2018 Crossbow Buyer’s Guide: Insights On 13 New Crossbows

More compact. More adjustable. Easier to cock. Throw in upgrades in speed, triggers and accuracy and it's easy to see that the crossbow revolution is stronger than ever in 2018.

by Mark Melotik

HuntStand Pro Contributor MORE FROM Mark

More compact. More adjustable. Easier to cock. Throw in upgrades in speed, triggers and accuracy and it’s easy to see that the crossbow revolution is stronger than ever in 2018.

ExcalASSASSIN900Excalibur Assassin. Designed to be the world’s easiest, safest, most rugged and reliable crossbow ever built, the new Assassin backs up those claims with some eye-popping innovation. The new Charger Cranking System is touted as the industry’s safest and first dead-silent internal crank aid, allowing the user to cock and de-cock the Assassin using just 12 pounds of force.


Generating up to 360 fps, this compact recurve-limb design also features a new two-stage trigger system that mirrors the performance and feel of today’s best match-grade rifle triggers. And the fully adjustable Tru-Fit Stock features fast tool-less length-of-pull adjustment from 12 to 15 inches, along with an adjustable cheekpiece, so everyone can achieve a perfect fit in no time. The Assassin Package ($1,699.99) includes scope, quiver with four arrows, field points, suppressors, strap, and compact hard case.CAMXA4 900CAMX A4. This fine design features an innovative suspension system that uses a patent-pending inboard cam with a unique swing-arm design that completely protects cams, reduces felt shock to nearly zero and improves accuracy, all while sending arrows at 370 fps. The Pivoting Arrow Retention (P.A.R.) system provides consistent arrow pressure so it can’t come loose or fall out, allows for manual, one-hand let-down


and works in concert with the CAMX Lo-Drag Fire Control Trigger as an ADF mechanism. Patented Thumbsaver technology protects the shooter’s forehand without restriction for the full travel path of the string and the cables. And like all CAMX bows, the A4 ($1,149.99) comes pre-sighted at the factory from 10 to 100 yards. Includes four Accuspine arrows and field points, CAMX’s Wishbone patented quiver and a rope cocking aid, in Realtree Max-1, Mossy Oak Treestand or Ninja Black.MissionSub1 900Mission SUB-1. Flagship of the new Mission Crossbows brand, the SUB-1 ($1,499) gets its name from its touted less-than-1-inch-group accuracy at 100 yards, which is derived from features like a high letoff, fully synced Sync X Cam and patented CNC-machined rail that combine to virtually eliminate horizontal and


vertical nock travel. Just as smart, the RSD (Removable Silent Draw) system applies equal tension to each side of the bowstring while also drastically reducing the effort required to cock the bow’s 200 pounds of draw weight. The etched reticle scope has red and green illumination options and integrated into the adjustable, tactical stock is an innovative trigger system that allows shooters to safely de-cock without firing an arrow or disengaging the trigger.CXPileDriver900Carbon Express PileDriver 390. The 185-pound PileDriver 390 ($399.99) offers a lightweight, compact slim-line stock design that features a multi-position adjustable foregrip and adjustable buttstock for a custom fit. You’ll also find an aluminum rail for repeatable accuracy and state-of-the-art performance


compression molded limbs, premium alloy cams, tunable synthetic strings and cables and a step-through foot stirrup. And every crossbow trigger is rigorously tested before it leaves the manufacturing facility. It’s available in a ready-to-hunt package with free Quiet Crank Cocker ($100 value), quick-detach 3-arrow quiver, three PileDriver 20-inch arrows with practice points, rail lubricant and a 4x32mm scope. NitroXACUdraw900TenPoint Nitro X. This is reportedly the fastest and smallest crossbow ever produced, spanning a mere 7 inches, axle to axle, but boasting a blistering 440 fps and punishing166 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. It’s also rife with features like a newly designed, maximum rotation system for new RX7 cams, and Sling-Shot technology that provides turbo boost to the reverse-draw bow assembly’s Dual Flex limbs. Revolutionary


Vector Quad cable technology utilizes four cables instead of the traditional two for increased strength and stability to balance torsion and tension and eliminate cam lean. Double-dip fluid imaged in True Timber Viper Western camo, the Nitro X comes as a Standard package ($2,000) with ACUdraw Pro, ACUdraw, or ACUdraw 50 SLED, RangeMaster Pro Scope, 6-pack of EVO-X CenterPunch premium carbon arrows, integrated string stop system and a quiver, or an Elite package ($2,200) with ACUdraw Pro, Evo-X Marksman Scope, TenPoint STAG Hard Crossbow Case, 6-pack of EVO-X CenterPunch premium carbon arrows, integrated string stop system and a quiver. WarriorUltralite900Wicked Ridge Warrior Ultra-Lite. Along similar lines as its TenPoint cousin, the Warrior Ultra-Lite ($459.99) is 1.25 inches shorter, a half-pound lighter and 4 inches narrower, yet at 350 fps is 30 fps faster than its predecessor. And it puts TenPoint technology in a reliable, affordable and ready-to-hunt crossbow package at an entry-level price-point. The narrow bow assembly features a newly designed riser and


machined aluminum limb pockets fitted with 11-inch WRX laminated limbs and powered by heavy-duty machined 4S Cams and DynaFLIGHT 97 string and cables. Engineered to reduce weight and improve both strength and handling, its unique stock design is molded from dampening glass-filled polypropylene and features an open-back design. Its fully-integrated fore-grip is backed-up with elongated safety wings to keep the shooter’s hand below the bowstring path and a picatinny rail below the front of the barrel affords room to mount additional accessories. Double-dip fluid-imaged in Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, it comes with a TenPoint Multi-Line Scope, three arrows and a quiver.KarnageApocolypse900Bear/Karnage Apocalypse. The 175-pound Apocalypse ($349.99) boasts a blazing 370 fps and 111 foot-pounds of kinetic energy, and several quality features for a nicely affordable price. The stock has 3 inches of length adjustability, an adjustable cheek piece and adjustable fore end grip mounted on a picatinny-style rail system for improved accuracy and customizable comfort. Its dual mount string recoil suppressor system reduces noise and friction and its 14-inch narrow axle-to-axle width at full draw makes it compact and maneuverable. Included are three K20 carbon arrows, quiver, detachable sling, rail lube/string wax, cocking rope and 4×32 scope multi cross reticle with focusing eye piece.

ScorpydAculeus900Scorpyd Aculeus. The speedy new Aculeus ($1,899) combines Scorpyd’s multi-patented Reverse Draw Technology with a new Kempf-TEC SEER-LOC adjustable trigger to produce better balance, faster speeds (a touted 450 fps) and less shock and noise along with a glass-smooth 2.5-pound pull, adjustable two-position trigger arm and precise trigger travel control. Meanwhile, a 6061-T6 riser, precision machined 6061T6 barrel, trigger box, cams and foot stirrup, MIL spec anodizing throughout and titanium fasteners make this bow nearly indestructible.185CK_900CenterPoint Mercenary Whisper 390. This neat-looking and nicely affordable ($399.99) 185-pound draw crossbow heads up Crosman’s CenterPoint line. On the front end of its lightweight aluminum barrel is a shoot-through riser tricked out with quad limbs and machined cam system for high performance, and a


Whisper Silencing System with integrated string suppressors and limb dampeners for an ultra-quiet, vibration-free shot. The adjustable, tactical stock with cheek pad and comfort grips affords custom fit and non-slip grip while the narrow axle-to-axle width provides compact mobility. Includes three 20-inch carbon arrows, quiver, rope cocker, shoulder sling and 4×32 Centerpoint Optics crossbow scope.ParkerThunder900Parker ThunderHawk Pro. This 160-pound ThunderHawk Pro ($599.95) features proprietary Advanced Split Limb Technology with integrated Fulcrum Pocket System that produces a blistering 330 fps speed rating in a relatively compact 20.25-inch axle-to-axle width. A bull-pup trigger and ergonomic textured pistol grip offer better handling and maneuverability and factory installed and tuned Anti-Vibration and Shock (AVS) System reduces noise and vibration. Exclusive machined USA aluminum Synergy Cams deliver greater performance and diminish the cocking effort by over 50 percent when paired with the RED HOT EZ Roller rope cocker.R20sniper 900Ravin R20 Sniper Package. This premium package features Ravin’s patented HeliCoil technology and Frictionless Flight System (FFS) for greater downrange accuracy, faster speed (430 FPS) and more punishing KE (164 foot-pounds), and you’ll also find a quieter shot and dramatically improved string life. The exclusive Trac-Trigger firing system ensures straight-line nock travel and a perfectly balanced draw,


and the compact, ambidextrous Versa-Draw Cocking System provides for just 12 pounds of draw force, and uncocking without firing the crossbow. All that is accomplished with a meager 13-inch power stroke and mere 6-inch axle-to-axle width. The R20 Sniper Package ($2,499.99) includes: six Ravin arrows with exclusive Ravin nocks and field points, Ravin quiver and mounting bracket, Versa-Draw cocking handle, built-in sling mounts and a custom Vortex Strike Eagle scope that mounts to a revolutionary adjustable jack plate and riser level that allows shooters to dial-in exact yardage from 20 to 200 yards.

BarnettPredator900Barnett Predator. Heading up Barnett’s Carbonlite Series is the Predator ($1,399.99). It combines a new RUCS (Retractable Underarm Counter-Balance Support) System with a full carbon step-through riser to reduce and effectively shift 53 percent of the overall weight back toward the shooter for improved handling


and balance. Its foldable arm extends from the stock and hooks under the shooter’s arm to provide a more stable shooting platform. Its 187-pound draw weight works with a deep, 16.25-inch power stroke to generate speeds up to 430 fps and 156 foot-pounds of KE. Includes Barnett’s premium 1.5-5 x 32mm illuminated scope, a crisp, three-pound TriggerTech trigger system with Frictionless Release Technology, string dampeners, a rubber butt pad, pass-through foregrip, four Picatinny rails and a streamlined side-mount quiver. KI SWAT 900Killer Instinct SWAT 408. As its name implies the 165-pound SWAT 408 ($699.99/Package) is among the fastest of this year’s class. Like previous KI bows, it features patented Concealed String Technology (CST), which compresses the string into the barrel and doubles as an ultra-comfortable cheek rest, an Enclosed Double Barrel System (DBS) wherein the string floats free in-between the barrels to eliminate friction, improve accuracy and suppress noise and vibration and total in-barrel concealment of arrow and broadhead for improved safety. And, it boasts an incredible two-pound trigger.



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