Bow Review: Mathews V3X 29

Don’t be fooled by the name. The new Mathews V3X, while similar to the V3, elevates the shooting experience to the next level.

Bow Review: Mathews V3X 29

The author’s first arrow shot from 60 yards with the Mathews V3X 29 in cold winter weather and falling snow was a 12-ringer.

Dating back to its inception, Mathews Archery has been known (and continues to be known) as a leading bow-technology innovator. A trip down memory lane calls to mind some game-changing inventions it has unveiled over the years — Harmonic Dampers, the Roller Guard, Parallel Limb Technology and a lengthy list of others. For 2022, Mathews again rolls out more innovations in the new flagship V3X, which is available in two sub-models, the 29 and 33.

Before we dive in, let me mention that I hunted with the Mathews V3 27 during the spring and fall 2021 hunting seasons. I shot it extensively and used it to arrow three gobblers all with perfectly placed arrows. I also shot it at ranges out to 100 yards — it is surprisingly accurate at distance, despite its shortness (27 inches axle to axle). Basically, when I did my part, arrows launched from the V3 27 hit their marks.

Since I’m an honest author, I’ll articulate two minor complaints I have with the V3. The first is related to full-draw comfort. Due to a sharp bowstring angle (it comes with the territory on ultra-short bows), settling in to my anchor point always required some additional attention from me. My second complaint is that, though reasonably good, stability was less than I prefer for long-distance shooting. I’m sure the V3 31 offers the additional stability. Nonetheless, I shot my V3 27 very well and confidently.

That last paragraph is all to underline that the entire point of launching new bows is to offer the consumer measurable improvements. And Mathews has done exactly that with the new V3X 29. It not only addresses the minor complaints I have with the V3 27, but it’s also, hands down, the most stable and comfortable hunting bow I’ve ever held. Period. And I don’t make such bold claims flippantly.

To that end, let’s discuss the business end of the V3X, as well as my input on why it delivers such a superb shooting experience.

Test Bow Specs

  • Axle to Axle Length: 29 inches
  • Brace Height: 6 inches
  • Draw Length: 28 inches
  • Draw Weight: 70.67 pounds
  • Let-off: 85%
  • Bow-only Weight: 4.47 pounds
  • Accessorized Total Weight: 7.42 pounds (no arrows in quiver)
  • Velocity: 283 fps (with 468-grain Easton 6.5mm Acu-Carbon 340 arrow)
  • Kinetic Energy: 83.21 foot-pounds
  • Finish: Granite
  • MSRP: $1,199


Initial Impressions

You only need to look at the drink cooler at a convenience store to understand that consumers love options. Bow finishes are no exception. Years ago, hunting bows were available in one camo finish, and some were also available in black. Now, most are available in multiple finishes. This year, Mathews adds a finish called Granite (shown). It gives the V3X a clean, tough and tactical appearance that stands out.

As always, I’m not a big fan of the stock grip on Mathews bows, so I removed it and installed the company’s Engage Side Plates. Ah, much better. From there, I attached my accessories and was met with only the finest balance of any accessorized bow I’ve ever held, thanks to a technology that I will outline in a few moments. With everything set, I taped a fresh sheet to my paper-tuner and sent an arrow through. Right out of the gate, I got the proverbial bullet hole every bow technician seeks, and I used no lasers or other fancy tools when setting up the bow.

Effortless Aiming and Shooting

A bullet hole is great, but what happens on the range is where the rubber meets the road. Within just a few shots, I was dialed in at 20 yards, and the pins on my Spot-Hogg Fast Eddie XL — I pulled it off my VXR 28 — were on at 30, 40, 50 and 60 yards. My very first arrow at 60 yards with a breeze and snow falling and blurring my vision nailed the center 12-ring on my Rinehart 1/3 Scale Elk. It was the easiest sight-in I’ve ever had.

I screwed in a Ramcat Diamondback Hybrid, which has both fixed and mechanical blades, and shot it out to 70 yards. The flight was impeccably clean. Due to slightly increased wind resistance common with most broadheads, I hit just 2 inches low at 70 yards with the broadhead. Not once did I hit left or right. And that accuracy duplicated day after day without any further sight adjustments.

Earlier, I mentioned that the V3X is the best balanced and most comfortable accessorized hunting bow I’ve ever held. Of course, Mathews is known for long risers on short hunting bows, which certainly produces stability. But, Bridge-Lock Sight Technology is what truly differentiates the V3X from its predecessor, and it’s absolutely brilliant.

The sight mount is integrated into the riser, which serves two notable functions. First, it positions the sight much closer to the center of the bow’s lateral balance point, which I felt immediately and value significantly. Second, it removes the third-party mounting block, meaning less components and fewer vibrations. I can’t brag on this technology enough. For bow balance, it is revolutionary. Unless you already have, when you hold an accessorized V3X, you’ll feel the difference, as I did.

Mathews new Bridge-Lock Sight Technology positions a dovetail bowsight in the center of the riser.
Mathews new Bridge-Lock Sight Technology positions a dovetail bowsight in the center of the riser.

With such good balance, the V3X is a dream to aim with. Never have I felt more relaxed, stable and comfortable at full draw. Aiming and pulling through the shot with back tension is nearly effortless. As a bowhunter, you can’t hang a price tag on that — it’s invaluable. The V3X’s slogan, “Balance Perfected,” accurately synopsizes the bow.

As with any modern Mathews, it is velvety smooth, has beautiful transitions from peak to valley to back wall. It packs a powerful punch with virtually zero vibrations. In short, it epitomizes what a bowhunter spending more than $1,000 on a bow should get in return for their money.

Due to Mathews innovations, the author found that aiming with the V3X was practically effortless.
Due to Mathews innovations, the author found that aiming with the V3X was practically effortless.

Icing on Top

Mathews flagship bows have always been reliable on backcountry hunts where the demands of the hunt can punish equipment. To build on backcountry reliability, the V3X’s cams have been slightly upgraded to feature two integrated prongs compatible with an orange servicing cable, and the combo is known as the Stay Afield System (S.A.S.).

Arguably, the components of a compound bow that are most susceptible to damage in the backcountry are the bowstring and cables. Bowstring fibers are very exposed, and when you’re crawling through rocky terrain toward a high-alpine mule deer or jumping over deadfalls in hot pursuit of a bugling bull elk, things can happen. The S.A.S. is designed to remove tension so that you can replace or repair the bowstring or cables anywhere without a press. If you don’t have a backup bow on an important hunt, this is the next-best “insurance policy” a bowhunter can have on his or her bow.

Mathews has also fired out two new quivers. Because Bridge-Lock Sight Technology puts the bowsight through the riser, Mathews designed these quivers to fit tighter to the riser than previous renditions since they don’t interfere with the sight. The LowPro Quiver comes in fixed and detachable models. They’re ultra-lightweight and hardly affect the bow’s balance. As I said earlier, the V3X is the best-balanced accessorized hunting bow that has ever met my hand, even with the quiver attached. One point for considering, however, is that rests other than the UltraRest Integrate interfere with snapping arrows into the LowPro Quiver.  


Final Thoughts

While Mathews has added only the letter “X” to its 2022 flagship bow’s name, don’t be fooled. The V3X not only features new technologies, but it also exudes the innovation that Mathews has always been known for. The extra attention to details is why I found no complaints with the V3X. 



Additional Notes

The Mathews V3X 29 was set up using a Last Chance Archery EZ Green Bow Press and EZ Green Bow Vise, and draw weight was calculated using Last Chance Archery’s Digital Bow Scale. A Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph measured the 468-grain Easton 6.5mm Acu-Carbon 340 arrow’s velocity.

In-the-field photos by Rebecca McDougal


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