G5 Prime Ion Review

G5 Prime Ion

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Pros

  • Smooth
  • Stable
  • Large valley
  • Great hunting bow

Cons

  • Not super fast
  • Basic look

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Editors' review

The 2015 G5 Prime Ion is a text book hunting bow. It feels like it's almost made to shoot out of a treestand and is forgiving. The adjustable draw stops are ideal for hunting and an option to adjust to decrease the let off and valley outside of hunting season. G5 should now be considered one of the top companies in the archery world with the experience they now have under their belt and the products they're manufacturing. The Ion is a light and agile bow that can give any hunter all the confidence they need while in the field.

Finish

There are four color options available for this bow. The finish options include Realtree Extra, Optifade Elevate II, Optifade Open Country, and Black. Both the riser and limbs seem to hold the camo patterns well and doesn't tarnish it in any way. All three of the patterns look as well as they could on the bow. It has a flat matte texture and is very durable without any chipping or peeling.

Riser/Limbs

The Prime Ion measures 31" axel to axel in length. It weighs in at a comfortable weight of 3.9 lbs. which is very well balanced and the lightest ever made by Prime. It is a good weight for hunting while not be too light that it is hard to keep steady it is also not too heavy to carry on a long hike or day in the field. The new 7000 series aluminum riser have been redesigned for 2015 and are claimed to be the strongest in the industry. They are also the straightest in the industry. As most higher end bows do these days, a string stop comes with the bow that connects to the bottom half of the riser with a thick rubber cushion stopping the string.

The limbs are solid and one piece in structure. At full draw they are close to parallel. It produces a real comfortable shot that is merciful with its 7.25" brace height, another great trait for hunting.

Grip

There are basically two grip options that come standard on the Ion. It has what G5 calls "ghost" side plates which is just the bare riser grip with thin rubber inserts that say "Prime" on them. It also comes with the original thick rubber grip that can be placed on the bow, if desired, after removing the side plates. This may be a more preferable option for hunting in colder conditions.

String Suppressers

Noise and vibration seem to be greatly reduced by the string stop. With it being integrated into the riser it really kills the movement of the string after the shot. There is only a slight amount of shock when the bow is fired, but the rubber end on the string stop plays a large part in this elimination of vibration.

Eccentric System

Prime's Parallel Cam System is their most recognizable feature and the latest version, the PCXL cams, are used on the Ion. With cam lean eliminated with parallel cams it also greatly increases accuracy and decreases inconsistency. The string runs vertically down the center of the bows vertical axis which greatly reduces torque. In hand tuning is more simple and nock travel is improved.

The main difference in the new PCXL cams is that they can reach 85% let off. The let off is adjusted by moving the limb stop on each cam in or out. It does, however, affect draw length by as much as half an inch. This may be something to take into account when selecting a specific cam for draw length if you're wanting to achieve the max let off. Cams are available in 26" to 30" draw lengths in .5" increments. I also comes in 40, 50, 60, and 70lb. peach draw weights. The IBO speed is 330 fps which is pretty close to its' true speed.

Draw Cycle/Shoot Ability

The draw cycle on the Prime Ion is very nice and real smooth. The draw stop is has a firm rubber ring around it that makes the back wall even more firm. The draw stop is adjustable to change the let off and feel at full draw. It would be a good idea to adjust the draw stop to experience the feel and draw length before purchasing the bow at a cam specific draw length. The valley feels better as the let off setting increases. A stabilizer helps this bow slightly with balance and recoil reduction. The Flexis-AR roller guard also really smoothes out the draw cycle especially compared to the slide type cable guard that was found on the Ion's predecessor, the Defy. These are adjustable to provide optimal fletching clearance.

Silencing Package

This bow has a nice and quiet sound at the shot. It comes standard with Limb Saver power bands on the inside of each limb to help with any sound or vibration. The thick and soft rubber at the end of the string stop also helps with reducing noise and resonance when the string comes in contact with it.

Comparisons

Bow G5 Prime Ion G5 Prime Defy
Version 2016 2013
Picture G5 Prime Ion G5 Prime Defy
Brace Height 7.25 " 7.25 "
AtA Length 31 " 31 "
Draw Length 26 " - 30 " 26 " - 30 "
Draw Weight 30 lbs - 70 lbs 40 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed 330 fps 330 fps
Weight 3.9 lbs 4.1 lbs
Let-Off 85% 65% - 75%
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The Ion is a bow that replaced the Defy in Prime's line up. These two bows are extremely similar with just a few improvements to the Ion. The Ion has the new PCXL cams that have an adjustable let off and just a slightly different draw cycle. There is also a change in the cable guard system that smooths out the draw. Upgrading the slide type cable guard system on the Defy the Ion now has the Flexis AR system that is adjustable for fletching clearance and can reduce torque. These two bows have the same ATA, braceheight, IBO, and draw length range. The Ion is .2 lbs lighter and has a higher let off available at 85%. The MSRP on the G5 Prime Defy is about $51 less. It should also be noted that the color option of Optifade Forest has been replaced with Optifade Elevate II.

Perfect Usage

The Ion was a bow made to hunt with and that is its niche. Even though it is not lightning fast it has plenty of speed for any big game animal and is nice and compact for carrying or in tighter hunting situations. This bow is not made for competition shooting and there are a lot of better options available on the market with longer ATAs to serve that purpose. It would be fine for recreational 3D shooting, but is not built for a serious competitors or target shooters.

Value

With this bow having a price tag that is about the same as any of the other high end bows on the market now it is hard to determine the actual value. This has to be determined by the individual buying the Ion and how good it feels to them to shoot. With this being said it is a real high quality bow. It is built well along with many other top of the line bows out there.

Summary

This bow that Prime has created is loaded with technology and it continues to improve from one bow to the next. It is really nice to shoot with a great draw, nice valley, and 85% let off to hold comfortably in hunting situations. The brace height is also very kind. The adjustments make this bow pretty customizable and its range in draw weights along with draw lengths fit a wide range of hunters. The MSRP on the Prime Ion comes in at $1,000.




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