The 2015 target offerings from Mathews are significantly different from past versions. The TRG is available in a 7, 8, and 9-inch brace height, but each model includes the same skeleton and technologies. The newly designed No Cam ST works to eliminate tuning and timing issues by having the exact same system on the top and bottom in regards to shape and function. The 8-inch brace height version is in the middle of the three offerings in terms of speed, clocking in at 311 feet per second. The bow is heavy, but balances bare almost perfectly. Target archers add long stabilizers and weight to get the feel they desire, but may need to consider limiting the amount of weight based on the heavy starting point of 5.31-pounds. This bow is expensive with a suggested price of $1799. Just based on this alone, it may be tough to find one to shoot before ordering, which is clearly not ideal when spending this much money. The TRG 8 has some great specifications, and features all of Mathews' latest technology, but the price tag is shocking.
The Mathews TRG 8 is offered in 4 target options from the factory. Shooters can opt for black, black anthem, red, or blue. Each color looks great with the gridded riser design. Each of the four color options also sports black limbs and pockets as well. The target finishes are glossier than the hunting options, but they look great and add a little sophistication to the overall look of the bow. Mathews has historically done well with choosing finish products that look great and last. There is no reason to believe the TRG will be any different.
The TRG 8 riser is long, measuring in just under 35-inches of the 38-inch axel-to-axel measurement. The riser has a relatively small amount of reflex, which is designed to be a pretty shootable platform. The riser is characteristic of other Mathews' models from recent years with the Geo grid design. Shooters love or hate the visual of the gridded riser, but structurally it adds strength to help keep the riser from twisting leading to increased accuracy. There is also an added riser component above the sight mount and below the grip area, which will add additional strength to the riser design. The riser is duplicated creating a bit of a caged look adding to the structural integrity of the design. Mathews has also spent time making sure the bow is as quite and vibration free as possible. The top and bottom of the riser feature a Harmonic Stabilizer, which has been used in the past, and does a nice job absorbing the vibration and transferring the energy to the center of the rubber dampener. The rear mounted Dead End string stop also does a nice job eliminating string noise and vibration. There are two stabilizer-mounting holes on the front and rear of the riser allowing shooters a bit more flexibility in regards to where they want to add their stabilizers and weight. Although many stabilizers come with offset mounts, the ability to use the various mounting holes is a wonderful addition shooters greatly appreciate.
The TRG 8 goes against the norm a bit for most Mathews by integrating the grip into the riser design. The Conquest target bow of the past used an integrated grip, but the rest of the lineups have featured either a stock wooden grip or a Focus rubber grip. The TRG grip is a bit thinner than most Mathews' grips, and allows shooters to add tape or sleeves for a more comfortable feel without making the grip overly bulky. There is a wooden inlay featuring the Mathews logo located in the middle of the integrated grip, which really helps the look of the bow. The inlay has no function other than displaying the logo, but helps keep the time-honored tradition of the wooden grip.
The split limbs storing the energy for the TRG 8 are relatively short in comparison to other Mathews bows. They are available in maximum draw weights of 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80-pounds. This allows almost every shooter interested in a high-end target rig the option to shoot one. Each riser color option features black limbs with a conservatively printed brand logo. The limb pockets holding the limbs in place to the riser are aluminum as well, which helps add an upper-class look and feel to what is traditionally a plastic component. There is an engraved Mathews logo on the limb pockets as well, which again adds a bit of sophistication to the model's look.
Mathews has redesigned the cam system, as they know it. The 2015 No Cam ST is designed to simplify the draw cycle, maintain performance, and increase accuracy and efficiency. With speeds measuring up to 311 fee per second, the TRG is far from fast, but target shooters are generally not as obsessed with speed calculations. Mathews claims the No Cam ST is the most efficient cam design they have produced, which means the required amount of force to draw the cams in minimal for the output it produces. The modular based cam system offers Rock Mods is 65 and 75% let off, and is adjustable between 27-32-inches in half-inch increments.
The draw cycle for the TRG model target bows is favorable. The weight stacks up, levels off, and goes into the back wall almost effortlessly. There are no draw cycle humps and the let off into the back wall is tame as well. The TRG 8 is heavy, but the long riser holds on target with minimal pin float down range. Of course, target shooters are going to customize that further with the use of stabilizers and weight, but the starting point is well balanced, which may make it easier to level out with stabilizer weight. After the shot, the bow is completely silent and dead in the hand. The 8-inch brace height and long riser measurement screams forgiveness, but the 311 feet per second does seem a bit slow. Overall, the experience shooting the TRG 8 is a positive one. The bow has great specifications to improve range scores, but that will ultimately depend on the shooter.
The TRG 8 is a bow designed to help serious target or 3D shooters improve their scores. Some may appreciate the longer axel-to-axel measurement for a hunting rig, but this bow is designed to perform in competitions.
The TRG 8 is a brand new style of target bow for Mathews in 2015. Their popular rigs in the past have performed well, but the TRG 8 promises to be a well-designed model for those wanting higher scores from a great performance bow. The No Cam ST has a favorable draw cycle, and is engineered to almost eliminate tuning issues. The TRG 8 is a heavy rig, even for a target bow, but the perfectly balanced bare bow feel may be exactly what some shooters are interested in. The MSRP of $1799 is a lot of money for a bare bow, but for those needing an extra competitive edge to put them on the winner's podium, the money may be well spent. For a target bow, the TRG 8 is a great option.