I’ve been using the same draw weight on my bow for years, but I started to wonder about the heaviest draw weights available for compound bows so I decided to do some research and share my findings.
The heaviest production model compound bow had a draw weight of 100 pounds and was built by PSE. More commonly available bows max out at 80 pounds as rated by the manufacturers. However, heavier weights may be available through custom order or custom fabrication.
While most, if not all, major manufacturers offer compound bows at 70 pounds draw weight, it can be a bit harder to find one heavier than that. There are however a number of options out there for people looking for really heavy draw weights.
Heavy Compound Bow Draw Weights (and who makes them)
Whatever the reason people are seeking heavy draw weight compound bows, it’s not mainstream. This makes it difficult because if a manufacturer doesn’t feel they can sell enough of the product, they won’t bother to engineer and produce it.
However, there seems to be just enough interest that both in the past and presently there have been some bow manufacturers willing to produce these monsters.
Modern Heavy Draw Weight Bows
Here are some of the top manufacturers currently producing compound bows over 70lbs peak draw weight
|Manufacturer||Model(s)||Peak Draw Weight|
Carbon RX-3 Ultra
Evoke 35 EC
I poured through all the big brands websites and as you can see I only came up with a handful of compound bows that are offered in draw weights more than 70 pounds.
Hoyt and Obsession offer the most options and both make some beautifully crafted bows. One manufacturer that may have some options that I left off the list was Martin. They listed a few bows as 70+ pounds but it wasn’t clear exactly what that meant or what the peak weight was.
If you’re looking to buy a modern compound bow and have gorilla strength, then definitely look at the bows from the table above. They are all from reputable manufacturers and will serve you well.
Be sure to check out my Recommended Archery Gear section for all kinds of suggestions.
Heavy Draw Weight Bows of the Past
There have been some real monster compound bows produced in the past. I scoured the web looking for the biggest baddest bows I could find that have been produced and put together as much info here for you as I could find.
The PSE Gorilla Sy
This compound bow may in fact have the heaviest draw weight of all production bows. This was an actual catalog item, not a custom built bow.
According to the information on their site PSE made this bow only in year 2000. I found some people in forums across the web that claimed they made them through the late 90’s but year 2000 is the only official listed year.
While this bow is no longer made you might be able to find a used PSE Gorilla on eBay.
The bow peaked at 100 lbs draw weight with only 65% let off, so at full draw you were still holding 35 pounds. Check out some more stats about this bow.
|Draw Weight:||80 – 100 lbs|
|IBO Speed:||307 fps|
|Bow Weight:||5.2 lbs|
|Axle to Axle:||42 inches|
As you can see, this was no little bow at 42″ axle to axle length. At the time 307 fps was pretty impressive, but now bows can achieve this at a much lower draw weight. Perhaps this is why the heavy hitters are hard to find now.
PSE Mach 4
Before PSE thought up the Gorilla they sold the Mach 4. Listed by PSE as being produced for the model year 1992 the Mach 4 boasted an optional peak draw weight of 90 pounds.
Being an older bow this could be hard to find I have seen some listed on eBay at various draw weights.
I had a harder time locating complete information for this bow, probably due to it’s age, but I was able to find the axle to axle length which was 41 inches.
You could get a range of draw lengths for the Mach 4 ranging from 28″ to 32″ but if you wanted the 90 pound draw weight you were limited to 30″ to 32″ draw length.
Hoyt Maxxis Dangerous Game
For models years 2010 and 2011 Hoyt produced a series of compound bows in their Maxxis line that peaked at 90 pounds draw weight. Known as the Maxxis Dangerous Game it came in 2 different axle to axle lengths, 31″ and 35″.
Information on this bow is pretty limited but the catalog of the time stated that in addition to the extra heavy limbs, they also used reinforced components, a special wood grip, and of course dangerous game graphics.
I couldn’t find one of these for sale anywhere, not even on auction sites so my guess is they are kind of rare.
Mathews Monster Safari
Mathews is in on some heavy duty draw weights as well. The Monster Safari may still be available from Mathews as a custom order but it’s not listed in their catalog lineup online. With a peak weight of 85 pounds and an IBO speed of 350 fps, sounds like they came to play hard.
The bow is beautiful with African wood inlays and the patent pending honeycomb riser. It has a 33″ axle to axle length with a 6″ brace height. This bow looks great and performs great making it appealing for somebody after a high draw weight.
There are various versions of the Mathews Monster listed on eBay at any given time, might worth a look if you’re after a heavy hitter.
This bow is a ghost online, I can’t find any specs on it anywhere. But if you do enough digging in web forums you find mention of this beast that had optional 100 pound limbs. Looks like it was made in the early 2000’s and offered quite a punch. Bowtech is no slouch to design and quality either.
The only for sale listing I could find was for a bowstring.
Why would you want a Heavy Draw Weight?
To look macho right? Well maybe, but that’s not usually why people go looking for high draw weight compound bows.
Most shooters of high weight bows are looking for large amounts of Kinetic Energy and/or arrow speed. Especially for bow hunters, kinetic energy is important for going after big game.
There’s some math that goes into figuring out your kinetic energy and a heavier draw weight isn’t always the way to get there, but it does enable you to shoot heavier arrows that can have a harder hit to them.
I think that in the past this was more important than it is with modern technology. Manufacturers have perfected ways to get maximum arrow speed without having to push the limits on draw weight. That being said, high weight bows still have a big following online and plenty of people are looking for them.
What are the disadvantages of a Heavy Draw Weight?
Shoulder surgery! Just kidding, well sort of. Pulling those high draw weights are definitely more taxing on your shoulder, but as long as you’re not trying to pull more weight than you’re capable of and you listen to your body, then you’ll be fine.
Fatigue and discomfort can be an issue. For example if you’re bow hunting and you’ve been sitting out in the cold all afternoon and suddenly you need to draw that monster bow back to get your shot, it’s going to be a lot harder under pressure and discomfort.
Does Draw Weight affect distance? Yes and No. With all else being equal, a higher draw weight will allow the arrow to fly further with a flatter trajectory. However, as you move up in draw weight you should also increase your arrow weight which affects trajectory negatively. So yes, the draw weight definitely affects the distance you can shoot, but it doesn’t always mean you can shoot farther.
How to tell the draw weight of a compound bow? There’s a couple different ways to find out the draw weight of a compound bow. The first way is to look on the bow itself for a tag or label that lists the peak weight. This method is somewhat unreliable because it’s only going to tell you the weight with the limbs tightened all the way down, and it’s usually still off by a few pounds.
A more accurate way to find the draw weight is to use a bow scale which hooks onto the string of the bow and you would draw the bow back as if you were going to shoot it and it records the peak weight reached during your draw.