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Countdown to F&S’s Best of the Best Bows #9

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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.

Comments (5)

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from jamesti wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

i really expected this bow to place better but the info is good to have.

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from eyeswideopen wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Would have to agree on the draw cycle. It is smooth but very stiff. Didn't notice a vibration issue. Did notice it does not jump out of your hand at the shot. Wouldn't rate it ahead of the Darton.

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from Kevin wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

The 2011 bow madness is a great bow, especially considering the price. They are faster than earlier modles but that is due to a harsher cam, a weighted top wheel, and shorter brace height. I agree the draw is fairly smooth but way stiffer than the 2010 models. I own two 2010 pse bowmadness xl's and they are the best bows I've ever shot.

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from Brendan wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Wonder if the Hoyt katera will be placed. I have one and its amazing. I originally bought a 300$ Bear bow but due to a shipping error, they sent me a lefty one. So they sent me the Katera instead, which was pretty sweet. It has 85% let off and is EXTREMELY quiet. I love it.

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from huntinhuntinhuntin wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

<3 this bow

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from jamesti wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

i really expected this bow to place better but the info is good to have.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from eyeswideopen wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Would have to agree on the draw cycle. It is smooth but very stiff. Didn't notice a vibration issue. Did notice it does not jump out of your hand at the shot. Wouldn't rate it ahead of the Darton.

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from Kevin wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

The 2011 bow madness is a great bow, especially considering the price. They are faster than earlier modles but that is due to a harsher cam, a weighted top wheel, and shorter brace height. I agree the draw is fairly smooth but way stiffer than the 2010 models. I own two 2010 pse bowmadness xl's and they are the best bows I've ever shot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brendan wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

Wonder if the Hoyt katera will be placed. I have one and its amazing. I originally bought a 300$ Bear bow but due to a shipping error, they sent me a lefty one. So they sent me the Katera instead, which was pretty sweet. It has 85% let off and is EXTREMELY quiet. I love it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntinhuntinhuntin wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

<3 this bow

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