Mission continues its aggressive move into the crossbow market with the introduction of the MXB-400. Mission's 2014 lineup also includes the MXB-320, 360 and Dagger.
The MXB-400 features the X-Cam, RS Tread riser, Gordon Composite split limbs, Zebra Hybrid string & cables, BIAS Rail, integrated scope-mounting system, PCC anchor and the one-piece lightweight stock & forearm.
As the name suggests, Mission's new MXB-400 rockets 400-grain bolts down range at an advertised 400 fps. This speed is achieved with a 200-pound draw weight, and there are three other specified draw weights and associated speed ratings that can be found on Mission's website.
Mission's X-Cam system plays a big role in producing these speeds. The true dual cams ride on sealed bearings, bushings and stainless steel axles to reduce friction and increase speed. They are designed to store a significant amount of energy over the relatively short 14-inch power stroke. Mission also attributes less noise and recoil to the performance of its X-Cam.
Unique in crossbow design, the MXB series features Mission's RS Tread Riser, which eliminates the typical foot stirrup. There is a no-slip, cleated tread machined directly into the shooter-facing side of the riser where your foot anchors the crossbow during manual cocking.
Finishing out the crossbow is a set of split limbs, which measure 12€‰1„2 inches in length and are made out of Gordon Composite materials. Machined aluminum limb pockets align the split limbs to the riser and are the key component in Mission's Adjustable Limb Retention System (ALRS). This system uses long limb bolts to maximize adjustability, as limbs can be backed out far enough to relax the string and cables for maintenance without a bow press.
Bridging the Gap
Connecting the bow to the stock and forearm is Mission's aluminum rail, which is loaded with cutouts along much of its length for reduced overall mass weight. A "bridge" runs at mid-depth from one end of the rail to the other, giving it rigidity and strength. Mission calls it the Bridged Integrated Accuracy System (BIAS) rail.
Attached to the rail's top surface is a trigger box, which contains two distinct safety mechanisms. First, when the string is brought back into the box, it crosses over the string catch and causes the crossbow safety to automatically engage. At the same time, this action also drops a block in front of the string path that will prevent unintentional discharge.
Once the bolt is loaded, it raises the block up and out of the way. The component that releases the string catch is actuated through a linkage system to the trigger. Atop the trigger box is a standard scope rail that has a spring steel bolt stabilizer attached to its underside. Mission mounts its Positive Cocking Control (PCC) rope anchor underneath the end of the rail closest to the shooter, which is intended to provide a smooth and non-binding cocking process.
The shooter's actual physical interface with the crossbow is centered on the stock, grip and forearm, so it is no surprise Mission focused on adjustability and comfort. The pistol grip, trigger guard and forearm are all molded into a single unit, which is made of lightweight composite.
A large flange is molded into the structure above the forearm to prevent the shooter's fingers from moving into the path of the string when the crossbow is fired. The molded composite stock is attached to the back of the rail, where three mounting positions provide customization.
Mission offers four packages — the Beginner, Basic, Hunter and Pro — all of which include a quiver, three Mission bolts and a scope. There are two quiver and three scope types that combine to make the four package offerings.
At the Range
This rig's compact size and relatively low mass weight make it easy to handle. The 200-pound draw weight was not intimidating like I expected, which we will attribute to the RS Tread riser keeping me in the power zone throughout the draw. The scope was clear and steady. I like the adjustable length of pull stock position feature for fine-tuning the fit. Good experience — fun to shoot.
Manufacturer: Mission Archery, 608-269-2728
Safety Features: Forearm flange, automatic trigger safety, dry fire block
Weight (crossbow only): 6.9 pounds (advertised); 6.75 pounds (as tested)
Draw Weight: 200, 175, 150, 125 pounds
Power Stroke: 14 inches
Cam System: X-Cam
Riser: Machined aluminum, RS Tread
Limbs: Split, Gordon Composite
String & Cable: Zebra Hybrid
Grip: Pistol, molded composite, soft touch rubber panels
Finish: Lost Camo AT, Black Tactical, Lost Camo Pink AT, White Camo
Forearm: Molded composite, soft touch rubber panels, safety flange
Overall Length: 34 inches
Advertised Speed: 400 fps
Suggested Retail Price: $1,199 (crossbow only in Lost Camo AT), $1,899 (with ACUdraw 50)
Comments: Lightweight, easy to cock and fun to shoot.