PSE Bow Madness 30 Review
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Editors' reviewThe Bowmadness 30 rounds out the three Bowmadness offerings for 2015. The 30 measures in at just under 30-inches axel to axel, sports a 6.5-inch brace height, and flings arrows downrange at a reasonable 330 feet per second. The Mainline series bows are offered in a variety out outdoors retailers for the low price of only $499, which may be one of the best values in the archery world for 2015.
FinishThree patterns are available for the 2015 PSE Bowmadness 30. The dipping process from PSE remains a high quality product and leaves the bow looking wonderful. The three patterns are Mossy Oak Infinity, Skullworks, and solid black. As with any other PSE bow, each pattern is highlighted with red graphics for a touch of color and emphasis. Although the color kit is not exclusively red, the rubber grip inlay and cable slide dampener are red as well. Those wanting a different accent color can change the color kit out for several other colors as well.
RiserThe Bowmadness 30 is a 29 3/4-inch axel to axel bow. Although this may be a tad short for some shooters, the trend in the hunting industry is leaning toward shorter, more compact options. The forged aluminum riser has placed cutouts to take the overall mass to 3.8-pounds while maintaining the structural integrity of the riser. Despite the small frame, the bow still holds well on target, but the string angle may be a bit steep for those at the longer end of the draw length range. There is a front mounting stabilizer bushing located in front of the Backstop 3 string stop system for adding a little more weight to the front of the bow. The Backstop 3 is adjustable allowing shooters to get the rubber dampener in the perfect location for bringing the string to a stop and keeping the noise to a minimum.
GripPSE grips are a designed part of the riser. The Bowmadness 30 has a thin grip with each side featuring a red rubber inlay to add a little comfort. In regards to comfort, the thin grip fits in the shooter's hand very well allowing for repeatable hand placement overtime the bow is gripped. The grip is pretty minimalistic and does not have any contours. However, with the overall shape, none are needed.
LimbsThe limbs on the Bowmadness 30 are highly stressed split limbs with 10 full turns of adjustability. The maximum draw weight is limited to 50, 60, and 70-pounds, but the added adjustment in the limb bolts allow for each configuration to adjust by 25% of its maximum draw weight. This means the 70 pounds limbs can adjust between 52.5 and 70-pounds. The 60-pound maximum limbs can go from 45-60-pounds, and the 50-pound limbs adjust from 37.5-50-pounds. This is good news for those purchasing the bow for shooters with a little growing left to do, or those that like to use a wide range of draw weight for different styles of shooting. Each limb is built to factory tolerances using precision cutting and extreme testing to create a high quality product that is universal from bow to bow.
Eccentric SystemThe largest difference on the Bowmadness lineup for the 2015 model year is the updated Madness cam system replacing the single cam technology historically featured on the Mainline favorite. The 30 maintains a great deal of adjustability in the hybrid cam with a draw length range from 23.5-30-inches without needing to purchase models or changing out the cams. The rotating module has laser engraved, easy to read draw length indicators and is entirely headache free in regards to changing the draw length. If buying the bow brand new, shooters should leave the store with a perfect fit, but those still growing, or perhaps those wanting to tinker a bit will enjoy not having to fork over extra money to fine tune the draw length. The cam is designed with 80% let off, although sliding the single cable draw stop located on the bottom cam to adjust the feel of the valley will ultimately change the let off percentage as well. The Madness cam outfitted on the Bowmadness 30 frame flings arrows in an advertised range of 322-330 feet per second, which is pretty quick, but not setting any speed records. The top cam is basically an old school idler wheel with some added material to make the geometry a little more aggressive than the traditional circle.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityThe Hybrid cam system is a welcomed addition to the PSE Mainline series. Although tons of shooters are loyal to the single cam designs of years past, the hybrid cam has taken on some popularity with PSE. Several Pro Series bows are decked out with hybrid cams. The engineers did a great job adding comfort and performance to the same package. It is hard to find a bow on the market lacking a smooth draw cycle, and the Bowmadness 30 does not disappoint in that department either. The peak weight buildup feels comfortable, and never feels like it stacks up too quickly. The roll over to the valley, and ultimately the back wall is comfortable, and easy to maintain in hunting type situations where your feet or body may not be perfectly level. The back wall is surprisingly pretty solid for a single strong stop located on the bottom cam. Perhaps a true limb stop design would firm that up even a little more, but it feels just fine the way it is with a little give on the back end. Fortunately, the 30 does not feel like a short axel to axel bow while holding downrange. Typically shorter, more compact axel to axel bows lose a bit of stability created with longer riser bows. The 30 is short, and can have a steep string angle for those at the top end of the draw length range, but those with a longer draw cycle should really look into a little longer axel to axel bow.After the shot, the PSE just seems to hit the target. If there is any vibration in the bow after shooting, it it was not felt. The string stop, and the geometry of the limb configuration really does a great job taking the noise and vibration out of the bow. Overall, the bow is a great one, with a nice feel for those in the low to mid- draw length range,
Usage ScenariosThe hunting world has marketed shorter compact hunting bows as the most versatile option for hunters that mix their time between a tree stand, a ground blind, and spot and stalk. With that in mind, the 29.75-inch axel to axel measurement is exactly what many are looking for in a hunting bow. Combined with decent speeds, a brace height over six-inches, and a favorable draw cycle, the 30 is going to win over a lot of bowhunters.
Younger hunters, or those toward the lower end of the draw length range may consider the Bowmadness 30 to be a decent all around bow, but those at the longer end of the draw length range will more than likely not care enough for the string angle to make it their money winner.