G5 Prime Defy Review

G5 Prime Defy

Average user rating

out of 3 user reviews
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  from $419


  • Forged 7000 series riser is one of the strongest produced
  • Compact 31-inch axel to axel measurement
  • Forgiving 7.25-inch brace height
  • IBO tested for 330 feet per second


  • MSRP price of $949
  • Cams are draw length specific
  • G5 Prime bows are still relatively new to the market and it may be tough to find dealers


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Editors' review

The Prime Defy is a super-shooting bow, but it all comes at a $949 price tag. Made in Michigan, G5 is still limited in where these bows are sold, which may make it tough for shooters to test shoot or purchase. However, the forged 7000 series riser, parallel cam technology, and shield service program offered to the original owner are great things for shooters to take advantage of. The Defy makes a great hunting bow with a forgiving brace height and above average speeds.


Prime offers four Durafuse finish options, and all look really great. The finish is a little more matte than some other manufacturers, which may give the bow a little different look than another one finished in the same pattern from a different manufacturer. With that being said, it looks really great overall and has no flaws. Three of the four offered patterns are camo options: Optifade Forest, Optifade Open, and Realtree AP. Shooters interested in an all black bow have the Jet Black option as well. Each of the patterns looks nice, and the simplistic logos on the bow look great with any of the backgrounds available.


Riser stiffness reinforces consistent shooting and repeatable accuracy and the Defy has one of the strongest risers on the market today. Made from forged 7000 series aluminum, Prime has created a bow riser that is setting a new standard in strength. Prime has a video on their website of the Defy holding a Jeep in the air without bending and being shot afterwards. The riser cutouts helps keep the bow mass down with a bare bow weight of 4.1 pounds. The cutouts are unlike any other bows design on the market giving it a really unique look and design.The I-Glide flex cable slide system is made from high tensile spring steel, which allows the cables to flex the guard while being drawn but still allows it to move out of the way after the arrow is released. It also helps reduce the cam movement as well. Although the cables flex, they remain out of the sight picture window for shooters using a peep sight.The riser also has a rear mounting string stop system used to eliminate the strings vibration after the arrow is released. The system works well and is aligned with a front mounting stabilizer mounting hole to take any left over shock away from the shooters hand.


The solid one-piece Ultra Fit rubber grip is a great addition for a hunting bow making it a little warmer in cold shooting conditions than some other designs. The grip is a little blocky feeling, but it is not uncomfortable although may take a little to get used to. Along with the grip sporting the Prime logo, it also features two alignment arrows on the back to give shooters an idea of where they are placing their hand each time. This addition is sure to add some accuracy based on giving shooters a repeatable feeling. Shooters interested in a thinner grip can remove the rubber for a smaller feel. This option fits very well in the shooters hand, but may be a little cold for some during long treestand sits.


Many bow companies have gone to split limb technology, but Prime chose to go with an extra wide solid limb design. The increased width and cross weight design adds strength and stability and the parallel geometry helps cancel vibration and noise making the bow very quiet after the shot. Limbs are offered in ten-pound increments and available in 50, 60, and 70-pound maximum draw weights. Bow jax limb dampeners also come stock form the factory as well.

Eccentric System

The Defy Parallel cam system is a really great technology that all but eliminates cam lean. Prime splits the string and adds another track creating a perfectly balance cam rather than the string pulling more on one side, the string pulls on both sides equally. This increased stability creates a more accurate shot based on cam lean being a non-factor in the tuning process. The downside is that the cams are draw length specific. This means to change the draw length, shooters will need to purchase a brand new cam from a dealer. Depending on your state, dealers may be tough to find due to the relatively new status of Prime bows. However, half-inch increments are available between 26-30-inches and are capable of producing IBO speeds of 330 feet per second.

Draw cycle / Shootability

The draw on the Defy is really smooth. It feels great all the way back to a solid back wall. There is a little creep with the bow, and even if the string goes a little too far forward, it is not difficult to save. Perhaps the best thing about the bow is how well it holds on the target. It balances perfectly and is easy to aim. It just seems to settle in on the shot without much focus at all. The 31-inch axel-to-axel measurement feels much longer, which helps add to improved accuracy. After the arrow is released the bow stays in the shooters hand. Even without accessories, there is no vibration felt at all. It does not feel too fast, but 330 feet per second is not too shabby for a bow with a brace height over seven inches.

Usage Scenario

The Defy is a hunting bow plain and simple. Shooters wanting a competition bow have many options better than this one based on the specifications. That is not to say the Defy will not be accurate, but serious target shooters generally prefer longer bows.

Shield Service Program

Prime offers some wonderful incentives to the original owner of their bows that may help some offset the cost of their bows. Before shipping their bows to the dealers, Prime shoots each bow 100 times to make sure the strings settle in to position and any stretch is taken care of before making it to the hands of shooters. After shooters purchase their new bow, Prime allows them to get a tune up within 6 months of the purchase date to make sure everything is still shooting the way it should be. On top of the lifetime warranty, Prime also provides new strings and cables to the original owner every two years. This is something other manufacturers are not doing, but really shows great customer appreciation.


BowG5 Prime DefyG5 Prime Shift
Version 20132013
PictureG5 Prime DefyG5 Prime Shift
Brace Height7.25 "7 "
AtA Length31 "30 "
Draw Length26 " - 30 "26 " - 30 "
Draw Weight40 lbs - 70 lbs40 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed330 fps332 fps
Weight4.1 lbs3.7 lbs
Let-Off65% - 75% 80%
Where to buy
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The Defy is similar to the G5 Prime Shift released by Prime last year. The Defy has integrated some newer technology with the cable slide, but the riser and cams are basically the same. The Defy is an inch longer and has a quarter of an inch longer brace height and shoots almost the same IBO speeds. The Defy is about $50 more depending on the shop, but some may not find the extra money not worth the minor upgrades between the two bows.


Prime has created a great shooting bow with some useful technologies not geared toward gimmicks, but truly functional. Cams are draw length specific, but shooters will leave the shop with a bow properly fitted to them so this may not be a huge deal. Although not super fast by today's standards, 330 feet per second is plenty quick and the forgiving 7.25-inch brace height is easy to get used to. For shooters on a budget, the $949 price tag may be a little too much. However, shooters interested in buying a bow that shoots well without factoring in the cost should give the Defy a test shot.

User Reviews

  • 3 reviews
  • ( out of 3 reviews for all versions)
One of the best hunting bows on the market

Version: 2013 G5 Prime Defy


Pros: Smooth draw, rock solid back wall, zero and I mean zero hand shock or vibration, easy to tune FP and BH, quite, light weight, extremely stable with long riser, valley is improved over centroid and shift, way more accurate than me.

Cons: Can't think of any, this is a killing machine!!

Full review:

I have owned most brands of bows throughout the years and have come to love my Primes. This company is very underrated considering this is the most dead in the hand bow I have ever shot. The bow is very light and balances perfectly with a 6" bee stinger and tight spot. At full draw the shorter ata is not even noticeable due to the long riser. I also loved that I set center shot at 13/16" and first shot bullet hole with bare shaft and fletched, perfect walk back tune, and while broad head tuning my first broadhead out of it cut the fletching off of the field point........awesome!! I love the improvement in the valley as compared to the centroid and shift which had a definite hump dropping in this thing is smooth all the way back and has just enough valley to keep me honest while not trying to pull me through the riser if I creep.

Ultra smooth and forgiving.

Version: 2013 G5 Prime Defy


Pros: Smooth draw cycle, no shock on release and very forgiving.

Cons: Would be nice to have a choice of dealers and I attempted to buy a G5 wrist sling and was told they only come with package bows. Come on, I'm willing to pay for it!

Full review:

Have a shoulder injury and was looking for a way to continue archery hunting without turning to a crossbow. Local dealer put this bow in my hand and after the first shot I was sold. Very smooth, easy to draw and no "shock" to my shoulder on release. Even though my form is not up to par the forgiving characteristics of the Defy allow me to be plenty accurate. Took two deer in the first season, both pass through shots at 50#.

One hell of a bow!!!

Version: 2013 G5 Prime Defy


Pros: Dead in hand!!!!!! And smooth as silk draw cycle!!!! And rock stable back wall!!!!

Cons: Wish it had the valley my Elite Impulse 31 has...but I can live with it for sure...

Full review:

Most dead in hand bow I've ever shot and I've had Elite's, Hoyt's, and PSE's...have an elite impulse 31 that I absolutely love to shoot, but still can't resist slinging some arrows with the defy. I have had people offfer to buy it from me after they shot it, but I just laugh...I will always have a prime bow in my stable of bows. Next one will be the Ion or the Rize...

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