The following SAS Sergeant compound bow package review is about another very affordable model that can be used by beginners, intermediates and seasoned archers. As it is manufactured in Taiwan, a lot of people will be skeptical, doubting that it could be a good option or that it could be a well manufactured compound compared to similar models that are available at the same price range – which is unbelievably affordable, by the way. To shed some light on it, I dug
Bow Package Contents
The SAS Sergeant comes strung and fully assembled in a right hand version only at the moment. All you have to set up yourself are the accessories: bowsight, arrow rest, cable guard and quiver. Southland Archery Supply has a little slideshare on their website that should help you in doing that: SetUp Instructions
This model is manufactured in Taiwan by Poe Lang – contrary to some of their other models that are manufactured by Man Kung (SAS Siege, SAS Rage, SAS Rex). Southland Archery imports it and sells it under their own brand, thus being responsible for the customer support in the United States. Overall their customer service seems to be pretty good, as I did not find a lot of complaints concerning their bows, which should compensate a bit for the fact that this model is manufactured overseas.
Just to make that clear right from the start: with a package that is available at such a low price you have to make some compromises. Most of the times the bare bows are really well made and sturdy, but the accessories are usually crap. So expect to invest in better options to get good results while shooting later. I will go over some parts that you better switch out rather sooner than later.
The 3-pin aluminum sight is not good at all. Just get one from Trophy Ridge or any other well known brand and you will hit the targets a lot better. Compound bows do not come sighted in, by the way, as this has to be done by the shooter himself, ideally, as how you will sight your model in has a lot to do with your personal style of shooting. If you want to learn more about sighting in a compound please read my guide here => How To Sight In A Compound Bow
It’s also important to switch out the Twister arrow rest that comes with this model as soon as possible. Do yourself a favor and buy a Whisker Biscuit or other ‘brush style’ arrow rest. A good arrow rest makes such a big difference for shooting tight groups and hitting the targets where you intend to. You can shoot with the Twister rest, of course, but it will be frustrating from time to time. Don’t say I haven’t warned you 🙂 .
The SAS Sergeant is available in the following three finishes: Black, Silver / Black and Autumn Camo.
You will also get a bow mounted quiver that can contain up to 4 arrows. A customer stated that it did not hold the arrows very well. As I did not find anyone else complaining about that, it might have been an individual problem.
The two aluminum arrows are crappy as well and customers stated that they already bent within the first hours while shooting the SAS sergeant. As choosing arrows depends on your draw length, the poundage of the model and if you want to hunt or target shoot with them, you’d better go to a professional shop to get some that will fit you and your bow. I’d recommend carbon arrows over aluminum. If you want to learn more about arrows, please read my guide here => Choosing The Right Arrows For A Compound Bow
Additionally there is an armguard and a finger tab included. The armguard should protect your forearm from string slaps (which you will get when shooting without proper form), the finger tab is there to protect your fingers while pulling the string back. This means that the SAS Seargent could be finger shot – but in general it is not recommended to finger shoot compound bows, as your fingers might torque or twist the string while releasing the arrow which could lead to wild shots or missing the target quite often. That’s why compound shooters prefer to shoot their bows with release aids that are attached to their wrist with a wristband. Those have mechanical triggers that release arrows without affecting their flight too much, which results in a higher accuracy overall.
For shooting with your fingers you should install a nocking point. If you want to shoot with a release aid you need to serve a peep sight in and install a D-loop. If you have never done that before, a bow shop could set this up for you against a small fee. Maybe read my beginner’s guide to get an overview about the topic if you have no idea about compound bows here => …
String and synthetic cables should be waxed regularly (don’t wax the serving!). Just wax them before shooting the first time, then regularly after that, as it will prevent the string and cables from getting worn too early. You should replace them after they get wear, fraying or start to behave differently, after 5000 shots or at least once a year.
The one year limited warranty you will get from Southland Archery Supply is not transferable. It covers all parts except wearable items or cables and strings. It will be voided if you mishandle, modify or alter the SAS Sergeant. It will also be voided if you dry fire it or if you shoot arrows that are too light for it (which has the same effect as dry firing). If you don’t know what dry firing means, feel free to read my guide about it here => Dry Firing A Compound Bow
Noise Level / Handshock Of The SAS Sergeant Compound Bow
All in all it is more on the quiet side. If you want to silence it down quite a bit I suggest you buy a stabilizer (there is a pre-drilled hole on the riser for one). A stabilizer will also balance the Sergeant which results in more comfort while shooting and higher accuracy overall.
Additionally you could get string silencers that take out even more vibrations and noise from the shooting process.
Bow Specifics / Limbs / Riser / Grip / String
The Sergeant itself feels pretty sturdy and well made. It is manufactured out of a modern composite material that is used for a lot of models of the big brands as well. I also know that a lot of the big players produce their models completely or partially overseas, so there should be not much of a difference materialwise.
Its axle to axle length is 40.5″, which is not that compact. But as I would not recommend this one for bowhunting anyway, that should not be a downer. I would use it more for target practice or 3d parcours.
Back pivoting limb pockets keep the strong piece-layered compressed ABS limbs in place, which gives rigid tolerances for an overall enhanced accuracy.
The riser is smoothly made and has a comfortable grip (there are bubble grooves for a really firm grip). The twin cam system is CNC machined and makes a rather durable impression.
With a net weight of 4 pounds the Seargent is not really on the light side. But again: as I would not recommend it for bowhunting anyway, that shouldn’t matter (think carrying it around for hours in the field etc.). If you add further accessories it will become heavier though, so keep that in mind.
One last word about the string system: this one uses a kinda old-style tear drop system, which does not mean that this is a bad thing. It’s just a different technique of attaching the string to the cables resulting in two pieces. Modern models only have one piece (string and cables).
Draw Cycle / Shootability
The SAS Sergeant draws – due to the dual cam system – really smoothly. The whole draw is completely even without any jumps or humps, which proves that this is a well made bow.
It has a solid wall with very little creep which makes it a good entry-level and beginner model as such a wall is a good reference point for learning proper form, because it ensures that this part of the shooting cycle always stays the same.
The draw weight range is between 40 and 55 pounds. It can be adjusted with the included Allen wrench. You have to loosen the limb bolts (the bolts that attach the limbs to the riser) to bring the poundage down. Always have the same number of full turns on each bolt. In case you are not sure, re-tighten them to the max and start over again. Do one turn on each side at a time. The problem here is that the maximum amount of turns you can do is nowhere stated. Not in the manual or on the Southland Archery Supply website, nor on the manufacturer’s website. So you have to turn the bolts and measure the poundage with a gauge from time to time. If you have not that much experience please go to a bow shop. It’s not worth it to damage the compound while trying to adjust the poundage 🙂 .
The draw length range is 27″ – 29″. You have to take the SAS Sergeant to a professional shop to adjust it, unless you have a press and know how to deal with it. Just make sure that your own personal draw length lies within the given range of the SAS Sergeant. If you draw 32″ this one is not for you. Want to know how to measure your draw length? Then read my guide here => How To Determine Your Draw Length
With a let off of 65% the Sergeant is ideal for archers that are just starting out, as it gives enough room to concentrate on proper form and aiming before releasing the arrow. The valley is wide enough as well, which is also a good thing for a beginner. If you don’t know what proper form is all about, feel free to read my article about it here => Proper Form For Compound Bow Shooting.
Its brace height is 7.25 which is pretty standard.
Shooting Speed Of The SAS Sergeant Compound Bow
With 205 – 235 fps this model is rather on the slow side, which is why I would not recommend it for bowhunting, to be honest. Another thing is, that I have no idea if that speed was measured after the requirements of the International Bowhunting Organization (IBO). If not, you would need to bring it to a professional shop that can measure speed (chronograph) to be sure.
Suitable For Hunting / Kinetic Energy (KE)
As the kinetic energy depends on the speed of the compound and the weight of the arrows, you won’t be able to achieve a lot with the SAS Sergeant. Assuming that the 235 fps were measured correctly, you would achieve 43.8 ft-lbs, which is not much. Just take a look at Easton’s Field Chart to get an idea.
If you’d need to drop the poundage the KE would be lower as well. Bad weather conditions and distance will bring it down too, so there is no point in using the SAS Sergeant for hunting, at least in my opinion, because I want to take game in the most humane way possible. This means one shot, one kill. To do this (at least most of the time) you need to hit the vital organs (which means you need to shoot really well) and you need proper equipment with a proper draw weight and speed that can produce the needed kinetic energy.
In case you are just starting out I would suggest you start target practicing in the first place, to build up your shooting skills and to get used to your model. If you want to know more about kinetic energy, please read my guide here => Kinetic Energy For Bowhunting
You also need to take the legal minimum requirements of your state regarding draw weight into account. This can range from 40 – 60 pounds!
Suitable For Bowfishing
As there is a pre-drilled hole for the stabilizer you should be able to add a bowfishing reel. The 55 lbs should also be enough to penetrate the water and hit the fish well. So yes, you can bowhunt with this model.
Looking at the SAS Sergeant from a price related point of view, this model is pretty amazing, because you can try out archery without completely cleaning out the bank account. For under 150 bucks you cannot complain a lot as the Sergeant itself is well made and sturdy. You just need to be aware that you need to invest in better accessories to make a great shooter out of it. But even then the costs will be much lower than if you’d bought one of the big brands.
Pros & Cons
– sturdy and well made
– very affordable, thus good for beginners or intermediate archers
– cheaply made accessories
– not suitable for hunting
The SAS Sergeant compound bow package is recommended for beginners or intermediate archers that don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for trying out archery. With its poundage range, it is meant to be shot by strong teens and adults, not by kids, though.
As it can be finger shot, it might be good for recurve archers that want to transition to compound shooting or vice versa. Just saying 🙂 .
The fact that it is manufactured in Taiwan does not affect its sturdyness and accuracy at all and when treated right, it will surely serve you well for years.
Thanks for reading and shoot straight!