PSE Beast EXT Review

PSE Beast EXT

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Pros

  • One of the few cams offering shooters out to 33-inches an option
  • 80-pound limbs offered for tons of performance at 33-inches
  • Cable or limb stop option with an 80 or 65% let off choice
  • Limb pockets offer adjustments for fine tuning the whole set up

Cons

  • 4.8-pounds is a bit heavy for some shooters to start with
  • MSRP of $999 is pricey for a bare bow although the going rate for a flagship model

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Editors' review

The PSE Beast EXT name could be describing the bow, or the shooter it is designed for. The bow itself has an aggressive looking forged aluminum riser, which is stiff enough to have great performance when combined with the 38-inch axel-to-axel measurement. The draw length ranges from 28-33-inches, and has the option for cable stops or limb stops to adjust the feel of the back wall along with 65% or 80% let off modules. For shooters over 31-inches, there are limited bows available on the market, and although the Beast EXT has a great platform for a target rig, it could also do well in the tree stand for shooters at the upper end of the draw length with limited options. With the option to tune the limbs, draw, let off, and back wall, shooters can have a very customized draw force curve specific to their exact setup adding a great deal of customization. Throw in the ability to shoot a maximum draw weight of 80-pounds, and 13 turn limb bolts, the Beast EXT is a wonderful option for shooters able to fit within the draw length range. Tipping the scales at 4.8-pounds before accessories are added is a bit heavy for some shooters. However, the bow weight is well distributed, and the longer frame makes it feel much lighter than it actually is on the scale. The $999 price tag is a bit steep for some shooters, but it is in the price range for most high-end bows from the big name manufacturers. Overall, the Beast EXT has a great deal of adjustment and serves as a nice option for those with draw lengths longer than 31-inches.

Finish

The Beast EXT is dipped to perfection with a process PSE has used before creating a durable and well-applied finish. It is a little disappointing for the Beast EXT to only have three options, but shooters may choose to go through the custom shop which offers some options not offered straight off the shelves. The three finish patterns offered are Black, Mossy Oak Country, and Skullworks 2. The Skullworks 2 is a different pattern than before, but keeps the European mount look on a black backdrop. The Skullworks original pattern had white skulls where the replacement skulls on Skullworks 2 is a yellow color.

Riser

The newly designed 6061 forged aluminum riser of the Beast EXT looks sweet. Although you can tell the Beast is a PSE design with the highly preloaded limbs, and general shape of the bow, the riser is a bit different than other PSE models. With a long 38-inch axel-to-axel measurement, the riser has to be strong enough to minimize the flexing as the bow is drawn. Some of the other Proline Series bows from PSE feature an adjustable cable slide rod or a roller guard system, but the Beast EXT does not have either of these technologies. The Beast EXT has a more traditional stationary cable slide system instead. Shooters will debate the pros and cons of all three major systems used for a cable slide system, but the traditional system featured on the Beast EXT has been the most commonly used over the history of the compound bow. The Beast EXT also comes equipped with the Backstop 4 String Stop System. The system is a rear mounted string stop, which keeps the string from oscillating too much after the arrow has been shot. It will also help keep the overall noise and vibration down on the bow as well. However, the Beast EXT does have some felt hand shock after the arrow is released from the string. This can be tamed down a little bit with some more weight and accessories added, but shooters may experience some residual vibration after firing the bow without accessories added on.

Grip

The B.E.S.T. Raptor grip is the grip of choice for the Beast EXT, and may be for good reason. The original B.E.S.T. grip was designed for a slimmer feel and had a pretty straightforward flat back. The Raptor is still flat, but the grip itself is thicker and wider. Not by a lot, but it is noticeable if shooters are used to the former grip size and shape or hold them back to back. It makes sense that the grip on the Beast EXT is a little larger because the shooters of the Beast are also a little bit larger. Overall, the grip, like other PSE grips, is very simple to hold on to, and keeps the shooters hand in proper hand placement shot after shot. On the upper edge of the grip, there is a nice grooved out area for the shooter's thumb to fit against right under where the arrow shelf is located. For those shooters that did not like the slimness of the original B.E.S.T. grip, the new Raptor should be just about perfect.

Limbs

The highly pre-stressed X-Force limbs are still a staple of the Beast EXT for the PSE lineup. The limb bolts are 13 turn bolts, which will get shooters close to 15 pounds of total adjustment off the maximum draw weights of 60, 70, and 80-pounds. The big difference really comes in the adjustability offered by the Wide Track Target Limb System. Shooters have the option to adjust the limbs and how they fit in the pockets to add to the tunability in the bow with the cams by adjusting where the end of the limbs and axels are in comparison to the cam system. For most shooters, this technology will possibly be set once and forgotten about. Many shooters will simply use the factory setting, and not even mess with the limbs positioning. However, for those wanting an adjustment like this, and the ability to add another dimension to how the bow tunes overall, the wide track limb system is pretty slick.

Eccentric System

The Drive Beast cam is the cam of choice on the Beast EXT going all the way out to 33-inches. Shooters with draw lengths over 31-inches are significantly limited in which bows they have available to them. For PSE to offer the Drive Beast cam system from 28-33-inches in half-inch increments, on a platform of 38-inches axel to axel make the Beast EXT hard to compete with for longer draw archers. For a premium bow, the Beast EXT does not disappoint in regards to offering a great deal of adjustment and customization giving long draw archers not only a sweet shooting bow, but the ability to customize virtually every aspect of what the draw cycle feels like. Shooters can choose to shoot with a limb stop or cable stops and with 65% or 80% let-off. Speeds can also reach 350 feet per second according to the PSE archery website.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

As mentioned above, shooters have complete ability to adjust everything about the draw cycle. Despite how shooters choose for let-off and backstop, the draw cycle and changes in draw weight are all extremely manageable on the Drive Beast cam system. Shooters will be shocked by how the cam eases in to peak weight before letting off again into the back wall. Shooters wanting a bit of a spongy back wall can opt for the standard cable stops. Those wanting to firm up the back wall even more can add the limb draw stop post to the cam and it will be as firm as any other limb stop bow on the market. This alone is a phenomenal addition to any bow. When combined with the ability to choose between 65% or 80 % let-off, shooters really have anything they want in a draw cycle all offered in the same package.The Beast EXT is a heck of a bow measuring 38-inches axel-to-axel. It is also just under five-pounds before accessories are added. However, the bow does not feel large or heavy. It is noticeably longer than other bows on the market, especially the trending short hunting bows on the market in 2016. However, the balance of the Beast EXT is great, and the weight is distributed nicely making it not feel as heavy as it really is. After the shot, the Beast EXT does have a bit of shock. With the riser being so rigid, and so long, the bow is bound to keep some of that vibration. When accessories are added, and the weight is dispersed a bit more with stabilizers, the shock does become less intense.

Usage Scenarios

The Beast is going to be best suited for longer draw shooters wanting a bow that simply does it all. However, for shooters between 28-33-inches, the Beast EXT will make a nice target rig as well. The Beast will make a great option for any shooter wanting a bow that fights the trend of short axel-to-axel bows, but really shines on the market for shooters needing something over the 31-inch draw length mark.

Summary

Simply put, the 2016 PSE Beast EXT was perfectly named. The bow matches everything shooters with a draw length out to 33-inches would want. The frame is long, the weight is heavy, the looks are aggressive, the arrows hit hard, and the customization of the cams is not something longer draw archers are used to having available to them. For anyone 28-33-inches, the Beast EXT would make a wonderful target rig. For shooters over 31-inches, the Beast is an additional bow in a market that has very limited choices. When mixed with the ability to make tons of adjustments on the draw cycle, PSE has really hit a homerun on the Beast EXT and what it has to offer for its target audience. Those really wanting a new target rig, or long draw shooters sick of squeezing into a bow not designed for them will have a lot to think about when looking through the 2016 models. The MSRP of $999 is a bit pricey, but it is also the going rate for bows with this much technology and incorporated engineering. The Beast EXT shoots great, looks good, and customizes giving every shooter a bunch of options.




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