Welcome to the SAS Rex Quad Limb Compound Bow Review!
I heard recently that my cousin is looking for a birthday present for his 14 year old son. And as you can imagine I made the suggestion of gifting a compound bow to him – and as I am the one with experience the whole task about choosing one was given to me. So I looked through some beginner and intermediate models on the internet and got a bit stuck with the SAS Rex. As I promised to assemble everything together I also took the chance to do this short review on it. I think some of you might be interested in reading it (especially those that are seeking for an entry level model). Why might you be interested? Well, just read on and you’ll see. 🙂
Bow Package Contents
The SAS Rex Quad Limb comes set to 55 lbs draw weight and 29“ draw length. It is only available as a right-hand version. That means it is suited for people who hold it with the left hand and pull the string back with the right hand (or better with a release aid). I assume that this model was probably manufactured overseas. I assume this, because I know a guy who has been running a bow shop for years and he said that this model is probably not manufactured in the USA. Additionally I know that the SAS Rage (read its review here => SAS Rage) is manufactured in Taiwan and sold by Southland Archery (SAS) to the US market. I have no problem with that as I know that you have to make compromises with a bow in this very affordable price range. I wanted to make sure and contacted SAS but they have not gotten back to me yet.
The SAS Rex package includes the following archery items that come together with this compound:
A 3-pin sight which is not installed. The sight is definitely not good. If i were you i would get a higher quality sight – maybe one made out of aluminum with three or five pins – as this item will affect your accuracy while shooting greatly.
The included twister arrow rest is made out of plastic and looks very cheap to me. The arrow rest is extremely important for getting good consistent results, so all I can do is recommend you switch it out as soon as possible. Get a drop-down rest or a Whisker Biscuit. You won`t regret it. The SAS Rex is really well made and looks sturdy to me, but as always with those packages the accessories are of minor quality to get the price down enough. So like I said, invest in a better sight and rest and you will be good to go.
The peep sight that comes with the SAS Rex is not installed. In case you don’t know much about compounds or this is going to be your first one ever, I would recommend to go to a professional shop for the initial set up. Serving in a peep sight is pretty tricky and it needs to be adjusted to fit you for getting better results while shooting. As we are all different, the peep sight needs to be served in accordingly.
The included quiver is not assembled but that should not be a problem at all. The quiver is like all the accessories – not of top quality but surely enough to get started with shooting.
The three arrows that came with this compound are really crap. Their nocks broke after the second shooting session so I ordered higher quality arrows online. Southland Archery recommends to use arrows with a length between 28-30″. Do not use shorter ones as this could lead to dry firing which can damage the compound severly (Dry firing means shooting without an arrow. The energy is releaved through the arrow while shooting. If there is no arrow the energy goes right back into the Rex! Learn more about dry firing here => Dry Firing A Compound Bow.) If you have no idea please go to a professional shop for some guidance. Which arrow to choose depends on your draw length and the draw weight of the compound. Choosing the wrong arrows can result in bad results when shooting or injury to yourself. If you want to learn more about choosing arrows please read my guide here => Choosing The Right Arrows For A Compound Bow.
The purpose of the cable guard is to hold the cable out of the path of the arrows. You can adjust it if needed. Just follow along with the manual and there should be no problem.
The manual is more on the shallow side, which is pretty usual with models in this price range. If you are in doubt I still would advise to go to a professional shop for guidance. They can show you what to do so that you can do it yourself next time.
The SAS Rex is available in three finishes: Black, Blue and Camo.
There is no D-loop included in this package. A D-loop is necessary if you want to use a release aid. You could pull this compound back with your fingers as well, but this is not recommended. Your fingers will affect the shot when releasing the string. Compound bows are usually shot with a mechanical release aid that releases the string with a trigger. Releasing with an aid results in more consistent shots and therefore better results.
The release aid is secured around your wrist (think glove). You can attach the clip to the D-loop for pulling the string back and there is a trigger to release it with as much precision as possible. A release aid is not included in this package so you need to get one seperately.
For finger-shooting you would need a nock point installed to know where the arrows should be nocked to. I did not find one in the package so yeah, again, a professional shop will help you with setting up a nock correctly 🙂
There is also no case included. You might think that is not that important, right? But for storing the SAS Rex or transport it one would definitely make sense, in my opinion. Generally you should not leave it in an environment with extreme temperatures (think hot car) or moisture (think creepy cellar). This could damage it irreversably. Don’t put it on one of its limbs either. This could deform them in a non-reversable way also. Better put it in a case or hang it on a rack in a cool and dry place.
An arm guard is not included as well. You would need one in case the string hits your arm which can happen from time to time. To be honest I don’t use one when wearing a hoodie or jacket. I definitely do so when shooting while wearing a shirt. Not wearing one in this case could result in great pain:-)
There is also a warranty given with the Rex (1 year limited to the original owner). But you must treat it as recommended by the manufacturer or it will be voided. So in case you drill some extra holes in it or mess around with it in a way you shouldn’t, there the warranty goes. Someone complained that the string broke while shooting it for the first time. I did not experience anything like this and I still think that the SAS Rex is a pretty well manufactured model. What you never ever should do with every compound is dry firing it like explained above. Also don’t forget to wax string and cables regularly. Wax’em especially before shooting the for first time as this is kinda critical!
Noise Level / Handshock Of The SAS Rex Quad Limb Compound Bow
The noise level of the Rex is quite okay. It is not dead quiet but also not unbearably loud either. If you want to silence it further you could get a stabilizer and string silencers for it to take even more of the vibrations out. No big deal.
I felt no hand shock. This might be due to its smooth draw cycle because of the twin cam system that works just like it should: perfectly smooth.
Bow Specifics / Limbs / Riser / Grip / String
The axle to axle length (ATA) is 28″. This makes it a rather small compound which is good for walking in the woods as it won’t get caught in trees or branches etc. as bigger models sometimes do. It seems to be a really well made, sturdy universal model. Maybe a bit smaller than a typical men’s compound but because of this it fits teens and women especially well. The limited draw weight supports the target group, too.
Its net weight is 4 pounds which is not that light. On the other hand, a model that is more on the heavy side will support the accuracy while shooting and especially if you are just learning to shoot. So there’s no real trade off here, as far as it concerns me.
The compressed ABS limbs (quad type) made a very good impression to me. Sturdy and solid. The CNC process to manufacture them seems to be very well developed. The accuracy while shooting is also backed up by the back pivoting limb pockets that hold the split limbs in place for rigid tolerances therefore resulting in enhanced accuracy.
The riser of the SAS Rex has bubble shaped grooves molded into it that support a firm grip and thus reduce hand torque while shooting significantly. This also adds up for a better accuracy.
Concerning cams: The stable twin cam system results in a rather smooth draw. It is also well made and fits into the overall good impression of this model. It works like a charm, so there’s not much to add.
One note of caution: The string and the cables (Not the serving!) of the SAS Rex need to be waxed regularly. Make sure to wax it before you shoot it the first time! I found a lot of complaints about broken strings (with all available models by the way, not just the SAS Rex) and I firmly believe that a lot of those problems directly relate to not waxing string and cables or dry firing. Southland Archery recommends to replace string and cables every 5.000 shots or for every year.
Draw Cycle / Shootability
I have to admit that it took some time to get used to the SAS Rex. But after this it felt relatively smooth to draw – consistently. The big let off (65%) is good for beginners as it allows them to concentrate on proper form. Thus it is more forgiving than smaller let offs. The back wall felt okay for me, the valley seemed to be wide enough. The brace height is 7″ (distance from the lowest point of the handle to the string).
All in all this model is very adjustable. The draw length can be set between 20-29“ (You can adjust it with the screws in the cam modules which is illustrated in detail in the manual). So teens could literally grow together with it.
Its draw weight can be adjusted between 25-55 lbs. This can be done via the bolts on the limbs where those meet the riser (The bolts sit pretty tight. So better be careful when loosening them). The small red axies indicate how high or low you want to set the draw weight. Both quad limbs need to have the same settings! This is very important or you will risk severe damage, injury and the warranty going void. So in case you don’t have much experience with compound bows, please go to a bow shop. It is not worth to damage the bow or hurt yourself and they will guide you properly.
You can adjust draw length and draw weight yourself, if you know what you are doing. But know that the manufacturer recommends using a bow press (device to get the tension out of the bow while adjusting the draw weight) for doing this and in case something goes wrong while adjusting without one, the warranty goes void as well. Don’t say I haven’t warned you 🙂
Shooting Speed OF The SAS Rex Quad Limb Compound Bow
According to the manufacturer the maximum shooting speed of the SAS Rex is 240 fps. As the IBO rating guidelines suggest measuring with 70 lbs, 30“ draw length and 350 grain arrows the given speed is clearly not in line with those requirements. As I have no access to a chronograph at the moment I cannot tell if it is valid or not.
Proper For Hunting / Kinetic Energy (KE)
As the shooting speed of a compound determines its Kinetic Energy which is the most important factor for hunting I don’t think the SAS Rex is suitable for going after medium or large game. The compounds’s speed is not that great to start with, its maximum draw weight is 55 lbs and assuming you are using heavier arrows (425 grain because of its greater impact) the Kinetic Energy would be really low.
Just look at Easton’s Kinetic Energy Recommendation Chart and take the following into account: The SAS Rage (same manufacturer) has a maximum draw weight of 70 lbs and a draw length of 30“. Its speed is 270 fps. Assuming using it with 425 grain arrows you would have a Kinetic Energy of 56.7, which is not much. As the SAS Rex is a bit slower than that the KE would drop down even further. Small game might be doable in a humane way (one shot, one kill). I wouldn’t go after medium or large game, though. If you want to learn more about Kinetic Energy please read my article here => Kinetic Energy For Bowhunting.
Proper For Bowfishing
You should be able to attach a bowfishing reel but I did not try it as my cousin’s boy does not intend to go bowfishing. I would prefer a recurve for bowfishing anyway, so I did not bother. Why a recurve, you might think? Because I can shoot faster (higher frequency) than with a compound. That’s all to it.
With its price point around $ 200 the SAS Rex is a very affordable, entry-level compound bow. As it is quite common in this price range the bow is really good and well manufactured, but the acessories are mostly crap. Which is not a big negative, in my opinion. You have to expect to make some compromises to get a well manufactured compound at such a low price point. So add some money for a few upgrades into your budget and you are good to go. Compared to well established brands the SAS Rex will still be a very good option if you are on a budget or just starting out. If you have more to spend, feel free to take a look at the Apollo Tactical, the Diamond Infinite Edge Pro or the Bear Archery Cruzer.
Pros & Cons
- very affordable
- well manufactured, sturdy model
- suited for beginners (teens)
- very adjustable, grows together with kids
- accessories are crap
All in all I think I made a good choice with buying this model for my cousin’s 14 year old son. The compound looks very well made and sturdy. I knew that I would have to replace some accessories as those are almost always crap concerning bow packages at these low price ranges, so I was not surprised.
The draw weight is limited to 55 lbs, but for a teen I think this is okay. He can grow together with the SAS Rex for a few years for sure due to the wide adjustability of the bow. You can see that this model is meant to be for beginners (teens / females) because of its draw weight starting at 24 lbs and its big let off (65%) which is optimal for learning to shoot. You have to concentrate on proper form, after all, not on pulling back great weights!
A draw back might be that it is not suited very well for hunting, beause of its low draw weight and shooting speed, resulting in a low Kinetic Energy. But that`s a trade-off you should accept. Especially if you are just starting out in archery. Learn to shoot first, then go hunting.
I am looking forward to shooting together with my cousin’s son next weekend. Can’t wait to see how he will react to his gift – and shooting it, of course 🙂
Thanks for reading and shoot straight!
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