Liberty Chief Elite Bow Review by Pete Ward
The Liberty Chief Elite is a bow that won me over after the first couple of arrows I shot from it. It is not outstanding in any one particular field, but it is very good to excellent in every category. The Chief Elite has excellent craftsmanship, and excellent quality woods and veneers. The precise glue lines and fine finish, combined with a very pleasant shot in the hand make this bow a good choice to consider. Hand shock is non existent to me, but if you really concentrate on it you know that you did just shoot an arrow. The bow shoots as silent as any I have shot.
With the supplied FF string there was a bit of shock but I have changed it to a 10 strand DF97 padded loop string , and the shock is gone.
The figured Myrtle veneers are as pretty as any I have seen.
The leather covered grip settles into my hand consistently in the same place, without having to find the comfortable spot . It is a bit larger than I usually shoot, but it fits so good that it is not an issue. Aiming can be a deliberate thing or on some bows like this one, a natural thing. It comes up and points without any fuss or need to adjust my form. I had no trouble at all matching wood and Carbon arrows to it. The bow seems to be quite tolerant of arrow selection.
After having it for only a couple of weeks I was confident enough with it to shoot one of the courses at the North American Longbow Safari with it and it did not let me down. Drawing the Elite is a pleasant experience, and at my short 27″ draw length there was no stacking felt. Friends that shot it, drawing out to 29″, also did not notice any stacking. If you are one of the long draw archers Allen makes this bow in 64″ and 66″ lengths to optimize shooting qualities at your draw length.
Those of us with a short draw can be very happy with shorter bows, however those with long draw lengths will prefer a longer bow. A friend has a 66″ model of the Chief that I used to make a draw comparison to show the difference that you would feel at 29″, 30″ or more. This 66″ bow draws 3# per inch from 29″ out to 33″, so if you are one of the shooters with a long draw, consider a longer length bow. The 66″ bow that belongs to Brian is every bit as good as the 62″ bow I am reviewing and it is better suited to those with long draw length’s over 28″.
The Chief Elite is a bow that has a hint of classic looks, yet it is a true modern longbow. The limbs have ample reflex to give it good performance, and tame the shock many longbows are known for.
The matching tips and overlays are faded into the limbs evenly and smoothly. The tips are small enough to give it great looks and the upper tip is long enough for easy use of a stringer. Many bows today chasing speed, have tips so small you can not use a stringer on them. Some have string grooves so small you think the string will come off, but not this one. The grooves are deep enough to accept a thick loop without concern.
The lower tip has a rounded end to make it more durable when we rest it on the ground etc. As expected on a quality bow there are no sharp edges to chip, every edge has a radius on it.
The riser fades are long and fine, and the shelf and plate have a definite radius to give good arrow clearance. The Chief -Elite comes with a fine leather grip and very thin matching shelf and plate pad that do a good job silencing the arrow draw and pass.
Normally there are some things I think might be able to be improved upon, or changed to what Peter likes. On this bow it is a chore to find them, but after some thought I would like to see Allen change the string he uses from 16 strands of the old Fast flight to a 10 or 12 strand modern string with padded loops. I made the change and analyzed the results. The DF 97 Padded loop string also was quieter and any previously noticeable hand shock disappeared. The extra 5 fps gain at 11 gr/# is alright too.
The only other item worth mentioning is that there are some slight streaks in the glass. This is a problem every bowyer I know of is struggling with. The North American Manufacturers are not producing clear streak free glass. Some strips are perfect and others are terrible in the same batch. This one is slight and only shows with certain light conditions and up close. You have to look for it to see it. If you know of a reliable source for streak free glass let me know so that I can pass on the information to the many bowyers that are searching for it.
To sum up this review I consider the Liberty Chief-Elite a bow that is very easy to like and to shoot well. It has all the characteristics of a top end bow that we look for. Great looks, fine workmanship, and excellent shooting qualities. This is another bow that I will be hunting with this fall. I am sure that my shooting would improve if I was to shoot just one bow, but with so many good ones at my disposal I switch bows often as long as I feel they will do it for me when the time comes. This one shoots so consistently for me that I have already started making up hunting arrows for it.
If you are in the Edmonton Area let me know and the Liberty will be available for a test drive. It will also be with me at any of the 3D shoots I attend. Just look me up and you can shoot it. I am sure you will like The Liberty Chief Elite as much as I do.