Mathews MR8 Review
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Editors' reviewThe Mathews MR8 combines the fast shooting Monster cams with a forgiving 8-inch brace height while still producing speeds up to 330 feet per second. Shooters wanting a fast shooting bow combined with the forgiveness of a longer brace height have a really great option with the MR8.
FinishThe MR8 is available in several great looking finish options. Like other Mathews bows, the finish is flawlessly done and looks really great. Hunters will love the Lost Camo option and the ability to mix with black. Shooters have the option for a black riser and camo limbs, or a camo riser with black limbs. Aside from these options, the MR8 is also available in target finishes. The target options are Orange Smoke, Red Smoke, and Blue Smoke. All three of these target options give shooters a unique look for the range.
RiserThe MR8 uses Mathews Grid Lock technology that adds superior strength to the bow while eliminating some extra weight in the process. Measuring 27 inches in length, the MR riser is sure to add the stability shooters are looking for while holding the pin on target. The Grid Lock riser along with the Lost Camo finish helps with hiding the bow in hunting situations. The grid is designed to strengthen the riser and minimize riser flex. The front of the riser comes with a stabilizer-mounting hole for added weight or vibration dampening. Directly behind this mounting hole is the rear mounting string stop system. The Mathews Dead End String Stop reduces string vibration and eliminates most string noise after the arrow is released. Along with this, the top and the bottom of the riser have a dampener hole with a Mathews Harmonic Stabilizer installed in the bottom hole, and a Harmonic Dampener in the top hole. These two dampeners work together to cancel out vibration caused after the shot as well.
GripOne of the biggest complaints of Mathews bow in past years was the size of the wooden grip. The MR8 comes equipped with a Walnut Slim Fit Grip, which is notably smaller than previous Mathews grips. It has a layered line on the palm side of the grip as well to represent the centerline of the bow and encourage proper hand placement every time. Shooters who are still unhappy with the high-quality walnut grip also have the option to replace the stock grip with a Focus grip that can also be color-customized as well.
LimbsMathews is known for their slim limb technology, but the Monster series bows are not typical Mathews limbs. Instead, the MR8 comes equipped with pre-stressed split limbs. The composite limbs are durable and able to withstand thousands of shots under normal conditions. They are available in ten-pound increments with maximum weights of 50, 60, 70, and 80 pounds. This large span of limb poundage options is sure to offer most shooters the correct poundage. Mathews also uses what the call Quad VLock Limbs to securely lock each limb in proper position while under pressure. These limb pockets uses two locking mechanisms and a unique placement technology so the limbs are perfectly aligned and minimally stressed. Ultimately, this allows for a more repeatable shot and adds life to the limbs since they are not as stressed at rest or upon full draw.
Eccentric SystemThe same Advanced Vectoring Cam System powers all 2012 MR series bows. This dual cam system is specifically designed to maximize stored energy and performance to produce fast speeds while maintaining a relatively smooth draw cycle. The speed difference between the MR series bows is in response to the brace height, since they are all powered by the same cam system. The MR8 is the slowest of the MR bows, but also has the largest brace height. Draw length on the MR8 is extremely adjustable, but new cams are needed to change the draw length. Draw length is available in half-inch increments from 27.5 inches all the way up to 33-inches. For long draw shooters, the MR8 is one of few options available out to 33-inches.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityThe MR8 is powered by a speed cam and therefore will have a draw force curve that reflects that. However, the MR8 does draw decently smooth for a speed bow. There is a little hump in the draw cycle as the shooter reaches the valley, but is more manageable than some other speed bows. The back wall is a little spongy and offers very little creep. Many shooters prefer this because it forces shooters to use proper pull technique on the shot. However, it may take some shooters a little bit to get used to if there form is flawed. After the shot, the bow does not vibrate much at all. Mathews has added several dampening devices to make sure vibration is all but eliminated. Overall, the cams draw nice and the shot is virtually shock-free. The 8-inch brace height does give the bow a unique look especially when compared side by side to other Monster bows with shorter brace heights. However, shooters will quickly adjust to the forgiveness of such a long brace height. An 8-inch brace height bow with 330 feet per second is very appealing on paper, and performs equally great in person.
Silencing PackageThe MR8 comes stocked with a Mathews Harmonic Dampener and a Mathews Harmonic Stabilizer at the top and bottom of the riser. These work with the Dead End String Stop to eliminate almost all of the residual vibration after the arrow has been released. For shooters wanting to further customize their bow, these also come in a variety of different colors as well. Along with this, the roller guard comes with three harmonic dampeners to help cancel out vibration as well. The MR8 string comes with attached String Grubs as well. These aid in eliminating vibration after the shot and help with speed as well. Overall, the MR8 is relatively quite, and shock-free after the arrow has been released.
MR8 vs. MR7
|Bow||Mathews MR8||Mathews MR7|
|Brace Height||8 "||7 "|
|AtA Length||33 "||33 "|
|Draw Length||27.5 " - 33 "||26 " - 32 "|
|Draw Weight||50 lbs - 80 lbs||50 lbs - 80 lbs|
|IBO Speed||330 fps||344 fps|
|Weight||4.45 lbs||4.4 lbs|
|Let-Off||65% or 80%||65% or 80%|
| Where to buy |
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These two bows are virtually identical in technology used and specifications except for speed and brace height. Along with this, the two bows have the same appeal in their usage as well. Both bows are great options for hunting or target shooting. The final decision will come down to what the shooter finds more important, a longer brace height or faster arrow speed. For shooters needing longer draw lengths, the MR8 goes to 33-inches whereas the Mathews MR7 only goes to 32 inches.