PSE Deputy Review – a Recurve Bow Inspection


LengthBow WeightDraw WeightTakedown?
PSE Deputy

PSE Deputy

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48 inchesUnknown

How to: choose arrows, draw weight, and tune your recurve
15 to 20 lbs.Yes

- Ambidextrous design
- Circular shelf to prevent errant shots
- No-tool assembly
- Plastic nuts and bolts strip easily
- Arrow rest bolt is a bit too long
- No bow stringer included
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Children love archery, and who can blame them? Whether they’re imagining themselves as Robin Hood or Katniss Everdeen, their imaginations are excited by the possibilities that a simple bow and arrow can bring them. Many bow manufacturers have various product offerings catering to this excitement, so I figured it was about time we take a look at another youth bow. This time around, we’re examining the PSE Deputy.

What Do I Get With The Bow?

When you open up the packaging for the PSE Deputy, you’ll find almost everything you need for your young archer-to-be to get started. In the box, PSE has included:

  • The PSE Deputy bow, including limbs and riser
  • String
  • Arrow rest
  • Sight

Unfortunately, there are no kits available that also include arrows.

How Easy Is The Bow To Assemble?

PSE DeputyAssembling the PSE Deputy is just a matter of attaching the limbs to the riser, installing the arrow rest and sight, and then stringing the bow. You don’t need any tools to accomplish this, because PSE has used wingnuts to attach the limbs. These fit perfectly, and just need to be retightened occasionally.

The arrow rest gave me a bit of a problem, because the bolt is a tad bit too long to fit properly into the circular shoot-through opening. Once you figure out how to angle and cram it, though, carefully tighten the plastic bolt to secure the rest. Be very careful here, as it is all too easy to strip the threads of the plastic bolt.

PSE does not include a bow stringer, so make sure you have one available to safely and properly string your bow.

Is The Bow Powerful And Accurate?

Available in draw weights of 15# and 20#, this is not even close to being a powerful bow. That’s intentional, though, because the bow is intended to give young archers an introduction to archery.

The circular shoot through design of the shelf helps your young archers keep the arrow where it should be before loosing the shot, helping them keep their accuracy on target. My nephew was able to shoot consistent 3″ groupings from 30 yards using this bow, so I’d call it fairly accurate.

Can I Use The Bow For Hunting?

This is a youth bow designed for archers under 4’6″ in height, and is far too weak to be used as a hunting bow. The idea here is to get the youth introduced to archery, help them build their form and technique, and then allow them to move up to more powerful bows. If you’re looking for a combination training bow and hunting bow, the PSE Deputy is not an appropriate choice.

Can Beginners Use This Bow?

Beginners is where the bow really shines, because everything about the PSE Deputy is geared towards those new to archery. The small size of the bow is perfect for youth, and the circular shoot-through shelf makes for the perfect way to help train your young archers how to keep their arrows on the rest until they take the shot. The bow also includes a sight, which will help your archers learn the proper form and technique to keep everything on paper.

What About Accessories?

The Deputy has pre-drilled and has brass inserts for all of the most common accessories, including a stabilizer, sight, and Berger button. I can’t for the life of me figure out who would put a stabilizer or Berger button on this bow, though.
link to beginner's buying guide

What Are The Best Arrows To Use With The Bow?

You’ll find that choosing arrows is a highly personal decision, and no two archers will always agree on which arrows are the best. Because of this, we leave the final decision up to you but offer you a comprehensive guide to selecting an arrow that is perfect for your intended purpose and skill level.

How Durable Are The Limbs And Riser On The Recurve?

The PSE Deputy is made of a plastic riser and fiberglass limbs. It’s not designed to go out into the bush on a hunting trip, obviously, but it is built to withstand the torture that young children can inflict upon it. The riser and limbs themselves, then, are very durable. The problem rests in the bolts that attach various parts, such as the arrow rest. These are also made of plastic, and can be difficult to tighten by hand. Then, when you use a wrench on them, you have to be extremely careful not to destroy the bolts and nuts. Some better attention could have been spent on this detail, in my opinion.

What Strings Will Fit This Recurve Bow?

A standard string designed for a 48″ bow will fit nicely, but the bow’s limb tips are not reinforced. Therefore, you can’t use FastFlight or Flemish strings with this bow, because that’s not what it was designed for.

Is It Heavy?

The PSE Deputy is plastic and fiberglass, so it’s very lightweight. It was, after all, designed for young archers. My nephew, age nine, is able to use the Deputy all day long without any problems with fatigue or hand cramp. I’ve heard the same general feeling from other youth who have used the Deputy for day-long or afternoon shooting sessions.

How Quiet Is The Bow?

This bow was never designed to be quiet, so you do get a resounding “thwack” when you loose the arrows. It’s not terribly loud, but it’s not quiet, either. On an archery range with a dozen of these firing all at once, the noise can get to be pretty substantial, though. Then again, the kids seem to love the sound.

Recurve Bow Summary

Thanks for reading this review of the PSE Deputy. This bow is great for young archers, but it’s not completely perfect. Its plastic and fiberglass construction, including the attaching bolts and nuts, means the bow requires extreme care be taken when assembling it or moving the rest to the other side of the bow for a left-handed shooter. Personally, I wish PSE had used metal bolts and nuts instead of plastic, but it is what it is. Take a look at Today's price on the PSE Deputy if you’re interested.

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