New Crossbows for 2016 that Demand Respect
Article first appeared at Ammoland.com
Ammoland – In recent years, certainly partially borne of evolving state laws, outdoor enthusiasts and the archery industry in general has seen a surge in demand for crossbows.
The result? Jaw-dropping performance and innovation that has lured some of the most die-hard bowhunters in for a little trigger time. After all, let’s be honest, there is absolutely no comparison between the crossbows of 20 years ago and today.
The amount of research and development poured into current crossbows is staggering and what we saw at the 2016 ATA Show only proved manufacturers’ determination to continue pushing the envelope. In 2016, we see some crossbows even pushing past the 400 fps mark. Scorpyd Crossbows, mentioned below, has even reached 450 fps, causing BIGshot Targets to develop the industry’s first-ever 500 fps archery target, the Extreme 500. Has 500 fps ever crossed your mind?
For me, it wasn’t until recently that I realized we are going to get there. To take innovations a step further, consider Crosman’s mind-blowing Air Bow, launching arrows at 450 fps without the arduous task of actually drawing a crossbow. Enough glossing over crossbow relevance in 2015. It’s time to prove my point.
Here are 5 New Crossbows for 2016 that demand respect!
Stryker Katana Crossbow
One of 9 head-turning BowTech and Stryker offerings launched at the 2016 ATA Show, the Katana refuses to follow the crossbow competition.
At a red hot speed rating of 385 fps and power stroke of 13”, the Katana holds its own weight among industry leaders. A bulldog-styled stock, ambidextrous cheekpiece, Aero-Rail and an ultra-crisp, 3.5-lb. trigger provides insane accuracy, high-tech performance, near-perfect balance from front to back, and top-shelf comfort in virtually any shooting condition.
The lightweight Aero-Rail also reduces fatigue while shooting off-hand or carrying over extended distances. While the Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire System protects the Katana, and you, from dangerous boltless discharges, the ability to safely de-cock provides peace-of-mind for countless shooters faced with the common problem de-cocking in the field. While the Stryker Katana Crossbow depends on a 155-lb. draw weight, product developers were interested in eliminating shooter fatigue.
As a result, the Stryker also offers the C2 Crank as part of the Katana accessory package for virtually effortless cocking. Overall length of the Katana stands at 35” with 19 3/16” axle-to-axle (ATA) at the brace and 16 3/8” ATA at full draw. The Katana accessory package includes four Accustrike Light Carbon Arrows, a quiver and Tact-Zone Illuminated Crossbow Scope.
The Stryker Katana is one of those crossbows you can’t help but stop and look at. So, here’s the good news, as good as it looks, it shoots even better. The bad news? Uh I’m drawing a blank…
Of the crossbows I was able to shoot, the Stryker Katana was my personal favorite. Just like a bow or rifle, your crossbow needs be exceptionally comfortable from the beginning.
This one also happens to be fast, dead-still and whisper quiet!
TenPoint Carbon Nitro RDX Crossbow
Let’s face it, when you hear the word TenPoint, the first thoughts that come to mind are premium, world-class quality, attention to detail, top of the line…
Any or all of these descriptors may be true; however, TenPoint has still found room to grow, as demonstrated with the Carbon Nitro RDX. For starters, this industry-first, high-tech, reverse-drive carbon crossbow, powered by TenPoint’s new ultra-narrow RDX bow assembly, features a carbon-fiber barrel and adjustable PolyOne OnForce carbon C3 stock for lightweight handling and carrying, as well as perfect balance. High-Speed performance, driven by a custom RDX cam system and DynaFLIGHT 97 strings and cables, comes standard with 385-fps velocity and 122 ft-lbs. of kinetic energy from 370-gr. Pro Lite Arrows or up to 364 fps and 125 ft-lbs. of kinetic energy from 425-gr. Pro Elite Arrows.
The Carbon Nitro RDX includes a TenPoint Rangemaster Pro Crossbow Scope, a patentedACUdraw, quiver, half-dozen Pro Elite carbon bolts, field points and a RDX String Stop System. True to TenPoint’s reputation, the Carbon Nitro RDX is a homerun.
Even hardcore compound and traditional bowhunters are chomping at the bit to take this crossbow out for a test drive.
Scorpyd Orion Extreme Crossbow
In today’s crossbow world. When crossbow enthusiasts are on the hunt for high-speed performance and premium crossbow shootability, they think Scorpyd, the fastest crossbows on Earth, including the Orion Extreme.
They also think, “What the heck stops a bolt from the Orion Extreme traveling at 440 fps and producing 175 ft-lbs. of kinetic energy?”
Truly, Scorpyd’s work on bolt velocity also gave-way to target innovation. BIGshot invented another industry-first, the Extreme 500, (check this link for the video) rated at 500 fps to quench the thirsts of Scorpyd crossbows and others pushing the velocity envelope. Scorpyd, as proven with the 7.5-lb. Orion Extreme, proves that even the fastest crossbows ever produced can be light, dead still and exceptionally quiet – truly a near-perfect combination to satisfy even the most extreme and discriminating crossbow hunters. The Orion Extreme’s power comes from its distinctly exaggerated reverse draw design, 110-lb. up to 175-lb. options, 18 ½” power stroke, Barnsdale laminated limbs, Viper X strings and cables, and Scorpyd’s aggressive cam system.
The Scorpyd Orion Extreme’s compact design includes ATA dimensions of 12 7/8” cocked and 19 5/8” uncocked, with 34 ½” overall length, and a non-folding stock and pistol grip system weighing nearly a half-pound less than Scorpy’s other chassis. Other quality and performance features include a vented barrel and forearm, titanium fasteners, MIL-SPEC Type III anodizing, a patented anti-dryfire device and MIM trigger components.
Even better than industry-leading speed, the Scorpyd Orion Extreme also performs as well or better than any other premium crossbow you’re likely to shoot this year.
While I appreciate the option to include an ACUdraw crank cocking device, I really like the ability to pimp this crossbow out with optional butt pads and Hogue 1911 style grips!
Parker Hurricane Crossbow
For years, Parker has been a force to reckon with in the world of premium crossbows and the Hurricane blazes a trail at 380 fps to prove the trend continues into 2016.
The Hurricane delivers the best of both worlds, backwoods hunting with a tactical feel that won’t be ignored. The adjustable AR-style stock, complete with rubber butt pad, checkered pistol grip and robust picatinny rail system are sure to make the AR enthusiast in you right at home whether your reticle finds that sweet spot on an archery target or the buck of a lifetime.
While the tactical feel was cool, especially for a cranky Marine Corps veteran/outdoor writer, I really appreciated other creature comforts like the Hurricane’s adjustable vented forend, full-size ATA of 21.25” and adjustable length of 34” to 37.5”. The G-2 Bull-Pup Trigger was surprisingly, even refreshingly crisp after exceptionally rigid, long trigger pulls on several lesser crossbow systems. Driven by a 160-lb. draw, 15.375” power stroke, patented reverse cam system, machined barrel and riser, innovative limb technology and RED HOT strings and cables, the Hurricane is what archers and bowhunters commonly refer to as a tack driver. The Hurricane is extremely accurate, rugged and feature rich from front to back, including RED HOT Split Limb Dampeners and dual string suppressors designed to not only make the Parker Hurricane the storm of the century, but quite a quiet killer, to boot. The eye of this storm rests in a great shooting experience. The Hurricane was smooth, quiet, comfortable, light and definitely fun to shoot. As it relates to the competition, Parker really focuses on the details in the 2016 Hurricane although it’s a tad heavier than many other crossbows at 8.3 lbs.
Still, even a little on the heavier side, it feels very comfortable in my hands and the weight certainly wasn’t a deal breaker by any stretch. It’s an all-out contender in the world of premium crossbows.
Browning OneSixTwo Crossbow
Browning unleashed the OneSixOne and OneSixTwo crossbows on ATA attendees and created quite a positive buzz.
On the firearm side of the Browning Brand the company holds fast to its tagline, “The best there is.” From what I witnessed from the both crossbow models I think part of Browning brand strategy is to successfully add that “best there is” mentality to their crossbow line; they’re about to give the Browning X-Bolt new meaning to crossbow enthusiasts.
While I enjoyed learning about both models I was drawn to the OneSixTwo. True to Browning form, the quality of the OneSixTwo is on par with the industry’s top crossbow offerings. For a re-launch into crossbows Browning sure reached for the stars… and plucked some from the sky! The OneSixTwo comes pre-assembled and ready to hunt! With a crisp trigger, draw weight of 145 lbs., 121.6 ft-lbs. of kinetic energy and a power stroke of 14 5/8”, the Browning OneSixTwo is a nightmare for any game animal on any continent but extra safe for you with the anti-dry-fire trigger. While this full-size crossbow measures 36.75” long and 21.875” ATA, it’s exceptionally light weight of 7.2 lbs. makes it a breeze to carry on long treks, especially in the included hard case. The Browning OneSixTwo even includes a crank-cocking system tucked under the patent-pending hinged cheek piece. The Browning Crank Cocking Device requires only 17 lbs. to cock!
For a new crossbow launch, Browning sure showed up with a heck of a winner! It was definitely one of my favorites during the 2016 ATA Show.
The Big Crossbows for 2016 Wrap-Up
The surge of crossbows is perhaps, as mentioned, the result of changing state laws, TV, extended hunting seasons, increasing popularity of bowhunting; maybe another factor is simply that an increasing number of baby boomers are hanging up their bows and picking up crossbows. Whatever the reason, I like it. I am not a bowhunter that debates whether a person should or should not venture out with a crossbow during bow season, I’m the kind of bowhunter that simply wants more people out in the woods protecting our heritage and ultimately our way of life. That said, the technological advances I’ve witness from Crossbows for 2016 and over the past 20 years are staggering!
Even better, the evolution of crossbows creates amazing competition among producers; that means manufacturers are forced to keep blowing our minds one show, one shot, one crossbow at a time.
About Kevin Reese:
Kevin is an award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, videographer, speaker, host of Global Outfitters TV Show’s GO Tips and a Marine Corps veteran. He owns and administers www.mainbeammedia.com and Main Beam Blog at blog.mainbeammedia.com. The Main Beam Blog offers great articles, press releases, outdoor industry news and reviews.