PSE Sinister Review
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Editors' reviewThe AMP single cam flings arrows down range at impressive speeds. This wallet friendly bow is exactly what hunters demand being compact, and weighing in at under 4-pounds bare bow. Combine this with 327 feet per second and the ease of tuning a single cam bow and hunters everywhere should direct their attention to this great shooter. It will be tough to find a better performing bow for an MSRP of $499 from any manufacturer.
FinishPSE has always done a nice job with their available finish options. The dipping process for PSE bows is always well done and leaves the bow fully covered without any noticeable blemishes. There are four main colors available for the Sinister including: all black, Skulworks, Mossy Oak Break Up Infinity, and Infinity limbs with a black riser. Regardless of which color shooters decide to go with, the bow will be flawlessly finished. PSE also offers matching accessories for each of the options listed above.
RiserThe Sinister riser resembles a more compact version of the PSE DNA although made of different material. The bow measures in at 28 inches axel to axel, which meets what many shooters demand out of a hunting bow. The Sinister has strategically placed riser cut outs for lowering the weight of the bow and keeping it under the 4-pound mark, which is desirable by many shooters. The look of the riser gives the bow an aggressive design also. This bow looks mean. However, it does hold much better than most short axel to axel bows. Along with the compact design of the Sinister comes the Backstop2 offered for 2013. The Backstop 2 is adjustable in every way possible to get the arrow to hit dead center on the rubber dampener. Shooters can rotate the string stop system and adjust the distance from the riser. The dampener comes set from the factory, but shooters who like to tweak a little bit have the option to do so. The dampener can also be swapped out for other colors if desired.The riser also comes equipped with tuning marks for arrow height and where it should sit away from the riser. This helps tuners get the bow close and then fine tune from there.
GripPSE grips have always been on the thin side and really promote proper hand placement. Shooters seem to adjust to the size of the grip rather quickly, and accuracy improves because it is easy to repeat every time shooters grip the bow. The grip is a designed part of the riser with added rubber side grips. These grips are available in black or red and are swapped out easily for the other color.
LimbsThe highly prestressed, past parallel split limbs characteristic of PSE are also on the sinister bow. Along with the riser, these limbs make this bow look over the top aggressive. PSE composite limbs are known to last a long time and will withstand thousands of shots under normal shooting conditions. The limbs are designed for the industry standard ten pound increments. Limbs are available in draw weights of 40-70 pounds with maximum weights of 50, 60, and 70 pounds, which are sure to meet the needs of most shooters. The Brute X limb pocket design holds the limbs in place while forcing them to be properly aligned as well. The pivoting limb pocket stays in contact with the limbs longer and improves the bows shootability.
Eccentric SystemThe AMP cam is featured on the Prophecy and Sinister bow models for 2013. The single cam has 75% letoff and offers draw length adjustment from 25.5-30.5 inches on the Sinister. Draw length is adjustable in half inch increments and can be done without purchasing new cams or modules, all without a press. Made from 7075 airplane grade aluminum, the AMP sets a high standard of strength and durability while maintaining a lightweight mass, helping with the overall weight of the bow. Sealed ball bearings make the cam one that will last a very long time under normal shooting conditions. The cam is also laser engraved with all tuning marks and module settings for easy reference anytime.
Draw cycle / ShootabilityThe Amp cam is a single cam designed for speed, and it is noticeable when drawing the Sinister. The draw is a little stiff, and may be more noticeable due to 75% let off rather than the 80% many bows are equipped with. Although the bow is fast, there are no characteristic humps in the draw cycle though. The Sinister is smooth from start to end, with most of the weight up front. The valley is a little short, but the solid back wall makes it almost unnoticeable unless the shooter creeps forward quite a bit. The Sinisters 28 inch axel to axel measurement is much more forgiving than one would expect. It also holds pretty well on the target also. Most speed bows have a short brace height to help out with the speed, but the Sinister has a 7.25 inch brace height, which adds to the forgiveness factor of the bow. Shooters wanting a short bow with a forgiving brace height will love the Sinisters specifications.
Usage ScenarioThe Sinister is designed for hunting. It meets the needs of what hunters are asking for being compact, lightweight, and fast. The 7.25 inch brace height is also a welcomed addition to the list of impressive specifications for this speed hunting bow. The Sinister proves to be extremely accurate, but there are better options available for the serious target shooter.
Package Deal from the FactoryLike other in the PSE Mainline series, the Sinister is available in two package options straight from the factory. The first options is the ready to shoot package, which includes: a multiple pin Aries sight, a QS whisker biscuit, a flexxtech stabilizer, a neoprene PSE sling, a mongoose quiver, a peep sight, and a nock loop. The field ready package includes all of the above accessories while adding a soft bow case, four carbon force arrows, and a TruFire Hurricane Release Aid. Shooters are free to outfit their bow by purchasing the Sinister bare as well, but both of these options are a great value.
PSE Sinister vs. PSE Prophecy
|Bow||PSE Sinister||PSE Prophecy|
|Brace Height||7.25 "||6 "|
|AtA Length||28 "||32 "|
|Draw Length||25.5 " - 30.5 "||25 " - 30 "|
|Draw Weight||40 lbs - 70 lbs||40 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||319 fps - 327 fps||332 fps - 340 fps|
|Weight||3.9 lbs||4.1 lbs|
| Where to buy |
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The Sinister and Prophecy bows appeal to the same type of shooter demanding speed and tunability a single cam has to offer. Both models are designed for hunters, powered by the same cam system, and will perform very well in the woods. The Sinister is shorter and offers a 7.25 inch brace height. Many shooters love speed, but demand a forgiving brace height. The Sinister has both. The lightweight design of the Sinister may also be desirable for those carrying their bow around all day in the mountains or on the plains. The PSE Prophecys longer axel-to-axel measurement may be more a better option for taller shooters or those not interested in a lightweight rig. Also, the shortened brace height leads to increased arrow speed as well. Overall, both models are great options for shooters wanting a new hunting bow.