When you shoot an arrow designed to blow right through an animal, what target is the best at stopping your arrows? Most targets on the market work for most arrows, but I can tell you first-hand that they do not all work. I shoot the Victory Armor Piercing arrows and most targets don't stop them well. Not because I am a great shot, but because the arrows fly right through the targets or get buried up to the fletching. That is No Bueno! After doing some research and watching a few of the videos from American Whitetail, I knew I had to try the HybriMAT No Wear CRM (commercial range module) target.
Why did I choose the HybriMAT No Wear CRM target to gauge arrow penetration? First and foremost, the target looked virtually indestructible and I can tell you that it stops the arrows dead. I have used some other brand name targets and the slim diameter arrows blew right through them. After using the HybriMAT No Wear CRM, I can tell you that I am more than impressed with the way it stops arrows.
Specs from the website: The hybrid design with a rigid laminated foam shell, packed tight with ballistic material, for extreme target life. Every part of the CRM is replaceable or repairable. The 26" x 26" size stacks four targets together to build a 54" square target with four 20" diameter NoWear Mesh cores that fit four, five or 3 spot indoor faces.
All arrows were shot from my compound bow set at 70 lbs. The finished length of each arrow from throat of nock to end of insert or outsert is 28”. I shot round after round of the VAP V3 arrows. The HybriMAT No Wear CRM was like a wall of foam not allowing anything to pass. Was it just these arrows? Instead of only shooting the VAP arrows, I also shot four other brands of slim diameter arrows. All were stopped dead by the target. The most arrow penetration I got was 13" from the VAPs, and that was on the backside with just the foam.
Alas, the target isn't going to work for everyone. The target is bulky and not easily moved around. It's meant to be a range target that can sit out for long periods of time. Unfortunately for me, I have to bring my targets to the range and then back home again, so this one will remain at home for the most part. When I can haul it out and shoot for long periods of time, it will work great.
The build of the target is solid, but it doesn't look very professionally put together. It's not perfectly manufactured like many of the targets you find in big box stores. That being said, this this can withstand any arrows I shoot into it. In my humble opinion, I still felt it looked kinda haphazardly put together and could use some more design work.
While the mesh on the front aids in stopping arrows, I think it's a bit much and I didn't care for it. Especially when trying to get the arrows out of the target. They kept hanging up. In fact, almost every arrow hung up a little. I turned the target around more often to shoot at the backside and that worked better for me. Shooting at the mesh was an inconvenience. The website says, 'one finger arrow removal,' and I highly disagree with that statement. Not once was I able to pull out an arrow using one, two or even three fingers.
The HybriMAT No Wear CRM target is designed to be used often, but it is bulky and expensive. It retails for $189.99 and that is not cheap. If you have an outdoor range, shoot slim diameter arrows, and have some some extra cash, this might be the target you are looking for. The way I looked at it was 'do I want to keep searching for arrows that blow through my target, or do I want the confidence in knowing I can hit anywhere on the HybriMAT No Wear CRM and my arrow will stop'. Overall, I like the ability to stop my arrows, but I don't care for the size or some of the features. I would love to see a smaller model of this target come out with no mesh. One that would be easily portable and still have the stopping power. I think it can be done. Half the size, half the price, same stopping power. That would be great.
Disclaimer: The HybriMAT No Wear CRM target was provided by American Whitetails as part of this review and a slim diameter arrow review. I covered the shipping.