PSE DNA SP Review
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Editors' reviewThe 2013 PSE DNA won the OutdoorLife Editor's Choice Award, with the only minor complaint from shooters focused on the draw cycle being a little harsh. For 2014, PSE engineers corrected that by making a smooth pull option for one of the most popular bows of 2014. Built off the same wonderful platform, the SP version still flings arrows at an impressive IBO speed of 345, while maintaining a lightweight, compact package. Along with the SP cams used on the DNA SP, PSE has also incorporated a limb stop so shooters can adjust the feel of the back wall, which will be much more solid than last year's. The changes made to the DNA SP take what was already a great bow and gives shooters not wanting the original, everything they wanted to be different. This is going to be a very popular bow, and for good reason.
FinishPSE has offered Mossy Oak Camo patterns on their rigs for a long time. Those interested in a full camo bow, have Mossy Oak Treestand for the DNA SP. Camo limbs can also be placed on the black riser as well for a half and half look. PSE offers all black as an option as well. The third main pattern PSE has for the DNA SP is the Skullworks pattern, which features a black background wit different skull mounts covering the bow. This pattern is unique, but loved by many, especially those looking for something just a little bit different than what other companies offer. Shooters can also go through the PSE custom shop to get a variety of other patterns that can be specially ordered.The dipping process at PSE is done flawlessly. Every surface is completely covered without blemishes or mistakes. Despite the large cutouts used to make the bow as lightweight as possible, all area is covered including the edges. Aside from this, there have not been issues with longevity for the camo pattern on PSE rigs either. That means the bow will look great straight out of the bow for a very long time.
RiserPSE joined the trend in 2013 making a lightweight-hunting bow that the majority of shooters seem to be demanding out of manufacturers. With that being said, PSE recognizes carbon is a much more expensive material. Instead, PSE decided to used a forged 7000 series aluminum riser, which has a machined finish to make it as lightweight and strong as possible. With the bare bow weighing in at a light 3.8-pounds, the DNA SP is below the magical 4-pound weight many desire. The technology for the SP does not stop there though.PSE stays with the flexible cable guard used last year as well. When a bow is drawn, there is a large amount of lateral torque placed on the roller system, which ultimately transfers to the riser. The Flex Guard located on the DNA SP is adjustable just like a limb, which allows shooters to adjust the arm and allow more or less lateral movement, which ends up impacting the feel of the draw force curve as well. This design is fantastic and works very well in practice as well.The string stop system mounts on the back of the riser, facing the string. This stop is fully adjustable allowing shooters to place the stop anywhere they choose. This string stop system is positioned behind the front mounting stabilizer, which can be used to help reduce noise and vibration and allow shooters to hold a little better on target. Another neat feature PSE offers with their risers, is several sight mounting holes. This allows shooters a couple different mounting options for where the sight is going to rest. There are tuning marks of the riser shelf to guide arrow placement when setting up the bow.
GripThe PSE B.E.S.T. is slim and fits well in hand. The grip is a machined part of the riser, and has rubber inserts available in different colors for a fully customized look. There is also a small riser shelf as well. Overall, the grip is fantastic for getting shooters to properly position their hand using a torque free, repeatable grip on the bow. This is important because it is the only constant contact point shooters have with the bow throughout the entire shot. Although the thin grip may take some getting used to, target shooters can vouch for the effectiveness they have over a more bulky grip.
LimbsPSE limbs have been great for longevity and functionality in the past. The split limb design requires the limbs to be highly stressed even at rest, and more so during the draw cycle. This gives the bow an extremely aggressive look, and helps a lot with storing energy and canceling vibration after the arrow has been released. Draw weights are available in maximum weights of 50, 60, 65, and 70-pounds, and can be adjusted in ten-pound increments.The limbs are held to the riser with the second-generation Centerlock limb pockets. These pockets hold the limbs in place for the entire duration of the draw cycle to near zero tolerances, which makes the performance of the DNA SP limbs very repeatable leading to increased accuracy and shooter confidence. The limbs also come from the factory with limb bands to help silence the noise and vibration after the shot even more. These are offered in a color package as well, which can be matched to the rubber grip insert if shooters choose to do so.
Eccentric SystemThis is where the DNA SP is different from the original DNA, which is still being produced in 2013. The Core Cam is the driving force of the DNA SP. With the ability for half-inch adjustments between 24.5-30-inches with a rotating module, which means draw lengths can be changed without having to purchase anything. The SP is sure to fit most shooters interested in a short axel to axel bow. The Core Cam produces fantastic IBO speeds up to 345 feet per second without the need for a super tuner. PSE has also incorporated a limb stop, which is going to allow shooters to fully adjust the feel of the valley and the back wall while offering an extremely solid feel on the back end. The adjustment is in a fully slotted hole, which means options are limitless for customizing how the draw cycle feels. With a 75% let off from the factory, shooters are going to be impressed from start to finish with the Core Cams.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityThe DNA SP is a bow that offers fantastic speed with an easy to manage draw force curve. The DNA has been a fantastic shooter for many people, and those not interested in the DNA model often cited the draw force curve as the reason. PSE listened by keeping everything shooters loved about the light weight, easy to tune, compact design and swapped the cams offering a bit less speed, but a more comfortable draw that some were interested in.The weight stacks up pretty quickly with the Core Cams before reaching the generous valley and a very firm back wall. The valley is completely adjustable, so may feel different for each shooter depending on preference. However, the factory settings felt great. The back wall is very solid with the help of limb stops located on each cam. Most of PSE flagship bows have offered cable stop systems in past years, but the limb stop provides a much firmer back wall. After the shot, shooters notice how fast the bow is. Even without a chrono, and this being the smooth pull model, the speed and energy transferred to the arrow is noticeable. There is a bit of hand shock with a bare bow, but with accessories, the shock is hardly noticeable. Hunters have demanded compact bows for a long time, and recently desired bows with a smaller mass weight as well. PSE has delivered in both areas along with adding additional strength with the 7000 series aluminum riser. All roads point towards a great shooting bow with tons of energy.
Usage ScenariosThe DNA SP is a hunting bow, and a great one at that! Although accuracy is going to be phenomenal, serious target and 3D shooters tend to be drawn to longer axel-to-axel bows with a bit more mass. With that being said, many shooters will be able to use this as a multipurpose bow as well.
|Bow||PSE DNA SP||PSE X-Force Dream Season DNA|
|Brace Height||6 "||6 "|
|AtA Length||31.25 "||31.25 "|
|Draw Length||24.5 " - 30 "||26 " - 30 "|
|Draw Weight||40 lbs - 70 lbs||40 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||337 fps - 345 fps||344 fps - 352 fps|
|Weight||3.8 lbs||3.7 lbs|
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The difference between the two bows is the draw cycle. The PSE DNA SP offers a smoother draw with a lot more valley. This combined with only a 7 feet per second loss makes the SP a winner for a lot of people. Those interested in strictly speed will still love the original PSE X-Force Dream Season DNA. However, PSE has done a fantastic job making sure the bow is available to anyone interested in the compact, lightweight DNA platform. The final decision will come down to personal preference, although there is not really a wrong answer either way.