Saturday, February 2, 2008

Reflex Excursion Compound Bow Review

Hello All,

Today I will be reviewing the Reflex Excursion Compound Bow.

Bow Rating: 5/5

"Short, lightweight, and forgiving, with its alloy riser, Reflex Split Limbs, and the zippy 75% let-off Slam & 1/2 Performance System... Brace height: 8-3/8''; axle-to-axle length: 34-1/2''. IBO speed: 295 fps. Weight: 3 lbs., 15 oz. Color: Realtree Hardwoods Green? HD?." Bass Pro Shops description of the Excursion.

Let's start off by saying, take a look at the Hoyt line up. Do you see any resemblance to the Reflex Excursion? That is because this bow is made by Hoyt. The "Slam and a Half" cam system is very similar to the "Cam and a Half" that Hoyt puts out. In fact the riser and overall design looks very similar to the Hoyt offerings. See for yourself:

Now, if the bow is designed like a much more expensive bow we need to ask about quality. Does the Reflex Excursion have the quality to be compared to it's much more expensive cousin? Sure does. I have shot my Reflex Excursion for 2 full seasons now and have noticed no problems in any of the components. The bow has been used very frequently and I haven't even had to change the string yet.

Is the bow quiet? You better believe it. I have owned the following bows:

Renegade Tominator II
Mathews Outback
Mathews Switchback
Reflex Excursion

When I compare the performance of the bows listed above, the Excursion gets my best marking. My reasoning is this: In my humble opinion, the Excursion performs as well or better than any of the bows listed above, but priced at only around $300, it costs about half as much as the Mathews selections and a little less than the Renegade (which in my opinion is the worst shooter in the group and costs about $350). I have found that the Excursion is every bit as quiet as any of the selections to my untrained ear and the deer can't tell a difference either.

My humble opinion is that any of the bows can be made quiet by using the Limbsaver products available on the market (Limbsaver cable guard dampener, String Leeches, heavy enough stabilizer, limb stablizers, etc) . Once you have quieted your bow the accessories are the things that make the noise. For instance: arrow contact on arrow rest, vibration of the sight, noise from drop-away rests and so on. Find quiet, yet effective components and your bow will be as quiet as it needs to be.

I believe that we as bow hunters have taken the bait from the bow companies. We figure we have to have the fastest bow in the market because that defines quality. Does it? I don't think it does and here's why. When you buy the fastest bows on the market it comes with a heavy draw weight. I can draw back and shoot 80 lbs. Great, so I can shoot the fastest bows, right!? But, can I make the bow really accurate at that speed? I can't... my arm gets tired faster, I can't hold the bow as long as a 50- 60 lbs draw which I can shoot all day long with minimal fatigue.

IBO speeds are misleading too. They assume there aren't any accessories on the bow and that it is a specific draw length and weight. Your bow, that advertises itself as being able to shoot 350 fps most likely doesn't shoot that fast.

Additionally, what is the advantage to shooting 350 feet per second over say 285 feet per second? There is no advantage that I can think of. I can only think of disadvantages to speeds that fast. First of all, the fastest bow on the market still doesn't go as fast as the speed of sound (1130 fps). So a deer jumping the string is still a possibility. How much speed do we need to kill a deer, elk or moose? American Indians were killing these animals with much less powerful bows than the slowest 50 lbs draw weight bow on the market. I see Uncle Ted killing big African animals all the time with his 52 lbs Renegade Nugebow. So, why do I want to go through the extra pain of shooting an 80 lbs draw weight? I don't, I set my bow at around 55 lbs because I am more accurate at that weight. Additionally, heavier draw weight causes your bow to be noisier and to be less forgiving.

I have heard many friends say that they can use one pin for all ranges. Ok... is that wise? I don't think so. I like exacting my ranges with 5 pins. One for 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 yard ranges. I can shoot these ranges and anything in between accurately. Much more so than... ONE PIN FOR ALL RANGES. It requires my using a range finder but I'm ok with that. I imagine, as some of my friends have found out, that one pin outfits are more likely to wound or miss animals than a well adjusted multiple pin systems.

That being said compare the Excursion for quality of parts, I have found that the only difference is in the durability of the finish. The finish is my only complaint about this bow. I have had a small area on the riser that has had some of the outer finish flake off where I hold the bow while walking into the woods. I find that this is only cosmetic and truthfully I have to look very close to even notice any flaw in the finish. Admittedly, I am extremely rough on my bow. I use it ran, snow, extreme cold and extreme heat. I sometimes store the bow in it's case while it's wet and frequently store the bow in my car during Tennessee summer temps. The finish may be my fault and I refuse to discount this awesome piece of equipment for such a small issue.

Buy this product with no reservations. It performs as well as any other that I have shot and costs the least that I have found on the market.


God Bless you all,



weatherbyman said...

295 fps?? Is that not a really slow bow by today's standards?

Sean said...


How fast do we need the bow to go to kill the game we hunt? 295 fps is so much faster than bows 15 years ago. Does this speed kill the deer better? Nope, they're the dead just like they used to be with the Native American long bow.

Does this speed make the arrow go faster than the speed of sound? Nope, even at 350 fps the arrow isn't going the speed of sound. This means that an aware deer can still jump a loud string.

So what is the advantage to having an arrow go 350 fps? Is it quieter? Nope, as a bow shoots faster it is much more prone to vibration and noise.

So tell me, WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE TO A SUPER FAST BOW? Cheaper? Nope 2-3 times more expensive.

Don't believe the bow manufacturers. While speed seems to sell... it is only a gimmick that makes your bow less forgiving and louder.

You can save money on a well made, but slightly slower bow and spend some of what you saved getting accessories for your hunt.

Hope this helps.

God Bless,

Sean said...


I forgot to thank you for your post. The bow is at the higher end of the middle of the road... speed wise. Price wise? About as good as it gets for a new bow. Especially for one that is as good quality as the Reflex is.


Anonymous said...

I would like to ask Sean if his Reflex is as smooth as the Mathews Switch Back ? and which SwitchBack he had, the XT or XD?

Dalton said...

I'm really glad I stumbled across this post. I've been looking at that exact bow. And I've never understood the speed gimmick. At max, you're taking a 150 foot shot. So what does the extra 30-50 fps get ya? I'll be getting one here shortly. Thanks Sean

Sean said...


I'm am truly sorry that I somehow missed your post. I will attempt to answer your question here.

The Matthews Switchback is very smooth to shoot when bare. In other words with no accessories attached to it. In fact, I would say that the bow is smoother out of the box than the Reflex. But, once you install string leeches, sight, rest, peep, kisser button, mole skin, riser stabilizer and whatever else you may want they come out to be about even. Smoothness (vibration) will be minimized on both models.

It may be possible that the Matthews has a slight edge over the Reflex, but if so is a slight edge worth $400 extra dollars to you. I promise that the deer will not know the difference between the two assuming they are set up properly.

I hope this helps. Remember don't believe everything that your read. Indians survived thousands of years without cams or string leeches and they killed deer. They didn't have 80lbs draws or the Matthew's name stamped on it.

Don't get me wrong. Matthews bows are among the best made bows in the world. If you can afford to pay $750 for a bow and you want to buy the absolute best I would recommend Matthew's over about any bow. But, if you are like me you realize that buying a $750 bow won't make me a better shot. Only practice can do that.

I have been embarrassed by someone shooting a $200 bow while I was shooting a Matthews Switchback. The extra money buys you very little more quality.

Just me two cents.

Sean said...


Sorry, I had the XT.


Sean said...


Thanks for your comment buddy. You will be happy with your bow. Good luck with it.


Anonymous said...

i sell them. Its a youth bow at best!

Anonymous said...

I own one of these bows and I'll have to say that it's a great bow and I'm still "old school" because I'm still shooting a 2219 aluminum arrow along with a 125 grain firenthehole 3 blade fixed broadhead I've only got 3 pins 20, 30, 40, anything below 20 yards the drop is not significant enough to mess with the shot. this bow under the right conditions ie. indoor range is capable of an 80 yard shot very impressive and yes I've seen it with my own two eyes with the exact bow that I bought from the shop that I go to.

Garrett said...

I have this bow.I am 14.This bow is the best bow ever. I can kill a deer about as quick as someone can with the mathews. My friend has a mathews swithback and it's alright but Y do u need the extra speed. I mean yeah, If i had 1000$ i would buy a mathews too, but i don't and who cares be happy with what you got and be thankful that you don't have a indian bow. thanks Sean for telling these people that speed don't matter. Someone needed to tell them the truth.


Anonymous said...

I love my reflex I have had it for 3 yrs I do a lot of 3d target shooting and last year I took first 8 times and 2nd twice beating all the mathews and hoyts the bow doesn't make a shooter the shooter makes the bow

Anonymous said...

killed PLENTY bucks with mine.what we are really talking about is a user friendly,cost effective way to really have some satisfying hunts.i've owned a few bows over the years.spent mathews money even. the bottom line is,for me,what can i hit with?what gets the job done?if i can knock the BUCK down with a reflex and do it with confidence in my shot from a stand or the ground...i'm where i need to be.this bow is made with HOYT coponents and reflects this ,in all the important ways.i have stomped miles through the brush,rode miles on my quad and sat in a stand many times with this reflex.she hasn't let me down yet.durability or in performance.the important things?of course a quality bow.but make sure all your arrows are cut the same.all the tips are the same grain.don't jump your draw weight all over the place before season starts.pick your comfort zone and have some fun!good luck this season reflex and i have big plans.
you only live once,spend as much time in your ZONE as possible!
god bless.

Anonymous said...

I have been in this game for a long time and I have shot many different brands of bows. I have a hoyt carbon matrix that I shoot completion with and then I have my reflex excursion that I hunt with. I am equally satisfied with both bows and I can honestly say the excursion is an awesome bow and shoots just as well as my carbon matrix which has 5 times the price tag. I give it 5 stars.

nahidworld said...

I hope this helps. Remember don't believe everything that your read.

George Puzo said...

So I am going to buying my first bow this spring. Where do you guys recommend I look into buying a compound bow near Newport News, Va? Thanks for any suggestions.

William S. Guerrera said...

My first bow man was a Reflex Ridgeline 32. I shot several deer with it and never had a problem. I enjoyed it. The draw cycle was not the smoothest and the back wall was not that solid. I still liked it though and shot it well out to 40yds. Not sure about that bow you are looking at but I was satisfied at the time with my Reflex. I still have it and it shoots just as good today as it did back in 2006-2007. I upgraded later to my Hoyt though.

Brandon Jenkins said...

I like your share because your content are about bow.
best compound bow reviews

Brandon Jenkins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

It's great.
Thank you so much!

Wilson said...

The Reflex Excursion Compound Bow is made by the Hoyt company, and has so many similarities to the other bows that Hoyt has created. It scores very high in overall performance, because of the high quality parts that it comes with. However, it does not come as high a price as the Hoyt, but the quality is the same, even at only $300. This is about half the price of the Hoyt bows, and differs only slightly in performance. This really goes to show that quality does not have to come with a high price, and if one is able to take the time out to test, and know each part of the bow, they will be able to see quality products over others.

Mitchell Wood said...

I am so much excited after reading your blog. Your blog is very much innovative and much helpful for any industry as well as for person.

Stella H said...

I own this compound bow. I am not able to find the compatible arrows. I just don't want to dry fire it.

Unknown said...

What is the replacement string size

Unknown said...

What is the replacement string size

Unknown said...

What is the replacement string size

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