PSE Perform-X Review

PSE Perform-X

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  • A shoot through 40-inch axel-to-axel target bow from PSE
  • The beloved Evolve cam system with let-off from 65-90%
  • 11 finish options offered


  • $1699 suggested retail
  • 5.2-pounds is decently heavy, although this is a longer bow


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Editors' review

Target bows are becoming increasingly popular, and with so little making the difference between potentially winning or losing, shooters try to gain any advantage they can to put them on the podium at the end of the weekend. The PSE Perform-X is a bow capable of outstanding shoot ability allowing shooters a fighting chance to win their shooting event of choice. The Perform-X features the loved Evolve Cam system, which gives shooters really great performance in addition to a lot of let-off options. Shooters can opt for the Low let-off module (LL), which allows for 65-75%, or the high let-off module (HL), which offers 80-90% let-off. Combine this with a speed rating up to 332 feet per second, and a forgiving 7-inch brace height and shooters have specifications rivaling a hunting bow. Shooters have tons of finish options to choose from, and all of them look exceptional. The Perform-X is expensive, with a suggested retail of $1699. The overall weight of the bow is heavy as well, which is to be expected for a bow this size. The 40-inch axel-to-axel measurement is not for the faint of heart, and some shooters may take a bit to get used to the shoot through riser design if they are not used to that, but overall the Perform-X is a solid target bow and should receive quite a bit of popularity.


Target archers love color, and they are in luck with the finish options offered from the PSE camp on the Perform-X. As with all PSE bows, the final product on the aluminum risers is really nice looking and capable of withstanding the beating target bows tend to take being transported from event to event or outside in the elements during a 3D tournament. PSE has 11 different color options available for the Perform-X, which includes: black cherry, admiral blue, textured rose gold, high voltage gold, pearl white, sky blue, satin mercury, black onyx, electric lime, platinum titanium, and imperial purple. It is bit of a bummer the limbs are only offered in black, but the risers are awesome looking and there is sure to be a color every target shooter can appreciate.


The Perform-X is a large bow with an axel-to-axel of 40-inches. Even for many target shooters, this is a long bow, and it could take some time getting used to if shooters have been in the shorter 37-39-inch range. With that being said, the longer riser is exceptionally stable and well designed for strength and rigidity as well as keeping the overall mass of the bow down a bit. The riser design ends up keeping a brace height of 7-inches, and a bare bow weight of 5.2-pounds. Target archers are not as scared of weight as compared to hunters, but 5.2-pounds can feel heavy, especially with the overall size of this bow. The riser has a shoot through design, which allows everything to be perfectly centered between the limb pockets. This can take some getting used to for shooters coming from a traditional style compound riser, but many target guys will already be familiar with loading a shoot through design. The area below the grip gets a caged design as well to help stiffen things up on that end also. Shooters will also appreciate the stabilizer mounting options on the front and rear of the riser.For a cable system, the Perform-X is a nice mix of simplistic and technologically advanced. The Flex Rod System is a more traditional type cable slide system, although it is highly customizable and flexes similar to a limb as the bow is drawn. This allows shooters to fine tune the cable containment system to the specific arrows and vane configuration they choose to shoot. This FRS is paired with the Roller Guard PSE has recently introduced. This system rolls along with the cables to reduce torque and friction, and both working together is pretty slick.


This is the most personalized part of a target bow for many shooters, and the PSE grip has a great feeling to it. This grip is designed directly into the riser, and has a lot of room for shooters wanting to add grip tape to give it a personal feel. The lack of side plates or a one-piece grip is becoming increasingly popular on target models for 2018, but the overall shape and feel of this grip hits a homeroom. The flat back is easy to place in the proper shooting spot against the lifeline of a shooter's hand, and it is comfortable throughout a full day of shooting in terms of where the top of the shooter's hand rests against the shelf of the bow. The girth of the riser feels just about right as well, although it may be a bit thicker for some used to the B.E.S.T. grip from older PSE models.


Target archers are going to shoot their bow a lot, both in practice sessions, and throughout the competitive season, and it is super important to have confidence in the equipment being used. PSE split limbs have a solid reputation for being long lasting and high-performing. The Evolve cam system is large, and the energy they create is substantial, so the limbs have a lot of work to do. Shooters have the option for limbs in maximum draw weights of 50 or 60-pounds. This may be limiting for some archers, especially 3D guys who want to pull a bunch of weight. However, most target archers shoot this poundage, and it will work for virtually everyone. PSE has a really cool limb pocket system known as the LAS, which allows shooters the ability to micro tune their limb tips left or right. The LAS also has a lockdown feature to ensure all adjustments made are locked down securely for the best performance after the initial tune.

Eccentric System

The Evolve Cam System may be one of the highest rated cams PSE has ever produced, and it is making appearances throughout the entire PSE lineup. The Perform-X is powered by the Evolve cam as well, making it an outstanding target bow in terms of speed and performance. The speed rating tops out at 332 feet per second, which is not too shady for a target bow. On the Perform-X platform, draw lengths are available in half-inch increments from 26.5 all the way out to 32-inches simply by rotating the module to the proper laser engraved marking. Shooters can also choose the holding weight they prefer by using either of the let-off modules. The low let-off module (LL) comes standard on the Perform-X with let-offs of 65, 70, and 75%. However, the high let-off module (HL) is optional offering let-offs of 80, 85, and 90%. More than likely, target shooters are going to opt for the lower let-offs, for a higher holding weight, but to offer all the way up to 90% on the Perform-X is a great move by PSE to allow anyone the opportunity to shoot this bow. The Evolve Cam System is a direct response from PSE regarding what shooters want. The quad track binary cam system has tons of adjustment, and can be a more aggressive speedier bow, as well as a high let-off rig, each with a smooth draw cycle. The quad track eliminates yokes, and essentially uses a harness allowing the cables to pull on each side of the cam more evenly. Ideally, this means the elimination of cam lean which would have been present on previous binary cams. This also means the cables connect on the inside of the limbs instead of on the outside like PSE has done in the past. This cam is also really smooth operating, and easy to draw while still producing great speed numbers.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

This large of a bow is not for the faint of heart. Even many target shooters choose to use a bow with a smaller axel-to-axel measurement. however, shooters willing to spend some time with the long shoot through riser design with surely find themselves shooting some pretty great scores. The cam system is outstanding, and will allow shooters the ability to shoot the exact holding weight they prefer. The limbs and cable containment system can be adjusted to meet individual set up needs for each shooter based on the set up they chose to shoot. The bow holds very well on target as well, which is a great feature of a target bow. The easier a bow holds on target, the more a shooter can focus on executing their shot without having to wrestle with keeping the pin floating over the spot downrange. The Evolve cam is a popular cam system, and for good reason. It draws exceptionally well, and performs outstanding at any of the let-offs within the 65-90% range. Although target bows are not typically part of the performance conversation, the Perform-X has outstanding speed for spot shooters, and it comes with an easy to manage draw cycle, which is even more important. It is easy to see how this bow will receive a lot of attention from serious target shooters.

Usage Scenarios

This bow is a target bow, and more specifically an indoor target bow. Although some shooters may find themselves on the 3D courses with the Perform-X, it is truly geared towards shooters wanting to toe the line for spot tournaments.


The Perform-X is a high end target bow, specifically designed for indoor spot leagues. Although this bow could transition for some shooters into a 3D bow as well, the Perform-X will more than likely be most comfortable shooting spots, and for that the 40-inch axel-to-axel is very beneficial. The grip fits well in the shooter's hand, the Evolve cam system is outstanding and has some built in customization features shooters will appreciate, and it flat out shoots. The price tag is scary, and quite honestly is sure to eliminate some potential buyers from sticker shock alone with a suggested retail of $1699. However, for serious target archers, especially those expecting to take home an over sized check every weekend, the shoot through Perform-X may be the bow that gets them there. The color options are great, and they all look nice. The black limbs are a little boring, but most target bows across the industry have them, so it is a pretty standard look. Any shooter interested in a hardcore target bow, owe it to themselves to give the Perform-X a go. However, shooters must be willing to explain to their significant other why a bow purchase of $1699 is necessary.

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