|Model||Draw Weight||Velocity||Crossbow Weight|
|Avalanche Mini Crossbow|
Check Price on Cabelas.com
|50 lbs.||150 FPS||1.05 lbs.|
- Powerful for such a small, inexpensive crossbow
- Cool-looking design
- Fun to shoot, until it falls apart
- Cocking arm is easy to forget and leave it pulled back
- Bow assembly shatters early
The Avalanche Mini Crossbow Tactical Pistol is a 50 lbs. crossbow on a pistol frame. Each package delivered by Avalanche includes the following items:
- The Avalanche Mini Crossbow Tactical Pistol, including stock and prod
- Polyester Bowstring
- 5 Plastic Arrow Darts
Assembling The Crossbow
Assembly of the Avalanche Mini Crossbow is straightforward and easy, but stringing the bow requires either two people or a bow stringer. The prod slides into a hole in the riser, and a compression screw tightens the prod into place. More thought should have gone into how this bow is assembled, though, because the lack of vibration dampeners or a compression plate contributes to early failure of the prod assembly.
To install the bowstring, either have one person push the limbs together while the other strings the bow, or make use of a bow stringer. Avalanche does not include a bow stringer, so make sure you already have one if you want to use that method.
Accuracy And Power
The Avalanche Mini is only a 50 lb. crossbow, and I registered speed off the rail at around 142 FPS. The crossbow fires with approximately 12.5 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy, more than enough to bag a rabbit or squirrel with an accurate shot. I have seen this particular crossbow fire a bolt through a pineapple, wooden planks, and even a steel garbage can.
Accuracy is hard to determine for this crossbow, because it suffers from early failure of the prod assembly. The 15-20 shots I did get out of it, though, maintained 1” groupings at 20 yards and 2” groupings at 30 yards. If it didn’t break early in my testing, I’m sure I would have found it quite accurate out to 40 yards.
Hunting: What To Expect
Assuming you get an Avalanche Mini Crossbow that doesn’t fall apart on you while you’re sighting it in, this miniature crossbow should be adequate for small game, like rabbit or squirrel, at close range. If you shoot anything beyond 50 yards, though, your arrow will lose so much kinetic energy that you will likely maim, not kill, your target.
Cocking The Avalanche Mini Crossbow Tactical Pistol
To cock the Avalanche Mini Crossbow, you pull back on the cocking rod until the string is seated and cocked. Unfortunately, pulling this cocking rod back might make you think it is a stock extension and forget to push it back into place. This could be very dangerous, because the string would fling the cocking rod forward and likely damage the guide or destroy the bow altogether. I have heard anecdotes of this happening, and the end results are not pretty. One owner actually suffered a deep cut from the cocking rod flying forward and tearing off part of the guide rail.
The good news is that the safety engages perfectly every time the crossbow is cocked, so you have little worry of misfires or dry fires with this particular miniature crossbow.
The Crossbow Sight
The sight on the Avalanche Mini Crossbow Tactical Pistol is a very simple design, with adjustable knobs for windage and elevation. This particular sight seems of a decent design, and did not suffer from moving when it got bumped. Once I had it sighted in, it seemed to hold zero until the bow was destroyed.
The sight is removable, and a red dot scope or small multi-reticle scope could be installed if you wanted to increase your accuracy some.
The Avalanche Mini Crossbow Tactical Pistol ships with 5 plastic arrow darts. These are a one-piece design, other than the screw-on aluminum tip, and work very well for target practice. Some of the aluminum darts have a tendency to bend on impact, but the plastic darts don’t suffer from this problem. One nice thing about darts for miniature crossbows is that you can purchase 3-dozen of them without worrying about breaking the bank.
Safety and Design
This crossbow is not at all a safe miniature crossbow. The saying “You get what you paid for” definitely rings true with this crossbow. The problem is not in the materials, as far as I could tell, because the plastic grip is quite sturdy and the bow assembly itself is made out of steel. Unfortunately, Avalanche apparently has not tested its design very well; because the lack of vibration dampeners and a proper compression plate means the retention screw from the stock to the prod compresses the steel bow too much. After about 20-30 shots, I watched my bow assembly crack in half and fly apart.
Another safety concern is the cocking mechanism. The cocking bar would benefit from some sort of spring retention to pull it back into place after firing. Or, a redesign so that the cocking bar doesn’t resemble quite so much the adjustable stock many tactical weapons have. It is far too easy to forget that you have left the cocking bar pulled back, and the string can easily fling that bar forward, breaking parts of the bow and damaging the rail.
The Avalanche Mini Crossbow Tactical Pistol doesn’t include a warranty at all, but the retailer I purchased mine from was more than happy to accept the broken crossbow as a return with a full refund.
Pistol Crossbow Review – Summary
Thanks for reading our pistol crossbow review. I love crossbows, and I hate coming across one that’s a danger to its owner. This crossbow is definitely dangerous in the wrong way, due to a number of quality control and/or manufacturing flaws. I would not recommend this crossbow to anybody, if only because of the numerous reports of the bow assembly falling apart or breaking during normal use.