PSE Inertia Review
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PSE does a phenomenal job producing a wide range of bows to meet the wants and needs of a variety of shooters and their price ranges. The 2016 PSE Inertia is a Pro Series bow offering featuring top PSE performance technology with a $799 price tag. The Inertia is a well designed hunting bow with a short axel to axel measurement of 31 1/4 inches, speeds up to 348 feet per second with 75% let-off, and tips the scales at a fairly light 3.9-pounds. Compact hunting bows are extremely popular, and there are tons of great ones on the market to choose from. It is important to consider compact, high performance bows may not be the best choice for every shooter. However, those interested in the specifications the Inertia has on paper, should really get to a pro shop and try out how well it shoots in person.
FinishPSE finish options have historically been very well done. The camouflage pattern definition is always noticeable, and the coverage is well done in all the cut out areas. The dipping process has been perfected for PSE bows, and each pattern is well done. The Inertia is offered in three finish options, which is a bit disappointing. However, with only three choices, there is more than likely a fitting pattern for most shooters style. For the plain Jane camo folks, the Mossy Oak Break-Up Country is a nice looking pattern, with the ability to blend in just about anywhere. For shooters wanting the black out look, the Inertia is also available in all black. For shooters wanting something just a bit different, Skullworks 2 is available for 2016. This takes the pretty cool looking original Skullworks pattern from previous years and changes the white color of the skulls to a yellowish color. Some shooters really like the new color scheme, while others still prefer the older style. Regardless, Skullworks 2 is unique to PSE and offers a slightly different look for those wanting to stray away from the more traditional look.
RiserThe Inertia riser is relatively compact to help keep the overall axel to axel measurement a modest 31.25-inches. The forged 7075 series aluminum alloy allows the Inertia riser to remain stiff enough to create a sturdy platform, while being lightweight enough to reduce some of the overall mass of the bow. The Inertia riser is the same as the DNA SP riser with a few minor tweaks, so it has a familiar look for those familiar with past models. The new Flexslide 2 is a feature for those wanting the ability to tune the cable guard for the best performance possible. It is produced virtually the same as the X-Force limbs, and has a bolt allowing shooters to tighten or loosen it to change the amount of flex in the system as the string is drawn. This eliminates all fletching contact issues for those wanting to shoot higher profile vanes. The cable slide is a one-piece solid construction for 2016, eliminating the Teflon slide insert seen in previous years on the Flexslide. To round out the technology incorporated in to the riser of the Inertia, the Backstop 3 comes from the factory to help tame the string noise and vibration after releasing the arrow. This string stop will come pretty set from the factory, but has the ability to be fine tuned a bit if shooters desire to change it around a bit. The riser also features the industry standard front mounting stabilizer-mounting hole. Most shooters choose to shoot some type of stabilizer, whether it is for vibration dampening purposes or for a steadier hold on target, most shooters have something they prefer to use.
GripThe B.E.S.T. Raptor grip is the chosen grip of choice for the Inertia. The Raptor is a popular offering for 2016 and is offered on a total of 6 Pro Series models. The Raptor is noticeably wider than the popular B.E.S.T. grip of previous years, but does allow shooters to get a little more meat on the handle. For many shooters, the former grip was a bit thin and allowed for a little more canting of the bow than preferred. The B.E.S.T. grip is still being offered on certain models, but the Raptor got the nod for the Inertia. Just like other PSE handle designs, the grip will fit well into the shooters hand allowing from proper hand placement in a repeatable position.
LimbsPSE is known for the highly pre-stressed X-Force limbs, and the trend continues with the Inertia. The limbs give the bow an aggressive look, and help boost the overall performance of the rig. The limbs can be backed out 10 full turns from their maxed out position, and are offered in maximum draw weights of 50, 60, and 70-pounds. Each limb configuration includes red PSE badging, which helps the decals pop a bit without being too distracting. The Centerlock 2 Pocket is utilized for holding the limbs to the riser in near zero tolerance precision throughout the draw cycle. The pockets blend in very well with a black finish, allowing them to function well without being a focal point of the bow design.
Eccentric SystemThe Inertia cam system is a wonderful performer producing speeds up to 348 feet per second with 75% let-off. This happens to be the same cam system used on the PSE Decree as well. The cams offer a dual string stop system with an option for a limb stop as well. All shooters, regardless of their back wall preference should be able to tune the feel just the way they like it without too much difficulty. The draw length range is offered in half-inch increments from 24.5-30-inches and can be changed with the rotating module throughout the entire range. The module rotates, and the string stops will move to match the desired settings. The cams are engraved for easy to read settings and swapping the draw length is easy to do. The cams are designed for all modules and stops to be set to the same position. For example, if a shooters desired draw length is the A position, the string stops should also be set to the A setting. Some shooters have figured out a way to get a bit more valley on the back end of the Inertia cam by setting the draw stops and the module in a different position a half an inch different. This does impact the performance and the efficiency of the cam system, but some shooters prefer the increased let-off and longer valley this adjustment produces. Before making any of these changes, it would be important to work with a bow mechanic at a PSE shop to get the desired outcome before starting to tinker with the settings as they suggest from the factory.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityThe Inertia cam system is a nice shooting cam, but it may be a bit aggressive for some shooters. The bow's performance is outstanding, but with that comes a compromise in how comfortable the bow is while drawn. The Inertia cams tend to hold the peak weight a bit farther into the draw cycle before starting to let off when compared to some other top of the line PSE's. The draw is not harsh at all, which has been characteristic of past speed bows, but it is a stiff draw cycle. Some folks like to mention that a bow feels like it is drawing less weight than it really is in order to relate how great it feels. The Inertia draw weight will feel like the poundage it is set on based on the stiff draw. It is smooth from the start, and easy to hold on target, especially for those that like 75% let-off to add just a bit more holding weight at the back wall. The ability to customize the back wall feel is a great option as well. Shooters that enjoy pulling into the back wall a bit can opt for the string stop option. Those that like things a bit more solid at the back end will enjoy utilizing the optional limb stop. The Inertia does not allow shooters to creep much at the back end of the draw cycle. Holding the bow on target is by no means difficult, but if shooters decide to let up, or let down, the bow is fully committed to returning the strings back to the resting position. The inertia will not feel as though shooters need to push the string forward in order to let it down. The size of the cams is great at making the bow feel longer axel-to-axel than it truly is. PSE produced a video informing shooters about the dynamic axel-to-axel measurement, which explains how the advertised axel-to-axel measurement at rest is not always representative of how that bow's axel-to-axel measurement is when drawn. The Inertia cams in combination with the X-Force limbs give the Inertia the ability to maintain a short axel-to-axel measurement and compact design, while still feeling like a longer bow in regards to the string angle at full draw. This improves the comfort of the bow while aiming and allows longer draw shooter the ability to shoot a more compact bow and still feel comfortable and maintain good shooting form. The Inertia bow is noticeably fast. After releasing the arrow, they can be heard slapping the target with extreme force shortly after executing the shot. There is a little vibration after the shot when shooting the Inertia without any accessories installed, but that is not a real world indication of how the bow will feel set up. After installing some accessories, any felt vibration from before is eliminated or at least significantly reduced.
Usage ScenariosThe Inertia is a hunting bow with the ability for shooters to use on the weekends at a local 3D shoot. For serious 3D goers, they are more than likely interested in different specifications in their tournament bows. However, for the bowhunter that simply loves shooting and can't get enough practice, 3D shoots will be a lot of fun with the Inertia model for 2016.
PSE Inertia vs PSE Dream Season Decree
These bows are very comparable in regards to performance and specifications. Perhaps the largest difference between the two is the additional $200 one would spend to purchase the Decree over the Inertia. The PSE Dream Season Decree is 1/8-inch longer axel-to-axel and 0.2-pounds lighter than the Inertia with just a bit more speed to go along with it. However, those differences are extremely minor in the whole scheme of things and more many shooters will not be worth the additional $200.