent. If there was a negative it is that the covering on the limbs is easily scratched and damaged, I recently went on a 9 day long shoot and the bow took a fair battering, there are chips up and down the limb. I don't tend to wrap the bow in cotton wool so it's only to be expected and it should be noted that this is only the limb covering and there is no damage to the limbs, A&H will also recondition the limbs if needed.
All in all for me this is the ultimate bow
Features & Design
The handle is very thin and riser short, personally I like this as I don't tend to grip the bow much at all. The limited wood and black limbs don't have the sheer beauty of some bows but I just love the way it looks.
Nothing short of phenomenal, pound for pound better than anything I have ever shot.
Value for Money
Not cheap at $1250 but simply is the best around
Even though I have tried I can't say enough good things about this bow. It is all the things people have said about it, top class performance and great looks.