Welcome to my SAS Rage compound bow review!
„What the heck?“ was my first thought when looking at the very affordable price of this model. The next one was „Are you kidding me? Under 200 bucks? – Never!“ Knowing that most of the comparable options cost a lot more than 200 Dollars I was not sure if I should be looking forward to shooting this compound or not. A friend of mine was very nice and lent me his SAS Rage over the weekend as he was visiting the Epcot-Thingy in Orlando with his family. So I took this chance and tested this unbelievably cheap compound bow.
Were my rather not-so-nice expectations met you might ask yourself? Well, I fear you have to read on to find out 🙂
- 1 Bow Package Contents
- 2 Noise Level / Handshock of the SAS Rage Compound Bow
- 3 Bow Specifics / Limbs / Riser / Cams / Grip / String Of The SAS Rage
- 4 Draw Cycle / Shootability
- 5 Shooting Speed of the SAS Rage Compound Bow
- 6 Suitable for hunting? / Kinetic Energy (KE)
- 7 Suitable for bowfishing?
- 8 Pricing of the SAS Rage Compound Bow
- 9 Pros & Cons Of The SAS Rage
- 10 Summary
Bow Package Contents
The Manufacturer of the SAS Rage is based in Taiwan and is called Man Kung. Overseas, you might think? Well, Man Kung has been in business since 1988 and also makes parts for other well known bow manufacturers / brands. So only the fact that the SAS Rage is manufactured in Taiwan does not mean anything bad, at least for me. Especially when looking at the price range in this case i am ready to make some compromises. Apart from that it is sold by an US-Company called Southland Archery Supply so if you need help with this model or have questions about it not covered in my review they surely will help you out.
|Infinite Edge Pro||iGlow||AW Pro||Leader 50-70|
|RH & LH||RH Only||RH Only||RH Only|
|5 - 70 lbs||30 - 70 lbs||20 - 70 lbs||50 - 70 lbs|
|13" - 31"||25" - 31"||17" - 29"||26" - 30"|
|310 fps||310 fps||320 fps||310 fps|
This compound is available with or without accessories. If you buy it without an accessories pack you will get the blank bow, a pseudo-manual and Allen wrenches. Pseudo, because it won’t help you at all setting up this model if you aren’t an experienced archer. So in case you don’t know that much about compound bows or this is your first one ever, you should definitely go to a bow shop to have it set up for you. The bow comes already assembled in a 34“x15“x3“ box. You have to install the arrow rest and the sight, though.
As I know my way around compound bows and therefore know that items in those accessory packs are usually not of a high quality I would prefer to buy those upgrades myself at any given time, as most of the available models have standardized holes for attaching sights, stabilizers or arrow rests anyway. I will take a look at the available packs for the SAS Rage further down the line though.
The SAS Rage also comes with a string stop to reduce vibrations. Apart from that there is a cheap arrow shelf included which you should switch out as soon as possible (try to get a drop down arrow rest or a whisker biscuit type). With the steel pin point sight you won’t be able to shoot accurate at all. Get a higher quality aluminium sight with three or five pins as soon as possible and you will be more successfull when shooting the SAS Rage immediately. At forty yards I can get groupings within 4 inches of each other easily – and that could, of course, be improved, as I borrowed the bow from a friend of mine for two days or so. So I had not that much time to get used to it. But hitting targets with this compound at 75 yards is really not a big problem.
The string that comes with it is not bad at all (51“ long) but it has no nock or D-Loop installed. Don’t forget to wax string and cables before shooting the SAS Rage. There are a lot of posts of people who had problems with the string who did not wax it before shooting the first time. All who did, seemed to have no problems with it. Yours truly included 🙂
There is no case that comes with the SAS Rage. So if you want a safe option for storing it while not shooting you could get one from a local shop or online. Another option would be a bow rack where you could hang it. Don’t leave it in the hot car or in rooms with moisture in them.
You need to get some arrows as well (the manufacturer recommend 30“ carbon or aluminium arrows). As the length of the arrows depends on your draw length you should go to a bow shop to get arrows that fit you. This makes a big difference for getting good or great results while shooting. If you want to learn more about choosing arrows feel free to read my guide here => Choosing The Right Arrows For A Compound Bow.
Without the accessories pack you will need to get the following:
A D-Loop to be able to use a release aid, which you should, because all compounds should be shot with one (they were designed for being shot with mechanical release aids after all). If you try to fingershoot it, there is a high risk that the string will twist or come off the cam. And that could result in malfunction of the SAS Rage or injury to you.
A peep sight to be able to aim correctly. This should be set up by a professional because it needs to fit the archer to get the best results for shooting and you won’t have fun at all if you serve it in yourself in case you don’t know what you are doing.
Release Aid for pulling the string back and releasing it without much hassle. Accuracy will be much better compared to trying to shoot a compound with your fingers. The release aid is attached onto your wrist and should fit your hand. Think gloves.
A stabilizer to get vibrations out of the compound while shooting it.
Maybe additional string silencers.
A quiver. Every standard bow mounted quiver should work on this model.
A wrist sling. Especially in this case, as the SAS Rage is rather heavy when all the extras are attached to it. Mine was around six pounds. A wrist sling makes sure that you are shooting with a relaxed hand. Therefore you are able to shoot way more accurate, because without one you need to hold the compound after the shot, sometimes impacting the shot as a whole. With a wrist sling you don’t need to hold it after shooting which means you can relax your wrist and reproduce your technique a lot better than without one. It literally stops your bow from falling down.
The Full Accessories Pack includes the following items:
A 5-pin Sight, which should be a bit better than the steel pin point sight you will get without buying the pack.
An arrow rest, a stabilizer, a braided sling (wrist sling) and a peep sight. As I did not buy the pack I cannot tell you anything about the specific items but I assume that they should be good enough to get you going. And like I said, you will switch out some of them sooner or later because of minor quality.
The Pro Package includes the following items:
A 3-pin Sight, Trophy Ridge Quick Shot M Arrow Rest, Quick Detach Quiver, Tube Peep Sight, D-loop, Wrist Sling and a 8″ 6.5oz Aluminum Stabilizer. Again, this package should get you going pretty fast but I bet that you will switch out some of these goodies against higher quality items.
I would recommend that you buy a high quality aluminum sight and a better arrow rest anyway. Even if you bought one of the packages. A good sight and a good arrow rest are the most important things for getting good results while shooting, so please don’t save on those.
Noise Level / Handshock of the SAS Rage Compound Bow
This model is not on the quiet side when you buy it without noise dampening accessories. Before shooting it you should check if all the set screws are tight. Loose screws can add to the overall vibrations while shooting and make it even louder. I found two that needed to be tighened up. You can fix them with loctite if you need to.
To reduce noise you should get an adequate stabilizer and string silencers (if you want it to be really silent). Together with the included string stop noise will be reduced substantially and the SAS Rage will be quiet enough for going hunting.
I was not able to feel much of a handshock, to be honest. The SAS Rage felt quite good while shooting and can compete with much more expensive models without a problem.
Bow Specifics / Limbs / Riser / Cams / Grip / String Of The SAS Rage
This compound bow is only available in a right handed version!
With 4.4 pounds the SAS Rage is cleary on the heavier side (this is the weight for the blank bow). After attaching all the needed extras like sight, stabilizer, arrow rest etc. the weight can go up to around six pounds. On the one hand the compound is more stable while shooting this way, on the other hand it can feel more exhausting while hunting (especially while aiming for longer periods or carrying it for hours).
It comes with parallel positioned split aluminum limbs manufactured out of durable and inexpensive fiberglass. All in all the limbs make a very good first impression and surely they can keep up with the limbs of more expensive bows. The limb pockets are back pivoting holding the limbs in place thus giving greater tolerances for better accuracy.
The aluminum riser is smoothly machined and therefore provides a good base for resting your arrows and aiming. The grip felt quite comfortable but i also found some complaints about it. So I assume it has to do with personal taste and preference. I know a lot of compound models whose grips I don’t like while others swear on them. The riser has some well made cut-outs giving the SAS Rage a modern look, which appealed to me a lot.
The axle to axle length is 35“, which makes a small bow which is good for hunting.
The SAS Rage comes with a dual eccentric cam system. The cams are made from aluminum as well and look like they are quite durable in my opinion. They aslo make it very easy to adjust the draw lenth of the bow.
Overall the fit and finish of the SAS Rage look great and the mounting holes for accessories are nicely machined with excellent threads cut in them. So it is definitely not cheaply made and it really does not feel like so if you hold and use it.
I found some people that were complaining about the cable slide getting in the way or the silencer not reaching the string, but I was not able to repeat these problems on the bow I was shooting. Rumors are out there, that these problems may have something to do with dry firing 🙂
Which you should avoid at all cost with every bow out there. Dry firing means shooting without an arrow. The energy of the compound is relieved into the arrow while shooting. Shooting with no arrow means that the energy goes right back into the compound bow itself. This can result in severe damages. If you want to learn more about dry firing, please read my article here => Dry Firing A Compound Bow.
Draw Cycle / Shootability
The SAS Rage feels a bit harsh to draw but shoots surprisingly accurate. The timing of its cams seems to be spot on and I had no problems at all while shooting it. The back wall feels okay and more on the solid side (which is good for beginners learning proper form) and the Let Off – which is 70% – gives you enough space for aiming and shooting. For me the valley felt wide enough to feel quite comfortable while using the SAS Rage. To be honest a lot of guys claim that this compound is very smooth to draw, but for me it felt pretty rough. I would not care at all as I am an experienced archer and as long as I can shoot accurate enough I am pleased.
The draw length of this compound is set to 29“ (the whole range is 26“ – 30“). You can adjust it with the included Allen tool at the modules that flush against the cams. All you need to do is to loosen the screw in the cam until the module is free. Then place the screw in the desired draw length hole and tighten the screw (do not over tighten it!) Top and bottom cams need to have the same draw lengths! If you don’t know how to do this just visit a professional shop. They will adjust it for you. I really recommend this all the time because it is not worth it to damage the compound or hurt yourself because of a lack of knowledge. They won’t charge much and when you have seen how it works one time you can do it yourself the next time anyway.
The SAS Rage comes with draw weight set to 70 lbs which is quite a bit. If you are a beginner you should adjust the weight down to 55 lbs (which is the minimum draw weight of this compound). This is better for learning the proper form while shooting and it won’t damage your shoulder. Muscles and especially tendons need some time to get used to drawing a lot of pounds and I really would recommend that you grant it to them. It’s your body after all. I know a lot of seasoned bowhunters that adjust their draw weight down to around 60 lbs, which is quite enough for medium game in North America (see the paragraph concerning hunting). Just saying. I even found a post of a lady who thought her bow was broken as she was not able to pull the string back and of course the problem was the 70 lbs to which the bow was set to. In case you are not sure about how to set the draw weight, just go to a local shop and they will adjust the whole compound to fit you.
Just one more tip: The bolts to adjust the draw weight were tight as hell as I tried to set it down for the first time. I had to work it back and forth a little until it turned for me. You could also use an extension for the Allen wrench to turn the bolt a bit easier. If you adjust the draw weight, be aware that the bolts need to be turned the same amount on both of the limbs. And don’t you ever back out the bolts more than 4 full turns or you will risk the compound coming apart! Around three full turns set the draw weight down to 55 lbs. One full turn equals approximately 5 lbs. I would do it this way: make one full turn on one bolt, then turn the bolt on the other side of the compound one time, then go back to the other bolt and repeat the cycle. This way the tension will go up or down more equally. Turning the bolt clockwise increases weight, counter clockwise decreases it. In case you are not sure which draw weight it has at the moment, set it too its highest draw weight (clockwise) and start from there.
Remember that every compound bow is under a lot of tension. So in case you are loosening one bolt or screw too much the whole thing can fall apart pretty violently.
The SAS Rage can be adjusted without a bow press (device to get the tension out of it while adjusting draw length) though, if you know what you are doing.
Shooting Speed of the SAS Rage Compound Bow
The manufacturer mentions a maximum speed of 270 fps with 300 grain arrows. But you cannot find a single line if the speed was measured after the IBO speed rating (70 lbs, 30“ draw length and 350 grain arrows). So assuming that they meant 350 grain arrows 270 fps is not that fast. I wouldn’t use lighter arrows than 300 grain because of the risk to damage the compound over time (the energy of the Rage is releaved into the arrow while shooting. If the arrow is too light the energy goes right back into the bow as with dry firing which can result in damages).
For target shooting or 3D shooting the SAS Rage is fast enough. For hunting that is another question.
Suitable for hunting? / Kinetic Energy (KE)
Like I already wrote above, the SAS Rage is not the fastest compound. Assuming you are using 425 grain arrows because of their greater impact for hunting, the 270 fps will drop further down resulting in a relatively low Kinetic Energy. But for hunting, the Kinetic Energy is the most important factor as it determines which game you can hunt for.
If the given speed of the SAS Rage by the manufacturer is measured after the IBO speed rating (which i think it is not because they mention a 300 grain arrow, but the IBO rating would need a 350 grain arrow to take effect) you would get the following KEs:
- 70 lbs. / 30″ draw / 350 grain arrows: 68.8 ft-lbs KE
- 70 lbs. / 30″ draw / 425 grain arrows: 56.7 ft-lbs KE
As you can clearly see these are not that proper for going after large game concerning the Easton’s Kinetic Energy Recommendation Chart.
So as I see it, the SAS Rage is good for going after small and medium game. If you are using heavier arrows large game might not be doable in a humane way as arrows need proper Kinetic Energy to go through certain animals.
At least hunt only with a draw weight of 70 lbs with this compound.
If you want to learn more about Kinetic Energy feel free to read my guide here => Kinetic Energy For Bowhunting.
Suitable for bowfishing?
You can attach a bowfishing reel easily to the SAS Rage as it has proper mounting holes. Apart from the technical set up this compound has enough firepower to penetrate water and hit the fish with enough force.
Pricing of the SAS Rage Compound Bow
The price range of the SAS Rage is quite impressive. You can get one for under 200 bucks. And as the compound made a very good first impression to me I would say it is a good option if you are on a budget or just starting out. It shoots pretty accurate when treated accordingly. If you have more to spend, you can take a look at the Bear Archery Cruzer, the Diamond Infinite Edge Pro or the Apollo Tactical as well.
I found a few guys that have regretted buying the accessories pack for $ 40 together with the SAS Rage as they had to replace most of the included items with higher quality alternatives sooner or later. So this is totally up to you. Remember I did not order one of the packs (I borrowed the compound from a friend for this review who already tuned it). I am sure the add-ons will be useful but expect them not to be great.
Pros & Cons Of The SAS Rage
- unbeatable price point
- shoots rather accurate
- seems to be well manufactured
- included arrow shelf and sight are crap
- the compound bow is rather heavy and gets even heavier with all the needed add-ons
- the included manual does not help a lot for setting up the SAS Rage
All in all I liked shooting the SAS Rage. It was a bit rough to draw but nevertheless it was very accurate to shoot.To be able to do so you need to get a higher quality sight and a better arrow rest and all the other extras that are not included with this compound. But even if you add all those extra costs up including the set up fee in a bow shop if you cannot do it yourself, the price is just unbeatable. For around 200 Dollars you will get a well manufactured entry-level compound bow that shoots better than some of the higher priced models in its category.
But always remember that there is some trade-off compared to higher priced compounds due to the extremely friendly price point. The manufacturer Man Kung (Taiwan) is not US based but is in business already for a very long time. Which says not much about the quality of the bow, in my opinion, but it might affect yours. The included items (sight, arrow shelf) are of a lower quality, the parts of the SAS Rage (String, Cables) are good enough. The bow itself including riser, limbs, cams etc. seems to be of a really good quality though.
I found a lot of people complaining about broke strings and problems with cables but there are a lot more that are quite content with the SAS Rage. I experienced no problems while shooting it, nor did my friend from whom I got it. Wax string and cables before shooting it and never ever dry fire it!
One little note: This is not a compound for children or teens (that are on the weaker side musclewise). It comes set up with 70 lbs draw weight wich is just too much, even for a male beginner. I know seasoned hunters who brought it down to 60 lbs draw weight which is better for health anyway (ever had an injured shoulder? I did and I know what I’m talking about). For a beginner I would recommend to bring it down to 55 lbs. Concentrate on proper form, not power.
Conclusion: I was able to shoot pretty accurately with the SAS Rage and for the competitive price you will be very pleased to own one. So if you are just starting out or have to keep budget in mind, this compound might just be for you.
Thanks for reading and shoot straight!
It says SAS Wizard Bow because it was listed for some time under that name on Amazon. But it is definitely the SAS Rage Compound Bow!