Photos courtesy of Horton and Jon Teater
With age comes wisdom … and quality, performance and superior technology. And they’re all in the Horton Vision 175.
Horton is a company with which most, if not all, archers are familiar. In fact, Horton is one of the oldest crossbow manufacturers in the United States. It has utilized its experience to create a revolutionary design that has been a part of the industry for the past couple of years. Even though its Vision 175 is not a 2011 release, it still remains the company’s top seller.
The Vision 175 stands out from other products because of its inventive and innovative technologies. These technologies result in an appealing look with superb performance.
The nontraditional compound crossbow is able to propel a projectile with a significant amount of speed and produce a minimal amount of noise. These aspects make the Vision 175 a trendsetter and product that will continue to gain momentum in the market.
I put this bow through a rigorous test, the results of which follow.
When opening a new package, no one wants to see his expensive crossbow with damage. At the onset of my evaluation, I meticulously inspected the Vision 175 expressly for that purpose. My review revealed no physical imperfections.
The Vision 175 maintains a high degree of quality that I would suspect has much to do Horton’s manufacturing processes. Horton is paying attention to its consumer needs by focusing on precision engineering, manufacturing and quality control—kudos to Horton.
Checking It Out
When buying a crossbow, archers consider three primary factors: how it looks, feels and shoots. The visual perspective of this triage is certainly engaging. As you look at the design, you will notice how ultracompact it is.
When it comes to technology, the Vision 175 includes reverse draw limbs. The limbs are designed to be only a short distance from one another. The axle-to-axle length is reduced further when the crossbow is at full draw. In fact, this crossbow is one of the shortest axle-to-axle designs available on the market.
The shorter limb tips are advantageous, because they allow the archer to feel uninhibited while in a treestand or blind. Additionally, the crossbow is more portable and easier to handle/carry in the field because of its dimensions.
Horton has designed this product with a list of important features.
The first that comes to mind is the patented Frontal String Technology, which increases powerstroke—resulting in more speed.
The next component is the previously mentioned reverse draw limb. These limbs are distinctive and important to shooting. They store a respectable amount of energy, which is eventually converted into kinetic energy as the projectile is fired. During this process, the limbs work together to release the projectile but move in opposition to one another. The rearward movement of the limbs offsets the forward motion created by the propulsion of the projectile. You receive the added benefit of these contrasting forces, because less vibration is produced.
In addition to vibration-reduction, the Vision 175 produces a low amount of noise. The sound of this product is comparable to a compound bow, which is a rarity among crossbows.
The other technologies included with the Vision 175 relate directly to precision engineering. The CNC-machined wheels (cams) have precisely cut inlets for string posts and cutouts, forming rounded edges. Cams must be designed and manufactured without sharp edges. Horton has perfected this with the Vision 175.
The riser (including limb pockets) is machined with tight corners and chiseled and rounded edges. An important cutout located at the rear of the riser forms a groove for the cocking rope; this is an important feature that provides an added benefit to the archer.
The last component to point out is the aluminum barrel. It is incorporated into the one-piece stock and has several lockdown points. The barrel is designed with multiple grooves, cutouts and holes for mounting the stirrup, trigger housing, cables and riser.
The leading and most obvious aspect of the barrel is its slick surface. A low-friction surface is essential for reducing wear on the string and creating fewer disturbances for the projectile. With the use of rail lubricant, there is almost zero friction, resulting in increased projectile speeds.
Handling on the Range
Testing the Vision 175 at the range was an eye-opening experience. I decided it would be best to shoot the crossbow freehand to get used to the design. It is important to understand that it may take time to get used to a new stock design. With that said, gripping and shooting the crossbow should eventually become a natural occurrence; of course, this requires time and practice.
As I picked up the Vision 175, my hand effortlessly located the cutout in the stock, and my thumb quickly made contact with the composite material. Gripping the stock is made easy because of the rounded edges around the thumbhole area.
The full story is in the Crossbows Fall 2011 issue.