Martin Archery Jaguar Elite Review – a Recurve Bow Inspection


LengthBow WeightDraw WeightTakedown?
Martin Archery Jaguar Elite

Martin Archery Jaguar Elite

Check Today's Price

60 inches2.6 lbs

How to: choose arrows, draw weight, and tune your recurve
29 to 55 lbs.Yes

- Sleek, comfortable to hold design
- Includes bow stringer
- Fantastic accuracy and reliability
- Takedown construction for ease of storage and changing weight
- Plastic arrow rest
- Rubberized cushion on riser peels off easily
Also recommended: Best Martin BowsCompare prices across top hunting gear sellers

What’s With The Elite Name? What’s Different From The Jaguar?

Martin Archery has taken an already terrific design, the Jaguar, and upgraded it with sleek styling and a lighter mass weight. The Jaguar Elite is 0.2 pounds lighter than its predecessor, making it easier than ever to hold.

What Comes In The Box?

Martin Archery Jaguar EliteWhen Martin Archery announced the Jaguar Elite, I was anxious to get my hands on it. The Jaguar has been one of my favorite recurves for years, so I couldn’t wait to see how Martin improved on the design. Like its predecessor, the Jaguar Elite is a beautiful bow that is great for archers of any experience level, from novice to expert. Because this is a takedown bow, you can easily change the limbs to allow the bow to grow with you. In the box, you’ll find the following items:

  • The Martin Archery Jaguar Elite, including riser and limbs
  • A bow stringer
  • String
  • Brass inserts to install a sight, stabilizer, and/or Berger button

How Difficult Is The Jaguar Elite To Assemble?

I was pleased to find a bow stringer in the box, because so many recurves don’t come with one these days. Assembly of the Jaguar Elite is easy and straightforward, requiring just a bow wrench (Allen wrench) to attach the limbs to the riser.

If you plan on using a stabilizer, sight, and/or a Berger button with your Jag Elite, this is the perfect time to install those accessories. The recurve is predrilled for them, but mine did not include the brass inserts.

How Powerful And Accurate Is This Bow?

Martin Archery Jaguar Elite2Depending on which limbs you purchase, your Martin Archery Jaguar Elite will have a draw weight of 29# to 55#, in 5 pound increments. With its 7 inch brace height, the bow is perfect for maintaining excellent accuracy, but the power will depend greatly on what draw weight you choose. The great news is that you can replace the limbs independently of the riser, so you can allow the bow to grow as your strength improves.

Accuracy with the Jaguar Elite is nothing short of amazing. The bow performs as well as recurves that are much more expensive, and I was easily laying down 2″ patterns from 40 yards away. I was amazed when the original Jaguar performed almost as well as bows twice as expensive, and I can’t help but think that Martin has even improved on that with the Jaguar Elite.

Is The Martin Archery Jaguar Elite Suitable For Hunting?

This recurve is 60″ long, and weighs a mere 2.6 pounds, making it great for carrying and maneuvering during a hunting journey. Assuming you have the 40# draw weight or better with a draw length of at least 27#, you should have no problems taking down a buck from 30 yards or more if you can place your shot in the vital organs. If you plan on taking on bigger game like elk, I’d recommend a 50# draw weight.

How Good Is The Jag Elite For Beginners?

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this recurve has something to offer you. It works wonderfully for teaching the basics of archery, and the durability of the bow is best in class. There is no worry about limb twist with the Jaguar Elite, as long as you care for it properly, so you can be assured of learning proper form and technique without being frustrated by missed shots caused by string damage or twisted limbs.

Does The Jag Elite Recurve Accept Accessories?

Yes, you can install your accessories, whether it’s a stabilizer, Berger button, or just a sight. The recurve is predrilled for the accessories, but mine did not include brass inserts. That may have been an oversight, but be prepared to buy inserts just the same.

The only real complaints I have with the bow are the arrow rest and the Thermal V protective dampening grip on the riser. The arrow rest is cheap plastic and wears easily, and the Themal V protective dampening grip has a tendency to flake and peel off after rigorous usage.
link to beginner's buying guide

What Kind Of Arrows Should I Get For The Bow?

What arrows you choose depends on how you want to use the bow. If you are simply a recreational shooter, for example, your needs will be much different from those of a hunter. For the best guidance on choosing the right arrows for you, check out our guide on the subject.

How Durable Is The Riser And Limbs On The Jaguar Elite?

The limbs of the Jaguar Elite are wood reinforced with laminated fiberglass, making them very resilient to bending. The riser is lightweight and sturdy, thanks to its aluminum and magnesium construction. It’s a gorgeous, modern design meshed with the simple aesthetics of a good recurve, and the Jaguar Elite carries both off perfectly.

What String Will Fit This Recurve Bow?

Any string size that fits the 60″ Jaguar Elite will work fine, even Flemish or FastFlight strings. Be sure you take good care of the bow, and unstring it between shooting sessions. While the bow is resilient against bending, better safe than sorry. The included string is high quality, but I quickly replaced it with a Flemish string anyway.

Is This A Heavy Bow?

At a mere 2.6 pounds, the Jaguar Elite is lightweight and easy to hold. I can shoot with this bow all day long and never get tired.

Will This Bow Perform Quietly?

There is virtually no hand shock to this bow, and it performs extremely quietly. I have added string silencers to mine, since I hunt with it, but it was probably quiet enough for hunting even before I added them.

Recurve Bow Summary

Thanks for checking out my review of the Martin Jaguar Elite. This upgraded version of the venerable Jaguar is certainly elite, and it will serve you well for many seasons of archery and hunting.

Take a look at Today's price on the Jaguar Elite if you’re interested.


Add a Comment
  1. I have a dumb question. I prefer to shoot off the shelf and as I look at the pictures the shelf it seems to have a curve to it. So can still use a rug rest and shoot off the shelf?
    Thank you

  2. You could I guess but the elite has the shelf past center so you may need to build it up a little to get a perfect center shot I have a whisker biscuit on mine and I’m loving it I also have the pse kingfisher which I loved until the jag elite came in the mail and I must say I get better accuracy and penetration with the 45# jag than the 50# kingfisher using the block classic stacked foam target

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Privacy Policy