By Kara Hiltz
Dreams do come true.
How many times have you thought about a more powerful crossbow that is also easy to carry, lift, draw, cock and fire? If you’re like most, the answer is, “Plenty.”
And here’s the good news: You’re in luck, because manufacturers are now constructing some of their crossbows with carbon. This, of course, allows manufacturers to significantly cut down on a crossbow’s weight. At the same time, it’s also extremely strong so that sportsmen don’t need to sacrifice power to take advantage of the crossbow’s lighter weight.
As an added bonus, carbon materials and parts also help keep a crossbow quiet and efficient. Remember that perfect shot ruined by a loud crossbow that spooked your prey? A crossbow made with carbon might help you forget it.
Carbon is not the only trend in 2011. There are also multi-dot scopes (see the accompanying sidebar).
Whether you’re trying out a crossbow for the first time or consider yourself a seasoned pro, 2011 offers new crossbows from the industry’s best manufacturers that walk the line between performance and affordability. No matter your experience level, budget or size, you’ll find a great new crossbow in 2011 that will suit your needs.
In random order, here are five of the most talked-about crossbows from the manufacturers you know and trust.
#1 Excalibur’s Axiom SMF
Excalibur’s Axiom SMF packs a powerful punch for its price tag. This crossbow, which features a sleek look and simple design, is perfect for deer and other medium-sized game and is manageable to draw and cock. Excalibur sells the Axiom SMF only as part of a kit, which includes a matching crossbow scope with mounting hardware, a rope cocking aid, a four-arrow quiver and four Firebolt arrows—everything you need to get out into the field.
“Generating plenty of horsepower, the Axiom SMF has what it takes to efficiently handle any of North America’s largest game, all at a great price,” says Peter Balfour, marketing manager at Excalibur. “Its 175-pound draw weight and 14.5-inch power stroke make it comfortable to cock, and the Axiom’s light 5.8 pounds make it a joy to carry on a long day afield.”
Despite the Axiom SMF’s light weight, Excalibur suggests a smaller crossbow for sportsman shorter than 5 feet 2 inches. However, this comprehensive crossbow kit, along with its solid performance and lightweight frame, make the Axiom SMF a valuable purchase for sportsmen who are new to the crossbow or can’t afford to drop $1,000 on new equipment.
Specs and Stats
• Name: Excalibur Axiom SMF
• Velocity: 305 feet/second
• Draw weight: 175 pounds
• Power stroke: 14.5 inches
• Mass weight: 5.8 pounds
• Overall length: 37.5 inches
• MSRP: $489.99
• Website: Excaliburcrossbow.com
#2 TenPoint Carbon Fusion CLS
How sweet is this?
The carbon-fiber barrel’s materials and design are inspired by the same construction that the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner uses, so you can imagine how bolts will fly from TenPoint’s Carbon Fusion CLS. Very cool.
Ordinarily, most people assume that a powerful crossbow must feel like a ton of bricks. The TenPoint Carbon Fusion CLS will prove otherwise. This crossbow, an upgrade of TenPoint’s Phantom CLS model, uses innovative technology: a woven carbon-fiber barrel, to make it lighter and quieter. TenPoint says the Carbon Fusion CLS’s carbon-fiber barrel sets it apart from the Phantom CLS model.
“The most noticeable advantage is weight reduction—1 ½ pounds lighter than the original Phantom,” says Dave Robb, director of marketing at TenPoint. “In addition, carbon fiber also reduces sound duration, making the bow quieter than the Phantom. Finally, the superslick barrel surface produces an incredible coefficient of friction that improves string wear, as well.”
The Carbon Fusion CLS features a Compact Limb System, which helps create power behind your shot while also keeping the draw weight reasonable.
To become the proud owner of this crossbow, it will cost you about $2,000 for the Carbon Fusion CLS package. Nevertheless, that price will definitely buy you some bragging rights with your hunting buddies.
Specs and Stats
• Name: TenPoint Carbon Fusion CLS
• Velocity: 345 feet/second
• Draw weight: 185 lbs
• Power stroke: 13 inches
• Mass weight: 7 pounds 3 ounces
• Overall Length: 38.5 inches
• MSRP: $1,919
• Website: tenpointcrossbows.com
The full story is in the Crossbows Fall 2011 issue, on sale now!