When the box arrived and I saw the “HOYT” logo on the side of it, I was rather giddy like a kid on Christmas morning. Okay, I’ll admit that I get like that just about any time a new piece of gear comes, but this one was special.
Hoyt was sending me a 2011 bow and I’d still have time to chase whitetails with it here in Michigan before the snow fell. The bow is the Rampage XT. It is a feature-packed beast of a bow with a price that even my wife was shocked by.
How good is it? Think of the Rampage XT as a CRX, Hoyt’s top of the line bow, with a cast-magnesium riser instead of an aluminum one. Yeah, there was a reason I was chomping at the bit to get this one.
Right away I noticed the weight savings. This bow weighs in at just four pounds. Fully loaded with accessories, it still doesn’t weigh much. Very cool. At 32″ axle-to-axle it is shorter than some other bows I’ve shot, and it would work well for me as I tend to hunt from ground blinds.
As I mentioned earlier, thanks in part to a newly designed cast-magnesium riser, Hoyt offers this bow at a price of less than $650!. Now remember, the Rampage XT has many of the features of Hoyt’s $900 CRX. The only physical differences between the Rampage XT and the CRX is the cast-magnesium vs. the CRX’s machined aluminum, and a weight difference of 0.05 pounds. The only people who can tell that kind of weight difference are supermodels who ate a crumb from a candy bar. Hoyt outfitted the Rampage XT with the new Fuel Cam and XTS Pro ARC limbs, the same as the CRX and even the Carbon Element.
Cast-magnesium risers seem to shoot just as well as machined aluminum risers as far as I can tell. They don’t look the same or feel the same, but they shoot the same. The Cast risers have a texture to them and look a bit bulkier, but magnesium is lighter than aluminum, so…
The Rampage XT comes with Hoyt’s Pro-Fit 180 grip made from a thermo plastic elastomer which reduces vibration and has a good feel. I found it to be much nicer than some wooden grips I’ve used. The new string stopper with its flat face and softer material make it quieter and more efficient at absorbing energy from the string at the shot. There is also a roller guard to help keeps things quiet. The bow features Hoyt’s Silent Shelf, a molded rubber insert that protects the riser shelf.
I got the Rampage during the 2010 bow season and I was already using another brand. Still I wanted to give the bow a serious try and so I went to a local Hoyt dealer and had the bow properly set up for me. I didn’t shoot it until I got back home. After one shot, it was hard to wipe the smile from my face. I set it for a 28″ draw length and at 55 pounds draw. I was shooting
Carbon Express PileDriver Hunter Arrows with Bohning Blazer vanes. I set it up with a Fuse Pilot 3-pin sight, a Limbsavers stabilizer and a NAP Apache dropaway rest. It took just a few shots to dial in at 20 yards and in those few shots I cam to realize something – I had to buy this bow.
It is very light and extremely forgiving. The cams roll over nice during the draw and there is virtually no shock from the shot. The current setup that I have seems to be working great, and I couldn’t be happier with the bow. Of course my wife wasn’t happy when I said I wanted to buy it, but she understood. Kinda. Okay, well she’ll get over it. I did sell my old back-up bow to help pay for it. That’s a start, isn’t it?
The Outwrite Truth.
Hoyt has nailed it. This is the prefect bow in the price range. I seriously doubt you could find a bow that is this nice for this money from any other brand. Of course, I’m willing to check them all out, but it may take me quite some time. If you want a killer bow but not the killer price tag, get serious about the Rampage XT.
And yes, I bought it!
Mass Weight: 4 lbs.
Cam: Fuel Cam
Limbs: XTS Pro ARC
Brace Height: 7 inches
Draw Length: 24.5-30″
Draw Weight: 40-80lbs.