In the latest issue of Outdoor Life there was a bow test of the top bows for 2012. Here is the protocol that Outdoor Life used to test the bows: “The bows are weighed on a certified scale, and draw lengths are checked and adjusted as needed. Each bow is tested at a 30-inch draw length and 70-pound draw weight to meet IBO standards. Octane Hostage arrow rests are installed, as are knock loops. To eliminate human interaction during the tests for speed, vibration, and noise, the bows are shot from a Spot-Hogg Hooter Shooter with a Carter Insatiable release, which is triggered using a shutter-style cable.
Vernier 25-g accelerometers are installed on the riser. Once a bow is shot, vibration data is downloaded to vibration analysis software. An average vibration “score” is displayed in meters per second squared. The lower the number, the less vibration. Peak noise in dBA is measured by a calibrated Vernier Sound Level Meter. Again, the lower the number, the better.
Each bow recieves a score from 60-100 in 10 categories. Objective categories include weight, speed (shooting a 350-grain arrow), peak noise, and vibration. Subjective categories include fit and finish, ergonomics, solidness of the back wall, smoothness of the draw cycle, overall shootability, and Price/Value.
Scores in these subcategories are combined to determine Performance and Design scores (with the exception of Price/Value, which stands alone). The bow with the best Price/Value score is given our Great Buy award, and the bow with the highest Overall score recieves our Editor’s Choice award.”
The bow that won the Editor’s Choice award was the Hoyt Vector 32. It recieved 4/4 stars overall, an A rating for Performance, and A- ratings for Design and Price/Value. The thing that impressed me about the Vector 32 was the vibration and noise data. The Vector 32 had a value of 19.17 for vibration and 84.6 for noise, which were the lowest scores for those two categories. The next lowest vibration was 31.74 which was the Strother Wrath, therefore the Hoyt was significantly lower. The next lowest noise level was achieved by the Strother Wrath as well with a 86.8. The Wrath also had the highest kinetic energy at 20 yards with 88.7 ft-lb.