By Pat Lefemine, Founder - Bowsite.com
In November Mathews announced their new No Cam HTR. Reactions were all over the place. Lots of people were stunned. The SoloCam brand that made Mathews famous had announced, of all things, a wheel bow.
My reaction was one of curiosity. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the bow. I knew there was probably something special for Mathews to make such gutsy move.
My first guess was they had improved the draw cycle. Round wheels have great draw cycles. Period. So I figured the bow would have a very smooth draw and a hard wall due to the Rock Mods introduced in 2014. The speed ratings seemed very good, but not a blazer, and the rest of the specs were solid. But nothing was jumping out at me.
It wasn't until late November that I would get my hands on a No Cam HTR. Within a week, I realized what Mathews was trying to achieve. I knew quickly that the No Cam was going to be a 'game changer.'
But let me back up. It was just after Thanksgiving that I would have a chance to install a Ripcord rest and Black Gold sight on the bow. The tune took about 10 minutes. Five minutes of adjusting my sight and I was hitting dimes at 20 yards.
I had to stop and think about what had just happened. I shot another twenty arrows at my indoor target range. My accuracy was phenomenal.
In fact, it was so phenomenal that my two boys passed behind me in the basement. I had just shot a CX arrow into the bull’s-eye. They were impressed. Being 17 and 19 they just had to bust my stones and make me prove it wasn’t a fluke. They called out the left eye on my Big Green anatomy target. I shot out the pupil. I then did the same with the right eye.
“Holy crap Dad - you are smokin' with that bow!" my youngest said. Compliments don't come easy from teenage sons so I was happy.
Now, I’m a good shot. But I’m not a great shot. My form could be better. I’ve reached the point where I’m too stubborn to change. For that reason some bows are just too finicky for me to shoot well. They demand perfect grip, perfect spine, and perfect release. This bow seemed much more forgiving. I’ve honestly never shot any bow this well - consistently - without having to concentrate hard on my form. That made me curious?
The extreme accuracy experienced was all well and good with field points, but, would I experience that same level of accuracy with my hunting arrows? I swapped my points to fixed, 3-blade broadheads to find out.
Same result. I was deadly accurate.
With a new level of confidence I couldn’t wait until Saturday - and my first hunt with the No Cam HTR.
I didn’t drop a deer that first day out. What I did drop, however, was my No Cam HTR. My hoist rope broke and the bow fell 22 feet from the stand to the ground. I feared the worst. I climbed down to check it out, and not only did it survive, it was still shooting on the money. While I won’t be adding a 'drop test' to any future reviews I thought it was worth mentioning.
Hunting was tough. It took me two more weeks to get my first shot at a deer in Connecticut. A buck came within range and presented a shot I like very much - extreme quartering away. I had to aim really far back, but the arrow hit where I aimed and the buck went down within sight.
A few days later two does appeared and presented a tight shot. I was so confident in my shooting I took the shot which had a window the size of a baseball. The shot was perfect and I had two deer down in one week with the No Cam HTR.
The question burning in my mind...why was I so accurate with this Bow?
I can’t completely explain it. But I have a theory. I think it has something to do with the dramatic improvement in 'nock travel' that Mathews achieved with this bow. I doubt it’s the draw, the speed, or any other factor. In fact, the short brace height is far less than I'm comfortable with. I'll leave the physics and geometry explanations to persons far more knowledgeable. This bow seems to absorb imperfections of the shooter (me) and I like that very much. And since I've read where others are experiencing the same phenomena, I do believe there is more here than meets the eye. But even if there isn't an explanation to it - I definitely clicked with this No Cam HTR.
Review: Characteristics of the No Cam HTR
This bow is not a rocket ship. It’s no slouch either. I had good speeds with my 28" CX pile drivers (that’s a heavy arrow) and a 3-blade 125 grain broadhead. Total arrow weight was 503gr and I achieved 255-262 fps. Very acceptable for my heavy arrow setup.
The draw cycle was much better than I expected. I knew it would be good, but it was great. I also love the hard back wall and the smooth valley on this bow.
Almost none. It’s unreal how dead in the hand this bow is. You have to try it to believe it.
It’s probably the most quiet of all my bows out of the box. Disclaimer - my testing was done with a CX Pile Drive (very heavy arrow) and some minimal testing with a CX Maxima Red. It is a very quiet bow.
The bow I ordered has a focus grip. I shoot it exceptionally well, while I prefer the walnut grip better from a feel perspective, the focus grip is good for guys who habitually torque the bow - like me.
I liked the balance of my Creed, Creed XS, and Z7 a little more than the No Cam. It is a little bit top heavy. A stabilizer would help but I rarely use one.
I have to hand it to Mathews. They departed big time from the design that made them famous and made a gutsy move with the No Cam. The engineering methodology used to create this bow has resulted in my most accurate bow to date. The draw cycle is incredible. The minimal hand shock and lack of sound is incredible. And the speed and shootability of this bow is my favorite bow yet. I only have two very small negatives and that is it’s a little top heavy and I would like to try this bow with a walnut grip. I love the Lost Camo OT finish - especially for all the late season hunting I do in cold weather and snow. Anyone looking to upgrade their bow or searching for a compound would be crazy not to try the No Cam HTR. The accuracy I am experiencing with this bow is unparalleled. I’d be interested to hear if this is your experience as well? Another winner.