Bow Complex Review: Xpedition Smoke

The Smoke is an unforgiving short-altitude speed arc that almost passed our 2022 flag arc test. It has a hybrid camera system that is traction-specific and extremely efficient. It was, in fact, the most efficient test bow with 86.8% (and in fact, one of the most efficient bows we have ever tested). He also won our speed test – and did it with a half inch equal length tied behind his back.

For our test, we ask manufacturers to send bows set to the 28-inch traction length, and Xpedition assured us that they had done exactly that, according to the AMO specifications. However, our measurements set it at 27.5 inches (without any possibility to adjust it). And yet, even with that hurdle, Smoke fired arrows at 3 fps faster than any other bow.

Xpedition smoke specifications

arch picture of the Xpedition complex
Xpedition Archery
  • Test speed: 324 fps. (via our chronograph, with 60 pounds of traction weight and 28 inches of traction length; see “How to Test It” below)
  • Advertising speed ATA: 370 fps
  • Length from shaft to shaft: 32 inches
  • Holder height: 5,375 inches
  • Weight: 5 pounds, 4 ounces
  • Efficiency: 86.8%
  • Final result: 94 (out of 100)

Smoke had an extremely smooth pull cycle, given his impressive speed and was consistent from start to finish. Tester Danny Hinton and I both, in fact, linked it up as our favorite traction test cycle. Zach Bell, the third member of our test panel, did not like it so much because of the shallow valley that made him competitive in full draw. This is why we average such things.

Smoke was also a good shooter. We average 1.23 inches with it. Finished in the middle of the package for (absence) vibration and noise. I hunted with Smoke for a few days last season of deer, and on the stand I saw it was a bit big and very heavy. After all, we all agreed that in the categories of treatment, balance and capture, as well as adaptation and completion, it was not quite on par with some other arcs in the test, especially the two that came out for it. the first and second. place. Still, after finishing within a point and a half of the winner but costing $ 750 less, the fastest bow of the year also gets our vote down as the main bow with the best value of 2022. As Smoke is a model with limited edition, you need to understand your withdrawal length and order yours soon. Speaking of which, keep in mind that its camera system is specific to traction length, so make sure you get the traction length right before you order.

Who should buy Xpedition Smoke?

For the money, Smoke was the best bow of our test, and that alone is enough to attract the attention of many archers. But it is a specialized platform; not everyone wants a bearing height below 6 inches and some shooters may feel constrained by the fixed pull length. It also gives up a bit of handling, especially compared to the Mathews V3X.

But compensation is performance, and let’s be realistic – a 32-inch bow is far from a club. Most adult archers do not need to confuse with the length of their bow pull once they realize it is properly positioned. And while it has become somewhat out of fashion to accept you as a fast bow (a fashion that will surely change, again, with marketing trends), the truth is that a speed bow you can shoot really well is an advantage great on the field. This allows you to shoot a heavy hunting arrow faster, which equates to a flatter trajectory and better penetration into the creatures. As speed bows go, the Smoke is one of the best we’ve ever tested.

How we tested the Xpedition smoke

photo of a man testing a composite bow
An engineer at Stress Engineering Solutions prepared to shoot a bow in a soundproof room to measure noise. Will Brantley

Xpedition smoke was part of the annual F&S Bow test, which took place at the Stress Engineering Services lab in Mason, Ohio, and on my farm in southwest Kentucky, where we squeezed each bow and placed it face to face. Our testing panel included engineers in the Outdoor Stress Division, as well as me; former shop owner and archery technician, Danny Hinton; and Zach Bell, a serious archer and target hunter. We scored each arc on a 100-point scale in the following categories, in the following ways:

Accuracy and forgiveness: 20 points

This category is the longest part of our process, but also the most important. Our accuracy and forgiveness test takes the average of five groups with three archery strokes from a three-shot panel. All the bows we test will shoot better than any of us, individually. The idea here is to notice tendencies that make some arches essentially easier (or harder) to group. This year’s test was conducted indoors at 25 yards over three days using the Carbon Express Maxima Red Arrow hunting specifications, HHA footage and installed eavesdropping footage.

Xpedition smoke results

All testers shot Smoke well. Finished tied for second, just behind Mathews V3X, in Accuracy and Forgiveness, with a score of 19 out of 20.

Speed: 20 points

Each bow is set at 28 inches and 60 pounds (IBO advertised specifications would be from bows set at 30 inches and 70 pounds, but 5 darts darts per kilogram of equal length bring you closer). Arches that did not meet the specifications were adjusted if possible. Once done, we prepared some 300-grain IBO-specific darts, which were used to measure speed (average three shots through my chronograph). At 30 inches, you can assume an additional 20 fps. or so is added to the speed measurement. We also use a mustache cookie break and with that, you can assume a loss of around 5 fps. So by offsetting the shorter traction length and rest, and you can assume an extra 15 fps, give or take, added to our published speeds.

Xpedition smoke results

Smoke escaped with the speed test, recording an average arrow speed of 324 fps with the above specifications (and an IBO rating of 370.) The only bow that was close to Smoke speed was the Hoyt RX-7, which was 3 fps behind him at 321, and the next closest bow was 315. He scored a perfect score 20 of 20.

Draw cycle: 20 points

This is our only double subjective category. It is an appreciation of how comfortable a bow is to draw, hold, and shoot — important things to know both on paper and when fully stuck in a deer stand. For this category, we are evaluating the comfort of the overall cycle, the valley, and the rear wall, and then comparing what we think we feel with the attractive force curves defined in Stress Engineering.

Xpedition smoke results

It is really impressive that the fastest bow in the test was also tied for the best draw cycle. Had it not been for a somewhat shallow valley, it would have gotten a perfect result. As it is, he got a 19.5 out of 20, equal to Hoyt and slightly better than Mathews and Elite.

Noise (absence): 10 points

At Stress Engineering in Mason, Ohio, a soundproof chamber is used to measure the noise of each arc, again, using the 300-grain IBO-specified arrow.

Xpedition smoke results

Again, for such a fast bow, Smoke is pretty quiet. He scored 9 out of 10 in the category.

Vibration (absence): 10 points

Another measurement taken in Stress Engineering, this one with an accelerator mounted on the arch stabilizer gate.

Xpedition smoke results

That was Smoke’s biggest hurdle. He also scored 8.5 out of 10.

Fit and Finish: 10 points

This is a subjective category that not only evaluates what a bow looks like (some are sharper than others), but also how well it fits together. We are checking for things like toolbars and defects at the end. It is rare for us to drop more than one or two points in this category for a flag bow.

Expedition smoke results

Smoke is a beautiful bow, but not equal to some others. He scored 9.5 out of 10.

Balance, handling and capture: 10 points

How does a bow feel in the hand and up in a tree? Is it easy and useful, or cumbersome and cumbersome? In full draw, does catching a good form of shooting facilitate or hinder it? Worst of all, does digging in the hand and cause pain (we’ve all seen it before). Is the bow easy to hold on to the target? Does it tilt or roll this way or that way after release? This is a subjective category and we take all of these things into account when assigning a point.

Expedition smoke results

This is another place where Smoke stumbled a bit, scoring 8.5 out of 10. We found it a little heavy and a little heavy. But if you are looking for clean performance, this is a very impressive bow, at a lower price than most major models.

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