Bow Report: Quest Drive

October 1, 2013

With an IBO of 330 fps, the new Drive is Quest’s fastest bow. That does not make it cutting-edge in terms of speed, but Quest bows are cutting edge in this respect; they are among a growing number of high-quality bows that stress shootability, in conjunction with respectable speeds, over producing high-performance bows that sacrifice smoothness, forgiveness, and just plain enjoyable shooting for the sake of the fastest IBO rating. Toward that end, Quest emphasizes the importance of a very solid shooting platform starting with a forged 6061 aluminum riser and CNC-machined pivoting limb pockets.

Beyond a stable shooting platform and overall design, the component that most determines a bow’s unique mix of speed versus shootability is its cam system. The Drive features Quest’s new twin-track Flux Cam. In addition to providing an exceptionally smooth draw stroke, this modular system also offers the welcome feature of offering a full inch of draw adjustment for each module. Adjusting draw length (within the one-inch range) is as simple as moving the draw stop to the correct position. (Changing modules, should it become necessary, does require pressing the bow.) At the same time, the draw stop—which must be in place to draw the bow safely—provides a very solid back wall.

Quest DriveAlso new from Quest this year is the I-Glide Flex cable guard. As the name suggests, it flexes inward during the draw stroke to reduce torque and cam lean. Flexible cable guards are not unique to Quest, but the ceramic guides are unusual since they are extremely low-friction while employing no moving parts. This enhances efficiency, reduces noise, and reduces wear on the cables.

G5’s Speed Studs, available as aftermarket products for any bow, come standard on the Drive. Properly installed in the right positions, devices such as these can add a few feet per second to many bows. Speed Studs offer the added benefit of simplifying peep sight tuning. The problem of peep sights rotating is more pronounced with some bows/strings than with others, and the BCY 452 strings and cables on the Drive greatly minimize that issue. Nonetheless, over time any peep sight is inclined to rotate out of position, requiring re-adjustments that sometimes necessitate pressing the bow and twisting the string. With String Studs, returning an errant peep sight to the proper position is often as simple as sliding one of the Studs up or down on the string.

Quest touts its Durafuse finish as extremely durable and making enhanced image quality possible. Testing the bow in my workshop and on the range doesn’t really challenge longevity or durability, but certainly the fit and finish on the Drive is commensurate with that of the highest-quality bows currently on the market.

Shooting The Bow

Quest suggests starting at a centershot of 13⁄16 inch, and I found I got good arrow flight from that spot. Nothing about the riser design made installing our standard QAD Ultra-Rest HD difficult. Adjusting draw weight involves loosening set screws and rotating the limb bolts in the typical manner. The limb bolts were extremely tight, and the top one tended to chatter as I turned it.

At 4.3 pounds, the Drive is not light by current standards. At the same time, most shooters find a slightly heavier bow contributes to stability and forgiveness. In any case, 4.3 pounds is not inordinately heavy. Like most bows, the Drive is slightly top-heavy.

The two-piece grip is narrow and highly contoured to be very comfortable, with slightly textured side plates. The integrated broadhead guard on the shelf may have no direct bearing on the quality of shooting the bow, but it is certainly a welcome feature for any hunter who has ever had an arrow fall off the rest at full draw.

Smoothness is a welcome trend in bow design these days, but the Drive is a smooth bow among smooth bows, as indicated by the force-draw curve. The build-up to peak weight and the letoff are gradual, with no perceptible humps or bumps and no arm-wrenching stop at the wall. The valley is not wide, but that is an issue only if the cams are “grabby,” and these are not. As previously indicated, the draw stops provide a rock-solid back wall, and the Drive is very steady at full draw. At the shot bow movement is slight. There is a barely detectable vibration, and the Bowjax limb dampers, together with the adjustable string suppressor, contribute to making an already quiet bow even more so.

Quest touts the Drive as a bow that is all about hunting. Given its stability and generally forgiving qualities, it certainly is a bow that any hunter but the most committed speed freak should be happy with. And at a retail price under $700, it’s also a high-value bow that compares favorably with bows selling for significantly higher prices.

Quest Drive

QUEST DRIVE SPECS

Letoff:........................................80%

Brace Height:..........................7 inches

Weight:......................................4.3 pounds

Axle-To-Axle Length:............33.25 inches

Speed:.......................................330 fps

Draw lengths:..........................26 to 31 inches, module-specific in half-inch increments.

Draw weights:.........................50, 60, 70 pounds.

Options:....................................Realtree AP or Jet Black (standard); G-Fade Realtree AP or G-Fade. Mossy Oak Treestand (custom) finishes. DTH package with G5 quiver, sights, rest, stabilizer, wrist sling.

Suggested Retail:..................$700 bow only, $800 DTH package

OBJECTIVE TESTS (30 Inches Draw)

Peak Hold*:............................ 70 pounds

Weight, Full Draw*:.......... 19 pounds

Arrow Weight:..................... 385 grains.............. 500 grains

Arrow @70 Pounds*:....... 309 fps .................. 272 fps

Arrow @60 Pounds*:....... 289 fps................... 254 fps

K.E. @70 Pounds*:............ 81.65 ft. lbs.......... 82.16 ft. lbs.

K.E. @60 Pounds*:............ 71.42 ft. lbs.......... 71.65 ft. lbs.

Sound Level @60 Pounds:................................ 57.1 dBA            46.2 dBA

*Rounded to nearest half-pound.