Mathews No Cam TRG 7 Review
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Editors' reviewMathews No Cam ST design and focus on simplicity carries over to their target lineup for 2015. The TRG is a highly anticipated offering, which features a 38-inch axel to axel measurement, 321 feet per second, an option for 65 or 75% let-off, and an impressive riser length of almost 35-inches. For a target rig, the TRG 7 has a lot to offer shooters wanting to improve their competitive archery skills. The TRG 7 shot is as shock free and silent as any bow on the market today, which is also a desired target bow feature. For those thinking the TRG 7 sounds too good to be true, the bow does retail for an MSRP of $1799, and tips the scales at a significantly heavy bare bow weight of 5.28-pounds, which may both be deal breakers for some shooters. However, those interested in investing money in high end equipment for becoming better archers will appreciate what the TRG 7 has to offer.
FinishThe glossy Mathews target finish coats the TRG 7 very well making it look great. The TRG comes from the factory dipped in four color options: black, black anthem, red, and blue. Each of these choices has black limbs regardless of the riser color preference. There is no denying the target look with the TRG finish, but if nothing else, the bow will look like it deserves to be on the podium.
RiserThe TRG 7 riser has unique look with a noticeably Mathews design. The riser measures in at an impressively stable 34.92-inches, which will be perfect for shooters needing a more solid hold on target. The slightly less reflexed riser design has the gridlock cutouts Mathews has featured for quite some time, which is sturdy and strong on its own. However, on the top and bottom of the shooters hand placement, the riser has a reinforcement split that adds a bit more weight, but also provides a stronger design less susceptible to torque or twisting. Just off the limb pockets on the top and bottom of the riser, the TRG features Harmonic Stabilizers to help rid the bow of unwanted noise and vibration. The riser design allows for a brace height of 7-inches, which is decently forgiving and comfortable for many shooters. The reverse assist roller guard is a pretty simple design, but helps to reduce friction, while the cables slide on the back of the roller system instead of the front. The Dead End string stop also adds a to the comfortable feel after the arrow is released.
GripWhen comparing all styles of archery, target folks tend to be the pickiest in regards to how the grip feels and functions. With the grip being the only constant connection between the shooter and their rig, the importance of having a comfortable, well-designed grip is crucial when money on performance and shot repetition is on the line. The TRG grip is an integrated part of the grip. It is a well-machined thin grip, feels great in the shooters hand, and has room to be customized by those wanting to add a little grip tape as a personal touch. Mathews used to be known from their wooden grips, and the TRG keeps that tradition alive featuring an wooden inlay with the Mathews logo present. This does help class up the grip area a bit, and is a nice visual touch to add to the overall appeal of the TRG.
LimbsLike other Mathews offerings in recent years, the TRG 7 does show off split limb technology. The riser design allows for these split limbs to be relatively compact as well helping add to the unique overall look of the bow. The TRG is offered in a large range of draw weights, allowing for a nice fit for almost any shooter wanting a serious target bow. Maximum draw weights are offered in 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80-pounds, and can be adjusted in 10-pound increments. The limb pockets are also machined aluminum rather than the composite plastic 80-pound offering is great, but may not be too popular considering the TRG is a primarily going to be used as a target bow. It would have been nice to offer the 65-pound maximum limbs, considering that may be something more shooters would prefer. With that being said, the 50-pound range is greatly appreciated and should fit almost every shooter's needs.
The limb pockets are an aluminum pocket rather than the composite plastic that is featured on some other Mathews rigs. The pockets also include a nice engraved Mathews' logo helping set off the look even more. The riser design offers each limb multiple connection points to the riser, which should do well keeping the limbs in a solid connection point throughout the entire draw cycle. All in all, the limbs and pockets look nice and function like they should.
Eccentric SystemThe No Cam ST is Mathews interpretation of simplifying the cam design to combine an efficient draw force curve with and easy to draw, decent performance cam system. The No Cam ST is adjustable using the Rock Mods in half-inch increments from 26.5-30.5-inches. The Rock Mods also allow for 65 0r 75% let-off depending on what each individual shooter is interested in. The overall performance of the TRG 7 is pretty great as well clocking in at 321 feet per second.
The round and concentric string tracks are the same shape on the top and bottom. The circular cam track used does not impact cam synchronization. The string is always at the same radius on each cam from the start of the draw cycle to the end of the draw cycle, meaning the nock travel is perfectly level the entire time as well. The nock does not come off the flat plane throughout the whole draw.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityFor most shooters, it is going to be difficult to hunt down a TRG 7 to shoot first hand. With the large price tag, and the smaller customer base interested in a high-end target bow, many shops are going to opt for not keeping the TRG's on the shelf. Since the No Cam ST is featured on the Mathews flagship model the No Cam, shooters interested in the draw cycle may be able to get a rough idea by drawing one of those bows, but the feel of the TRG weight and increased axel to axel measurement will be difficult to recreate for a true feel of every aspect of the TRG.
On of the taglines for the Mathews No Cam ST system is, "You just have to shoot it to believe it." The TRG 7 is a dream to shoot, and should help out a great deal for serious shooters wanting to improve their game to the next level. The draw cycle feels great from start to finish. It is tough to compare the draw cycle to past models, because this bow has an entirely different feel than other Mathews' models. The No Cam ST system has no humps and lets off very nicely into a manageable dwell zone and a solid back wall. The valley is fairly generous as well, and the draw is never tough to manage.
The TRG 7 weighs in at 5.28-pounds bare bow, which is heavy even for a target model. Target shooters will be able to compensate for this to a certain degree by lightening up the weight on their stabilizers, but the bow is still going to feel heavy. With that being said, the TRG 7 is one of the quietest, most shock free models created. After the arrow is fired, shooters will not feel any vibration in their hand, and the arrow will leave with very minimal noise.
With everything considered, the TRG 7 is a pleasure to shoot, feels great, and performs well. Perhaps the largest contributions to the TRG 7 being a stand out target model are those not felt though. The designed riser is going to help a great deal to keep torque low and maintain substantial stability. The No Cam ST's design and tuning make it an engineering bonus, which is not necessarily felt, but helps with repeatable performance.
Usage ScenariosThe TRG 7 is clearly a target bow designed to shoot spots or 3D targets and help archers stay on top of their game. The bow is heavy, but balances very well without accessories. Adding accessories will allow shooters to customize how they want starting with a perfectly balanced bow. Some shooters may choose to hunt with the TRG 7, but it shines the most on the line or as a 3D competition bow.
TRG 7 vs. TRG 8
These bows are virtually identical to each other with the largest difference being the brace height measurement. With the added inch of brace height on the Mathews TRG 8, the speed also decreases 10 feet per second. For a target model, the added forgiveness obtained by the longer brace height will be worth it for some. For other shooters, speed will be more important. The ultimate decision will come down to personal preference.