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APA Black Mamba MX1

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At one time, APA Innovations was a company known primarily for its line of arrow rests. Today, however, it is more common to hear of APA referred to as a top-notch bow manufacturer producing rigs with blazing speed, unique features and surprisingly little shock, vibration or noise.

The 2009 Black Mamba MX1 is an eye catcher with its trademark Fang structure found on the riser, limb pockets and cams. Beyond the "look," each MX1 is loaded with features such as their Extreme Venom Dual cams, built-in Utility Tool Center and many noise and vibration dampening features, including past parallel limbs, string suppressor, limb silencers and cable guard dampener.

Toolbox With A Handle
APA bows feature risers unique in form and function. All bows in the APA line feature a patented bow carrying system and support structure that consists of a forward facing strut that protrudes forward of the grip portion of the riser in an enclosed loop. The strut is center balanced and machined with a molded grip section to act as a carrying handle. The bottom portion of the loop houses the APA Utility Tool Center, which has a new Cam Lock Press feature for 2009.

This new tool allows the archer to change strings and cables without a bow press. The process is quick and simple and may prove to be a lifesaver for anyone on an extended trip into the wilderness. Also found in the Utility Tool Center is a field ready broadhead wrench, nock wrench and carbide blade sharpener. Furthering the MX1's usefulness is a forward-facing Fang structure near the top of the riser -- another APA exclusive.

The Utility Tool Center on the riser is one of the most unique features of this bow. It includes a nock wrench, carbide sharpener and broadhead wrench.

The Fang reaches out to hook over the top of small branches for a quick and easy in-the-field bow hanger. I tested the Tool Center, including the new Cam lock, and all tools worked as intended. Other riser features include a two-piece wood grip, straight carbon rod cable guard, stainless steel stabilizer-mounting insert and a film dipped Vanish Hybrid camo finish.

Pocket Performance With Looks
Continuing with the "Choose Your Venom" theme, APA outfits the MX1 with a limb pocket designed with their trademark fang shaped structure. The Fang pocket is more than just a cool looking component. It is machined from aluminum and, more importantly, pivots during the weight adjustment process. A pivoting pocket maintains its position in relation to the limbs while the entire pocket moves in relation to the riser. This action offers more control and precision and is generally considered superior to a system that allows the limb to move in relation to the pocket.


APA chooses industry standard Gordon Composite materials for their limb manufacturing. Limbs measure 13€‰1„2 inches long and are reinforced at the tips. Probably the most important limb feature is the past parallel position at full draw. Limbs in a parallel or past parallel position create an equal and opposite distribution of force in the limbs at the shot.

This causes much of the energy left over after propelling the arrow to be cancelled out. The result is significantly reduced shock and vibration and increased shooter satisfaction. Peak draw weights of 60, 70 and 80 pounds are available.

Extended Striking Distance
Archers may find they can reach out a few yards beyond their usual comfort range with the new MX1, as it achieves terrific speeds and flatter trajectories. With a workable 6€‰1„8-inch brace height, the Extreme Venom Cams are advertised to produce IBO speeds up to 352 feet per second.

These dual cams generate 75 percent letoff and ride on sealed ball bearings and stainless steel axles for reduced friction and increased efficiency. Modules are used for draw length adjustments from 26-30 inches, in half-inch increments. Cams have additional fang-shaped features and are black anodized.

While testing the MX1 for its bowhunting abilities, I was impressed with how well balanced the bow was and the level of comfort while simply carrying it around or shooting repeatedly at the range. The lack of noticeable shock, vibration or noise will leave you wide-eyed when looking at the numbers on your chronograph.

Editor's Note: Our standardized High Grade testing includes the use of the same equipment and test methods. All bows are tested with a draw length of 29 inches and a draw weight of 65 pounds. Speed tests are conducted with two different arrow weights -- 375 grains and 425 grains. For more detailed information on the testing parameters, go to and click on "Bow Testing Parameters."

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