PSE Evo SD Review
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Editors' reviewThe EVO is one of PSE's most popular shooting platforms and performs extremely well as a smooth-drawing speed bow. Now, the EVO SD takes everything shooters love about the EVO and fully optimizes speed and the power stroke for short draw archers using the Mini-EVO cam. It is about time a major speed bow is designed with a short draw shooter in mind.
FinishThe dipping process used to finish off PSE bows is done really well. The end product is durable and looks really great while covering all areas of the bow. The EVO SD has three patterns to choose from, which ends up looking great regardless of the shooters final decision. Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity is the camo pattern available for shooters interested in a camo rig. Along with that, PSE offers skullworks camo and all black as well. Each option offers accessories that match for shooters interested in a universal look on their bows. The red graphics and sticker colors combined with the factory string colors help add to the pleasing design of the bow overall as well.
RiserThe Planar flex riser was designed by PSE to eliminate side-to-side torque and utilize front to back movement instead. This leads to a more repeatable shot and improves accuracy. T sight window has also been revamped to add extra strength and help with the field of view for shooters. The designed riser cutouts are strategically placed for superior strength while helping to eliminate overall mass. However, the bare bow tips the scales at 4.3-pounds, which may be a little heavy for some shooters.
The rear mounting limb dampener helps bring the string to a halt after the arrow is released using a rubber dampener to collect noise and vibration. From there, the energy can be pushed forward towards the front mounting stabilizer hole if shooters choose to use a weight out front.
For those who like to tinker, the riser shelf has engraved tuning marks to give an idea of where the arrow should sit for a great tune. Although this may not be perfect for every bow and set up, the reference marks will get shooters close and fine tuning can be done from that point.
GripThe B.E.S.T. Raptor grip is one of the thinnest grips produced and it may take a while for some shooters to adjust to. However, once the adjustment is made, it is hard to shoot anything else. The thin grip fits perfectly in proper hand placement and makes it almost impossible to torque the bow. The rubber side plates feel nice and fit great as well. The grip is a designed part of the riser so it is made from the same material making it pretty chilly in cold weather. Overall, the feel of the grip is really great, but may take some getting used to.
LimbsLike the other Pro Series bows in the PSE lineup, the EVO SD uses the X-Tech split limbs. PSE claims these limbs are the most durable they have ever produced, which is never a bad thing. They are also designed to be lighter as well to help cut down on the overall weight of the bow. The limbs are available in the standard 10-pound increments and have maximum draw weights of 50, 60, and 70 pounds. With the short draw length of these bows, it may have been a good idea to offer 40-pound limbs as well, for shooters just starting out to have a top of the line rig, but there are other bows in the PSE lineup that meets those needs.
The limb pockets are designed to contact more of the limb throughout the entire draw cycle regardless of where the limb bolts are set. They lock in tight, and have no wiggle room at all. The best part about the limb pockets other than their functionality is they are unnoticeable when just looking at the bow. They blend in very well with all camo options and that is a plus for many shooters.
Eccentric SystemThe Mini EVO cam is a smaller version of the popular EVO cam. This cam was designed for short draw archers where the draw cycle is completely optimized with a shorter power stroke. With the second-generation inner lock module, the cams adjust in half-inch increments from 24.5-28.5 inches without needing to use a press or purchasing anything. Each cam is marked with draw length reference marks to make it an error proof way of changing the draw length. Laser markings are also located on the cam for tuning purposes as well to give shooters and tuners a quick reference guide. The hybrid cam system features two limb stops that contact the cables upon full draw. With 75% let-off, the EVO SD has speed rating of 316 feet per second at 28.5-inches.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityShort draw shooters interested in the EVO platform will love the way these cams feel. With short draw shooters in mind, these cams utilize what makes the EVO cam so great and redesign it in a smaller version to allow everyone the ability to feel how awesome this bow really is when set up properly. The weight builds up pretty quickly at first, and then smooths out before entering the valley and hitting a solid back wall. The two string stops really do a great job at ending the draw with a solid wall. The creep is minimal though, which will assist shooters in shooting proper form and technique. After the shot, the arrow gets to the target quickly and the shooter feels almost nothing. There is a slight rock in the bow, but nothing is felt side to side and hand shock is extremely minimal as well. While holding on target, the bow feels perfectly balanced and not as heavy as some would think. Many shooters feel that it holds like a much longer axel-to-axel bow in part because of the heavier 4.3 pounds bare bow weight. Overall, it is no surprise that the EVO SD was created for shooters looking at speed bows to compensate for the speed lost with a shorter draw length.
Usage ScenariosThe EVO SD is a hunting bow. The EVO platform itself is designed with hunting in mind. However, for shorter draw archers that would be interested in the SD, the axel-to-axel measurement may fit well for target shooting as well. Although many target shooters prefer a different feel upon full draw than the EVO SD offers, the increased speed may make the EVO SD an option for some 3d shooters along with being a well designed hunting bow.
|Bow||PSE Evo SD||PSE Dream Season EVO|
|Version||2012||2013 EVO Max|
|Brace Height||6.625 "||6 "|
|AtA Length||32.5 "||32.25 "|
|Draw Length||24.5 " - 28.5 "||25 " - 30 "|
|Draw Weight||40 lbs - 70 lbs||40 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||308 fps - 316 fps||337 fps - 345 fps|
|Weight||4.3 lbs||4.2 lbs|
| Where to buy |
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The SD has a limited draw length range aimed at shorter draw archers. Those coming at the crossover draw lengths may prefer the draw of the SD for the simple fact that it was designed specifically for shorter draw shooters. With every other specification being virtually the same compared to PSE Dream Season EVO, the final decision will come down to what shooters want most out of their next hunting bow.