By Jerry Long, April 18, 2011 

In this review I take a look at the Bowtech SWAT. 

Note:  You may be wondering why I would post a review of a product after it has been replaced by a newer model.  Well, as in A Note on dv’s Gear Reviews and Gear Providers Recommendations I only want to recommend proven performers and the fact is – the Bowtech SWAT fits that description.  There are those bowhunters out there that don’t want to or can’t buy a new bow every year.  Normally, I’m one of those who doesn’t want to, but the bowhunting spirits smiled on me this year with Strother Archery.  SWATs were a good deal when new and are a good deal used, too.

The Bowtech SWAT.

Overall Rating**** (4 stars of 5).

Specifications

  • Brace Height:  7 1/8”
  • IBO Speed: 314-322
  • Axle-To-Axle:  34 1/32”
  • Draw Length:  26-31”
  • Let Off:  65-80%
  • Draw Weight:  50, 60, 70
  • Rotating Module System
  • Bowtech Factory Strings
  • Realtree Hardwoods HD Green or flat black on Special Edition
  • In Velvet

Cost***** (5 stars of 5).  Around $649.00 street price.    

Performance**** (5 stars of 5).  The SWAT met my ATA/BH requirements with an IBO speed at my short DL, 26.5”, I was willing to accept.  I set it up in December 2009 or January 2010 and used it for spring and summer 3D leagues as well as spring turkey season, a trip to Africa and fall whitetail season.  It performed well, putting down 8 animals for me in the 2010 hunting year.

  • 2009 Bowtech SWAT – 376.8 gr arrow
    • Cabela’s Stalker Extreme 55/70 cut to 26.5″ with 3 Blazer vanes and one 4-inch wrap
    • 26 5/8″ measured to AMO standard
    • 69.75 lbs (maxed out)
    • 14.6 gr on string (Fletcher TruPeep 8.8 gr, string loop 5.1 gr, tied string nocks .7 gr)
    • 376.8 gr arrow
    • 274 fps (three arrow avg)
    • 62.75 ft/lbs KE (actual, initial)
    • Calculated (using Archer’s Advantage) downrange KE and trajectory:
      • 20 yards – 8.9 inches drop, 58.1 ft/lbs KE
  • 2009 Bowtech SWAT – 476.8 gr arrow
    • Easton XX75 2216 cut to 26.5″ with three 4-inch feathers
    • 26 5/8″ measured to AMO standard
    • 70 lbs (maxed out)
    • 12.3 gr on string (1/4″ G5 Meta-Peep 6.5 gr, string loop 5.1 gr, tied string nocks .7gr)
    • 476.8 gr arrow
    • 250 fps (three arrow avg)
    • 66.00 ft/lb KE (actual, initial)
    • Calculated downrange KE and trajectory:
      • 20 yards – 10.8″ drop, 60.3 ft/lbs KE

Pros:

  • Moderate ATA/BH
  • Quiet
  • Little hand shock
  • Reliable
  • The factory strings were solid with little creep and no peep rotation
  • Durable, quiet finish
  • Decent performance in my DL
  • Excellent grip

Cons:   

  • Customer service from Bowtech can be difficult.  Phone and e-mail inquiries often go unanswered or a blanket referral to a dealer, who may have caused a problem or who may have already been consulted, may be a stock answer. 

Manufacturer’s Customer Service: ** (2 stars of 5) Again, Bowtech simply isn’t known for their customer service and my experience was no different.  Calls and e-mails may or may not be returned and the common excuse seems to be, “We grew too fast and are still catching up.”  Interestingly, my father’s customer service experiences with their parent company, Savage Arms, has always been the same way.  Sounds like a rooted customer service philosphy to me.    

Source:  Bitter Creek Sports, Slinger, WI (no longer in business)

General notes:  Bows in this price range are known as “price point” bows.  The bow I used before it, the Highlander, came from Hoyt’s “price point” Reflex line.  I like to prove that a bowhunter can “get it done” with a price point bow – I took one to Africa for the adventure of a lifetime.  I wouldn’t have done that had I had any doubts about its ability to perform.  I truly enjoyed shooting my Bowtech SWAT and it performed well for me.  Highly recommended.       

happy hunting, dv

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Copyright © Jerry E Long, 2009-2011