Carbon Express CX-2 Review – Compound Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Carbon Express CX-2

Carbon Express CX-2

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200 lbs.14.5"385 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"31" / 7.75 lbs.
- Powerful and accurate
- Excellent-quality included arrows
- Small and lightweight

- Included scope will not hold zero
- Trigger pull is far too hard and long
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Also Recommended:Best Carbon Express Crossbows

What Comes in the Box

Let’s have a look at the Carbon Express Covert CX-2, shall we? Each package delivered by Carbon Express includes the following items:

  • The Carbon Express Covert CX-2 crossbow
  • 4×32 Deluxe Illuminated Crossbow Scope
  • Assembly hardware and tools
  • Detachable 3-arrow quiver
  • 3 20” Carbon Express Maxima Hunter arrows
  • Rope cocking device
  • Rail lubricant
  • Owner’s manual
  • Warranty card

Assembly of Your New Crossbow

carboncx2_1Once you’ve put together as many crossbows as I have, you almost don’t even have to look at the owner’s manual anymore. I still do, though, both to make sure I don’t screw something up and to be able to review how well the manufacturer describes assembly. CX does a great job, and assembly is quick and easy.

Mounting the riser onto the stock goes pretty quickly, as does installing the foot stirrup. Next is mounting the quiver and scope, and you’re good to go. It took me no more than 15 minutes to have the crossbow set up and ready to sight in.

Accurate and Powerful?

Sighting in the CX-2 was pretty quick, but I soon realized that the included scope was pretty poor quality. After sighting it in and beginning to test it, my arrows started to drop off considerably more than they should have. I swapped out with a Nikon Bolt XR and sighted in that scope. What a world of difference!

Once I had a decent scope set up, I tested the crossbow for accuracy. This crossbow held groupings so tight at 25 yards that my arrows were all touching, and I had the same from 40 yards. Backing up to 50 yards, I was able to maintain 1” groupings, and 75 yards gave me 1-1/4” groupings.

The CX-2 is super-powerful, owing to its 200 pound draw weight and 14.5” power stroke. The crossbow delivers arrows at a blistering 385 fps, with 132 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy at point blank range, using 425 grain projectiles. My arrows blasted through my target block, and would have toppled it if I didn’t have it propped up against a tree trunk.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The Carbon Express Covert CX-2

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.

What to Expect as a Hunter

The Covert CX-2 is lightweight and compact, so it maneuvers well in the field, whether you’re going through brush or branches. I never experienced fatigue or any problems with it hanging up on tree limbs or scrub, so I give the crossbow a definite two-thumbs-up for portability. With as powerful as it is, this x-bow is game for anything you want to (legally) hunt in North America, even Cape buffalo.

I took the CX-2 buffalo hunting in Wyoming, and was lucky enough to spot a suitable target. From about 40 yards, I took careful aim at the beast’s forequarters and took my shot. It was a kill shot, straight into the buffalo’s heart, and the massive hulk thundered to the ground within a few feet of stumbling.

Cocking The CX-2

Two. Hundred. Pounds. That’s the draw weight on this powerhouse of a crossbow, and it makes the use of a rope cocking device mandatory instead of optional. The draw is smooth and consistent, and the safety and anti-dry fire mechanisms engage properly with each and every draw.

The Crossbow Scope

carboncx2_2The included scope with the Carbon Express Covert CX-2 is pretty poor quality. It won’t hold zero for me at all, so I quickly discarded it and went on to use another scope with the crossbow. That’s a real shame, because this crossbow is top-grade in every other respect, and I was hoping the scope would fare better. I even had a warranty replacement of the scope, and encountered the same problems. I have noticed that CX is using a different scope with its newer crossbows, so perhaps they have realized the problem and are starting to correct for it.

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

Arrows In The Package

If the scope is bottom of the barrel, the included arrows are top shelf. The Hunter Maxima series of arrows has become one of my favorites, because they are so durable they still look like new after a dozen heavy-hitting shots. That’s something you don’t usually see in a crossbow arrow, especially with such a powerful crossbow.

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

Safety and Design

The CX-2 is constructed with carbon infused limbs and a bronze anodized aluminum flight rail. The pistol grip is easy and ergonomically designed, and the crossbow is very easy to hold and maneuver, whether you’re in a ground blind or a tree stand. The crossbow features Mossy Oak Treestand camouflage finish and a SilenTech coating that helps make this crossbow one of the quietest I’ve ever fired.

The anti-dry fire mechanism and safety work flawlessly every time, and the bull-pup stock makes it easy to get to a good cheek weld, even if you’re wearing bulky overclothes. My only beef with the design of this crossbow is the trigger: it feels like a 10 pound trigger pull, and it is way, way too long a pull.


Carbon Express offers a 5-year warranty on all of their crossbows, and their customer service personnel are friendly and knowledgeable. They quickly sent me a replacement scope, and would have probably replaced the entire crossbow if I’d asked them to.

What Crossbow Case Fits the Carbon Express CX-2?

The Carbon Express Deluxe Case is a good companion for the Carbon Express CX-2. It is a soft carrycase for around the $70 mark. It may not be the best fit, if you use a big scope. Instead opt for the Allen Company case. It is another soft carrycase, but at a fraction of the cost.

Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our crossbow review of the Carbon Express Covert CX-2. This is a good crossbow, but the included scope and hard, long trigger pull definitely detract from the quality of the x-bow. I’d still recommend it, though, as long as you have strong hands and a good quality scope to replace the included scope. Take a look at today's price on this crossbow and check out our top 10 crossbows rankings for more.

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