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Selecting a New Bow


          Archers are a passionate lot. They are dedicated and die-hard

Prime Bow by G5 Outdoors

brand specific people. Hunters who shoot PSE will seldom switch. Mathews shooters look at you like you just insulted their wife if you ask why they shoot a Mathews. Hoyt, Prime, Diamond, Bowtech, Elite, Quest, Bear, etc. etc. and the list goes on and on. Suffice it to say that most of the top brands are excellent bows. One can seldom go wrong with any of the top brands. In an industry that generates in excess of $400 million annually, the competition is fierce. In many ways this is to the benefit of the end user. Companies are always pushing the envelope to make the best product available at affordable prices. And the technology is advancing almost faster than the bows can be manufactured. It seems that every year something revolutionary is announced and all brands benefit.

For those looking to get a new bow, whether hunters and shooters wanting to upgrade owe it to themselves to test fire some other brands to check out the differences. This past January while attending the ATA (Archery Trade Association) annual trade show in Louisville, KY I took the time while there to shoot several of every brand available. Noting the nuances and the subtle differences and the things I liked and disliked about each. Suffice it to say that when it came down to it, this conversation is akin to trying to convince a Ford man to drive a Chevy. All of the brands I tested were excellent and all make great equipment. One could hardly go wrong with any of the top brands. To the benefit of the bow hunter or competitive shooter, each brand offers several different models to accommodate the different requirements of the end users.

My personal requirements were; I wanted a bow I could hunt with and shoot competitive 3-D tournaments. While I am a hunter first and competitive shooter a distant second; I wanted a bow that would do both. Ideally, one would have a competition bow and a hunting bow. Bank accounts usually dictate this choice. When a top end competition bow can easily set one back several thousand dollars when fully equipped, most prefer one bow for everything. Personally, I was looking for a bow with a short axel to axel length, (so I could turkey hunt with while sitting flat on the ground) one that wasn’t too heavy, and one that was quiet and forgiving. While several met these requirements, there was one that stood out.

Over the years I have owned and shot many different bows, I was a dedicated XI shooter during the 1990’s, but that brand faded and then I switched to Bear, who make excellent bows in every price point and for all types of hunting. But wanting to do some research, I approached the search with a totally open mind. It advantageous to hunters and shooters looking to upgrade to do similar when making the investment in new equipment. Try them all and then settle on the one you like the most.

Buying a new bow however doesn’t stop there. Then there are sights, rests, quivers etc. to either upgrade or transfer from your older bow to the new one. Personally, once I find a sight I like I don’t switch. I just move it from one bow to the next.

After searching through the entire selection of bow’s available for me to shoot.  I finally went with the Prime Shift. This bow manufactured by G5 Outdoors is setting the bar exceedingly high for all brands to follow. With their new Parallel cam technology this bow has broken the mold. Similar to the way Mathews changed the industry when they introduced Solo cam technology, it’s my opinion that the parallel cam technology found in the Prime will revolutionize the industry.

Prime's PCX Parallel Cam Technology

Twin cam bows always have issues with cam lean. That is the stress placed on cams due to being drawn on one side by the string and cables. The parallel cam totally eliminates cam lean. With the cables drawing simultaneously across both cams, the cam is perfectly straight. The string is attached via a yoke just below the cams. If there is a draw back to the Prime, it’s the limited draw length adjustments. These bows come setup for a specific draw length. While micro adjustments are available via the draw stop, they are basically preset from the manufacturer for a specified draw length. But for shooters who are not growing this should not be an issue.

Shooting the Prime Shift is smooth, quiet and virtually free of any vibration. Couple this with the strongest riser in the industry this top line of bow is definitely one I would recommend to all shooters. Prime has several models to choose from with different axel to axel lengths to accommodate different preferences of shooters. There is also one dedicated to competitive shooters. The Prime One designed by G5 with input from World Champion Dave Cousins is trending new ground for accuracy.

Whether you choose a Prime, Mathews, Hoyt, Bear, Elite, PSE, Quest, Bowtech, etc. Choosing a new bow can be a difficult choice. Before a hunter or shooter invests thousands of dollars in new equipment I highly recommend taking the time to test different brands and see. You may select a different brand, but knowing what you are looking for and what price point you want will help in narrowing down your search. But make sure you test the Prime line of bows, I am confident you will be impressed with the results.