PSE Bow Madness XL Review

Compound Bow

Draw Weight

Draw Length

Brace Height

IBO Speed


AtA Length / Weight

PSE Bow Madness XL

PSE Bow Madness XL

See Today's Price on Cabelas

50, 60, 70 lbs.25" - 30"6"

How To Choose Arrows
340 FPS75%36" / 4.4 lbs.

- One of the cheapest flagship CBs
- Great shooting speeds at 28’’
- Excellent for target shooting and powerful enough for any hunting mission
- Not ideal for beginners
- Slightly noisy, though in a kind of “good” way
Compare prices across top hunting gear sellers

The PSE Bow Madness XL At a Glance

Welcome to our PSE Bow Madness XL (Ready – to – Shoot Package) Review. The Bow Madness XL is a flagship compound bow by PSE that is particularly well-suited for target practice, but is also great for hunting and 3D shooting. Coming with its own patented cam system, the Madness XL fills all the blank spots left by mid-level priced CBs. Let’s see what blank spots these are in the review below.

Package Contents and Assembly

The Ready-to-Shoot Madness XL Package comes with the following parts:

  • Aries multi-pin sight
  • QS Whisker Biscuit
  • Flexxtech stabilizer
  • Mongoose quiver
  • PSE neoprene sling
  • Peep sight
  • String and nock loop
  • Manual and warranty card.

Since this is a Ready-to-Shoot package, it needs no assembly, and you can start pinching arrows from the moment of unboxing it.

The PSE Bow Madness XL Eccentric System (cams)

This CB comes with its own patented ‘Fast Madness Single-Cam System.’ Basically a single cam system has a stationary, smooth wheel at the top and the driving cam (aka power cam) at the bottom. This makes it quieter and gives longevity compared to hybrid and twin cam systems, while also making the whole eccentric system very low-maintenance. So what makes the Madness cam so special? The bow’s let-off is 75%, which I find strikes an excellent balance between hunting and target practice feasibility. Please keep in mind that older versions of the bow (2009 and 2010) had a 65% – 80% let-off, which is no longer the case in 2012+ models.

Draw length on the bow can be adjusted from 25″ to 30″by simply using a key and turning the module on the cam. There’s no need for a bow press as with the older compound bows, and the whole procedure of changing the draw length takes no more than 20-30 seconds once you get the hang of it (which is very easy, even if you’ve never done it before, thanks to the included manual).

Shooting Speed

Our results on the shooting speed are based on 350 grain carbon arrows. Though the company extrapolates the numbers to 340 fps (at 70 lbs. weight, 350 grain arrows and 30″ draw length), our findings rate an average of 310 FPS using the following, more common shooting parameters:

– 350 grain arrows
– 60 lbs draw weight
– 29″ draw length

This is a very respectable result and makes the Madness XL one of the fastest bows you can get. For more concrete information, please see our guide on figuring out your bow’s REAL speed to calculate how fast your bow will actually be, depending on your settings.

Kinetic Energy of the PSE Bow Madness XL Compound Bow

Here we have determined the speeds based on various weights, draw lengths and using different arrows. Our averages yielded the following results:

  • 70 lbs. / 30″ draw / 350 grain arrows: 77-81 ft-lbs KE
  • 70 lbs. / 30″ draw / 425 grain arrows: 80-83 ft-lbs KE
  • 60 lbs. / 28″ draw / 425 grain arrows: 59-61 ft-lbs KE
  • 50 lbs. / 28″ draw / 425 grain arrows: 50-53 ft-lbs KE

The values above are, as usual, for a point-blank shot. Always subtract about 1.7 – 1.9 ft-lbs. from the above numbers for every 10 yards from your target.

The Bow’s Draw Cycle

Single cam CBs are meant to be much smoother on the draw as mentioned earlier. Though this is slightly off for the Bow Madness XL. The draw is a bit aggressive (though very smooth), and the valley at the end of the draw cycle is somewhat narrow. However, this fact is offset by a very stable and dependable back wall. It is here that beginners will find handling of the CB a little difficult, but what flagship CB is made with beginners in mind these days. When the arrow is released, the bow does not sway to the sides and remains pretty much 100% stationary.

Noise Levels And Vibration

Though this bow was designed to suppress noise, the ‘twang’ after shooting the arrow will likely ring in your ear for a split second. Personally though I’ve found the sound to be quite soothing and I’ve actually enjoyed it, as strange as it sounds. A hush kit is also included, which is a set of noise dampeners installed on both the top and bottom limb, and which absorb a significant amount of any residual energy generated.

The aftershock of shooting the arrow doesn’t last as much as the sound. The vibration, though prominent in the beginning, doesn’t last more than a few milliseconds. Also, you can add extra dampeners, such as an additional string stop or a cable guard silencer. These additions will make vibration pretty much non-existent, also reducing noise levels.

Using the PSE Bow Madness XL Compound Bow for Hunting

Please refer to the “Kinetic Energy” section earlier in this review and use the chart below to figure out more or less what type of game you can harvest with specific settings of the Madness XL.

Kinetic Energy:You Can Hunt:
< 25 ft-lbsSmall Game (groundhog, rabbit, wild turkey)
25-41 ft-lbsMedium Game (Antelope, Whitetail deer)
42-65 ft-lbsLarge Game (black bear, wild boar, elk)
> 65 ft-lbsLargest Game (Grizzly bear, Cape buffalo, Musk Ox, African elephant)

Without a doubt, the BM XL is a solid bow for any hunter. The great FPS at 28’’ draw length, and the awesome smoothness while shooting highly increases the dependability of the bow. You can feel its power and focus on hitting your target, as the MB XL will take care of the other miscellaneous things like arrow speed, let-off, and back wall. With a 36″ axle-to-axle length, it might be a little too big for some hunter’s liking, especially if you are used to hunting from a tree stand with very limited maneuvering space; still though, the bow definitely should not be considered “long” by any means. It weighs 4.4 lbs., which is light enough to make it easy to carry around in the field.

Value For The Money

On a blind note, this is one of the least expensive flagship models on the market. The price has decreased over the years (released in 2009), and buying it now for 799$ with a Ready-to-Shoot kit is a respectable deal. Not a cheap bow, but worth the money.

Limbs, Riser & Grip

A chief advantage of using a 36″ AtA bow is its accuracy regardless of how far the target is positioned away from you. With a low brace height of 6’’, the straight riser is far less likely to move or vibrate, and has nearly zero torque while shooting. The bow has short, pre-loaded split limbs, which help reduce vibration and very slightly increase shooting speed due to less resistance exerted by the air against the limbs as they accelerate.

The patented Vibracheck backstop is positioned right below the grip and prevents the string from vibrating, absorbing almost all residual energy. The Raptor grip is countered, allowing your fingers to rest very comfortable and prevents blisters from developing. This grip will fit palms of all sizes equally well in my opinion. It really does make the bow a pleasure to shoot and is one of the best things about PSE’s compounds.

PSE Bow Madness XL Compound Bow Review – Summary

Thank you for reading our PSE Bow Madness XL review. Definitely a bow that’s worth your money and one of the better flagship compounds on the market. Not suitable for beginners however due to the somewhat demanding draw cycle, which will make learning proper form and technique challenging. The bow offers great value for those who want to do a lot of target and 3D shooting, while also occasionally taking it out on a serious hunt. The valley is narrow though – please remember that. See Cabela's current price and customer reviews on the of the PSE Bow Maness XL.

Best Compound Bow Source © 2013 - 2016