Bow Package Contents
PSE (Precision Shooting Equipment), based in Tucson, Arizona is a well known brand in the world of archery and bowhunting. They have been in business for decades already and hold a lot of patents regarding compound bows. The PSE Guide Heritage itself is manufactured in Taiwan, but as long as PSE is in control of the quality and the customer service, that should not be a big deal.
This PSE Heritage Youth model is available in a right-handed version only at the moment. It comes fully strung and is ready to shoot out of the box. Right-handed means you are holding it in your left and drawing the string back with your right hand. If you have no idea about this topic so far, I suggest you read my beginner’s guide here => Beginner’s Guide To Compound Bows.
The arrow rest seems to be okay. You can switch it out against a Whisker Biscuit but as there is no pre drilled hole, you would need to work around that a bit. Either drill your own and void the warranty or try some other MacGyver style gimmicks. I am not sure if it’s worth it, though, as this is a kid’s model that is finger shot anyway, so it will never be that accurate.
The single pin sight of this Heritage model is okay for children, as having many may confuse them more than it would help. For sighting it in you have to follow the arrows. This means if you shoot to the left and up you need to adjust the sight accordingly. If you want to learn more about sighting in a compound, please read my guide about it here => How To Sight In A Compound Bow.
Along with the PSE Guide Heritage Youth come two fiberglass arrows that are pretty crappy. Fiberglass tends to crack and splinter when hitting hard surfaces or objects – which will happen a lot with kids. If your offspring hits a tree or a wall, check the arrow for fine cracks etc., because shooting with a cracked arrow can land splinters in your kid’s hand if the thing breaks while releasing it. Maybe look at the Easton Genesis 2. These are well known youth arrows and will work with most if not all youth bows. If you want to learn more about arrows in general, I have a guide about that topic here => Choosing The Right Arrows For A Compound Bow.
As there are three finger rollers attached to the string you don’t need an archery glove. If you still want your child to wear finger protection I would favor a glove over finger tabs every time, as it is easier to shoot with a glove. The rollers act as a nocking point as well. The youth shooters can nock the arrow to the string at the same spot every time which is important to learn to shoot with proper form. If you have never heard that term before, I would suggest you read my article about it here => Proper Form For Compound Bow Shooting.
The armguard seems to be okay. It will protect your child’s forearm from getting string slaps. These hurt and will leave bruises, so it is better to protect your offspring, as pain might kill his or her motivation for shooting youth bows pretty fast. If they fear it, they won’t do it, right? A reason for getting string slaps is when you are not shooting with proper form, so they are a clear sign that something is wrong with your draw cycle or shooting process.
The quiver is pretty standard and does its job well. You don’t need to attach it to this youth model as it will add some more weight to this Heritage model, but if your kid is not on the weak side, this shouldn’t matter too much.
The limited lifetime warranty is for the original owner only and cannot be transfered to someone else. It warrants errors in material and workmanship and does not cover wearable items and moving parts like accessories. It will also get voided if you misuse or modify this model in a way it is not meant to be used or modified. So if you drill additional holes into the riser, the warranty gets voided. If you dry fire it or if you use arrows that are too light for it (same effect as dry firing), it gets voided too. If you’ve never heard the term dry firing before, please read my article about it here => Dry Firing A Compound Bow.
Dry firing is one of the most common causes why compound bows get damaged! You also need to wax the string and cables regularly (I would do it before shooting the first time and then regularly). Always look for areas that get wear or frayed parts. As soon as you find those you need to switch out the string and cables. Otherwise PSE recommends to switch them out once a year or after 5,000 shots.
There are no targets included in this set. You don’t need a fancy one to get started, just get some hay bales and put paper targets on them. And don’t put the target in front of solid back stops like walls or trees, as those will destroy all the arrows that miss the target.
Noise Level / Hand Shock Of The PSE Guide Heritage Youth Compound Bow
I would say the noise level is quite normal for a youth model. It is not dead silent, but as it is not suited for hunting, that does not matter at all. There is also no hand shock due to the overall low poundage and the limb design.
Bow Specifics / Limbs / Riser / Grip / String
The PSE Guide Heritage is a very well made and sturdy model. The composite material feels like that of some of the full sized adult bows out there and I bet it will be very durable for a very long time.
It has a split limb design and the cams are made of a hard plastic-like material as well.
Its axle to axle length (ATA) is 25 1/4″ which makes it a very compact model, even for kids or tweens. Together with a net weight of 2 lbs it should be easy for your offspring to carry this model around for hours.
This one has a regular string, which means it can be split to serve a peep sight in. I would not do it as this model should be finger shot anyway, so why would you want to serve a peep in? But that’s just my opinion. The good thing is you could serve one in, if you wanted to.
Draw Cycle / Shootability
The PSE Guide Heritage Youth is smooth to draw. It has a solid back wall and is accurate up to 10 yards. The back wall is an important reference point for the young archer as it will stop the draw at the same point every time. Same goes for your stance, anchor points etc. The whole shooting cycle needs to be repeatable in the same way every time you shoot. Only then it is possible to shoot with proper form.
The draw weight range is from 12 to 29 lbs and the draw length range is from 16 1/2″ to 26″.
The special thing here is that both are adjusted at the same time. For adjusting you need to remove the hex screws of the red adjustment module and set them on the desired position (same letter for top and bottom). After that one you have to move the draw stop hex screw to the corresponding position and you’re done. No bow press needed.
This can lead to some disappointment if you want to set a draw weight that is not doable without changing the draw length as well!
The size of the let off depends on the adjustments of the poundage and the draw length. It is usually far back on the pull, which means it may be around 80%. It disappears completely when the poundage is at the higher end and the draw length is on the lower end, which is not that good as you have to hold the whole poundage all the time while aiming. The brace height is 7″.
If your child is taller or has longer arms already I would measure his or her draw length to be on the safe side before buying this model. If you don’t know how to do this you can read my guide about it here => How To Determine Your Draw Length.
Basically, if the draw length of your kid is longer than the maximum setting of the compound, you need to look for a different model, as this one is already too small.
Shooting Speed Of The PSE Guide Heritage Youth Compound Bow
There is no speed given because it is a model designed to introduce children to archery. Speed is more important for bowhunters as it influences how much kinetic energy you can achieve.
Suitable For Hunting / Kinetic Energy (KE)
With a maximum poundage of 29 lbs this one is definitely not suitable for bowhunting. The legal minimum requirements of some states are 30 lbs, most others have higher minimum requirements. This means that this Heritage model is not allowed for hunting anything.
Apart from that with the overall low poundage (because it is a kid’s model), it would not be possible to achieve a lot of speed and therefore the reached kinetic energy would be just too low to take game in a humane way. If you want to read more about kinetic energy, feel free to study my article about it here => Kinetic Energy For Bowhunting.
Suitable For Bowfishing
I have no idea if it is possible to attach a bowfishing reel but I would doubt it, as there is no pre drilled hole for a different arrow rest as well. Apart from that, I am not sure if the 29 lbs max would be enough to penetrate the water and hit the fish well (it could be). My recurve has 45 pounds and it works quite well for bowfishing.
At around 70 bucks, this one is quite affordable to test if your kids might be interested in archery at all. There are, of course, a lot more expensive ones available with lots of accessories and gimmicks (just look at the Diamond Infinite Edge Pro or the Diamond Atomic) but I am not sure if your 7 year old would appreciate those.
I see this one as a possibility to test the waters and to have some fun together with your kiddos – away from the TV, Smartphone or tablet.
Pros & Cons
– very affordable
– widely adjustable for kids
– built and sold by a big and well known brand
– arrows are crap
The PSE Guide Heritage Youth Compound Bow is recommended by the manufacturer for kids that are 10 years and older. Due to its adjustability I also found statements of parents that said that their younger children were able to use it without problems too. The youngest was 6 years old. But this depends – of course – a lot on the individual kid, its stature, physics and strength.
If you get this one when your offspring is very young it can grow along with him or her for years. When it is outgrown – which it will be for sure at some point in time – you can gift a more expensive model like the Barnett Vortex or the Diamond Infinity Edge Pro. But for testing and having a lot of fun the PSE Guide will do just well.
Thanks for reading and shoot straight!