PSE produces a bow for every shooter in every price point, and the Stinger Extreme is an excellent example of that. This bow is a budget friendly bow starting at $299 for the bare bow and going to $494.97 for the highest end package deal. In addition to being an outstanding value, the Stinger Extreme features 9-inches of draw length from 21-30-inches, and draw weight of 22-70-pounds. The single SX cam, and newly designed riser pair well together, and the upgraded limb pockets all give this inexpensive bow a solid reputation as a shooter despite the price. Those interested in the Stinger Extreme will also be thankful for the 8 finish options the bow is offered in from the factory. Nothing on the bow is top of the line from the PSE camp, nor should anyone expect it to be for the suggested retail price of less than $300. Lefties will also be relieved to know this budget friendly bow comes in left and right-handed versions. Left-handed bows are often not offered in the cheaper versions, but that is not true for this rig. However, the Stinger Extreme shoots very well, performs well with an advertised speed rating of 316 feet per second, and is a pretty inexpensive way for new or growing shooters to get acclimated to the archery world and start enjoying shooting a bow.
Budget friendly bows often come with a limited number of choices for finishes. Fortunately for those interested in the Stinger Extreme, that is not the case, and PSE has outfitted this $299 bow with 8 options. In regards to quality and craftsmanship, there is no difference between the Extreme's finish and the high-end aluminum bows offered from PSE, which is great to see. Although the price is lower, craftsmanship and quality was not compromised. For shooters wanting a camo pattern, the Mossy Oak Country and Kryptek Highlander are the two options and both look really nice. For those wanting a solid color, the Stinger Extreme comes in black, charcoal, purple, white, and lime green. Those wanting a camo color can also opt for the Muddy Girl pattern. It is important to note the purple and Muddy Girl options are only offered with 55-pound limbs. Again, each of the options are well done and look nice, so it will come down to what shooters want their bow to look like in the end.
The Stinger Extreme riser gets a fresh new look for the 2018 bow, making it look less like a budget bow, and more similar to the rest of the PSE lineup. The riser is a major part of the 32.5-inch axel-to-axel measurement for the Stinger Extreme, and has some tried and true technology added. For standard equipment, the Stringer Extreme gets a rear mounted string stop system, and a traditional cable slide containment system. These both work well, but they are not leading technologies in the compound bow world for 2018, nor should anyone expect them to be with a $299 suggested retail price. The riser design, in combination with the limbs and cams create a forgiving brace height of 7 1/8-inches also. The overall mass of the bow is pretty lightweight with a 3.8-pound bare bow weight, and there is a front mounting stabilizer hole for anyone wanting to add some additional weight or dampening to the front of the bow. Everything about the Stinger Extreme riser is well designed, and properly executed. For those not expecting top of the line engineering, the Stinger Extreme riser will meet the needs of just about every shooter.
The grip is like many other PSE models and integrated into the riser design. There are no side plates or rubber inserts on the sides of the grip, which have been present in the past, although they did not add anything to the fit or comfort of the grip in the shooters hand. The back of the grip is pretty flat, but the edges are also contoured a bit to add a little comfort to the feel of the grip. The throat seems to fit well, and the thickness of the grip feels just about right too. The grip is aluminum, so it will be far from warm when used on cold morning sits in the timber. However, PSE does sell a neoprene sleeve to help shooters keep things warmer if shooters are interested in doing that. Ultimately, the grip feels pretty good, but there is also nothing fancy about it.
PSE has pretty much perfected the highly stressed, preloaded split limbs, and the Stinger Extreme stays right on trucking with using them although the limbs are not as highly stressed as the flagship models. Shooters will love the adjustability of the draw weight ranging from 22 to 70-pounds, with maximum weights of 55 and 70-pounds. The Stinger Extreme gets new limb pockets for 2018, which have a couple connection points fixing the limbs to the riser so they stay put throughout the entire draw cycle. Some will say the composite pockets could cause problems, but PSE has very few issues with them on past models, and under normal use there should be no problems with the composite material limb pockets. The split limbs also come with factory vibration dampeners installed to keep things as quiet as possible. The limb decals have the traditional PSE logo with Stringer written in white and Extreme in red with block letters matching the rest of the lineup.
The Stinger Extreme is powered by the SX single cam system, which is a pretty slick cam system. Single cams have lost some popularity in recent years, but they used to be highly sought after by shooters of all skill levels. The SX cam allows for a modular adjusted draw length range of 21-30-inches in half-inch increments without needing a bow press. The let off is a straight 75%, which used to be the spot everyone wanted before the high let-off systems started becoming popular. The single cam technology as features speeds up to 316 feet per second with a brace height of over 7-inches, which is pretty outstanding for a single cam bow. Again, there are no major bells and whistles incorporated into the cam design, but it functions well and has decent performance, especially at the advertised price.
The SX cam system feels like a typical single cam, which is smooth and easy to draw. Shooters will notice the entire draw cycle transitions well from the peak weight to the let-off through the valley, and into the solid back wall. It is a bit stiff up front, but not at all uncomfortable. While pulling into the back wall, there is a slight spongy feel, but nothing major, and pretty comparable to other single cams. Letting down the SX cam is an easy task, and it never gets to the point of wanting to yank shooters forward either. As shooters hold on target, the Stinger Extreme stays on target pretty easily, and the 32.5-inch axel-to-axel measurement is comfortable and creates a comfortable string angle for shooters to settle into the proper anchor points. After the shot, there is some felt recoil, but nothing major, and mostly corrected when accessories are added. Overall, the Stinger Extreme is a nice shooting bow, and when throwing in the lower price tag, it becomes really hard to compete with for that price point.
The PSE Stinger Extreme is a bow geared towards newer shooters, or those on a tight budget. Folks looking to spend under $300 on a bow are more than likely just getting started and not wanting to drop a ton of money on something they are not totally sure about. With that being said, the Stinger Extreme will be comfortable in the timber of shooting on the local 3D ranges. It is not a competition bow, and will more than likely not be used for spot leagues either. However, newer shooters should find the Stinger Extreme well designed, accurate, and fun to shoot.
Factory Package Options
Shooters are able to completely outfit their bow straight from the factory, or purchase the bare bow only, and this is something shooters should greatly appreciate. Some budget bows are only offered bare or with accessories, without an option to choose the other. For those wanting a full package, it stinks if it is not offered, and for those not wanting the accessories included it feels like money is being wasted on accessories that will not be used. Thanks to PSE for allowing the customer to choose what they want, instead of forcing consumers to purchase what is available. For shooters interested in a factory package, there are three to choose from.
Ready to Shoot
This package is the most inexpensive option available for those wanting a fully rigged bow from the factory. It includes a Gemini sight, a whisker biscuit rest, an FX4 stabilizer, hunting quiver, a mongoose peep sight, and a nock loop. This will give shooters what they need to get started, but there is nothing overly fancy with the included accessories. They are nice, get the job done, and require no research for beginners to choose the proper accessories. However, they are pretty basic.
Ready to Shoot Pro
This package option gets a little nicer in terms of quality when compared to the Ready to Shoot package. For this package, shooters will get the Phantom drop away rest, a micro adjust AMP sight, a Spire stabilizer, Raven quiver, Mongoose peep sight and nocking point, and a neoprene PSE wrist sling. The added money goes towards an upgrade in each accessory as well as a drop away rest and micro adjustment in the sight, which makes precise changes easier to handle than a sight without it.
For just under $500, shooters can have the Ready to Shoot Pro accessories with a Tru Fire Hurricane Release, an Element bow case, and a 4-pack of arrows. With this package, shooters will only need to add broad heads, and they can be fully loaded for any hunting situation with an investment of $500. This is an unheard of deal, and should get plenty of shooters on the fence about getting into the world of archery.
Every year, PSE designs a wide range of bows to meet the needs of any shooter wanting a new rig. The Stinger Extreme is a bow designed for newer shooters or those on a strict budget. The 8 finish options goes against the norm of budget friendly models being limited to the choices offered, and each of them are well done. The 9-inches of draw length adjustment fits shooters from 21-30-inches, and the 32.5-inch axel-to-axel measurement and 7 1/8-inch brace height is easy to get used to. Shooters can opt for purchasing the Stinger Extreme as a bare bow or with three separate accessory packages ranging from $299 to just under $500 for the best accessory package. Shooters wanting the latest and greatest technology will more than likely not be interested in this model, but those with limited funds, or just trying out the sport should be thrilled to see how great the Stinger Extreme performs for the price point it is offered at.