PSE Stinger X Review 2018: An HONEST Review

PSE Stinger X Review – What to Expect

PSE Stinger X compound bow review-min

Are you thinking of getting the PSE Stinger X? Then you’re in the right place (just to be clear, we’re reviewing the latest model which the Stinger X 2018).

This PSE Stinger X review is about to inform you about everything you need to know about the bow, including the bad part. That’s right – most reviews on the web are now mostly sales articles instead of actual reviews.

I want to change that. This honest review aims to make you an informed buyer instead of a misled buyer. So let’s not waste time, let’s get into the PSE Stinger X:

PSE Stinger X Review: Summary

Are you in a hurry and have no time to read the full review? I know that feeling, so I made a visual summary for you:

Review of: PSE Stinger X
Use: Hunting of Target Shooting

Build Quality

Accuracy

Shooting Ability

Features

Ease of Use

Value for the Money

Pros:

  • Fast at 316 FPS
  • Highly adjustable cam
  • Consistently accurate (very accurate if tuned correctly)
  • Smooth draw cycle
  • Rock solid wall
  • Quality build
  • Flexible draw lengths and draw weights
Cons:

  • Shoots quiet but not completely silent. It does not come with a string stop so you have to purchase them separately if you want a completely silent PSE Stinger X.
  • Slight vibrations. You’ll need vibration dampener if you want to get rid of this.
  • Not for younger kids that are getting started. As I mentioned in the full review below, the draw poundage could actually go as low as 39 lbs in the #55 peak weight bow’s “Grow with You” setting. Still, this is a bit high for younger children that are just getting started.

PSE Stinger X Review: Complete Write-up

If you’re not in a hurry and you’d like to know more, I wrote this in-depth review to further guide your buying decisions.

PSE Stinger X – What is it?

It’s a single cam compound bow from Stinger that’s ideal for beginners and intermediate archers. Stinger X is actually PSE’s replacement of the legendary but discontinued Stinger 3G.

Stinger X promises a very smooth draw and a very fast arrow speed.

Overtime, it was hailed as one of the most affordable high-end performance bows in 2016. Some distributors even claim that it took the bow world by storm that year.

This PSE Stinger X review aims to give an honest write-up of the bow, setting aside all claims and instead drilling down on its actual performance and reliability.

PSE Stinger X Specs:

Property Value
Draw Length 21-30”
Draw Weight #55, #70
Bow Weight 3.5 lbs
Cam System Single
Axle to Axle 32 ½”
Brace Height 7 1/8”
Let-off 75%
IBO Speed 316 fps
Handedness Right, Left
IBO Speed 316 fps
Max Limb Bow Turns 15

Build

PSE Stinger X limbs

The Stinger X consists of a high-performance X-Tech split limbs (which is how PSE Stinger X got its name) that contributes to lasting performance and durability.

It has machined aluminum Spectrum Limb Pockets that are engineered through precision and were pre-stressed for maximum durability.

Since PSE was actually one of the first to manufacture machine bow risers, this bow has an aluminum rise. However, the riser is quite basic, but that’s what allowed the bow’s price to be as low as it is.

The bow also sports a highly adjustable SX cam which is the major selling point. Since I got the RTS package, the sight that came with it is the Gemini sight. It’s easy to adjust in my experience, and I like that there are slots to add more LED lights and level.

PSE Stinger X sight

Last but not the least, it uses PSE Vibracheck rubber grip that helps absorb shock and vibration, which also contributes to a comfortable overall experience.

Eccentric System

Let’s dig in the bow’s so-called “highly adjustable SX cam”.

The SX cam system comes with two settings: “Performance” and “Grow with You”.

The tables below come from the official manual that can be downloaded as a PDF file from PSE’s website.

I specifically copied the page for Stinger X, so we can all look at it here:

55# PEAK

“PERFORMANCE” SETTING
“GROW WITH YOU” SETTING

DRAW
DRAW WEIGHT
DRAW
DRAW WEIGHT

LENGTH
Bottom
15 turns
LENGTH
Bottom
15 turns

30
55
32
29 1/2
50 1/2
31

29 1/2
55
32
29
50
30 3/4

29
55
32
28 1/2
49 1/2
30 1/2

28 1/2
55
32
28
49
30 1/4

28
55
32
27 1/2
48 1/2
30

28
55
32
27
48
29 3/4

27
55
32
26 1/2
47 1/2
29 1/2

26 1/2
55
32
25 7/8
47
29 1/4

26
55
32
25 1/4
46 1/4
29

25 1/2
55
32
24 3/4
45
28 1/2

25
55
32
24
44 1/2
28 1/4

24 1/2
55
32
23 1/2
44
27 1/2

24
55
32
23
43 1/4
26 1/4

23 1/2
55
32
22 1/2
41
25

23
55
32
22
39 1/4
23 3/4

22 1/2
55
32
21 1/2
39
22

70# PEAK

“PERFORMANCE” SETTING
“GROW WITH YOU” SETTING

DRAW
DRAW WEIGHT
DRAW
DRAW WEIGHT

LENGTH
Bottom
15 turns
LENGTH
Bottom
15 turns

30
70
45
29 1/2
64
41

29 1/2
70
45
29
63 1/2
40 1/4

29
70
45
28 1/2
63
39 3/4

28 1/2
70
45
28
62 1/2
39

28
70
45
27 1/2
62
38 3/4

28
70
45
27
61 1/2
38

27
70
45
26 1/2
61
37 1/4

26 1/2
70
45
25 7/8
60 1/4
36 3/4

26
70
45
25 1/4
59
36

25 1/2
70
45
24 3/4
57 3/4
35 1/2

25
70
45
24
56 1/4
34 3/4

24 1/2
70
45
23 1/2
55
34 1/4

24
70
45
23
53 1/4
33 1/4

23 1/2
70
45
22 1/2
51
32 1/2

23
70
45
22
50 1/4
31 3/4

22 1/2
70
45
21 1/2
49
30

Looking at the two tables above, you can see that the draw weight can go as low as 39 lbs under the “Grow with You” setting when using a 21 1/2” draw length, given that you use the 55# peak bow.

So you have two options when buying this bow – the 55# peak bow or the 70# peak bow. Considering your bow of choice, you can figure out what poundage ranges you can get from your personal draw length by looking at the table above.

This whole thing may still be confusing at this point. Please watch the video below from start to finish as everything about the bow’s adjustments are explained very well:

Other than that, the single cam also means easy adjustability and lesser maintenance. Of course, it also means a smooth draw cycle and added accuracy.

Shooting Ability

As already mentioned previously, the bow has a smooth draw cycle and it’s also consistently accurate. Add those qualities with the 75% let-off and it’s a really impressive bow in this price range.

There is however a slight vibration when it’s shot, which requires a vibration dampener if you want to get rid of it.

Also, it doesn’t come with a string stopper, which could have helped with the slight vibration. Again, you can add these yourself by buying them separately.

Hunting

PSE Stinger X is great for both target shooting and hunting. The question is – what kind of game can it hunt? You can kill very large game with 70 lbs poundage, so that’s the answer to the question.

If you want to be specific, then it’s good to determine how much kinetic energy is enough to actually kill the game you’re going to hunt.

With the given IBO speed of 316 fps, we can easily compute for the kinetic energy using IBO’s standard arrow weight of 350 gain and 70 lbs draw weight.

The kinetic energy depends on the arrow weight and speed. The formula is (arrow gain) x (arrow speed) x (arrow speed) / 450240

If we substitute our own values, we have (350) x (316) x (316) / 450240 which gives us 77.59 ft-lbs kinetic energy.

If you’ll opt for the Bow Only package and use your own arrows, you can calculate the corresponding kinetic energy by replacing the values above with your own arrow’s gain.

I made this table to give you a quick idea of what kinetic energy to aim for, based on your hunting needs:

Game Kinetic Energy
Small (rabbit, bird, squirel, etc.) < 25 ft. lbs.
Medium (deer, boar, goat, etc.) 25-41 ft-lbs.
Large (deer, elk, black bear, etc.) 42-65 ft-lbs.
Very Large (buffalo, lion, grizzly bear, etc.) 42-65 ft-lbs.

I have to say, the Stinger X is perfect for hunters on a budget. Given the specifications, it’s very possible that the bow was designed specifically for hunters on a budget.

The compact and lightweight design also makes it great for hunting because it’s easy to carry around the hunting ground.

Suggested Arrows

So far, we’ve established that PSE Stinger X is a decent bow. It would then be a disservice to shoot bad arrows with it. A bow of this quality deserves a great arrow.

Shooting poor quality arrows result to inaccurate and inconsistent shots anyway, so you’re better off with decent arrows to go with your decent bow.

PSE Stinger X review

If you’ll opt for the Bow Only package but don’t know how to choose arrows for your compound bow yet, you’re in good hands. It’s fairly easy and I’ll teach you how.

To choose arrows for your compound bow, you must first determine your draw length. Rule of thumb is add 0.5” or 1” to your draw length and that’s your arrow length.

Next is determine your arrow weight. For target practice, the arrow weight should be five to six grain per draw weight pound (so using 50 lbs draw weight requires an arrow weight of 250 to 300 grain).

For hunting, the arrow weight should be six to eight grain per draw weight pound (so using 50 lbs draw weight requires an arrow weight of 300 to 400 grain).

One thing you should note here is to never use an arrow that’s equal to or shorter than your draw length, or an arrow that’s less than five grain per draw weight pound.

Moving on, there are countless quality arrows out there for both target shooting and hunting. You can’t go wrong with Easton, Carbon Express, and Gold Tip brands.

The PSE Stinger X in Action:

PSE Stinger X Pros and Cons:

Pros:
  • Fast at 316 FPS
  • Highly adjustable cam
  • Consistently accurate (very accurate if tuned correctly)
  • Smooth draw cycle
  • Rock solid wall
  • Quality build
  • Flexible draw lengths and draw weights
Cons:
  • Shoots quiet but not completely silent. It does not come with a string stop so you have to purchase them separately if you want a completely silent PSE Stinger X.
  • Slight vibrations. You’ll need vibration dampener if you want to get rid of this.
  • Not for younger kids that are getting started. As I mentioned previously, the draw poundage could actually go as low as 39 lbs in the #55 peak weight bow’s “Grow with You” setting. Still, this is a bit high for younger children that are just getting started.

PSE Stinger Price

I bought my own PSE Stinger X when the new one just came out. I got the Mossy Oak Break-up Country, Ready to Shoot package and it cost me 399 USD. I’ve seen distributors on Amazon price it lower than that now. You can click here to check the current price.

Conclusion

PSE Stinger X is by far the best entry-level compound bow in the market. I actually feel bad calling it “entry-level” considering all its qualities that we discussed above.

I’m only saying “entry-level” because there are obviously better options if you choose higher-priced bows like Hoyt bows. But with around 200 to 300 bucks, PSE Stinger X is easily the best compound bow within that budget, for beginners and seasoned archers alike.

I’ve seen different distributors sell it at varying prices online. Here’s a link if you want to check out its current pricing:

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

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