The whitetail rut isn’t the only reason I cherish the the tail-end of October and the entire month of November. I am, after all, a serious gear nut who loves new bows, and this is the time of year most manufacturers unveil their shiny new flagships.
The first to be delivered to my door this year was the Mathews’ Halon 32 in a 6-inch brace height. I couldn’t wait to dive in, so I didn’t. The emails and Word documents would have to wait. I had a bow to set up and test.
Mathews Halon 32 Specs
Brace Height: 6 Inches (Available in 5- and 7-inch brace heights as well)
IBO Speed Rating: 343 FPS
Axle-To-Axle: 32 inches
Draw Weights: 40, 50, 60 and 70 Pounds Peak Weights
Draw Lengths: 26-31 inches (6-inch brace height model only), available in half sizes from 25.5 to 31.5 inches
Mass Weight: 4.73 pounds
Let-Off: 75 and 85 percent let-off options
Cloaked in Sitka’s Elevated II camo pattern, my Halon 32 was no doubt a stunner. The short, wide and thin quad limbs melted into the beefy, uniquely cutout riser. And there was no mistaking the large, black Crosscentric Cams. In traditional Mathews “keep it hushed” practice, a Harmonic Stabilizer Lite is embedded in the bottom of the riser just above the bottom limbs and a Harmonic Stabilizer in the top of the riser just below the top limbs. Monkey Tails have been replaced by speed nocks, but the FlatBack Grip, Reverse Assist Roller Guard and String Stop (all 2016 Halon crowd pleasers) remain on the 2017 predecessor.
I did not notice any blemishes or machining marks, and it was obvious that Mathews placed a lot of attention on the aesthetics of this rig, as they typically do.
Aside from the sticky and talkative limb bolts, this bow was a breeze to set up and tune. After slapping a QAD HDX rest on the riser using my arrow level and tying on a D-loop, I had the Halon 32 paper and bare shaft tuned in less than an hour. (Note: A perfect paper tune was achieved in less than 20 minutes.)
After walking the limb bolts out a few turns like I always do, the bow pressed easily, and the fingers on my Last Chance Archery press fit perfectly into aluminum studs located on each of the four limbs.
How She Drove
After running multiple shafts downrange in my backyard, I experienced no peep rotations and only minor string stretch. The draw cycle is like silk, and I do mean silk. Transition to the bow’s 75 percent let-off comes with no humps or bumps. I could hold the bow at full draw for several minutes and still let it down easily.
The balance of the bow is excellent. At first, the bow’s 4.73-pound weight rating felt a tad heavy, especially with attached accessories, but after shooting multiple arrows, I actually welcomed the weight. I felt super solid at full draw, but I will note that the weight did take some getting used to.
I did appreciate the bow’s longer axle-to-axle rating. Because of the reduced string angle via the Crosscentric Cam Systemast, last year’s 30-inch Halon felt longer than it actually was. At 32-inches axle-to-axle, the 2017 model felt more like 34-inch bow. I will take the longer axle-to-axle feel of a 34-inch bow and the maneuverability of a 32-inch bow any day of the week.
At the shot, the Halon 32 is hushed and dead. My natural grip on a bow is very open, and I don’t shoot a wrist strap. The Halon 32 didn’t spring forward in my hand, and, aside from a sliver of vibration, I didn’t detect any unwanted oscillation.
A Nail Driver
After getting familiar with the Halon 32 in my backyard, I took it out to my prairie range to stretch its legs a bit. This bow is a nail driver. I shot field points, mechanicals and fixed-blade heads out to 80 yards with incredible accuracy. In fact, two of my three 80-yard fixed-blade arrows had fletchings sliced off. I credit this accuracy to the genius behind the Crosscentric Cam System, which due to the partially concentric string payout improves shot-to-shot consistency. In addition, the True-Center Nocking point ensures straight and level nock travel.
What The Future Holds
Stay tuned! In the coming weeks, I will be taking my new Halon 32 to the Lone Star State. What’s on the menu? Hopefully a mature whitetail buck and a full report on how the Halon 32 performed in the field.
For questions or comments, drop Bauserman a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.