Mathews Conquest Apex 8 Review
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Editors' reviewThe 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.
FinishThe 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 & LimbsThe 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.
GripThe 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 SystemThe 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 / ShootabilityWith 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 PackageString 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
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.
|Bow||Mathews Conquest Apex 8||Mathews Conquest Apex 7|
|Brace Height||8 "||7 "|
|AtA Length||42.25 "||38 "|
|Draw Length||25 " - 32 "||23 " - 30 "|
|Draw Weight||40 lbs - 70 lbs||40 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||310 fps||320 fps|
|Weight||5.0 lbs||4.5 lbs|
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