Skip to main content

PSE DNA SP Bow Review

PSE is back with a bow that is a direct response to their customers' specific request for a smoother draw cycle on the popular DNA. They created a whole new cam as a result and have added "SP" to the name, which stands for "Smoother Pull." This all-out effort for their customers speaks volumes about the company's focus and commitment.

The DNA SP is home to the source of PSE's revamped draw cycle — the Source Hybrid Cam. Along with that comes a host of other technologies, including the Flex Cable Slide, 4th Generation X-Technology limbs, Centerlock 2 limb pockets, detachable Limb Bands, fully machined forged reflex riser, B.E.S.T. RAPTOR grip, new BackStop2 string silencer and America's Best string/cables.

Smoother is Better

PSE heard the voice of its loyal customers when they asked for the performance and features of the DNA with a smoother draw cycle. The company took the draw cycle of the popular Evo Cam and designed it to work with center pull geometry — the result is PSE's Source Hybrid Cam. This cam still produces IBO speeds reaching 345 fps on a 6-inch brace height and 75 percent system letoff. Along with all the typical cam features, PSE also offers an optional limb stop for the Source Cam.

An Inner Cam system offers draw lengths from 24€‰1„2-30 inches, in half-inch increments. A pin protruding from the Inner Cam is positively positioned into one of the available holes on the main body of the cam. All positions and designations are clearly marked.

So, what is the bottom line with this cam? Well, it gives you a smoother draw than the Core Cam while still smoking arrows down range at at blistering speeds.

Supporting Cast

Providing both physical and complementary support to the new Source Cam are PSE's 4th Generation X-Technology Limbs. Like other X-Technology limbs, they are heavily pre-loaded and sport an extreme curl/bend that brings these split limbs to a past-parallel position before they are ever drawn.

At full draw, they dip even further for a radical look. Limbs are engineered to provide optimal stress levels for each individual limb spine. The fiberglass limbs are made through a proprietary process and are sorted into consistent sets based on spine value. Limb sets are available in 50, 60, 65 and 70 pounds of peak draw weight.

The PSE Centerlock2 limb pocket is significantly lighter than the original version while maintaining the same level of centerline control. The aluminum, closed-end pocket pivots during the draw weight adjustment process for superior control and alignment.

This all means that the engineering provides no-hassle durability through stress mapping the limbs; the past parallel position reduces shock noise and vibration while the pockets keep everything in line for consistency and accuracy.

Feature Packed Forging


The riser is designed to position the limbs, cams, cables and string in such a position as to precisely center the arrow in the structure of the bow. This is called Center Pull technology and was developed to optimize tunability potential and overall performance. Also incorporated into the riser are tuning marks engraved into the shelf area, which provide a good starting point for your tuning efforts without the need for lasers, levels, etc.

PSE's adjustable Flex Cable Slide system is essentially a mini X-Technology limb manufactured with a friction-reducing material that allows the cable slide to operate freely and quietly. The rod flexes toward the centerline of the bow during the draw cycle, which reduces lateral load by up to 30 percent. In turn, it minimizes torque at full draw.

Rounding out the package on the DNA SP riser is the B.E.S.T. Raptor Grip, a stainless steel stabilizer-mounting insert, multiple sight mounting positions and the micro-adjustable BackStop2 with polymer bumper.

The bottom line for a bowhunter? This riser is designed to help you find the ultimate tune quickly and without a ton of equipment. The Flex Cable Slide reduces torque, which equals more forgiveness, consistency and accuracy. The riser is lightweight and has other features that eliminate hassle, keep noise to a minimum and offer sighting adjustability.

Range Notes

While the DNA SP is not as quick as the original, it is still faster than most competing rigs, and there is a big upside to be found in the smoother draw cycle. A short valley means no creep, which makes shooting a proper draw length important. A small "bump" and mild vibration at the shot were easily tamed with a quality stabilizer, while noise was minimal. This will undoubtedly be a very popular bow for PSE.


Manufacturer: PSE, 520-884-9065

Model: DNA SP

Cam System: Source Hybrid Cam

Weight: 3.8 pounds (advertised); 3.75 pounds (as tested)

Brace Height: 6 inches

Axle-To-Axle length: 31€‰1„4 inches

Letoff: 75%

Draw Weights: 50, 60, 65 and 70 pounds peak

Draw Lengths: 24€‰1„2-30 inches, in half-inch increments

Riser: Planar Flex, Forged and fully CNC machined

Limbs: 4th Generation X Technology, Split

String: America's Best, 58€‰5„8 inches

Cables: America's Best, 32€‰1„4 and 34 inches


Finish: Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity, PSE Skullworks, Black

Advertised IBO Speed: 337-345 fps

Suggested Retail Price: $899.99

Comments: A well-balanced hunting partner.

Hoyt Charger

Hoyt is well-known for producing some of the world's top bows year after year. Recent hits include the innovative Carbon line, Spyder Series, Vector, CRX, Maxxis and the one you still hear bowhunters talk about today, the AlphaMax.

What you may not know is that the same company with this impressive string of top-end stars also offers one of the best 'bang for your buck ' bows on the market — the Charger. Check out the full review.

Elite Hunter

On the equipment side, Elite introduces the 2013 Hunter bow. The Hunter Cam is the centerpiece in Elite's drive for shootability, while the modules guarantee optimal performance at every draw length. Other highlights include Barnsdale limbs, Limbsaver damping accessories, Winner's Choice strings/cables, Kolorfusion camo finishes, Cerakote performance coating and one of the best grips in the industry. Check out the full review.


PSE's 2013 X-Force Dream Season DNA is loaded with features, including the all-new Flex Cable Slide, Core Hybrid Cam, 4th Generation X-Technology limbs, Centerlock 2 limb pockets, forged reflex riser, B.E.S.T. Raptor grip, new BackStop string silencer, America's Best string/cables and Detachable Limb Bands. Check out the full review.

Bear Motive 6

Bear Archery enters 2013 with a laser-like focus on the success of your hunt. A statement on the Bear says it best: 'We have a saying at Bear Archery: It's not about the hype or high cost — it's about the hunt. This defines the essence of our company, which grew out of the life and work of legendary sportsman Fred Bear. '

The company's new Motive 6 bow is all about the hunt. The Motive 6 is loaded with many features, including the powerful H13 Synchronized Hybrid cams, Max Pre-Load Quad limbs, Dual Offset String Suppressors, 4×4 Roller Guard and Bear Logo Overmold grip. Check out the full review.

Mathews Chill

The Mathews McPherson Series line of bows is Matt McPherson's playground in the two-cam market. He loves to create and improve current designs and brings his considerable engineering expertise to the table as his company pulls it all together for an impressive package in the Monster Chill. Check out the full review.

Hoyt Spyder

Hoyt Archery, one of the industry's finest bow manufacturers, continues to push forward with new technologies and higher levels of performance. The new Spyder line was created by diehard bowhunters and designed with a clear purpose — getting the job done in the field. There are three bows in the line — Spyder 30, Spyder 34 and Spyder Turbo. Check out the full review.

Hoyt Vector

Hoyt has been in the bow making game for a very long time, and the company remains focused on its customers, technology and integrity. Hoyt makes top-notch bows that meet advertised performance specifications, and the company's people are some of the best in the industry. Hoyt came on strong again in 2012 with an impressive lineup, and the all-new Vector 32 is one of the shining stars.

The Hoyt Vector 32 features the popular TEC LITE riser design with the new Perfect Balance Stabilization System, RKT Cam & 1„2, XTS PRO ARC limbs, Pro-Lock X-Lite limb pockets, 180 Pro Fit grip, In-Line Roller Guard and more. Check out the full review.

Mathews Creed

If you have never had the privilege of touring the Mathews manufacturing facility in Sparta, Wisc., you can catch a glimpse of their world-class machinery and capabilities by watching the 'Introducing the Mathews Creed ' video found on the company website. Among other things, you will witness state-of-the-art CNC machining and futuristic robotics.

Mathews is focused on the enjoyment and overall experience an archer is afforded when shooting one of its bows. The flagship Creed was created with a synergistic approach, meaning they brought together all of the top technologies from previous models into mechanical and aesthetic harmony. The Creed is outfitted with the SimPlex Solocam, split parallel limbs, super lightweight GeoGrid Lock riser, and much more. Check out the full review.

BowTech Experience

Few bow manufacturers have wielded as much influence on the archery industry in recent years as BowTech. Driven by its 'Refuse to Follow ' motto, BowTech has built a strong following by taking bold design risks and developing a host of leading bow technologies.

For 2013, BowTech introduces the aptly named Experience, a bow designed to maximize the archer's overall shooting experience, with a strong focus on accuracy. This rig features the new CarbonCore Limbs and Extinguish Dampening System, along with a host of proven technologies such as the OverDrive Binary Cam System, Center Pivot Extreme Riser, Two-Piece Wood Grip, FLX Guard Cable-Containment System and Octane factory string and cables. Check out the full review.

Mathews Heli-M

For 20 years, Mathews Inc. has been wowing the archery community with fantastic technologies, features and performance. The company has long been considered one of the world's top bow makers and has served the entire bowhunting community by pushing the envelope. There is no denying that founder Matt McPherson and his hard-working team are a special bunch. The proof can be found at the end of the manufacturing line year after year.

The 2012 Heli-m, like all Mathews bows, is home to an array of technologies and features. It all starts with a super lightweight GeoGrid Lock riser, which is home to the Reverse Assist Roller Guard, Harmonic Stabilizer Lite, Dead End String Stop Lite and the Rich Walnut SlimFit Inline grip. Also featured on the new rig are the company's SphereLock Pivoting Limb Cup System with Limb Turret, SE5 Composite Limb System and the Heli-m Cam. Check out the full review.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

The most advanced unit of its kind, Ozonics' HR500 is sure to give you the edge.

Ozonics Unveils New HR500

Petersen's Bowhunting Editor Christian Berg talks with Travis "T-Bone" Turner to learn about the new 2022 Hoyt bow line.

New 2022 Hoyt Bows

Lynn Burkhead, Outdoor Sportsman Group Digital Editor, learns about all the new decoy products from Flambeau for 2022.

New Flambeau Decoy Products for 2022

Petersen's Bowhunting Editor Christian Berg talks with Matt Pell to learn about the new Ozcut broadheads for 2022.

Ozcut Broadheads: First Look

North American Whitetail publisher Laden Force talks with Mike Galloway to learn about new products from Rock Ridge for 2022.

New Rock Ridge Products for 2022

Matt Pell, of Tectonic, and Petersen's Bowhunting editor Christian Berg discuss the features of the programmable Tectonic Daytime Deadfall Deer Feeder.

Tectonic Daytime Deadfall Deer Feeder: First Look

Lynn Burkhead, Outdoor Sportsman Group digital editor, talks with Brandon Reyes to learn about the new bow releases from T.R.U. Ball for 2022.

New T.R.U. Ball Bow Releases for 2022

Petersen's Bowhunting Editor Christian Berg talks with Matt Pell to learn about an innovative new product for 2022 called the Accubow 2.0.

New for 2022: Accubow 2.0

Lynn Burkhead, Outdoor Sportsman Group Digital Editor, learns about the new Formula Bow Case from Flambeau for 2022.

Flambeau Formula Bow Case: First Look

Petersen's Bowhunting Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Bowhunting App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Petersen's Bowhunting stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Bowhunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now