PSE Brute Force Review
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Editors' reviewThe Brute Force may offer the most of any bow for its price point of only $450. Although it is a Mainline series bow, there are no corners cut in the design and production of the Brute Force to make it look or feel like a budget friendly model. The Brute Force does not include some of the latest technologies to come out of the PSE engineering department, but many shooters are simply interested in performance and shootability, which are both acceptable with this bow. The Brute Force is a compact hunting bow measuring in at 31 1/4 - inches axel to axel, sports a forgiving 7-inch brace height, and uses the BowMadness cams to fling arrow 332 feet per second.
FinishPSE has done very well with fine-tuning the dipping process of their models to create a really nice looking final product regardless of the finish option. For shooters interested in camo, the Mossy Oak Country is a great looking choice, which will blend in a variety of locations without an issue. This is also the pattern available on the PSE flagship models. PSE also understands camo is not for all shooters, and they have two other color options for them. The Brute force can be purchased in all black as well as the new Skullworks 2 camo pattern. Sticking with true PSE fashion, red accent colors and limb graphics remain the secondary color scheme for the Brute Force. The lettering is simple and in no way takes away from the bow. It is clear the bow is a PSE model because of the included badging, but it is not overdone.
Ready to Shoot PackagesThe PSE Mainline series is offering four separate accessory packages for 2016. For three of the Ready to Shoot packages, there is also the ability to add a release, bow case, and arrows for a Field Ready package. The Platinum kit comes with a Strider sight, a whisker biscuit rest, a Spier stabilizer, a Raven quiver, a neoprene wrist sling, a red aluminum peep sight, and a D loop. The aluminum peep sight is a great indication of the string quality offered on the Brute Force because PSE is clearly not concerned about string stretch causing the peep to twist in the string. The Gold kit includes a Gemini sight, a whisker biscuit rest, Spire stabilizer, Shadow quiver, PSE neoprene sling, red aluminum peep sight, and a D loop for a release. The Silver package has a Gemini sight, a whisker biscuit rest, Flexxtech 3 stabilizer, hunter quiver, peep wheel, and a nock loop.The Bronze package comes with a Gemini sight, a whisker biscuit rest, Hunter quiver, Flexxtech 3 stabilizer, and a peep wheel.Field Ready - In the platinum, gold, and silver packages, shooters also have the option to add a True-Fire Hurricane release, a Supreme bowcase, and a 4-pack of PSE X-Weave arrows.
RiserThe Brute Force riser is a familiar one for PSE because it was used on the Drive LT from 2015. The machined aluminum riser is designed nicely helps the bow tip the scales at 4.1-pounds, which is very close to the magical 4-pound mark shooters use to judge how heavy or lightweight a bow is. The Brute Force has a standard cable slide system, which has a solid rod that does not flex, with a slide containing the cables as the bow is drawn. Although many PSE shooters love the Flexslide on the Pro Series models, that technology is not included on any of the Mainline bows. The cable slide system has been around for a long time and works well, although it does cause a little more torsional torque on the riser than newer designed moving cable systems do. The cable slide does not come with a factory-installed dampener, but one can be added easily enough.The included string stop system does not adjust, but it will come set in the best location based on the factory setting. There is a front mounting stabilizer bushing for the use of a stabilizer, which the majority of shooters install to increase accuracy or dampen some noise and vibration. For easier set-up, the riser shelf also includes some tuning marks to properly align the arrow rest left to right and up and down to begin the tuning process of setting the rest in the best location. This makes it easier to initially get things lined up and make fine adjustments from there.
GripThe grip on the PSE feels great in the hand of shooters, but it can tend to be a bit on the slim side for some shooters. The rubber side plate inserts are primarily there for comfort instead of function, and can be customized to match the color scheme shooters want to go with. The grip is a machined section of the riser, so it will be colder than some other materials used on the market today. PSE does sell a sleeve that wraps around the grip if shooters do not want eliminate some of the coldness from their bow hand. Overall, the grip has a typical PSE feel and functions well allowing shooters to keep their hand in the proper position.
LimbsThe limbs available on the Brute Force bow are available in 50, 60, and 70-pound maximum draw weights. When combined with the 13 turn polymer limb pockets, the design allows for a 20-pound weight range off the maximum draw weight. 50-pound maximum limbs would end up working well for smaller frame shooters just beginning or still growing because there is a 20-pound draw weight range to grow into. Each limb comes to match the riser finish pattern, and is highlighted by the use of some red limb graphics to help make the PSE and Brute Force logos pop a little bit. The polymer limb pockets help reduce the overall mass of the bow a bit, and still maintain tight tolerances for holding the bow and the riser together. The factory also installs some limb dampeners, which can be removed or swapped out for a variety of colors to match the rubber grip inserts if desired.
Eccentric SystemThe Brute Force comes equipped with the same cam featured on the Bowmadness models, which is a popular offering for PSE in the Mainline series. The hybrid cam system has some of the easy tuning features of a single cam with some higher performance similar to a dual cam system. The top cam of the Bow Madness Hybrid system is basically a single cam with two tracks for the string to trace, whereas a single cam would only have one large wheel for the string to follow on the top cam. The bottom cam receives all the adjustment for draw length and the draw stop. The draw length has a 25-31-inch draw length adjustment by simply moving the rotating module and draw stop to the proper settings, which are clearly marked and labeled on the bottom cam. The performance of the Brute Force is acceptable as well with arrow speeds up to 332 feet per second combined with 80% let-off.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityThe Bow Madness cam is a great mix of performance and shootability, and when paired with the other specifications of the Brute Force package, it creates a wonderful shooting experience. It does not take long for the cam to get up to peak weight, and it stays at that mark for what seems like a pretty short time. As the bow breaks off into the let-off, it seems like there is a little pick up of draw weight for just a bit before continuing back through the rest of the valley to the back wall. While holding on target, the Brute Force is pretty stable for a short hunting bow. It does not feel like a target bow, and the string angle may become less comfortable as shooters reach the upper end of the draw length adjustment on the cams. The back wall feels pretty solid, but there is a little wiggle room to pull through the shot for shooters that desire that feel. The bow does not have a feeling of wanting to jump forward while holding against the stop. If shooters choose to let the string back down, it is a manageable task to do in a controllable way. The shot is quiet, and although the 332 feet per second is not Earth shatteringly fast, it is still pretty quick. The bow has minimal noise and hand shock after release, and the 7-inch brace height is exactly what many shooters prefer for the sake of forgiveness in any form imperfections.
Usage ScenariosThe Brute Force is a designed hunting bow for those wanting an affordable compact option. The bow is not necessarily lightweight weighing in at 4.1-pounds, but it is far from being heavy, even with the installed Ready to Shoot packages. More than likely, shooters interested in purchasing the Brute Force are also going to shoot some 3D shoots on the weekends, and it will do just fine pounding foam for extra hunting preparation.
PSE Brute Force vs PSE Stinger X
|Bow||PSE Brute Force|
|Brace Height||7 "|
|AtA Length||31.25 "|
|Draw Length||25 " - 31 "|
|Draw Weight||40 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||324 fps - 332 fps|
| Where to buy |
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These two bows will both be pretty popular Mainline series bows for the 2016 PSE lineup. The Brute Force is a bit of an upgrade in regards to performance with the hybrid cam system. However, it also comes with a $150 more expensive price tag compared to PSE Stinger X. Both bows offer a great deal of value for the price point though and should make shooters happy either way.