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Tested Tough: Bowtech Revolt XL

Built for the West, this bow will perform for long-draw hunters.

Built for the West, this bow will perform for long-draw hunters.

Archery hunting is one of my greatest passions. Every year, I pick up my bow and head afield for the opportunity to sling an arrow through thick timber at a bugling bull or big mule deer buck. Sometimes, I even climb into a tree stand in search of a wary whitetail.

Along with being an avid archery hunter, I am also a gear snob and heavily obsess over my setups to ensure that I am as accurate and lethal as possible. I look over bows, shoot all the models I can and build a setup that allows me to comfortably shoot in any position the unforgiving terrain of the West presents.

For this year, Bowtech’s Revolt XL caught my attention for a few key reasons: the weight, the shootability, the quietness, tunability, its long axle-to-axle measurement and ability to extend out to 33 inches on draw length. It was the combination of these attributes that landed the XL in my hand for this hunting season.

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SPECS

In the Western backcountry, weight is king. The Revolt XL has an aluminum riser and weighs in at 4.5 pounds offering a lightweight platform that allows the shooter to add stabilizers and backbars to balance the bow without sacrificing the lightweight mobility that is so desired by many hunters. Fully kitted out with stabilizer, backbar and a full quiver, my bow is balanced well and carries easily in the mountains.


While not ideal for the whitetail stand, this bow measures 33 inches between the axles. This is a sweet spot in my mind, though. My draw length is 31.5 inches, and a longer axle-to-axle bow allows for a gentle string angle and more manageable and forgiving shot.


The XL adjusts from 27.5 inches all the way to 33 inches to fit even those with the longest of draws. This is the key factor that drove me towards this bow. For years now, Bowtech’s technology has blown me away, but I haven’t gravitated to their bows over the last few years since with the draw length maxed out, the cam’s draw cycle was uncomfortable. With my draw length now landing in the in the middle of the adjustment range, the draw cycle is smooth from start to finish.

Speed is important as well, Bowtech’s advertised speed is 350 feet per second—blazing fast. In a real-world scenario, though, these advertised speeds don’t mean much. I was excited to see that at 70 pounds with a 475-grain arrow, my speed measured at 296 feet per second—which is right in the range where I have found the best tuning and broadhead flight.

EASY TUNING

Tuning is everything for the archer. If you can’t get an arrow to fly straight out of your bow, you may as well just stay home. With the Deadlock technology that the XL comes equipped with, tuning has never been easier.

The Deadlock cam system allows the user to adjust cam positioning by using an Allen wrench—no press required. Why is this important? You can only tune so much with a rest—especially if you want good broadhead flight. Once your rest is set to center shot, move the cams allows you to fine tune arrow flight via paper tuning, bare-shaft tuning or other methods.




Once you have made the appropriate adjustments, tighten the set screw back down and your bow is locked in and ready for the field. It’s simple and takes minutes. When I first tuned my XL, it took 5 arrows to get the bow shooting a perfect bullet hole through paper. It was one of the easiest tuning jobs I’ve ever had.

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PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

So, this bow is comfortable to carry, balances well and tunes with ease, but what’s all that worth if the bow doesn’t shoot?

Well, I have found that the riser, combined with a longer brace height, have made a dead-in-the-hand and forgiving shooting experience. The grip fits well in the hand and doesn’t require the shooter to hold it in a specific manner to shoot. With other bows on the market, I have noticed I need to modify my grip to shoot the bow accurately, this isn’t the case with the Bowtech.

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I consider myself a high-wrist shooter, meaning that my grip on the bow is less than a shooter who lowers their wrist and puts more palm against the riser. Say what you will, but it is where I am comfortable shooting and I have found it to be the most repeatable setup for my shooting style.

With that said, I tried different grip positions and noticed that the bow was accepting of all of them. Shooting through paper I was able to maintain a bullet hole while shooting with my hand in different positions—I made sure to maintain consistent forward pressure in all positions. The only time I find myself shooting inconsistent tears is when I would place my hand outside of the natural grip position of the bow itself. This would cause me to torque the riser and result in a bad tear. That said, those hand positions are unnatural and uncomfortable.

Another area of focus for bows now a days is how it feels in the hand on the shot. Some bows have a lot of recoil, or jumpiness that makes them unpleasant to shoot unless they are equipped with large, heavy stabilizers. The Revolt XL, with no added stabilizers, has minimal hand shock. Fully equipped, any shock or recoil that was present before is unrecognizable.

This is one of the 2022 Flagship bows for the company and its price tag reflects that. With an MSRP of 1300 dollars, the Revolt XL may be out of budget for some hunters. Though it’s expensive, most top-of-the-line bows reflect similar prices or well exceed it. Adding the Revolt XL to your arsenal can truly be a “buy once cry once” investment, as it will perform reliably for years.

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SPEC SHEET

  • Mass Weight:4.5 pounds
  • Draw Weight:50, 60, or 70 pounds
  • Axle-to-axle length:33 inches
  • Draw Length:27.5-33 inches
  • Speed:350 feet per second
  • Brace Height:6.625 inches

To watch Joe's full video review head over to our YouTube page

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