PSE X-Force Hammer Review
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Editors' reviewThe new Hammer shares many of the same features and characteristics as the popular Dream Season EVO, and is offered for an MSRP of $750. To be honest, this bow is basically an EVO 7 with a cheaper price tag. The Hammer Proline Series bow shoots IBO speeds up to 327 feet per second and draws very smoothly. There is a little vibe after the shot, but adding accessories and a good stabilizer will help eliminate this. The Hammer's forgiving seven-inch brace height, price, and speed make this a wonderful option for shooters interested in a high quality bow at a reasonable price point.
FinishThe dipping process done at PSE makes the bows look great. The riser cutouts are covered well, and the limbs are able to withstand normal shooting conditions as well as any other finish in the archery industry. PSE offers a variety of color options sure to match each individual shooters style. Available camo patterns include Mossy Oak Break Up Infinity, and the Skullworks pattern, which features big game skulls and antlers on a black background. Shooters interested in an all black option have Satin Black as a choice, or can go with a black riser with Mossy Oak limbs for a hybrid look. All options look great, and have accessory options available through PSE to match.
RiserThe Hammer riser looks aggressive and helps add a lot to the overall design of the bow. The green writing for the Hammer logo is a bit of a change from the red PSE has been known to feature. The Planar flex riser allows the riser to flex back to back instead of side to side. This function is more repeatable and improves accuracy significantly. The sight picture window was slightly widened as well to make it easy for the entire sight housing to be visible through the shooters peep sight. Like most bows on the market today, the Hammer features a rear mounting sting stop system simply called the Backstop 2. Along with doing a great job at eliminating string travel and vibration, the Backstop 2 is fully adjustable. Shooters can place the backstop at a variety of lengths away from the riser as well as being able to rotate the dampener allowing the string to hit the center of the dampener each time. Directly in front of this rear facing dampener is a front mounting stabilizer hole. This is designed to give shooters an option to add weight out front to off set the weight of other accessories or stabilize the pin down range. Along with this, the remaining shock and vibration is transferred away from the shooters hand. Tuning and aligning marks are also engraved on the riser for a general idea of where to place the arrow rest for faster tuning. Although the marks may not be exact for all shooters, it provides a great reference point to go off from and helps cut down on time spent setting up the bow and fine tuning it.
GripThe Hammer's B.E.S.T. (Biomechanically Ergonomic Slim Throat) Raptor Grip is one of the most repeatable bow grips on the market, but may take a while for some shooters to get used to depending on their past preference. The grip is integrated in to the riser design and features rubber inserts on both sides of the grip for added comfort. This grip just fits well in the shooters hand providing proper hand placement and grip is correct. The grip is difficult to torque as well, which ultimately leads to improved accuracy.
LimbsPSE claims the X-Tech limbs featured on the Hammer are the toughest most durable limbs they have ever made. From a company with little issues in limb longevity, that is saying a lot. The limbs are highly pre-stressed at rest, and add to the bows aggressive look as well. Because of this, the limbs have stressed optimized bellies that add strength without adding mass to the bow. The limbs are offered in 10-pound adjustment increments with maximum draw weights of 60, 60, and 70 pounds. The pivoting Brute-X limb pockets maintain more surface area contact between the pocket and limb, which aids in alignment of the limbs shot after shot. The black composite pockets appear durable and sturdy, and the limbs can be backed out a full ten turns.
Eccentric SystemThe EVO Hybrid cam has six-inches of total draw length adjustment in half-inch increments without the use of a bow press or having to purchase parts. The second-generation posi lock inner module is easy to adjust and has laser engraved markings for easy reference. The dual draw stop system rotates to hit the cable and can also be adjusted according to the tuning marks. Along with the module markings, shooters will also have tuning mark engravings to make sure cams are functioning properly. Engineers spent time looking at nock travel as well in an attempt to limit It and make the Hammer easier to tune. The EVO Hybrid cam produces IBO decent speeds up to 327 feet per second with 75% letoff.
Draw cycle / ShootabilityThis cam feels great, is easy to draw, offers a generous valley, and has a pretty solid back wall. The best part of the cam is its adjustability. In roughly five minutes, shooters can have the bow fitted exactly to their shooting style without a trip to the bow shop or the need to buy draw length modules or expensive cams. The draw force curve seems to reach peak weight relatively early in the draw cycle, and maintains a steady pull to the letoff. There is not a noticeable hump in the draw, and the bow settles in very nicely at a nice feeling back wall. The back wall is not the most solid in the industry, but shooters know they are at full draw. The bow hold super well on the target and balances really great despite weighing in at 4.2 pounds bare bow. After the shot, the Backstop 2 silences the bow well, but there is a little shock without any accessories mounted. After mounting a stabilizer, the shock is hardly noticeable unless shooters are paying attention to it. The grip is very comfortable and fits in most shooters hand with ease as well. The grip is an integrated part of the riser though, and may get a little chilly in some hunting situations.
Usage ScenarioThe Hammer is a multipurpose bow with hunting in mind. Although most shooters choosing this bow will be shooting it from a blind or treestand, the Hammer has some decent specifications for avid 3d shooters and those who like to visit the local 3d courses on the weekend. Although serious tournament shooters have better options, the bow can be a wonderful multipurpose rig.
|Bow||PSE X-Force Hammer||PSE Dream Season EVO|
|Version||2013||2013 EVO Max|
|Brace Height||7 "||6 "|
|AtA Length||32.25 "||32.25 "|
|Draw Length||26 " - 31 "||25 " - 30 "|
|Draw Weight||40 lbs - 80 lbs||40 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||327 fps - 335 fps||337 fps - 345 fps|
|Weight||4.2 lbs||4.2 lbs|
| Where to buy |
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The specifications on these two Proline series bows for 2013 are almost identical. The PSE Dream Season EVO Max has several brand new technologies that may be worth the $100 price difference for some shooters. The EVO Max features the new Flex Cable Slide, and Center lock 2 limb pockets. Aside from this, the only difference is the Hammer's inch longer brace height. Shooters who are not interested in the upgrade features offered on the EVO Max, may be drawn by the cheaper price tag and the added inch of forgive ability.