PSE Source Review
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Editors' reviewThe PSE Source may not be the flagship bow for 2014, but it has a ton to offer interested shooters in terms of speed, forgiveness, and shootability. The Source cams are very adjustable for feel and personal preference, while still maintaining the high level performance PSE is known for. Shooters who enjoyed the EVO and EVO MAX, may find just enough improvement to make the switch to a new Source rig by PSE. With a 33-inch axel-to-axel measurement, the Source offers the potential to be a multipurpose bow for many shooters interested in a hunting bow that can shoot great 3D scores as well. With a $799 price tag, the Source is far from a budget bow, but offers a lot for the price point of Pro Series bows.
FinishLike other PSE models, the finish on the Source is superb. PSE does a lot of things right, and their finish options are done very well making the end product look as great as they shoot. The finish is also built to last and be put through the paces of a bow hunter. The three primary finish options include: Mossy Oak Break Up Infinity camo, all black, and Skull works, which offers a black base with a variety of white skill mounts scattered throughout. All the finish options are well done and completely cover the cutouts and corners on the riser and limbs.
RiserThe Source riser cutouts are similar to those of the EVO Max in looks, but do not match exactly. Made from high-grade aluminum, the riser is strong and durable allowing for a repeatable shot time after time. The bow balances very well, which is a testament to the riser engineering as well. For a 33-inch axel-to-axel frame, the Source holds solid on target as well. Just like other PSE models, the riser shelf houses tuning and alignment marks to help get the rest set close before fine tuning the bow. The marks give a great reference point for starting the set up, which makes the entire process a bit faster.The cable slide used on the Source is nothing fancy, but has proven to work. Many Pro Series PSE rigs feature a tunable cable slide, but the Source has the old tried and true version stock with a rubber dampener for noise and vibration. The Backstop 2 is the factory rear mounting string stop system used by PSE for 2014. It is adjustable of meet the specific needs of shooters and does a fantastic job and stopping the strings forward movement and eliminates the strong oscillation that used to cause some wrist slapping. The rubber dampener is replaceable, and can be swapped out for a variety of different colors for shooters into the fully customized look.
GripThe Source grips works well and feels great. As the only constant contact point throughout the entire shot, it is important shooters choose a bow with a repeatable grip. The small design and feel of the Source grip does just that. Although the grip can be a little on the cold side in hunting situations, it performs well and aides shooters in using the proper hand placement on the bow. IT may take some getting used to for shooters coming from a bigger grip, but the improved accuracy is well worth the short adjustment period,
LimbsThe fourth generation X-Tech limbs are said to be PSE strongest, most durable split limbs to date. Like all X-Force bows, the limbs come highly pre-stressed making strength and durability a necessity. The limbs have designed contours used to improve the flexibility of the limbs allowing for more stored energy to be transferred to the arrow after the shot. Limbs are only available in maximum draw weights of 50, 60, and 70-pounds, but the 30-pound range will match the needs of most shooters. It would be nice to have the popular 65-pound maximum draw weight added to the options, but with the improved quality of limbs and pockets, shooters no longer need to shoot the limb bolts bottomed out like in years past. The Spectrum limb pockets are new for 2014, and connect the limbs to the riser. The aluminum pockets actually allow for 12 full turns of limb bolt adjustability, while maintaining a near zero tolerance for limb location when seated in the pockets.Rubber limb dampening bands help round out the Source limbs offering another way to help reduce noise and vibration caused by the release of an arrow. The bands are available in many color options and are easily replaceable unlike older versions of the dampeners that required the limb to be removed for replacement.
Eccentric SystemThe Source cam is a smooth hybrid cam system, made of high-grade aluminum, produces great speeds of 335 feet per second. With the third generation inner lock draw length adjustment module, the cam is capable of half-inch increments from 26-31 1/2 inches. The center pull technology minimizes nock travel while keeping the two cams synced with each other for repeatable performance and easy tuning. With laser engraved markings, it is easy to make adjustments and fine-tune the overall feel of the bow as well. 75% let off feels great a full draw, and the draw force curve can be tweaked to match shooters personal preferences.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityTo fully appreciate the Source cams feel, shooters have to draw them on their own. Words do not do this cam system justice. From start to finish, the cam feels fantastic. 335 feet per second is not blazing fast by 2014 standards, but that is plenty of speed, and when combined with a 7-inch brace height, very easy to maintain and shoot accurately. Without oversimplifying the draw force curve, the Source cams are plain easy to draw. The back wall is solid and the valley offers enough creep to keep shooters honest, but offering a little room for error. The balance at full draw is perfection, and the bow seems to aim itself. There is a slight buzz in the shooters hand after the shot, but nothing major and more than likely easily corrected with the right amount of weight and a good stabilizer. Although the factory settings make the bow feel great, it is completely adjustable to meet individual needs. The draw stop can be moved to give the bow a different valley and back wall feel depending on what shooters are used to or interested in. This is a welcomed addition for many, but the factory settings feel great the way they are for many shooters.
Usage ScenariosThe Source screams multipurpose bow, although it was designed with hunting in mind. Many shooters will appreciate the specifications on paper for 3D and hunting, but after spending some time with the Source, its shootability will make it a winner in many different categories. Even better, the $799 price tag is a pretty good deal for the quality bow and the variety of uses.
|Bow||PSE Source||PSE X-Force Hammer|
|Brace Height||7 "||7 "|
|AtA Length||33 "||32.25 "|
|Draw Length||26 " - 31.5 "||26 " - 31 "|
|Draw Weight||40 lbs - 70 lbs||40 lbs - 80 lbs|
|IBO Speed||327 fps - 335 fps||327 fps - 335 fps|
|Weight||4.3 lbs||4.2 lbs|
| Where to buy |
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These two bows are very similar in specifications and feel on the shot. Although there are subtle differences between the two, both are phenomenal shooters for hunting and 3D shooting. The PSE X-Force Hammer was not very popular last year, but PSE did a nice job using the smooth PSE Source cam in combination with a 7-inch brace height bow. Shooters interested in the added brace height, and often not interested in tons of speed, so the Source bow may be a little more appealing. Both bows are fantastic options, but the Source wins out as the favorite between both rigs for many shooters.