My first compound bow was a Mathews – the Outback, to be specific – and I loved it. During my first year afield with that rig, I anchored my first pronghorn, deer and turkey. Since my Outback days, I’ve pulled back a number of Mathews models: the Switchback, Drenalin, Monster, Creed, Chill R and NO CAM, to name a few. All were impressive. Mathews has a knack for bringing cutting-edge technology to the bow arena, and I was excited to give some of its latest and greatest a test run by taking its new Halon 6 through the gauntlet.
Fit and finish on the bow were, as you’d expect, awesome. The dual-bridged riser, hard-not-to-notice Crossentric Cams and thick limbs gave the bow, at least in my eyes, a sexy appeal. Holding the bow by Mathews’ new-for-2016 FlatBack Grip, I studied every inch of it. The rig looks fast and mean – built for rugged hunts in rugged places – and at 4.55 pounds it hits that sweet spot between too light and too heavy.
The Halon 6 tuned-up like a dream. My only issue, and it’s a small one, was with the limb bolts. They popped and chattered a bit, but the more I tinkered with them, the more the “chattiness” of the limbs subsided. After attaching my QAD UltraRest and installing my G5 Meta Peep, it took only three arrows through paper before I was satisfied with the results.
What I noticed first, once I got the Halon 6 on the range, was the silky smoothness of its draw cycle. This is nothing new, and shouldn’t be a surprise to Mathews Nation, but the Halon 6 was without a doubt the smoothest Mathews I’ve ever pulled back. Yes, this was with the letoff set at 85 percent, but even when I changed things up (can’t hunt in Colorado with a letoff greater than 80 percent) before my Centennial State turkey hunt, the ultra-smooth nature of this bow was evident.
At both the 85 and 75 percent letoff ratings, the Halon 6 broke over with a much-appreciated gentleness, and I really enjoyed the feeling of its backwall (felt-padded arms on the top and bottom cam contact the cable).
At the shot, the Halon 6 produces no noticeable jump, noise or vibration. I even tested it without a stabilizer and still couldn’t detect any annoyances. Chalk this up not only to the perfect marriage of the cams, limbs and riser, but also to the Mathews Harmonic Damper, Harmonic Stabilizer Lite and dual Monkey Tails on the top and bottom of the Zebra string. The Halon 6 is a joy to shoot.
As far as accuracy, the Halon 6 is your typical Mathews – a true nail driver and balanced like a rock at full draw. I shot the bow out to a distance of 80 yards with field points, mechanicals and fixed-blade heads. At 60, 70 and 80 yards, my fixed-blade heads grouped ¾-inches low and ½-inch to the right of my field points and mechanicals. I will take that kind of accuracy any day. My only wish, and it’s probably just me, is that the FlatBack Grip wasn’t so slick on the backside. I struggled a tad with consistent hand placement.
When it comes to speed, the Halon doesn’t slouch. Set at a draw weight of 70 pounds and a draw length of 29 inches, my Halon 6, pushing a 406-grain arrow, hit a consistent 304 fps rating. Yes, I could boost that speed by dropping my arrow weight, but I prefer, most of the time, to hover right around that 380- to 400-grain mark.
After anchoring a pair of Nebraska birds with my Hoyt Defiant Turbo, I put the Halon 6 to the test in the field. I appreciated the bow’s compact 30-inch axle-to-axle build. It was easily maneuverable in a ground blind, and it provided more than enough energy to successfully knock down longbeards in Colorado and Oklahoma.
Those looking for a fast, accurate and compact killer will be well satisfied with Mathews’ shiny new-for-2016 penny. I sure am.