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Main Boards => Product Reviews => Topic started by: FlintNSteel on May 23, 2016, 02:21:00 PM

Title: Win & Win Black Wolf Review
Post by: FlintNSteel on May 23, 2016, 02:21:00 PM
I have never owned a "modern" traditional bow, but Matt's video "The Push" got me interested.  After finding all the information I could on ILF hunting bows and watching a number of video reviews comparing various competing bows, I chose the Win & Win Black Wolf Recurve, available in the U.S. through Lancaster Archery.      

In one of the reviews I watched posted by a dealer in the UK who sells this model as well as several US branded models, the dealer stated that this bow was completely dead-in-the-hand.  He was right.  Win & Win, who produces high-end Olympic grade target bows, obviously used that knowledge to design a bow with no hand shock whatsoever.

The bow is available in 58", 60", and 62" models all around a 17" pure carbon riser.  For my 30" draw, I chose the 62" model and those long limbs on the relatively short handle provide an exceptionally smooth, even draw. The limbs are hard rock maple cores with carbon laminations back and belly.  From all the information I was able to find, there is no glass in this bow.

I chose 50# limbs that came in at 51# on my scale at 28"...56# at my 30" draw.  On these bows, the marked weight is the MINIMUM weight.  It is adjustable UP approximately 10%.  Speaking of adjustability, one can adjust weight and tiller using the weight adjustment bolts and also side-to-side limb location using adjusting bolts on the sides.  So this bow has the full adjustability of an ILF bow, plus the benefit of being able to swap limbs with other ILF makers.

As stated on every review I read and watched, the quality of this bow is outstanding.  The bow is finely sculpted and the finish is impeccable.

Here are some photos before I get into the shooting/speed test.

Full Length Shelf Side:


Full Length Quiver Side:


Close ups of Riser:



The limbs are beautifully done with maple cores and carbon back and belly lams.


The bow tips are finely sculpted:


The limb butts fit snuggly into riser pockets and snap into place with no tools, as ILF bows are designed to do.


My bow is fitted with a Great Northern Quiver which works perfectly.  Of course, these quivers are extremely versatile anyway.  I have one that is a quite a few years old and it is adjusted out 19" between the pads to clear the 17" riser.  I have noted on GN's website that their current models seem to only extend to 17" which would not be enough clearance, so new models of this quiver may not work.

The string is D97 Fast Flight 16 strand fitted with a single nock point, Cat Whiskers, and small brush buttons.

The riser is generously cut well past center and there is a plunger insert should one desire to shoot off an elevated rest.  I chose to shoot off the shelf and installed a Bear rug rest and thick leather side plate with a piece of Q-tip shaft vertically set under the plate to move the arrow out some and provide a fine touch-point for clearance.  With this setup I am still very slightly past center (pointed in).

The first thing I did was shoot three types of arrows through it.  Easton 2020's, Carbon Express 250's, and 70-75# tapered Surewood's.  All three flew extremely well, but the Carbon Express consistently produced the tightest groups, so I settled on those.

My carbon shafts are cut at 31" to give 1" clearance for broadheads over my 30" draw.  They sport a 125 gr head and with 4" four fletch helical feathers come in at 510 grs total weight.


I shoot split finger with a Kant-Pinch hair-faced tab.  This bow, of course, would be excellent for three-finger under or string walkers with all the adjustability that's available.  My bow came set up with even tiller and shoots split finger perfectly that way.

I shot the bow through the full recommended brace height range of 7" to 7 1/2" and all worked well.  I settled on 7 1/2" since I tend to need forgiveness more than speed!

I ran 10 shots through my Chrony F1 set up as described with the following results:

Low Speed:  201.2
Highest Speed: 207.0
Mean:  204.1
Median: 204.3  (averaged the 5th & 6th shots of 203.8 and 204.8 since I had an even number of shots).

The shot string was 202.2, 201.2, 201.8, 203.7, 205.0, 207.0, 205.6, 204.8, 205.8, 203.8

These arrows are hitting with authority!  Having shot traditional bows for nearly 50 years, I've always considered myself a 20-yard hunter at my effective range.  In a week of shooting this bow, I'm already punching the center at 30 yards very consistently.  At these arrow speeds, trajectory is quite flat compared to many other bows I have or do own currently.

The grip that comes with this bow is considered a medium wrist.  The throat of the grip is quite narrow (something I like)at a tad less than 7/8" (55/64" on my calipers), with good support of the hand.  Frankly, I think it shoots more like a high-wrist, but that's just the way I'm holding it.  If you like a fat grip, or a low wrist, you may not like this one.  It reminds me a lot of Bob Lee's grips on the old Wing bows.

The bow weighs in at 2.5# without the quiver.  This is light enough to easily carry while having enough heft to stabilize the bow.  This bow is very quiet.  In fact, in the online bow tests I watched it was something I noticed about this one over the competition...even without silencers it was very noticeably more quiet.

The bow carries a 2-year warranty.

The complete bow comes with a very nice padded takedown case which includes limb sleeves and a very thick padded riser bag. This keeps all the components protected inside the main case. There is also an accessory pocket on the outside of the main case.

Net, the W&W Black Wolf is a top quality, hard hitting, fast shooting, flexible bow.  While I love a beautiful wood bow, this bow with it's all black carbon is striking in it's own right.

The only negatives I would note are that it costs about $100 more than the lowest price I could find on a Hoyt Buffalo bow and it is not made in the USA.  If my understanding is correct, the handle is made in China and the limbs are made in South Korea.

I hope this review is of value to anyone looking at ILF Hunting bows and potentially considering the Win & Win Black Wolf.
Title: Re: Win & Win Black Wolf Review
Post by: Victory Rider on December 18, 2016, 10:07:00 AM
Weight wise how does it compare to your Bob Lee? I'm worried it's a tad lite. I tend to like a heavier riser.
Title: Re: Win & Win Black Wolf Review
Post by: FlintNSteel on December 18, 2016, 12:47:00 PM
My Bob Lee, without a quiver, is 2.4#.  So while it's 2" longer, it's 0.1# lighter.  Bob Lee does produce a heavy weight riser option.
Title: Re: Win & Win Black Wolf Review
Post by: Victory Rider on December 18, 2016, 06:50:00 PM
Thanks, was thinking it was about 50% lighter for some reason. Think I'm going to pick one up.
Title: Re: Win & Win Black Wolf Review
Post by: Parallax on January 01, 2017, 09:56:00 PM
I looked at one of these risers at LAS the other day. It is a real looker! I've been shooting a Titan for years. I'd like to give one of these a test drive.
Title: Re: Win & Win Black Wolf Review
Post by: carpenter on January 10, 2017, 07:57:00 AM
I am down to 2 bows now,1 being my Black Wolf. I think I will go down to 1 bow, the Black Wolf. I have always had at least 6 bows on the rack before. Quite a change for me.
Title: Re: Win & Win Black Wolf Review
Post by: Producer on February 11, 2017, 01:38:00 AM
The Hoyt with the carbon limbs is $200 more than the Black Wolf.
Title: Re: Win & Win Black Wolf Review
Post by: crazynate on February 14, 2017, 02:17:00 PM
Very fine review. Thanks for being so thorough. I've been looking for a riser like this. I might consider one now.
Title: Re: Win & Win Black Wolf Review
Post by: Tylaar on June 22, 2019, 01:21:32 AM
2019 update -  set one of these up yesterday and I’m still blown away by how smooth and quick the carbon limbs are. It took me most of the evening to get the stupid grin off my face.......could anyone recommend a good bow quiver for this (noting the comments in the original 2016 review which is spot on by the way)
Title: Re: Win & Win Black Wolf Review
Post by: steveinpa on August 28, 2019, 07:56:38 PM
That's a nice looking bow & good review.