2016 PSE Bow Madness 34 Review

Posted by Dalton Vaughn on


Hey guys, it's Dalton Vaughn with Better Outdoors, and in this video we're going to show you something you've been waiting for: the 2016 PSE Bow Madness 34

Now this bow has been a really good seller for 2015, and 2016 has been no different. This bow has exceeded expectations of a lot of people, especially at the price point that it is. But don't let that price point think you that this is a lesser bow, same with being a mainline and the stigma they used to have. This bow has definitely stepped up the quality, it's stepped up a lot of things, I feel like, for a lot of the other companies to match. Last year, I feel like it made a big splash, especially locally. Everybody has really been impressed with the Bow Madness 34.


PSE Bow Madness 34 Specs

Now the specs on this bow: 34 1/4" axle to axle and it also features a really long riser. That's probably one of the longest risers in PSE's hunting lineup, nearly as long as the Full Throttle. You've got 34 1/4" axle to axle and a 6" brace height. Now don't let that scare you off. That's the only thing that folks are kind of hesitant about when they call in to ask me questions about it or to order one is, "what about the 6" brace height?" 

Well, I'll let the guys at PSE explain that to you if you'll stop over on the YouTube page and check out the dynamic brace height video, and that will really clear a lot of things up and really put into light exactly what X-Force technology can do and what it's all about and why everyone wants to copy it, if you notice a lot of designs are that way now. 


IBO Speed

So you've got the 6" brace height, 342' per second IBO. It officially lists 338' to 342', and we're seeing speeds around 340'+. Some bows with custom strings, nothing done special to custom strings just standard, same thread count and everything as factory strings, we're getting upward of 345', so pretty sweet numbers there.

It's 80% let off, and it weighs 5.8 lb just as I'm hold it, bare bow's right at 4.2 lb. So it's not a very heavy bow at all, and surprisingly it doesn't weigh hardly any more than the Bow Madness 32 and the Brute Force bows. The only one lighter is the Drive R, so that's pretty cool. 


Draw Length Range

It's got a 24 1/2" to 30 1/2" inch draw length range, so you've got a really good range there for women, young adults, and men as well to shoot this bow so it appeals to a wide variety and you get good nock travel at all those draw lengths. We've really not had issues tuning-wise from different draw lengths and different draw length ranges on the Bow Madnesses.

The cams are very well designed and they are only found on the Bow Madness 32 and 34. Excellent hybrid cam technology on this one. 


Limb Options

You've got 40-60 lb limbs, 55-75 lb limb options, unfortunately no 50 lb limb option at this time without ordering custom. But also you can get this in camo, the Country Camo from Mossy Oak is just beautiful, but this bow in hand in the Skullworks 2, which is also a fantastic color, probably my favorite. And they also offer a matte black bow for the Bow Madness 34, but it does not come as a RTS. Only your Country Camo and Skullworks 2 bows will come as RTS standard, so keep that in mind when you go order or talk to someone about getting one of these bows is the color change there.


No Left-Hand Option - Yet

Now something else very strange, and I've still not got a straight answer from the factory on this, no left-hand option. Really? C'mon! Y'all make a left-hand one of these bows, PSE. C'mon Bobby. Y'all can do that. Hook us up next year with that. I've got a ton of guys out there and y'all know exactly who you are that are wanting a Bow Madness 34 but they don't offer left-hand. Only gripe I've got against the bow, but y'know, we'll go on from there, that's OK.


Price & Ready to Shoot Packages

So this bow it runs $699 bare, which is a steal. 340'+ IBO and a 34" axle to axle with a very premium quality materials built into this bow, it's hard to beat that - by far hard to beat that.

It's also $849 ready to shoot, and this is the platinum RTS package. What that gives you is the Strider 5 Pin Sight, Quick Shot Biscuit, the Spire Stabilizer, the Raven 5 Arrow Quiver, a red 1/4 inch Peep, and a D Loop as well as the PSE sling that's made from neoprene. So pretty cool package there, it's one of the better packages that I think anybody offers on the market today. It's also offered on the Drive R and Bow Madness 32, so same accessories between all three bows.

It also has the Backstop 3 string stop, which is normal, nothing really big changes there. It's also got PSE premium strings which I found to be really good, not having a lot of peep rotation issues, things like that, the timing stays pretty well set. So really happy with that, that's something I didn't expect to be as good sometimes on a factory bow, but PSE's really stepped it up in the string department I feel like.

It's also got, of course, X-Force limb technology as we discussed previously and it's also got the Vibracheck dampeners on the limbs and the backstop also is Vibracheck rubber, so it tames some vibration, tames some noise. And that's something that I've found about these bows is they're really quiet, especially for the speed they put out. You can run a heavy aerial on these bows and still shoot good numbers. I'm just really impressed with these bows

But my impression really doesn't matter until we take it on the range and shoot a few shots through it, so here we go. 


PSE Bow Madness 34 Range Test

Alright guys, we've got the Bow Madness 34 here on the range. We're going to draw this bow and shoot this bow a few times, kind of get an idea of how it's going to act in the real world. I don't expect it to change any consider it's pretty much the same bow as last year, the strings are just improved and the colors are a lot sharper - but colors really don't change draw cycle. But it does look cooler, so there's that. 

Alright let's draw this thing back. Let's give it a couple draws and make an opinion. Aw, that's sweet right there. Let's anchor off. Good string angle, good string angle, good back wall, it's really solid. Just enough cushion to where it don't upset the bow if you pull into it hard, but just stiff enough that you'll never know you pulled into it. It's really sweet. Alright, here we go. 

The sound of the hit there, it hit the targets pretty loud but the bow itself and after testing these and shooting these and selling them, these bows are really quiet, especially for the speeds they put out. And as sweet as the draw cycle is, it's impressive that they can put out that kind of speed. 

Let's give it another shot. See we've got peak weight there, peak weight there and it eases off pretty quick, actually. Let's see - peak weight, peak weight, eases off. So you only draw peak weight about a little over a quarter of the draw, so that's not too bad at all there. Shot here - whoa! Snapped another arrow, that's never good! Pretty sweet shooting bow, I'd say. 

Something else that I want to mention about this bow is the grip. I feel like it's the right size, it's very consistent for me personally, and I've found it to be consistent for my customers as well and for all of our viewers out there. Here's the grip up close, to kind of give you an idea. But the grip is very narrow. I don't really have issues as far as that goes, being too narrow, this one's not, it's just the right fit. I feel like to get a good torque-free grip if you hold your bow the right way, which isn't really hard with this bow. It really channels your hand in there right, 45 degree angle, so pretty comfortable there. 

Where your thumb sits is really comfortable I feel like too. The only gripe, some people they feel like that their thumb knuckle gets worn a little bit, touches a little bit there, but really about every bow I've shot is pretty much that way to an extent, so no gripe there. I really like how it contours up and goes off at an angle right in here for your thumb. I feel like that's really repetitive, really comfortable to shoot. Pretty impressed with that, pretty happy with these bows, have been with these bows for a while due to that.

The draw cycle is really, really sweet. The let off's good, the valley's good. I'm going to show you how well the valley is. OK, let's anchor off. I like to do the "get lazy" test as we've seen in this year's videos. 

Let's see, let's get all lazy with it here. Getting lazier...I've almost bent my arm by the time this thing tries to go, so you can get pretty lazy with it considering I go from here to down here before it really even tries to move on me. And even when it does, it's recoverable if it moves very far, and you've got probably an inch and a half of valley to play with there before it really lets down and goes with you. So let me go and make this shot, before it goes down with you. 

So trying to hold it back is really not going to be an issue hunting. I've got a lot of guys that are shooting these bows that have got shoulder problems, have got different issues with drawing and holding the bow, but with this bows they don't have those issues. I've even got some guys going from really high let off bows to these because the let off's just low enough that it keeps you honest but it's not so low that it's trying to pull you like a lot of bows are. For a 340'+ IBO bow, I'm really surprised that this one doesn't want to drag you down. That's pretty impressive. As we've seen with the Bow Madness 32 and the Drive R and the Bruce Force, they're all that way as well.

So a really sweet set up. The Bow Madness cams are fantastic. Really good draw and you get good nock travel out of these throughout all the draw length adjustments. That's something that a lot of bows are not able to do is give you good nock travel, which really translates to being easier to tune, especially on the shop end, is having good nock travel. That helps a lot. 

Let's make one more shot with this bow while we're here. Very impress with this draw cycle. That's definitely going to be a high point of this bow and of this bow is the draw cycle this bow can put out. That's something I want you to go test for yourself because I know everybody shoots a little bit different. But for me and those that I've recommended this bow to, and have called in and said "man, I watched the video and went and bought the bow and it's exactly what you said," I feel like this is probably one of the best bows you'll probably shoot, especially for under a thousand bucks.

One more draw. Just simple smooth draw. When you hit the draw stop, if you hit it really hard, the bow will upset a little bit, but for the most part as soon as you hit the stop especially gentle if the bow's already aimed, set in there and steady, so you're not going to have trouble there aiming at a few of these targets. It just holds right in there. OK, let's make a shot. 

Really impressed with how this bow shoots. All the shootabilty and easy to shoot has got to come at a price, but it's not speed, it's not draw cycle, it's not vibration. Really not sure the only cost is just the $700 to get in one. But with that sets, let's put it on the speed test and see how it goes. 


PSE Bow Madness 34 Speed Test

We've got the Bow Madness 34 sitting in front of our Pro Chrono. I know a few of you guys are asking about what kind of chronograph we use, we use the Pro Chrono with the light kit. If you've got one at home you can test it to get your numbers. They say these things have a 3% curve on the speed, so maybe a little variance between all the chronographs. But we've not done any tricks or anything like that. This is just as this bow came out of the box, shot it in, shot it for the review, and now we're here at the chronograph so this is literally exactly how it comes out of the box - no tuning.

That said, we're set at a 29 1/2" draw, though we have the module on 29. We've also got a 58 lb draw weight. With all that in mind, we're going to take our 350, 400, and 450 grain arrows and should them through here and show you exactly what this thing is going to do in the real world. 

Here we go, starting with the 350 grain arrow. We have 295' per second. Pretty sweet for 58 lb. 

Now, 400 grain arrow. I know a lot of you guys do ask what arrows we use to shoot. We believe in the Gold Tips. That said, we sell and work about everything, but the Gold Tips, we really like the Gold Tips. 400 grain Gold Tip Velocity, here we go. The draw cycle is so good on this bow, I'm so pleased with it. 278' per second for the 400 grain arrow. Really like that, really really like that. 

Now for our 450 grain arrow. This one actually weighs right at 475, where the others were exact. So 7 grains, eh. I don't think that'll make much difference. Let's go ahead and shoot this one through here. This is the real interesting one. 450 shot 265' per second. Pretty happy with those numbers. If you take a look at our other videos and compare them to the Bow Madness 32 and Drive R I'm going to kind of tell you what we're looking at. 

Now that we've got some speed numbers out of the way, let's go get my final thoughts on the 2016 PSE Bow Madness. 


Review Conclusion

Welll guys, my final thoughts on the 2016 PSE Bow Madness 34. This is probably nearly the best bow in the lineup from PSE. I'm not going to say the best, cause the best is kind of all encompassing, but this is probably one of the very best in their lineup.

I pitted this bow against a lot of other companies' flagship model bows and things like that customers brought in and customers came into to try this bow as well as all the other brands. Which is something we tell people, is to go shoot every brand. We may shoot PSE, but that's not to say there's not a lot of great bows out there that may fit you better or may not fit you as well. So I encourage you to shoot everything. You're not going to find a lot of reviews to go shoot everything they make even though we're a dealer but as always with our reviews, we want to tell you the real world how these bows are and if they're worth buying or not. 

On my "worth buying or not" scale, this is definitely very well worth buying. It's one of the best bows you're probably going to shoot. It's got a smooth draw, no dips in the valley in the draw cycle into the valley, no dumping, none of that. Really good there. The packaging out of the box if you're wanting to order a package bow is fantastic, I have no complaints there. The speed is fantastic. It's quiet, it's easy to shoot. 

I can take one of these myself and shoot some of the best indoor scores I've shot as far as a hunting bows' concerned with one of these bows as far as 3D and shooting in the yard playing with my buddies I can really shoot this bow under pressure, it's very nice. Not to toot my own horn unless my own horn sounds good and then you can. I think I can really shoot this bow well and I think a lot of you guys can too. 

We've got lots of customers shooting these bows that have called in and said, "man that was exactly what you said it was." It shoots good, it draws good. We've got guys that's came in that were older, had bad shoulders, didn't think they could really shoot a higher performance bow any. But one of these, turned it down to 50, 55 pounds, shoot it no problem, shoot it all day. Pretty wild there. Maybe we can get some of those guys on video to show y'all what we're talking about. 

Something else I want to touch on before we go - this bow comes out of the box measuring 29 1/4" draw with the draw board, and it measured 59.5 pounds. After all the review and after shooting it through the chronograph, which is what we do last, we come out to 29 1/2" on the draw board, measured exact AMO style with 58 pounds. So it dropped a little bit of weight.

Let's look at the cam timing. It has barely changed. So really not a lot of difference there, and we probably shot this bow a hundred times during this review between takes and things like that. Between shooting it beforehand as well just to seek the string in, to kind of give you a real world how this bow is going to act and speed, things like that. 

We hope you've enjoy our reviews, we've put a lot of effort and work into these things to bring them to you guys and show you what these bows are really like in the real world. We hope we've portrayed it exactly as it is and we have all along. I hope you're happy with these bows if you go out and buy one or if you call in with questions or want to buy one from us, I hope when it gets to you you're tickled pink with it. I know a lot of people have been already. 

If y'all want to get at us you can find us on Facebook at Better Outdoors Archery & Bowhunting, find us here on YouTube, of course. We've also got a new website where you can order and buy and check out. We've got a lot of cool information and a lot of cool stuff coming at betteroutdoors.net.

And of course, if you guys have got questions, anything at all, send us an email or give us a call at 870-475-DEER. If you're in the local area or here in Lepanto, which is about 50 minutes from the Memphis Bridge, y'all come see us. 

We appreciate your business and really appreciate you watching. Thanks everybody! 


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