Mathews Prestige Review
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Still the fastest target bow manufactured by Mathews, the Prestige has the punch desired by almost all archers, target shooters and hunters, alike. Though the maximum draw length on the Prestige is 29", speeds up to 322 fps can still be achieved at 70 lbs. With an axle-to-axle length of 35.5", this bow is ideal for a dual use bow to be used hunting and target shooting. Don't be afraid of the 6" brace height, it is forgiving and easy to shoot while being light weight and easy to maneuver through the woods and 3D course. Give the Prestige a try if you do not mind spending a little extra cash for a very versatile bow that can stand up to just about anything you are likely to put it through.
FinishThe finish on the Prestige lives up to the industry standards set by Mathews... you won't find a better looking finish. The anodized finish is far superior to the dipped camo and it is very durable. If you care about keeping your bows looking new, then one of the anodized colors may be for you as the dipped camo finish on most Mathews bows tends to wear in high contact areas. Other components on the bow, such as cams and suppressor arms, are anodized as well and hold their color nicely, keeping this bow looking sharp long after the purchase. Limbs on the Prestige are available in both black and Realtree HD Camo but the riser is available in target colors including red smoke, orange smoke, or blue smoke if you want to shoot something that is on the course to impress.
Riser & LimbsIn an effort to keep total weight down, the Prestige features a relatively short riser but still uses the older style composite limbs that Mathews used prior to the introduction of the SE series limbs. These limbs are strong but are not the newest lighter materials that are being used on newly introduced models. Even with the composite limbs, the Prestige still weighs in at 3.9 pounds, making it the lightest target bow that Mathews manufactures. The limbs are connected to the riser via the V-Lock system. This system employs a V-shaped limb pocket and V-shaped limbs to ensure proper alignment and a zero-tolerance fit between limb and riser.
GripIn the past, Mathews has been notorious for receiving hate about their "bulky" grips. The Prestige has an integrated grip that is very thin and allows for consistent and repeatable hand placement on the grip. This integral grip is part of the riser and aftermarket grips are available if a wider grip fits your shooting style better, or if you just want to try something different. If the grip on other Mathews bows is keeping you from trying another one, then the Prestige should be on your short list next time you shop for a bow.
Eccentric SystemThe Prestige uses a perimeter weighted cam that has a metal inertia disc. This disc has been strategically placed on the cam to counteract limb momentum and to kill vibration after the shot. Since the Prestige uses a single cam and idler wheel, cam rotation is fast and easy to setup, as well as axle-to-axle and brace height. Once the bow is pressed, a few twists to the string and cable will have the bow in spec in no time. The cam on the Prestige is available in draw lengths from 22"-29" in half inch increments and the cams are draw length specific. The fact that a cam change is needed to change draw length can be viewed as either a pro or a con since Mathews claims higher efficiency with draw specific cams. At 65% let-off, the Prestige offers the holding weight that most target shooters desire, but is lower than the 70%-80% that most current hunters are used to so your preference should come into play here when choosing whether or not the Prestige is right for you. The cam on the Prestige offers a smooth draw cycle even though it produces powerful speeds of up to 322 fps (@ 29" & 70 lbs).
Draw Cycle / ShootabilityThere is not much to be said about the draw cycle on the Prestige... except the fact that it is SMOOTH and consistent. The higher holding weight produced by the 65% let-off helps the shooter get a more consistent release. Holding on target is no problem with this ultra high-performance bow. The 6" brace height causes no shootability problems as it holds better and is more forgiving than comparable bows. Even at 35.5" ATA, which would be considered short for a target bow, the Prestige holds well on target and is very accurate. After releasing, only a small vibration is present but it is nothing that can't be taken care of by the use of an aftermarket string suppressor like the Mathews Dead End. Anyone in the draw length range 22" to 29" should give the Prestige a try to test the opinion that it is one of the best Mathews bows made.
Silencing PackageHarmonic dampers can be found in a couple of places on the Prestige. The most obvious place is the large dampers in the riser that are used to kill vibration in the riser after the shot. By killing vibration, a quieter shot is achieved. The only other location containing dampers is the roller guard. Once again, these help dampen vibration after the shot. String suppressors placed at the end of the limbs are used to keep the string from whiplashing back and forth after the shot. All strings go forward past brace height as part of their oscillations after the shot, but the string suppressors assist in eliminating all unnecessary vibrations. The silencing package on the Prestige works well and a quiet shot is the result.
Comparison: Prestige vs Conquest Apex 7 & 8
|Bow||Mathews Prestige||Mathews Conquest Apex 7||Mathews Conquest Apex 8|
|Brace Height||6 "||7 "||8 "|
|AtA Length||35 "||38 "||42.25 "|
|Draw Length||22 " - 29 "||23 " - 30 "||25 " - 32 "|
|Draw Weight||40 lbs - 70 lbs||40 lbs - 70 lbs||40 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||322 fps||320 fps||310 fps|
|Weight||3.9 lbs||4.5 lbs||5.0 lbs|
|Where to buy|
Best prices online
|compare more bows|
From the start, you will notice that the Prestige is much lighter than the Conquest Apex 7 & 8 bows which are 4.9 & 5 lbs., respectively. The choice on weight comes down to preference as some people feel that they can hold a heavier bow more steady. You should think about fatigue when shooting a long 3D course and the obvious winner on weight is the Prestige. The Prestige is faster than the Apex 7 by about 12 fps. IBO on the Apex 7 is 320 fps but that is tested at a 30" draw while the Prestige came in at 322 fps at a 29" draw. Both Apex bows offer longer ATA lengths and brace heights so if you are looking at the Prestige purely for target shooting, you may consider shooting the Apex bows as well. The only category where the Apex bows are the clear winner would have to be draw length range. The Mathews Conquest Apex 7 is available in lengths up to 30.5" with the Mathews Conquest Apex 8 available up to 32" draw lengths while the Prestige maxes out at 29". When considering price, the Prestige blows them out of the water by having an MSRP of $249 less than the Apex series. If you are searching for a bow that can be used for both hunting and target shooting, then the Prestige should be at the top of your list as it is one of the most versatile bows available in the Mathews lines. The decision between the Apex 7 or 8 and the Prestige comes down to personal preference, but you should not let the 6" brace height of the Prestige steer you away.