A friend once told me that what he liked most about his Mathews bow was that he could climb up into his treestand, hang the bow on the hook, and then just sit back and relax and the Mathews would take care of the rest. Many years and many different brands of bows later, I finally broke down and bought a Mathews Switchback XT compound. It didn’t take long to realize that my friend was right. With the Mathews, I was able to get extreme accuracy with very little effort.
When Mathews introduced their Mission line of crossbows a few years back, my ears perked up. By then I was using crossbows exclusively. I was getting older and had started developing back problems that made drawing a compound bow difficult. Also, and very fortunate for me, Pennsylvania had recently legalized crossbows for all hunters during archery season.
Because I’m stubborn, I tried several brands of crossbows before trying Mission. I went through three bows by three different manufacturers before finally sending away for an MXB-Sniper Lite in 2015. The Sniper Lite was everything I ever wanted in a crossbow. Easy to draw, crisp trigger pull, and pinpoint accuracy for a reasonable price. I didn’t think it could get any better – until I recently started shooting the MXB-Charge.
The MXB-Charge is available in three packages – the XB Basic, XB Hunter, and XB Pro. The only difference among the three is the quality of the scope included in the package. The Basic is equipped with a Hawke 4×32 wire reticle, non-illuminated scope. The Hunter includes a Hawke 1×3 etched reticle, illuminated scope. The scope on the Pro, of course, has all the bells and whistles. It comes with a Hawke XB-1:1.5-5×32 SR etched reticle, variable speed, two-color, illuminated scope with matching rings. With only a $100 price difference between the Basic and the Pro, I feel like the Pro is a much better value.
Experience has taught me that any weapon is only as good as the optics I have on it. The scope on the XB Pro kit has good light gathering quality and magnification without a whole lot of target distortion. After sighting in the MXB-Charge XB Pro kit, my first three-shot group hit at the top of the bull’s-eye. I moved the scope reticle down an inch or so and the next three-shot group hit dead center. That’s the mark of a good scope. The reticles move exactly where they’re supposed to move without a lot of extra adjusting.
Over the years, I have used numerous brands of crossbows, all with success, but I’ve always had one major beef with them – the trigger pull. Is it necessary to have such a sloppy, creepy trigger pull on a crossbow that costs almost a thousand dollars?
My first deer hunting was done with a rifle. I was fortunate that my dad always bought quality firearms, such as Sako, and made sure that my sister and I had the same gear. Growing up hunting with fine rifles spoiled me for crossbows because the trigger pull on most crossbows is so distracting. In fact, I’d wager that it’s the most important part of the entire equation. If your focus is on the trigger pull, how can you give the target the necessary attention? I’ve heard some shooters say, though, that they actually like all that slop. They like all that creep until the trigger reaches the breaking point and releases the bolt. I’m not one of them, and that’s just one reason why I like the MXB-Charge.
The crisp trigger pull of the MXB-Charge is a pleasure. As any competition shooter will tell you, the ideal scenario is when you’re always a little surprised when the shot goes off. That’s true with rifles and it’s certainly true with crossbows. The trigger on the MXB-Charge is flawless, has none of the creep that so many other brands have, and when it reaches the breaking point, you barely even realize you pulled it until your bolt hits the bull’s-eye.
The MXB-Charge is a blend of all of Mission’s best features from their line of crossbows over the years. In fact, in many ways the MXB-Charge is just a beefed-up version of the Sniper-Lite – it’s faster, more durable, and can withstand more abuse from guys who must beat up their equipment a little bit to get where the game is. Also, for guys interested in using an HHA Optimizer Speed Dial, you’ll find the parts used to create the MXB-Charge are much stronger and sturdier and will easily support the extra weight.
The adjustability of the MXB-Charge is hard to beat, too. The ALRS (Adjustable Limb Retention System) Technology is coupled with a stock that can be customized to fit almost any shooter. Not only can the stock be extended or shortened, but the comb can also be moved up or down until you find that sweet spot that’s just right for you.
The draw weight of the MXB-Charge is 225 pounds, yet this crossbow is quite easy to cock. That’s mostly thanks to Mission’s patent pending Smart Guide Slide, which reduces torque on the cable and cams as the bow is cocked. The result is that the bow gets cocked exactly the same way every single time. That alone makes it a more consistent shooter.
The quiver mount can attach to the top, bottom, left, or right side of the crossbow depending on your personal preference. For walking to and from my stand, or even just for storage, I do like mounting it on top so that the bolts don’t bend when I lay the crossbow on the ground if I need to take a break. Once in the treestand, I almost always remove the quiver anyway and hang it on a hook where it’s easily accessible in the slim chance a follow-up shot is required. Removing the quiver makes the bow lighter and more maneuverable in the stand as well.
The MXB-Charge has something else in common with the Sniper-Lite, though. It’s quiet. The overall design and technology incorporated into the bow make it one of the quietest bows on the market straight out of the box.
We all have our favorite brands of bows, clothing, and other gear. Comfort with a product usually translates into success, and you can have success using any brand of bow if you believe in it enough and can shoot it accurately. For me, that brand just happens to be Mission. The Mission line of crossbows is hard to beat, and at the top of that line is the MXB-Charge.
Mission’s MXB-Charge Crossbow package rings up for about $1000. You can see more on Mission’s complete line of bows and crossbows at www.missionarchery.com.