Mathews Z7 Magnum Review
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Editors' reviewThe Mathews Z7 Magnum gives those archers that loved all the aspects of the 2010 Z7 a very similar bow, but with more speed. The Z7 Magnum features the familiar Grid Lock Riser, ZX Cam (Z7 Cam) and Mathews silencing package. The major difference between the two bows is the additional 7 fps that is possible out of the Magnum due to a shorter brace height and 2 inches of additional axle to axle length. With am IBO speed of 340 fps, the Magnum delievers outstanding performance for a single cam speed bow with a shootable brace height of 6 3/8".
RiserThe popular Grid Lock Riser is machined to reduce weight, help distribute vibration, and add strength all at the same time. Plus it just looks cool. Dipped in Lost Camo, the finish on the Z7 Magnum was flawless, as it should be. Each dipped component is carefully scrutinized after the dipping process at the factory. If any flaw is detected, the entire piece is stripped down and redone. At each end of the riser an elastomer wheel is embedded in with a Harmonic Dampner placed in the wheel at the top of the riser and a Harmonic Stabilzer placed in the bottom wheel.
LimbsMade of SE5 Composite material, Mathews SE5 Composite Slim Limb is nearly twice as strong as previous Slim Limbs and 30% lighter. That makes the limb thinner than any previous Mathews limb plus adds more durability. Set in the parallel state on the riser which Mathews is known for, these limbs help to produce speed and power with no vibration on the shot.
The limbs are connected to the riser utilizing what Mathews calls the Sphere Lock Limb Cup System. The System pivots to insure positive alignment and downward pressure on the limb at all times.
GripThe grip on the Mathews Z7 Magnum is the SlimFit Inline Grip. Made of Walnut, the ergonomically correct grip is layered with a line down the center of the grip that signifies the center of the bow. Mathews has now offered this grip as standard for many years due to its popularity with archers. Not bulky by any means, the SlimFit is comfortable in hand and warm to the touch. Mathews offers a few other grip options, including the unique Focus Grip, which minimizes hand torque and forces the hand pressure to the center of the grip.
Reverse Assist Roller GuardThe Reverse Assist Roller Guard allows the cables to move with less tension as the cables are contained in front of the roller guard instead of behind it like on most bow models. This design allows the cables to move more freely, not wrap tighter and increase pressure to the roller guard as the bow is drawn. Since the cables are free of pressure, the result is added smoothness to the draw cycle.
ZX Single Cam & QCAMathews utilizes their ZX Cam (Z7 Cam) that they came out with on the 2010 Z7. It is advertised as their smoothest single cam ever produced, but there is another bow in their 2011 lineup that is smoother, but a bit slower. The eccentric produces outstanding speed for a single cam, especially for being at 80% letoff, and pulls super smooth for being a speed cam. Typically single cams that are built for speed draw harshly since only one cam is doing all the work to produce the necessary energy, but not the ZX.
Draw lengths for the Z7 Magnum are available in half inch increments from 24" to 30". In order to change draw lengths another cam must be installed. Mathews stepped to the plate when they came up with the QCA (Quick Change Axle). This feature makes changing the cam quick and easy. No e-clips to take off and reinstall, and no special tools are required for changing the cam. Hopefully more bow manufacturers will follow Mathews lead in this area.
Draw CycleThe draw cycle of the Z7 Magnum quickly reaches max weight and is pulled through the draw cycle. The draw runs smooth through to the valley. When the draw settles into the valley, it is noticed but rests into a sold back wall. The valley has close to 1/4" of creep, making it possible to creep slightly without worry. Upon release, the bow is extremely quiet and vibration free due to the design of the bow and the standard silencing package installed. The Z7 Magnum balanced perfectly in hand throughout the shot sequence. The bow did not roll forward nor did it roll back on the follow through, but stayed balanced in hand.
Silencing PackageAlways known for innovative designs to silence their equipment, Mathews has several components installed on the Z7 Magnum that help to cancel out vibration that help to make the bow whisper quiet and shoot faster. Beginning with a Harmonic Dampner in the top elastomer wheel in the riser; this Dampner is a weighted disk that helps to absorb recoil at the shot that is coming through the riser. The Z7 Magnum, along with every other 2011 bow in the lineup, has a Harmonic Stabilizer placed in the elastomer wheel at the bottom of the riser instead of a Dampner. The Harmonic Stabilizer is said to dampen more than 75% of residual vibration.
Focusing on quieting the string and cables on this powerhouse of a single cam bow, the Z7 Magnum has the ever present String Suppressors which are mounted on the end of each limb. The string collides with the suppressors upon the end of the shot deadening vibration. The Z7 Magnum also has a Dead End String Stop mounted opposite the stabilizer bushing that also stops the string at the end of the shot, dampening vibration, thus eliminating noise. Looking at the strings and cables themselves, the cable has two Monkey Tail Silencers installed while the string has one Monkey Tail Silencer install near the cam. The resulting loss of speed is reported as 1-2 fps due to inclusion of these silencers, but helps to further eliminate vibration and sound. Finally, just above the cam on the Z7 Magnum, a String Grub is installed. Looking similar to the nocks with heat shrink over them from Mathews bows many years ago, the String Grub serves the same purpose, it greatly reduces vibration so the bow can gain more speed.
Mathews Z7 Magnum vs. Z7 Xtreme vs. Z7
In comparing the Z7 Magnum to the Mathews Z7 Xtreme and the Mathews Z7, it is easy to see why it has Magnum in its name. 4" longer that the Extreme and 2" longer than the Z7, the 32" axle to axle length gives the Magnum the ability to have a brace height of 6 3/8" which allows the IBO speeds of 340fps. Respectively the Extreme at its 7 3/8" brace height and 28" axle to axle garners a reported 330fps IBO, and the Z7 at 30" axle to axle and a 7" brace height comes in at 333fps IBO. The Magnum carries a little over 6 more ounces in weight than the Extreme, and 4 more ounces in comparison to the Z7. Total weight without accessories for the Z7 Magnum is 4.25lbs. From a shooting perspective, they all have the same cam, same limbs, same silencing package and roughly the same design with exception to what is necessary to achieve the necessary brace heights. The shot sequence feels the same with each model, the difference being the slight differences in forgiveness that results in shorter or longer length of bow and more or less speed.
|Bow||Mathews Z7 Magnum||Mathews Z7 Xtreme||Mathews Z7|
|Brace Height||6.375 "||7.375 "||7 "|
|AtA Length||32 "||28 "||30 "|
|Draw Length||24 " - 30 "||24 " - 30 "||24 " - 30 "|
|Draw Weight||40 lbs - 70 lbs||40 lbs - 70 lbs||40 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||340 fps||330 fps||333 fps|
|Weight||4.25 lbs||3.98 lbs||4.0 lbs|
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