Field Test: QAD Integrate MX

QAD rests are a favorite of the stick-and-string crowd. Why? Simple, they perform as advertised. During my 20-plus years in the bowhunting woods, rests like the Hunter, LD, HDX, and MXT have graced my bow’s risers. Guess what? Not once have I experienced rest failure. I did snap the Capture Bar on an MXT, but that was after my Prime took a tumble down a mountain. Superglue fixed that. Side of that little mishap, my QAD’s have performed flawlessly.

When Quality Archery Designs Vice President Kevin Fry called me last September and said, “We have a new rest, and it’s going to change how the industry forever looks at rest design and function,” I got excited. When my new-for-2019 Mathews Vertix arrived with a QAD rest attached to the face of the riser and not mounted to the bow’s Berger hole, my mind was truly blown. 

The Integrate MX from Quality Archery Designs is the industry’s first-ever drop-away arrow rest that doesn’t utilize the bow’s Berger hole. What’s the purpose? Here’s what Fry had to say.

“We have never settled for anything less than the best. Our customers deserve our very best, and I believe we’ve given them our best with the Integrate MX. This rest sports new design features backed by QAD-proven technologies.”

Background

Is the hype behind this rest real? Read on, friends.

There are plenty of new features that deserve ink, but first, we need to touch on a few past features and technologies that I was thrilled to see on the Integrate. First, I was pumped to see the tuning marks located on the thumb-wheel and the rest body back on the Integrate. These two marks make tuning a breeze, and while I’m a big fan of the micro-adjustability o the MXT, the rest lacked the tuning marks. With that noted, the Integrate MX does boast the micro-adjustability of the MXT (1.9 thousands of an inch per click windage and elevation). Being able to make these finite adjustments helps the shooter achieve a perfect tune. Other notable past QAD technologies found on the Integrate include Anti-Backlash and Lock-Down. Of course, the rest arm, like all other QAD models, only drops when the rest is fired and not when simply letdown.

Back by popular demand on the Integrate MX are the timing marks located on the rest body and the thumbwheel. When these two marks line up just as the bow transitions to let off and the full draw is reached, your timing is close to perfect.

When it comes to the new features, most notably, of course, is the rest’s mounting system. The rest, via a pair of dovetail slits, cut into the riser of the Mathews Vertix utilizes a pair of clamps that lock into the slits. Because the Berger hole has been eliminated, the rest does not feature a mounting bar or mounting bolt. This cuts down on weight and provides a more streamlined design. 

Dovetail slits in the riser and a rest clamping system make mounting the Integrate MX a breeze.

Mount It

Mounting the rest to the riser is a breeze. Simply remove the elevation set screw with a 9/64 Allen and detach the faceplate. This will expose the inner rest clamp. Loosen the small inner set screw with a 5/64 Allen and the clamps will loosen and slide easily into the dovetail slits in the riser. Next, locate the laser-engraved mark in the riser that runs between the Berger hole and the right dovetail slit. Start by lining up the rest’s laser-engraved white arrow with this mark in the riser. Now, tighten the set screw to lock the rest to the riser, but leave the faceplate off. You can shoot the rest with just the one clamp locked down. QAD designed the rest this way to simplify tuning, so take advantage of it. After setting your elevation and windage and getting the rest tuned to your liking, reattach the faceplate and tighten the elevation set screw back down. Putting the faceplate back on and tightening the elevation set screw further secures the rest to the riser. Fry told me a little more about the purpose of the mounting system.

The bow can be shot and tuned with the elevation faceplate off the bow. Also, note the position of the white arrow on the mounting clamp and the position of the slit running between the right dovetail and the Berger hole button. Lining these two marks up will give you a great jumping-off point when tuning.

“I’ve had my mounting block screws loosen, which in turn moves my mounting bar. This, of course, changes the rest’s position, which isn’t a good thing. Being the Integrate MX has a clamp system that mounts to a pair of recessed dovetail slits, it simply can’t move once locked down, and once the elevation faceplate has been added back on after tuning, it acts as a second clamp.”

Wait … There’s More

Other standout features include the launcher arm. I’m not a fan of plastic, and while I’ve never had an issue with QAD’s launcher arms, I was thrilled to see the Integrate’s arm was manufactured from 100 percent high-grade aluminum. Fry had this to say about the new arm material.

“When you build a true game-changing product, it better have all the bells and whistles. This is a technology-rich rest full of purposeful features that bowhunters and target archers are going to love. With the launcher arm manufactured from high-grade aluminum, it sends a message that no stone was left unturned. We wanted to beef the rest up and reduce the chances of damage should a shooter drop their equipment.”

QAD lovers will also find that the windage and elevation set screws, as well as the dials, have been relocated on the Integrate MX. The horizontal adjustment screw and dial are located on the launcher arm. The set screw is located on the lower right of the launcher arm and the dial is located on the arm’s lower left. The vertical adjustment screw is found on the side of the rest’s base, and the dial is located on top of the base. Both dials feature laser-engraved numbers and marks that allow the archer to record their rest settings. This is a great tip, and one that will really help should the rest ever accidentally get moved once a perfect tune is achieved. Making rest adjustments is a matter of using some Allen wrenches and giving the screws a turn. 

When your rest is tuned and ready to rock, record your windage and elevation settings. This is easy to do via the marked dial design.

Performance 

Tuning the rest proved to be a breeze, and I was stacking shafts together at extended distances in no time. Be sure when tuning your rest to use the white marks that appear on the rest body and thumbwheel. These lines make setting cord timing a breeze. Simply use trial and error, and when the pair of lines line up perfectly just as you reach full draw, your timing will be ultra-close.

 In addition, at a distance of 80 yards, the rest delivered a trio of shafts — one tipped with a G5 Montec fixed-blade, one with a SEVR mechanical head and one with a standard 100-grain field point into the 10-ring of a Rinehart Pronghorn target. Impressive. And, of course, the rest proved ultra-durable. I was able, last November, to take the rest on a late-season hunt. Temperatures were in the single digits and a steady mix of sleet and snow fell from the heavens. That moisture didn’t stop the Integrate MX from delivering a 12-ring shot a beautiful mule deer buck.

Stacked! The QAD Integrate MX delivered field points as well as fixed and mechanical broadheads with exceptional accuracy.

It’s important to note that the Integrate MX is currently exclusive to Mathews bows, but the rumor mill is buzzing that more bow manufacturers may jump on board. It’s also important to note that the purchase of a Mathews bow doesn’t guarantee an MX Integrate. It must be purchased separately. In my opinion, if you don’t purchase the rest, you’re missing out one of the best features of the bow. 

Late last November, the author put the Integrate MX to the test in harsh conditions. It’s safe to say the rest performed flawlessly.

For more information visit Mathews website.

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