August 04, 2011
Countdown to F&S’s Best of the Best Bows #9
By Scott Bestul
Well we’ve finally cracked the Top 10 of the bows submitted for our annual Bow Test. As I noted in my review of the 10th place bow (the Darton DS 3800) last week, we’re looking at some truly fine shooting equipment from here on out. Interestingly, we had two ties in this contest, and the first was for the 9th place bow. So, employing the finest in modern tie-breaking technology (the coin flip) I decided to tell you about the first of the 9th place winners—the PSE Bow Madness—this week.
For details of how the test is conducted, see the original post. Every week from now until September, I’ll be posting reviews of the test bows, counting them down from #14 to #1 and revealing the winner here, shortly after the September issue hits mail boxes and newstands.
This week we’ll continue the countdown with:
Bow #9: PSE Bow Madness(pse-archery.com)
- Price: $599
- Weight: 4 lbs. 3 oz.
- Length: 32” axle-to-axle
- Speed: 323 fps (IBO); 281 fps (our test: 28.5-inch draw length, 70lbs draw weight, and shooting a 437gr. Carbon Express Aramid arrow.)
Comments/Notes: This year’s Bow Madness represents the best of PSE’s popular “mainline” of hunting bows; high-performance shooters that don’t command the price of their “pro” series. The Bow Madness features a new riser, designed to create a better sight window and more rigid “platform.” The single MP cam allows 6 inches of draw length adjustment (25-30”) without requiring a bow press, and the VibraCheck backstop reduces noise caused from string vibration. Brace height on the Bow Madness is 7 inches and the effective let-off is 75 percent.
Hits: PSE bows are always quick, and the Bow Madness won praise from my team in the arrow-speed-for-the-price category; very few moderately-priced bows can match it. We also gave it high marks for a great balance and grip, and a nice, solid, back wall. The Bow Madness just feels right in your hand and is light enough to make a great hunting bow in a variety of situations.
Misses: Most testers were surprised by the draw cycle of the Bow Madness, which seemed stiff for a single cam bow. One tester docked the Bow Madness enough on vibration that the Bow Madness dropped several places in the test.
The Takeaway: PSE keeps making—and improving—the Bow Madness line because the bows have been successful for them, and it’s easy to see why. Many of the design aspects, and much of the performance, of the company’s top-end bows are found on the Bow Madness…Yet the price is much easier to swallow. The Bow Madness should be on the testing list of any budget-conscious hunter looking for great performance.