February 20, 2023
By Jon E. Silks
Quest is a sister brand of Prime Archery and backed up by the extensive engineering expertise of parent company G5 Outdoors.
That level of know-how and manufacturing capability means something and ultimately produces results that keep bowhunters coming back for more.
Quest’s 2022 lineup includes the flagship Centec, the subject of this review, and the Centec NXT, designed for the next generation of bowhunters. The Centec is outfitted with a reflex riser, machined grip with side plates, split limbs and the CE Dual Cam system that produces a smooth draw and offers a generous draw-length range.
The Centec was designed using the company’s Center Grip Technology that runs the bow’s overall centerline directly through the throat of the grip, as opposed to designs that center the bow on the anticipated nocking point. This configuration is intended to create perfect balance and tournament- bow-like aiming qualities at full draw. The top cam is slightly larger than the bottom cam to compensate for the offset nock travel.
As with most bows built for bowhunting, the Centec has what is known as a reflexed riser structure that places the pivot point of the limbs in front of the throat of the grip. With all else being equal, a reflexed bow will have a longer power stroke, shorter brace height and in turn, will generate faster arrow speeds. Made with lightweight aluminum and machined into its final form, the Centec riser incorporates many cutouts along its length to keep weight to a minimum while maintaining strength and rigidity.
Rubber side plates are joined with the machined handle to form the Centec’s grip. A combination of size, angle, shape and contour results in comfort and utility, as it consistently positions the shooter’s hand for a neutral wrist position. The side plates are molded with “QUEST” on one side and “CENTEC” on the other. The Centec’s riser is also home to a large rubber string stop, front stabilizer-mounting hole, sight-mounting holes, quiver-mounting pockets and a cable slide mounted to a straight carbon rod.
The Centec’s CE Dual Cam system is essentially the same as Prime’s 2020 Roto Cam, minus one lobe of Prime’s Parallel Cam system. As with the Roto eccentrics, Centec’s CE Cam has the ability to adjust over the entire draw-length range of 25.5-31 inches, in half-inch increments, using a single, rotating module on each cam. A set of two small screws per module are all that’s needed (no bow press required) to adjust draw length. System letoff varies with draw length, within a range of 87-89 percent. Machined axles, Delrin spacers and axle bushings reduce rotational friction and increase overall mechanical efficiency. String and cables are made in-house using BCY 452X material. One end of each cable is split and anchored to either side of each cam to balance the load from side to side, with the intention of eliminating performance-robbing cam lean.
Centec limbs are made of composite fiberglass and machined into their final form. Deflection values are essentially the measurement of the amount of flex/movement recorded when a given load is applied. To ensure consistent performance from side to side and top to bottom, all four limb pieces (two each at top and bottom) are matched into a single set based on their deflection values. Limbs are available in two draw-weight ranges — 40-55 pounds and 55-70 pounds. One of the most important facts about the Centec’s limbs is their past-parallel position at full draw. Such limb configuration is well known for helping to reduce the amount of shock, vibration and noise at the shot.
After some time on the range with the Centec, and considering its price tag, I came away with an overall positive impression. Many of its “comfort” characteristics, such as the draw cycle, grip feel and level of shock and vibration were comparable to bows that will put a much bigger dent in your budget — just at lower measured performance metrics such as speed, kinetic energy and dynamic efficiency. A quality stabilizer, which many automatically put on their bows, significantly reduces the vibration of the Centec.
Of note is the stability this bow has at full draw, meaning its balance and aiming qualities are excellent. The Centec is absolutely capable of getting the job done in the field and is fun to shoot at the same time. It is a rig a bowhunter can be proud of and feel very good about the value.
- Manufacturer: Quest Archery, 810-392-8431; questbowhunting.com
- Model: Centec
- Riser: Reflex, machined aluminum
- Grip: Machined, with rubber side plates
- Limbs: Split, machined composite fiberglass
- Draw Weights: 40-55 pounds and 55-70 pounds
- Draw Lengths: 25.5-31 inches, in half-inch increments; rotating module
- Cam System: CE Dual Cam, machined aluminum
- Letoff: 87-89 percent (varies with draw length); 89.2 percent (as tested)
- String: BCY 452X, 58.25 inches
- Cables (x2): BCY 452X, 30.31 inches
- Brace Height: 6.75 inches
- Axle-to-Axle Length: 32 inches
- Weight: 4.4 pounds (advertised); 4.2 pounds (as tested)
- Finish: Realtree Edge, Realtree Excape, Optifade Subalpine, Army Green, Boulder Gray, Morel Scar
- Advertised IBO Speed: 325 fps
- MSRP: $599.95
- Comments: An excellent bow for the price.
Speed & Energy
- Arrow Speed: 284 fps (375-grain arrow), 268 fps (425-grain arrow)
- Kinetic Energy: 67.2 ft./lbs. (375-grain arrow), 67.8 ft./lbs. (425-grain arrow)
- Dynamic Efficiency: 80.7% (375-grain arrow), 81.4% (425-grain arrow)
- Shot Noise: 90.1 dBA (375-grain arrow), 88.9 dBA (425-grain arrow)