Review: 2016 Mathews Halon
September 21, 2016
The 2016 headliner at Mathews is the all-new Halon. It is available in three versions — the 5, 6 and 7 — with the distinction being brace height. The Halon's Crosscentric Cam takes last year's No Cam concept to the next level for increased performance, while the new Dual Bridged riser design and wide-stance limbs provide a strong platform.
Other features include the FlatBack grip, Reverse Assist Roller Guard, Harmonic Stabilizer and more.
Mathews took its No Cam ST technology and ratcheted it up a notch with the new Crosscentric Cam, which uses a partially concentric string payout along with the AVS technology to produce IBO speeds reaching 345 fps on the 6-inch version, 335 on the 7 and 353 fps with a 5-inch brace height.
The AVS system relies on two small wheels/discs mounted in an offset position on the axle. Both ends of each harness are looped and anchor to the AVS discs, which rotate non-concentrically from one side of the cam's axle to the other as the bow is drawn, effectively moving the force vector.
This increases stored energy on the front end and letoff on the back end, offering added power and comfort to the archer. This system also terminates the ends of each cable to the opposite cam, forcing the cams to work together and thereby automatically correcting imbalances, resulting in increased dependability. The Halon 6 model offers draw lengths from 25-31 inches, in half-inch increments, and letoffs of either 75 or 85 percent through a set of RockMod modules.
The power created by the Crosscentric Cam requires strength and stability to operate efficiently. To that end, Mathews employs its Halon split limbs with a super-wide stance for torsional stability. The short, stout limbs are made with industry standard Gordon Composite materials and reach a beyond-parallel position at full draw to take advantage of the inherent benefits of such a configuration; namely reduced shock, vibration and noise.
A closed-end pocket supports and positions each limb at this critical interface for perfect alignment to the riser. Mathews also beefed up the platform with its new Dual Bridged riser, which features two flared sections — one above the sight window and one below the stabilizer mounting insert. Complex computer modeling optimized the positioning of these sections for added strength and rigidity of the overall system.
Mathews adds another option to its line of grips with the introduction of its new FlatBack grip, which is similar to the company's Focus grip minus the Focus Ridge. It is replaced by a somewhat flattened hand-to-grip interface designed to enhance stability and ensure repeatable hand position.
The black injected molded polymer grip is dressed up with a single Mathews-logo side plate. Its semi-soft material will provide a measure of warmth on cold days.
In addition to the changes, Mathews also added a few tried-and-true features, starting with its unique Reverse Assist Roller Guard. In short, this system flips the normal cable tracks to the opposite side, and in doing so reduces torque and friction for a smoother draw and greater efficiency.
Completing the package is the Harmonic Stabilizer Lite, Harmonic Damper, set of Monkey Tail string silencers, Dead End String Stop and Zebra string and cables.
The Halon's draw cycle is quick to peak, followed by easy and smooth transitions all the way into the valley and rock solid backwall. At the shot, this rig does very little talking back in the form of shock, vibration or noise. In fact, there is almost no detectable vibration.
Some of that benefit can be attributed to the 4.55-pound mass weight, which is on the upper edge of my personal preference. The overall weight, along with the comfortable FlatBack grip, also contributes to the steady hold at full draw.