Posted by Devin Hall on 28th Nov 2015
The release date for the new Mathews has become a major holiday in our shop, for both employees and customers alike, and this year was no exception. With bows being released on social media and their website around 7:45am, everyone got a brief look at what we had to look forward to later that day.
On Monday, Nov. 16 we received two boxes from Mathews inc. on our doorstep and we were very excited to see the 2016 line, firsthand. What we found in the first box was the newest NO CAM bow, and in the second box, we found the new flagship bow the HALON 6. After shooting them, most of us left with the intent to try and justify adding at least one of the new lines to our respected "Bow Stables".
As we held the Halon 6 for the first time it was apparent that we were about to witness another another huge step for the Mathews company. This bow was unlike any other hunting bow we had experienced. The riser and limbs were much more stout and robust than had been offered by the company on previous bows. The cams are made much thicker and instantly remind me of the construction of the Wake cams and I believe this to be a very good move over the seemingly weaker cams of the McPherson Chill series. The riser cages/bridges again remind me of the Wake that was released last year and add even more rigidity to the riser for the more aggressive speeds that this bow is producing. This riser will immediately catch the eye of all shooters as it doesn't host the famed Mathews GeoGrid design. This is the first time since the release of the Z7 in 2009 that a Mathews bow hasn't included the very strong GeoGrid. Another change for this year is a branch away from the Mathews Focus grip into the new flat back grip that is featured on the 2016 bows. Lots of new technology from Mathews usually means that the archery game is about to change and that has everyone talking.
With all of the apparent changes that were made, we couldn't wait to set it up and fling some carbon downrange. We set our preview bow up with a Quality Archery HDX rest, MBG Pure Gold sight, and a Bee Stinger 10" sport hunter stabilizer. For arrows we used the GT Kinetic 300 with 100g tips which came in at a total weight of 460 grains. Most of our customers come in at around 29" draw and this is what we decided to set the Halon 6 at for all of our testing. The 70lb limbs maxed out at 73lbs so we loosed the limb bolt and set it to 70lbs for testing. We set the rest so the arrow would run right down center shot and sit level through the berger hole as advertised by Mathews. We installed a radical peep(12.8g) and tied on a BCY dloop(3g) to finish out the build.
With the first shot we knew we were in for a treat this year. The draw cycle reminded me of the Chill bows but with a more gradual drop into the valley and much better back wall. The bow held and aimed more like the NO CAM from 2015 and the 26 7/8" riser makes the 30" Halon 6 feel like a much longer bow. The first shot through paper was about as nice of a bullet hole as I've seen from an initial setup and was a huge relief as I had loved how easy the HTR was to set up . After getting the sights dialed in at 20 yards I threw on some big twoblade Dirt Nap broadheads and found less than a 1/2" difference in point of impact between broadheads and field points without any rest adjustments. Next we stepped over to the chronograph to see how close the speed was to advertised. We first shot a 350 grain arrow(29"and 70 lbs) and got a 3 shot average reading of 330 fps with a calculated KE of 84.64 ftlbs. This speed puts our bow right at a calculated IBO(30"/70lbs) of 345 fps, just as advertised, when taking account the 29" draw and the extra weight on the string. The GT Kinetic(460g) shot at a 3 shot average speed of 292 fps with a calculated KE of 87.11 ftlbs. These speeds, KE values, and point of impact consistency are sure to please big game hunters around the world. With the Halon 6 they were able to get the speed of the Chill bows and the tunability of the NO CAM series.
Overall I found the Halon 6 to be a great shooting bow that was both fast and easy to tune. While I was only able to try out the Halon 6, they will also be available in a 5" and 7" brace height allowing options for many kinds of shooters with different speed vs. forgiveness preferences. The differences in brace height result in many options for draw length with the Halon 5 going as short as 24" and the Halon 7 offering Draw lengths up to 32". A combination of the short draw lengths and limbs being offered in 40,50, 60, and 70 lbs we anticipate a lot of excitement from the female shooters, as well as the males. This series will be offered in five color options including Black, Black Anthem, Black Tactical, Stone Tactical, Lost OT, and the all new Lost XD. With so many options, the Halon series has something to offer everyone. We are very excited to have these bows in our shop for 2016 and to have these bows with us in the woods this coming hunting season.
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