December 11, 2015
By Curt Wells
I was hunting whitetails in Kansas when my Mathews Halon 6 (pronounced "hey ' lon") arrived on my doorstep back in North Dakota. By the time I got home I had only five days to regroup before leaving for Barcelona, Spain to hunt Beceite ibex. After pulling the all-new Halon out of the box I decided to take it to Spain and, since I planned to pack just one bow for that trip, that speaks to my trust in Mathews bows.
It also meant I had a lot of work to do, in a short amount of time, to get the bow set-up and tuned. My bows have never gone through a pro shop. I "build" my own bows and my process has become routine. I installed a Mathews Ultra-Rest, a Spot-Hogg sight, a string loop and a peep and eyeballed the alignment until it looked close. Then I started running arrows through the bow at a pillow target hanging in my basement closet. This is done to get some of the initial creep out of the new Halon strings and cables and stabilize the peep rotation.
This process also familiarizes me with the bow's draw cycle, and the Mathews Halon 6 is extremely smooth. The best descriptive word I can think of is "comfortable." Any harshness you might expect from a "speed" bow was absent. Of course, this smoothness can mostly be attributed to the Crosscentric cam system, which blends Mathew's No Cam technology with their AVS System. In other words, it successfully combines smoothness with speed.
The shot was very stable with little hand shock, vibration or noise. I continue to be amazed with how quiet today's compound bows have become. We used to hang all sorts of accessories on our bows to quiet them down. That is no longer necessary, and certainly not with the Mathews Halon. And, by the way, I love the new Lost Camo XD, which has just the right blend of light and dark shades for my taste.
Once things settled in, the visual alignment of the arrow rest and sight looked "normal" for my shooting style, and my arrows were hitting where they're supposed to at 5 yards, I headed for the range. I haven't shot through paper in years because I am only tuning bows for myself and it seems like a useless step. Instead, I walk-back tune on the range from 20 to 70 yards.
To be honest, I did not have to touch the arrow rest on my Mathews Halon. This bow tuned as easily as any bow I've shot. Once I had my sight pins adjusted to the speed of the bow I was shooting darts at all ranges. And it was a good thing too because I was going to lose a day of hunt preparation to take part in Thanksgiving Day with the family.
I went back to my basement and shot a few arrows through my chronograph, just to check the performance. With the Halon's draw weight set at 67 pounds, which seems to be an efficient weight for me, I loaded up an Easton Deep Six XD with a Lumenok and a 100-grain field point. Total arrow weight was 486 grains and my draw length is 30.5". The chronograph read 285.5 fps per second. That's pretty fast for an arrow that is 136 grains heavier than the IBO standard of 350 grains (which, in my opinion, is too light of an arrow for big game hunting). My setup was generating a formidable 88 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy.
I spent a few hours over the next two days shooting the Halon, just to make sure the peep would behave itself. This bow felt so good and performed so well with minimal tweaking that I went ahead and packed it for the trip to Spain. The folks at Salvaforcaza near Morella, Spain put me in front of a beautiful ibex and the Mathews Halon finished the job.
You can check out all the technical details of the three versions at mathewsinc.com, but I've seen enough in my Mathews Halon 6 to know this is a great bow and one that I can trust.