July 14, 2011
Countdown to F&S’s Best of the Best Bows #12
By Scott Bestul
In case you missed it in the last post, I just got done testing 14 brand-new bows with a group of experienced archers for Field & Stream’s “Best of the Best” awards program. For details of how the test is conducted, see the original post . Every week from now until September, I’ll be posting reviews of the test bows, counting them down from #14 to #1 and revealing the winner here, shortly after the September issue hits mail boxes and newstands.
This week we’ll continue the countdown with:
Bow #12: Martin “Onza 3” (martinarchery.com)
- Price: $599
- Weight: 4 lbs. 14 oz.
- Length: 32.25” axle-to-axle
- Speed: 340 fps (IBO); 266 fps in our test with a 28.5-inch draw length, 70lbs draw weight, and shooting a 437gr. Carbon Express Aramid arrow.)
Comments/Notes: The Onza 3 has twin hybrid “Nitro” cams, that feature draw length adjustment modules from 27-30” and adjustable let-off up to 80%. Also, Martin brought back its “bridged” machined aluminum riser design for the Onza 3, adding a “saddleback” thermal grip and a padded “silent hunter” arrow shelf. . Brace height is 7.25”.
Hits: The Onza 3 caught every tester’s attention with a wonderfully smooth draw and a solid back wall that rivaled any bow we shot. We also gave high grades to the comfortable grip and for a great balance at full draw. Overall construction was very good; the Onza is a solidly built bow that’s pleasing to the eye.
Misses: All testers felt noticeable hand shock and vibration at the shot, surprising for a bow that drew so effortlessly. The Onza 3 was the slowest bow in our test, which is a minor beef.
The Takeaway: There are some great features in the Onza, including a “TRG” torque-reducing cable guard and the Nitro hybrid cams, which allow adjustment of both draw length and letoff. And with a 7-1/4” brace height, this should also be a highly forgiving and accurate shooter. Finally, this was among the least-expensive bows we tested; anyone buying an Onza is getting a lot of bow for the price. Take away the handshock we experienced, and the Onza would have given any bow we shot a run for its money.