Mathews Halon 32 5 Review

Mathews Halon 32 5

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Pros

  • 7-inch brace is the most forgiving of the Halon 32 series
  • Crosscentric modular adjustment cam system
  • Crossover technologies from the popular 2016 Halon

Cons

  • $1099 MSRP
  • 4.73-pounds is heavy for a bare bow

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Editors' review

The 2017 Halon 32 comes with three different brace heights to meet the needs of each shooter interested in such a high-end hunting bow. The 7-inch brace height is designed to be the most forgiving of the three, and still shoots an IBO speed up to 335 feet per second. This is not fast by 2017 standards, but when combined with a 7-inch brace height, the Halon 32 7 is a great choice for a lot of hunters not interested in just shooting fast. The Crosscentric cam is carried over from the 2016 Halon along with the dual bridged riser, and wide track split limbs. However, the two-inch extension will be preferable for most shooters create a more user-friendly head position and peep location in relation to the shooter's eye. The downsides for the 7-inch brace model are limited, but some shooters have not enjoyed hauling the 4.73-pound bare bow around with them on longer hikes, and some shooters may have to save a bit longer in order to purchase this premium bow at an MSRP of $1099. In the end, the Halon 32 is exactly what Mathews' shooters were begging for after shooting the shorter 2016 Halon.

Finish

The Mathews lineup has also looked great! For 2017, the Halon 32 gets some sweet trendy options to add to the Lost Camo Mathews created several years back, and has updated since. Shooters have the option between al black and stone if they are not interested in camo patterns. For shooters wanting camo on their hunting rig, shooters can choose Mathews own Lost Camo XD, Sitka Optifade Elevated II, Sitka Optifade Open Country, Sitka Optifade Sub Alpine, and Under Armor Ridge Reaper Barren. Each of the camo options have finished limbs to match as well, which helps finish off the completed look. All these options look fantastic on the Mathews Halon 32 5, and are sure to help set the overall look apart in the parking lot as well.

Riser

The riser on the Halon and Halon 32 features similar technologies overall, with the 32 riser being a longer to accommodate for the 2-inch increase in the axel-to-axel measurement. The dual bridged design is a great innovation for adding strength and stability, but it does add some extra weight tipping the scales of the Halon 32 5 at 4.83-pounds. Shooters are sure to notice the different looking riser cutouts than previous model Mathews' gridlock design. In addition to new cutouts and a dual bridge on the top and bottom of the riser, the Halon also has a true center nocking point. This means the nock point is in the direct center of the system so horizontal nock travel is perfect for the entire duration of the draw cycle. When the arrow is drawn on a perfect horizontal plane, there is no arrow travel with the bow. This means the arrow never leaves a straight plane being drawn or heading back down range improving the accuracy and performance of the bow. The Rear assist roller guard is still the system of choice on the Halon 32 as well. This roller guard system is a bit unique in that the strings are on the opposite side of the roller than one would expect. This allows for the benefit of a roller system to be in play while still cutting some torque out of the system as well. Although this has been a carried over technology from the last several years, Mathews has found great success having this system in play and it functions very well. The Halon 32 5 maintains a five-inch brace height, which is fairly short, but necessary to get IBO rated speeds up to 350 feet per second. There is a front and rear mounting stabilizer hole for shooters to add more weight to the bow as well. Keep in mind, the bow is already pretty heavy to start with, so the additional weight added with accessories will continue to weigh the rig down. This is good because shooters generally hold heavier rigs a little better decreasing the pin float. However, it can be bad for shooters with long hikes planned for stalking in on their prey. In the end, shooters will have no doubt the Mathews Halon 32 with a 5-inch brace height is made with a solid platform. It will come down to personal preference whether or not shooters are interested in carting around the extra weight the Halon sports. Mathews has created the Halon 32 to be dead and silent after the shot. The harmonic devices used for several years are still incorporated into the riser with the dampener on the top and the stabilizer lite on the bottom of the riser. These not only cut out residual vibration, but can also be changed out for different colors to further customize the look of the bow.

Grip

The Mathews grip has changed over the years from the rather large wooden grips, to shrunken slimmer versions on the wooden grips, to Focus rubber grips with wooden inserts. Back in the day, Mathews was known and set apart from other models for the Walnut grips, which also added a nice design feature making the rigs feel more like the high end bows they are. The 2017 Halon 32 5 features a flat back grip, which is a simplistic design. The minimal design does fit well in the shooters hand, but the lack of contour and shape can be tough to get used to at first. Although the grip is primarily rubber composite, there is a Mathews' insert located on the sides of the one-piece grip, which helps add some throwback design features.

Limbs

Mathews sticks with the split limb configuration for the Halon 32. The 5-inch brace height Halon 32 is offered in 40, 50, 60, and 70-pound maximum draw weights. It would be nice to see 80-pound limbs on a 350 feet per second IBO rated bow, but it is understandable only a small number of shooters would want such a fast shooting rig. The limbs come finished the same as the riser or blacked out, which can allow shooters the ability to further tweak how their bow looks. There are no added dampeners from the factory on the limbs, but that can be done with aftermarket parts if shooters find it necessary, which many do not. Shooters will also notice the wide stance of the limbs visually. The split limbs are thick, and Mathews argues this makes them less influenced by twisting as the bow is drawn. The limbs stance keeps them in a strong position, eliminating accuracy harming twist and torque. The graphics on the Halon 32 are very simple, and include the Mathews logo, "Halon 32 with Crosscentric Cam Technology" badging.

Eccentric System

The Halon 32 stays with the Crosscentric cam system featured on the 2016 Halon models. On the five-inch brace height model, the cam is adjustable in half-inch increments from 24.5-30.5-inches, and also has a 75% or 85% let-off option. The speed is fantastic as well with the Halon 32 5-inch brace height model with IBO speed ratings of 350 feet per second. The Crosscentric system means the cam is designed with a full circle in mind, which starts the draw out very smoothly. The cables are made in a way that take up at the same rate on the top and bottom cam, so each are perfectly in sync and timed as if they were two full circle cams on the top and bottom. Each cable is yoked at one end, and split to ride on wheels on each side of the center of the cam. This creates equally distributed weight and torque on the system to significantly reduce the cam lean within a system without the yoke and wheel design. With the cables not tweaking or adding extra weight to a particular side of the cam, the string tracks more in the center of the cam tracks, and the vertical movements of the cam are no longer an issue.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

Mathews created a cult like following with the introduction of the solo cam years ago, and they were able to incorporate some variation of that system on their flagship bows for a number of years. With the introduction of the No Cam recently, Mathews has really attempted to keep things as simple as possible, while keeping perfect nock travel, a smooth drawing system, and acceptable performance. The Crosscentric cam is a way for shooters to get the simplistic design of the No Cam technology combined with some added speed and performance to really get a hybrid of what many shooters really want out of a hunting bow. The Crosscentric cam draws like a dream. There is a lot going on with the yokes, and the attachments of the cables to the cam, but after shooters get over the busy look, and settle into shooting the bow, the business of it all tends to become less relevant. The draw cycle is silky smooth, which is great for any hunting bow. The let-off is adjustable between 75% or 85%, which gives shooters some customization on the back end for what the rig is really going to feel like while holding on target. The Halon 32 5 is a heavy bow just under 5-pounds without accessories, but it honestly never feels overbearing or too heavy. It has minimal pin float holding on target, and is silent and shock free after the shot. The flat back grip feels great in the hand, although it looks uncomfortable and a bit clumsy on the shelf. With the five-inch brace height, the Halon 32's fastest version is smoking fast! For shooters wanting to max out their bow with a heavy arrow, or drop a few pounds of draw weight, the 5-inch brace height will allow either and still great performance. The Halon 32 speed demon is hard to find flaws with, and will make a wonderful hunting bow for someone on the market for a true scorcher.

Usage Scenarios

The Halon 32 is a hunter's dream bow. With a 5-inch brace height, and the ability to shoot speeds up to 350 feet per second, the Halon 32 5 is the best performance rig of the 2017 Halon 32 series. The 32-inch axel to axel measurement remains compact enough to allow shooters the ability to hunt tight spaces, while the added two inches from the 2016 Halon adds a great deal of stability. The Halon 32 excels as a hunting bow, although for those backpacking long distances, it may get heavy during the walk. Shooters are sure to perfect their shooting skills on the 3D range with the Halon 32 5 over the summer. However, for diehard 3D shooters, Mathews does offer more dedicated rigs for the purpose of winning tournaments.

Halon 32 5 vs. Halon 5

Bow Mathews Halon 32 5 Mathews Halon 5
Version 2017 2017
Picture Mathews Halon 32 5 Mathews Halon 5
Brace Height 5 " 5 "
AtA Length 32 " 30 "
Draw Length 24.5 " - 30.5 " 24 " - 30 "
Draw Weight 30 lbs - 70 lbs 30 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed 350 fps 353 fps
Weight 4.83 lbs 4.6 lbs
Let-Off 75%, 85% 75%, 85%
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The 2016 and 2017 Halon 5-inch brace height models are very similar to each other in features and specifications. The 2017 model gets a two-inch extension to make it longer and more stable over the 2016 version. Although this may not seem like much, the 32 holds a bit more steady on target, the pin floats less, the string angle feels a bit better on the shooters face, and 32-inches is still fairly compact for the majority of bow hunters. The added little bit of weight to the already heavy 2016 Mathews Halon 5 will more than likely not be noticeable in the end either. Both bows are great shooting, but the extended 32-inch model for 2017 should make a lot more must have lists than the former 2016 version.

Summary

The Halon 32 is offered in three separate configurations based on the brace height and performance. The 5-inch brace height is the best speed-wise clocking in at an IBO rated 350 feet per second. For shooters familiar with the 2016 Halon, the 2017 has all the same benefits and amazing technology with a more stable 32-inch axel-to-axel platform. Mathews hunting bows have historically been on compact side of things, with most being between 28-30 or so inches. It is refreshing to see a Mathews hunting bow stretched out a bit to 32-inches, which will allow a more stable platform, a better string angle, and a more comfortable bow overall for taller shooters. It is very tough to find anything wrong with the Halon 32 with a five-inch brace height. Shooters wanting a speed bow know they will have to shoot a shorter brace height, which can mean less forgiving. However, shooters wanting speed have already acknowledged and accepted that comes at a price. The heavy bow holds well, and has minimal noise and hand shock, but it can also be slightly cumbersome loaded with accessories and carted up and down mountains for miles a day. The price is fair at an MSRP listing of $1099, which is competitive with other top of the line rigs. However, those on a budget may have to save a little longer to end up owning this really great hunting bow. In the end, the decision to purchase the Halon 32 5 will need to be made by each shooter. This bow does deserve a closer look for the serious archer wanting top of the line equipment from an industry giant.




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