When it comes to gear, especially today’s feature-laden compounds, I want to know the truth – the good, the bad and the ugly. This is why, at least for the next several weeks, you can expect to find my test results from a number of 2016 bows posted here on Grand View Outdoors.
WARNING: I’m going to talk about what I like, what I don’t like and what I feel may need to be improved. Each bow tested has been set up and tuned by yours truly, and I’ve spent at a minimum of four days testing each model on the range.
First off is the Prime Rize. Yes, and those of you who’ve looked over the bow should agree, I let out a few “oohs” and “aahs” when I pulled the 33-inch axle-to-axle Rize with its Sitka Elevated II camo from its cardboard home. Fit and finish on this bow are incredible.
Before going straight to my Lancaster Archery press, I took a minute to appreciate some of the new features I knew Prime poured into its 2016 flagship: the 82X aluminum riser, new Limb Bolt Bezel, Flexis FlexShock damper and Sherpa-enabled accessory-mounting system.
Of course, and I’ve stated this before, I’m a fan of Prime’s Parallel Cam System. Throughout my years of testing Prime bows, I’ve found the dual string tracks promote ease of tuning and the virtual elimination of cam lean. More on this later.
The new Limb Bolt Bezel on both the top and bottom proved ultra-smooth, and I had my 65-pound Rize backed out and pressed in no time. The limb bolts didn’t pop or spark; nor did they chatter and bite. They were a bit stiff but turned smoothly after the first cycle. After the attachment of my QAD UltraRest HDX, G5 Meta Peep and BCY D-loop, I was ready to take a few shots through paper.
My first shot was bullet-hole perfect. No unorthodox tears. I credit the bow’s Parallel Cam System, which we’ve already mentioned, but the design merits a little extra praise. To put it simply, strings from the twin cams are yoked together to a single string a few inches from either end of the bow so the two tracks basically become one. This design allows the string to run straight down the vertical center of the bow, promoting tuneability and overall accuracy.
If I had one complaint, and it would be a small one, it’s the Rize’s draw cycle. Build up to letoff is smooth, but transition to letoff is a bit abrupt and takes some getting used to. The top and bottom limb stops rotate around to contact the bow’s inner-top and bottom limbs. This provides a statue-like back wall. This back wall works in concert with the Rize’s 82X aluminum riser to give the rig a hold-steady-for-hours (I’m exaggerating of course) feel.
Shooting this bow is pure joy. Because of the overall balance, I felt like I could burn my Spot-Hogg single-pin sight into the target no matter its distance and execute a perfect release every time. When you have a bow that provides this type of fit and feel at full draw, confidence builds quickly.
As for speed, this is one area where I will knock myself. I’m not a speed guy and place little emphasis on it. I’m all about overall feel and accuracy. Specs for the Rize show an IBO speed rating of 335 fps, but pulling 65 pounds at a 29-inch draw and shooting 398-grain arrows, I was able to achieve an average speed of 288 fps. Plenty for me.
At the shot the rig jumps forward in the hand slightly, and it does produce a tad bit of noise. No, nothing that will send a whitetail ducking, and it’s my belief this slight hum could be thwarted with the addition of some LimbSaver products.
I’ve not been able to take the new Rize afield in pursuit of game as of yet, but it will be riding shotgun in my truck here in a few months when spring turkey rolls around.