April 21, 2015
By Jon E. Silks
The mission is clear, as stated on the company website, "Prime's mission is to build the most accurate bows on the planet.
And the path to get there is well defined — innovation and quality. That drive brought us Parallel Cam technology, which has enjoyed notable success and is the engine driving the new Rival.
In addition to the company's distinctive Parallel Cam technology, the Prime Rival features XS Extra Wide limbs, Flexis-AR cable-containment system, Side Panel Ghost grip and a reflex riser. On the silencing side, Prime includes a set of Limbsaver limb dampeners and an adjustable string suppressor.
Prime's PCXL Cam system is arguably the centerpiece of the Rival or any other bow in the Prime lineup. Using two matching lobes, basically two cams side-by-side, a wider base is created.
A yoke on both ends of the string splits the string in two, thereby applying the load to string tracks on the outside surfaces of the dual-lobe parallel cams. This is designed to increase lateral stabilization and reduce efficiency-robbing cam lean.
The machined aluminum cams ride on steel axles with Teflon bushings and roller bearings for reduced friction and increased efficiency. This cam produces an 85-percent letoff that is adjustable down to 75 percent.
Draw lengths are available from 26-30 inches, in half-inch increments. A separate cam is needed for each draw-length option. Limb stops on each cam can be adjusted to reduce the factory draw length by a half inch, which will decrease letoff percentage.
Center of Operations
Prime places a great deal of focus on creating a riser that's worthy to be the cornerstone of its new Rival. They start with a 7000 series aluminum forging, which is fully machined into the final riser shape. The manufacturing process is designed to create a strong and super straight riser that has very little flex. Less flex results in a stable platform and translates into operational consistency of the overall system.
The Flexis-AR consists of a roller-guard fixture attached to an arm that is both flexible and adjustable. Cables can be moved closer to or further away from the arrow/vanes using the arm's adjustment for optimal tune and clearance. Functionally, the arm flexes toward the arrow as the bow is drawn to reduce torque on the system.
In turn, efficiency is increased while also improving consistency for the archer. When the arrow is released, the flexible arm springs back into its resting position and away from the passing vanes.
Prime's Ghost grip is shaped, sized and angled to create comfort and function. Depending on how you hold your bow, the back surface of a grip is the key to everything. The Ghost's back surface is machined with soft curves that join with a small throat and ergonomic angle to get the job done well.
Most of us want a quiet bow that doesn't rock our world every time we release the string. To that end, Prime has outfitted its new rig with accessories and technology designed to hush the shot. A Broadband Limbsaver dampener is attached to the inside of each limb. They are advertised to reduce vibration up to 70 percent across multiple frequencies.
An adjustable string suppressor is designed to quickly stop oscillation, which in turn reduces vibration and noise. Finally, the parallel position of the limbs is widely known to significantly reduce shock, vibration and noise as compared to a rig with upright limbs.
I like where Prime is going with its bows. This year's ATA Show gave me the opportunity to shoot both the Rival and Ion side by side and both impressed me as solid, quality rigs that are smooth and fun to shoot.
The Rival's draw cycle is notably smooth, and there is little noise at the shot. A small kick and light, lasting vibration were both easily diminished with a quality stabilizer. However, this is a bow I would consider shooting without one.
I am a big fan of the Ghost grip as it excels in position, comfort and finish. The 4.3-pound mass weight is not unexpected in a 35-inch axle-to-axle bow.
Manufacturer: Prime, 866-456-8836
Cam System: Parallel Cam PCXL
Weight: 4.3 pounds (advertised and as tested)
Brace Height: 6€‰1„4 inches
Axle-To-Axle length: 35 inches
Letoff: Adjustable, up to 85 percent
Draw Weights: 40, 50, 60 and 70 pounds peak
Draw Lengths: 26-30 inches, in half-inch increments — cam specific
Riser: Forged and machined 7000 Series Aluminum, Reflex
Limbs: XS Extra Wide, Gordon Glass
String: 452X BCY, 32.03 inches
Cables (x2): 452X BCY, 39.41 inches
Grip: Ghost Grip side panels, plus included Ultra 1-piece slide on
Finish: Jet Black, Optifade Elevated II, Optifade Open Country, Realtree Xtra, plus target colors
Advertised IBO Speed: 340 fps
Suggested Retail Price: $999-$1,199
Comments: Smooth and quiet, with a super comfortable grip.