Mathews Conquest Apex 7 Review

Mathews Conquest Apex 7

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Pros

  • Draw length range (23"-30.5")
  • Single cam offers easy initial specification setup
  • Excellent fit & finish
  • Comfortable grip
  • Meets advertised speed

Cons

  • Cam change is needed to modify draw length
  • Not a lightweight bow

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Editors' review

The Mathews Conquest Apex 7 offers a lot of the features wanted in a pure target bow.If you are looking for a pure target bow. Pumping out speeds up to 320 fps, the Conquest Apex 7 is one of the most popular Mathews target bows seen at indoor and 3D/field competitions. The length of this bow offers stability while a medium brace height of 7" offers the shootability that is sought after by serious archers. Many people are steered away from lighter target bows and the Conquest Apex 7 weighs in a 4.9 pounds which is a bit heavier than the norm. The preference of the shooter comes into play with the weight as many feel that a heavier bow is easier to hold on target. This very popular model should be considered by you when seeking your next target bow.

Finish

The finish on the riser of the Conquest Apex 7 holds up to the test of time and many older bows still have great color, whether is be black, red smoke, orange smoke, or blue smoke. Limb colors available are flat black or Realtree HD Camo, in case you are considering hunting with it. Target shooters enjoy keeping their equipment looking nice, and the anodized finish on the riser is much more durable than dipped or powder coated risers. The anodizing process does not hide machining marks as well as other methods, so you may notice small tooling marks in the riser cutouts, but this is worth the sacrifice for a more durable finish.

Riser & Limbs

A lot of the weight of the Conquest Apex 7 comes from the longer riser. The limbs still used on this bow are the older style limbs that were introduced prior to the SE series limbs, also contributing to the 4.9 lb total weight. The V-Lock Limb Cup System is still used, as it ensures proper limb alignment and a zero-tolerance fit between the limbs and riser, giving consistent and repeatable shot characteristics.

Grip

Popular on a lot of the Mathews target models, the Conquest Apex 7 features the Integral grip. If you have steered away from Mathews in the past because of the notoriety for bulky grips, then place your hand on the Integral grip of an Apex 7 and you will forget all you know about Mathews grips. The Integral grip is part of the riser and allows for repeatable hand placement every time. If you prefer to not shoot off of the riser, then there are aftermarket grips available that are sure to match your shooting style.

Eccentric System

The cam system on the Conquest Apex 7 allows the bow to reach speeds up to 320 fps. For a 7" brace height target bow, this is pretty fast and it even allows shorter draw archers the ability to shoot fast enough to compete in IBO and ASA shoots. Before hitting the range, all serious archers demand that their bows be tuned properly. This is easy to achieve with the single cam system of the Conquest Apex 7 as setting cam rotation, axle-to-axle, and brace height is a breeze. The metal inertia disc that has been placed in the StraightLine cam is used to counteract limb momentum after the shot, effectively killing vibration. Cams are available in half inch increments from 23" up to 30.5" and a cam change is needed to change draw length. It is a known fact that target shooters prefer a higher holding weight at full draw to give a more consistent shot, the 65" let-off of the Apex 7 achieves that.

Draw Cycle / Shootability

In order to achieve speeds of 320 fps, the Conquest Apex 7 has a slightly stiffer draw than slower target bows, but it is nothing that should scare you away. If you are interested in only shooting it indoors, then a 60 pound max model may be what you are looking for, but if you want the speed out on the 3D course, then you can still have a decently smooth drawing 70 pounder. The steadiness at full draw is unreal. After the release, there is little to no vibration, unless you are shooting a model without the string suppressors, in which case, you will notice more vibration.

Silencing Package

Harmonic dampers and string suppressors are the heart and soul of the silencing package on the Conquest Apex 7. A total of 4 harmonic dampers are used, 2 in the riser, and 2 in the roller guard. The large dampers in the riser assist with stopping riser vibration after the shot, while the string suppressors at the ends of the limbs keep the string from going through unnecessary oscillations after the shot. Some models did not come with the string suppressors but they are definitely quieter without them. All in all, the silencing package that is now available on the Conquest Apex 7 (including string suppressors) does what it should and a quiet shot is achieved every time.

Comparison: Conquest Apex 7 vs Conquest Apex 8

The overall look, shape, and feel of these two bows is initially the same, but some key differences may strike your eye immediately. The axle-to-axle length of the Apex 7 is 4.25 inches shorter than that of the Mathews Conquest Apex 8, but the Apex 8 is slightly heavier. The advantage in the category would have to go to the Apex 8 for target applications, and the Apex 7 for hunting application. The overall weight of the two is very close, so there is no real big difference there. Due to the 7" brace height as compared to an 8" brace height, the Apex 7 is about 10 fps faster than the Apex 8. For indoor spot shooting, speed isn't a factor but on the 3D course speed is a huge factor. Once again, there are different winners for different applications since an 8" brace height bow would be slightly more forgiving than a 7" brace height bow. The draw length ranges of each are different with the Apex 7 ranging from 23.5" to 30.5" and the Apex 8 ranging from 25.5" to 31.5". The Apex 8 does not come with string suppressors at the limb tips while the newer Apex 7 bows do. This should be left up to personal preference as a lot of top pro shooters do not use the string suppressors on their Apex 7 bows. The decision between these should be based on your past experience with target bows and what applications you want to use it for.
Bow Mathews Conquest Apex 7 Mathews Conquest Apex 8
Version 2013 2013
Picture Mathews Conquest Apex 7 Mathews Conquest Apex 8
Brace Height 7 " 8 "
AtA Length 38 " 42.25 "
Draw Length 23 " - 30 " 25 " - 32 "
Draw Weight 40 lbs - 70 lbs 40 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed 320 fps 310 fps
Weight 4.5 lbs 5.0 lbs
Let-Off 65% 65%
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Usage Scenarios

The Apex 7 is considered a target bow by most, although a lot of people prefer to hunt with it. If you are okay with shooting a 38" axle-to-axle bow while hunting, then you will be hard pressed to find a more forgiving hunting bow than the Apex 7. At speeds of up to 320 fps, the Apex 7 can be found all over 3D courses as it allows shorter draw archers the ability to reach higher speeds. The sacrifice of 1" of brace height from the Apex 8 is worth it when achieving high speeds is a factor. Since the draw length and draw weight ranges are so broad, the Apex 7 is usable by a very large percentage of the market, making resale easy.

Value

The value of the Conquest Apex 7 is hard to see for archers who are not used to spending top dollar for precision equipment. At an MSRP of $1249, only a small portion of shooters would even consider a purchase. If you plan on using the Apex 7 for hunting, 3D, and indoor shooting, then the price tag should not scare you away. Serious archers demanding high quality bows will not have a problem with the price tag, but if you shoot only occasionally then there are definitely better options out there.

Summary

The Conquest Apex 7 is one of the most widely used Mathews bows for 3D and target shooting, and that is due to its great blend of speed and forgiveness. If you demand a quick bow that is easy to hold on target, the Apex 7 meets your needs. This bow meets advertised speeds and is almost shock and vibration free and if the price tag for a new one is too stiff, then consider buying a used bow since they hold up very well and a quality bow can be had at a reasonable price. Try one out and see why so many are still being used today.




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