Rick is a former news reporter who decided that the corporate world wasn't for him and took off to travel the world. He's been to every continent (yes, even Antarctica!) and has tried out a multitude of outdoor gear along the way. From tents to hiking boots, he's probably tested it all. Now, he's one of our full-time product testers and experts.
Bryan is one of our leading experts since he's got a vast expertise in practically everything connected to the outdoors. He's been hiking since he was a young boy, was an organizer of kayaking tours which later led to another passion of his - kayak fishing. Now, he's a part-time expert consultant involved in our multiple product tests and topic research.
Last updated: April 27, 2022
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Do you want to get the best value for money when looking for a crossbow? If so, then getting a model from Barnett is the way to go! Crossbows from this brand are fast and accurate while having exceptionally good build quality. With Barnett crossbows, the problem simply comes down to picking the right one, as there are many great options out there. This is why we’ve compiled this article so that you can work out which specifications are suited to your needs.
What makes the best Barnett crossbow? Well, that depends on what type you are searching for. Crucial considerations will be the draw weight, velocity, and power stroke. Along with that, you must check the crossbow physical parameters like weight and axle-to-axle width. Do you want to learn more? Continue reading, and by the end of this review, you’ll be able to get the optimal product that matches your expectations!
More features: 4×32 multi-reticle scope, two 22″ Headhunter arrows, lightweight quiver, rope cocking device, lubrication wax
It’s extremely difficult to pick the best Barnett crossbow, but if you twisted our arm, we’d probably go for this Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR crossbow. The reason for that is due to it having a brilliant mix of qualities that make it perfect for a wide range of users.
The compound crossbow weighs 6.6lbs, which gives you a solid feel without being too heavy. The power here is excellent, with the velocity being 375 fps from a power stroke of just over 15 and a half inches.
Next, the draw weight is on the higher side at 187lbs, but it’s not too bad considering the power. You get a nice range of accessories, too, including the scope, two arrows, and a quiver, along with a rope cocking device and lubrication wax. It’s a great combination, and it’s a crossbow that gives you fantastic power without being too difficult to work with.
Why is it special? There’s plenty to love about this crossbow. Firstly, it’s very easy to assemble, and you can start shooting in no time at all. When you do, you’ll find that the action is very smooth, and there is minimal recoil, despite the rapid arrows. It also has a fairly small footprint, which makes it easy to travel with.
What are the flaws? The scope that comes with it doesn’t have a premium level of quality, but most users will be more than happy with it. You can always upgrade if you want to.
More features: anti-dry fire trigger type, comes with a red dot sight, two 20″ aluminum arrows, lightweight quiver, lube wax
If you are on a budget but still want a quality Barnett crossbow, this would be the ideal solution. It doesn’t quite have the power of other crossbows we’ll look at here, but it’s very fun to use and works perfectly.
The weight is only 4.8lbs, which makes it very easy to work with and control. The recurve crossbow only has a velocity of 260 fps. While that may be less than with other types of Barnett crossbow, it’s still very fast and accurate over shorter distances.
The power stroke is 12″, and there is an axle-to-axle width of 22″. Those aren’t the most impressive of figures, but that explains the lower price point. Thus, this is an excellent option for those just getting into using a crossbow. While it may not have the highest specs, it still has that brilliant build quality and reliability.
What makes it stand out? The high quality feel you get from this crossbow will instantly show you how well made it is. Also, it’s light and easy to work with. These qualities help to make it perfect for beginners as you’ll be able to get accurate shots and learn how to shoot before moving to a premium crossbow.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? As we’ve mentioned, the specs here aren’t the highest. That’s shown by the velocity, which does limit the distance that you can fire your bolts.
More features: nock sensor, anti-dry fire trigger system, finger guards, 1.5-5×32 illuminated scope, rope cocking device, side mount quiver, two 22″ Headhunter arrows, lube wax
The Barnett predator crossbow is a premium-quality option in every sense. At 7.6lbs, it’s on the heavier side, but you get a lot of power from that weight. That includes an impressive velocity of 430 fps.
Another impressive figure is the power stroke at a little over 16″, which gives your arrows a tremendous amount of kinetic energy. Despite that power, the axle-to-axle width and the draw weight are very manageable. It’s a fairly compact crossbow when not in use, and therefore, it is great to travel with.
Plenty of accessories are included with the crossbow: a scope, cocking device, and quiver. The quality is exceptional throughout the compound crossbow, and it will take repeated firing without any issues at all.
Why did it make our list? This crossbow offers you that perfect combination of being able to shoot flat arrows at an extremely fast velocity with high accuracy. This is all aided by the high-quality scope, which will keep misses down to a minimum. With that being said, it’s a deadly crossbow in all the right ways.
What is not ideal about it? It was very hard to pick a fault with this crossbow, but if we had to, the strip stop pads aren’t of the best quality and can pop off easily. That’s only a minor issue on an otherwise brilliant X-bow.
More features: 4×32 multi-reticle scope, two 22 inches Headhunter Arrows, lightweight quiver, rope cocking device, lube wax
This Barnett raptor crossbow is another model that can fire at a high velocity. It comes with a good range of accessories, such as the 4×32 multi-reticle scope for mid-range shooting, two arrows, a quiver, cocking device, and some wax.
Draw weight here is 187lbs, which shouldn’t be too difficult to cock for the majority of users. That draw weight can fire the arrows at 400 fps. With the high-power stroke, you’ll be able to benefit from a lot of energy in each shot.
The axle-to-axle width is 17-5/8″, which is great for those looking for something powerful but compact. At 6.9lbs, you wouldn’t describe it as lightweight, but it’s not heavy either. It’s ideal for those looking for a powerful crossbow that is also easy to use.
What do we love it for? This is a crossbow that is great for hunting due to the energy involved. It will be able to penetrate the skin of a large game with no problems. It also has a responsive trigger that gives you a very smooth action.
What were we disappointed with? There is a lot to love about this crossbow, but the scope is fairly standard. It’s not too bad, but if you wanted longer shots, then it may not be up to the task.
More features: high-energy wheels, comes with quick-detach quiver, three bolts, red dot sight
The Barnett Jackal crossbow is another one that has a lower price point while still having excellent quality. The level of construction is excellent, so you won’t have to worry about this breaking down when you need it the most.
You get plenty of accessories in the Barnett Jackal crossbow package with a quick-detach quiver and three bolts, along with a red dot sight. It’s another one that is ideal for beginners, and those at the intermediate level would enjoy this too.
The draw weight is quite low at 150lbs, which would appeal to those that struggle with the more powerful models. That gives a velocity of 315 fps, which is not too bad. Unfortunately, it’s quite large as it has an uncocked axle-to-axle width of 20″.
What makes it special? We think this is one of the best Barnett crossbows for the money. You’ll be able to get accurate groupings with your shots, and it’s simple to use. Also, the scope is a good addition, especially considering how easy it is to use.
What cons did we find? While the crossbow is user-friendly, it is on the heavier side. This may cause some arm ache after a while. Still, that high weight does help with exceptional durability.
This Barnett Whitetail Hunter II crossbow is another great option for those looking at the lower end of the price bracket. It has an easy draw weight of just 150lbs but is still able to fire its arrows at 350 fps.
While other affordable crossbows can be quite large, the axle-to-axle width of this crossbow is only a little over 16 inches. It gives it a good level of portability, which is supported by its lower weight of 6.4lbs.
It comes with all of the accessories that you’d want, which is perfect if this is going to be your first crossbow. It looks great, and the arrows can produce a decent amount of energy with the 12.5″ power stroke.
What stands out? The low draw weight makes this ideal for a wide range of users. The scope is also brilliant for the price and allows you to take accurate shots. Additionally, it’s simple to assemble, so you can plan your next hunting trip straight away.
What cons did we manage to find? While most of the accessories that come with this crossbow are great, the same can’t be said for the quiver. It can be a bit frustrating to use, which is worth bearing in mind.
More features: anti-dry fire trigger, compact size, adjustable stock, comes with quiver and 4×32 scope
Most Barnett Crossbows have a camouflaged finish, which can be useful, but there’s something very strikingly beautiful about this black finish. While it looks great, it performs very well too.
Perhaps the most notable feature of this crossbow is the very low draw weight of just 130lbs. It’s a perfect entrance to the world of crossbows, especially for people who may be a little younger or can’t pull back a powerful crossbow.
It’s not too heavy at 6.4lbs and is not too big at a little over 16″. Everything about this crossbow is small and easy to use. While that is true, it is still able to shoot arrows at 330 fps, which is faster than you’d get from other brands with similar specifications.
What do we love it for? One thing we noticed immediately with this crossbow was just how quiet it is. Next, the high build quality is clear throughout it. We’ve never seen a crossbow that is this easy to use while still being able to deliver an arrow at over 300 fps.
What were we disappointed with? It’s worth noting that you don’t get many accessories with this crossbow. That may suit you if you wanted to get them elsewhere, but most people will find that quite inconvenient.
More features: anti-dry fire trigger, comes with 4×32 multi-reticle scope, lightweight quiver, rope cocking device, lube wax
If you were looking for a crossbow that would be able to guide you all the way from a novice to becoming an expert, then this would be brilliant. It has simple usability but still enough power to be enjoyable for everyone.
Most of its specifications sit in the middle range without being particularly notable. The weight is 6.4lbs, which isn’t too heavy, and the draw weight is 165lbs, so it’s easy to cock. Also, the velocity at 350 fps is more than enough if this is your first crossbow.
On top of that, the power stroke and the axle-to-axle width are fairly standard. Those figures help to make this a highly versatile crossbow. Everyone will be able to use it without any problems while also getting great results.
What are its best features? As with all Barnett crossbows, the durability is high here, with solid construction throughout. It is simple to use and allows you to grow and improve with your crossbow until you’re ready for a high-powered model.
What could be improved? Unfortunately, the scope quality is average. Considering the type of users this crossbow is aimed at, that’s not going to be much of an issue.
More features: 4×32 multi-reticle scope, two 20″ carbon arrows, lightweight side mount quiver, lube wax
Here, we see a return to the more powerful Barnett crossbows with this epic model. It’s important to note the high draw weight of 200lbs allows the crossbow to unleash its raw power.
That’s shown by the power stroke being nearly 16″ so you can be reassured you’ll be getting a huge amount of kinetic energy. That’s all delivered in a fairly compact package considering that the axle-to-axle width, which is only a little over 16″.
The velocity is great at 400 fps, but perhaps its weight is even more impressive. It’s just 6.2lbs, and therefore, it should be perfect for those who want to travel light. Along with this, you’ll get all the accessories you need, which includes high-quality arrows and a lightweight quiver.
What stands out? There isn’t perhaps a crossbow anywhere that combines a low weight with high power than this. While it’s not the most powerful crossbow out there, it’s not far behind. It’s fast, accurate, and fires arrows with tremendous power.
What cons did we manage to find? Perhaps the only negative to this crossbow is that it does have a draw weight of 200lbs. That might be too much for some, but if you can handle it, then you’ll get plenty of benefits.
More features: comes with three 22″ Hyper Flite arrows, 1.5-5×32 illuminated scope, rope cocking sled, lube wax
The Barnett HyperGhost series crossbows are able to deliver a ridiculous level of power. The velocity of 425 fps along with the power stroke of 16.3″ makes them perfect for hunting and also for long-range shooting.
As you can imagine, with such power, there is a very high draw weight here of 206lbs. That’s to be expected, but it’s important to know whether that is too much for you before you purchase your crossbow.
This model isn’t too wide at a little under 18″, but it does weigh 7.7lbs. It comes with three high-quality arrows and has a very good illuminated scope, along with providing you with a rope cocking sled and lube wax.
What do we love it for? We loved the amount of energy that this crossbow produces. It can be devastating when used in the right way, especially when you combine that with high accuracy. Also, it’s quite small considering the other specifications you get.
What were we disappointed with? We mentioned the weight of 7.7lbs, and that might be too high for some. You also have to consider the draw weight and keep in mind that using this crossbow can get quite tiring fairly quickly.
More features: anti-dry fire trigger, three 22″ Hyper Flite arrows, premium 1.5-5 x 32 illuminated scope, rope cocking sled, & lube wax
This is another in the HyperGhost series, but what is different? Well, its draw weight is 21lbs less than with the previous model. That makes it perfect for those who may be in doubt whether 206lbs was too high.
Other specifications here are very similar. The velocity is reduced to 405 fps, but that’s to be expected with the lower draw weight. Still, the power stroke here is 16.3″, so you know you’ll get plenty of energy through those arrows.
You get three 22″ Hyper Flite arrows included in the package, along with the fantastic illuminated scope, a rope cocking sled, and lube wax. It’s an exceptional crossbow and one you’ll love using if you’re able to handle its power.
Why is it special? The high power stroke here can give you exceptional hunting performance. You’re able to deliver that power with accuracy. On top of that, the build quality is brilliant, and this crossbow should last for many years.
What are the flaws? As with the previous model, this is a lot heavier than many other models that we’ve looked at. It’s good to try and have a comparison before you buy to see if you can handle the weight.
Things to Consider
You’re probably looking for Barnett crossbows because you know that they have a supreme level of quality and are a brand you can trust. It’s important to understand the difference between one model and the next, which is why we wanted to make this buying guide to give you all the info you need. We’ve also answered some FAQs to clear up any queries you have. Here, we’ll look at all the key features and what the different terms mean.
Advantages of Barnett crossbows
There are many advantages to getting one of these crossbows. Here, we’ll look at the main reasons you should get one.
High quality – With Barnett, you can be reassured that you’re getting a high level of build quality. These crossbows were built to last, and they can easily cope with heavy use, which includes different weather conditions.
Fast and accurate – You know that you’re going to get both speed and accuracy from these models. Each crossbow will have its own specifications, but they are all going to deliver excellent results and performance.
Value for money – When looking at any type of product, you always want to make sure that you’ll get what you pay for. Most of them come with accessories that will be quite useful.
Trusted brand – Buying from a trusted brand is always going to give you more confidence. Barnett has built up their reputation over many years. You know that the quality of construction will be high, but also, you’ll get a high level of support should something go wrong.
How to pick the best Barnett crossbow?
It’s important to assess your own needs when choosing your crossbow. There are many different features to take into account. For example, some people may be happy with having a draw weight of 200lbs, whereas others will see that as too difficult to handle. Other factors will be essential such as size, velocity, weight, and overall power. Once you’ve considered that, you also need to think about your budget. As we go through all the key pieces of information here, it’s a good idea to make a mental note of what you’re looking for so you know how to get the best Barnett crossbow.
The vast majority of crossbows that we’ve looked at here are compound models, and there is a good reason for that. They are better in nearly every important aspect, and that is due to the cams (little wheels) that are at the end of each limb. They allow the crossbow to store a huge amount of energy, far above the draw weight.
The result is that compound crossbows are much more powerful, and with less effort required, they are also more accurate. This clever storage of energy also allows them to be smaller than their recurve counterparts.
So why would you choose a recurve crossbow? Well, they are lighter, more portable, cost less, and are easier to repair. Many people like the more traditional aspect of recurve crossbows, which are more of a throwback to a bygone era.
It’s crucial to know that you can handle the crossbow, and a lot of that will come down to the weight. If you wanted a lighter model, then the Barnett Blackcat at just 4.8lbs is a great idea and is easy for anyone to use.
The 6.6lbs of the Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR is what you’d rank as fairly standard. It may be on the heavier side for some, but a lot of high-quality crossbows will be around this weight.
If you think you can handle heavier than that, you can look to the likes of the Barnett HyperGhost 425, which weighs 7.7lbs. That may be too uncomfortable for some, so make sure you can carry it.
Max distance and draw weight
The distance that you can fire from a crossbow will largely be down to the draw weight. The draw weight is how much pressure needs to be applied to the string to get it into the cocked position. Due to how crossbows are drawn, the draw weights are usually much higher than you’d find on a regular crossbow.
The 206lbs that you get on the Barnett HyperGhost 425 requires a lot of effort, and not everyone will be able to manage it. If you wanted a low draw weight, then the Barnett Avenger would be a good solution with 130lbs.
If you want a high draw weight but are not sure about being able to pull it back, check who you’ll be shooting with. If you’re going to be with someone stronger, for example, then they may be able to pull it back for you.
If you didn’t know already, velocity is measured in feet per second (fps), and this is the best measurement of how fast your bolt is going to fly. Anything over 400 fps is rapid, and a great example is the 425 fps that you get with the Barnett HyperGhost 425 model. This is going to be a deadly speed and usually requires a high draw weight.
Below that level, you can still get high-powered arrows that fly at deadly speeds, such as the Barnett Jackal, which can shoot at 315 fps.
315 fps bolt velocity should be more than enough for most users. Here, you get the added benefits of it often being much easier to draw and control.
The power stroke is the measurement of just how far you can pull back the string from its resting position. The reason this is important is that it’s a key indicator of not just the velocity but also the energy that is going to be stored in the string.
The higher the power stroke, the more it will be able to turn potential energy into kinetic energy. This is crucial for hunting as a lightweight arrow would do a lot less damage than a heavier arrow at the same speed. A good example of a crossbow with a high power stroke of 16.3″ is the Barnett HyperGhost 405.
The axle-to-axle width is a measurement of how wide a crossbow is from one end to the other. This doesn’t really impact the performance of the crossbow as it depends on how it’s designed. Instead, it shows you how portable and compact it is.
Recurve crossbows are going to be a little wider as they don’t have cams, and we can see this with the 22″ width of the Barnett Blackcat. Some higher-end compound crossbows are able to show great performance with their narrow design. We see this with the Barnett Whitetail Hunter II crossbow, which has exceptional power but is only a little over 16″ in width.
If you’re going to be traveling with your crossbow, then you must check the dimensions.
If you’re looking for high portability, it’s a good idea to look for a crossbow that has a lower axle-to-axle measurement. That isn’t the only crucial figure, as you will also want to look at the overall length of the crossbow and depth.
Crossbows, in general, are quite bulky, so many people think that the difference in dimensions isn’t really that important.
There are several features that you want to look out for on a crossbow. Perhaps the most important feature which they all have is safety. This will prevent dry fire, which can be extremely dangerous.
There are other features to look out for too.
A strong foot stirrup is vital in being able to pull back the string safely, as will a rope cocking device. A finger guard can also be a good feature, and it will allow you to fire the weapon with confidence. As with any crossbow, you also want to check that the correct arrows are being used. All of the abovementioned factors will help to prevent any accidents.
Whatever type of product you wish to purchase, it’s always nice to get a few accessories with it. There are a few that you’ll need to get the most out of your crossbow. Thankfully, these are usually provided with your Barnett kit.
The most important accessory to check is a scope, and all of our Barnett crossbows are fitted with at least a standard model, which you can always upgrade if required.
Aside from a scope, it’s a good idea to get a rope cocking sled, which will make pulling back the string as easy as possible. You may want to get your own arrows/bolts with your crossbow, but most of these models come with two or three. Don’t forget to check if it comes with wax to keep the strings lubricated.
There is a wide price range with crossbows. At the top end of the scale, there is the Barnett Predator Crossbow at around $1,500. It has phenomenal specifications with a high level of power while being easy to use. The Barnett HyperGhost 425 is another high-end option, but it costs a bit less at $900, with the only downside being its higher weight.
You get a lot of great options in the $400 to $700 range, such as seen with the Barnett Avenger, which all has brilliant qualities with extremely high velocity.
On the budget end of the scale, you have the likes of the Barnett Blackcat, which is just around $300. This is still a very powerful model where you can still rely on that famous Barnett build quality.
It’s very hard to say as the rules on crossbow ownership and usage vary vastly from one state to the next. Some will require that you have a license to use one, others you might need a license to hunt, and there are states that are looser in their restrictions. Due to this, it’s important to know the law in your state or country to see the steps that you need to take. These can be easily found via a quick internet search.
There are many maintenance steps that you need to take for your crossbow. The most obvious is waxing your strings and lubricating the rail. This should be done around every 10 shots, but you can make your own visual judgment on whether or not this should be more or less. Before you use your crossbow, it’s always a good idea to give it an inspection. Check the string, cams, and rail to see everything is in working condition without any loose parts or fraying. After use, make sure that no dirt is left sitting in the crossbow and store it safely in a cool, dry area.
It’s always nice to have brands you can trust. You know that if you’re buying a Barnett crossbow, you’re getting one that has been made to the highest standards. On top of that, this includes their budget models. The durability of these crossbows is very high, and they should be able to last for a long time. If anything does go wrong with them, you’ll be able to rely on a warranty with good customer service.
We were impressed with every Barnett crossbow we reviewed. If we had to pick a favorite, it would have to be the Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR. We think this has the best balance between performance, usability, and price. Overall, t’s a stunning piece of weaponry.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly mode, you can’t go wrong with the Barnett Blackcat, which still has impressive specifications. Do you wish to get a premium model? If so, you’ll like the Barnett Predator 430 in your hands with its excellent velocity and a range of brilliant features.
While these three are great, each product on our list of the best Barnett crossbows shows impressive results. All you need to do now is choose your favorite one and enjoy all the benefits of a high-quality model.