This spring I had the opportunity to test the 2020 APA Mamba 33 MT. As a die-hard bow hunter, I thought it fitting to test the Mamba not only at the range but also on a 3-week spring bear hunt. I figured that some real-world testing would give bow hunters some insight into not only how the bow performs in controlled circumstances but also how it works in the field, in the weather and under pressure.
Technical Specs from apaarchery.com:
IBO Speed up to – 353 fps
Brace Height – 6 7/16”
Let Off – 80%
Axle to Axle – 33 3/8”
Physical Weight – 3.8 lbs
Draw Weights – 40, 50, 60, 70, *80, *90 (*Additional Charge)
Draw Lengths – 25.5” – 31.5”
Kinetic Energy – 96.87 @ 70 lbs
Loaded for Bear:
The Mamba 33 MT comes from the factory fully loaded with more bells and whistles than most bows on the market. This includes their micro tune technology which offers the user precise tuning and cam timing without the need for a bow press. Having the ability to make these adjustments on the fly and without the need for a press had me messing around with the Micro Tune in the field to get shop tune results without having to bring my bow anywhere.
The Riser Fang, which is an APA staple not only looks cool but serves a real-world purpose. To be able to hang your bow on a branch or limb without needing to screw in a bow hanger. It also works well when you break for lunch and can just chuck the bow onto the nearest tree branch and avoid laying your bow in the mud or on your pack.
The carrying handle that is built onto the front of the riser supposedly creates some forward weight as well as increasing stiffness in the riser and decreases hand shock. I can’t say that I noticed any egregious hand shock from this bow and the carrying handle is certainly a nice feature when you’re walking in the your blind or tree stand and don’t want to mount your bow on your pack. I put untold miles on during my bear hunt and most of the time I used the carrying handle instead of mounting the bow. The overall light weight of the bow (which comes out of the box at a more than reasonable 3.8 lbs) made it a joy to carry around through the woods and logging trails for days on end.
A few of the other nice features built into the Mamba are an onboard knife sharpener, which in a pinch can sharpen a two blade broadhead quickly, a nock wrench and a broadhead wrench. Finally, the cam lock pin which slides into the front of the riser just above the stabilizer insert allows you to easily make adjustments ranging from fixing a string to installing a peep sight without the need for a bow press. This last came in especially handy as I had neglected to tie in my peep before heading out on my hunt and it collapsed. I simply stepped on the string, used the carry handle to put some load on the cams and locked a cam in place with the pin which gave me enough slack in the string to fix my peep. All in about 2 minutes. Even if you forget to lock the pin down after using it, the stabilizer will keep the pin from falling out and getting lost.
So, how does it shoot?
I put about 100 arrows through the Mamba at my local range to get a feel for the bow before heading out on my hunt. The dual cam setup draws smooth and with an 80% let off that allows you to hold at full draw for days. The draw stop is solid and the allows for the shooter to use the wall to great advantage. The grip is comfortable, and the bow is incredibly stable at throughout the shot process. I never found the bow wanting to cant even with a quiver mounted, and at 33 1/8” axle to axle the bow is long enough that it is incredibly forgiving, but short enough not to be a pain in a ground blind. With an IBO speed of up to 353 fps the Mamba flings arrows at breakneck speed, although of course IBO speeds differ from real world speeds, you are still getting into a fast and flat shooting bow.
The last thing I’ll say about shooting this bow is that it is whisper quiet. In fact, this might be the quietest bow I have ever shot and that goes a long way when you’re about to drop the hammer on a big bruin or a trophy whitetail.
The Mamba that I shot came mounted with an APA Twister Top Load rest, and it is well worth the price of admission at $124.00 CAD. The rest is reliable in the field, accurate, easily adjustable and super quiet. I’ll be ordering couple of these rests immediately.
Fit and Finish:
Out of the box the Mamba 33 MT is a gorgeous bow to behold. Everything is assembled with laser accuracy and the bow feels and looks both high tech and high quality. Everything functions as it should and the Soft Touch Armour which is what APA calls their bow coating is rubberized to increase the durability of the finish. It is also designed to minimize contact noise and vibration. Does it work though? In short, yes. Of course, you’re still going to hear an arrow shaft bouncing off the riser, however it’s definitely a duller less resonating sound. APA also claims that their Soft Touch Armour acts as a light insulator, making the bow warmer to the touch on colder days. I call it just plain comfortable.
After spending three weeks in the field and up against all matter of weather, wind and temperatures, the Mamba 33MT is a top shelf performer that any bow hunter would be proud to shoot day after day for years to come. While the price tag isn’t exactly pork and beans starting at $1374.00 CAD bare, the Mamba is a solid investment and worthy of any bow hunters hard earned dollars.
By Staff Writer-Noel Linsey