The Halon X is a highly anticipated bow for those shooters that love Mathews, but are not comfortable shooting the shorter axel-to-axel models they typically produce. Measuring in at 35-inches axel to axel, with a 7-inch brace height, and speeds up to 330 feet per second, the Halon X is a great specification bow for any shooter regardless of the style of archery they shoot. The Mini Crosscentric cam system is extremely adjustable, and offers let off modules in 75 or 85% let offs. The Halon X is a bit pricey with an MSRP of $1299 and although it is a bow that can literally be used for everything, some may still struggle to spend that much money on a bow. The Halon X can be used for anything shooters are interested in, which is a huge pro for the 2016 offering. Many shooters are reluctant to change from bow to bow and therefore shoot a bow that is not the best for their style of archery just because they are comfortable. The Halon X will allow them to shoot year round with the same bow, perhaps just changing around some accessories. The Halon X is also a lot of weight, tipping the scales at 4.94-pounds before adding the factory dampeners or any accessories to the bow. Although many shooters prefer a heavier rig, and tend to hold very still on target with a heavy bow, the weight may be problematic for others. Shooters not on a budget, and able to purchase the best bow for them, regardless of cost, should give the Halon X an honest shot to be their 2016 do it all bow.
The Halon X looks great in any of the three finish options, which include: black anodized, black, or Lost Camo XD. Each of these designs looks wonderful on the Halon X riser and split limbs. The Mathews badging on the Halon X is very minimalistic although the bow is clearly a Mathews.
Mathews went with a slightly new riser design when compared to the past several years in moving away from the Geogrid riser. The top and bottom portion include a reinforced section, which doubles the thickness of the risers width in areas most at risk for being torqued as the bow is drawn. Although this design does a great deal in adding strength, it also adds mass, which is part of the reason for the overall bare bow weight of 4.94 pounds before adding dampeners and accessories. Many shooters prefer a heavy bow since it does help some shooters hold well on target. However, those backpacking the Halon X out West may not enjoy the heavy bare bow weight as much. The riser measures a long 26 7/8-inches from top to bottom, which is will provide a sturdy base for archers to shoot from. With the Halon X being the bow of choice for shooters interested in competitive archery, there is a front and rear mounting stabilizer hole. Many hunting bows that would also make nice target rigs are not equipped with this feature, so it is nice to see a do it all bow with this offered. The reverse assist roller guard is a carryover from previous models as well and has great functionality. The Dead End string stop system is also mounted on the back of the riser to keep the string off the shooters arm and from moving too much after the arrow is shot. To aid the string stop in noise and vibration reduction, the Harmonic dampener and harmonic stabilizers are also carried over from previous model years. These dampeners eliminate a great deal of noise and vibration, and like the dead end string stop, can be swapped for a variety of colors if desired.
The Mathews grip has a tradition of being wooden giving it a refined, well-distinguished appeal. In the past, this one-piece wooden grip was a bit on the girthy side and formed a love/hate relationship with shooters. The newly designed one-piece wooden grip is much slimmer and although it is primarily a rubber composite material, there is a wooden inlay to keep the Mathews roots alive. The grip can easily be swapped out for a Focus grip or an aftermarket design. The thinness does take those that loved the thick grip a bit of adjusting to get used to, but it does a great job at keeping he shooters hand in the proper spot shot after shot.
The split limb design of the Halon X is offered in 50, 60, and 70-pounds maximum draw weights. The limbs are available in black or Lost Camo XD. At first glance, the limbs are fairly short in length, and give the bow a skinny look even though the Halon X is designed with a 7-inch brace height at rest. Mathews does not install any limb dampeners from the factory, but shooters have several aftermarket choices if they choose to quite the bow down more than it is bare.
The Mini Crosscentric cam system is an interesting offering from Mathews for 2016. This cam system has a perimeter weight, which dates way back to the solo cams, which put Mathews at the top of the list for single cam technology. The system also incorporates No Cam technology while blending it with the AVS system to produce speeds up to 330 feet per second. The cams can be adjusted for 75 or 85% let-off, and are offered in half-inch draw length increments between 26-30.5-inches.
The Halon X is a nice shooting bow, with a lot of adjustment abilities because of the Mini Crosscentric cams. Most shooters will just love the ease of setting the bow up for the very first time, but those shooters that love to tinker will have the ability to do so with the Halon X. The draw starts out fairly easy, and feels like the peak weight is met early on in the draw cycle. As the cams roll over to the valley, the transition is manageable and smooth. Shooters can raise their shooting arm, draw the bow back, and stop right at the point in the draw cycle the transition occurs and hold it there without difficulty. As the cams roll over, and the back wall is felt, shooters have an easy task of holding the heavy Halon X on target with minimal pin movement. When drawing the bow to full draw, it does feel like the grip position is different. However, while holding on target, the bow balances and aims well downrange. Although the weight was not too problematic, it would be nice for some of the weight to be eliminated so shooters have the option of adding more to stabilizers to get a more personal feel. After the shot, the bow is dead in the hand, and quiet. Shooters that want more holding weight can choose the 75% let off setting, and those that want less holding weight on the back end will appreciate the 85% setting.
The Halon X is a true do it all bow. It can be a great bow on the line for five spot leagues, in the woods for hunting, or on the range for summer 3D shoots. It is a bit pricey at $1299, but when you are getting one bow that can do all three main archery styles without compromise, it really is not too steep of a price to pay. Many shooters have a bow for each style, and cutting all of that down to one rig may be exactly what some shooters need.
The Halon X is a nice addition to the 2016 Mathews lineup giving shooters wanting a bit longer axel to axel measurement an option to go with. Many folks like shooting different styles of archery, which keeps them shoot reps all year round. The Halon X allows shooters the ability to shoot the exact same bow across target, 3D, and hunting, by simply swapping accessories. From a consistency standpoint keeping one bow to do everything is a good idea. It would also help justify the Halon X price of $1299 if shooters used the justification of only needing one bow for everything in 2016. Tipping the scales at just under 5-pounds, the Halon X is a heavy bow for anyone to cart around for a long period of time. It also may limit the amount of weight shooters can add to their bows with different accessories and stabilizers. With that being said, a "normal" weighted bow is 4-pounds, so a one-pound difference should most likely not be a deal breaker. The Halon X is a sweet bow for someone wanting to simplify their arsenal a bit and shoot one rig for everything. It shoots great, is backed by a giant in the industry, and has the ability to be customized for a shooter's individual feel. Those on the market for a real multi-purpose bow should give the Halon X a shot.