PSE Mach 30 Review

By Christian Schauf

I asked PSE to send me one of their new Mach 30s to review for Field Ethos. “Dude, I’m not sure this is the bow for you; your draw length is too long, and it’s really more of a tree stand bow.”  

That made a lot of sense. If I was buying, I probably would have stopped there, but dammit, I had a job to do.  It’s true, I’d always shot longer axle bows – Mach 34, RX-7 Ultra, etc. I’m a 31” draw, and spend most of my time on foot with my bow. That being said, the new PSE Mach 30 has some features that intrigued me, like the integration (finally) of a quiver, and some bronze cams that just looked badass. Plus the FE crew wanted me to shoot it and give some feedback. Who was I to argue? 

In case you’re unaware, bows with an axle-to-axle of 30 inches or less are typically used for east of the Mississippi in tree stands and ground blinds. Since the bulk of my hunting is done out west in the Rockies, West Texas, or Africa- I’ve always chosen to carry a little longer bow. The string angle on a longer axle-to-axle typically makes it more stable for longer range shots and given you’re not in a tight spot up in a tree, a couple inches didn’t really matter much. Plus, when the Mach 30 came out the guys at PSE told me their “Full Draw Stability” geometry would make this 30” shoot more like a 32” or 33” from other manufacturers. I’d liked that feature in the Mach 34, and was curious what it’d do in the 30.

When the bow showed up I immediately noticed the weight difference over my previous bows—it’s stupid light. It also has that previously mentioned integrated quiver which seems like it should work on all the new bows and streamlines the whole setup. It looks sleek but simple—a far cry from the 80’s post-apocalyptic aesthetic we’re seeing in archery today. 

At the end of the day there are three things that matter for a bow: performance, consistency, and feel. You need the bow to draw smoothly and feel dead on the shot. This helps keep you from getting target panic or bracing for impact when the shot breaks. You need the bow to launch that arrow with speed for good trajectory and terminal ballistics, and you need it to shoot consistently and reliably to have repeatable results down range. 

Tuning, zeroing, and setup were a breeze, as has been the story with every PSE I’ve owned in the past few years. The Mach 30 utilizes PSE’s EZ 220 shim system, meaning you don’t have to pull the cams off the bow to shim it left or right. The draw mods can be adjusted with the bow fully built and doesn’t even need a press. 

Where the Mach 30 really shined was on the target and in the field. After flying to a hunt where I’m certain the baggage handlers had a game of left-handed rock toss with my bow case, I needed to confirm zero on the sight. Given that I was about to step off on a multi-day excursion, I sent only three arrows to confirm. Starting at 20 yards, I launched one arrow right into the center of the bag, then walked back to 40 and 60 dialing the sight. I’d been watching hunting videos on my phone during the flight and my eyes hadn’t yet readjusted to looking at anything at distance, so I had to walk back up to 20 yards to see the last two impacts and could clearly see all three arrows had fletching touchings from the exercise. 

Since then I’ve run this bow through the paces, from bouncing around in an old Jeep road hunting pigs to chasing elk in the Uintas and everything in between. My only complaint is that the draw length maxes out at 30” and that’s an inch too short for me. Needless to say, I’m eagerly awaiting a longer version from PSE- let’s hope they’re listening. 

Cost: $1800

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