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Best Bows: Nine New High-End Compounds Ranked and Reviewed

In a market crammed with great top-end compound bows, buying the right one can be a serious challenge, especially when it means dropping close to a grand. That’s where we come in. To help you make the right choice for the hunting you do, F&S assembled a crack team of shooters for the ultimate field test that included me, Will Brantley, Danny Hinton, and Dave Hurteau. For this year’s Best of the Best testing, we got together and shot nine new top-shelf bows all day for three days.

We oohed. We arghed. We measured. And we argued (then argued some more). Finally, we sat down and ranked them, one through nine. Here is how 2013’s flagship bows stacked up.


How We Test
Our evaluations took place at Brantley’s Kentucky farm, where we set targets from 10 to 60 yards. Hinton set up and tuned every bow, and then we shot the heck out of them.

Testers scored each bow from 5 to 10 in 10 categories, for a potential top-end score of 100. On the range, we tested for shock and vibration, balance and grip, draw cycle, back wall, fit and finish, valley, shootability (including accuracy and forgiveness), and overall impression.

Inside the shop at Hinton Archery, we tested for speed by shooting an Easton Flatline 340 arrow, tipped with a Velocitip (total weight, 353 grains), from each bow set at 60 pounds, averaging three shots for each bow. We measured speed and noise and gave corresponding scores from 5 to 10. Scores for all categories were averaged to get our final rankings.

#2 Elite Hunter - Score: 85.5 out of 100; Price: $859

This was easily the most pleasant bow to shoot. We raved about its wonderful draw cycle, solid back wall, and generous valley. Because it was so easy to shoot, we all shot it well—and really enjoyed doing so.

Hits: The Hunter is very quiet, with near-zero vibration. Excellent draw cycle, solid back wall, and nice looks to boot.
Misses: The slowest bow in the test. Although the extra-long valley is good for shooting, it can be problematic when letting down in a hunting situation.
The Skinny: If we’d finished testing after the first day, the Hunter would have won. Day two was the speed test, which knocked it down. But if smoothness and easy shooting is your thing, this is your bow.
Specs
31 1/2" axle-to-axle; 7 3/4" brace height; 4.3 lb.; 80% let-off; 277 fps

#3 Hoyt Spyder Turbo - Score: 84.1 out of 100; Price: $999

Hoyt bows have a reputation for toughness, and this one feels very solidly built. As with the Bowtech, it was hard to find fault with the Spyder Turbo. It’s plenty fast enough for a Western hunter, yet smooth and quiet enough for up-close whitetails.

Hits
It was the second fastest, and yet very quiet, with a nice draw cycle and enough valley.
Misses
Hinton didn’t like the grip, and both he and Hurteau deducted points for a spongy back wall.
The Skinny
Where the Elite’s score fell after the speed test, the Turbo’s went up. Given its other qualities, we were surprised it was so fast. If you’ve always wanted a superfast bow but can’t abide a nonexistent valley, run to your Hoyt dealer.
Specs
34" axle-to-axle; 6" brace height; 4.4 lb.; 80% let-off; 299 fps

#4 Strother Wrath Sho - Score: 83 out of 100; Price: $799

None of us had much experience shooting a Strother bow, and we were all highly impressed. Handy, smooth, and good-looking, this is an excellent hunting bow from a company that just celebrated its third birthday.

Hits
Wonderful draw cycle, solid back wall, good valley, and very nice fit and finish.
Misses
Not especially fast or quiet, the Wrath had a little hand shock and vibration at the shot.
The Skinny
This very short bow is not so light that it’s hard to hold steadily on target, making it both handy and accurate. It’s tough, too. Thanks to my absentmindedness, the Wrath survived a dry fire with flying colors. Kudos to any bow that can ace the moron test.
Specs
30 1/4" axle-to-axle; 7 3/4" brace height; 4 lb.; 80% let-off; 284 fps

#5 Bear Motive 6 - Score: 79.1 out of 100; Price: $899

Here is Bear’s first dual-cam bow and its entry into the speed wars. The Motive did well in that regard, although not quite so well as its gaudy 350-fps IBO rating would suggest. It was also the quietest bow in the test. And we gave Bear brownie points for innovation.

Hits
Quiet as moss, very little vibration, fourth in the speed test, and it sports a fine draw cycle.
Misses
Hinton clobbered it on fit and finish; Brantley thought the back wall was a tad mushy.
The Skinny
The Motive inspired epic debate. Hinton called it the ugliest girl at the prom, but Hurteau screamed, “Who cares? It’s fast, quiet, and it shoots well!” So if looks are really important to you, skip this model. Otherwise, consider Bear’s latest.
Specs: 32" axle-to-axle; 6" brace height; 4 lb.; 75% let-off; 292 fps

#6 Prime Impact - Score: 76.6 out of 100; Price: $950

Solid is the best adjective for the Impact; it notched 8s and 9s in many categories and generally makes for a good hunting bow. Prime risers are the toughest in the industry, but this was also the heaviest, most unwieldy bow.

Hits
A back wall you could smash a truck against, very nice draw cycle, good valley, decently fast. Everyone shot it well.
Misses
No one liked the weight and balance, and the broad, spongy grip scored some 6s, which hurt it considerably.
The Skinny
Hurteau’s comment—“This would be a hell of a bow if it wasn’t such a club”—sums up the Impact. However, for some long-distance shooters who favor heft and stability, it may feel just right.

Specs: 35" axle-to-axle; 6 1/4" brace height; 4.5 lb.; 80% let-off; 289 fps

#7 Matthews Creed - Score: 75.3 out of 100; Price: $999

Mathews continues its mastery of the silky-smooth draw and fine fit and finish with the Creed. Most of the team shot it pretty well, too, but it earned low scores in several categories. We expected more from a company that’s won the bow test multiple times.

Hits
Excellent draw cycle, classic good looks, forgiving, and pretty accurate.
Misses
By far the loudest bow, and the second slowest. No one liked the grip. And—a first for any Mathews bow I’ve tested—there was some vibration.
The Skinny
We probably shot the Creed more than any bow, disbelieving how poorly it stacked up against even the newcomers. “If you’re going to shoot a bow this slow, buy the Elite,” Hinton finally said.

Specs: 30" axle-to-axle; 7" brace height; 3.85 lb.; 80% let-off; 282 fps

#8 PSE DNA - Score: 74.1 out of 100; Price: $899

The DNA won the speed test, and we all shot it very well—Brantley was pinging 1-inch groups at 40 yards. But speed bows demand a price: If you can handle a no-valley bow, you’ll love the DNA. If not, this bow isn’t for you.

Hits
Blazing speed, excellent grip, very accurate, and a decent draw cycle for such a flamethrower.
Misses
A total lack of valley crushed this bow, especially with Hinton and Brantley, who also deducted points for looks.
The Skinny
Here’s the thing about a nonexistent valley: Either you don’t mind it or you flat-out hate it. The DNA scored so low because two testers were in the latter camp. If, however, you’re O.K. with an ultra-aggressive bow, there’s a lot to like. While the average shooter may not go for the DNA, PSE fans will eat it up.
Specs: 31" axle-to-axle; 6" brace height; 3.7 lb.; 70% let-off; 301 fps

#9 McPherson Monster Chill - Score: 71 out of 100; Price: $999

The latest in the Monster line from McPherson, this bow had us puzzled; Monsters are typically smoking fast, but the Chill cooled that expectation. For $999, this bow should have been better.
 
Hits
Good fit and finish, and Hinton marked it high for balance. Pretty quiet for the third-fastest bow in the test.
Misses
The Chill scored mediocre marks in most categories, and some low marks for its back wall. The draw cycle was fairly even but had a somewhat gritty feel. Just nothing exceptional for the price.
The Skinny
We spent some time trying to understand the Chill. The conclusion: It suffers from an identity crisis; it doesn’t know if it wants to be a hunting bow or a target bow, so it doesn’t do either particularly well.

Specs: 30 1/2" axle-to-axle; 7" brace height; 3.9 lb.; 80% let-off; 293 fps

 

#1 Best Bow of 2013: Bowtech Experience - Score: 88.7 out of 100; Price $999

The Experience does not necessarily bowl you over in any one respect. But whereas almost every other model had at least one significant flaw, this one scored well in every category. For some reason, Brantley, who can cut the whiskers off a chipmunk at 50 yards, didn’t shoot the Experience that well. But the rest of us shot it lights out.

Hits
Smooth draw cycle, solid back wall, virtually zero vibration, and one of the quietest bows.
Misses
Brantley gave it a minor ding on looks. For $999, it should be a bit faster.
The Skinny
Some guys are speed freaks; others value shootability above all. Everybody else wants the best combo of the two. For 2013, the Experience is it.  

Specs: 32" axle-to-axle; 7" brace height; 4.2 lb.; 80% let-off; 291 fps


The Test Panel
Scott Bestul

F&S field editor: At 52, I represent the geriatric demographic. But with age comes experience; I have been shooting bows for 40 years. 
Will Brantley
F&S contributor: A deadeye, veteran bowhunter, and a 3D shooter, he loses all his Southern charm when reviewing hunting gear.
Danny Hinton
Owner of Hinton Archery (hintonarchery.com) in Murray, Ky.: Never shy with an opinion, Hinton has shot and sold virtually every bow line on the market.
Dave Hurteau
F&S deputy editor: Hurteau has tested more compound bows in an objective fashion than anyone I know, and he doesn’t mind telling you what he really thinks.

 

From the September 2013 issue of Field & Stream magazine.

Comments (32)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Keith Kuhnsman wrote 35 weeks 22 hours ago

Seems Mathews had a hissy fit and cut Mr. Hinton out of their supply chain.

Posted on archerytalk:

My archery shop, Hinton Archery, was recently asked to participate in objective bow comparison testing involving the flagship bows for several different manufacturers. The results of those tests were featured on page 77 of the September 2013 issue of Field & Stream magazine in an article entitled “Flagship Bow Shootout”.
I was one of four shooters on the panel asked to shoot and evaluate each bow. In addition, Hinton Archery performed all of the tuning and setup work for the bows being tested, and we hosted some of the speed ranking tests on our indoor range.
At the time I agreed to participate, Hinton Archery was an authorized dealer for Bowtech and Mathews bows, which are certainly 2 premier names in the field of archery, along with several others. My primary objective was to provide honest reviews based on objective information. I was determined to give accurate appraisals based on performance, and not simply because Hinton Archery carried a particular brand.
Each bow we tested was ranked according to the aggregate scores of the four individual testers. The scores were all fairly close, which is a testament to the number of good bows available in today’s archery market. More importantly, none of the 4 testers knew how the bow rankings would fare and/or which bow would “win”.
After the testing was completed and results formulated, it turned out that the Bowtech Experience took top honors in the review. The Mathew’s Creed, however, came in seventh, and Mathews’ Monster Chill also finished near the bottom of the list, behind Elite, Hoyt, Strother and a few other brands.
Yesterday, within days of the September Field and Stream issue hitting the newsstands, I received this letter from Patrick Burke, Director of Sales for Mathews, and Jon Dumars, Director of Sales for Mission:
“Dear Danny,
We regret to inform you that Mathews, Inc. and Mission Archery will no longer be able to supply your company with product. We have determined that other avenues of distribution are more consistent with the sales and marketing objectives of Mathews.”
It certainly appears that Matthews/Mission terminated my dealership because I participated in an independent test. So, going forward, Hinton Archery will no longer sell Mathews or Mission products.
Although we’ve enjoyed a good relationship with Mathews in the past, we will not be intimidated by them or any other manufacturer. We’re a small-town shop, and our first priority is to our customers. We won’t sacrifice our principles or attempt to “throw” the results of an independent gear review because of brand loyalty or a company’s marketing objectives. There is too much self-serving, agenda-driven promotion in this business already. We believe that the sportsmen deserve to hear the results of honest, independent tests like the one we performed. They just deserve better. Our staff personally shoots and evaluates every bow we sell, and the recommendations we provide to our customers are truthful.
Buying a bow is a personal decision, and if you shoot a Mathews, we will continue to service it. But future warranty work will have to be done by an authorized Mathews dealer. I apologize for the inconvenience, but I assume our customers will understand.

--------

That's one less brand from which I will need to choose.

+12 Good Comment? | | Report
from Donald Pack wrote 35 weeks 19 hours ago

I found this test to very fair from what I read. I have never owned a Mathews and have only shot a couple of them. I bought a new bow last year and tried a couple of them out after hearing how great they were. I think I was expecting more because of the hype I have heard for years, I was not impressed! I did not buy one to say the least. After reading this and hearing how they responded to a fair evaluation and comparison to their bows I guarantee I will never even give one a second thought. Pathetic!!!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from spad3 wrote 35 weeks 18 hours ago

First of all, I applaud Field and Stream for publishing an article that actually says something tested better than another product as opposed to most magazines' practice of just listing the good points of everything in their tests and saying all the tested equipment is good without anything negative being mentioned. I want perceived flaws pointed out to me as well as good points. Then when I go to buy a product I have some specific traits/features/ flaws to look for and can then decide for myself if the test criticism/praise was valid or not and if I want to buy the item. Thanks F&S.

As for Mathews reaction and termination of their association with Hinton Archery I am disappointed and saddened. I currently own and use two left hand Mathews bows, a Switchback and a Feathermax. Had you asked me the best bow company out there I would have said Mathews due to my satisfaction with their products, their customer service in handling a problem I had with a Mathews bow out of warranty and my perception of them as an industry leader based on kudos bestowed on them in article after article through the years since they made the solo cam the industry force it became. However, to feel the need to strike out at a someone because that person believed and stated that some other products tested slightly better than the Mathews entry is disturbing and certainly diminishes my good opinion of Mathews. Apparently their sales managers truly believe their own press clippings and after years of being lauded for their products and innovation they apparently can't deal with anything other than adulation and decided to take the low road in dealing with this situation. I'd like to think that what has happened is a knee jerk reaction by a pompous sales force and not reflective of the way Mr. McPherson would have handled things. Time will tell.

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from bprogram wrote 35 weeks 17 hours ago

I would have to agree with all the comments posted. As a Mathews Switchback owner I have been very pleased with my bow over the years and am now looking for a new bow but would seriously consider whether I really wanted to purchase a Mathews or Mission based on the comments. I would like to hear Mr. Burke's and Mr. Dumar's comments on why they pulled support of Hinton archery. We, as consumers, believe it or not do look at it and say the ratings are what they are, we all evaluate ourselves the bows and make a decision on what we want based on how it feels to us. But when you take an approach like that with one of your dealers it makes me not even want to purchase another one. I would consider Mathews and Mission to think hard on it. Loyalty is a great thing but once you do something to take that out of the thought process it is twice as hard to gain that customer back.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chad Atkinson wrote 35 weeks 16 hours ago

I've been buying bows for thirty years and have been loyal to Mathews for about 20 years even though I felt others were delivering better bows in recent years. In reading your article, they just lost that loyalty not because others are delivering better products. Rather because a company does not deserve brand loyalty after pulling a stunt like that. I believe in honesty, and if you need to pull a stunt like that because your not confident enough in your own product even though others just might have a better product. Then you certainly have no business in customer loyalty. That is what loyalty is all about, keeping customers even though you may not always be number one, but customers are loyal because for the most part, you are delivering results. The fact that they just totally tossed your honesty and loyalty out the window, they will no longer have mine. Even if they produced the top ranking bow for years to come, I will have to be hard pressed to purchase another Mathews. Nor will I allow my two boys and girl to purchase one under my watch.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gierhedd75 wrote 35 weeks 13 hours ago

I'm still rocking my 2012 Stinger 3G. 5 billion shots and still going strong. Okay. That might be a bit of hyperbole...
I can understand Matthew's concern over finishing near the bottom, but pulling a stunt like that is certainly going to hurt them more than any objective comparison. And some sales exec with his panties in a bunch should have seen that dump truck speeding towards the nitroglycerin plant miles away. No offense to any dump truck drivers, nitroglycerin plant workers, or those of you who wear panties...
Apparently, Matthews doesn't trust the readers of F&S to be able to come away from the article with the ability to form our own opinions. Well, to the folks at Matthews, I say, let me assure you. We have.
I applaud Mr. Hinton for his integrity. And I always look forward to the reviews in F&S. I don't know anyone who has ever been burdened with too much money. I like the insight of other more experienced folks as a place to start when I'm getting ready to spend what little amount I can put aside for my gear.
Mathews had better find somebody or something to toss over that P.R. grenade fast. Seems to be a lot of metaphors today... Perhaps an official apology for the completely overboard response.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gierhedd75 wrote 35 weeks 13 hours ago

P.S.
I really do like my 70 lb. PSE. Even if it is like I'm carrying a small child on my arm through the woods....
I've tried a few Matthews bows, and I like them. So please don't misread me. I just think that was a lame-a$$ move on their part.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buck16on wrote 35 weeks 9 hours ago

No disrespect to the testers and authors, but don't buy a bow based on what someone else says or someone elses test. Go shoot as many bows as you can set at your draw length and poundage you plan to use when you hunt. You'll know which bow feels best in your hand and feels best when the arrow releases. What someone else thinks doesn't matter. Don't pay much attention to speed either as accuracy is far more important than speed. I've been hunting and shooting bows for 50 plus years.

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from Dave Henderson wrote 35 weeks 7 hours ago

All of the fallout from this article will hopefully not hurt sponsorship on the part of the magazine. It did seem to be an impartial review and for that I applaud you. Honest appraisals of hunting equipment are few and far between in this industry as some have biases and brand loyalty. A good article nonetheless and a good launching pad for others to base their personal tests upon.

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from Savageshot wrote 35 weeks 6 hours ago

I don't believe any company deserves loyalty. if they relied on loyalty then there be no reason for them to make something better the next year. the only loyalty I make a point to keep is to American companies. I also shot a Mathews and when I bought it they earned my business after I shot every bow I could, and I like there's the best.

every time you buy a new a bow I hope you go and do your own independent test before deciding your purchase, just do us all a favor and buy American.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from romanella wrote 35 weeks 4 hours ago

My wife used to shoot Mathew's, but we sold it after how many issues her Jewel had. We both shoot Bowtech now, and especially after this review and what Mathew's pulled, we will never buy another Mathew's again.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bowhrad wrote 35 weeks 3 hours ago

When you look at the sum of their parts, it's hard to justify the cost of a $1000 bow.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Longbeard wrote 35 weeks 1 hour ago

I agree with spad3 and others commending F&S for publishing comparative reviews as they are getting harder and harder to find in the hunting industry...maybe someone should start an independent consumer agancy for hunting and fishing equipment!

As for Matthews' reaction: I am looking forward to buying a new bow in the not-too-distant future and I would have considered a Matthews as a top contender. No longer. First, the reviews weren't very favorable but I might not agree with the reviewers. But now I won't even consider one - there are too many more deserving companies.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Barry Clayton wrote 34 weeks 6 days ago

Speed! Speed! Speed! I will take a little slower bow with a smooth draw thats quiet over a loud fast bow any day. My 2013 Elite hunter is 70lbs and shooting a Gold Tip 385 grain arrow at 295ft per sec. Its quiet no vibration and by far the best draw cycle period. It seems that everyone bases the bow on speed. I have killed many whitetail deer with a bow that shot 262 ft per sec. Further more my wife kills them with a bow that shoots 220 ft per sec. F&S gave what i thought was a fair debate. But speed still seems to be the BIG FACTOR. Am i the only one that sees this?

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from dooser wrote 34 weeks 6 days ago

I would have liked to have seen a APA bow thrown into the mix!

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from Cam Grabast wrote 34 weeks 6 days ago

Field and Stream -

While I do appreciate an objective review, it's seems that maybe the person(s) in charge didn't exactly pick the correct bow from G5 Prime. The Defy would have been a much better representative in the shorter A to A category you chose. Of course a 35" A to A bow is going to feel heavy compared to a 3" shorter bow.

Also, just an FYI, if the grip seems "soft" or "spongy" , the Prime line is able to have the grip removed and shot like the Elite, Strother, PSE and Bowtech in the test. The Bear Archery lineup is designed this way as well.

Pretty decent review...just could maybe done a more "apples to apples" test.

I'm sorry that the Hinton Archery Shop lost it's Mathews/Mission line because of this review. But, the Mathews company is very good at being "Elitist". I do believe "Catch Us if you Can" has turned in to..."Oh no, we've been caught and surpassed by nearly every other bow company on the market". Sad that they have to stoop to that level, but they've been good at it for a long time now.

Also, what were the draw lengths on these bows? Were they all put at the same draw length (measured with a draw board?). If not, there is another "apples to apples" problem as I know at least three of the bows on your list run at least 1/2" long on draw lenght.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Shawn Smith wrote 34 weeks 6 days ago

I have only been shooting bow for about three years now and I am on my third bow in as many years. I have only owned two different companies bows and neither of them are Mathews. Pse and Bear have been the bows I have cut my teeth on. The bow I own now is the Bear Attack. I am looking forward to possibly soon buying another bow and it will more than likely be another Bear but my teacher, a good friend of mine, shoots Bowtech and PSE. Thank you for your time spent on these reviews. It will help me tremendously in a new bow purchase decision. Keep up the good work.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Online Editors wrote 34 weeks 6 days ago

Dear Cam,
Just to clarify, yes, the bows were set up with precisely the same draw lengths and weights, same accessories, same arrows, etc. We were very careful to make things as apples to apples as possible, and there were two guys with engineering degrees present to help make sure of that. The companies are invited to send us whichever bow in their lineup they feel gives them the best shot at winning, and Prime sent the impact. Also, we shoot them the way they send them. We take the test very seriously and try to make it as fair and honest as we can.
Thanks for your interest.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom E wrote 34 weeks 6 days ago

I applaud Hinton Archery for their commitment to conducting a fair and objective test. I further applaud them for maintaining their integrity and commitment to their customers. It is disappointing that Mathews and Mission didn’t seek input for product enhancement from the evaluators of this test instead of terminating the business relationship in what appears to be a spiteful, knee jerk reaction. Lastly, I am thrilled that I too came to the same opinion as Hinton Archery and own a BowTech Experience that I am preparing for the upcoming season with. Congratulations BowTech and shame on you Mathews & Mission.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rob Abbott wrote 34 weeks 5 days ago

I have never been that impressed by Mathews bows, but always thought they were well made and "to each his own". Unfortunately, they are acting like one might expect, a marketing "bully". Intimidation and threats to those who dare provide an honest opinion of their product. They also have a reputation for, in essence, "bribing" dealers to push their product by offering more freebies than competitors. Combine all this with the fact that they spend more marketing dollars than anyone else to sell their product, and I say "no thanks". There are plenty of other manufacturers who provide as good or better equipment.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SGLDOLFAN wrote 34 weeks 5 days ago

As consumers, we all want to see accurate and honest reviews and if Mathews ranks #7 with the Creed, so be it. However,in my opinion, reviews should list specs, test results and pros & cons. Let consumers decide for themselves, based on numerous reviews and shooting as many bows as possible, which bow they prefer. There is no need for comments like “If you’re going to shoot a bow this slow, buy the Elite.” That would be like a Ford Dealer telling a potential buyer "Don't buy this Ford focus, the Dodge Dart is much better". I currently shoot a PSE but will be upgrading and will definitely be looking at the Creed. Mathews made a business decision to pull their line from Hinton Archery and can't really blame them. I would have done the same if one of my official retailers recommended another bow on a platform where thousands of people will read the review. If Hinton makes that type of comment in F&S, what's he telling potential buyers in the store. I applaud Mathews for the bold move.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bowfamily9 wrote 34 weeks 5 days ago

I would have done the same thing as Mathews! The review was very lame . Come on ,you cannot compare 6 inch brace height bows to 8's . Different animals . also Mr Hinton and the others are not being honest as I know lots of guys including two Bowtech dealers who will tell you the Creed is quieter or as quiet as the Experience and almost every other major bow. Basically they don't like it. Their review is based on there own likes and agenda Not specs. I would not want someone that dishonest representing my company ! Look at the reasons they knocked bows like the Hunter and Creed . They are too slow . Hello they are not meant to be speed bows . They are meant for someone who wants a bow that is quiet and very easy to draw back in a hunting situation and they are more than powerful enough to kill any North American animal. And they forgot to mention that while the Experience is smooth it is still a typical Bowtech with that stiff draw ! I should know I have bad shoulders . The Spyder Creed and Hunter are all easier to roll over! Field and Stream should get a hold of John Silks or someone truly unbiased to do there reviews . No more lame ducks!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mowe23 wrote 34 weeks 3 days ago

I have many friends who are Mathews(for life)bow hunters.One or two of them buy the newest thing out. Neither of them bought new this year, saying what they had(Monster8 & Z7)was better than what was coming out.Their bow guy usually gives them an idea. We all choose what we do for one reason or another. Some grew up shooting something, some can only afford this, some were pressured into that. I have been told by my hunting buddies that I shouldnt believe the hype and/or buy the newest thing out,that hunting is still pretty simple. I watch the Outdoor/Sportsmans channel hunting line up regularly and find those professional hunters selling plenty of stuff for all the companies involved in our sport.I would market products too, if you came and filmed me hunting here in Maryland.Its good to get a visual, as well as, a written review of products available to us. I do not think the review was bias at all. Hinton Archery was a seller of Mathews products. im sure he gives opinions in shop all the time, and allows for the customer to decide for themselves. We dont have to buy what they are selling, be it Bowtech, Mathews, Outdoor channel, F&S, etc, in the end I choose my gear.As I said, there are pushers, and what Mathews did, was just that.If Joel Maxfield was honest when asked ,which Mathews do you prefer, he would come up with 2or 3 of 50 Mathews bows. Should he be fired? No.Its what he likes and chooses, and you can be totally different.There are alot of products on the market, that Hinton archery can find something just as good ,if not better than Mathews to offer his customers.Have pride in your product and company and make something better, BUT,be able to accept an opinion, not one ,but four. I also read above, the importance of buying American made products. I have researched this year, it is not easy finding a lot of products made in the USA. Do your research, Treelimb quivers, Bohning, Easton arrows, Beman arrows, Scott,Tru Fire, TruBall,.Lets support the American economy by keeping work here, paying people here, keeping money in America. Find the products made in the USA, even if the professionals are trying to sell us imports. Criticism makes us stronger, Mathews actions made them weak.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ALusignan wrote 32 weeks 5 days ago

I have shot many of the bows on this list, and generally agree with the rankings. I would really love to see the New Breed line of bows make an appearance on one of these tests. I blindly bought a New Breed Eclipse from the internet base on reviews and I've never shot a bow as well as the Eclipse. I still have a Matthews, Hoyt, and PSE, but I can't put the Eclipse down long enough to shoot them anymore!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph Harris wrote 32 weeks 7 min ago

Pretty poor bow testing. Should just list the actual numbers, along with the bow stats. The personal opinions as to the feel, grips, etc. are just that. Opinions.

After the numbers are put up, a person can try the bow, and see if they like the feel, as opposed to the testers liking the feel.

Cannot really blame Mathews for what they did, although it is well known they are a shark in the business world, this is right in line with their policies.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bucksn0rt wrote 28 weeks 2 days ago

I have owned two different Matthews bows (Outback,Q2)and was shooting a bowtech last year on a trip to Illinois for a whitetail hunt. Upon arriving we found out that our host (guide) was a rep for Elite archery,
at this point I had never heard of them and most of the guys in camp hadn't either. By the time we left a week later 3 of the 6 guys in camp that week had one on order. One had a 3 month old Matthews Reezen, another was shooting a PSE EVO, and myself the Bowtech and all three of got rid of those as fast as we could
after shooting the Elite Hunter, #2 in these rankings and the Elite Answer. I have owned a Jennings, McPherson, Matthews(2),Parker, Diamond, PSE, and Bowtech and these Elite's are three times the shooters any of the other bows were. I would suggest if you have an Elite dealer in your area, just go shoot one and I would be willing to bet you have the same reaction we did, Awesome bows. At least go check out their website
EliteArchery.com.
And what Matthew's did as a result of this comparison is plain and simply poor business practice.

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from Threedraw3 wrote 27 weeks 1 hour ago

I just bought a 2013 PSE Brute X which I think is the best bow for the buck. You can get it in a package with awesome equipment or just a bare bow. The package I bought for $499 at the ol'BassPro. Its comes with a Wisker Biscuit, 3-pin sight,quiver, and a stabilizer. The bow runs with some of the more expensive ones easily. Its pretty sweet. Its definitely one too check out for someone on a budget.

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from TheBirdMan wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago

If Matthews was my company Patrick Burke & Jon Dumars would be looking for a new job. I have been personally looking for a new bow and this article for me was just another data point. I agree with Ralph about opinions. I plan to shoot lots of bows to determine what I will buy next.

I have been looking for data on bows for the past few months and interesting enough one of the bows I was looking into was the "Matthews Creed". Two months ago the google ranking for this exact phrase did not show up within the first six pages. Today it shows up #20 in google. As a CEO of a company this is not the kind of negative publicity you want to see. Even worse, it will probably be on the 1st page results of google in the next few weeks (or days).

Your tests would of been more valuable if you actually had real measurements as you say "We measured speed and noise". Speed tests you did a good job with. Noise in measured in decibels (dB) not by someone's ear saying "it sounded noisy" or "quiet as moss". Noise is a really easy test to setup and perform.

Doing a vibration test is a bit more involved, but still very doable.

On your next testing of bows consider publishing statistics only and leave out the opinions.

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from Primal_Urge wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Thanks for the heads up! I was looking to buy my first compound bow and was stuck between a "Mathews creed" and a"Hoyt carbon spyder turbo." I was thoroughly disgusted in Mathews after reading this and bought the Hoyt. I will never, NEVER EVER own a Mathews after this and tell everyone in the bow club I belong to...Absolutely no honor or pride.

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from Cowboy Dan wrote 1 min 13 sec ago

Somewhat biased article albeit not intentional and possibly a few readers may be quick to jump on the boycott brand X band wagon. Did anyone else notice that the most pleasant bow to shoot (Elite Hunter)was the slowest and the Matthews bows were kicked to the floor because they weren't fast enough. You can sit on the sofa and read or watch all the youtube videos you want but at the end of the day the only thing that matters is how YOU shoot a bow.

I went to my local archery pro shop, they listened to my needs, set up several different bows (various price points)and I shot them all. Guess what? They all shot differently and I purchased the one I was the most comfortable and accurate with. Never once did I ask about speed, price or looks. There is value in having a pro shop knowledgeable in what they sell and service and I am thankful for it.

Every one of you would be just as happy in a Matthews or Hoyt or PSE or etc... They each offer multiple product offerings that have different feature sets. Which was obviously left out of this article and many others just like it. Any reputable Matthews dealer would tell you a Creed (Creed XS 2014) and a Chill (Chill R 2014) are two totally different bows. You can't compare them because they serve two totally different shooting styles and purposes. Matthews, Hoyt, PSE and others all offer so many bows its impossible not to have one fit you. Fast, Forgiving, Stable, back wall, no back wall, Short A2A, Long A2A they are all options you just have to pick a different model. Get off the sofa and shoot several. Feel the difference and go with what you like. The only three options should be comfort, budget and if the pro shop can repair your bow.

I own a 2014 Matthews ChillR set at a 30" draw at 53 lbs. With 4 months of total experience I shoot 6" groups at 60 yards all day long. I shoot 12" groups at 70 yards because my 5 sight pins are set up for 20-60 so I use a hold over with the 5th pin or I use the bubble level at the bottom and guess the difference.

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from Cowboy Dan wrote 1 min 2 sec ago

Somewhat biased article albeit not intentional and possibly a few readers may be quick to jump on the boycott brand X band wagon. Did anyone else notice that the most pleasant bow to shoot (Elite Hunter)was the slowest and the Matthews bows were kicked to the floor because they weren't fast enough. You can sit on the sofa and read or watch all the youtube videos you want but at the end of the day the only thing that matters is how YOU shoot a bow.

I went to my local archery pro shop, they listened to my needs, set up several different bows (various price points)and I shot them all. Guess what? They all shot differently and I purchased the one I was the most comfortable and accurate with. Never once did I ask about speed, price or looks. There is value in having a pro shop knowledgeable in what they sell and service and I am thankful for it.

Every one of you would be just as happy in a Matthews or Hoyt or PSE or etc... They each offer multiple product offerings that have different feature sets. Which was obviously left out of this article and many others just like it. Any reputable Matthews dealer would tell you a Creed (Creed XS 2014) and a Chill (Chill R 2014) are two totally different bows. You can't compare them because they serve two totally different shooting styles and purposes. Matthews, Hoyt, PSE and others all offer so many bows its impossible not to have one fit you. Fast, Forgiving, Stable, back wall, no back wall, Short A2A, Long A2A they are all options you just have to pick a different model. Get off the sofa and shoot several. Feel the difference and go with what you like. The only three options should be comfort, budget and if the pro shop can repair your bow.

I own a 2014 Matthews ChillR set at a 30" draw at 53 lbs. With 4 months of total experience I shoot 6" groups at 60 yards all day long. I shoot 12" groups at 70 yards because my 5 sight pins are set up for 20-60 so I use a hold over with the 5th pin or I use the bubble level at the bottom and guess the difference.

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from Cowboy Dan wrote 15 sec ago

Somewhat biased article albeit not intentional and possibly a few readers may be quick to jump on the boycott brand X band wagon. Did anyone else notice that the most pleasant bow to shoot (Elite Hunter)was the slowest and the Matthews bows were kicked to the floor because they weren't fast enough. You can sit on the sofa and read or watch all the youtube videos you want but at the end of the day the only thing that matters is how YOU shoot a bow.

I went to my local archery pro shop, they listened to my needs, set up several different bows (various price points)and I shot them all. Guess what? They all shot differently and I purchased the one I was the most comfortable and accurate with. Never once did I ask about speed, price or looks. There is value in having a pro shop knowledgeable in what they sell and service and I am thankful for it.

Every one of you would be just as happy in a Matthews or Hoyt or PSE or etc... They each offer multiple product offerings that have different feature sets. Which was obviously left out of this article and many others just like it. Any reputable Matthews dealer would tell you a Creed (Creed XS 2014) and a Chill (Chill R 2014) are two totally different bows. You can't compare them because they serve two totally different shooting styles and purposes. Matthews, Hoyt, PSE and others all offer so many bows its impossible not to have one fit you. Fast, Forgiving, Stable, back wall, no back wall, Short A2A, Long A2A they are all options you just have to pick a different model. Get off the sofa and shoot several. Feel the difference and go with what you like. The only three options should be comfort, budget and if the pro shop can repair your bow.

I own a 2014 Matthews ChillR set at a 30" draw at 53 lbs. With 4 months of total experience I shoot 6" groups at 60 yards all day long. I shoot 12" groups at 70 yards because my 5 sight pins are set up for 20-60 so I use a hold over with the 5th pin or I use the bubble level at the bottom and guess the difference.

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from Keith Kuhnsman wrote 35 weeks 22 hours ago

Seems Mathews had a hissy fit and cut Mr. Hinton out of their supply chain.

Posted on archerytalk:

My archery shop, Hinton Archery, was recently asked to participate in objective bow comparison testing involving the flagship bows for several different manufacturers. The results of those tests were featured on page 77 of the September 2013 issue of Field & Stream magazine in an article entitled “Flagship Bow Shootout”.
I was one of four shooters on the panel asked to shoot and evaluate each bow. In addition, Hinton Archery performed all of the tuning and setup work for the bows being tested, and we hosted some of the speed ranking tests on our indoor range.
At the time I agreed to participate, Hinton Archery was an authorized dealer for Bowtech and Mathews bows, which are certainly 2 premier names in the field of archery, along with several others. My primary objective was to provide honest reviews based on objective information. I was determined to give accurate appraisals based on performance, and not simply because Hinton Archery carried a particular brand.
Each bow we tested was ranked according to the aggregate scores of the four individual testers. The scores were all fairly close, which is a testament to the number of good bows available in today’s archery market. More importantly, none of the 4 testers knew how the bow rankings would fare and/or which bow would “win”.
After the testing was completed and results formulated, it turned out that the Bowtech Experience took top honors in the review. The Mathew’s Creed, however, came in seventh, and Mathews’ Monster Chill also finished near the bottom of the list, behind Elite, Hoyt, Strother and a few other brands.
Yesterday, within days of the September Field and Stream issue hitting the newsstands, I received this letter from Patrick Burke, Director of Sales for Mathews, and Jon Dumars, Director of Sales for Mission:
“Dear Danny,
We regret to inform you that Mathews, Inc. and Mission Archery will no longer be able to supply your company with product. We have determined that other avenues of distribution are more consistent with the sales and marketing objectives of Mathews.”
It certainly appears that Matthews/Mission terminated my dealership because I participated in an independent test. So, going forward, Hinton Archery will no longer sell Mathews or Mission products.
Although we’ve enjoyed a good relationship with Mathews in the past, we will not be intimidated by them or any other manufacturer. We’re a small-town shop, and our first priority is to our customers. We won’t sacrifice our principles or attempt to “throw” the results of an independent gear review because of brand loyalty or a company’s marketing objectives. There is too much self-serving, agenda-driven promotion in this business already. We believe that the sportsmen deserve to hear the results of honest, independent tests like the one we performed. They just deserve better. Our staff personally shoots and evaluates every bow we sell, and the recommendations we provide to our customers are truthful.
Buying a bow is a personal decision, and if you shoot a Mathews, we will continue to service it. But future warranty work will have to be done by an authorized Mathews dealer. I apologize for the inconvenience, but I assume our customers will understand.

--------

That's one less brand from which I will need to choose.

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from spad3 wrote 35 weeks 18 hours ago

First of all, I applaud Field and Stream for publishing an article that actually says something tested better than another product as opposed to most magazines' practice of just listing the good points of everything in their tests and saying all the tested equipment is good without anything negative being mentioned. I want perceived flaws pointed out to me as well as good points. Then when I go to buy a product I have some specific traits/features/ flaws to look for and can then decide for myself if the test criticism/praise was valid or not and if I want to buy the item. Thanks F&S.

As for Mathews reaction and termination of their association with Hinton Archery I am disappointed and saddened. I currently own and use two left hand Mathews bows, a Switchback and a Feathermax. Had you asked me the best bow company out there I would have said Mathews due to my satisfaction with their products, their customer service in handling a problem I had with a Mathews bow out of warranty and my perception of them as an industry leader based on kudos bestowed on them in article after article through the years since they made the solo cam the industry force it became. However, to feel the need to strike out at a someone because that person believed and stated that some other products tested slightly better than the Mathews entry is disturbing and certainly diminishes my good opinion of Mathews. Apparently their sales managers truly believe their own press clippings and after years of being lauded for their products and innovation they apparently can't deal with anything other than adulation and decided to take the low road in dealing with this situation. I'd like to think that what has happened is a knee jerk reaction by a pompous sales force and not reflective of the way Mr. McPherson would have handled things. Time will tell.

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from Donald Pack wrote 35 weeks 19 hours ago

I found this test to very fair from what I read. I have never owned a Mathews and have only shot a couple of them. I bought a new bow last year and tried a couple of them out after hearing how great they were. I think I was expecting more because of the hype I have heard for years, I was not impressed! I did not buy one to say the least. After reading this and hearing how they responded to a fair evaluation and comparison to their bows I guarantee I will never even give one a second thought. Pathetic!!!

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from bprogram wrote 35 weeks 17 hours ago

I would have to agree with all the comments posted. As a Mathews Switchback owner I have been very pleased with my bow over the years and am now looking for a new bow but would seriously consider whether I really wanted to purchase a Mathews or Mission based on the comments. I would like to hear Mr. Burke's and Mr. Dumar's comments on why they pulled support of Hinton archery. We, as consumers, believe it or not do look at it and say the ratings are what they are, we all evaluate ourselves the bows and make a decision on what we want based on how it feels to us. But when you take an approach like that with one of your dealers it makes me not even want to purchase another one. I would consider Mathews and Mission to think hard on it. Loyalty is a great thing but once you do something to take that out of the thought process it is twice as hard to gain that customer back.

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from Savageshot wrote 35 weeks 6 hours ago

I don't believe any company deserves loyalty. if they relied on loyalty then there be no reason for them to make something better the next year. the only loyalty I make a point to keep is to American companies. I also shot a Mathews and when I bought it they earned my business after I shot every bow I could, and I like there's the best.

every time you buy a new a bow I hope you go and do your own independent test before deciding your purchase, just do us all a favor and buy American.

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from romanella wrote 35 weeks 4 hours ago

My wife used to shoot Mathew's, but we sold it after how many issues her Jewel had. We both shoot Bowtech now, and especially after this review and what Mathew's pulled, we will never buy another Mathew's again.

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from Rob Abbott wrote 34 weeks 5 days ago

I have never been that impressed by Mathews bows, but always thought they were well made and "to each his own". Unfortunately, they are acting like one might expect, a marketing "bully". Intimidation and threats to those who dare provide an honest opinion of their product. They also have a reputation for, in essence, "bribing" dealers to push their product by offering more freebies than competitors. Combine all this with the fact that they spend more marketing dollars than anyone else to sell their product, and I say "no thanks". There are plenty of other manufacturers who provide as good or better equipment.

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from Mowe23 wrote 34 weeks 3 days ago

I have many friends who are Mathews(for life)bow hunters.One or two of them buy the newest thing out. Neither of them bought new this year, saying what they had(Monster8 & Z7)was better than what was coming out.Their bow guy usually gives them an idea. We all choose what we do for one reason or another. Some grew up shooting something, some can only afford this, some were pressured into that. I have been told by my hunting buddies that I shouldnt believe the hype and/or buy the newest thing out,that hunting is still pretty simple. I watch the Outdoor/Sportsmans channel hunting line up regularly and find those professional hunters selling plenty of stuff for all the companies involved in our sport.I would market products too, if you came and filmed me hunting here in Maryland.Its good to get a visual, as well as, a written review of products available to us. I do not think the review was bias at all. Hinton Archery was a seller of Mathews products. im sure he gives opinions in shop all the time, and allows for the customer to decide for themselves. We dont have to buy what they are selling, be it Bowtech, Mathews, Outdoor channel, F&S, etc, in the end I choose my gear.As I said, there are pushers, and what Mathews did, was just that.If Joel Maxfield was honest when asked ,which Mathews do you prefer, he would come up with 2or 3 of 50 Mathews bows. Should he be fired? No.Its what he likes and chooses, and you can be totally different.There are alot of products on the market, that Hinton archery can find something just as good ,if not better than Mathews to offer his customers.Have pride in your product and company and make something better, BUT,be able to accept an opinion, not one ,but four. I also read above, the importance of buying American made products. I have researched this year, it is not easy finding a lot of products made in the USA. Do your research, Treelimb quivers, Bohning, Easton arrows, Beman arrows, Scott,Tru Fire, TruBall,.Lets support the American economy by keeping work here, paying people here, keeping money in America. Find the products made in the USA, even if the professionals are trying to sell us imports. Criticism makes us stronger, Mathews actions made them weak.

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from Ralph Harris wrote 32 weeks 7 min ago

Pretty poor bow testing. Should just list the actual numbers, along with the bow stats. The personal opinions as to the feel, grips, etc. are just that. Opinions.

After the numbers are put up, a person can try the bow, and see if they like the feel, as opposed to the testers liking the feel.

Cannot really blame Mathews for what they did, although it is well known they are a shark in the business world, this is right in line with their policies.

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from TheBirdMan wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago

If Matthews was my company Patrick Burke & Jon Dumars would be looking for a new job. I have been personally looking for a new bow and this article for me was just another data point. I agree with Ralph about opinions. I plan to shoot lots of bows to determine what I will buy next.

I have been looking for data on bows for the past few months and interesting enough one of the bows I was looking into was the "Matthews Creed". Two months ago the google ranking for this exact phrase did not show up within the first six pages. Today it shows up #20 in google. As a CEO of a company this is not the kind of negative publicity you want to see. Even worse, it will probably be on the 1st page results of google in the next few weeks (or days).

Your tests would of been more valuable if you actually had real measurements as you say "We measured speed and noise". Speed tests you did a good job with. Noise in measured in decibels (dB) not by someone's ear saying "it sounded noisy" or "quiet as moss". Noise is a really easy test to setup and perform.

Doing a vibration test is a bit more involved, but still very doable.

On your next testing of bows consider publishing statistics only and leave out the opinions.

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from Chad Atkinson wrote 35 weeks 16 hours ago

I've been buying bows for thirty years and have been loyal to Mathews for about 20 years even though I felt others were delivering better bows in recent years. In reading your article, they just lost that loyalty not because others are delivering better products. Rather because a company does not deserve brand loyalty after pulling a stunt like that. I believe in honesty, and if you need to pull a stunt like that because your not confident enough in your own product even though others just might have a better product. Then you certainly have no business in customer loyalty. That is what loyalty is all about, keeping customers even though you may not always be number one, but customers are loyal because for the most part, you are delivering results. The fact that they just totally tossed your honesty and loyalty out the window, they will no longer have mine. Even if they produced the top ranking bow for years to come, I will have to be hard pressed to purchase another Mathews. Nor will I allow my two boys and girl to purchase one under my watch.

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from Gierhedd75 wrote 35 weeks 13 hours ago

I'm still rocking my 2012 Stinger 3G. 5 billion shots and still going strong. Okay. That might be a bit of hyperbole...
I can understand Matthew's concern over finishing near the bottom, but pulling a stunt like that is certainly going to hurt them more than any objective comparison. And some sales exec with his panties in a bunch should have seen that dump truck speeding towards the nitroglycerin plant miles away. No offense to any dump truck drivers, nitroglycerin plant workers, or those of you who wear panties...
Apparently, Matthews doesn't trust the readers of F&S to be able to come away from the article with the ability to form our own opinions. Well, to the folks at Matthews, I say, let me assure you. We have.
I applaud Mr. Hinton for his integrity. And I always look forward to the reviews in F&S. I don't know anyone who has ever been burdened with too much money. I like the insight of other more experienced folks as a place to start when I'm getting ready to spend what little amount I can put aside for my gear.
Mathews had better find somebody or something to toss over that P.R. grenade fast. Seems to be a lot of metaphors today... Perhaps an official apology for the completely overboard response.

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from Gierhedd75 wrote 35 weeks 13 hours ago

P.S.
I really do like my 70 lb. PSE. Even if it is like I'm carrying a small child on my arm through the woods....
I've tried a few Matthews bows, and I like them. So please don't misread me. I just think that was a lame-a$$ move on their part.

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from buck16on wrote 35 weeks 9 hours ago

No disrespect to the testers and authors, but don't buy a bow based on what someone else says or someone elses test. Go shoot as many bows as you can set at your draw length and poundage you plan to use when you hunt. You'll know which bow feels best in your hand and feels best when the arrow releases. What someone else thinks doesn't matter. Don't pay much attention to speed either as accuracy is far more important than speed. I've been hunting and shooting bows for 50 plus years.

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from Dave Henderson wrote 35 weeks 7 hours ago

All of the fallout from this article will hopefully not hurt sponsorship on the part of the magazine. It did seem to be an impartial review and for that I applaud you. Honest appraisals of hunting equipment are few and far between in this industry as some have biases and brand loyalty. A good article nonetheless and a good launching pad for others to base their personal tests upon.

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from bowhrad wrote 35 weeks 3 hours ago

When you look at the sum of their parts, it's hard to justify the cost of a $1000 bow.

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from Longbeard wrote 35 weeks 1 hour ago

I agree with spad3 and others commending F&S for publishing comparative reviews as they are getting harder and harder to find in the hunting industry...maybe someone should start an independent consumer agancy for hunting and fishing equipment!

As for Matthews' reaction: I am looking forward to buying a new bow in the not-too-distant future and I would have considered a Matthews as a top contender. No longer. First, the reviews weren't very favorable but I might not agree with the reviewers. But now I won't even consider one - there are too many more deserving companies.

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from Barry Clayton wrote 34 weeks 6 days ago

Speed! Speed! Speed! I will take a little slower bow with a smooth draw thats quiet over a loud fast bow any day. My 2013 Elite hunter is 70lbs and shooting a Gold Tip 385 grain arrow at 295ft per sec. Its quiet no vibration and by far the best draw cycle period. It seems that everyone bases the bow on speed. I have killed many whitetail deer with a bow that shot 262 ft per sec. Further more my wife kills them with a bow that shoots 220 ft per sec. F&S gave what i thought was a fair debate. But speed still seems to be the BIG FACTOR. Am i the only one that sees this?

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from dooser wrote 34 weeks 6 days ago

I would have liked to have seen a APA bow thrown into the mix!

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from Cam Grabast wrote 34 weeks 6 days ago

Field and Stream -

While I do appreciate an objective review, it's seems that maybe the person(s) in charge didn't exactly pick the correct bow from G5 Prime. The Defy would have been a much better representative in the shorter A to A category you chose. Of course a 35" A to A bow is going to feel heavy compared to a 3" shorter bow.

Also, just an FYI, if the grip seems "soft" or "spongy" , the Prime line is able to have the grip removed and shot like the Elite, Strother, PSE and Bowtech in the test. The Bear Archery lineup is designed this way as well.

Pretty decent review...just could maybe done a more "apples to apples" test.

I'm sorry that the Hinton Archery Shop lost it's Mathews/Mission line because of this review. But, the Mathews company is very good at being "Elitist". I do believe "Catch Us if you Can" has turned in to..."Oh no, we've been caught and surpassed by nearly every other bow company on the market". Sad that they have to stoop to that level, but they've been good at it for a long time now.

Also, what were the draw lengths on these bows? Were they all put at the same draw length (measured with a draw board?). If not, there is another "apples to apples" problem as I know at least three of the bows on your list run at least 1/2" long on draw lenght.

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from Shawn Smith wrote 34 weeks 6 days ago

I have only been shooting bow for about three years now and I am on my third bow in as many years. I have only owned two different companies bows and neither of them are Mathews. Pse and Bear have been the bows I have cut my teeth on. The bow I own now is the Bear Attack. I am looking forward to possibly soon buying another bow and it will more than likely be another Bear but my teacher, a good friend of mine, shoots Bowtech and PSE. Thank you for your time spent on these reviews. It will help me tremendously in a new bow purchase decision. Keep up the good work.

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from Tom E wrote 34 weeks 6 days ago

I applaud Hinton Archery for their commitment to conducting a fair and objective test. I further applaud them for maintaining their integrity and commitment to their customers. It is disappointing that Mathews and Mission didn’t seek input for product enhancement from the evaluators of this test instead of terminating the business relationship in what appears to be a spiteful, knee jerk reaction. Lastly, I am thrilled that I too came to the same opinion as Hinton Archery and own a BowTech Experience that I am preparing for the upcoming season with. Congratulations BowTech and shame on you Mathews & Mission.

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from Bowfamily9 wrote 34 weeks 5 days ago

I would have done the same thing as Mathews! The review was very lame . Come on ,you cannot compare 6 inch brace height bows to 8's . Different animals . also Mr Hinton and the others are not being honest as I know lots of guys including two Bowtech dealers who will tell you the Creed is quieter or as quiet as the Experience and almost every other major bow. Basically they don't like it. Their review is based on there own likes and agenda Not specs. I would not want someone that dishonest representing my company ! Look at the reasons they knocked bows like the Hunter and Creed . They are too slow . Hello they are not meant to be speed bows . They are meant for someone who wants a bow that is quiet and very easy to draw back in a hunting situation and they are more than powerful enough to kill any North American animal. And they forgot to mention that while the Experience is smooth it is still a typical Bowtech with that stiff draw ! I should know I have bad shoulders . The Spyder Creed and Hunter are all easier to roll over! Field and Stream should get a hold of John Silks or someone truly unbiased to do there reviews . No more lame ducks!

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from ALusignan wrote 32 weeks 5 days ago

I have shot many of the bows on this list, and generally agree with the rankings. I would really love to see the New Breed line of bows make an appearance on one of these tests. I blindly bought a New Breed Eclipse from the internet base on reviews and I've never shot a bow as well as the Eclipse. I still have a Matthews, Hoyt, and PSE, but I can't put the Eclipse down long enough to shoot them anymore!

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from Bucksn0rt wrote 28 weeks 2 days ago

I have owned two different Matthews bows (Outback,Q2)and was shooting a bowtech last year on a trip to Illinois for a whitetail hunt. Upon arriving we found out that our host (guide) was a rep for Elite archery,
at this point I had never heard of them and most of the guys in camp hadn't either. By the time we left a week later 3 of the 6 guys in camp that week had one on order. One had a 3 month old Matthews Reezen, another was shooting a PSE EVO, and myself the Bowtech and all three of got rid of those as fast as we could
after shooting the Elite Hunter, #2 in these rankings and the Elite Answer. I have owned a Jennings, McPherson, Matthews(2),Parker, Diamond, PSE, and Bowtech and these Elite's are three times the shooters any of the other bows were. I would suggest if you have an Elite dealer in your area, just go shoot one and I would be willing to bet you have the same reaction we did, Awesome bows. At least go check out their website
EliteArchery.com.
And what Matthew's did as a result of this comparison is plain and simply poor business practice.

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from Threedraw3 wrote 27 weeks 1 hour ago

I just bought a 2013 PSE Brute X which I think is the best bow for the buck. You can get it in a package with awesome equipment or just a bare bow. The package I bought for $499 at the ol'BassPro. Its comes with a Wisker Biscuit, 3-pin sight,quiver, and a stabilizer. The bow runs with some of the more expensive ones easily. Its pretty sweet. Its definitely one too check out for someone on a budget.

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from Primal_Urge wrote 7 weeks 1 day ago

Thanks for the heads up! I was looking to buy my first compound bow and was stuck between a "Mathews creed" and a"Hoyt carbon spyder turbo." I was thoroughly disgusted in Mathews after reading this and bought the Hoyt. I will never, NEVER EVER own a Mathews after this and tell everyone in the bow club I belong to...Absolutely no honor or pride.

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from Cowboy Dan wrote 1 min 14 sec ago

Somewhat biased article albeit not intentional and possibly a few readers may be quick to jump on the boycott brand X band wagon. Did anyone else notice that the most pleasant bow to shoot (Elite Hunter)was the slowest and the Matthews bows were kicked to the floor because they weren't fast enough. You can sit on the sofa and read or watch all the youtube videos you want but at the end of the day the only thing that matters is how YOU shoot a bow.

I went to my local archery pro shop, they listened to my needs, set up several different bows (various price points)and I shot them all. Guess what? They all shot differently and I purchased the one I was the most comfortable and accurate with. Never once did I ask about speed, price or looks. There is value in having a pro shop knowledgeable in what they sell and service and I am thankful for it.

Every one of you would be just as happy in a Matthews or Hoyt or PSE or etc... They each offer multiple product offerings that have different feature sets. Which was obviously left out of this article and many others just like it. Any reputable Matthews dealer would tell you a Creed (Creed XS 2014) and a Chill (Chill R 2014) are two totally different bows. You can't compare them because they serve two totally different shooting styles and purposes. Matthews, Hoyt, PSE and others all offer so many bows its impossible not to have one fit you. Fast, Forgiving, Stable, back wall, no back wall, Short A2A, Long A2A they are all options you just have to pick a different model. Get off the sofa and shoot several. Feel the difference and go with what you like. The only three options should be comfort, budget and if the pro shop can repair your bow.

I own a 2014 Matthews ChillR set at a 30" draw at 53 lbs. With 4 months of total experience I shoot 6" groups at 60 yards all day long. I shoot 12" groups at 70 yards because my 5 sight pins are set up for 20-60 so I use a hold over with the 5th pin or I use the bubble level at the bottom and guess the difference.

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from Cowboy Dan wrote 1 min 3 sec ago

Somewhat biased article albeit not intentional and possibly a few readers may be quick to jump on the boycott brand X band wagon. Did anyone else notice that the most pleasant bow to shoot (Elite Hunter)was the slowest and the Matthews bows were kicked to the floor because they weren't fast enough. You can sit on the sofa and read or watch all the youtube videos you want but at the end of the day the only thing that matters is how YOU shoot a bow.

I went to my local archery pro shop, they listened to my needs, set up several different bows (various price points)and I shot them all. Guess what? They all shot differently and I purchased the one I was the most comfortable and accurate with. Never once did I ask about speed, price or looks. There is value in having a pro shop knowledgeable in what they sell and service and I am thankful for it.

Every one of you would be just as happy in a Matthews or Hoyt or PSE or etc... They each offer multiple product offerings that have different feature sets. Which was obviously left out of this article and many others just like it. Any reputable Matthews dealer would tell you a Creed (Creed XS 2014) and a Chill (Chill R 2014) are two totally different bows. You can't compare them because they serve two totally different shooting styles and purposes. Matthews, Hoyt, PSE and others all offer so many bows its impossible not to have one fit you. Fast, Forgiving, Stable, back wall, no back wall, Short A2A, Long A2A they are all options you just have to pick a different model. Get off the sofa and shoot several. Feel the difference and go with what you like. The only three options should be comfort, budget and if the pro shop can repair your bow.

I own a 2014 Matthews ChillR set at a 30" draw at 53 lbs. With 4 months of total experience I shoot 6" groups at 60 yards all day long. I shoot 12" groups at 70 yards because my 5 sight pins are set up for 20-60 so I use a hold over with the 5th pin or I use the bubble level at the bottom and guess the difference.

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from Cowboy Dan wrote 16 sec ago

Somewhat biased article albeit not intentional and possibly a few readers may be quick to jump on the boycott brand X band wagon. Did anyone else notice that the most pleasant bow to shoot (Elite Hunter)was the slowest and the Matthews bows were kicked to the floor because they weren't fast enough. You can sit on the sofa and read or watch all the youtube videos you want but at the end of the day the only thing that matters is how YOU shoot a bow.

I went to my local archery pro shop, they listened to my needs, set up several different bows (various price points)and I shot them all. Guess what? They all shot differently and I purchased the one I was the most comfortable and accurate with. Never once did I ask about speed, price or looks. There is value in having a pro shop knowledgeable in what they sell and service and I am thankful for it.

Every one of you would be just as happy in a Matthews or Hoyt or PSE or etc... They each offer multiple product offerings that have different feature sets. Which was obviously left out of this article and many others just like it. Any reputable Matthews dealer would tell you a Creed (Creed XS 2014) and a Chill (Chill R 2014) are two totally different bows. You can't compare them because they serve two totally different shooting styles and purposes. Matthews, Hoyt, PSE and others all offer so many bows its impossible not to have one fit you. Fast, Forgiving, Stable, back wall, no back wall, Short A2A, Long A2A they are all options you just have to pick a different model. Get off the sofa and shoot several. Feel the difference and go with what you like. The only three options should be comfort, budget and if the pro shop can repair your bow.

I own a 2014 Matthews ChillR set at a 30" draw at 53 lbs. With 4 months of total experience I shoot 6" groups at 60 yards all day long. I shoot 12" groups at 70 yards because my 5 sight pins are set up for 20-60 so I use a hold over with the 5th pin or I use the bubble level at the bottom and guess the difference.

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from Online Editors wrote 34 weeks 6 days ago

Dear Cam,
Just to clarify, yes, the bows were set up with precisely the same draw lengths and weights, same accessories, same arrows, etc. We were very careful to make things as apples to apples as possible, and there were two guys with engineering degrees present to help make sure of that. The companies are invited to send us whichever bow in their lineup they feel gives them the best shot at winning, and Prime sent the impact. Also, we shoot them the way they send them. We take the test very seriously and try to make it as fair and honest as we can.
Thanks for your interest.

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from SGLDOLFAN wrote 34 weeks 5 days ago

As consumers, we all want to see accurate and honest reviews and if Mathews ranks #7 with the Creed, so be it. However,in my opinion, reviews should list specs, test results and pros & cons. Let consumers decide for themselves, based on numerous reviews and shooting as many bows as possible, which bow they prefer. There is no need for comments like “If you’re going to shoot a bow this slow, buy the Elite.” That would be like a Ford Dealer telling a potential buyer "Don't buy this Ford focus, the Dodge Dart is much better". I currently shoot a PSE but will be upgrading and will definitely be looking at the Creed. Mathews made a business decision to pull their line from Hinton Archery and can't really blame them. I would have done the same if one of my official retailers recommended another bow on a platform where thousands of people will read the review. If Hinton makes that type of comment in F&S, what's he telling potential buyers in the store. I applaud Mathews for the bold move.

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