Mathews Conquest Apex 8 Review

Mathews Conquest Apex 8

Average user rating

out of 1 user review


  • Extended draw length range (25"-32")
  • Single cam offers easy initial specification setup
  • Forgiving brace height (8")
  • Shootability and forgiveness
  • Comfortable grip
  • Excellent finish


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


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Editors' review

The Mathews Conquest Apex 8 is a great shooting bow and deserves a look if you want a bow that offers a long brace height, long axle-to-axle, and great stability. With speeds of up to 310 fps, there are certainly faster options on the market, but for indoor and field shooting speed should not be an issue. If you are at the higher end of the draw length range and shoot higher poundages, you should still be able to get 3D quality speeds out of the Apex 8 and have a bow that is forgiving and steady to hold. The 5 pound weight of this bow is a huge selling point to archers that prefer a heavier type of bow, as they feel that it is easier to hold on target, so your personal preference can tell you whether or not this bow is for you.


The finish on Mathews bows still tends to be the trend setter in the archery world. Even some of the older bows still have great color and the anodized finish on the riser is much more durable than the dipped camo finishes. Limbs for the Conquest Apex 8 are available in black or Realtree HD Camo, while the riser is available in black, red smoke, orange smoke, or blue smoke. Though the dipped finish is not as durable, it tends to hide tooling marks a little better than the anodized finish. Color selection should come down to your application choice, whether it be for hunting or target shooting only.

Riser & Limbs

The 5 pound total weight of this bow is achieved by the long riser. Forgiveness and shootability are crucial to all shooters, and the deflex riser design featured on the Conquest Apex 8 gives both. The older style limbs are still used on the Apex 8, and they are connected to the riser via the V-Lock Limb Cup System, ensuring proper alignment and a zero-tolerance fit.


The grip on the Conquest Apex 8 is integral to the riser, doing away with the need for the bulky wood grip that other models use. The Integral grip offers repeatable hand placement every time, giving a more consistent shot. If you are still one the prefers a wood grip, aftermarket grips are available to closely match what you are used to.

Eccentric System

The smooth drawing cam on the Conquest Apex 8 allows for speeds of up to 310 fps. At a brace height of 8", this speed is very respectable and to indoor shooters the speed may not be an issue at all. The speed should certainly be a factor in your decision. Achieving desirable speeds for 3D may be difficult if you shoot draw lengths less than 28". Initial setup tuning is a simple since the Conquest Apex 8 is a solo cam bow. Cam rotation, axle-to-axle, brace height, and idler lean can be set to specifications quickly and easily. The Perimeter Weight Apex 8 Cam has a metal inertia disk that has been placed strategically in an effort to reduce vibration by killing limb momentum after the shot. Cams are available for draw lengths from 25"-32" in half inch increments and a new cam is required to change draw length. The Apex 8 is only available in 65% let-off but this does not seem to pose a problem as this is the most desirable let-off for target shooters.

Draw Cycle / Shootability

With IBO speeds of only 310 fps, you can expect a reasonable smooth draw from the Conquest Apex 8. A lot of indoor shooters opt for the 60 pound model, making the draw even smoother. The Mathews string suppressors that go on the limb tips are NOT available on the Apex 8, giving this bow some vibration after the shoot. Target shooters see this vibration as "feedback" and do not see it as a big issue. The axle-to-axle length and the overall weight both help this bow hold rock steady on target and the 8" brace height gives it a great deal of forgiveness.

Silencing Package

String suppressors that are seen on other Mathews models are not available on the Conquest Apex 8. The only silencing package that you will see stock on this bow is harmonic dampers in the riser and roller guard. Two harmonic dampers can be seen in the riser and three smaller ones in the roller guard. These harmonic dampers work to dampen vibration after the shot giving a quieter shot sequence. The silencing package on a pure target bow is not as important as it would be on a hunting bow, but this bow can still be used to hunt with.

Comparison: Conquest Apex 8 vs Conquest Apex 7

BowMathews Conquest Apex 8Mathews Conquest Apex 7
Version 20132013
PictureMathews Conquest Apex 8Mathews Conquest Apex 7
Brace Height8 "7 "
AtA Length42.25 "38 "
Draw Length25 " - 32 "23 " - 30 "
Draw Weight40 lbs - 70 lbs40 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed310 fps320 fps
Weight5.0 lbs4.5 lbs
Let-Off65% 65%
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When comparing the Conquest Apex 8 and 7, you will notice a few key differences. The first visibly noticeable feature is the axle-to-axle lengths. The Apex 8 is 4.25" longer, coming in at 42.25" axle-to.axle and is slightly heavier. Not only is the Apex 8 longer, but it also has a higher brace height than the Apex 7, giving it more shootability. The Apex 8 is the winner in these categories for target shooters since longer axle-to-axle, longer brace heights, and heavier weights tend to be desired. Since the Apex 7 is 10 fps faster, it would be more suitable for 3D archers who cannot meet desired speeds with the Apex 8. The draw length ranges differ slightly as the Apex 8 has been designed to meet the needs of longer draw archers. Some of the Mathews Conquest Apex 7 models are available with string suppressors on the limb tips while the Apex 8 bows are not and each archer will have to decide whether or not they prefer the string suppressors. When deciding between these two bows, usage application should be considered.

Usage Scenarios

The Conquest Apex 8 can be used for target shooting or hunting, but is mainly considered a target bow. Having a 42.25" axle-to-axle measurement makes it hard to move around in the woods with shorter bows stealing the spotlight for hunters. The Apex 8 was designed with target shooters in mind, and this is reflected by the axle-to-axle length, brace height, and overall weight. 3D shooters should consider the speeds that they will be shooting before deciding on the Apex 8 as it may not meet speeds that are desired. A lot archers fall into the huge draw length range that is available with the Apex 8, but is may be more suitable for longer draw archers with the string angle that the long axle-to-axle produces. For shooters who shoot with fingers instead of mechanical releases, the string angle on the Apex 8 makes finger shooting easier.

Price considerations

A lot of machining goes into producing such a long riser bow, and the MSRP tag of $1249 reflects that. If this price scares you away, you should consider trying to find a used model Conquest Apex 8 as they can be picked up a lot cheaper than the MSRP price. The quality and craftsmanship that go into such a high performance bow will be appreciated by archers who demand such quality and are not afraid to pay for it. For casual 3D shooters, there are more affordable options out there.


Before making a purchase of a pure target bow, be sure and check out the Mathews Conquest Apex 8 if you prefer a long, heavy, forgiving bow. The Apex series bows can be seen all over 3D courses and indoor shoots as they have been very popular in the recent past. The single cam technology makes this bow easy to tune and work on, giving you a consistent shot every time. Using the same technology as the Conquest Apex that came out in 2005, this tried and true bow should be considered if the specifications meet your needs.

User Reviews

  • 1 review
  • ( out of 1 review for all versions)
Rock solid stability and forgiveness with good velocity.

Version: 2013 Mathews Conquest Apex 8


Pros: Holds on target while aiming with absolute stability. Incredible accuracy with good velocity. It isnt a speeed bow, but you will NEVER get a speed bow to shoot as accurately as this one.

Cons: Lack of vibration control and/or string supressor.

Full review:

There are those that would laugh at using this bow for hunting, but to each his own. I have arrived at the point where I cant stand the short stubby speed bows that are the rage in the market today. I did consider the Apex 7 as well but it didnt seem to hold/aim as solid. Yes it is heavy, but that is OK. A bow is meant to be shot. Carrying it is just what you do to get it where you are going to shoot. If 5 lbs (bare) is too heavy for you, the problem isnt the bow, it is you. Hit the Gym a little and you wont ever notice the difference. Yes it is long (42.25" ATA). So what. I have been hunting with 60+ inch recurves for years and that was never really an issue either.

I have been shooting long enough to know what works and what is just marketing hype. I dont buy into hype, I buy what puts an arrow precisely on target, every time. I am not hunting African dangerous game, and that is the only game that this 70 lb bow might not be suited for. In short, I absolutely love it, and now that I have it, wouldnt consider using anything else.

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