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Bow Report: Prime "Impact"

Prime’s Impact is the faster of two 2013 Prime models sharing the new PCX Cam, an updated version of Prime’s Parallel Cam Technology. Strings come off two tracks on either side of each cam and are then yoked to a single string a few inches away. By balancing the tension in this manner, with cams centered between the yoked strings, cam lean is virtually eliminated and horizontal nock travel reduced. It contributes to a very stable platform that can be felt subjectively during the draw cycle and at full draw. Contributing to that stability is the mass weight of 4.5 pounds. While the trend in bow design seems to be toward increasingly lighter bows, there is a good case to be made for a little more weight, which tends, all else being equal, to reduce torque, noise and vibration, and recoil. It also makes the bow easier to hold steady in a breeze and generally more forgiving. Adding further to that stability are the Impact’s extra-wide limbs, the forged CNC-machined 7000 series riser, and the I-Glide Flex cable guard. A similar point can be made for the Impact’s 35-inch axle-to-axle length. It’s not compact by current standards, but a few inches in length can reduce the tendency to cant the bow, increasing its forgiveness especially on longer shots.

Prime’s parallel cams do not employ modules but are camspecific in half-inch intervals, starting at 26 inches and running out to 30 inches in the case of the PCX cams. Draw length can be micro-tuned by moving draw stops in or out. At maximum draw length for each cam size, letoff is 75 percent; shortening draw length reduces it gradually until, at the shortest draw length, it is about 65 percent. Draw weight is adjusted by loosening limb pocket screws, turning the limb bolts up or down, then re-tightening the limb pocket screws.

The rubber Ultra Fit grip is very comfortable and probably sufficiently narrow for most shooters. For the narrowest possible grip, it is removable. The Dura-Fuse finish on the model I tested was excellent, though the “Prime” logos on the limbs can be scratched. The removable broadhead guard affixed to the outside of the shelf is a welcome feature for anyone who has ever seen the results of an arrow that slipped off the rest an instant before the shot.

Shooting The Bow

Setting up this bow was about as easy as it gets for several reasons. It came with a D-loop installed (blue to match the black & blue string). I normally prefer to find my own nock point, but in this case when I installed the rest and aligned the arrow with the Berger holes, it was squared 90 degrees, which is my usual starting point. Establishing centershot is aided by the parallel cam design, which puts the string vertically down the center of the bow limbs and grip. On top of that, Prime bows with the Ultra Fit grip have two white indicator arrows on the grip’s back for reference. Line the string up with the arrows, then move the rest horizontally until the arrow aligns with the string to find centershot. In my case no further adjustments were necessary, as I got good arrow flight right away. As a further test, I replaced the field points with G5 Montec broadheads, and the broadhead-tipped arrows grouped with the field points very nicely.

Earlier I referenced the bow’s stability, which translates to a solid steadiness who find the cams “grabby” are probably shooting at too long a draw length or are failing to pull through the shot. At 340 fps the Impact is a fast bow, yet the shot is quiet, and there is very little movement, with no hand shock or vibration to speak of. It’s design qualities maximize ease of tuning, stability, and forgiveness make the Impact a bow that will appeal to target shooters as well as hunters.

Download the full report (PDF)

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