Mathews Heli-M Review: Excellent from Top to Bottom

Mathews Heli-M Review: Excellent from Top to Bottom
Mathews' new Heli-m is light and maneuverable thanks to the new GeoGrid Lock riser design and 30-inch axle-to-axle length. The Heli-m Cam produces excellent speeds, while the SE5 SlimLimbs coupled with the host of vibration-damping accessories generate a pleasant shooting experience. Please click image to enlarge!

For 20 years, Mathews Inc. has been wowing the archery community with fantastic technologies, features and performance. The company has long been considered one of the world's top bow makers and has served the entire bowhunting community by pushing the envelope. There is no denying that founder Matt McPherson and his hard-working team are a special bunch. The proof can be found at the end of the manufacturing line year after year.


The 2012 Heli-m, like all Mathews bows, is home to an array of technologies and features. It all starts with a super lightweight GeoGrid Lock riser, which is home to the Reverse Assist Roller Guard, Harmonic Stabilizer Lite, Dead End String Stop Lite and the Rich Walnut SlimFit Inline grip. Also featured on the new rig are the company's SphereLock Pivoting Limb Cup System with Limb Turret, SE5 Composite Limb System and the Heli-m Cam.



FLOWING GEOMETRY

The Mathews Grid Lock riser design is now familiar to the masses and brings instant brand recognition -- not that they needed it. The grid pattern builds strength and stiffness through interlocking bridges that connect the riser's outer edges. A new version, called the GeoGrid Lock pattern, flows with the contour of the Heli-m, increasing strength and further eliminating unnecessary material (and weight). The advertised mass weight of this bow is an amazing 3.5 pounds -- a spec I confirmed as accurate.


The innovative Reverse Assist Roller Guard gets part of its name from the position of the cables on the rollers. Rather than placing the cables in the typical position under the rollers (further away from the shooter), Mathews reverses the position of the cables, placing them over the rollers and closer to the archer where they are held in position by the system's tension.



RELATED: Bow Test Parameters


Unlike typical roller guard systems that get tighter and tighter as the bow is drawn, this configuration actually creates decreasing tension, resulting in less torque and a smoother draw.

Mathews' Harmonic Stabilizer Lite and Dead End String Stop Lite are just two of a handful of features designed to reduce shock, vibration and noise. The Lite version of the Harmonic Stabilizer is nearly 70 percent lighter than the original, while reducing 75 percent of residual vibration in the riser. A rubber material affixed to the end of the Dead End String Stop Lite dampens string oscillation.

Another feature on the Heli-m is the one-piece, Rich Walnut SlimFit Inline grip. This is an excellent grip with a smooth finish, hand-conforming contours and a comfortable size and angle. Without a doubt this is my favorite Mathews grip of all-time.

MATHEWS FAMILY LEGACY

Mathews is very proud of the newest member of its Solocam family, as it brings together two decades of single-cam technology. The Heli-m Cam was designed to produce a smooth draw, solid back wall and game-killing speed. The attached draw-force curve shows smooth transitions throughout, and the cushioned draw stop allows for a super solid back wall. Advertised (up to 332 fps IBO) and tested speeds both indicate the Heli-m has what it takes to get the job done even while sporting a comfortable, 7-inch brace height. As with previous Mathews' single cam systems, the Heli-m Cam is designed to eliminate any timing or synchronization issues.

THIN IS IN

Mathews' SE5 Composite SlimLimbs have endured extensive cycle testing to prove their strength and durability while weighing in nearly 20 percent lighter than other models. Limbs measure 13 inches in length and are constructed of a proprietary composite material that has stood the test of time and thousands of archers. Their past-parallel position at full draw is key in the fight against shock, vibration and noise. The critical limb to riser interface is championed by the company's SphereLock Pivoting Limb Cup and Limb Turret. Both are minimal in material and weight while exercising the necessary control to produce a world-class shooting machine.

IMPRESSIONS

The Heli-m is a quality hunting bow from start to finish and top to bottom. At the shot, the bow had nearly non-existent vibration and only moderate recoil. The grip is excellent in all respects and maneuverability is -- well, I guess that is self-explanatory when you are holding a 30-inch bow that only weighs 3.5 pounds.

I expect a great deal from Mathews. If an average company had created the Heli-m, I might be gushing because they hit the top-end level. But from Mathews, it's just another excellent bow in a long line of them.

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Heli-m

Cam System: Heli-m Cam

Weight:  3.5 pounds

Brace Height: 7 inches

Axle-To-Axle Length: 30 inches

Letoff: 80 percent

Draw Weights: 40-, 50-, 60-, 65- and 70-pound peak

Draw Lengths: 26-30 inches, in half-inch increments; cam specific

Riser:  GeoGrid Lock

Limbs: SE5 Composite SlimLimbs

String: Mathews Genuine Bowstring, 88 inches

Cables: Mathews Genuine Cables, 32.75 inches

Grip: Rich Walnut SlimFit Inline Grip

Finish: Lost Camo, Black, Tactical

Advertised IBO Speed: Up to 332 FPS

Suggested Retail Price: $959

Comments: Quality, Quality, Quality

Recommended for You

Gear

Resources to Get Started with Tree Saddle Hunting

Greg Staggs

Ready to saddle up? Here's where to start!

Bows

Bow Review: Bowtech Realm SR6

Jon E. Silks

Bowtech's 2019 flagship has it all. Let us break it down for you!

Podcasts

Still Going Strong

October 28, 2010

Related Stories> Ted Nugent Talks About His New Book> Mule Deep In The Backcountry>

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

First Look: Mathews Vertix Bow

"Petersen's Bowhunting" editor Christian Berg and Mathews design engineer Mark Hayes talk the smooth, quiet and fast shooting qualities of the new flagship Vertix bow from the Wisconsin bowmaker.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

How-To

4 Steps to Perfect Broadhead Flight

Bowhunting Online Staff

Going from field tips to broadheads requires arrow tuning on a higher plane. Good...

ATA Show

New Fixed-Blade Broadheads for 2019

Brian Strickland - January 10, 2019

We've rounded up the best new fixed-blade broadheads from the 2019 ATA Show. Check out our top...

How-To

Shooting Your Bow With One Eye Versus Two

Bill Winke

Bill Winke explains the benefits of both shooting techniques.

See More Stories

More Bows

Bows

Bow Review: Hoyt Carbon Defiant

Jon E. Silks - April 27, 2018

Hoyt builds carbon bows that are stylish, well-built and perform great. For 2017, Hoyt offers...

Bows

Bow Review: Obsession Fixation 6XP

Jon E. Silks - June 22, 2018

Building on the solid success forged in recent years, Obsession Bows is moving full steam...

Bows

Bow Review: Mission Hype DTX

Jon E. Silks - April 27, 2018

Mission is all about creating bows that employ get-it-done technology and then backing that up...

See More Bows

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×