Mathews Halon 32 Compound Bow Review by Edward Gramza IV
In 2016, Mathews introduced their new flagship bow the Halon. It was a new and radical design that improved on their No Cam technology with a highly efficient Crosscentric Cam design. Now they have a speed bow this is smooth, accurate, and dead in the hand. However, some shooters thought that the 30” axel to axel was a little short and created too much nock pinch. So for 2017, Mathews introduced the Halon 32.
In 2016 when Mathews came out with the Halon they were looking to change how hunters viewed their bows. The idea of having a bow as accurate as the No Cam but faster got a lot of people’s attention. I spent a lot of time shooting my 2016 Halon in preparation for both whitetail hunting and a Montana antelope hunt. I enjoyed shooting it, a lot! However, being a 6’5” hunter I did want something just a little bit longer and more stable.
Just like the first Halon, the new Halon 32 comes in three different brace heights. A shooter can pick from a 5, 6, or 7” brace height depending on their preference. The new Halon 32 has slightly slower IBO speeds compared to its shorter cousin. However, the difference is only one or two feet per second. Even with an additional two inches added to the overall length of the bow, Mathews was able to keep the weight about the same as the Halon.
5” Brace Height Up to 350fps 24.5-30.5” Draw Lengths 4.83lbs
6” Brace Height Up to 343fps 25.5-31.5” Draw Lengths 4.73lbs
7” Brace Height Up to 335fps 26.5-32.5” Draw Lengths 4.73lbs
The biggest thing people want to know about a new bow is how does it shoot? I can tell you that the Halon 32 shoots lights out. It is extremely fast, easy to draw back, has a solid back wall, and very little shock upon release of the arrow. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to shoot and try out a lot of different bows. In 2015 I was shooting the No Cam and really liked how that bow shot. However, that bow was very slow and hunters didn’t like the speed. This is probably the nicest bow that I have ever had in my hands.
I am shooting a 480 grain Easton FMJ 6mm arrow out of my Halon 32. The listed IBO speed is 343fps and my current setup is shooting 290fps. That gives me a kinetic energy rating of 89.66 ft-lbs. That is more than enough to kill any animal in North America. Aside from the speed, this bow is extremely accurate. When properly tuned, a shooter has to be aware of where their arrows are in the target downrange. Busted nocks or missing fletchings are common with this bow as it will shoot a very tight group.
The new Halon 32 comes in the same finishes as the Halon. Stone, Black, and Mathews Lost Camo are still options. However, new for 2017 are some additional camo choice. Mathews now offers the Halon 32 in GORE Optifade Open Country, Elevated II, and the new Subalpine pattern. You can also get your bow in Under Armour’s Ridge Reaper Barren pattern. Mathews also offers matching quivers to go along with your new bow. And like all other Mathews bows, the Halon 32 comes outfitted with their industry-leading Harmonic Damper and Harmonic Stabilizer system.
The one gripe that people might have about the Halon series is its weight. When fully outfitted, the Halon 32 does seem a big heavy. My view on that is that if I am taking it on a backcountry hunt in the mountains, I will just lose a few extra pounds to help compensate for the weight of the bow. At full draw the bow does feel well balanced and doesn’t feel all that heavy.
Mathews has really upped their game over the last few years. The No Cam was a game changer for them and the release of the Halon turned the archery world upside down. It isn’t too often that you can find a speed bow that is easy to shoot. Usually a shooter has to decide between speed and forgiveness. With the three different brace height options, you are able to find a bow that fits your needs and still provide the performance you want. I can’t wait to get this new bow dialed in and ready for hunting season.