My previous bow was a 2007 Bowtech Tomkat, a value priced bow from Bowtech. Bowtech typically prices the Bowtech branded binary (dual) cam bows higher than their single cam Diamond branded bows. As compound bow technology is still an area of high innovation, I wanted to upgrade to something newer. Arrow speeds are increasing with more aggressive cams, bow recoil (shock) is being reduced, and more features are being integrated into newer bows. String stops, for example, do a really nice job of further reducing sound, but cost about $50-$100 to add on to a bow. Upgrading to a newer bow gave some of these accessories, as well as an upgraded platform. This bow fits between low and midrange pricing at around $400-$500. More than the cheapest bows, but still considerably less than the flagship models across the different manufacturers. I chose a 60lb draw weight in left hand. I find the 60lb draw weight to be effortless, and a bit easier to pull at awkward angles than a 70lb pull. That’s important, because I usually have a great field of view from my tree stands and need the capability to draw and fire from less than ideal angles. With the speed that a bow like this gets out of a 60lb pull, it doesn’t even matter. If you aim right, that deer will be toast.
This bow comes outfitted with the R.A.K. accessories (Ready, Aim, Kill): inexpensive, yet capable accessories matching the price/quality point to that low-midrange pricing that the rest of the bow meets. The Apex fiber-optic sight is ok, the hostage arrow rest looks really cheap and junky but functions great and is as accurate as anything else out there, the S5 stabilizer looked cheap but balanced the bow well, the wrist sling is comfortable, and I found the medium size peep sight to be perfect for the type of shooting I do. The 5 arrow quiver felt a lot better than my other bargain basement quiver, and had a much more convenient rotating locking mechanism (see pictures below). The string stop was nicely integrated, and unlike add-on stops, looked appropriately lightweight. Those add-on string stops often try to accommodate both front and back riser mounting, and have a heavier and more complex mount.
The first thing you’ll notice once you have this bow in your hands is the “Invelvet armor coating”, essentially a soft touch coating on the riser. These soft coatings are gaining traction in rifles such as the TC Encore and Browning Xbolt, and make for a nicer feeling bow. Hitting it against the zipper on your coat won’t make a loud metal-on-metal sound, and it’s a bit more ding and scratch resistant than a plain film camo dip or paint job. The rotating module enables a bit of adjustment, and I was thankful for the slightly longer 30.5″ draw length, because I felt more comfortable at that draw length. The other thing you might notice about the bow is that the cams rotate beyond the end of the limb tips. Supposedly, this is supposed to help with the cam’s tracking and help with nock travel. The bow is really accurate, but I don’t know if it’s because of this technology. For all I know, bolting the can and setting the bearing assembly past the bow limb tips could make it cheaper to make/assemble.
Shooting the Bow
Shooting this bow is an absolute dream. As with other newer bows, the valley is quite sharp and doesn’t offer much room. Let off a half inch, and you get full draw weight. While that’s a lot less forgiving than older bows, you’ll forget all about it once you pull the trigger. A smooth, quiet “plink” and the arrow is in the target. Your bow hasn’t moved an inch. It makes firing the bow a lot of fun. Where on my previous bow, the large “hunting” peep sight made it a bit difficult to squeeze out accuracy at 40+ yards, the medium sized peep on this bow makes 60 yard shots a lot easier. The speed also helps make up for problems in your range estimation. Making a mistake between a deer at 30 yards vs 40 yards isn’t going to take your shot out of the kill zone like it would with a slower bow. That quietness is real; according to Hunter’s Friend, the Outlaw came in 7th quietest out of 261 bows and #5 all time on their shock accelerometer test. Given the price point of this bow, that’s nuts. With a brace height of 7″, this bow is also a bit more forgiving than some of the other speed demons out there, and it’s good to see they didn’t cheat brace height to squeeze out some unforgiving fps. In fact, if you look at the Diamond Fugitive, it seems to be almost identical to the Outlaw, save for a shorter 6.5″ brace height, and a few more fps of IBO-rated speed. As for accuracy, I was able to put arrows into a much tighter grouping, more consistently. 60 yard shots at my home made target are all within a 6″ circle and, if conditions were good, I would be comfortable taking a deer at that range.
To get a fast IBO speed, you need fast, lightweight cams. One of the areas where you can skim weight is in the string channel on the cam. A thicker string channel will stand up to more abuse, where a thinner one will be lighter weight. The Diamond Outlaw uses the latter style cams, going very light on the string channel materials. This means that if you drop or hit the bottom of the bow, you may bend the channel over a bit, and it’ll wear on the string. Wear on the string = broken strings and broken strings are the most common complaint I’ve seen online about Diamond bows (since they all use fairly fast, lightweight cams). It may be because the strings aren’t durable enough, or it might be cams that are wearing on them. The second most common complaint from users is the string jumping out of the cam. Again, that light string channel is good for speed at the cost of durability/reliability. For what it’s worth, some posts online claimed that the string will almost always jump out of the channel if the bow is dry fired. I’m not going to risk damaging my bow to check that claim, but it’s probably true.
Among other bows at this price point, the Diamond Outlaw comes to the table with sensible features and fantastic shootability. While it’s missing some of the fancier gimmicks, you’d be hard pressed to find a bow as quiet and fast as this one in this price range. Most other bows I test shot at this price range had more hand shock and lower speeds. Shooting a well setup bow like this gives a lot of confidence that your arrow will hit exactly where you aim, and that confidence inspires better shooting.
Reviewed by Adriel Michaud on Feb 22, 2012
A blazing fast bow at a medium price point
Among other bows at this price point, the Diamond Outlaw comes to the table with sensible features and fantastic shootability. While it’s missing some of the fancierÂ gimmicks, you’d be hard pressed to find a bow as quiet and fast as this one in this price range. Most other bows I test shot at this price range had more hand shock and lower speeds. Shooting a well setup bow like this gives a lot of confidence that your arrow will hit exactly where you aim, and that confidence inspires better shooting.