Fastest Compound Bows for 2021

Fastest Compound Bows for 2021
Below is a list of the fastest compound bows for 2021.

Different archery brands and models are covered in the data table, like Hoyt Archery, Mathews, Bowtech, PSE, Bear Archery and many others.

Most of the bows are bowhunting bows and can be used for 3D archery and field archery.

The data table also answers the question of, what is the fastest shooting bow of 2021.

While this article is about the new fastest bows in the world today, the archer shouldn’t just focus on arrow speed alone. So here are a few things to consider about speed bows, rather than just going through the list below and picking the fastest bow specifications.

Above image link to Amazon for the PSE compound bow. (Affiliate link to Amazon.)

 

The drawbacks of a fast bow.

I love speed bows, they are great for flat shooting. (Very little arrow trajectory drop.)

For unmarked distances at 3D archery, field and bowhunting, a flat shooting bow has a lot of benefits. However, it is not all sweet smelling roses, very fast bows have some negatives. Generally they are not for raw beginners, as there are some drawbacks and things to know about them.

A lot of bow manufactures could make a very fast bow, if not the fastest bow in the world. However, the bow does have to have some shoot-ability about it. (If that is a word. User friendly could be a word to replace it.)

Above image: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph for testing the bow and arrow speed. (You can check the price at Amazon here – Caldwell Chronagraph. Affiliate link.)

The bow has to certain qualities like accuracy, low vibration, minimal noise, reasonable draw force curve cycle. The bow should also be practical and adjustable in draw length and draw weight. To make a so called pure speed bow, you can lose some of these features or qualities.

Generally the faster bow and arrow speed, the harder it is to tune it.

If you have a very long draw length and a fast bow, it can be hard to tune the bow.

I have only had issue with tuning two speed bows over the years, and both were over 340 fps. Having said that, I also had some bows above 350 fps IBO speeds and with some effort they could be paper tuned to shoot well. But generally though, fast bows are harder to tune as more things can come into play.

Here a few more concerns with a fast compound. Some of these points or considerations are not for every fast bow, but with some models it can be an issue.

Draw force curve for compound bow versus fast bow.

As above image, the draw cycle curve might can be very aggressive. (In red.) The peak weight hump ramps up quickly and can be hard to draw back smoothly. The valley can be narrow and hard to hold in at full draw without back tension.

The blue line above indicates a smoother draw force curve for a moderate cam design.

For bowhunting, if you are trying not to make much movement while game is about, it can be hard to draw slowly with minimal movement.

Speed bows can have a narrow valley. (The let off.) If you don’t have your exact Correct Draw Length, to match the bow, than you can flinch and the bowstring can take off. You need constant back tension and settle into the draw correctly.

The brace height is very low for most fast shooting compounds, at around 6”. As the longer length of the power-stroke helps arrow speed. However, a short brace height means the arrow is on the string for a longer time and more chance the archer may torque the bow during release.

(If you look at most target compound bows, they are around 7” brace height to 8” high or more. For a new compound list of specs, click on Compound Bow Comparisons 2021)

Some speed bows are not widely adjustable as the tolerances have to be spot on, to get every FPS (Feet per second.) available.

Also to save on weight, speed bows can have very thin skeleton cams. They also may not be very adjustable, because the adjustable modules can add weight to the string. So the cams are machined very thin and are draw specific to save on weight. You have to be extra careful you don’t bump the cams hard, or they can get damaged.

Generally the more speed a bow gets, the more vibration and noise it can make.

Putting a heap of string silencers on and limb dampeners on it to quieten it down then defeats the purpose. As the bow will lose FPS with added items on the bowstring or limbs.  Also who wants a very fast compound for bowhunting, if it is very noisy?

Broadhead alignment has to be spot on, as the arrow can plane off target.

Just a thought on correct form. There is no sense on having the fastest bow in the world, if you miss the target. The arrows just misses faster, so work on shot cycle and correct form and draw length, back tension, etc.

The old saying the cutting edge, is the bleeding edge, is very true for aerodynamics, ballistics and designing a fast bow and arrow speed.

Another reason to just not concentrate on the arrow speed figures alone is, for whatever reason, maybe the bow just doesn’t fit you personally. Maybe the grip doesn’t fit your hand well? Perhaps the axle to axle length is too short for you? Maybe the draw cycle is very harsh and not smooth enough for shooting dozens of arrows or hundreds for 3D archery, field or bowhunting practice, etc.

what is the fastest shooting compound bow? Male releasing arrow.

 

IBO speed vs ATA speed.

Comparing some bows against others for their speed rating, is like comparing apples to oranges.

One reason why it isn’t ideal to just go by the fastest speed is that different bow manufactures test their bows with different protocols.

There are two main organizations in the archery and bow guidelines and manufacturing arena. They are the ATA (Archery Trade Association.) and IBO. (International Bowhunting Organization.)

For its speed guidelines, the ATA uses a bow with a draw weight of 70 lbs. +/- .2 lbs. The draw length is at 30” (With a variation + ¼” – 0”.)  The arrow’s weight is 5 GPP, (Grains Per Pound.) so the arrow weighs 350 grains.

The IBO speed rating is measured at a bow with 80 pounds +/- 2 pounds. So for the test it could be 82 lbs. The arrow’s weight is 400 grains or 5 GPP (Grains Per Pound.) The IBO doesn’t have a set draw length.

Just a bit of information on the ATA, it was formerly called AMMO or AMO. AMO was originally an acronym for Archery Manufactures and Merchants Organization. You will probably hear the terms in the archery forums mentioning the AMO standards.

(To confuse you more in archery terms, ATA also can mean, Axle to Axle. Which is the length of the compound bow from axle to axle. For archers looking for longer length compounds, visit Long Axle To Axle Compound Bow List 2021)

Hoyt Archery uses the ATA method. Mathews uses the IBO method, so to compare the two based on FPS, would be like comparing apples to oranges.

So ideally, rather than just rely on an advertisement that stated it was the best bow, or the fastest, etc., shoot it and see how the bow feels and performs.

 

The PSE Omen, speed demon.

Below is an example of real world performance and some benefits and shortcomings of a pure speed bow.

One of the fastest compound bows I owned was the PSE Omen model. This speed demon had an IBO rating of 366 fps. That is smoking fast.

I had mine set at 70 lbs. draw weight from memory, and the twenty yard pin was set a bee’s pizzle away from the thirty yard pin on my bow sight. This was with a medium weight hunting arrow.

I enjoyed shooting the Omen, however it wasn’t for the faint hearted. It had an aggressive draw cycle. The hump was very hard to get over and draw. Also if you lost concentration on back tension, with the narrow valley, the bowstring could get away from you easy and take off.

The PSE Omen also had a draw length specific cam on it. Meaning you couldn’t just change the draw length by an inch easily. You hard to get another bow or take the whole cam off, cables and replace it. Despite its drawbacks, I loved this bow for bowhunting, 3D archery and for unmarked distances, as it shot very flat.

 

Why does my bow not match the arrow speeds listed?

Another reason why just not go the numbers is there are no independent testing when the manufactures list the arrow speed.

So some manufactures could be very loose in their recording of the numbers. (That was my nice way of saying, they could fudge the numbers.) Luckily most archery manufactures are reputable and they go by the guidelines.

However, here are some things on how the bow manufacture could test their bow. And probably why you won’t achieve the same speeds listed as on the marketing material:

The numbers are not averaged out.

Using an uncalibrated chronograph machine.

Testing with different chronographs, but only using the highest numbers.

No serving on the bowstring.

No d-loop or peep sight on the bowstring.

Using a very skinny strand bowstring, that would not be durable enough for prolonged use on a bowhunting compound or the standard bowstring used.

The draw weight and draw length might be incorrectly measured.

Using thin machined cams for the prototype, but the mass produced bow, has heavy modules that are attached to the cams.

The prototype compound bow that is used for testing arrow speed is very different to the mass produced bow.

A drop away arrow rest was used or an arrow rest with minimal contact.

The marketing company rounds up the numbers.

Firing the same bow twenty times and only using the highest recorded arrow speed. So not the bows typical speed.

Testing different bows and only using the bow figures from the testing that rate the highest. As an example, bow “A” records 342 fps, bow “B” 338 fps, bow “C” 346 fps, and bow “D” 341 fps. Only bow “C” result is used for the marketing material.

The weight of the arrow is lighter, but averaged up too match the guidelines.

Lack of communication or a mix up passing the numbers on through the channels. Such as the engineers testing the bowing, management, marketing department, etc.

Using an overdraw arrow rest on the bow, depending on the guidelines.

Using an outlier. (An abnormal arrow speed on the Chrono.)

Not following the chronograph manufacturers testing recommendations. Like doing the test in different lighting (Which different lighting conditions can affect the reading), being too close to the machine, different weather conditions, etc.

Very loose nocks. (For information on correct fitting arrow nocks, visit – How tight should an arrow nock be?)

No fletching on the arrow.

Another testing flaw could be the draw length is 30 ¼” instead of 30” exactly for the draw length. (Click on How to measure a bows draw length, for more information.)

For IBO results this could be even be more inconsistent. As the draw weight can be plus / minus 2 lb. So the draw weight in fact could be 82 lbs and also at a long unstated draw length.

Also the brace height effects the power stroke and speed. The bow tested might have a 5 5/8” brace height, but the bow mass produced is normally listed at a brace height of 6 ¼”.

Some of these things above could be performed accidentally, overlooked or even done deliberately by the manufacture. After all, speed sells the bows.

The light arrow weight they use for testing is too light in GPP (Grains Per Pound.) for most bowhunting rigs or big game.

Certain capture arrow rests, types of arrow fletching like helical fletching and an un-tuned bow, Limbsavers or dampeners on the bow limbs can also affect the Chronograph speeds.

Another reason why the listed speeds may not be achieved with your compound bow is adding items to your bowstring that can slow the speed down by a few feet per second or more. Things like: peep sights, bowstring silencers, nock sets, D-Loop, etc.

As you can see the issue with no independent testing and some ways to make the arrow speeds look faster than typical bow speeds in the real world.

 

FAQ on the fastest shooting bows.

What is Hoyt Archery’s fastest bow on the market in 2021?
For 2021 so far, the fastest ATA measured bow is the Hoyt Carbon RX – 4 Turbo at 350 FPS and the Hoyt Helix Turbo at 350 FPS as well.

Mathews fastest bow is?
The model for Mathews for 2021 is the Monster Safari at IBO of 350 FPS.

What is the fastest PSE bow?
The fastest PSE compound bow is the Exedite NXT at 360 – 352 for ATA / IBO speeds for 2021.

Fastest Bowtech bow is the?
For 2021, the Bowtech fastest model is the Solution at 346 FPS.

The fastest Bear bow is?
For Bear Archery, the fastest is the Bear Status EKO at 344 FPS.

 

New Fastest Compound Bows List 2021

Here are the comparisons specs below to compare the bows.

Please remember that the speeds are not typical and the speed ratings are not independently tested.

Please note that this data table is created early in 2021. Some bow manufactures don’t release their new bows until mid-year, so the bows may change on their website. Also when some new bows are brought out, the companies will then discontinue other models.

BrandModelSpeed FPSAxle to Axle LengthDraw LengthDraw WeightBrace HeightWeight
Athens ArcherySummit 634530.5″23.5″ – 29″30, 40, 50, 60, 65, 70 lbs.6″4.2 lbs.
BrandModelSpeed FPSAxle to Axle LengthDraw LengthDraw WeightBrace HeightWeight
Bear ArcheryRedemption EKO34231″26″ – 30″45-60 lbs., 55-70 lbs.6.25″4.1 lbs.
Bear ArcheryStatus EKO34433′26″ – 30″45-60 lbs., 55-70 lbs.6″4.3 lbs.
Bear ArcheryInception34032″25.5″ – 30″45-60 lbs., 55-70 lbs.6″4.3 lbs.
BrandModelSpeed FPSAxle to Axle LengthDraw LengthDraw WeightBrace HeightWeight
BowTechSolution3463225″ – 30″ 50, 60, 70 lbs.6″4.3 lbs.
BowTechGuardian34030 3/4″25″ – 31″ 60, 70 lbs.7 1/8″4.3 lbs.
BowTechRevolt X34033″26″ – 31″ 50, 60, 70 lbs.6 1/2″4.5 lbs.
BrandModelSpeed FPSAxle to Axle LengthDraw LengthDraw WeightBrace HeightWeight
Darton ArcheryMaverick XT34533″25″ – 30.5″40, 50, 60, 70 lbs.6″4.2 lbs.
BrandModelSpeed FPSAxle to Axle LengthDraw LengthDraw WeightBrace HeightWeight
Elite ArcheryEnkore34033″23″ – 30″40, 50, 60, 70 lbs.6″4.55 lbs.
BrandModelSpeed FPS (ATA)Axle to Axle LengthDraw LengthDraw WeightBrace HeightWeight
Hoyt ArcheryVentum 3034230″25″ – 28″ 28.5″ – 30″40, 50, 60, 65, 70, 80 lbs.6 1/8″4.6 lbs.
Hoyt ArcheryCarbon RX – 534230″25″ – 28″ 28.5″ – 30″40, 50, 60, 65, 70, 80 lbs.6 1/44.4 lbs.
Hoyt ArcheryCarbon RX – 4 Turbo35031″26′ – 28″  28″-30″40, 50, 60, 65, 70 lbs.5 7/8″4 lbs.
Hoyt ArcheryHelix Turbo35031″26′ – 28″  28″-30″40, 50, 60, 65, 70 lbs.5 7/8″4.4 lbs.
Hoyt ArcheryDouble XL34535 3/4″32″ – 34″60, 65, 70 lbs.7 3/4″4.7 lbs.
BrandModelSpeed FPSAxle to Axle LengthDraw LengthDraw WeightBrace HeightWeight
Martin ArcheryADX 634831.5″26″ – 30 1/2″65, 75 lbs.6″4.55 lbs.
Martin ArcheryADIX 3034330″26″ – 30 1/2″60, 70 lbs.6 1/2″4.49 lbs.
Martin ArcheryADIX 3134831″27.5″ – 32″+60, 70 lbs.7 3/4″4.5 lbs.
BrandModelSpeed FPSAxle to Axle LengthDraw LengthDraw WeightBrace HeightWeight
MathewsV3 3134231″26″ – 30.5″60, 65, 70, 75 lbs.6″4.5 lbs.
MathewsV3 2734227″25″ – 29.5″60, 65, 70, 75 lbs.6″4.29 lbs.
MathewsVXR 31.534331.5″26.5″ – 31″60, 65, 70, 75 lbs.6″4.66 lbs.
MathewsVXR 283442825.5″ – 30″60, 65, 70, 75 lbs.6″4.44 lbs.
MathewsMonster Safari35033″25.5″ – 31″70, 85 lbs.6″4.8 lbs.
BrandModelSpeed FPSAxle to Axle LengthDraw LengthDraw WeightBrace HeightWeight
Prime ArcheryNexus 234132″23″ – 30″40, 50, 60, 70, 80 lbs.6″4.25 lbs.
Prime ArcheryNexus 434534″23.5″ – 30.5″40, 50, 60, 70, 80 lbs.6″4.4 lbs.
Prime ArcheryBlack 534335″25.5″ – 31″40, 50, 60, 65, 70, 80 lbs.6″4.5 lbs.
BrandModelATA / IBO Speed FPSAxle to Axle LengthDraw LengthDraw WeightBrace HeightWeight
PSE  ArcheryEvo EVL 32345-3413225″ – 30 1/2″50, 60, 70, 80 lbs.6 1/4″4.5 lbs.
PSE  ArcheryEvo EVL 34 SE34034″24 1/2″ – 30″50, 60, 65, 70, 80 lbs.6 5/8″4.7 lbs.
PSE  ArcheryExedite NXT360 – 35233″24 1/2″ – 30″60, 70, 80 lbs.5 1/2″4.74 lbs.

 

Archery resources and extra information.

How To Figure Out Your Draw Length.

How Often Should You Wax Your Bow String?