Mission Sub-1 Crossbow Review

I recently had the opportunity to lay hands on the new Sub-1 crossbow from Mission Archery. Since diving into the crossbow category a few years back, Mission has continued to do a great job of bringing solid crossbows at an affordable price for hunters. Their MXB-320, MXB-400, Sniper Lite, and this year’s Charge have all been great performers. But as we roll into the fall season, Mission is releasing a new bow that is the result of a total re-branding of the Mission crossbow category. The new Sub-1 crossbow takes the Mission crossbow line to a whole new level with performance and precision that are truly raising the standard.

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The Sub-1 crossbow is the result of Mission’s desire to set a new standard in the world of crossbows.

First Impressions on the Mission Sub-1

I couldn’t help but smile at my little, wide-eyed boys as we pulled the Sub-1 from the shipping box, knowing that we were laying hands on something pretty special. You can feel it the moment you put your hands on it. It’s not too heavy, but it’s stout. You can immediately tell some serious engineering went in to the design of this one. It fits nicely to the shoulder and is noticeably easy to hold steady in the off-hand aiming position. Although it has ample adjustability, it fit me and my boys nicely, without having to make any changes. It certainly seems to be a nice one-size-fits-all crossbow option.

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I made one adjustment on the scope after my first couple arrows. My 3rd and 4th arrows confirmed just how precise this crossbow shoots.

Mission also leaned in to the growing trend of making crossbows more compact and hunter-friendly for toting through the woods with the Sub-1. It’s shorter, and narrower axle-t0-axle than many of it’s competitors and Mission predecessors.

Sub-1 Fit & Finish

As previously mentioned, the Sub-1 felt great at my shoulder. It aims really easy and seems to have a very balanced layout with all components and accessories working together for a really great feel. The Sub-1 I got to test drive had a smooth, black finish with a tactical look about it that any tough guy will appreciate. The Sub-1 features an adjustable stock and comb, but I found it to fit perfectly right out of the box for both myself, as well as my young boys.

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The Sub-1 is a tough looking crossbow that’s built to perform, both in the woods and on the range.

Specs on the Sub-1

Specs on the Sub-1 include:

Speed: 350 fps (400gn arrow)

Draw Weight: 200 lbs

Axle-to-Axle: 10.8″ @ full draw (14″)

Overall Length: 30.5″

Trigger Pull: 3.4 lbs

Physical Weight: 7.5 lbs

Power Stroke 13.75″

Let-Off: 80%

Watch the Mission Sub-1 Video Review Below

A Better Crossbow Trigger System

The 2 stage pin/ball bearing roller sear trigger system provides a frictionless and consistent 3.4 lb two stage trigger pull. It allows the shooter to pull the trigger to the “wall” and then break through consistently.

Much like what you’d find on a precision rifle the trigger is smooth and crisp. The roller sear also allows you to pull to the wall and then let off, if you need to, with the trigger resetting to 0 instead of being essentially set as a hair trigger like what you’ll find with many other crossbows.

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The Sub-1 trigger system changes the game in crossbow triggers.

SYNC X Cam System

The Sub-1 features the No Cam String Track delivering a fully synced cam system that slaves the rotation of the cams together. When in conjunction with the No Cam String Track, the system eliminates any possibility of horizontal nock travel.

It’s certainly an easier crossbow to cock. In fact, the cocking chores get easier as the cocking rope gets higher, where a shooter has less of a mechanical advantage.

The design brings smooth and consistent arrow acceleration, less wear and stress on trigger parts, and the reverse draw gains power stroke without sacrificing overall length. The system truly provides a cleaner arrow launch for increased accuracy and consistency.

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They SYNC X cam system was built for the ultimate in efficiency and ease of use for the shooter.

Built For Stealth and Easy Handling

The crew at Mission admits the Sub-1 was purposefully built to be quiet and super stealthy. This is evident throughout the crossbow. You’ll see it in its stiff, high-quality stock components that result in silent handling. The aluminium stock provides stiffness and quality, and work well with the lightweight over-molded fiber filled composite grips and butt stock material.

On the back end you’ll find an adjust stock and comb with a 1.25″ range.

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The adjustable stock and comb make the Sub-1 ideal for shooters of all ages and size.

Mission Sub-1 Final Thoughts

I’ve honestly never been really impressed with a crossbow until this year. There are two crossbows that are turning a lot of heads right now and the Mission Sub-1 is certainly one of them. It really is fun to shoot. The accuracy is beyond impressive and whether you’ve crossbow hunted for years, or are just getting started, the Sub-1 will make you want to head to the woods to punch a few deer tags. It’s designed to be a really user-friendly option in a tight package for easy maneuverability in the treestand or ground blind.

You can see – and purchase – the Mission Sub-1 crossbow for yourself at www.missionarchery.com.

Comments

  1. Tim Jones says:

    I bought a sub-1 after hearing the hype. NOT impressed. Safety is too big, way too much chance you might bump it to the on position. Cocking rope was OK but don’t try to decock the bow using the rope like they show. First time I did this was in the field at the truck in the dark, it was obvious I could not see what I was doing so I waited till I got home. Had trouble getting the hooks to take a good bite on the string, finally thought I was good and the hooks came loose in the process and the dry fire resulted in a broken string. Note if you watch their decocking video that the video starts after the hooks are already in place… Coincidence, maybe not. When sighting in at 30 yards, I did OK with field points then switched to 100 grain thunderheads. They flew about 7 inches from where the field points were landing. Redialed the scope but the best group I could get was about 5″. (using a led sled to hold it.) I don’t know why Mission says not to use 4 blade broadheads with it, would have loved to try slick tricks in it, So after the decocking episode I returned it in exchange for another Sub-1. Had the same issues with sighting it in as I had with the first one. Oh ya, and the place I bought it did not have any extra bolts for the Sub-1, said no clue when they might come. I had to buy some lighted nock mission bolts at a pro shop in order to have more than the 3 that came with the bow. Returned that and bought a Ravin R9. Sighted in good, and when I switched to broadheads I used 125gr slick trick Magnums and they flew to the same spot as the target tip and first 3 slick trick shots were inside a 3 inch circle. I guess if there is a down side to the Ravin it is that they do not yet offer lighted nocks, another down side is finding a case to fit the Ravin, Nobody around me has any, all on back order, a bit pricey anyway at $100. I will just go without one till they get down to $60ish. I did all that buying at Scheels, they were really good at taking care of the returns and making me happy with the Ravin. I have been told that the 100 grain slick tricks might fly even better, I plan to try them.

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  2. Rich Chiocca says:

    I just bought a Sub 1 after substantial research into a couple of other competing brands. I was lucky enough to have a local pro shop that had the 3 brands I really wanted to consider. They were the Mission Sub 1, the Ravin R9, and the Excalibur Micro. One of my goals was to end up with a bow that employed the KISS principle and that is the reason the Excalibur was up for consideration. I really liked the simple recurve concept. I was able to handle and shoot all three and the following are my impressions. The Excalibur was by far the loudest of the three and required the greatest cocking effort. It also did not offer a real decocking system and it was clear that it would be extremely difficult and or dangerous to try to cock it when in a tree stand. Those reasons alone caused me to immediately eliminate it from consideration. The Ravin R9 was also quite loud at the shot and I am told that the R15 is significantly louder. Everyone thinks the Ravin cocking / decocking system is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Well maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. If you consider the real world environment when taking it afield to hunt and envision, brush, rain, snow and other debris I think you need to consider whether the sliding ribbon / trigger assembly will end up clogged with debris and become disabled in some way. When the dealer demonstrated the bow
    he had trouble getting the carriage to easily disengage and slide forward. Once engaged the cocking mechanism is smooth but with the constant ratcheting sound. You can disengage the click and silence this but then there is no lock on the handle until fully cocked. If the handle happens to slip from your grip when in this mode you could quickly regret trying to crank this silently if it contacts your hand before you get it out of the way. In short the Ravin just seemed burdened with to many nice but needless mechanical features. The Mission Sub 1 was by far the quietest and smoothest shooting of the bunch. The safety engages automatically when you cock the bow and is substantial and operates smoothly. The cocking rope system works beautifully with minimal effort and by pushing a decocking button the rope is used to easily and safely decock the bow. I will have no problem using this system in a tree stand if necessary. The rope system is also faster than using the rotary system on the Ravin and if you really want that type of cocking aid Mission offers a completely silent version which i universal to all there crossbows. Both Mission and Ravin’s scope sytems are far superior to the standard scope found on the Excalibur. I sighted in the bow yesterday at 20 yards and will fine turn it at longer distances in the future. So for me the Mission Sub 1 was the obvious choice.

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