Barnett Ghost 400 Crossbow Review

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Barnett Ghost 400
Barnett Ghost 400

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185 lbs.15.75"400 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
22"38" / 8.2 lbs.
Pros:
- Includes not only arrows, but also a sling
- Carbon riser to reduce frontal heaviness
- Included scope features illuminated reticles
- Foot stirrup is part of the riser
- Short axle-to-axle leng

Cons:
- Oversized forearm grip is still dangerous for larger hands
- Strings fray and break easily
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Also Recommended:Best Barnett Crossbows

Barnett Ghost 400 Crossbow Package Contents

Welcome to my review of the Barnett Ghost 400 Crossbow. Each package delivered by Barnett includes the following items:

  • The Barnett Ghost 400 crossbow
  • Quick-detach quiver
  • 3 22” Easton arrows
  • 3 x 32mm four-reticle illuminated scope
  • Padded crossbow sling
  • Small sample of string wax
  • Warranty card
  • Owner’s manual
  • All assembly hardware

Assembling The Barnett Ghost 400 Crossbow

Barnett Ghost 400Assembling the Barnett Ghost 400 (amazon.com link) crossbow is simple and quick. All you have to do is line up the cables in the rail and tighten the included set screw. The set screw is designed to hold tightness, but it’s common for crossbows to require regular maintenance, including tightening screws and bolts in addition to waxing the string and lubricating the rail.

Accuracy And Power

This crossbow is very powerful, hurling arrows with 151 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. The 185-lb draw weight will give you speeds approaching 400 fps in real world situations (remember that the advertised 400 fps is under ideal conditions with arrows lighter than Barnett recommends for everyday use.) In my tests, I came out with speeds of 375 fps with 127 ft-lbs of kinetic energy, using 400-grain arrows.

After sighting in the crossbow, I fired the Ghost 400 at 40 yards with the included arrows as well as Easton XX75 Magnum arrows with the same size and length. Both types of arrows gave me groupings of 2-3 inches at 40 yards.

Ballistic Data For The Barnett Ghost 400

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.

Hunting: What To Expect

Barnett Ghost 400Barnett rates the Ghost 400 at 375 fps, with 127 ft-lbs of kinetic energy. This gives the crossbow more than enough power to take down small game as well as medium game, and puts it in the neighborhood of taking down elk and moose.

The Barnett Ghost 400 is excellent in the field, and has the power to bring down small- to large-sized game up to and including moose and black bears (but I don’t think I’d try taking on a bear with a crossbow!) During one hunting trip, I took down two medium-sized does with the Ghost 400. The crossbow slung the arrows so fast that I barely saw the arrows hit the deer. The arrow went through one of the does so fast that she didn’t even realize she had been hit and she only made it 25 yards before she dropped from blood loss.

While the carbon riser helps with frontal heaviness, the crossbow itself is still rather heavy, weighing in at 8 lbs., 2 ounces. It can be awkward to hold the crossbow for long periods of time if your stand doesn’t have a rail or bow holder. Shooting it, however, is easy either with or without a rest.

Kinetic Energy Of The Barnett Ghost 400

Next, let’s look at how much kinetic energy the Barnett Ghost 400 deals out. After all, accuracy only takes you so far—you also need enough momentum behind the arrow to pass through your prey. Luckily, the Ghost 400 has plenty of power—throwing out arrows at 375 FPS, each 400-grain arrow will deliver around 127 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy at point blank range. If you deduct the standard few percent ft. lbs. for every yard beyond point blank range, that still leaves you with a whopping 116 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy at 30 yards.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Cocking The Barnett Ghost 400 Crossbow

The Barnett Ghost 400 includes a rope cocking device, and I’d recommend you use it since the crossbow has 185 pounds worth of draw weight. Another option would be to purchase a hand-crank cocking device and attach it to the stock of the crossbow. You should always use some sort of cocking device with crossbows, though, for the sake of accuracy and longevity.

The Crossbow Scope

The 3 x 32mm scope that ships with the bow is made by Cross, an accessories company owned and operated by Barnett. This is a powered scope with illuminated reticles and placement circles out to 50 yards. The scope is mostly sighted in out of the box, and fine-tuning it is simple and easy. Once sighted in, the scope held zero quite reliably, even with bumping around on my back and in my car.

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

Bolts

The Barnett Ghost 400 includes 3 Easton arrows, and these arrows will serve you well. There are no field points or broad heads included, of course, but that just freed me up to choose my own! Barnett recommends 22”, 400-grain arrows. You can certainly try out heavier arrows, but never shoot anything lighter than 400 grains or you risk injury to yourself or others as well as damage to the limbs and string.

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

Safety and Design

As with all crossbows, you have to keep all of your body parts out of the path of the crossbow’s string. The string is so fast and powerful that anything in its path will be damaged (or amputated.) Barnett did incorporate an oversized foregrip on the Ghost 400 to prevent fingers from getting in the string’s path, but if you have really large hands, you still need to be watchful.

There have also been reported problems of strings breaking early in the life of the crossbow. My Ghost 400 came out of the box with some fraying on the string, and I’ve been watching the fraying get more pronounced with use. I talked to my local archery store about Barnett, and the owner told me, “Barnett makes a nice crossbow, but watch the string.”

Warranty

The scope comes with a lifetime warranty, while the crossbow comes with a 5 year limited warranty that does not cover the cable, the string, or any damage resulting from misuse and/or dry-firing the crossbow. I’d recommend a close inspection of the cable and string before even assembling this crossbow, since Barnett crossbows are notorious for string breakage.

Barnett’s customer service is top-notch and improving year after year. When I contacted them about the frayed string, they promptly mailed me a replacement string at no cost to me, even though strings aren’t covered by the warranty.

What Crossbow Case Fits the Barnett Ghost 400?

For under $55 a Barnett Case (Model 17083) is available for the Ghost 400. This soft case is spacious enough to accommodate large scopes and quivers. The SKB Hunter Series Crossbow Case is a more expensive, hard case option which may be purchased for about $290.

Barnett Ghost 400 Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading my Barnett Ghost 400 crossbow review. I think this is an excellent crossbow and it will serve you well, as long as you take care of the string and other maintenance. It’s powerful enough to take down almost anything you might want to hunt, and the carbon riser really makes a difference in weight distribution away from the front of the crossbow. A few years ago, I wouldn’t recommend Barnett crossbows to anybody, but Barnett has drastically improved their product quality and customer service.
Take a look at today's amazon.com price on this crossbow and check out our top 10 crossbows rankings for more.

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