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Crossbow Review: Mission Sub-1 Lite

A first-rate crossbow with exceptional accuracy and deadly impact!

Crossbow Review: Mission Sub-1 Lite

Mission’s Sub-1 Lite launches bolts up to 335 fps and features the company’s Benchmark Fire Control Technology that includes a two-stage, match-grade trigger, Easy-Load Bolt Retention Arm and de-cocking mechanism.

When buying a Mission Crossbow, you aren’t just getting that particular crossbow — you are getting the whole Mission experience.

Mission is a family of hunters who designs gear through that lens to offer meaningful innovation and utility. Your new “family” also has state-of-the-art manufacturing and some of the best engineers/designers in the world, as well as a host of patents and performance awards to prove it. Finally, you’re brought into Mission’s “Legendary Support” circle and can expect the very best in customer service.

Mission’s Sub-1 Lite features the Benchmark Fire Control that includes a match-grade trigger, Easy-Load Bolt Retention Arm and unique de-cocking mechanism. High-letoff synced cams, along with a set of short fiberglass limbs, generate game-dropping bolt speeds, while an adjustable butt stock and cheek piece bring a custom fit.

Benchmark Performance

Two of the many features and technologies that work together to achieve sub-one-inch groups at 100 yards are found in the company’s Benchmark Fire Control System. First is a match-grade, dual-stage trigger with fully contained rolling sear that produces a crisp 3.3-pound trigger pull. Second is the Easy-Load Bolt Retention Arm that promotes downrange accuracy by applying a precise and repeatable amount of pressure to secure the bolt to the rail. Additionally, this system employs a unique De-Cocking Button that allows for safe de-cocking without pulling the trigger or shooting a bolt. When cocked, the trigger safety is automatically engaged, and the safety is also ambidextrous to accommodate both left- and right-handed shooters.

The ‘Bow’ in Crossbow

Mission builds the Sub-1 Lite’s bow assembly on a stout aluminum riser that is home to the company’s integrated Riser Step (RS) Tread that offers a ribbed surface on the back side of the riser where the user steps to anchor the bow for cocking. This eliminates the need for a foot stirrup and reduces overall bow length. A set of machined aluminum limb pockets precisely aligns the short fiberglass split limbs to the riser. The limb configuration brings torsional rigidity and stress distribution to the rig, resulting in consistency and efficiency.

Another major player in the Sub-1 Lite’s impressive downrange accuracy is the company’s Controlled Acceleration Technology that features the Sync X Cams and patented Flight Deck. The dual cams are tied together to eliminate timing issues and horizontal nock travel, which in turn brings consistency and accuracy.

Mission’s CNC machined rail adds to the accuracy as it eliminates vertical nock travel. Peak draw weight is 150 pounds, and when coupled with the 13.75-inch power stroke and 80 percent letoff, the bow is easy to cock and de-cock with the provided rope cocker and generates bolt speeds of 335 fps with a 350-grain bolt. Mission also sells a Removable Silent Draw System that drastically reduces cocking effort. The draw weight of the Sub-1 Lite can actually be reduced significantly and the long bolts will allow all tension to be removed so the string and cables can be replaced without a press.

Stock Options

Focusing on fit and feel, Mission equipped its rig with a rifle-inspired stock that offers six different length-of-pull adjustments through the adjustable butt stock and 1.25 inches of adjustment in the comb/cheek piece. An overmold, AR-15-style pistol grip adds control and comfort and can be interchanged with any AR-style aftermarket grip. The foregrip is flared, providing a positive grip, and when coupled with the large safety wings works to keep the shooter’s fingers below the flight deck and out of harm’s way.

What’s in the Box?

The Sub-1 Lite comes with a Hawke XB1 Scope, MX-3 Quiver, three Mission bolts, Mission soft case, rope cocking aid and rail lube.

At the Range

The test rig proved to be maneuverable with a relatively compact footprint and light mass weight. It shot very consistent, tight groups at 35 yards and is one of the quietest crossbows we have ever tested. This bow is super easy to cock with the rope cocker, RS Tread and high letoff. It also displayed the typical, top-notch Mission quality in fit, form and function. It’s easy to operate, fun to shoot and deadly accurate!

The Specs

  • Manufacturer: Mission Archery, 608-269-2728; missioncrossbows.com
  • Model: Sub-1 Lite
  • Safety Features: Anti-dry fire, auto trigger safety, safety wings
  • Cam System: Sync X Cams
  • Riser: Aluminum, black anodized, stout
  • Overall Length: 30.25 inches
  • Axle-to-Axle Width: 13.8 inches (at rest); 10.5 inches (cocked)
  • Advertised Weight: 6.9 pounds (advertised and as tested; bow only)
  • String: Zebra Hybrid, 41.75 inches
  • Cables: Zebra Hybrid, 20.5 inches
  • Limbs: Short, wide, split
  • Draw Weight: 150 pounds; adjustable
  • Power Stroke: 13.75 inches
  • Stock/Forearm: Precision Stock, rifle inspired, molded composite
  • Finish: Black or Realtree Edge
  • Advertised Speed: 335 fps with 350-grain bolt
  • MSRP: $1,899 (for Sub-1 Lite Pro Kit)
  • Comments: A high-end nail driver!

Speed & Energy

  • Bolt Speed: 304.67 fps (420-grain bolt), 282 fps (500-grain bolt), 332 fps (347.2-grain Mfr. bolt)
  • Kinetic Energy: 86.59 ft./lbs. (420-grain bolt), 88.31 ft./lbs. (500-grain bolt), 85 ft./lbs. (347.2-grain Mfr. bolt)

Test Measurements

  • Maximum Width: 18.13 inches (at rest); 14.75 inches (cocked)
  • Overall Length: 30.1875-32.375 (7 positions)
  • Mass Weight: 6.9 pounds (crossbow only); 8.5 pounds (with accessories)
  • Average Trigger Pull: 1.61 pounds
  • Length of Pull: 14.50-16.69 inches (7 positions)
  • Average Shot Noise: 91 dBA with 420-grain bolt
  • Maximum Shot Deviation at 35 Yards: .5-inch



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