PSE Blackhawk Review

The following PSE Blackhawk review was written by John Kopiecki.


PSE BlackhawkDrawBow WeightBow LengthTake-downRating
PSE Blackhawk

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35-50 lbs.3.13 lbs.60"No8.7/10


  • Fairly priced
  • Very durable limbs and riser
  • High accuracy when properly tuned
  • Comes with a great string


  • Not everyone will enjoy the grip
  • Available in a maximum of 50 lbs. draw

Package Contents

Package contents are as follows:

  • One-piece PSE Blackhawk recurve bow
  • Dacron B50 Bow string
  • Arrow rest
  • Owner’s manual
  • PSE’s warranty

Make sure to purchase arrows, nocking points and a bow stringer to go with this bow. An armguard might also be a good idea if you’re a beginner; it will help you protect your bow arm from being slapped by the string due to poor form.

Assembling The PSE Blackhawk

No assembly is required with one-piece bows. You’ll only need to string the bow and it’s ready for shooting. (Right after you tune it of course.)

How Good is The Grip?

  • Ergonomic design, fits my large hands very well and doesn’t cause any discomfort.
  • The Blackhawk is made entirely of wood and that includes the grip – there’s unfortunately no cushioning or layer of thermal material in place to help absorb moisture and keep the hand warm. Despite that, the wood itself handles moisture very well, so a plus here.

Overall: good grip for a wooden recurve, but I’ve seen better. In this price range though and as far as one-pieces go, it’s a good deal.

How Good is The Riser?

  • The riser is large and made from laminated hardwood. It does a great job at dispensing vibrations resulting during the shot.
  • It has a really nice shape to it that makes me want to keep staring at it.
  • Comes with a crowned shelf, so it might require a bit more tuning before you get everything just right.
  • No cracking or splintering even at higher draw weight (50 lbs.).

Overall: beautiful, durable and no noticeable hand-shock.

How Good Are The Limbs?

  • Just like the riser, the Blackhawk limbs are made from laminated hardwood.
  • The limbs are tough and the lamination holds well, although the finish/coating did deterioriate in quality after 2 years of use.
  • The draw is consistent and, at my 29″ draw, I did not notice any stacking even at the very end of the draw.

Overall: the limbs are excellent in performance, however their appearance leaves a little to be desired.

How Good is The String?

  • The Dacron B50 string included with the Blackhawk can go through over 15 000 arrows before it requires replacing. I’ve been shooting the bow for 2 years consistently, 2-3 times a year, and the string is still holding up with no visible srand breakage.
  • This type of string helps reduce stacking, thereby makes drawing the bow easier for a beginner.
  • Bow limb tips are reinforced and will happilly accept FastFlight strings. Definitely get one of those once your Dacron B50 runs out of life.

Overall: string included is among the very best you can have, especially if you’re a beginner.

Is The PSE Blackhawk Accurate?

  • An important component of accuracy is how well the bow feels in the hand. The grip is decent, but I believe people with smaller hands (particularly women) might have issues with comfort and hence with accuracy.
  • There is no hand torque or vibration to speak of. The arrow therefore doesn’t have a tendency to fly in a different direction than what you were aiming for.
  • The bow overall is easy to tune, although you’ll probably need to go through a few different types of arrows before you find ones that fly perfectly for you.

Overall: the bow is accurate, though it may require some patience and getting used to.

What Arrows For The PSE Blackhawk?

If you haven’t yet, please read this guide: how to choose arrows for a bow. It was written for beginners to help them choose their very first arrows. Arrow choice will depend largely on your draw length and the draw weight of your bow, so our first step will be figuring those out.

Does The Blackhawk Bow Accept Accessories?

Unfortunately no, it doesn’t. The Blackhawk does not come drilled and therefore it’s best suited for bare shooting, without a sight or stabilizer.

Is The PSE Blackhawk Good For Beginners?

If you’re after instinctive shooting and don’t mind not being able to use a bow sight, then the Blackhawk will suit you well regardless of your level of experience. Beginners in will enjoy the low price and the quality workmanship – the bow will last you for many years and will “evolve” alongside you.

With that said, the fact that:

  • You can’t install a sight.
  • The bow is not a take-down (you can’t change the limbs to increase draw weight once you become stronger).
  • Some people might have issues with grip comfort, so it’s best to try the bow out before you buy it.

Makes me hesitant to recommend the PSE Blackhawk to beginners, even though it is marketed as a beginner’s bow. It will work for sure, but there are definitely some better alternatives available.

Is The Blackhawk Good For Hunting?

The answer depends on what you want to hunt for. Consider this:

  • You will need 40 lbs. of draw weight to harvest deer.
  • You will need 45 lbs. (or more) to harvest elk.
  • And 55 lbs. or more for bigger game (ox, buffalo).

However, as far as I know, the Blackhawk is available with a maximum draw weight of 50 lbs. So if you want to go for deer, elk, and other game of similar size, this bow will be most definitely suitable. If you’re after the largest game though, you’ll be much happier if you choose from across the other recurve bows we recommend for hunters.

Where To Buy The PSE Blackhawk?

First we recommend checking out today’s Blackhawk price at If they happen not to have it in stock however, please get in touch and I’ll try to recommend something based on your needs and location. Thanks for reading this review and good luck!

  1. Reply
    Jimi June 30, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    I was very interested in the martin saber after reading many reviews, but saw that this PSE Blackhawk was priced at $220 on a site and only finding the saber #45 about that price anyway. On another site this was the best $250-350 bow while the Saber was the best $200 range. Wondered if this blackhawk was actually better than the saber. I am a beginner mostly and have only tried out the OMP Mountaineer 2.0 #45. I like the look of the Blackhawk and that it isn’t takedown for appearances sake. I will hunt eventually, but mostly target practice. I like the sound of instinctive shooting so no sight is fine with me. Not sure if I will be able to try it out first, but going to look around locally some more. Would you be able to recommend the blackhawk over the saber? Thank you.

    • Reply
      ArcheryChoice July 1, 2014 at 9:24 am

      Hi Jimi

      If you are a beginner with very little shooting experience, the takedown bow is the better choice as you will quickly “outgrow” whatever draw weight you get, and you will most likely want a heavier bow. Unless you are certain that you can handle #45 as you did on the Mountaineer (and by handle, I mean handle it long term and hold it for a good while during a hunt, as you line up your shot), and believe that the #45 is all you will ever need – in which case go for the Blackhawk. I hope this helps. In general, these two bows are very similar quality wise.

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