"Dealers have a lot of loyalty to the Mathews brands,” said Megan Connors, marketing manager for Mission Archery, a division of Mathews. “After twenty years, sporting goods retailers understand Matt McPherson’s commitment to two things: building a quality product and growing archery from the ground up, and bringing new people into our sport through local stores where they can receive knowledgeable service and support.”
Because 70 percent of new bows are sold at a price of less than $600, many first-time bow buyers go through “Big Box” stores, Connors said, and Mathews felt it needed to compete at these lower price points. Not only that, but even at these relatively low levels, McPherson’s team believed it could build in value and quality, as well as profitability for retailers. Thus, the Mission Archery brand came into being with three bows in 2006.
A superior example of this combination of commitment and value is the Menace, an introductory bow that is listed in the catalog with a suggested retail price of $269. At just 31 inches axle-to-axle, the Menace has whopping draw length adjustability from 17 to 30 inches. The adjustable module will easily “fit the draw length and weight to your comfort without a bow press.”
While maximum draw weights vary over that range, from 24 pounds at 17 inches to 52 pounds at 30 inches, the dual perimeter weighted cams offer letoff as great as 70 percent. Thus the Menace in black, Lost Camo AT, or several varieties of pink and blue is a highly effi cient bow that can grow with a young archer, increasing year-by-year in draw weight and length, exactly Mission’s mission!
Even though Matt McPherson is a significant supporter of NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program, see http://nasparchery.com) basic, introductory bows like the Menace with extruded riser, composite grip and straight carbon cable rod are certainly not at the apex of performance in the Mission Archery line. In fact, the new Craze, Endeavor, Venture and Venture XT are increasingly sophisticated for bowhunters on a budget.
“We had a lot of excitement about the Craze at Mathews’ dealer show this year,” Connors noted, “even more than for the Menace. The Craze gives dealers a lower-priced option for adult archers. It’s a very operations-capable bow.”
A step up in performance, the ultra-short, super-adjustable Craze ($299) offers IBO-rated arrow speeds up to 306 fps and draw lengths from 19 all the way to 30 inches. With an axle-to-axle length of only 29 inches, the Craze offers terrific shooting value for a modest price. Its maximum weight at 30 inches is 70 pounds and its minimum at 19 inches is a miniscule 15 pounds—more ground-breaking adjustment. Because its adjustable letoff is 80 percent, a customer might step to the shooting line of your indoor range and hold only 14 pounds at full draw, a selling feature to be sure.
“Our mission,” explained Connors, “is to provide the best-quality, the most versatile bows we can build for budget-conscious or entry level archers.” The new top-of-the-line bow for Mission, the one that pushes the envelope for price while incorporating many shooter-friendly benefits, is the Voyager XT ($699) or VXT. Like other high-end Mission bows with machined risers, the 80-percent-letoff VXT is short. The VXT measures just 34 inches axle-to-axle. Still, echoing Connors’ points, the VXT is draw length adjustable from 26 to 31.5 inches, with peak draw weights as high as 70 pounds.
The IBO-rated arrow speed of the VXT is a remarkable 330 fps, suggesting that this presumably “introductory bow” will handle any big game challenge on the North American or African continents, whitetails to Cape buffalo. Like all bows in the Mission line-up, the arrow rest attachment point is well behind the limb bolts—thus maximizing the bow’s striking power.
Power without control, however, is useless for a serious bowhunter. Mission bows like the parallel limb VXT equipped with Mission’s Voyager single cam offer plenty of silencing and smoothshooting elements—from string suppressors and harmonic silencers to the exclusive Mathews roller cable guard.
Aware that many novice or budget-conscious bowhunters prefer to purchase a bow package, a bow with pre-fitted accessories, each of the Mission bows is offered in a variety of packages (even a bowfishing kit), as well as a bare bow. Accessories for bow packages, says Connors, are selected for the bow’s performance level. For the new $399 Endeavor, for instance, the Pro Hunter Package includes the Mathews DownForce or HD II Rest, Mission M-5 Quiver, Axion Simplex 5 Pin- Sight, Axion Silencer and Paradox Braided Sling. The basic package substitutes the NAP QuikTune 360 CaptureRest, black Grayling 4-Arrow Quiver, Axion Extra 3-pin sight, Axion Silencer, and Paradox Braided Sling.
All Mission bows are equipped with Zebra Hybrid strings and come in Mission’s exclusive Lost AT camo.
The essential feature of all of Matt McPherson’s bows however, whether in the Mission or Mathews lines, is that they are “Made in the USA” in Sparta, Wisconsin; they are sold with a Lifetime Warranty; and they may only be purchased through authorized dealers. Mathews, Mission, or whatever might be next from the McPherson brain trust, these are not and will never be “onesize-fits all,” Big Box bows.
And you can count on that.
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