PSE Perform-X 3D Review

PSE Perform-X 3D

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  • A 36-inch target bow designed for the demands of 3D shooting
  • The Evolve Cam System is sweet
  • A total of 12 really nice looking color choices


  • The suggested retail of $1699 is expensive for any bow
  • Similar specifications to some hunting lineup bows, which are much cheaper
  • Most shops are more than likely not going to stock one of these to try out


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Editors' review

3D archery is more popular now than ever before, which means it is a great time for target archers. Companies are producing bows of all ranges of shoot ability options and choices to give shooters any competitive edge they can get. The Perform-X 3D is designed specifically with 3D shooting in mind. It has a 36-inch axel-to-axel measurement, a 6.5-inch brace height, and a shoot through riser all designed to best meet the demands of target archery, specifically 3D archery. The Evolve Cam System is a wonderful piece of engineering as well, and comes with a large let-off range from 65-90% depending on which module shooters decide to go with. 3D shooters also like to add a little personal touch with their bows and how they look, and the 12 target colors give everyone something to choose from. Despite being a sweet shooting 3D bow, the Perform-X 3D has some issues, which may make it hard for some shooters to pull the trigger on purchasing. For starters, the suggested retail price of $1699 is expensive for every budget. This is decently competitive for a target bow, but it does not make it any easier to spend that kind of money on a bow. Because of the price, some shops may not even stock this model for shooters to try it before they buy it. In addition to that, the Evolve cams are featured on a ton of bows in the PSE lineup. There are even some bows on the hunting side of the company with similar specifications minus the shoot through riser. With all that being said, hardcore 3D shooters wanting the speed and performance of the Evolve Cam on a target platform will be tempted to take the plunge and purchase the Perform-X 3D.


PSE has recognized target shooters love to add personal touches to their bows in order to set them apart from what everyone else's bow looks like. To help encourage the personal flair shooters like to add, PSE is offering the Perform-X 3D in a total of 12 different color options. These color choices include: Imperial Purple, Platinum Titanium, Electric Lime, Black Onyx, Satin Mercury, Sky Blue, Pearl White, High Voltage Gold, Textured Rose Gold, Admiral Blue, Black Cherry, and Rich Bronze. If shooters are unable to fine a color that matches their personality, it may not exist on a compound bow. In addition to the great color choices, the quality is exactly what shooters should expect from such a large company in the archery world. The limbs on the 3D are only offered in all black, which is not terrible, but it would be cool to see them match the riser. However, for $1699, most shooters will not be willing to pay additional money for color matched limbs.


The Perform-X 3D is a sweet looking 3D bow. The riser design is fairly typical of a PSE aluminum riser and has an aggressive look based on the machined cutouts. In addition to the shoot through riser, there is a caged portion of the riser below the grip area, which really helps sturdy up everything and keep riser torque to an absolute minimum. The design allows for a 6.5-inch brace height, a 36-inch brace height, and a bare bow weight right at 5-pounds. Although many target shooters like a little feedback after the shot, the rear mounted string stop does a really nice job silencing the string and keeping things as quiet as possible. 3D shooters are also very conscious of the weight they add, and where it is placed. PSE has front facing, and rear mounting stabilizer holes integrated into the riser allowing shooters to put weight exactly where they need it, and the 5-pound starting point seems to be a good place to begin.The technology is pretty advanced in the cable containment system, although upon first glance, it could look very simplistic. For starters, the Roller Glide System is a pretty slick system. The rollers mount on the arrow side of the slide, and are mounted behind each other to allow the cable to be in close proximity with each other. This alone, helps a bit with friction and torque, but it operates in partnership with the Flex Rod System (FRS), which is a flexible cable slide. The FRS is highly adjustable for precise tuning and clearance to match the exact vanes and arrows shooters decide to use with the 3D. Both of these in combination with each other make for a very well designed system to keep torque from the cables away from the riser.


The grip connects the shooter to their bow, and it has to be comfortable and repeatable in order for the rest of the technology incorporated into the rest of the system to be fully utilized. Thankfully, the integrated riser grip on the 3D is really comfortable. The back is flat like the rest of the PSE line up where it rides against the shooter's hand, but it is also rounded on the edges for added comfort. Where the shelf sits against the top of the shooter's hand, it is comfortable as well. The thickness of the grip feels pretty good for most shooters as well. As a target bow, most shooters are already going to have the proper hand placement, or at least something that works well for them. The PSE design is repeatable. The shape and size is also good for shooters who want to tweak or add grip tape to make it more comfortable for them.


Like all PSE bows, the split limbs are the chosen configuration on the Perform-X 3D. These limbs are highly pre-stressed, and look exactly like the rest of the PSE lineup. Maximum draw weights are offered in 40, 50, and 60-pounds, which makes this a bow just about everyone can shoot. The limb pockets also feature some customization as well, with the ability to change the limb tip direction through micro adjustments. If adjustments are made to the system, the LAS pocket also locks down securely in place to be as stable of a connection between the limbs and riser as possible. The limbs are only offered in black, which is a bit of a bummer, but they still look fine enough, and live up to the PSE quality standards.

Eccentric System

The 3D gets the beloved Evolve Cam System as the power supplier for this highly anticipated target bow. The Evolve cam is pretty unique in its design with a cable harness system instead of a yoke system. A lot of the tuning is now available in the limb tip movement, or the new cable containment system, which allows for simian high level tuning without twisting the yokes. When partnered with the 3D riser and limbs, the draw length ranges in length from 25-30.5-inches. Like other PSE cams, the draw length adjustments are made in half-inch increments with the rotating module included in each cam. Shooters also have the ability to choose a high or low let-off module for how much holding weight they will have on the back end of the draw cycle. The low let-off module allows for let-offs from 65-75% let-off. The high let-off module allows for let-offs of 80-90%. So, depending on the module used, shooters can go from 65-90%, in increments of 5% each adjustment. The 3D also has some pretty good performance with a an ATA/IBO speed rating of 338-330 feet per second.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The draw cycle on the Evolve Cam is outstanding. The Evolve Cam is on a variety of bows from the PSE camp, and for good reason. The draw is extremely smooth, and rolls over into the back wall very nicely. It transitions really well from the peak weight, to the let-off and valley with no humps or rough spots. The let-off can be adjusted by a remarkable 25% from 65-90%, which is unheard of. The low let-off module comes standard on the Evolve Cam, which make sense considering most target archers like more holding weight. However, there is a recent trend for archers demanding higher let-off bows, and for those shooters the high let-off module will more than likely be the ticket. The 36-inch axel-to-axel measurement feels extremely stable, and when holding on target the bow seems to aim itself. The pin float is pretty minimal as well, which is a good thing for shooters holding on targets outdoors. After the shot, the bow sits well and does not have much noise associated with the arrow being fired. The fired arrow is pretty zippy too, and slaps the target with some authority. This high level performance for a target bow is greatly appreciated and will be helpful in 3D tournaments making slight errors in judging distance less noticeable. Overall, this rig is a great shooter, and will be wonderful as a 3D bow for serious tournament goers.

Usage Scenarios

The Perform-X 3D is a 3D shooters dream. It has a shoot through riser, great performance, some really awesome adjustability, and it is really easy to shoot. Despite its design for a 3D bow, some shooters may find themselves drawn to this bow for spot leagues as well.

PSE Perform-X 3d vs. PSE Perform-X

BowPSE Perform-X 3DPSE Perform-X
Version 20182018
PicturePSE Perform-X 3DPSE Perform-X
Brace Height6.5 "7 "
AtA Length36 "40 "
Draw Length25 " - 30.5 "26.5 " - 31 "
Draw Weight30 lbs - 60 lbs40 lbs - 60 lbs
IBO Speed330 fps - 338 fps324 fps - 332 fps
Weight5.0 lbs5.2 lbs
Let-Off65% - 75% 65% - 75%
Where to buy
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Both of these bows are top of the line target bows, with a lot of similar features to each other. However, it is the differences between the two models, which will more than likely be the deciding factor for which bow shooters decide to go with. The 3D bow is designed for more of a 3D shooter, with a little more speed, and a little shorter axel-to-axel measurement. However, some 3D shooters may prefer the longer PSE Perform-X instead. The same is true for target archers; although some shooters may be drawn to the longer 40-inch frame of the Perform-X, the 3D's smaller frame may be more comfortable. So just like any archery decision, the final choice will more than likely be made based on personal preference varying from shooter to shooter.


The Perform-X 3D is a well designed 3D bow and will not let shooters down. It performs flawlessly with the shoot ability of the Evolve Cam System, has favorable specifications for 3D shooters, tons of color options, and a giant let-off range to choose from. The price tag is scary, and when looking at hunting bows in the PSE line up with the Evolve cam, the specifications of the 3D are comparable, although the shoot through riser is a solid advantage for some target folks. If shooters can get over the price tag, and the similarity of a hunting bow with a smaller price tag, the 3D may be a serious contender for the 3D guru. There are no concerns with the performance, steady hold on target, and feel of the bow after sending arrows downrange. From that perspective, the Perform-X 3D is pretty flawless. The price is going to have many shooters looking at a different bow.

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