Mathews Chill R Review
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Editors' reviewMathews has reintroduced the Chill in a longer axel-to-axel package for 2014 in the Chill R. With a brace height of just over 6-inches, a 33-inch axel-to-axel measurement, a mass weight of just under 4-pounds, and 342 feet per second, the Chill R looks really great on paper. It is tough to find things wrong with the Mathews bow, but if shooters are looking hard to find something, it could be the spongy back wall. The wall is not as solid as some on the market today, but then again not everyone desires a solid back wall either. Those disappointed with the short axel-to-axel measurement of the Chill last year, will be pleased with the new Chill R for 2014. Like every archery decision, the final call will come down to personal preference, but the Chill r is sure to win over many shooters in the market for a new rig.
FinishMathews offers the new Chill r in a variety of finish patterns that live up to the high standards of the company. Mathews has a tough, durable finishing process, that leaves the grid lock risers completely covered and looking nice. The Chill R is offered in five separate finish options. Like last year, the default limb graphics are blue, but depending on the finish option chosen, they can be a different color as well. The Lost Camo pattern is Mathews signature camo specifically designed for Mathews. The Chill R is offered in this pattern for shooters wanting a camo bow with blue limb graphics. There is an all-black option for shooters that want that as well. This has blue limb graphics, on all black limbs to match the all black riser. The tactical pattern has been a popular offering for Mathews in the past as well. This pattern has a black riser, limbs that have a carbon fiber look, with the blue Chill R limb graphics. The Blue Ice offering adds a bit of color to the all-black offering by adding blue accents and limb pockets to match the limb graphics. The final pattern is completely new and called the Desert Tactical pattern. This option has a goldish finish covering the limbs and riser with the limb decals matching the color scheme. This is a new color, and is a bit too early to say how popular it is going to be. Regardless of which pattern is chosen, they all look wonderful and will be free of blemishes.
RiserThe Geo Grid Lock riser has been a staple on Mathews bows for several years. This technology adds a great deal of strength while making the riser as lightweight as possible. With a 33-inch axel-to-axel measurement, and a riser length of 23.647-inches, the overall bare bow weight is still an impressive 3.95-pound. Many shooters prefer their rig to weigh in below the 4-pound mark, and although the Chill R barely meets the mark, it is what many prefer. The riser is also equipped with several noise and vibration dampening technologies helping the Chill R be as shock free as possible. The harmonic stabilizer lite and harmonic dampener is inserted in to the riser mounting holes to help rid the riser of vibration. The Dead End String Stop Lite is used to stop the string after the arrow has been shot. It also does a fantastic job at reducing vibration and eliminates noise as well. These three dampeners work well together to make the Chill R a silent shooting bow. The Reverse Assist roller guard is another riser technology utilized to give shooters the best experience possible. The roller guard reduces cable friction as the bow is being drawn. It also works differently than other roller guards by placing the cables on the front side of the roller instead of the back side of the roller. The fully contained roller has less tension as well. It also keeps the cable away from the sight picture window.
GripMathews has offered two distinct styles of grips the past few years, and the trend continues for 2014. The wooden walnut grip has been a signature for Mathews bows for a long time. It adds a sense of craftsmanship and design that let shooters know they are shooting a quality bow. Although this grip is an option, the Chills R is equipped from the factory with a rubber Focus grip instead. The Focus grip is much skinnier that the wooden grip, and fits a little better in many shooters hand. The walnut grip is comfortable, but the bigger size has been tough for some shooters to adjust to in the past. Although the grips are completely different in terms of looks and how they feel, they are both great options for shooters based on what feels best.
LimbsThe Chill R is equipped with split limbs similar to those on the Chill and MR series bows offered in the past. There are no dampeners placed on the split limbs from the factory like many other companies with split limb designs, but aftermarket dampeners are available for anyone wanting to add them for a smoother release. Many shooters will find additional dampeners are not needed as the Chill R is already shock free. However, the option to add them is one many will appreciate. Limbs are offered in ten-pound increments with maximum draw weights of 50, 60, and 70-pounds.
Eccentric SystemThe all new Dyad AVS (Advanced Vectoring System) powers the Chill R to IBO speeds up to 342 feet per second. The perimeter weighted cam system transfers the cables from one side of the cam to the other side of the cam during the draw cycle. The result is an easier draw cycle and more stored energy for hard hitting arrows and fast speeds with less effort from the shooter. The Dyad AVS perimeter weight works in the opposite direction as the limbs after the arrow is released. The movement cancels out vibration as well helping the Chill R produce even less vibration. The cam is adjustable in half-inch increments from 23.5-29.5-inches with the use of modules. The modules are not too expensive, but will need to be purchased in order to change the draw length. The Dyad AVS cam also features an 80% letoff.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityThe Monster series has always had a substantial following in the hunting world and as a 3D bow. This rig is very versatile in large part because of the draw cycle. The draw is great for a speed bow. The transitions are manageable; there is no hump before going in to the back wall. The back wall is one of the most controversial aspects of a draw cycle, and really comes down to personal preference based on what each shooter wants. The Chill R back wall is a little spongy if shooters pull hard into the back well. Although there is a bit of give, some shooters prefer this type of feel for shooting. Some will love it, and others will hate it, but the great thing about archery is the number of options available to fit each shooter. While holding the bow on target, it is rock solid. There is not desire for the string to creep forward, and shooters have a little room to relax without the string wanting to move forward. Holding on target is effortless as well. The bow does a nice job settling on target as well. After the shot, the bow remains on target. Without accessories added, there is a bit of a kick, but with accessories added, the Chill R continues to hold on target after the arrow is shot. The Chill R is not for everyone, but its performance is top notch and will make many shooters very happy.
Usage ScenariosThe Chill R is a wonderful multipurpose bow. Following the shorter axel-to-axel Chill, which was primarily a hunting bow, the 33-inch measurement of the Chill R is a bit nicer for use anywhere. The color options also make it an option for all types of shooting as well. With a $999 price tag, shooters will welcome the possibility for the bow to be used year round instead of being limited to part of the year.
Mathews Chill R vs. Mathews Chill
|Bow||Mathews Chill R||Mathews Chill|
|Brace Height||6.125 "||7 "|
|AtA Length||33 "||30.5 "|
|Draw Length||23 " - 30 "||23 " - 30 "|
|Draw Weight||40 lbs - 70 lbs||50 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||342 fps||333 fps|
|Weight||3.95 lbs||3.90 lbs|
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There is not a huge difference between the feel of the two bows. They both draw well, hold well, and fell similar after the shot. The biggest difference between the two bows comes down to the longer axel-to-axel measurement, shorter brace height, and faster speed offered with the 2014 Mathews Chill R. Many shooters not interested in The Chill R wanted a longer bow and a bit more speed from the dual cams. The Chill R meets those demands. Those buying the Mathews Chill last year may not have a reason to spend $999 for the Chill R, but those wanting the changes mentioned will be very excited about the new bow this year.