Barnett Predator Compound Crossbow Review

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Barnett Predator

Barnett Predator
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175 lbs.15"375 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
22"37" / 9 lbs.
- Fast, powerful, and accurate
- Included 4 x 32mm scope is sighted in right out of the box
- Optional hand cranking cocking device works well and installs easily
- No included rope cocking device
- Trigger pull has a bit too much play before breaking
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Also Recommended:Best Barnett Crossbows

Package Contents

Barnett PredatorWelcome back to the site. In this article, I am reviewing the Barnett Predator Crossbow. The Predator is a powerful crossbow that fires arrows at 375 fps with 125 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy. Each package delivered by includes the following items:

  • The Barnett Predator Crossbow
  • 4 x 32mm crossbow scope
  • Quick-detach quiver
  • 3 20” arrows with field tips

Assembling The Crossbow

Putting the Barnett Predator together was pretty much what I expected: quick and easy. I screwed the prod to the stock and tighten the bolts, then installed the included 4 x 32mm crossbow scope.

From start to finish, it took around 10 minutes to have this beautiful crossbow ready to sight in and test out.

Accuracy And Power

The Barnett Predator can hurl your arrows at 375 fps. Those arrows are propelled into your target with 125 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy. With a crossbow this powerful, make sure you do your practice shooting at a safe archery range with a foam target.

Once I had the scope sighted in, I started testing the crossbow’s accuracy. From 30 yards away, my grouping was less than an inch and I actually split one of my arrows with another. When I moved out to 50 yards, I expected the accuracy to fall off dramatically, but it remained right around my normal 2” groupings.

Ballistic Data For The Barnett Predator

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 PredatorThe Barnett Predator fires its arrows with 125 ft. lbs. of energy, at speeds nearing or exceeding 375 fps. This speed and energy is definitely good enough for hunting anything from small game up to medium and larger game, such as deer, elk, black bears, and moose. While the crossbow does not include a padded sling, attachment swivels are preinstalled. Buy a padded sling; it will save you a lot of trouble lugging this powerhouse through the bush.

While out hunting with the Predator, I came across an elk cow just begging me to take a shot at her. I took aim and fired, driving the arrow clear through her shoulder from 25 yards. At that close range, the arrow screamed through her with so much devastation that she barely made it another 25 yards before she dropped to the ground and expired.

On another hunting trip, I was out for wild turkey. I saw a group of them, took a shot, and had one of those fluke but miracle shots: my arrow went through the first turkey, dropping him flat, and then embedded itself in a second one. The second one tried to run off, but did not make it more than 10 yards before he, too, was dead on the ground.

Kinetic Energy Of The Barnett Predator

So, how much kinetic energy does the Barnett Predator deal out? Assuming you are using 400 grain arrows, the Predator will deliver each arrow at around 375 FPS. This means the arrows will hit the target with approximately 122 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy, which is powerful enough to pass through even the tough Cape buffalo and grizzly bears. You’ll lose some of this KE at longer ranges, of course, to the tune of around 2 ft. lbs. for every yard out from point blank range. This still leaves you with 116 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy from 30 yards, which is more than enough for all hunting purposes in North America.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Cocking The Barnett Predator

Cocking the Predator is easy enough, as long as you use some sort of cocking device. Mine didn’t come with a cocking device, but I have several of them already. If you’re spending this much money, though, definitely pay the extra money for the hand crank cocking device; it makes cocking the bow much, much easier.

The hand crank cocking device installs easily on the butt stock, requiring just the removal of two screws in order to install the device. It works quite well, and includes both a click mode and a non-click mode, depending on your ability and preference for drawing back the string.

Drawing this puppy back by hand would be challenging for even a strongman, since it has 175 pounds of draw weight. With the rope cocking device, though, it pulls back smoothly and easily and is ready to fire in seconds.

The Crossbow Scope

The scope included with the Barnett Predator is a medium-quality 4 x 32mm scope, which will probably be close to sighted in right out of the box. I only had to make a few minor adjustments before I was sighted in and ready to shoot. The scope holds zero (stays sighted in) reliably, so you should only have to sight it in once a season.

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


Barnett ships the Predator with 3 22” arrows at 400 grain, but these arrows are low-quality aluminum and bend far too easily. I went with Easton Carbon Raider Platinum arrows, and was very happy with how the Predator handled them.

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

Safety and Design

The Barnett Predator is a lot like me: small but hefty. The bow weighs right at 9 pounds and measures two feet wide by 37.75” long. Once I added a padded sling, I was able to carry the bow for several hours without too much discomfort.

The butt stock on the Predator is adjustable, and removes easily to attach the optional hand crank cocking device. The pistol grip is ergonomically contoured, and fits nicely in large or small hands. Trigger pull is a light 3.5 lbs., and pulls back smoothly but with a bit too much play before it breaks.

The only real bad part of this crossbow is the string that comes with it. For whatever reason, Barnett crossbows tend to break strings quickly. Before I had fired more than a dozen shots, I noticed that the string was fraying and immediately called Barnett for a replacement. Like other Barnett crossbows I have used, Barnett was quick to send me a replacement string, and did not charge me for the new string.


Barnett covers all of its crossbows with a 5-year warranty. This warranty covers the stock, trigger mechanism and limb assembly, but does not cover string failures or failures due to misuse. That said, Barnett has been very helpful in the past when strings fail soon after purchase, because they recognize that their crossbows are string-breakers and they try to make sure they keep their customers happy.

What Crossbow Case Fits the Barnett Predator?

The first choice of many crossbow enthusiasts is the Barnett Case (Model 17083) which is $53. This soft case accommodates the Barnett Predator and its accessories nicely. Another popular soft case is the Carbon Express Deluxe Case which runs about $66.

Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading this review of the Barnett Predator. This crossbow is a very well made crossbow, and will provide you with years of service. Mine has already filled my freezer several times over, and I hope yours does, too. Take a look at today's price on this crossbow and check out our top 10 crossbows rankings for more.

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