Some writers complain about the long hours in front of the computer screen or the chronic carpel tunnel from madly scribbling notes while a public figure drones on about the latest and greatest — whatever.
If you catch me on the wrong the day I might be one of those writers. If you caught me on August 13, 2012, I would be a different type. I would the type of writer who loves every damn second of his job.
My day started out with a VIP tour of Orange County Choppers (made famous by the Discovery Channel show American Chopper) in preparation for the official unveiling of Wildgame Innovation’s new chopper which will debut on the Discovery Channel in late September. Sorry, we can’t show you the bike until after Discovery does, but maybe there’s a sneak peek at the bottom of this article…
Inside the front doors to the OCC headquarters are some of the most amazing motorcycles ever made. Being a sports fan I loved the “New York Jets bike” and the “Comanche bike” is one of the more visually stunning vehicles I’ve ever seen. However, what moved me most was the “Fire bike.”
The tour had to move and we were taken back into Paul Teutul, Sr.’s workshop. Back in the garage there were a few bikes like this one that were still being built.
Of course the man himself was around just in case someone got out of line…
As the tour continued we got to see a lot more amazing bikes and the work stations where a lot of the designing gets done (more on these from Outdoor Hub soon). But the real highlight came when our tour group got ambushed.
Our fantastic tour guide Tom Joyce was talking about some of the detailed bike fabrication processes when Bill and Matt Bubsice of Synergy Outdoors showed up with a new toy: the new Vengeance reverse draw crossbow by Barnett Crossbows. When I say new, I mean it. The crossbow Matt is holding is literally the first Vengeance off the production line.
The Vengeance is Barnett Crossbow’s first foray into the reverse draw crossbow market.
If you’re not familiar with reverse draw crossbows, the design involves mounting the bow (often called the “lath” or prod”) so that the string is on the side of the riser that is farthest from the shooter. This design makes the bow less front-end heavy for improved stability and better accuracy by pulling the weapon’s center of gravity back towards the shooter.
In person, the Vengeance is easily the baddest looking crossbow on the market. Smooth lines, tough construction, and a dark carbon fiber finish give Barnett’s new crossbow a look that invokes cutting edge hunting technology and tactical stealth. In short, when Batman goes shopping for a new toy, he’s coming home with the Vengeance.
The Vengeance isn’t just a weapon with Gotham style. It’s also a real world leap forward in crossbow technology. The Vengeance is the first and only crossbow to use an ultra-lightweight CarbonLite Riser with a reverse draw design. While a lot of other bows have a tinny sound when they fire, and shooters complain about vibration, the Vengeance made almost no sound when I heard it fired in the shop and, thanks vibration dampening technology, it’s a dream to shoot. By using the same light stock as Barnett’s Ghost line of crossbows along with the CarbonLite Riser, Barnett has made the lightest reverse draw crossbow on the market, weighing in at just 7.9lbs (with the standard 4×32 scope, 7.8 without); all while firing bolts at 365 ft/sec on a 140lbs pull— wrapped up in a package that’s 18 inches wide and 34 inches long. The Vengeance will have an MSRP between $850-890.
Of course, since we were at OCC, it wasn’t enough to just trot out the Vengeance like a pony and then put it back in the case. The Busbices and OCC Team had a better idea.
They brought out a target with two mini-beach balls and a rubber chicken attached to it. That would have been unique enough, but the beach balls were filled with acetylene and oxygen— which makes for a very explosive mix.
The Busbices weren’t going to wait around for the beach balls to blow themselves up. With a little help from OCC crew, they strapped fuses to the tips of arrows and shot them across the shop. They then pushed the target up against a $100,000 machine…
But fortunately, Matt Busbice is a good shot and Paul Sr. didn’t have to send anyone a bill. In fact, Paul Sr. got some time with the Vengeance before we had a chance to see it. According to him, the OCC staff filled a 6 foot plastic alligator with the same acetylene and oxygen combo, put it in a kiddy pool, took a few shots and, in the words of Paul Sr., “that pool was gone man.”
I got a few more looks at the Vengeance over the course of the next day, but most of those photos are with the new bike, so I can’t show them to you yet. Keep an eye out and Outdoor hub will have the story up as soon as episode airs…and here is the sneak peek I promised.
Images copyright Benjamin Lambright