PSE Bow Madness Epix Review
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The PSE Epix is a Mainline Series bow, which means it is available in stores outside of the high end pro shops perhaps making it a little more accessible than bows in high end pro shops. Shooters browsing their local sporting goods store should be drawn to the Epix as a legit bow at a reasonable price. The Epix has a $599 suggested retail price for the bare bow, and the bow outperforms the price point by a long shot. Shooters also have the ability to get the Epix with some factory accessory options in a package deal if they are interested. Unfortunately, this budget friendly model is only available in a right-handed version. Lefties are left disappointed again, since the Bowmadness 32 last year was not available for left-handers either. The Epix is as feature packed as the Pro Series models from PSE, it does not get all the latest technology from the higher priced models, but the performance and specifications on the Epix is spot on. This bow is going to make shooters with a limited budget extremely happy.
FinishPSE has always implemented a great finish process for their rigs, making sure they look great and last a long time. For the PSE Mainline lineup, shooters have the option to choose one of three options, which include solid black, Skullworks 2, or Mossy Oak Break-up Country. The patterns offered are the same available on the Pro Series models as well, but it would be nice to have a couple other patterns to choose from. With a Mainline Series bow like the Epix, box stores need to be able to stock a little bit of each choice so shooters have what they are looking for right in front of them
RiserAt first glance, the Epix riser looks like the aluminum flagship Evolve with its design and added riser dampeners. The cutouts and shape of the bow is very PSE, but does not look like a Mainline series bow. Mainline bows are typically more simplistically designed in order to keep the overall cost down. The Epix is a breathe of fresh air, and when sitting on the shelves next to other budget friendly bows, it should stand out in a good way. The 32-inch axel-to-axel measurement is a great sixe for most shooters, although it is a bit longer than what shooters have gotten used to in the past with shrinking hunting bows. This particular riser features what PSE is calling an angled-plane riser. This design keeps the riser less square, which ideally adds rigidity and stiffness without adding a lot of girth and ultimately additional weight. With the designed cutouts in the aluminum riser, the bare bow tips the scales at a fairly lightweight 4-pounds. The carbon rod string stop system in combination with the newly integrated riser dampeners, and the limb bands do a great job keeping the noise down after the shot. The cable slide system is pretty simple system. It is not a roller system, and does not flex like some of the other PSE bows. However, the cable slide fastens securely to the riser, and can be tightened if needed. Shooters also have an option to upgrade the slide to the new Rollerglide system, which will fit on any PSE bow with a standard sized cable slide. Although not factory, having a flexible roller system available as an upgrade on a budget bow is a truly awesome feature.
GripIn the past, PSE has offered a different style grip on the Pro Series models versus the Mainline Series models. For 2017, the Epix grip is the same as the Evolve grip. This grip style for 2017 should be a favorite for many shooters. It is a bit thicker than previous models, but the throat area gives it a very comfortable fit in shooters hands. There is also a nice section on the shelf for shooters thumbs to fit against, which feels great and helps with consistent hand placement. Instead of the rubber side plates, PSE has engraved badging on the grip for 2017. It makes the bow look just a bit different, but the side plates were not really functional to begin with so not much is lost in that regard. The largest downside of the grip will be the material. As a part of the riser, like many aluminum bows are, the grip is going to be cold in the cold fall mornings in the stand. Wraps can be added to help out with this a bit, but the grip will be cold to the touch.
LimbsTo the approval of many archers, the limbs are offered in peak weights of 60 and 70-pounds. The limb bolt is also the coveted 13 turn limbs, which means the adjustment for each is significantly extended past the normal 10-pound range. The 60-pound limbs are a 40-60-pound option, while the 70-pound offering is a 47-70-pound option. Again, maintaining the normal PSE look, the limbs are the split X-Force technology. These limbs, in combination with the cam system help create a longer string angle than normal parallel limbs bows offer, which will make the bow feel like a longer axel to axel model, and more comfortable for those at the upper end of the draw length range. The Epix also gets the polymer limb pockets as other Mainline bows have gotten in the past. To wrap up the limbs on the Epix, shooters will like the limb dampening bands as a factory standard to help with noise. Of course, those can be changed out for different colors if shooters choose to do so.
Eccentric SystemThe MH cam system is the power plant for the Epix in 2017. This cam system is a hybrid cam system, which is easily adjustable from 24-30-inches, in half-inch increments using the rotating module. Shooters will also be thrilled to see speeds rated up to 340 feet per second combined with the ability to get to 80% let-off. All this performance with a fairly forgiving six-inch brace height bow really makes this a strong competitor in the budget hunting bow market.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityThe cam is a smooth drawing cam system. It is not like some other cams where the draw weight feels like it is less than what it actually is. However, it pulls very smoothly from the peak weight to the high let-off, into the back wall. The valley is very forgiving, and although the string stop aided back wall is not as solid as a limb stop back wall, it feels really great when holding on target. The valley will allow shooters the ability to relax a bit while pulling into the cable stop, without fear of the bow wanting to take off and fling the arrow forward. After the shot, there is a little feedback in the hand, but nothing too major. The bow holds on target very well with the 32-inch axel-to-axel measurement and the 4-pound bow weight. Some shooters are sure to be nervous with all the negative press around a 6-inch brace height not being as forgiving as a 7-inch brace. The Epix is as forgiving as any other bow in the lineup and feels fantastic.
Usage ScenariosThe PSE Epix is a budget-friendly hunting bow with amazing specifications. It shoots outstanding for the price point, and has specifications, which are ideal for many shooters in hunting conditions. For shooters just getting started with archery, the Epix has the ability to be shot for 3D also. Those more experienced shooters may be drawn to other models for 3D and target, but anyone just starting out will benefit a great deal from shooting the Epix to get started and see if they enjoy the sport.
PSE Epix vs Bow Madness 32
The Epix is the latest installment of PSE's leading Mainline bow, which replaces the well liked PSE Bow Madness 32 in the budget bow lineup for 2017. The Epix is a bit more connected to the Pro Series than the Bow Madness 32 was last year, which makes it seem like an even better overall deal. It looks more like the Pro Series flagship bows, performs like one, and can be upgraded with a new roller cable containment system. Nothing against the Bow Madness 32, because it was an outstanding bow for the money last year. However, all things considered, the Epix is a wonderful replacement to the Bow Madness 32, and still remains very affordable for only $599.