Friday, April 10, 2015

Primal Gear Unlimited Compact Folding Survival Bow

PGU's folding bow - deployed *picture by PGU

The folded bow *picture by PGU
An item of curiosity..

Folding knives, folding bikes and now: a folding bow.
A buddy of mine shared a link sometime back on a company that manufactures a compact survival folding bow. 
I checked out the company's domain and found some really interesting gear.
What caught my attention, was the folding bow.
It comes in three draw weight: #40, #50 and #55lbs.
But, before I can shoot the bow, I have to learn about archery.
So, with some training on my Martin Panther takedown recurve bow, I roughly have an idea on how to set it up.

Preparations

I have never shot a 50lb bow. 
The PGU folding bow that I picked, has a slightly heavier draw weight compared to my Martin Panther takedown recurve bow. 
Before I purchased the bow, I first built my arrows.
My choices are the Beman ICS Hunter 500 and Beman ICS Bowhunter 400. These are spined for bows between 45-50lbs.
Correctly-spined arrows are important to prevent damage to the bow and injury to the archer.
Both arrows are with inserts. This will enable me to attach hunting broadheads if necessary.
I built a dozen of each arrows and waited for the PGU folding bow to arrive from the US.
It took nearly a month for the bow to arrive in Malaysia via UPS and when I received it, the package was totally awesome.
When I ordered the bow, I also quoted a code from a YouTube channel to claim a free bow string from PGU.
This came with it and as a bonus, Jeff and Heather Barber of PGU threw in two plastic small game targets. Speak about awesome, the quality, fit and finish of the PGU folding bow is just amazing right out of the box.

Shooting the PGU CFSB at the range
This is a fun bow to practise with.. 
Shooting off the arrow shelf..

The PGU folding bow shoots like a traditional bow.
It's not a recurve, but a rather compact longbow.
And stringing it requires some skill.
You don't get a properly grooved string nock and have to make sure that it sits securely when you string the bow.
Once in place, the bow is secure.
But before that, you'll have to unfold the limbs that is folded neatly into the riser.
Secure the limbs with knob and you are in business.
Okay, unlike modern hunting recurve bows, the PGU folding bow is fired from a shelf. It's made in such a way, the riser can be configured for left and right hand release.
I had the string nocked so that the arrow would not slip when it sits on the shelf.
But I noticed that the arrow wobbled with its tip up and down before hitting the target bud.
After talking to the owner of a pro shop, the nocking would be done wrongly.
When you shoot of the shelf, you have to cant the riser slightly so that the arrow wouldn't slip off.
There's a velcro lining on the shelf, but I don't think this is enough to secure the carbon arrows that I am using.
Took me a while to get a decent grouping by shooting with a canted grip. But once I got the hang of it, the PGU bow is fun to shoot.

Performance

The PGU bow draws rather smooth. But at full-draw, it tends to stack a bit.
You might get a bit more power releasing the arrow by pulling it slightly, but this is something that I have yet to try.
Flight of the arrow is moderate. Not as fast as s recurve. But there's enough power to take down small and medium-sized game.
The bow is built solid, maybe a bit heavy. For me, it's just fine!
I started with a 13-yard practice with the bow and gradually moved to 20meters.
It was easy to hit a target bud at a short distance, but when the bud is moved away, it can be a real challenge putting the arrows on the target paper's ring.
I found that carbon arrows work pretty fine with the PGU bow.
Haven't tried my aluminium shafts as yet, but I do plan to build a set of Easton Tribute arrows for the PGU.

A last-ditched tool

The PGU bow, once folded, can be stashed in your backpack. Better still if you can build your own takedown arrows (these are shafts jointed by two inserts).
For the serious archer and survivalist, PGU does produce a tactical quiver for the bow. This enables the bow to be carried in the quiver that can be attached to a backpack. 

PGU's tactical quiver
 What I like about the whole deal, is the fact that the bow can be stored in a pack and be made ready for use during emergencies.
And when you run out of arrows, the bow's riser can be used as a defensive tool. You can literally take out your enemy by clobbering the guy to death.
For me, the PGU bow is a worthy investment *USD$149.00 (RM550) and is something I would carry if I can't get to my takedown recurve bow.
The only thing one would have to bear with, is the long wait for the bow to ship and shipping cost (roughly another USD$60 to get it shipped to Malaysia via UPS).
Overall, I am very happy with the fit and finish of the bow. 
With the right tweaking, it is fun to shoot and I can see endless of hours at the range and the field with this bow.
For more information, check out PGU's website 
Below, is a short video of me shooting the PGU bow with the Beman ICS Bowhunter arrows.




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