Mission Crossbows built out its Sub-1 line with speedier and quieter models. All three models maintain the brand’s expectations of accuracy.
The market for crossbows tends to focus on velocity, yet Mathews has held accuracy at 100 yards as its benchmark for success. The latest Sub-1 models add options for speed freaks as well as hunters.
We talked to Mission’s design engineer, Mark Hayes, about the design behind these bows. Mission is a Mathews Archery brand, and Hayes works closely with both brands on design implementations.
The brand’s latest innovations are in these bows, which tout 24 new patents. By the measures of the Mission Crossbow team, he said, the Sub-1 “is the most accurate crossbow that’s ever been.”
Mission Sub-1 Crossbow Family
Mission launched its MXB line in 2012, and it ran until 2017. By then, the brand’s designers had set out to build a faster crossbow. That begat the Sub-1 crossbow, and since, Mission has introduced variants aimed at other pursuits.
The three different bows are built for their counterparts in the crossbow market. Mission built all three the exact same way for different end uses and without compromising accuracy.
The Mission Sub-1 crossbows have partially concentric cams, and they’re synced.
“That lets us have letoff and makes it easier to pull back, and then it’s a nice, even acceleration. Ours are under tension the entire time,” Hayes said. “That leads to a controlled and smooth shooting experience.”
Hayes credits this tech for the ability to build the high-velocity Sub-1 XR without sacrificing accuracy.
Another notable feature is the limb bolt system that lets users back out the limb bolts.
“The XR shoots 410 feet per second and is 250 pounds to pull,” Hayes said. “But you can take the limb bolts out up to seven turns and hand it to anybody, and they can shoot that same bow.”
He added that the XR maintains its accuracy when decreasing the speed and poundage to pull for another user. And there are adjustable stocks to fit the shooter as well. Hayes claims this kind of adjustability is unique in the marketplace.
Also new to the line of crossbows is the brand’s Benchmark Fire Control System. It allows users to de-cock with the push of a button and relaxing the string, making it unnecessary to fire a heavy arrow to unload. The two-stage trigger has a 3-pound pull and then breaks through to launch.
Additionally, all of Mission’s bows can fit the Removable Silent Draw (RSD) system. It’s designed to add equal tension on the sides of the bowstring for more accuracy and has an ambidextrous reel to make it easier to cock.
Quiver of 3
Each of the three bows is built the same way for different users in the crossbow market.
The Sub-1 XR meets the demand for the fastest bow. The Sub-1 Lite is made for hunting, the crossbow for bowhunters trying to extend their season. And the original Sub-1 got some updates too, yet still represents the brand’s take on balancing speed, weight, and ease of use.
The current models run 30.25 to 30.5 inches long and have 80% letoff.
Mission Sub-1 Crossbows Specs
- Speed (feet per second): 335-410
- Weight (lbs.): 6.9-7.6
- Trigger pull: 3.3, 3.4, 3
- Powerstroke: 13.75″ to 14.625″
- Width (cocked/uncocked): 10.5″/13.8″ to 9.1″/12.5″
- Price: $1,400-1,700
The Sub-1 gets its name from its ability to repeatedly place a group of arrows within an inch at 100 yards. It still represents the brand’s best balance of accuracy, quietness, and ease of use.
The Lite is easy to cock and has good speed and exceptional accuracy. It’s designed around the shooting experience. Its arrows will travel 335 feet per second (faster than some traditional bows), and it’s quiet. You don’t have to draw it back in the treestand.
This rifle-minded crossbow fires 410 feet per second and maintains the Sub-1 standard of tight pattern shooting.
Made for You?
The Sub-1 line isn’t quite the Goldilocks choice of three that it may seem at first glance.
If you’re into crossbows for the velocity, the Sub-1 XR may better suit you. It’s made to be as fast as Mission was willing to build and retain its priority for long-range accuracy.
Sure, the Sub-1 is in the middle, but it has more in common with the Lite. It’s the original and set the brand’s benchmark for accuracy at 100 yards.
If you’re a bowhunter and want a smooth, quiet hunting experience, Mathews built the Sub-1 Lite for you.