At 3.5 pounds the new Heli-m is aptly named; this is one very light bow. How did they do it? The new Geo Grid Lock Riser with squares that turn to follow the contours of the riser is part of the explanation, and at a glance it’s apparent that the grids themselves are skinnier. The harmonic dampers are lighter by two-thirds than those used previously, as is the newly designed reverse assist roller guide. An attachment to hold a quiver is an optional add-on, which results in some further weight reduction for bowhunters who opt not to use a bow-mounted quiver. Even with a forgiving brace height of 7 inches, the new Heli-m Cams generate impressive speeds of 332 fps IBO, and with the same smooth draw cycle Mathews became famous for. Draw lengths range from 26 to 30 inches in half-inch increments, and the Heli-m has a compact 30-inch axle-to-axle length and Mathews’ standard 80 percent letoff. A maximum draw weight option of 65 pounds is a great option; since a lot of bowhunters shoot bows in the low-to-mid 60s, and bows tend to operate most efficiently at or near their peak draw weight, this allows more hunters to get maximum performance from their bows. Naturally the more traditional weights of 40, 50, 60, and 70 pounds are available as well. A gunstock-quality polished walnut grip adds some class to the Heli-m, which has a suggested retail price just shy of $960.
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The latest addition to Mathews’ twin cam Monster series is the MR8. It features the AVS system designed to insure perfect cam timing, along with some other features common to Mathews bows including the Grid Lock Riser, Harmonic Stabilizer, and Dead End String Stop. It also boasts some surprising new features of its own, though, beginning with draw lengths that run from 271⁄2 inches all the way out to a full 33 inches—which makes this bow as wide as it is long at full draw, since axle to axle the MR8 is exactly 33 inches. Brace height is a very generous 8 inches, and letoff is Mathews’ standard (not to mention pleasing) 80 percent. At 4.5 pounds it’s a little heavier than most of Mathews’ offerings. Available in Lost Camo, Black, and several target finishes, the MR8 at full retail is $999.
Mathews’ 2012 offering for the fastest-growing segment of the bowhunting market is the aptly named Jewel. This is not a scaled-back version of another model, but a premium, high-performance bow featuring cutting-edge Mathews technology and features, beginning with the Grid Lock Riser and including parallel limb construction, Reverse Assist Roller Guide, Mathews’ SE5 Composite Limb system, and its own unique Perimeter Weighted Jewel Cam, among others. At 325 fps (29-inch draw length), the Jewel is plenty fast. Axle-to-axle it’s a compact 28 inches, and weighs in at a very comfortable 3.6 pounds. The Jewel offers 80 percent letoff with an adequate 63⁄8-inch brace height. Available draw weights are 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 pounds, offering shooters the ability to select a draw weight that will operate at peak efficiency. Draw lengths run from 22 to 29 inches. It’s available in Lost Camo, Black, Electric Pink, and Electric Teal, and has a suggested retail price of $999.