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Prime Shift LR Review: Worth Experiencing

If you were starting an archery company and wanted an example of how to do things the right way, you couldn't go wrong by looking at G5 Outdoors. G5's products caught the attention of bowhunters nationwide back in 2001, and the company has since managed to build the one thing every successful company needs to stick around -- repeat customers. Now that G5 is in the bow-making business, I am seeing the same approach in terms of quality and performance.

Showcasing the unique Parallel Cam Technology, the 2012 Prime Shift LR is a compact rig with a quick shot and pleasant shooting characteristics. Also featured on the Shift are the Ti-Glide cable containment system, C-1 laminated limbs, Gore Fiber string/cables and Shield Grip.

Balance, Stability, Strength

The Shift stands out in the crowd thanks to G5's innovative Parallel Cam Technology. This one-of-a-kind eccentric system deals with the infamous issue of cam lean head-on. Cam lean is just what it sounds like -- the cams on a bow leaning to one side or the other, causing the string and cables to come off at an angle. Rather than a single main body centered in the overall system with a single string, the Parallel Cam has two lobes on the outside of the system, each with its own string groove, creating dual parallel string tracks. The two lobes are clamped together through a few posts that create a space between them. Each lobe has its own string groove, while a single track in the center of the system is used by both cables. The load from the cables and string is distributed across a wide base, which gives the design its stability and cam lean-busting balance. The string and cables are made of a proprietary blend of Gore Fibers and BCY 452X.

Another important note is that the cables are tied to both cams rather than one side being tied to a limb. This essentially forces the cams to work together, eliminating many of the timing and tuning issues common to other configurations. Draw lengths are available from 26-30 inches, in half-inch increments. A separate cam is needed for each draw-length option. The draw stop is adjustable for those archers wanting to customize the feel of the back wall.

The Hub

The Shift's relatively long riser has an "open" format that reduces overall weight while maintaining strength. The muscle comes from the use of forged 7000 Series T6 aluminum, which G5 advertises to be twice as strong as some traditional material risers. In fact, the 2012 Shift model is 12 percent lighter and 8 percent stiffer than the original 2011 version.

G5's Ti-Glide titanium flexing cable containment system uses Teflon fiber eyelets, which allow the cables to slide effortlessly through the system during the draw cycle and shot. At the same time, the thin titanium rod flexes toward the centerline of the bow during the draw cycle and then moves back into position and out of the way of the arrow when the string is released. This reduces cam lean by up to 25 percent according to G5. A rubber sleeve on the titanium rod works to reduce noise-causing vibration.

RELATED: Bow Test Parameters

The Shift's two-piece Shield Grip is constructed of synthetic G-10 material, which is advertised to repel water, odor, etc., which can negatively impact your hunt. The grip is designed to remain comfortable in the harshest of conditions. Riser finishes are available in Realtree AP, Optifade Forest, Optifade Open Country and Jet Black.

Full-Cup Pocket

The Shift features a full-cup pocket that is precision machined for a repeatable and reliable fit in this critical interface. It is here that the cams, limbs and riser are all aligned. Any misalignment and the accuracy of the system is compromised. Pockets also include a lockdown feature. Shift C-1 laminated limbs employ a cross-weft design, which is advertised to greatly reduce torsional stresses in the limb, thereby increasing consistency and accuracy. In addition to the past parallel position of the limbs at full draw, a set of BowJax Limb Dampeners and adjustable Center String Stop work to tame the shot.


The Shift is fast, quiet, maneuverable and light. The draw is firm, with rounded transitions, and the shot is tame, with only a slight bump felt in the handle upon release.

Another notable is the G5 Shield Service Program, which includes a limited lifetime warranty, free string/cable replacement program, warranty rush service, 100 cycle assurance program and a free six-month tune-up -- not your average customer service package! The Prime Shift is a bow worth experiencing.


Manufacturer: Prime by G5 Outdoors

Model: Shift LR

Cam System: Parallel

Weight:  4 pounds

Brace Height: 7 inches

Axle-To-Axle Length: 30 inches

Letoff: 80 percent

Draw Weights: 50-, 60- and 70-pound peak

Draw Lengths: 26-30 inches, in half-inch increments

Riser:  Forged 7000 Series T6 Aluminum

Limbs: C1 Laminated

String: BCY 452X (Trophy)

Cables: BCY 452X (Trophy)

Grip: G-10 synthetic, 2-Piece

Finish: Optifade Open Country, Optifade Forest, Realtree AP or Jet Black

Advertised IBO Speed: 332 fps

Suggested Retail Price: $999.99

Comments: Quick, quiet and fun to shoot.

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