From the moment I saw the Outback with its extreme parallel limb design, dressed in Realtree Hardwoods camo and sporting a short 31 ½" axle-to-axle length, I knew I wanted to be carrying it out to my bow stand this fall.
Pulling it back for my first time cemented my immediate and growing admiration for this bow. It pulled back smoothly, like a knife through butter, even when set at 55 pounds and 80 let off. For a woman who’s shot for years at 47 pounds with a 26 inch draw to adjust easily to pulling 55 pounds, without any prior strength training, is simply a joy. Mathews’ fine engineering and innovation have proved a success again and enabled women to easily make the transition to shooting higher weight bows for hunts that require it or hunters that desire it. I’m still amazed at the fluid draw each time I shoot it. It’s simply smooth.
The only limitation for women may be in the draw length; the Outback models range from a minimum 25 ½" draw (obtained by setting let off to 65%) to 30". Draw weight options begin at 40 to 50 pounds and range up to 70. Built-in string suppressors are located at each axle to reduce string vibration, and coupled with the signature Mathews "Harmonic Dampers" embedded on the riser to absorb additional vibration; they make the Outback one wickedly quiet bow.
Additional features include: the "HP" High Performance cam with a weighted "Inertia disc" to increase speed and reduce recoil, parallel limbs to reduce recoil, ball bearings, Zebra ZS Twist Bowstring which eliminates peep rotation, ball-bearing roller guard to reduce friction,V-LOCK limb cup system,100% fully machined Aeroriser and smooth wood grip with inlaid centerline marking to help establish the centerline.
The setup on my Outback (50 to 60 pound model) included: 55 pound draw weight, 26" draw, 80 let-off (65 let-off is an option), QS Droptine Whisker Biscuit (with the B2 biscuit), Carolina Archery Products "Lore" deluxe stabilizer, Copper Johns Dead Nuts sight, Tru-Peep and a string loop.
The AMO rating on the Outback is 236 and the IBO rating is 308, so being on the short end of the draw with just 26", and not pulling my peak weight, I knew the FPS would be diminished, but I was curious what my setups could do. I tested it at home on our chronograph machine.
I shot five rounds with each arrow and averaged the speeds: (NOTE: all arrows had 4" vanes/ off-set fletch & 100 gr. field points)
It may not be a speed demon due to my shorter draw length, but certainly speed enough to swiftly do its job in the woods. I’d hunted for the previous 6 years shooting just 212 FPS, and for over a decade before at even less, and had taken a number of animals successfully during that time. (Remember, you will always get the most out of your bow shooting at its peak draw weight and length, and you’ll get less speed as you lower your draw weight or as a result of shorter draw lengths.)
Next, I paper-tuned my bow, shooting both Gold Tip 3555 and Carbon Express CX200 arrows, both with 4" vanes and 100 grain field points.
What I discovered was interesting. While the GoldTip 3555’s shot well from my bow, each time I experienced a slight upwards paper tear. When I switched to the Carbon Express CX200, I was shooting bullet holes. I was pleasantly surprised at the difference. The stronger spine of the Carbon Express arrow was just what my Outback required. Shooting the less-spined GoldTips resulted in slight tears. Bullet holes are not always easy to come by when paper tuning, especially when considering how quickly I was able to tune my setup and bow for perfect shots. A feature on the Outback that contributed to my ease in setup was the wood grip with centerline inlay. It enabled me to make quick work of aligning my Whisker Biscuit rest and sight pins.
I honestly believe you first are drawn to a bow by its good looks and design. I know I was. The Outback features a slim, lean silhouette…it’s a lightweight (at just 4.3 lbs) and sleek machine designed specifically with the bowhunter in mind. I think you ought to love the way your bow looks, because it’s got a lot to do with how you shoot it, how you feel holding it and how you feel as you pull it back and take aim at the vitals.
Every hunter needs to be confident in their bow’s design; in its power and performance, and in their ability to shoot it well. The Outback is one of those bows that fulfills those requirements. It’s an awesome piece of equipment and it shoots quietly, powerfully and accurately. My Outback is tuned, I shoot every night, and now I’m ready and confidant for the upcoming bow season. I can’t wait to show you what the Outback can bring back from the woods. I’m thrilled with my new Outback, and I know you will be too.
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© Sept 2004