Carbon Express X-Force 454 Review (In-Field) – Compound Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Carbon Express X-Force 454 Crossbow

Carbon Express X-Force 454 Crossbow

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175 lbs.13.5"345 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"33.25"/8.4 lbs.
- Comes as a complete kit
- Compact Design
- Accurate
- Hard Hitting

- Will need dampeners to help quiet it
- A bit heavy
- Some durability issues reported
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

Carbon Express X-Force 454 Package Contents

The Carbon Express X-Force 454 includes just about everything you would need to get started, with the exception of a case and possibly some dampeners. In the package, you will get the crossbow, a rope cocker, a detachable three-arrow quiver, 3 Pile Driver 20” crossbow bolts (even 3 field points), a 4×32 scope with multiple aim points, and rail lube.

Kinetic Energy of the X-Force 454

The X-Force 454 generates a bone-crushing 106 ft. lbs. of energy at the muzzle. This is enough to take down pretty much whatever you want! Pushing a 400 grain arrow at 345 fps, the X-Force 454 pumps the arrows down range with lethal effect. As we found, you will need to ensure you have strong, professional-grade targets to prevent pass throughs…no using hay bales with this powerhouse!

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Design, Safety, Comfort and Accuracy

Carbon Express has really come up with a game-changing design with the X-Force 454. They have thought through the idea of maneuverability of a crossbow and incorporated a bull-pup design. Yes…a bull pup! For any of you that are not familiar with a bull-pup design, it basically moves the trigger forward, and the stock actually incorporates some of the firing mechanism. This results in an overall shorter weapon, but with the feel of a full-length weapon. Another advantage is that the weight is shifted back towards the shooter, making the weapon easier to hold in a firing position for a longer period of time.

It is evident that Carbon Express has thought through their design process and incorporated several additional cool features. They went with a skeletal design and composite materials to try to bring the weight down, and also included a picatinny rail to allow for the mounting of just about anything you might put on an M4 rifle, giving the X-Force 454 a decidedly tactical feel .

Overall, the crossbow was a bit heavy, but the bull-pup design helps mitigate that. The SilenTech™ coating, essentially a black coating that almost gives a spongy quality to the crossbow, is also incorporated giving the bow a bit of energy absorption. Accuracy was good and overall we were impressed with the X-Force 454.

Ballistic Data For The Carbon Express X-Force 454

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 with the X-Force 454

Given the speed and accuracy we experienced, hunting with the X-Force 454 should be an absolute pleasure. The power of the X-Force 454 means you can feel comfortable taking longer shots than you might normally take. This does mean that you need to practice at those longer ranges to know how the crossbow is going to perform and also to better understand the multiple aim points in the scope.

In our testing, we found that as you go to longer ranges (40+ yards), the aim points on the scope were a bit off, so you need to become familiar with your own set up to know exactly where the arrows are going to hit. The innovative bull-pup design will translate to a greater maneuverability in tight quarters and also to more comfort holding the bow in the shooting position. We would recommend you taking a serious look at some dampeners as this is not the quietest crossbow we have tested.

How Quiet is the X-Force 454

Even with the inclusion of the Carbon Express SilenTech™ coating, this is definitely not the quietest crossbow we have tested. The speed certainly helps mitigate “string jumpers”, but you would be wise to investigate some aftermarket sound dampeners.

Cocking the X-Force 454

We did not experience any issues with cocking the X-Force 454 using the including cocking rope, but the 175 lb. draw weight can be evident. You would be wise to practice drawing the crossbow in a range of conditions to know what to expect. If you experience issues, we would recommend looking into a crank system to make things easier.

Quality of the Optics

The included 4×32 mm scope was good for most shooting situations and its multiple graduations made shooting at various ranges pretty much ‘guess free’, which is always a great thing in a hunting crossbow. We would recommend that you practice at longer ranges to ensure you know the true aim-point distance for your individual set up. It is critical to know exactly where you are shooting to remove any variables in hunting situations…you will have enough to worry about with the buck fever! The scope is supposed to be shockproof and fogproof; claims we weren’t able to verify in our test conditions, but we have not heard anything to the contrary either.

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

What Arrows to use with the X-Force 454

The X-Force 454 comes standard with three 20” Pile Driver bolts from Carbon Express. These arrows are actually pretty high in quality and should suit your needs well. No matter what you look at in terms of aftermarket arrows, be sure that they are built to handle the stress imparted on them from the 175 lbs. of draw.

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

Overall Thoughts

The Carbon Express X-Force 454 is overall a great-performing crossbow and promises to provide full freezers by the end of hunting season. The bull-pup configuration really adds a whole new level of shooting comfort by keeping the weight closer to your body. The tactical design and all metal trigger and safety, combined with the SilenTech™ coating gives the entire package a sturdy and well-built feel. The compact profile also translates to a crossbow that will be far more user-friendly in tight hunting conditions. We wish the X-Force 454 was quieter, but we are also realistic that not every crossbow can enjoy every best quality.

Knowing that there are a host of sound-dampening products on the market makes it much easier to recommend this crossbow. Overall, the tactical design, bull-pup configuration, and picatinny rail combine to ensure you are going to have folks at the range giving your setup a good second look, which is always fun as you are smacking bull’s-eyes! Take a look at today's price on this crossbow and check out our top 10 crossbows rankings for more.

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