What Are the Differences Between a Mathews Switchback & a Switchback XT?

Mathews Archery is one of the country’s top-selling bow manufacturers. The company produced the Switchback bow series, a now-discontinued line of hunting bows. The Switchback and Switchback XT were similar bows with just a few minor differences in size and features. Mathews produced the Switchback from 2005 to 2008 and the Switchback XT from 2006 to 2008.


The Switchback and Switchback XT bows had different cams, which is the primary difference between the two models and invariably the reason for the slight difference in maximum arrow velocity. The Switchback had the Mathews StraightLine C1 cam while the Switchback XT had an XT cam. In addition, the Switchback had a Double Damper roller guard while the Switchback XT had a Triple Damper roller guard.


The Switchback measured 33 inches from axle to axle and weighed 4.34 lb. The Switchback XT was slightly smaller, measuring 31 inches axle to axle and weighing 4.25 lb. The Switchback had a brace height (distance between the riser and bowstring) of 7 inches, as compared to 7.5 inches for the Switchback XT.


The Switchback shot just a bit faster at 318 fps, versus 315 fps for the Switchback XT. In most other categories, the bows were identical. They were available in draw weights of 40 to 70 lb., in either 65 percent or 80 percent let-off models. Draw lengths were the same, adjusting from 25 to 30 inches in half-inch increments.


The Switchback and Switchback XT had many of the same features because they were in the same series. Similar features include a bowstring with strings woven in opposing directions to eliminate string twist and torque, a harmonic damping system to reduce riser noise and vibration, straight-style grip, a limb cup system used to lock the limbs to the riser and string suppressors to help reduce string vibration.