Barnett Brotherhood Review – Compound Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Barnett Brotherhood

Barnett Brotherhood

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160 lbs.13.5"350 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"35.75" / 7 lbs.
- Lightweight design
- Decent scope
- Powerful enough for all legal game
- No rope cocking device included
- Louder than average
- Difficult to retrieve arrows from quiver
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Also Recommended:Best Barnett Crossbows

What Comes With This Crossbow?

Hi there! It’s time for another crossbow review, and today we’re looking at the Barnett Brotherhood. Each package delivered by Barnett includes the following items:

  • The Barnett Brotherhood crossbow
  • 4×32 Multi-Reticle scope
  • Assembly hardware and tools
  • 3-arrow quiver
  • 3 20” Headhunter arrows
  • Owner’s manual
  • Warranty card

Is It Hard to Assemble?

brotherhood1Barnett’s Brotherhood crossbow is remarkably simple to assemble, as far as crossbows go. The instruction manual does an excellent job of describing the process, and all of the pieces fit together smoothly. You install the riser onto the stock, then attach the foot stirrup. Mount the quiver and the scope, and you’re ready to go.

How Well Does It Shoot?

This x-bow fires arrows at 350 fps with 109 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy. That’s powerful enough to penetrate the block of an engine, to be perfectly honest, and is more than powerful enough to knock your target block backwards or over if it isn’t properly supported. Make sure to prop your target block against a tree stump or your backstop, unless you like the idea of picking your target block back up after every shot.

Once I had the scope properly sighted in, I began testing the accuracy of the Brotherhood. This is a definite beauty when it comes to accuracy, since I was quickly putting in one-quarter inch groupings from 25 yards. I backed up to 60 yards, and was able to hold groupings of 2 inches with ease. This crossbow proved itself on the range to be more than accurate and powerful enough for hunting, so I decided to take it for a spin on a couple of hunting trips.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The Barnett Brotherhood

Your actual results will vary slightly depending on weather, and significantly with arrow weight change. See our Crossbow Ballistics Guides section for a complete understanding of how we conducted our tests and why this data matters.

Will Hunters Enjoy the Brotherhood?

This crossbow’s width is 21”, so it is a bit wider than some of the newer crossbows on the market, but it’s still narrow enough to fit nicely on your back. I added a padded sling to my Brotherhood, and carried it through the woods all day without feeling fatigued or sore.

The only drawback to this crossbow for hunting is the noise factor. The Brotherhood is almost as loud as a .22LR, so be prepared to install string silencers and vibration dampeners to quiet it down. It can be quieted down to a reasonable noise level, but it takes some work and fine-tuning.

Since it shells out 109 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy, the Barnett Brotherhood is more than powerful enough for all of the legal game in North America, even bear and Cape buffalo. I took the Brotherhood on a bear hunt, and was quite impressed with the crossbow’s performance. We spotted a bear about 40 yards from our tree stand, and I was fortunate enough to be tagged to take the shot. I took careful aim at the bear’s chest, and pulled the trigger. My arrow flew straight through the bear’s lung, and the black bear was only able to charge a few yards towards me before he keeled over, dead.

Cocking The Barnett Brotherhood

Barnett has built the Brotherhood with their CROSSWIRE String and Cable system, which pulls back very smoothly and consistently. My biggest complaint about this crossbow is the fact that it does not include a rope cocking device. Sure, I could pull the string back by hand, and it definitely draws smooth enough for that, but that goes against my primary rule of cocking a crossbow: use a rope cocking device. Using a rope cocking device ensures a consistent pull, which is crucial for accuracy and safety. Do yourself a favor, and purchase a rope cocking device when you buy this crossbow.

The Brotherhood is also compatible with crank cocking devices, and Barnett does offer one as an optional purchase. From what I’ve seen of the crank cocking device for this crossbow, though, you’re better off with a rope cocking device. The crank is difficult to turn and requires quite a bit of hand strength to operate.

The anti-dry fire and safety mechanisms work perfectly each and every time, and the trigger pull is a light 3.5 pounds.

The Crossbow Scope

The 4×32 multi reticle scope that ships with the Brotherhood is nearly sighted in straight out of the box. I was only two shots into using the Brotherhood, and I had the scope perfectly sighted in. The scope has held true through a full season of hunting, even though it spent a couple of flights in the hands of baggage handlers at the airport during travel to my hunting spot.

The light gathering capabilities of this scope are pretty good, even though the scope is not illuminated. I was able to use the scope in pre-dawn conditions, and my target image was clear and crisp with lots of contrast in all lighting conditions.

See our detailed guide on how to sight-in your crossbow


The Brotherhood comes with 3 20” Headhunter arrows, which are decent enough. Still, I quickly swapped them out for my Firebolt arrows, weighted at 400 grain. The Headhunter arrows shoot fairly straight, but when you’re hunting bear, you want the best arrows you can get. I used 525-grain arrows with 4 cutting edges, non-mechanical. You want to be sure the arrow will penetrate and pass through, otherwise you won’t have a blood trail if the bear moves out of sight.

You can also learn more about crossbow arrows and take a look at our broadhead recommendations

Safety and Design

The Barnett Brotherhood is well made, and features a lightweight composite stock with a Magnesium STR riser. The CNC machined rail is straight and true, and the metal injected mold trigger is smooth and consistent, with an excellent break point. The safety and anti-dry fire mechanisms work flawlessly. Overall, this bow is very solid and reliable.


All Barnett crossbows are covered by a 5-year limited warranty. Barnett’s customer service staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and quick to get to the bottom of any problem you’re having.

What Crossbow Case Fits the Barnett Brotherhood?

As long as you prefer small scopes the Carbon Express Deluxe Case is a good soft carrycase for about $70. If you tend to use a bigger scopes, try checking out the Allen Company case. It is a soft carrycase for a remarkable $30.

Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our crossbow review. The Barnett Brotherhood is an excellent crossbow, with just a few minor glitches. It’s perfectly suited for target shooting or hunting, it’s just louder than you might expect from a crossbow. Take a look at today's price on this crossbow and check out our top 10 crossbows rankings for more.

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