Customer Reviews: Spectre Compact Take-down Survival Bow and Arrow Set
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on October 11, 2010
After learning the hard way why it is absolutely important NOT to dry fire a bow (= pull the bow string and let it snap WITHOUT an arrow attached) and thanks to the seller replacing two damaged limbs at no charge (even though there was a written warning in the manual which I stupidly ignored and it was my own fault that the limbs got cracks) I was able to use and test-shoot the bow this past weekend and it was real fun for me. The weight of the bow is just right - not too heavy, so it's easy for transportation but not too light either which makes it possible to get a steady aim and shot.

A little issue I noticed is the sprayed on camouflage paint easily cracks or scrapes off where the wing nuts are attaching the limbs to the grip and riser, but that's just a beauty issue and after all it's a survival bow, not a museum artifact...

Overall I'm pleased with the bow itself, the arrows that come along are good quality. The quiver has velcro to close the lid of the compartment that holds the bow segments, which is only glued on. It would be better to add some sowing stitches, since the one part of the velcro came off when opening the lid. Maybe the seller can improve that part.

The reason why I decided for this bow was also the fact that it can be detached into rather small parts and the bow doesn't need much room when disassembled into its segments. Definitely a plus for transportation, especially when on foot out in the terrain.

It was nice dealing with the seller - as I mentioned they replaced the broken limbs which got ruined due to my own fault not following the instructions/warning about dry firing the bow!
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on December 5, 2012
As the title of this review says, this is my first bow, please keep in mind that the review is made by a novice first time shooter. With that said, the last couple of months I've been upgrading my camping gear and while shopping on Amazon came across the Spectre Compact Take-down survival Bow and Arrow Set(I later found the company's website is actually and after doing a bit of looking around, first thing I noticed is that for the price, I simply couldn't find anything like it anywhere especially for the price. The fact that it breaks down is great and I was able to pack it easily(which was a big selling point for me). All the other bows on Amazon in the same price range and more are all listed as "youth" bows. The set arrived at my house a day before the estimated delivery date so that was the first good sign.

Once I got it, I found that it went together very easily and after I got it all setup it felt like a good solid product and not some cheap plastic toy (actually the only plastic part on this bow is the arrow rest, which even the replacement I got from my local Archery shop is also plastic so I guess for that type of arrow rest, it's normal). A friend suggested that I go to a range to maybe pick up some pointers from the regulars there and he was absolutely right about that! I went to a local range and it was great to get some tips from the folks there and best part was I wasn't laughed out of the place for having this bow.

The only thing though is at the range they have a scale setup that tells you how many pounds draw a bow is. One of the employees put this bow on their scale and it drew only about 30lbs. The listing says that it's 50/55lbs... I emailed Spectre to let them know... I received an email back very quickly and was told that my order was for the 30/35lbs model, but given their Christmas spirit, they will send out the 50/55lbs limbs and string for no extra charge! Merry Christmas for sure! So that's also an A+ for customer service!

I would highly suggest once you purchase this Bow and Arrow set to send the Spectre ( an email and let them know which draw weight you want to purchase. The Amazon listing says it's 50/55lbs and it's the only option from but off of the company's website you can get either a 35lbs, 45lbs, or 55lbs version. So somehow I imagine getting it from Amazon and not direct from their site and not having a dropdown menu to choose which version, it could have been an easy mistake or confusion to make etc.. all in all though Spectre ( stepped up and said they will correct it without having to go back and forth a million times and that's great in my book. The email exchange and the promise to send me the limbs was just today and I was told that they will ship me the 50/55lbs limbs and strings tomorrow.. so I'm looking forward to that and seeing the real power of the Spectre Compact Take-Down Survival Bow and Arrow set. Oh.. and the arrows are real carbon arrows and not some cheap things they just throw in and they come with very good field tips (yes, I'm learning more and more each day it seems ;-))..

Well, I hope this review helps someone out.. as I said, I'm very new to Archery so if you are too, maybe you have some of the same concerns and thoughts as me before getting into it. If you want to spend a few bucks to see if you actually enjoy the sport first this is a great setup.. even if you end up with an expensive compound bow later, you still can have use for this bow and especially given that it breaks down and all of it fits in the quiver, it's a great deal that comes with great customer service... Also want to add that this bow as well as all products from Spectre (from what I've been told from them) are all made in the USA! And that's just another reason that makes this purchase a good one for me.
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on October 18, 2012
My first impression- Ugly, uncomfortable, cold. My father taught me archery with a Bear recurve. Gorgeous wood, elegant lines, and a grip that felt so natural in the hand; a work of art. I got this, and...


So I put it together, strung it, and took it in the yard for a few shots. The assembly is very intuitive for anyone who's used a recurve before, and it's got a bit more punch than my old one. Mind you, it's been about fifteen years since I picked up a bow, and the bear was probably 30-35# draw. I put 20 arrows down with it, and I'm definitely impressed. I'll watch out for the de-laminations mentioned, but I've had no problems so far and I plan to adhere to the 'no dry-fire' warning. As for the arrows, no fletching issues yet, and I'm not terribly concerned given the value of the bow itself versus price paid. The arrow rest- I tore it off straight out of the packing. It looked useless, so it didn't get used. Twenty arrows with my finger as the arrow rest; it shows but I'm no worse for wear, though definitely wearing gloves next time. I do plan to follow the recommendation to cord-wrap the grip as I now have a distinct crease in my palm. Also, I wasn't a fan of quick-releases, but given the draw on this bow I think I'll invest in one so I don't end up with an arthritic claw.

As far as breakdown and portability, this bow is stellar. Again, very intuitive, but it seems to be made more for those a little more experienced and caring to their gear.

Second impression- Still ugly; but I can make it comfortable, and I've definitely warmed up to it.
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on March 10, 2013
I've been using this guy twice a week, a couple hours at a time for the past 2 months. It's really a ~35lb draw at 32 inches. It's NOT 50lbs as advertised. I'm still very happy with it. Last week, a small piece of fiberglass along the middle of the bow shaft splinted off. I immediately super glued it so that the splint doesn't open up even more (I hope it doesn't, I don't know how fiber glass works). The carbon arrows included with this buy are SUPERB! After two months, they still shoot great. 2 weeks ago one of the arrow tips got stuck in wood-layerinhg behind the hay bale I was shooting it in so I'll have to replace it.

The arrow rest constantly needs to be tightened with a screwdriver. It's come to a point where I bring a screwdriver with me to the shooting range just so I can re-tighten it on site.

The string is already starting to wear down after 2 months.

Xpectre has great customer service and I would buy from them again albeit better quality goods.

For the price, a 35 lb draw bow with 4 carbon arrows is pretty fair for $100. For newbies, carbon arrows are ~$8 a pop. So I spent about $70 on the bow itself. This will be a great deal if the bow lasts, I'm nervous about the splint.

Edit: A few years later >> I really loved the customer service. After I asked them about the splint, they sent me another piece. It's worked great. I now had this bow for years and it still works. What a great investment.
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on August 10, 2011
This bow is simple, yet effective. It breaks down into three pieces, and weighs less than five pounds. As long as you put it together properly, it is very sturdy. The arrow rest could be a bit better; it's a sliver of thin plastic.

It stores quite nicely in/on a pack, though the full-length arrows are not the best choice for backpacking. Take-down arrows would compliment this bow quite nicely; I'll have to try to source/build some.
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on July 30, 2013
Decent bow. You must set the bracing correctly ( twisting string to shorten it). The rest is basic and the bow should be shot at a slight angle to keep the arrow on it. The grip is thin and a leather wrapping will help. Shoot arrows with cock vane inward For better flight. A Nocking crimp is a must. Nothing like my other bows but for a simple truck bow it stores easily and I will not worry about it.

I wrapped a cobra weave paracord grip and marked both limbs "front" so they flex the same direction each time I reassemble. This bow is almost dead aim on at 25 yards for me. (added 7-31-13)

After further use it seems feather fletching works best. Plastic vanes can hit the riser and bounce. Had better flight with my Carbon Express Maxima Hunter 350 arrows At 32 inches. Arrows sent with bow are fine...might want to re-fletch with feathers. Bow weight is about 37 pounds but arrows sent with bow spine at 55 pounds which can cause flight problems. Also I set brace height at 6.5 inches for my style of shooting. (added 8-1-13)
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on February 6, 2014
The Spectre Compact etc. has the simplicity of design which makes it quick and easy to assemble or disassemble. The design is almost foolproof--string it backwards or dry-fire the bow (firing without an arrow on the string) could damage the limbs (possibly leading to a shattered limb on the bow and an impaled limb for you). As other reviewers have noted previously, the string nocks need smoothing when you get it. The wire arrow shelf is functional, though crude and the wire succumbed to metal fatigue and broke off after a few times of being bent out for shooting and folded back for storage, so I removed it entirely. I find the grip a little small for my hand, but I have big hands, so I wanted to wrap the grip anyway, my wrapping makes the grip fit my hand better and makes is much warmer when out in cold weather (which has been sub-zero recently). I'm planning on making a simple L-shaped arrow rest that I can insert into the wrapping wherever I want it depending on wether I'm going to shoot right or left handed or if I'm practicing the Mongolian release. By the way, a big factor in my choice of this bow was the fact that the simple design lends itself to such flexibility of style in shooting.

It has a few minor problems, but all are readily fixed, thus a solid 4 Star Rating--at least for my criteria of what a basic bow should be.
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on March 29, 2011
wow i bought this thinking i was wasting my money but i was wrong this is a grate little bow if you buy this i would also recommend you add some SG-X 125-grain small-game broadhead and some broadheads extra bow string and some supper glue and spare fletchings and a fishing arrow the only thing i think should be done by the manufacture is an accessories pouch on the case/quiver and i plan on making 2 peace arrows for this kit
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on May 15, 2015
I bought this bow awhile back thinking it would be a good "just in case" thing to have. Considering it's a survival bow I think it does its job. However I would recommend not using veined arrows, as they push off they body of the bow kicking your arrow to the side. I would replace the veins on the arrows that come with it with fletches(feathers) or buy fletched arrows. I would also stick to a lighter wood arrow as they have more flex which will increase accuracy. Just don't go too light. As for the no grip aspect I've seen a few people bring up. I used some 550 cord to make a nice comfortable grip on mine. All in all I would recommend this bow.
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on July 9, 2012
My main ride is a motorcycle and I like to go camping/hiking with the lightest, most efficient equipment possible. Although I have a classic recurve bow I wanted something I could take with me. When I found the Spectre I wasn't sure if it would serve well, but the reviews were good so I risked it.

I'm glad I did.

It's a unique setup that I'm surprised isn't emulated elsewhere. It's powerful, accurate, can be setup for either hand use and hits hard enough to take down medium game. I think it's a great value.

The only bad stuff: the case/quiver is a cheap nylon that was already frayed when I received it. The arrow rest broke off when I dropped the case, but I made a replacement that I'm much happier with.

I recommend anyone interested in archery, survival and a compact solution to check this out. At the very least you'll have a backup/travel bow.
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