Mathews Halon 7 Review
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Editors' reviewMathews has found a niche in generally creating compact bows that are fairly easy to draw while still packing a decent amount of performance. The Monster series has offered some longer axel-to-axel bows with more performance, but the flagship-hunting bow is usually a compact design with a smoother drawing cam system with decent performance. The Halon series is a combination of the popular No Cam and Monster AVS technology. This hybrid system between a smooth drawing bow and a speed bow gives the most forgiving Halon model speeds up to 335 feet per second with a seven-inch brace height. The Halon 7 also has 6-inches of draw length adjustment and 40-pounds of draw weight available so virtually anyone wanting a Halon 7 can own one. The Halon 7 is only 30-inches axel to axel, but has large cams and a relatively long riser, which makes it feel like a longer axel-to-axel bow than it really is. Mathews claims the Halon is their hardest hitting flagship bow ever produced.
FinishMathews has created its very own version of Lost Camo, which is also available in a variety of accessories that can be included on the bow for a uniform camo look. The new pattern from Mathews is Lost Camo XD, which has a bit more definition than before and should still blend in throughout a variety of hunting environments. Shooters can also choose to go with Lost Camo OT, Black, Tactical, and Stone risers. The Lost XD and black risers can have Lost XD or black limbs, but the other patterns do not allow to mix and match. The tactical design has a black riser and carbon fiber look-alike limbs. The dipping process from Mathews continues to be spot on without any major issues. Lots of shooters like having their new bows appear different than everyone else's bows, and it is nice to have Mathews creating only Mathews patterns to help out with that. The proprietary Lost Camo patterns look great, work well, and add a unique look.
RiserThe Halon 7 features a long riser for super compact 30-inch axel-to-axel measurement. The riser measures in at 26 7/8-inches before joining to the limb pockets, which adds a ton of stability to the overall Halon platform. Shooters will also notice the Geogrid riser design is no longer used on the 2016 model. Instead, Mathews has added a cage type structural reinforcement design on the top and bottom or the riser to help with minimizing torque. Although this helps create a stronger, more rigid riser it does come at a cost, which is added weight. The riser is structurally sound and strong, but it does tip the scales are 4.55-pounds before added accessories or even the factory-installed dampeners. For some reason any bare bow weighing over 4-pounds falls into the heavy category and anything under that appears in the lightweight category. The bottom line really comes down to just over 1/2 pound of overall weight, which in the long run should not make that much of a difference. The Halon 7 is a heavy bow for its size, and may be considered a heavy bow in general, but it should also help with holding steady on the target downrange as well. The added weight should also keep the noise and vibration down as well.
The Dead End String Stop is carried over to 2016 although it has less adjustment than some have in past years. The string stop does a nice job stopping the strings forward movement and transfers any vibrations forward to the front mounting stabilizer. The riser also incorporates a harmonic stabilizer and a harmonic dampener at the top and bottom of the riser to absorb vibration as well. These dampeners can be switched out for different colors if shooters want an even more customized look as well.
GripMathews archery has used a distinguished wooden grip fro a long time now and it has become almost as iconic with the Mathews design as the cursive logo. The walnut grip of the past was not always the favorite choice for many shooters even when Mathews switched to a slimmer grip design. The Halon 7 comes with a Focus grip straight from the factory with a wooden inlay to keep the tradition alive. The grip itself is a one-piece rubber composite grip, with a wooden side plate badge with the Mathews logo. The grip is very thin and a bit boxy for where the grip fits in the shooters hand. This grip design and size allows shooters the ability to place their hand in the same spot shot after shot.
The Focus grip can also be purchased with a stripe down the back of the grip, which will allow shooters to place their hand perfectly down the center of the grip. This stripe color can match the colors of the Mathews dampeners if desired for a uniform colored look. The popularity of Mathews bows has lead to a few aftermarket companies producing grips that will work with the Halon 7 as well. These grips may not be for everyone, but they are offered for those interested in a little different feel.
LimbsThe Halon 7 has a limb configuration matching the demands for almost any shooter wanting a Halon 7. Maximum draw weights are available in 40, 50, 60, and 70-pounds and each of those can be reduced by roughly 10-pounds below the maximum pulling weight. The limbs are pretty short, with a split limb design, and give the bow part of its unique look. There are no installed limb dampeners from the factory, but the aftermarket has several options for anyone wanting to install more vibration eliminating accessories.
Eccentric SystemThe Halon cam system is a hybrid system between the concentric No Cam from 2015 and the popular AVS system from the monster system. It is called a crosscentric cam. This cam system is gigantic as well, which also adds to the cool look of the bow, and helps keep the string angle at full draw more favorable too. The Halon 7 shoots an IBO setup at speeds up to 335 feet per second. The let off can be set for 75% or 85% depending on which mods shooters are more comfortable with. Draw lengths are offered in half-inch increments between 26.5-31.5-inches, so most shooters wanting a Halon 7 can get one to fit them. The geometry of the crosscentric cam is sound in regards to making the most effective cam system possible. The pivoting action of the cam on the axel also allows for perfect nock travel as the bow is drawn. It starts in the center and ends in the center without going off plane at all during the draw cycle.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityThe draw cycle on the Halon 7 has a familiar feel for anyone with anytime behind an AVS cam or the No Cam from 2015. Although the concentric cam is not the exact same as previous model years, it does feature some of the Mathews characteristics from previous years. The draw cycle is a smooth transitioning curve from start to finish. It honestly seems like the draw weight is less than it actually is, which is a nice feature on a hunting bow. The large concentric cams are not as aggressive as they may look at first glance based on their size. This also helps with an increased string angle for a better head position and putting the peep closer to the shooter's eye. Sometimes short axel-to-axel bows are not favorable for longer draw shooters because the string angle is very sharp making it difficult to anchor at the end of your nose and the corner of your mouth without tilting your head. The larger cam system makes this better.
The hold on target is very steady, partially because of the weight. The 4.55-pound bare bow weight does not feel heavy while being shot, but an argument could be made about the bow feeling heavy on long walks up and down mountains or to a stand. The bow holds well on target, and the back wall is pretty solid. Offering shooters the option to choose the let off between 75% or 85% is a nice offering as well. It would be nice to be able to adjust the let off a bit more within that range to fine tune the back wall more, but the choice between either of the choices is nice. After the shot, the bow is as silent and as vibration free as a bow can be. The overall shooting experience is very pleasant and should be a highly sought after bow for many shooters.
Usage ScenariosThe Halon 7 really feels the most comfortable in a hunting situation. Despite the accuracy shooters will experience with the Halon 7, there are better options for most shooters wanting to earn some money for 3D shooting on the weekends of spot leagues during the winter. Those only able to afford one bow, may use the Halon 7 for any style of shooting, but hunting will be the best application.
Halon 7 vs. Halon 6
|Bow||Mathews Halon 7||Mathews Halon 6|
|Brace Height||7 "||6 "|
|AtA Length||30 "||30 "|
|Draw Length||26 " - 32 "||25 " - 31 "|
|Draw Weight||30 lbs - 70 lbs||30 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||335 fps||345 fps|
|Weight||4.55 lbs||4.55 lbs|
|Let-Off||75%, 85%||75%, 85%|
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The Halon models are basically the same bow across the lineup with the main difference being the brace heights. There are many shooters that have no interest in shooting anything with a less than 7-inch brace height because longer brace heights have always been linked to forgiveness. Forgiveness really has to do with the time the arrow spends on the string after it is released, and although this is connected to the brace height, not all 7-inch brace height bows are the same in regards to how long they keep the nock on the string. Shooters not as concerned with speed will more than likely choose the 7-inch brace height version. Those wanting a little more performance out of their rig will more than likely lean more towards the 6-inch Mathews Halon 6.