By Shane Chuning
This offering packs quite the punch from PSE this year. It’s turning into a real pleasure to shoot and I am sure it will grab some attention when shopping for a new bow.
The one thing I noticed right off the bat was the new angled riser design. This paves the way for a more rigid and stable platform, giving you greater accuracy down range. The camo option for this particular one is the Skullworks 2. It is clean looking and I liked the subtle breakup of the two-tone black, with the deer tracks throughout the camo pattern. The riser cutouts and added dampeners give it a nice upgraded look compared to the Bow Madness series from 2016. Now, let’s get right into the overall setup and rundown of the 2017 PSE Bow Madness Epix.
After mounting a Qad HDX on it, I gave it a look-over to see where I wanted to start my centershot. For this particular bow, ¾ inch off the riser worked very well and puts the arrow right down the center and also puts it parallel with the riser. From that point, I needed to establish my nock height. Most of the Hybrid cam bows will run anywhere from 1/8 nock high to nock level. Already being familiar with PSE’s hybrid cams, I chose to start this one at 1/16 nock high and arrow running a little high in the Berger hole. This starting point for your rest is a good base to start your tuning from and will get you going in the right direction.
The pre-lean on the top cam, when you lay an arrow on the left side and project it down, should be just intersecting your aim string at the nocking point. This will put you close enough before ever shooting the bow and help with some of the lateral tears you may encounter. I found the pre-lean in the top cam to be extremely close right out of the box.
Peak draw weight out of the box came in a little under at 68 pounds for a 70 pound bow, so I added a few twists to the cables to get peak bow weight back up to where it should be. For this particular bow, five full twists in the cables put me up to 70.7 pounds. The PSE Bow Madness Epix draw length is running about a half-inch long, so take that into consideration when setting up the bow. This can be easily compensated for with the rotating mods that make it very easy to adjust to your desired draw length, without the need of a bow press.
Once all set up with a good starting base for tune settings, it was now time to put some arrows down range and fine-tune even further. I prefer to bareshaft tune everything I setup, so I proceeded to do that at 6 feet. At this point, all I am looking for is bareshaft entry in relation to a fletched arrow. At 6 ft, preliminary results were looking great. It was now time to move back to 10 and 20 yards. With very little adjustment out of my rest, I could clean up the tail left impact of the bareshaft in relation to the fletched and everything came together perfectly. The PSE Bow Madness Epix was a breeze to tune and I found it rather forgiving, with a variety of different bareshafts shooting quite well at 20 yards.
The Epix is very smooth all the way back to the end of the draw cycle, with no hump at all on the back end. It only works off of a one cable stop, but even at that, you will experience a nice firm backwall. The grip is very comfortable as your hand seems to slide right underneath the shelf well, making it very repeatable shot after shot. I do prefer a little wider grip that sits into your thumb pad, but I could see me adapting well to this one without any issues. It holds well on target and makes for easy shot execution. I found myself shooting good groups right out of the gate after it was tuned up and sighted in. Even out to 60 yards, it was dropping in rather nicely and extremely consistent.
The PSE Bow Madness Epix specs are:
- Axle to Axle: 32 inches
- ATA/IBO Speed: 340-332 fps
- Let Off: 80%
- Brace Height: 6 inches
- Mass Weight: 4.0 lbs.
- Draw Length Range: 24 to 30 inches
- Draw Weight: 60, 70 pounds
- Finish: Black, Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, Skullworks 2
This bow has the value and performance that you would see in some of the higher end bows. I found the upper end 340 IBO still holding true, even at the tested 28.5 inches draw at 70 pounds with a 418gr arrow. With this setup, I had chronograph readings coming in at 300 fps. This calculates to a 343 IBO rating, which is definitely not lacking in performance or down range shootabilty.
So, if you’re in the market for a new bow, I wouldn’t overlook the PSE Bow Madness Epix. The smooth draw and tune-ability along with its great speeds, really makes this bow an overachiever in its class, especially with the ever-increasing prices of pro line bows rising each year, putting prices out of reach for some consumers. Thankfully, you now have the mainline box store bows getting better and better, making them worth considering.
Some may feel you are losing quality, but honestly the areas they cut back to bring the price point down do not give you poor performance or inaccuracy down range. With a suggested retail price of $599.99, the PSE Bow Madness Epix will not disappoint and will be a tack driver, with excellent speeds that you see in other high-end bows on the market.