Mathews Halon 32 6 Review

Mathews Halon 32 6

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Pros

  • 32-inches axel to axel is a sweet spot for stable and compact
  • Bridged riser design adds stability
  • Some added camo options make the Halon 32 a sweet looking bow

Cons

  • The Halon 32 is heavy weighing in at 4.73 pounds
  • $1099 MSRP

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Editors' review

The Mathews Halon 32 features three different brace height models, with a 5, 6, and 7-inch option. Each of these varies a bit in performance based on the brace height although the technology and engineering behind the bow is the same. The Halon 32 6-inch model is going to be a very popular model for many hunters. A 6-inch brace height is generally as short as many shooters want to go, while still allowing for some good forgiveness characteristics and IBO rated speeds up to 343 feet per second. The Halon 32 is a stretched out version of the 2016 Halon model, and most shooters are going to appreciate the added 2-inches of axel to axel stability, and the string to face angle from the longer measurement. This 32-inches really seems to be a sweet spot where stable and compact meet up. The added length adds a bit of weight as well with the Halon 32 weighing in at 4.73-pounds. This weight is about a pound heavier than the magical 4-pound mark many prefer, before adding accessories, which could add up a great deal as well. For most shooters, the added weight is going to help minimize pin float and increase accuracy. However, hunters out West needing to backpack all over creation looking for animals may really notice the added mass to the Halon 32. The price is to be expected for the flagship hunting model of an industry giant like Mathews. However, the $1099 MSPR tag may put the Halon 32 6-inch brace height out of the question for some archers. Ultimately, the Halon 32 offers a more favorable axel-to-axel measurement for most shooters, but with limited upgrades in technology, it may not be enough for those already owning a 2016 Halon to make the jump into a new bow.

Finish

The Mathews finish has always looked great. Ten or so years ago, archers shooting their rigs all the time would start to notice the front of the grip area wearing thin finish wise, but the look and durability for the most part has always been outstanding. The Halon 32 is no exception, and some may even argue the new finish choices make it the best-looking Mathews bows period. Mathews will continue to offer their own camo as an option in 2017 with the Lost XD pattern. This camo choice is a Mathews' upgrade to the original Lost Camo, and has a bit more definition when compared side by side with each other. Other offerings from the 2016 choices will be all black, and Stone. Where many people are going to get excited, Mathews has partnered with Sitka and Under Armour to offer their hunting designs as well. For Sitka, shooters can choose between Optifade Elevated II, Optifade Open Country, and Optifade Sub Alpine. The Ridge Barren pattern from Under Armour is the last great looking addition to the lineup. It is a shame Mathews no longer offers the tactical pattern. It was obviously not a great seller for them since it was eliminated from the lineup, but that pattern did add a bit of flair to the bow many shooters all enjoyed. For 2017 shooters have a lot of great choices, and each of them look outstanding. Hopefully, the newly added Sitka and Under Armour finishes will continue to be options in the future for Mathews.

Riser

The Halon 32 carries over a lot of the same technologies associated with the 2016 Halon. The overall 4.73-pounds weight of the bow is mostly associated to the dual bridged riser design. The Crosscentric cam system is huge, and the limbs are wider than traditional limbs, which combined together create a need to have a more substantial riser. The cages are located on the top and bottom of the riser, and add strength preventing any type of torque caused by the bow being drawn. Mathews has also incorporated the harmonic dampener, harmonic stabilizer, and most recent Dead End string stop system to the Halon 32 to make it a super quiet and vibration free bow before adding any accessories to it. Straight out of the box, the Halon 32 feels vibration free and quiet after the arrow is released. The Halon 32 gets a few speed nocks added to the top and bottom of the string, but no leaches or string silencers are added from the factory. If shooters add those from the aftermarket, it is possible they will not even notice much of a difference in how it sounds after the shot. The Reverse Roller guard system is carried over as well from previous Mathews bows. This system allows the cables to roll on the roller guard, but the strings are located on the opposite end of the roller than what is historically typical. This gives the benefits of a roller system, while allowing less stress on the cable overall.

Grip

Hunting bows and target bows used to be so much different in design they could almost be in entirely different compound bow categories. As technology becomes more advanced, and shooters become more inclined to be a part of each style of archery, there seems to be more crossover from one style of shooting to the next. The grip is one of those crossovers. Mathews is utilizing a flat back grip on the Halon 32, which is a very thin simplistic design compared to its former Walnut grip one-piece handles back in the day. The flat back grip is a one-piece synthetic grip, which is basically a thin rubber block. It sounds unflattering, and the looks of the grip can be a bit deceiving as well. When in hand, and being the Halon 32 is being shot, the grip fits well in the proper location, and feels great. However, it is not much to look at. To keep with the Mathews tradition, there is an inlay with the Mathews logo on it. There are also a great deal of aftermarket grip choices for the Mathews bows if shooters are not in love with how the minimalistic grip feels in hand.

Limbs

The limbs offered on the Halon 32 6-inch brace height model are split limb technology and fairly short in length giving the bow a rather rectangular look. They are offered in 40, 50, 60, and 70-pound maximum draw weights, and come naked without any dampening accessories right out of the box from Mathews. Shooters have the ability to add whatever they from the aftermarket, but nothing comes preinstalled from the factory. The Halon 32 name is printed on the limbs along with a shout out to the Crosscentric Cam system. For the most part though, the limbs are simply functional without much to make them standout. Shooters will notice the limbs are wider, which means they are ideally less susceptible to twisting as the bow is drawn. The limb pockets securely hold them to the riser and allow for absolutely no variance from shot to shot. In past years, Mathews has offered draw weights of 65-pounds and 80-pounds, which would be nice to see again, but perhaps unnecessary given the consumer demand.

Eccentric System

The Crosscentric Cam System is giant. Shooters will notice how large of a diameter the cam has right away, which will actually make the axel to axel measurement seem even longer based on the distance the string is in relation to where the axels are. This system is basically a hybrid system between the Monster series AVS cam and the No Cam system Mathews introduced more recently in 2015. Most of the cam system is a full circle like the No Cam system, with a portion cut out to increase the performance. As the shooter draws the bow, the string will be on the exact same spot on each cam for the entire draw length thanks to the AVS technology. There is no rising or falling of the cam system, and the synchronization becomes easier to maintain as well because the top and bottom are the exact same. When paired with the Halon 32 6-inch model, the IBO speed rating is an impressive 343 feet per second. Shooters can also choose between a 75 or 85% let-off module as well. The back wall is aided by a string stop system. To further speak about the cams, each cable is yoked and connected to both sides of the cam. The idea behind this is to allow for reduced cam lean, as the weight should be more equally distributed on each side of the cam. The yoke system looks a bit complicated upon first glance because it is different than a lot of systems simply connecting to the axels out by the limbs. Despite the busy looking nature of this system, the performance should be pretty straightforward. The last major note about the Crosscentric Cam system is the perfect true center nocking point. This means the nock is in the direct center of the bows axel to axel measurement. It will remain there as well for the entire draw cycle because of the engineering of the cams and how they work together with the AVS system. The nock never leaves its vertical nocking plane, and this transfers to better efficiency and improved accuracy down range as well.

Draw Cycle/Shootability

The Halon 32 is an awesome shooting bow, and exactly what would be expected from such a large company like Mathews. The technology between the 2016 Halon and the Halon 32 is basically unchanged. However, the added two inches of axel-to-axel length gives the shooting experience a little different feel, which most shooters will appreciate more than the previous Halon models. The Crosscentric cam has a very easy draw cycle, with no humps or difficult spots to pull through in the draw cycle. The longer 32-inch axel to axel measurement combined with the large cam system creates a really comfortable string angle as well. This gives shooters a better look through the peep sight, and a more upright and comfortable head position when holding on the target. The cable stop draw stop system feels very solid as well. It is not as solid as a limb stop system, but it does not feel too spongy either. Mathews also added a nice option for shooters to choose between a 75% and 85% let-off at the back end, which allows shooters to customize how their bow will feel while holding downrange. The heavier 4.73-pounds bare bow should actually help keep shooters sturdier down range. The vibration after the shot is almost non-existent, and the noise is super quiet as well. The bow feels very balanced on target, and the extra weight does not feel too heavy either. Although, to be fair, the extra pound added to the Halon 32 may be very noticeable carting around the mountains over an extended period of time. Overall, the Halon 32 paired with a 6-inch brace height is a great shooting bow, and will perform very well in the timber.

Usage Scenarios

The Halon 32 6-inch model is a great hunting bow. It is designed to be compact enough for tight places in the tree stand, while still offering the stability needed for added comfort and increased accuracy shooting. There is some potential with the Halon 32 being used as a 3D bow for some folks as well. It is not designed to be a true competition bow, but for those shooting 3D in the summer to perfect their hunting skills and stay sharp, the Halon 32 6 will be a great option for the added practice as well.

Halon 32 6 vs. Halon 32 5

Bow Mathews Halon 32 6 Mathews Halon 32 5
Version 2017 2017
Picture Mathews Halon 32 6 Mathews Halon 32 5
Brace Height 6 " 5 "
AtA Length 32 " 32 "
Draw Length 25.5 " - 31.5 " 24.5 " - 30.5 "
Draw Weight 30 lbs - 70 lbs 30 lbs - 70 lbs
IBO Speed 343 fps 350 fps
Weight 4.73 lbs 4.83 lbs
Let-Off 75%, 85% 75%, 85%
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These bows are similar except for the shorter brace height and increased performance of the Mathews Halon 32 5, which also weighs a tenth of a pound heavier. Shooters wanting to drop a few pounds in draw weight, or go heavier with arrow weight and not compromise speed, may be more drawn to the 6-inch brace height model. However, the majority of shooters are more than likely going to be better off with the 6-inch brace height model, which is only 7 feet per second slower than the 5, and should have some better forgiveness overall. Both models are great bows, but shooters will need to be certain what they really want out of their rig before making the decision between which one works best for them.

Summary

The Halon 32 when paired with the 6-inch brace height is a great hunting bow! There is added stability with the longer axel to axel measurement, IBO speeds reaching 343 feet per second, and some amazing looking camo patterns to really make shooters interested in the purchase of a new Mathews for 2017. The Halon 32 is priced well for a top of the line bow, but the $1099 price tag is still difficult for some shooters to come up with. The added weight of a bare bow weighing in at 4.73-pounds should help shooters be a bit more calm holding on target. However, that extra weight could get old when backpacking long distances to stands or chasing elk in the mountains. The Halon 32 shoots great, and should be on the list of anyone wanting a truly awesome hunting bow. As with any archery purchase, it is always best to try the bow out head to head against some other choices to see which bow works best for each shooter. However, the Halon 32 is legit, and deserves a chance for a shootout.




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