O.L Adcock ACS 1pc 59# @ 28"
Some times you just have to keep trying, regardless of how many times you get knocked back, feel like you have tried all you can or go off on a different road. If something was worth trying originally then it's worth trying a few more times.
“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.”
I first encountered this bow 6 years or so ago, I was at a 3D competition when I heard the thump of arrows hitting hard in to a practice range butt. I stood back watching for a few minutes, not really sure what the bow was, other than it was something special. When practice was over I went over to the owner for a quick chat, up close it was obvious to me what the bow was, a bow spoken of in hushed tones on archery forums, something very special and something I had not seen often in pictures and never in the flesh. An original O.L. Adock ACS CX 1pc bow, the owner was a little surprised in my interest, he loved the bow, but really didn't know much about the bow or it's illustrious history. I was more than happy to let him know exactly what he had, he himself had purchased it from a guy in Canada, and I was also more than happy to offer him more than I had offered anybody for a bow in the past, or for that matter could reasonably afford. Fortunately for my bank balance he turned me down and to be fair to him rightly so. I would have loved to have a draw and maybe a short shoot of the bow, but I make a point of never doing so with other peoples bows. Anyway we left for the competition, me with a big smile and him with my details when he decided he wanted to sell me the bow.
It was a couple of years before I heard from him again, he now wanted to sell the bow, it was a little too much for him poundage wise. Unfortunately for me financially I could no longer offer what I was willing to pay in the past and while we both tried really hard to come up with a trade for another bow it wasn't meant to be once again.
Zip forward another couple of years and I got the third bite of the cherry, a world financial crisis and sands of time meant that I was finally able to strike a deal. While I might not have been thinking of this bow every day as Winston mentions it was certainly one I wanted to own. I've been privileged to own and shoot pretty much all incarnations of the ACS CX bow stable, the only one that had eluded me was an original Adcock 1pc. The deal was done in a central London hotel over a couple of pints of Guinness and some great archery talk and I couldn't believe on the train journey home that I had finally scored the big one. My dream bow was finally in my grasp. The bow is a monster by UK standards, it's not often you see, or indeed need a bow in the upper 50# range on a standard 3D course but when you do it's to make sure you get as flat a trajectory as possible. This bow delivers that in spades as it spits out arrows at a rate of knots towards the target, however it's out in the field in a hunting environment that this bow will really do the business. I took some time shooting some super heavy and stiff arrows from the bow and it performs just as well as it does with something lighter, causing an almighty thud when they whack in to the target.
As with many custom bows, describing the appearance is sort of counter productive in many ways, if you do ever get to own one of these, which is unlikely, what is even less likely is that it will look anything like this one. It looks super sleek and as space age as any bow made of natural materials can do, from the off it looks like it's going to be something special. Long slender black limbs fade in to a sleek grey bark handle, the lines never really deviating too far, although this has a very low grip, but not a straight Howard Hill style chunk. The layers of bamboo and carbon extend into the riser and are accented and sandwiched between a couple of red, grey and black layers which where the hallmark of the early Adcock ACS bows. The limb tips are very thin as is most of the limbs length, the ACS CX design means a stronger and more powerful limb is possible with less mass and this translates in to a bow which looks much less chunky than bows of a similar poundage. Having said that they are not the needle thin limbs I have seen on other Adcocks I have owned and they don't feel in any way delicate.
At 66" this bow is on the longer side and how it performs stuck up a tree is anybodies guess, but that length lends itself to a wonderful shooting experience. From the first draw you can feel that this bow has raw power but it feels nothing like the 59# written on the side of the riser or displayed on the bow scales. Drawing to the indicated 28" is a joy with the draw feeling smooth for every single one of those 28" inches until you finally and almost unexpectedly reach anchor.
Unlike Steve you will have noticed that my reviews never contain arrow speed numbers, it makes no difference to me, especially as an instinctive archer, how fast or slow the arrow comes out. Well that of course isn't strictly true but when you shoot these top line bows there will always be an expectation of blazing speed and this bow doesn't disappoint. For some this will be a disappointment, but for me shooting a bow is all about feel not raw numbers. The point being I have no idea how fast it is in FPS, nor do I care, all I do know is that it is very quick indeed.
My first proper outing with the bow was for the first shoot of the year, a quick shoot around the woods at Fleet Ibex, who as always set out a great course to brush off those winter cobwebs. The bow performed effortlessly and it only took a few to adjust to the increased speed over my normal 47# ACS. This bow doesn't do bad shots, every one feels as good as the first, which can only be described as archery heaven. It's almost at a point now where I'm ignoring the issue of shock/vibration when reviewing a bow, mainly because there is none in this level of bow. This is true of the Adcock, totally shock free and I do mean totally.
Unfortunately this review is really all about me, it's unlikely you will ever own one of these bows, and it's even more unlikely you will ever own a new one. But for me this bow was all about completing the set, shooting the one bow I had always dreamed of owning, so Winston, I never gave up.
Features & Design
Not big on features to be fair, it's wood, carbon and clue, but it is big on design. Looks amazing given it's just a bow.
The original when it comes to steps forward in bow performance, Adcock took the tradition did something very simple and moved limb design in to the 21st century.
Value for Money
Cheap at twice the price, just a shame people won't get the chance to own one.
A fantastic bow which changed the way people thought about bows. If you ever get the chance to own one don't give up, I know I didn't.