THE RIGHT BOW ON THE GO
SURVIVAL ARCHERY SYSTEMS’ NEW, PACKABLE ATMOS TAKEDOWN BOW
Survival Archery Systems’ new, packable Atmos Takedown Bow
Acouple of years ago, I did a review of the leading survival bows on the market. One of them was the Recon from Survival Archery Systems (SAS). It was a well-thought-out design, and it shot well. So, when American Survival Guide Editor Mike Mccourt asked me if I were interested in doing a review of a new takedown bow from the same company, I quickly agreed.
That bow is the new Atmos Compact Modern Longbow.
Doug Shadwell, the director and owner of Survival Archery Systems, has been an archer and bowhunter for years. Starting in late 2015, after the success of his Recon folding survival bow, he began getting requests from customers to add holes for sights, bowfishing mounts and different types of arrow rests. Others asked him to make his bows center-shot to make it easier to tune and aim them.
This wasn’t feasible from a structural perspective, so Shadwell decided to think outside the box: In 2017, he settled on building a new riser for a new bow. It would cater to the larger archery market so that compound and recurve shooters could have an option for a compact, backpackable bow that felt more familiar to them than the folding bows he already offered. It would not only feel familia but also look similar. With those qualities integrated, he felt he had something that would garner the interest of many archers.
To achieve these goals, SAS defined the following design criteria for its new bow: • Made in the U.S.A.
• 31-inch maximum draw
• Must not stack
• Fit into a standard 22-inch backpack
• Feel familiar to all archers
• Weigh between 2.4 and 2.8 pounds
• Must be durable
• Must be corrosion resistant and weatherproof
• Accept any type of accessory
• Able to be shot with fingers or a release
• Can be shot off the shelf or via a rest/ whisker biscuit
• Has to shoot quietly
• Needs to look good and have great styling
This table summarizes the characteristics of the final design:
• Country of origin: U.S.A.
• IBO length: 60 inches
• Disassembled length: 22 inches
• Mass weight: 2.6 pounds
• Draw weights: 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55 pounds
• Maximum draw: 31 inches
• Brace height/fistmele 7.5–8.5 inches
• Cut past center: 0.53 inch
• Handedness: Right or left
• Materials: Riser: 6061 T6 aluminum; limbs: High–tech composite fiber; hardware: 316SS, MILSPEC and HTS steel; takedown arrows: 7075 aluminum; string: B50 Dacron; riser colors: Camo, Cerakote Cobalt, Cerakote, Burnt Bronze, Blue Cerakote, red and blue
• Included in package: Atmos Compact Modern Longbow, string, nock set, Allen wrench, 6 takedown arrows • MSRP: $669.95
WHEN I PUT THE ATMOS TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME, I WAS IMPRESSED BY THE EASE OF ASSEMBLY AND THE FIT OF THE COMPONENT PIECES. IT FELT GOOD IN MY HAND, HAD A NARROW GRIP LIKE THAT FOUND ON MOST COMPOUND BOWS AND WAS WELL BALANCED.
Like most modern takedown bows, the Atmos is easy to assemble. It is composed of the following parts:
• Machined riser
• Two solid-fiberglass longbow limbs
• Two sets of limb bolts and washers, both in plastic bag
• Six-sided Allen wrench to tighten the limb bolts
• Bowstring with a nock set, both in plastic bag
To assemble the bow, you simply need to—
Remove the parts from the packaging or your pack.
. Put each limb bolt in its washer, with the wide part of the washer against the limb.
. Place a limb in the pocket at the end of the riser. Make sure the limb is positioned so that the ray string groove that is cut into the limb is facing toward the target. This will allow the string o lay naturally in the string groove. Make sure the limb fits flush with the limb pocket and isn’t esting on the side of the limb pocket.
. Thread the limb bolt and washer through the hole in the limb and into the limb with your ngers. Then use the hex wrench to tighten it. Do not overtighten the limbs. Do not apply more ressure when you feel the hex wrench stop moving, because you might crack the composite limb aterial. You will be able to tighten it more—but don’t do it.
. Put the bowstring over both limbs, placing one end in the bottom string groove. Then use a bow tringer to bend the limbs and move the upper end of the string into the other string groove.
. Once you have your arrow rest in place, you can use a bow square to position the nock set to nsure you consistently place the arrow in the correct position on the string.
DD YOUR ACCESSORIES
When it comes to accessories for your Atmos, the first thing you need to decide is if you will be iming it instinctively or with sights. Shooting instinctively takes time to build your skills and ractice to keep your skills sharp. So, unless you really enjoy shooting a bow and will put in the ork to be accurate out to 20 or more yards, you should probably go with sights.
If you are going to shoot instinctively, all you need to do is apply a stick-on arrow rest (such s a Bear Weather Rest) that will hold your arrow in place while you draw and shoot. You an also use strips of hook-and-loop material or thick felt to build up an arrow plate and rrow rest to shoot off of. Using a stick-on arrow rest will be easier and more effective for the ess-experienced shooter.
If you want to use sights, first select an arrow rest from the dozens on the market. They all have heir advantages and disadvantages, so try out a few on the compound bows at your local archery ro shop to see which style you prefer. With the industry standard holes machined into the Atmos’ ser, most, if not all, of them will fit.
The next accessory will be your sight. As with the arrow rest, there are dozens of these available, o pick the one that fits your preferences and budget. They range from simple pin sights with one r more pins to sights with fiber optics to illuminate the pins in low-light conditions to scopes that agnify the target for you and simplify aiming.
The sight, arrow rest, stabilizer and quiver chose to use with the Atmos all came from RUGLO and worked fine with the new riser.
When I put the Atmos together for the first me, I was impressed by the ease of assembly nd the fit of the component pieces. It felt ood in my hand, had a narrow grip like that ound on most compound bows and was well alanced. The riser and the limbs are all the ame length—around 21.5 to 22.0 inches—and he location of the arrow rest is halfway etween the two limb tips (which is something hat other bowmakers don’t always get right). In addition to the fit and feel, the Atmos is also ery obviously designed to be durable. While pinning it around in my hand to evaluate its
IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHOOT INSTINCTIVELY ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS APPLY A STICK-ON ARROW REST (SUCH AS A BEAR WEATHER REST) THAT WILL HOLD YOUR ARROW IN PLACE WHILE YOU DRAW AND SHOOT.
alance, it reminded me of my martial arts days and working with a bow staff. The limbs are stiff nough so that when they are attached to the riser, you have a defensive tool to block and thrust ith when it is not strung. (I think Little John and Robin Hood would have been very comfortable ith the Atmos!)
I was also very pleased by the performance of the Atmos on the range. Using the 50-pound mbs it came with and shooting a 665-grain takedown arrow, it sent the arrow downrange at 35 feet per second and produced what I always look for in an arrow—a very satisfying thunk hen it hit the target.
You can debate all you want about arrow speed and kinetic energy, but I want my rig to shoot relatively heavy arrow that will absorb the energy the bow can deliver and hold onto it all the
ay to the target. That is how you get good omentum for deep penetration. The recomendation for an effective hunting arrow with raditional tackle is at least 9 to 10 grains per ound of draw weight (gpp). This combination ad 13.3 gpp.
I am not a competitive archer; nevertheless, I was ble to produce 2- to 3-inch groups with three arrows t 20 yards using a sight. They all flew off the arrow st smoothly and hit the target at right angles with o loss of energy due to bad arrow flight.
The Atmos fit well in my hand, and I was leased to see that it did not produce any hand hock or vibrations. This might be due in part to he heavy arrow, but it was a pleasure to shoot. was also very quiet at the shot, so I don’t think nyone who hunts with one at close range will ave to worry about noise. And this was without ny string silencers on the bowstring.
With its fast assembly, especially if you are shooting instinctively, this is a good addition for anyone who wants to add a bow and arrow to their bug-out bag or backpacking gear. The 50-pound limbs I evaluated are suitable for hunting anything from small game up to whitetail deer. With the heavier limbs SAS offers, you can use this bow for any game animal in North America. It is a durable and well-crafted piece of tackle ... and, like all bows, it is fun to shoot!
WITH THE HEAVIER LIMBS SAS OFFERS, YOU CAN USE THIS BOW FOR ANY GAME ANIMAL IN NORTH AMERICA. IT IS A DURABLE AND WELL-CRAFTED PIECE OF TACKLE ... AND, LIKE ALL BOWS, IT IS FUN TO SHOOT!
When your Atmos arrives, the box will contain the Atmos riser, two limbs in the weight you ordered, the bowstring with a brass nock set and two sets of limb bolts and washers. (Photo: Larry Schwartz)
Far left: The Atmos comes in variety of colors, so you can sho off when you are at the range blend in when you are hunting the backcountry. (Photo: Surviv Archery System
Top and bottom left: The SAS Recon Folding Su vival Bow is the “grandfather” of the Atmos. The both use the same composite limbs (these can b interchanged if you want heavyweight limbs f big-game hunting) and a set of lightweight limb for practice and small game. (Photo: Surviv Archery System
Near left: This shade of blue one of the many riser color option available for the Atmos bo
Far right, bottom: The TRUGLO endulum sight on the rightand side of the riser is a good xample of the kind of accessoes that are available. It can be djusted for distance like a fixed ght; and, if you are shooting om an elevated position, you an release the pendulum, which ill adjust for the angle. (Photo: arry Schwartz)
Near right: Place your nock set—the ttle brass ring that comes with the owstring—on the string about 1/4 inch igher than the arrow rest. (Photo: arry Schwartz)
Far right, top: Be sure to put the bowstring on o that it comes off the limb on the side that ces you and points straight down toward the ther limb tip. (Photo: Larry Schwartz)
A set of takedown arrows is the perfect complement to a takedown bow. No need to have 30-inch arrows sticking out of your pack when your 22-inch bow is hiding inside. (Photo: Larry Schwartz)
By using the appropriate point on your arrows, you can use your bow for a wide variet of purposes. From left to right are a field point for practice; a two-blade broadhead for hunting big game; a Judo/spring-leg head for hunting small game; and a blunt for stump shooting or hunting small game. (Photo: Larry Schwartz)
Brace height is the distance between the riser to the bowstring. It should be between 7.5 and 8.5 inches. (Photo: Larry Schwartz)
If you are going to use a takedown bow that will fit in your backpack, you should consider buying or making your own takedown arrows. These are heavy-hitters and work great! (Photo: Larry Schwartz)
The Atmos is a stable shooter and can give you groups such as this. (Photo: Larry Schwartz)
If you decide to go simpler route and ai instinctively, you wi need to add a stick-o arrow rest to the ris Place it over the hol in the riser where you would screw on a more-modern rest. (Photo: Larry Schwartz)