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PSE DNA SP Bow Review

PSE is back with a bow that is a direct response to their customers' specific request for a smoother draw cycle on the popular DNA. They created a whole new cam as a result and have added "SP" to the name, which stands for "Smoother Pull." This all-out effort for their customers speaks volumes about the company's focus and commitment.

The DNA SP is home to the source of PSE's revamped draw cycle — the Source Hybrid Cam. Along with that comes a host of other technologies, including the Flex Cable Slide, 4th Generation X-Technology limbs, Centerlock 2 limb pockets, detachable Limb Bands, fully machined forged reflex riser, B.E.S.T. RAPTOR grip, new BackStop2 string silencer and America's Best string/cables.

Smoother is Better

PSE heard the voice of its loyal customers when they asked for the performance and features of the DNA with a smoother draw cycle. The company took the draw cycle of the popular Evo Cam and designed it to work with center pull geometry — the result is PSE's Source Hybrid Cam. This cam still produces IBO speeds reaching 345 fps on a 6-inch brace height and 75 percent system letoff. Along with all the typical cam features, PSE also offers an optional limb stop for the Source Cam.

An Inner Cam system offers draw lengths from 24€‰1„2-30 inches, in half-inch increments. A pin protruding from the Inner Cam is positively positioned into one of the available holes on the main body of the cam. All positions and designations are clearly marked.

So, what is the bottom line with this cam? Well, it gives you a smoother draw than the Core Cam while still smoking arrows down range at at blistering speeds.

Supporting Cast

Providing both physical and complementary support to the new Source Cam are PSE's 4th Generation X-Technology Limbs. Like other X-Technology limbs, they are heavily pre-loaded and sport an extreme curl/bend that brings these split limbs to a past-parallel position before they are ever drawn.

At full draw, they dip even further for a radical look. Limbs are engineered to provide optimal stress levels for each individual limb spine. The fiberglass limbs are made through a proprietary process and are sorted into consistent sets based on spine value. Limb sets are available in 50, 60, 65 and 70 pounds of peak draw weight.

The PSE Centerlock2 limb pocket is significantly lighter than the original version while maintaining the same level of centerline control. The aluminum, closed-end pocket pivots during the draw weight adjustment process for superior control and alignment.

This all means that the engineering provides no-hassle durability through stress mapping the limbs; the past parallel position reduces shock noise and vibration while the pockets keep everything in line for consistency and accuracy.

Feature Packed Forging

Recommended


The riser is designed to position the limbs, cams, cables and string in such a position as to precisely center the arrow in the structure of the bow. This is called Center Pull technology and was developed to optimize tunability potential and overall performance. Also incorporated into the riser are tuning marks engraved into the shelf area, which provide a good starting point for your tuning efforts without the need for lasers, levels, etc.

PSE's adjustable Flex Cable Slide system is essentially a mini X-Technology limb manufactured with a friction-reducing material that allows the cable slide to operate freely and quietly. The rod flexes toward the centerline of the bow during the draw cycle, which reduces lateral load by up to 30 percent. In turn, it minimizes torque at full draw.

Rounding out the package on the DNA SP riser is the B.E.S.T. Raptor Grip, a stainless steel stabilizer-mounting insert, multiple sight mounting positions and the micro-adjustable BackStop2 with polymer bumper.

The bottom line for a bowhunter? This riser is designed to help you find the ultimate tune quickly and without a ton of equipment. The Flex Cable Slide reduces torque, which equals more forgiveness, consistency and accuracy. The riser is lightweight and has other features that eliminate hassle, keep noise to a minimum and offer sighting adjustability.

Range Notes

While the DNA SP is not as quick as the original, it is still faster than most competing rigs, and there is a big upside to be found in the smoother draw cycle. A short valley means no creep, which makes shooting a proper draw length important. A small "bump" and mild vibration at the shot were easily tamed with a quality stabilizer, while noise was minimal. This will undoubtedly be a very popular bow for PSE.

SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: PSE, 520-884-9065

Model: DNA SP

Cam System: Source Hybrid Cam

Weight: 3.8 pounds (advertised); 3.75 pounds (as tested)

Brace Height: 6 inches

Axle-To-Axle length: 31€‰1„4 inches

Letoff: 75%

Draw Weights: 50, 60, 65 and 70 pounds peak

Draw Lengths: 24€‰1„2-30 inches, in half-inch increments

Riser: Planar Flex, Forged and fully CNC machined

Limbs: 4th Generation X Technology, Split

String: America's Best, 58€‰5„8 inches

Cables: America's Best, 32€‰1„4 and 34 inches

Grip: B.E.S.T. RAPTOR

Finish: Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity, PSE Skullworks, Black

Advertised IBO Speed: 337-345 fps

Suggested Retail Price: $899.99

Comments: A well-balanced hunting partner.

Archery Accessory Box

ols, you'll realize that they are easy to misplace, which is why a storage system like the Archery Accessory Box from Plano Molding is a good idea. The Archery Accessory Box is designed with a see-through top, one lift-out tray, up to 16 adjustable compartments, and is compact enough to throw in your vehicle when you hit the road in the fall. Price: $20

Archers Allen Wrench Set

If you want to boil down tool needs to a granular level, the jumping-off point for all bow work involves a quality set of Allen wrenches. I emphasize the word quality because I've had sets completely explode on me the first time I've used them. I don't know why it's so hard to make a set of Allen wrenches that will last, but a lot of companies seem to have trouble with the task. Fortunately, Pine Ridge Archery has it figured out with their Archers Allen Wrench Set. This set has all of the wrenches you're likely to need, and it contains them with a bolt and nut assembly that doesn't allow them to flop all over the place like lesser-quality sets. I keep a set in my shop, my truck and my daypack, so I'm covered no matter where or when I hunt. Price: $10

Bowsmith

Another tool that has found its way into my shop is the Bowsmith from Real Avid. The Bowsmith contains needle-nose pliers, a string spreader, knife blade, fletching stripper, nock crimp, string loop setter, and a bevy of other tools (28 in total). This handy tool set is small enough to stow away in a pack as well, and it can be invaluable in bow camp when the nearest pro shop is far away. Price: $50

Allen Company Compact Bow Tuning Kit

I also used my Allen Company Compact Bow Tuning Kit. Since I had to redo my center serving, I also needed to tie on a new string loop, which necessitated the use of the contained bow square. Although I didn't use a nock set, the Compact Bow Tuning Kit comes with nock pliers and three nock sets. Price: $15

Digital Bow Scale

An often-overlooked tool that is simple and can be used by every bow owner is a bow scale. I like Cabela's Digital Bow Scale, which features a backlit LCD screen and automatic weight lock, and is accurate up to 110 pounds in case you plan to shoot deer hiding behind concrete walls. It amazes me how often I talk to bowhunters who simply guess at their draw weight after cranking their limbs in or out a few turns. It's much better to know exactly what your bow is set at, especially if you're getting close to either end of your bow's recommended weight spectrum. Price: $20

Pro Archery Pliers

If you're in the market for a pair of pliers that will last longer than any bow you're likely to buy and features a nock set crimper and remover, a D-loop stretcher and scary sharp side-cutters, look no further than the Pro Archery Pliers from Easton Technical Products. These needle-nose pliers are extremely durable and can make home bow fixes a breeze. Price: $22

Bohning Mini Server

Considering potential bow fixes, it would be wise to not ignore serving issues. Last fall I was sitting in a treestand in north-central Wisconsin, when I happened to glance down at my nocked arrow. The angle looked off, and upon closer inspection I realized that my center serving had slipped and my entire string loop had crept up my string, throwing my entire bow tune out of alignment. Back at the cabin, I busted out my Bohning Mini Server and re-served my string. The Mini Server is perfect for the home bow mechanic because it eliminates the need for a cable spreader and is extremely easy to use. However, that wasn't the only tool I used to get back to shooting. Price: $19

Economy Vise

After putting the above tools to good use at home or in deer camp, it's inevitable that you'll realize something is missing — a vise. The option to clamp your bow into a quality vise and work on it with both hands free is important, which is why I've started using an Economy Vise from Apple Archery. Plastic-coated jaws provide a secure grip on your bow's limb without causing any damage to the finish, while the Economy Vise allows for 360 degrees of left-to-right and front-to-back rotation. Just like using a lineman's belt to hang a treestand for the first time, when you use a vise like this to work on your bow, you'll wonder how you ever functioned without it. Price: $81




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