Duncan Busby gets hands-on with the Chill X – an adaptable bow from the Mathews McPherson twin cam range
Mathews introduced solo-cam bows to the archery world in 1992; their immense popularity and success ensured that Mathews became the world leader in single cam technology. So it was a break from the mould when Mathews released the dual-cam McPherson Monster in 2009, though it wasn’t a surprise. Over 20 years ago Matt McPherson created the fastest dual-cam compound ever built at the time, in repeating history Mathews raised the bar once again in dual cam engineering.
The unique appearance and advanced technologies of this popular bow have ensured the expansion of the McPherson series, with many variants being released over the years: this Monster Chill X is one of the latest additions to the range .
Many of the Chill X’s features are a natural progression in the Monster range, and it stacks up rather nicely in terms of its specifications, boasting a stable 35” axle-to-axle length and a forgiving 7” brace height, though it still manages to deliver an IBO speed of up to 336fps. It’s the perfect choice for archers who are looking for a comfortable but fast bow which is just as at home on the tournament field as it is around the field course.
The Chill X owes its shootability to its riser design; like many of the bows in the McPherson lineup, the Chill X incorporates Geo Grid Lock riser technology which makes the bow structurally stronger, ultra rigid and lightweight. The elongated riser makes up nearly 90 per cent of the axle-to-axle length, and as a result contributes to an extremely stable shooting platform at full draw, but weighing in at a trim 4.23lbs it’s also one of the lighter bow choices on the market today.
The Chill X’s rapid speed is delivered by Mathews’ re-developed twin cam system; the new DYAD AVS (Advanced Vectoring System) cam now features dual Perimeter Weights (as found on the ever-popular single cam range), these metal Inertia Disks, strategically placed on the perimeter of the cams, are catapulted in the opposite direction to the limbs on release, helping to counteract their momentum. This not only helps to produce great speeds but also minimises post-shot vibration. The patented technology of this cam has allowed Mathews’ engineers to create a draw profile which maximises energy storage while creating an easy to draw bow. As a result the Monster Chill X is creep tolerant with a generous valley, making it one of the most efficient and comfortable bows you can buy.
Another of Mathews’ developments, Rock Mod Draw Modules, come as standard on the Chill X and further enhance the DYAD AVS cam system. Built with an integrated draw stop, Rock Mods provide a solid back wall for shot-to-shot consistency. Available in either 85 or 75 per cent let-off, Rock Mods can be retro fitted to any other Chill model; so you can experience custom performance and optimise the let-off to your own personal shooting style. Rock Mods also allow you to quickly and easily change your draw length without the need for a bow press, and they’re available in half-inch increments, making it even easier to get the perfect fit.
The Chill X’s technology continues with the revolutionary Reverse Assist roller guard, which makes the bow smoother and easier to draw. Traditional roller guards position the cables on the back side of the rollers; as the bow is drawn the cables wrap tighter causing tension, lateral torque and resistance. By re-engineering the way in which a traditional roller guard functions Mathews reverse assist technology positions the cables on the front side of the rollers, minimising tension and reducing friction for a smoother draw cycle and less torque.
In addition to these latest developments the Chill X also incorporates all the customary enhancements that have made Mathews an industry leader in compound bows: The Harmonic Damper, now a visual identifier of a Mathews bow, can be found at either end of the riser. This weight, which floats inside a rubber wheel, helps to further absorb vibration after the shot and to its advantage the Chill X boasts Mathews’ Harmonic Stabiliser Lite technology, which reduces residual vibration by nearly 75 per cent while being 70 per cent lighter than the original Harmonic Stabiliser.
The Chill X also features Mathews Parallel limb technology, which allows for a compact, manoeuvrable bow that prevents post shot vibration and noise; the addition of a Dead End String Stop, Monkey Tails or String Grub accessories (all of which are available on the Chill X) can further reduce these effects.
Finally, Mathews’ super-comfortable Focus Grip comes as standard on the Chill range. Looking and feeling much like the ever-popular Apex grip, it concentrates pressure from the bow into the centre of the grip, unlike traditional grips which typically force pressure to the outside edges. This helps you to get a consistent hand position and reduces the potential of bow hand torque.
The Chill X in action
I was so excited by the release of the Chill X I just had to shoot one for myself. I found a weekend in the busy target season and put the bow through its paces.
I fitted the 28.5” Rock Mods to the Chill X and made my 28.75” draw length perfectly without the need to rotate the cams from their factory-set position, I then wound the 60lb limbs out a single turn to weigh in just under the World Archery limit; the basic set-up was extremely simple and easy.
Then I began tuning; since the Chill X is a twin cam bow I set the nock point flat (at 90 degrees to the string) and the centre shot with the arrow running through the centre of the bow (when viewed from behind the string). I then shot a paper test with my Carbon Express Nano XR 380’s; they produced a good tear so I moved on to a walk-back or French tune and started group tuning. The entire process was very predictable and I achieved a straight arrow flight, a must for any bow, in no time at all.
I chose to shoot the Chill X at 50m, as I had a target competition coming up, and I was immediately impressed by its speed. Though it was super-accurate I found the Chill X to be extremely forgiving of any poor shots I made and, surprisingly, the shock and vibration normally associated with fast bows was almost non-existent.
I loved the new Rock Mods: they created a solid stop which worked well with my back tension release and the 75 per cent let-off ensured I had enough holding weight to make the bow practical for target archery. I also found it very easy to balance the Chill X; the longer riser provided a steady sight picture and the placement and number of mounting holes gave me plenty of options with my stabiliser choice.
Although the axle-to-axle length is a little shorter than the other target models I shoot, the size of the cams ensured that the string angle was comfortable and felt more like that of a longer bow, so in only a short time I was feeling confident in the Chill X’s performance. During a tournament the bow continued to impress, and I can recommend it for both target and field archery; in my opinion the Chill X is one of the best all-round bows available today.
With its cutting edge technologies and attractive measurements the Chill X is a force to be reckoned with, and I’m sure it will become a favourite among archers around the world.
Axle to Axle: 35”
Brace Height: 7”
Speed: Up to 336 fps IBO (75% let off)
Draw Lengths: 25-31”
Half Sizes: 25.5” – 30.5”
Draw Weight: 50, 60 & 70 lb
Bow Weight: 4.23lb
Let Off: 75 and 85 per cent
Riser Length: 25.5”
Colours: Lost Camo, Desert Tactical and Black
Price: From £875
Available From: Clickers Archery and www.duncanbusbyarchery.com