May 20, 2020
By Jon E. Silks
PSE Archery produces one of the most versatile bow lineups in the world at its facilities in Tucson, Ariz. Forging ahead with new designs, technology, state-of-the-art equipment and talented personnel, the company is directed by owner and industry icon Pete Shepley. One of the technologies Pete and his team continues to improve on is their carbon riser. This year, PSE brings all of its expertise to bear in the new Carbon Air Stealth Mach 1.
The Carbon Air Stealth Mach 1 brings an improved grip to the one-piece monocoque carbon riser that is also home to the Roller Glide cable-containment system, Back Stop string stop and metal stabilizer-mounting insert. The Evolve Cam System works with a set of 98X split limbs to speed arrows downrange, while the X-Tech Speed Pockets ensure those limbs are precisely aligned to the riser through Wedge-Lock technology to promote consistency and accuracy.
Through what it calls a “lay up” process, PSE is able to optimally align carbon-fiber elements unidirectionally into a monocoque structural system. Monocoque, French for “single shell,” is a system in which the shell or skin actually bears both tensile and compressive forces — it is both the skin and stabilizing structure.
This carbon shell possesses a high strength-to-weight ratio, a natural resistance to adverse environmental conditions and proven ruggedness and durability. Carbon is warmer to the touch than metal for those cold days afield, and it reduces vibration. Additionally, PSE fills the inside of this hollow carbon riser with a proprietary acoustic core that further eliminates vibration and noise. Because carbon isn’t suitable for drilling and tapping, you’ll see a series of barrel nuts and inserts to accommodate the typical interfaces and attachments.
PSE redesigned the carbon riser’s grip through shape, size and angle adjustments to bring greater comfort and functionality to the shooter. The grip is built directly into the handle and has no secondary components.
PSE’s Evolved Cam System (ECS) is built to provide versatility in draw length and letoff. Through the Inner-Cam, it offers draw lengths from 25-30 1⁄2 inches in half-inch increments, and letoffs of 80, 85 or 90 percent. The system is advertised to generate IBO speeds reaching 332 fps. An easy-to-read sight window shows the letter that corresponds to each draw length to eliminate any confusion about positioning. The adjustable draw stop is built into the rotating Inner-Cam.
PSE machines the ECS from aircraft-grade aluminum, with each cam riding on bushings and stainless-steel axles. PSE Archery Livewire strings and cables are made with BCY 452X material. The cables are directly linked to one cam and yoked to the other, forcing unified rotation and a wide stance for stability that results in reduced cam lean.
All That Remains
PSE employs its Roller Glide cable-containment system, which uses individual rollers for each cable and a set of smaller rollers that allows the containment fixture to move along the solid carbon rod during the Mach 1’s draw and shot cycles. Shock and vibration are attacked through Vibracheck Shock Mods between the limbs, on the string-stop mounting rod and on the Back Stop string stop. A metal insert allows for repeatable and hassle-free stabilizer attachment.
You can’t get far with this bow before noticing how light it is — you can walk it through your fingers like a pencil and easily maneuver it with one hand. Even with accessories added, it is still notably lightweight. While there is a kick in the handle at the shot, it is not significant, and the vibration is short-lived. (A quality stabilizer killed the vibration.)
With only a rest and string loop installed, the bow proved markedly quiet as well. The minimal shock, vibration and shot noise equal a big win for such a lightweight bow. The integrated grip is PSE’s best on a carbon model to date, thanks to this year’s redesign. An easy draw, good balance and a steady follow-through — on top of the other performance markers — make the Carbon Air Stealth Mach 1 a home run for PSE.