2017 PSE Drive R Review


Howdy! It's Dalton Vaughn with Better Outdoors and we've got the new 2017 PSE Drive R for video today. Now this bow of course was on for 2016 and it's going to stay on for 2017. This has been of course just like last year a fantastic bow. I was really happy with how it performs, how it's designed, it's just a really nice lightweight bow that's a really affordable price and that will work for just about everybody.

Let's get into the specs of this rig.

We've got a 6 3/4" brace height, 30" axle-to-axle, 328-336 IBO, the bare bow weight is 3.8 lbs and our mass weight ready-to-shoot with the pro package is 5.2 lbs, so it's even lighter than last year. It's awesome.

Of course you've got 75% letoff just like last year, 25-30.5" draw length range, so huge range there to play with and your weight ranges are 32-50 lbs, 40-60 lbs, or 50-70 lbs. So you've got a 20 lb weight range more or less to work with on these bows and they'll go down a little bit lower than that, but for official purposes that's where we're at.

Now you've also got a bare bow run of these is going to run you $499.99 and ready-to-shoot pro package just like this one of course is $649.99 which is really both a steal. It comes with the package and of course is sweet but it's really a steal because you get an Amp Micro 5-pin adjust sight, really nice there, 0.19 pins, a light, it's actually got micro adjust, the dials are really nice. Really good factory sight.

We also have the PSE Phantom dropaway rest which has been on quite a few bows this year and that's pretty much the standard for PSE now is the Phantom rest on the mid-range or higher end bows. And you've got the Spire Stabilizer from last year which is just fine to start with. Of course you've got the PSE neoprene sling, nothing new there. The Raven 5-arrow quiver, a really big fan of it, sold just a ton of these, fantastic quiver. And it comes with the Red quarter-inch peep and a D Loop already installed from PSE.

You can only get this bow bare bow as black, camo, or SkullWorks, but ready-to-shoot you can only get it in the camo or SkullWorks. Now this is a Mossy Oak Country Camo, just like the rest, and it's a really nice camo, really sharp finish, there's not very many rough edges hardly at all. Only places that really the paint and the camo don't cover just 100% are inside the holes on the riser for the two-piece quiver mount or even the holes on the bottom, sometimes these aren't quite filled in, but hey they look perfect, they look great.

A little side note too on here, you can actually put a rest bolt here in this hole on the bottom of the riser, put your side bar back bar bracket on. Pretty cool, just figured that out oddly enough.

But, with all that said, let's move into the features on the Drive R.


Drive R Features

The Drive R has got some great features. It's got a few new ones from last year. We've still got the Drive-style cams which are fantastic. They adjust right in the module for draw length, that's really cool. Got a single cable stop on the bottom, which makes it have a great wall but we'll get to that too. It's easy to tune, it isn't rough on the string set and the draw cycle of course is really good especially for how fast this bow is and at the price point this bow is, that's really amazing to me.

It's got polymer limb pockets this year, they're 13-turn, so that's where you get a lot of your weight range at and as well it's still got the back stop 3-string stop, nothing new there. It also still has the Drive from last year's cable rod system where it clamps in there, so that's found on basically all your PSE bows now in the mid-range and the lower-end spectrum which I've really not had issues out of. Just when you get one in, put a little turn with your wrench, ready to go. It's a Torx head wrench too.

Another little difference, it comes with the new SHOCK MODZ limb dampeners which is a pretty good little deal, they're a little bit different than the old limb band deals were, but I kind of like these better, they look a little bit better, things like that.

It's got their new LiveWire string set which after shooting some of these bows, selling quite a few of these this year, I'm really happy with the stock strings, you only have to put one or two twists maybe in them to get them back to where they really need to be, but other than that, you don't have peak twist issues, just after it's shot in and set up 150-200 shots thereabouts you're ready to rock and roll no issues past that and that's pretty much how all of them are. So I'm super impressed with the stock strings, they look good and they hold up well. PSE did right having their own in-house LiveWire strings. Really cool process, y'all should go look that up.

Also, of course made in the USA just like all of PSE's bow. Now some of their accessories are made overseas but all the bows and all that will be made here which makes a lot of difference to me personally. Something else is with the new roller glide that's coming in you can use it on this bow and basically any bow with this style cable rod or with the flex slide that they had last year and in years past and on some of the other bows.

Now this is a pro series bow, so you can't get this just anywhere you have to go to a PSE pro shop to actually get this bow. So us or maybe your local dealer just not any of the box stores are going to have it.

Also, it's got a machine riser instead of the cast aluminium so that helps out some, makes it a little stiffer, a little quieter, a little less vibration. So all those little things help out.

They also offer a short-draw version of this which is a ladies' bow or maybe a short-draw of course archer's bow or maybe even as a youth bow perhaps and you can get that in the Mossy Oak Country Camo and the Muddy Girl Camo which is really cool, but I have a video coming for that. So check that out.

But with all that said, it's time to get our arrows once again, take a few shots, and let you know how the Drive R is going to roll. So, here we go.


Drive R Shooting Test

Well now guys we're going to move on to our shooting portion of our review just like always and go over how this bow's going to act, how it feels, the draw cycle, the letoff, valley, things like that. So to start off, we're on a 29.5" draw with a 29" module setting (it's drawing a half-inch long out of the box) and 60 lbs dead on right out of the box as well. So nothing's been done, I just set the dropaway up and that's pretty much all I've done to this bow for our review. So no tricks, no playing.

But we'll start off with the grip. And that's something that really makes or breaks a bow for me is the grip, especially a target bow or hunting model even just about as much, but with this bow it's got a really nice grip, it's a lot similar to the Vendetta and of course it's basically the same I don't feel like there's any chances from shooting compared to a 16 model or the 16s. That's remained the same.

The grip of course is really good. I've got guys with huge hands shooting, I've got ladies shooting these, small kids, things like that, young adults. Everybody that's shot it has been real happy with their grip, doesn't say that it's just real small or any problems like that. I think you guys are going to be happy with the grip.

But enough about that, let's shoot it.

Draw's right back real nice. Transitions really well. Holds really well.

Really neutral with the shot. The draw cycle though you draw probably the peak weight about halfway through the draw cycle you can actually feel and be able to tell then after that it starts to slack off, which is just like basically all the PSE bows do.

We've got weight there, weight there, weight there...it peaks and it starts to fall over and it falls.

But as you come back, it doesn't feel like it's pulling really hard as you go. It starts to just ease off, transition real nice and smooth. Right into the letoff and valley. I really like that.

That's something that really means a lot to me in a bow is to not stack weight as you come to the end of the draw cycle. To me that's really tough to be steathly in the stand or to draw smoothly to execute really good shots and not have the bow upset when it hits full draw. Those are really important things to me personally.

All that said, it doesn't really feel like it has much feedback with the shot, it feels like it stays really dead in the hand for the most part, has a touch of vibration if you even want to call it that, but a real stabilizer on that will solve all those problems, you know a small B-Stinger a six or an eight will really help on that and it'll make it fall forward like I like most bows to anyway.

Got really good draw cycle. It's a touch stiffer I want to say than maybe the Brute Force Lite, maybe a touch stiffer, but you are getting a bit more speed out of this bow and that's made it just a hair bit different and it's got Drive-style cams instead of Bow Madness, so all those things make it a hair different.

We've had this bow back for a bit. Of course we're at 75% letoff, nothing's adjusted. And it really feels good there. I mean we've got a good valley to play with. We've got 1.5 inches there, maybe 2, about 1.5 inches to play with before it really wants to take it from you.

So let's get lazy with it here. Getting fairly lazy with it, maybe not quite as lazy as the Brute Force Lite, but you can still get plenty of lazy with it in my opinion, so if you need to lean down to the stand to shoot, anything like that or hold on a buck, it'll be fine I'm pretty sure of that. That's pretty much been confirmed by a lot of our customers and a lot of you guys out there's that's bought these bows from our videos and things, that this bow's just a great performer.

Now we're going to move on to the back wall. See what kind of back wall we've got, and of course I'm expecting it to be fantastic. Anchor off here. Oh yeah, the back wall is pretty much solid. It's about a notch and a half or two before a limb stop which I consider the stiffest possible which for obvious sake is. So really not upset with that. I really like the back wall on these bows. The Drive cams have a great back wall in my opinion especially to shoot back tension style or pull-through shooting, really stay dynamic in your shot more than anything.

So really happy with this bow. The draw cycle's good. It feels good, it shoots good. Really nice there. At the shot it wants to stay of course fairly neutral, maybe fall toward you just a hair bit but a lot of your little short bows are going to be that way. 

Then again, little 6-8" B-Stinger will once again will solve all that. One more shot here for balance as well as string angle. OK let's see about the string angle. I know this bow is short so. Head straight up, going to try to anchor. Just a hair sharper string angle than I'm used to, so it's not bad, I have to bring in the tip just a hair to get into the peak. Good. 

And of course when it shoots it wants to stay nice and level, don't want to kick one way or another to me. So, passes my test. I'm happy with the Drive R on the shooting side of things, just like I have been with a lot of these bows. 

But now it's time to see what kind of sound levels we've got with the Drive R, I've always liked this test. So, here we go!

Sound Test

Now it's time for our new sound test. We're going to shoot three 450-grain arrows and we're around five feet around from the decibel meter, so let's do our test here. We're set at 60 lbs of course, 29.5" draw. So this will give us some really good numbers to look at. So, here we go. 

With our sound test complete, it's time to go see what kind of speeds the Drive R can put out. 

Speed Test

Now it's time for everybody's favorite test and one that we've been doing from the get-go, and that's going to be our speed test. We're going to shoot a 350, 400, and 450-grain arrow and we're all going to be shooting a 29.5" draw measured 29" on the module in the cam and we're going to be set at dead on 60 lbs. So let's see what kind of speeds we can push on this Drive R. 

Start with the 350 grain arrow. 302 feet per second. Nice, that's some really good numbers especially on a bow at this price point, and with a 350-grain arrow at 60 lbs. Very nice. 

So now for our 400-grain arrow. 286 fps. I really like those numbers too. That's about where I like to be to hunt at if I can, around that 275-280 mark and this exceeds that with a 400-grain arrow.

So now with a 450-grain arrow, let's see what kind of speed we're going to see. 268 fps, so the numbers on this bow I'm really happy with, that's a little bit better than what I expected of course but last year the Drive R was fast and all of them we've sold have been fast. I'm really happy with the speeds, the quality, all of that's really good. 

So that said, let's move on to my final thoughts on the Drive R. 

Final Thoughts

The Drive R really passed my test. It draws good, it stays tuned and that's been the deal that we've seen from last year to this year, they're really fantastic overall bows. But before we get into that, let's talk about our results from all of our test. 

Now we started out with a 29.5" draw and we ended still with a 29.5" draw but it was drawn, and most every one I've seen of them are, a half-inch longer than the module shows so keep that in mind when you go to buy one or set one up or give us a call about one. 

And also our draw weight started at 60 lbs by the end of our testing which was around 100 shots by the time we film everything and shoot everything and check everything, especially between now and then, is 59.2 lbs. So just got stretched in, the peak wasn't giving any turning issues. So really happy there. The strings are going to be great over time I've seen quite a few of these we've sold already that's been fantastic. 

Also with our speed test we've got good results there. 302 fps at 350-grain arrow, 400-grain arrow we had 286 fps, and a 450-grain arrow we had 268. So the Drive Rs are definitely not slow and we've seen that last year with the Drive Rs we've sold and we've worked on and serviced, they're fantastic on speed just as much which is pretty killer for the price point bow we're talking. 

Now our sound test, we had really good results there, really consistent for a change. We had 70.5 for the first shot, 72.6 for the second, and 72.9 for the third. So really quiet bow compared to some of the other ones, it's a touch quieter than a few of the other ones we've reviewed. But that's pretty much the size of our results. 

But I'm really happy with it, it performs well, it's fast, it's affordable which is awesome. It's got a proven design, those Drive cams X-Force limbs have been around forever that these bows have. It's got a fantastic RTS package that's something that you don't really see a whole lot is a really good package, and the Drive R has it as does have quite a few of PSE's models.

And of course overall it's just an awesome mid-ranged priced bow. 

Now the market for this dude, there's a lot of guys that's going to be asking about it you know but it's hard to say which bow is the best bow in the lineup so I'm not going to go off and say well this is the best one in the whole deal. No, that is not at all. But if you're looking to hunt out of a ground blind, got a shorter draw, need a compact, lightweight bow to carry you know for public land type hunts, Drive R is well worth looking at, so is the Brute Force Lite. 

But I get a ton of questions too, guys, about from you guys that are asking me, you know should I get the Brute Force Lite, should I get the Drive R, and that's a tough one. Since some customers shoot one or the other a little better, it's hard to tell whose going to shoot one better than the other. 

But at any rate, with the Brute Force Lite compared to the Drive R, the Drive R has a little bit better string stop I feel like, the grips are about the same, you get a machine riser on the Drive R versus a cast one, get a slightly better draw cycle in my opinion, so I think it's a little bit better, I do. And of course it's a little bit faster than the Brute Force Lite, which does make a difference. 

Now you guys are already asking me why am I holding a different bow than I normally do for the end of these videos? Well this is one of our build-a-bows we've set up and this is actually for my dad here at Better Outdoors, Jeff, but this is his Drive R we've set up for the 2017 hunting season and we've got an Axcel Armortech sight, we've got just a small limb stabilizer, he likes to have a small stabilizer, we've got a cream Whisker Biscuit, AVB Platinum strings in the green speckled, we've got some gold-tipped Velocity XTs, some green fletchings in the green color kit, so this is a really sweet setup with a two-piece quiver. 

But this is just one small example of what we can offer with our Build a Bow option on our website at betteroutdoors.net. Now that said if you don't want to go as crazy and wild as this one, which this is pretty sweet with all the green and SkullWorks, but if you don't want to go quite that wild you can always do a ready-to-shoot package and outfit it the way you want to past that. 

Just stop over at betteroutdoors.net for more info there. 

Now don't forget to follow us on Facebook and give our page a like and follow us on Instagram and on Better Outdoors Archery & Bowhunting over on Facebook and Better Outdoors Archery on Instagram. Got a lot of cool stuff that of course you're not probably going to see on YouTube but don't forget to subscribe to us here on YouTube so you stay up-to-date we've got some cool stuff coming, a big announcement coming too. But check out all those social media outlets and stay up-to-date with us and catch our live feeds, our videos, or short videos, our specials, things like that and check out what we've got going on in just a day in the life here at Better Outdoors. We're also a top 100 PSE Dealer, so if you've got any questions give us a call here at 870-475-3337. We've be glad to answer your questions, send us an email, get in touch with us, we have a ton of people sending their bow into us or bring them by to be serviced, tuned, worked on, the whole nine yards, so give us a holler we can make it happen. 

As always I'm Dalton Vaughn, we're Better Outdoors, and we appreciate y'all watching. Thanks everybody!


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