Chris Bee, a Mathews hunting ambassador, spent much of last year shooting the Phase4 bow hunting whitetail and mulies. He even took it on an Alaskan moose hunt. We sat down with Bee so he could walk us through the design details and his impressions from shooting the Phase4.
“Compared to the V3 and V3X, the Phase4 is built off a very similar riser platform, as in a super long stable riser that then makes it a very good platform for damping vibration,” he explained. “The Phase4 year is the year of quiet. [Mathews has] done a lot to refine the system and create the ultimate quiet machine, really.”
This latest bow shows how Mathews makes incremental changes in its bows, often building off past models with a focus on improving one aspect each year. Decreasing vibration is the primary achievement of this bow. However, the brand also tweaked its Bridge-Lock system and contoured the Phase4’s limbs for a more compact system when kitted out with accessories.
In short, the brand has “made a deadly platform even deadlier,” Bee said.
If you’re familiar with the V3X, know that this bow is a similar platform and shares a lot of the tech. The big changes are the entirely new limb-damping build and a Bridge-Lock Stabilizer that’s now integrated through the riser.
Mathews’ Resistance Phase Damping (RPD) technology creates four limbs on top and bottom, with strips of rubber-like material in between to help deaden post-shot vibrations. In the field, that might mean getting off a second shot you otherwise wouldn’t.
Mathews engineers calculated the Phase4 hunting system is up to 13% quieter with 37% less vibration.
Having shot previous bows from Mathews, like the V3 and V3X, Bee said the addition of the Bridge-Lock Stabilizers to the Phase4 was the most noticeable change in year-to-year shooting.
“They have a little harmonic damper on the end of them, and Mathews is well-known for their harmonic damping and tuning in each year to make bows as quiet as possible,” Bee said. “So adding up to two more harmonic dampers to the stabilizer, a front bar and a back bar, really deadens the shot.”
For its Bridge-Lock Stabilizers, Mathews uses the InterLink weight system to make it easier to add and remove stabilizer weight, with threadless and stackable add-ons that work with one screw. A quick-disconnect knob lets users adjust the stabilizer by half-inch increments. The stabilizer bars add balance and damping to the bow, Mathews says.
The Bridge-Lock mounts through the riser, and there are no external screw holes. “That pretty much welds it to the bow,” Bee said.
The Phase4 carries over the Bridge-Lock sight system introduced in the V3X bow. It also uses the brand’s crosscentric cam with Switchweight technology, which allows users to change poundage and draw length, according to the brand.
“What’s very underrated about that is every single mod and every single draw length is designed to have its peak performance in that draw length,” said Bee. That’s not the same in other manufacturer’s bows, he added.
‘Perfect Test’: Phase4 Moose Hunt in Alaska
Bee said an Alaskan moose hunt was a perfect test of the bow with all the accessories, beating them up and jumping on and off a quad. After a particularly long day, he got back to camp, fired a broadhead — and the bow was still shooting true.
He spent a week glassing for a legal bull. Finally, a change in the weather stirred a couple of them to move into view.
The next day, Bee spotted the smaller one at the base of a knob and studied it for a bit. Then he climbed to the top of the knob for a better view. There, he spotted a big bull (four brows, 50-inch rack) rise out of its bed and stand next to the smaller bull he’d seen earlier.
A new target acquired, he descended the hill and made his approach. The last range Bee remembers was 29 yards, and he waited for the bull to stand broadside. He fired and double-lunged the moose, which disappeared into the thick tundra brush.
Then, Bee hiked back up to get a lay of the land and check with guides and camera footage. After a few hours, he found the bull, not more than 120 yards into the tundra scrub.
Brace Height: 6 / 6.5″
IBO Rating: Up to 340 fps / 336 fps
Draw Weights: 60, 65, 70, 75
Draw Lengths: 25.5″-30″ / 27″-31.5″
Cam: Crosscentric w/ Switchweight
Weight: 4.48 lbs. / 4.68 lbs.
Price: $1,300 / $1,400
The Phase4 hunting bow is available in eight finishes, including five camo patterns.
Mathews Phase4: Built for Accessories
Mathews Archery is keen on building its hunting systems with all of its accessories in mind.
Bee hunted with a 29-inch Phase4 bow all season and estimates he fired somewhere north of 1,000 arrows with it. During that time, he beat it up a lot. Even with all the accessories attached, including a removable quiver — he found it held tight.
Bee said Mathews built the system for accessories, including a contoured notch out in the limbs for a quiver to fit closer to the body of the bow.
Ditching mounting brackets, generally used to hold a sight or other accessories, gives the bow a more streamlined shape. Bee said that helps with the bow’s balance, reduces vibration, and creates a tighter quiver.
Who’s It For?
The Phase4’s quiet design should appeal to hunters chasing whitetail in the local woods or bagging moose in Alaska like Chris Bee.
Anyone who trusts Mathews Archery’s attention to balanced performance and bow innovations should consider this hunting bow to up their game.