Archive for category Mini Crossbows

NcStar Pistol Crossbow Review

Model
Draw Weight
Velocity
Crossbow Weight
NcStar Pistol Crossbow

NcStar Pistol X-bow

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Officially 90 lbs. (see review)150 FPS1.4 lbs.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive, considering all that is included
  • Red Dot Scope alone is worth at least the purchase price of the whole kit
  • Includes retrieving arrows along with a retrieving kit

Cons:

  • Draw weight is actually 35-40#, not the advertised 90#
  • Poor design allows bow string to drag too heavily on the rail

Package Contents

Welcome to my review of the NcStar pistol Crossbow. Each package delivered by NcStar includes the following items:

  • The NcStar pistol crossbow, including stock and riser
  • Steel crossbow cable/string
  • NcStar Red Dot Scope
  • 10x 6.25” aluminum arrows
  • 10x 2.75” plastic crossbow arrows
  • Arrow retrieving kit with spool, string, and 4 retrieving arrows

Assembling The NcStar Pistol Crossbow

My NcStar pistol crossbow did not include any assembly instructions, so I could never recommend this to someone who does not already know the basics of crossbow assembly.

That said, putting the crossbow together is as easy as any other crossbow. The bow assembly (prod) comes pre-strung, so you simply have to get the cables inserted into the proper cable guides, seat the prod in the riser, and then tighten the retention screw to hold the prod onto the riser.

Power And Accuracy

Product listings for the NcStar pistol crossbow claim the crossbow has a 90# draw weight, but my own measurements showed closer to 35#. This discrepancy, combined with the fact that the cable drags heavily along the rail when firing the crossbow, mean the crossbow has distinctively less power than you would expect based on the product listings. My chronograph rated the arrow speed at slightly less than 150 fps. The crossbow delivers approximately 25 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy at 25 yards.

Once the red dot scope is sighted in, accuracy is not stellar but it is still decent. I was able to maintain 2” groupings from 25 yards, but the accuracy fell off tremendously after that, as the arrow lost speed and energy. From 35 yards, I could only maintain 4” groupings; beyond 35 yards, the crossbow was not accurate in the slightest.

Is It Good For Hunting?

Do not expect a lot from this if you take it hunting. It is not sufficiently powered for deer or antelope, and is just barely acceptable for small game. Because of the accuracy problems, though, you will not get close enough to small game to score a kill shot. Even if you do, the trigger pull is garbage and you might lose your shot just because of the sloppy trigger.

The inclusion of the arrow retrieval kit would be nice for bow fishing, except that the line used isn’t nearly strong enough to handle the speed of the arrow flying off the rail. The first time I tried firing the retrieval arrow, the line snapped and my arrow swam off in the fish I managed to hit with it. One possible fix for this would be to unroll all the line from the spool and restring it with fishing line.

Cocking The NcStar Pistol Crossbow

NcStar advertises their cocking mechanism as a “unique rear cocking system,” but this is outdated advertising propaganda. Actually, this pistol crossbow cocks exactly the same as the Cobra Self-Cocking Pistol Crossbow: you push down on the rear stock and it pulls back the cocking bars which in turn pull the string back to cock the crossbow. This part of the pistol crossbow works well, and is a decently designed cocking mechanism.

The NcStar Crossbow Sight

The Red Dot scope on this crossbow is easily worth the cost of the crossbow itself. It is a single dot red dot scope, and it comes close to sighted in out of the box. With a few adjustments, I had the scope sighted and it held zero during the entire time I was reviewing this crossbow. Even bouncing around in the bottom of a boat did not tamper with the windage or elevation, so I would say the scope might make the package worth buying.

Arrows For The NcStar Pistol Crossbow

The NcStar pistol crossbow ships with a total of 24 arrows, but only 14 of them are truly usable. The long arrows are well constructed and hold up to repeated firing from all of my pistol crossbows. The 4 retrieving arrows, once I adjust the threaded spool to use stronger fishing line, should work well for bow fishing. As for the 10 shorter arrows, I never even used them because I cannot see any reason to do so. For one thing, I’m dubious about using them simply because they are considerably smaller and lighter than the other arrows, and crossbows are dangerous if you use arrows lighter than what the crossbow is rated for.

Safety and Design

Any crossbow that suffers string drag as badly as this one does is inherently unsafe. You cannot accurately predict where your arrow will fall, because the dragging cable makes it impossible to consistently judge how much power your arrow will have pushing it through the air. Additionally, the constant heavy drag means the cams or the cable itself will fail more rapidly than on a crossbow that’s properly designed and tested.

The aesthetical design would be nice and futuristic, if what you purchased matched the picture on the product listing. The picture in the product listing shows a pistol crossbow with a black stock and rail, but silver cocking bar and trigger. When I received my NcStar pistol crossbow, though, it was done entirely in black, even the cocking bars.

Warranty

The NcStar pistol crossbow has a 30 warranty. This isn’t really much of a warranty, since you may not be able to identify manufacturing defects that quickly. The Red Dot scope, on the other hand, carries a 90-day warranty.

Pistol Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our review of the NcStar pistol crossbow. NcStar has developed what could be a game stopper in both design and appearance. Unfortunately, the product does not live up to the pictures and description. The draw weight is misrepresented, and the crossbow comes in full-out matte black without any option to choose different colors.

Unfortunately, this is another one of those pistol crossbows that are more toy than tool, and that I cannot, in good conscience, recommend that anybody purchase it, except maybe for bow fishing and only if you’re willing to replace the retrieval line with something stronger; for any other purpose, I would recommend going for either the BladesUSA Eagle 2 or the Cobra Self-Cocking Pistol crossbow instead.

BladesUSA Eagle 3 Review

Model
Draw Weight
Velocity
Crossbow Weight
BladesUSA Eagle 3

BladeUSA Eagle 3x-bow
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150 lbs.275 FPS1.9 lbs.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive and lightweight recurve crossbow

Cons:

  • Very stiff and erratic trigger pull
  • Safety occasionally locks up and has to be disabled to fire the crossbow
  • Quite a bit of recoil for a 150 lb. crossbow
  • Only includes 2 arrows
  • No warranty coverage

Package Contents

Welcome to my review of the BladesUSA Eagle 3 crossbow. Each package delivered by BladesUSA includes the following items:

  • The BladesUSA Eagle 3 crossbow, including stock, riser and prod
  • Vibration dampeners
  • Steel compression plate
  • Polyester bowstring
  • 2 14” crossbow arrows

Assembling The BladesUSA Eagle 3 Crossbow

Putting this crossbow together was pretty easy, except for what’s always the most difficult part: stringing it.

BladesUSA doesn’t really include any instructions, but assembly is fairly straightforward. You insert the prod assembly into the hole in the riser, and then place a vibration dampener pad on either side of the prod. Next, put the steel compression plate between the front pad and the retention screw, and then tighten down the retention screw. It is easy to strip this screw, so be careful that you do not tighten it too much.

To string the bow, make sure you use a bow stringer. Without one, you run the risk of injuring yourself or anybody around you, or damaging the bow or the string. You also run the risk of getting the string uneven, which will greatly influence your accuracy. I used a bow stringer and had the prod strung and ready to shoot within just a few minutes.

Accuracy And Power

The BladesUSA Eagle 3 has a draw weight of 150 pounds, and fires arrows that are 14” long and weigh in at around 290 grains. It flings the arrows at a blistering 275 fps, which gave my arrows plenty of power to drive straight through a medium-sized phone book.

I would like to say that this crossbow really shines in accuracy, because it would be great to find an inexpensive crossbow that is accurate and powerful. Unfortunately, I simply can’t say that. For starters, the crossbow has a very erratic and stiff trigger pull, and this hinders the shooter from maintaining a bead on the target. Next, the recoil is unlike anything I have ever experienced with a crossbow. I might as well be shooting a shotgun, not a crossbow, with as badly as this thing kicks.

At the end of the day, I was only able to maintain 2” groupings from 25 yards, and 5” groupings from 50 yards. Installing a scope or a red dot might help, but not by much. The problem is not the sight; it’s the recoil and the sloppy trigger pull.

Hunting: What To Expect

To be honest, I haven’t taken this particular crossbow hunting. Simply put, the accuracy isn’t what I would expect to have on hand when I’m hunting, and I’m not going to risk a sloppy shot maiming an animal when I could have killed it outright with the right crossbow.

If the thing had better accuracy, I would expect it to be more than adequate for small- to medium-game hunting. Squirrels and rabbits would be no match for its power, and even deer or antelope should be decent targets for a crossbow with this much power.

The only modification I’d make, assuming the accuracy problems were fixed, would be to add some sort of padding sling. Since the frame is plastic and can’t be easily drilled into without damaging the structural integrity, I’d probably go with a tie-on 3-point sling.

Cocking The BladesUSA Eagle 3 Crossbow

Cocking the BladesUSA Eagle 3 is pretty easy, as long as you use a rope-cocking device. Draw weight on this crossbow is 150 pounds, which you can do by hand without too much difficulty if you have the hand and upper body strength for it, but using a rope-cocking device makes the whole process go much more smoothly and accurately.

The draw is smooth and the string latches firmly into place. Occasionally, however, the safety will lock up and nothing short of dismantling the crossbow so you can force the safety to disengage.

Rope-cocking devices are inexpensive, so invest in one. BladesUSA doesn’t include one with this crossbow.

The BladesUSA Eagle 3 Crossbow Sight

The Eagle 3 includes a simple sight, but it is adjustable for windage and elevation. It took approximately 20 shots to have the crossbow sighted in, in part because of the uneven trigger pull and recoil. Once sighted in, though, the disappointment really set in. The sight doesn’t hold zero for more than four or five shots, and then you have to adjust the elevation all over again.

If I were to keep using this crossbow, the first step I’d take would be to replace the included sight with a good quality scope.

Arrows For The Eagle 3

The Eagle 3 comes with 2 14” aluminum crossbow arrows. These arrows are of decent quality, but the field tips are glued into place and cannot be replaced with broad heads. Invest in some lightweight carbon crossbow arrows, because these are only good for a few rounds of target shooting.

Any arrows weighing between 280 and 400 grains should work okay, but the heavier arrows will have much shorter range than the included arrows. I thought about testing this crossbow with the same 480-gr Carbon Express arrows I used with the Eagle 2, but ultimately decided that I didn’t want to risk damaging the arrows on such an erratically-shooting crossbow.

Safety and Design

If your idea of safety means locking the crossbow up completely so it cannot be fired, this might be the safest crossbow on the market. That is not what we look at though, so let me just say that I do not find anything to like about this crossbow other than the way it looks.

When a safety locks up and cannot be disengaged without dismantling the crossbow, this is a very serious safety flaw. Because of this problem, and the fact that BladesUSA doesn’t offer any warranty coverage or customer service for their products in the USA, I will have to make a recommendation that I rarely make: do not purchase this crossbow for any reason.

Warranty

As with the other BladesUSA products I have looked at, this crossbow does not seem to have a warranty. The BladesUSA brand, as near as I can tell, is actually a Taiwanese company. Since this crossbow does not have warranty coverage, you should only buy this if you are prepared to purchase another crossbow soon after you buy this one.

BladesUSA Eagle 3 Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our review of the BladesUSA Eagle 3 crossbow. While this crossbow looks nice, it offers many problems that would plague a new or experienced crossbow archer. Because of these problems, I can’t really recommend this particular crossbow, though if you still want to give it a try then you can get it cheaply at Amazon.com. A far better alternative in my opinion would be the BladesUSA Eagle 2, in case you’re interested.

Cobra Self-Cocking Crossbow Review

Model
Draw Weight
Velocity
Crossbow Weight
Cobra Pistol Crossbow

Cobra Self-cocking xbow
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80 lbs.150 FPS1 lbs.

Pros:

  • High-powered pistol crossbow
  • Well balanced to reduce front heaviness
  • Wicked look
  • Very good price for the value

Cons:

  • Assembly instructions leave quite a bit to be desired
  • Safety does not always engage when cocking
  • No bow stringer included

Package Contents

Welcome to our review of the Cobra 80 lb. Self-Cocking Pistol Crossbow. This inexpensive pistol crossbow is a joy to shoot, and is a very powerful mini crossbow. Each package delivered by includes the following items:

  • The Cobra 80 lbs. Self-Cocking Pistol Crossbow, including riser and prod
  • Polyester bowstring
  • Vibration dampening pads
  • Compression plate
  • Allen key
  • 3 aluminum crossbow darts (some packages will include an extra 15 darts)

Assembling The Crossbow

Assembling this pistol crossbow isn’t difficult until the time comes to string the bow. A rank novice crossbow shooter, though, could make some mistakes due to the poor assembly instructions printed on the box.

This pistol crossbow ships with two vibration dampening pads and a compression plate, but the instructions do not tell the proper use of these parts. The two vibration dampening pads should go on either side of the prod, so that one vibration dampener is at the front of the prod and the other at the rear. Once you have slid the prod and vibration dampening pads into position in the riser, insert the compression pad towards the front of the crossbow – the retention screw is supposed to screw into the compression plate.

Once the prod and riser have been joined, it’s time to string the crossbow. This is more difficult than the instructions suggest, but it is still doable. You can either use a bow stringer to help stringing it, or employ an extra person to bend the prod enough to get the string over the second limb tip. My wife, who has slightly above-average strength, was able to bend the prod enough for me to finish stringing the bow assembly. With the two of us working together, we made short work of stringing the bow. In total, assembly of this pistol crossbow took less than 10 minutes.

Accuracy And Power

The Cobra 80 lbs. self-cocking crossbow is rated at shooting crossbow darts at 150 fps. The included darts weigh approximately 12.5 gr, so the pistol crossbow generates approximately 12.5 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy. From 30 yards, this was more than enough to drive the dart approximately 1 1/2 inches into a thick, healthy tree.

Sighting in the pistol crossbow might be tedious, because the adjustable site has a bit of horizontal play that can happen if you bump the sight with your hands. Retightening the sight mechanism screws helps alleviate this problem, so make sure to do that before you try sighting in the crossbow.

Once I was sighted in, I was able to maintain 1/2” groupings from 10 yards and 2” groupings from 30 yards. I was quite pleased with the balance of the pistol crossbow, which was so well done that I noticed almost none of the frontal heaviness that many crossbows, especially pistol crossbows, are famous for.

Toy or Tool?

I’d call this crossbow a little bit of both. It is partially a toy simply because of its tiny appearance. However, the Cobra 80 lbs.packs a wallop strong enough that I would advise against letting your children shoot this in the back yard without any supervision.

Hunting: What To Expect

At 12.5 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy, the Cobra 80 lbs. self-cocking pistol crossbow is lethal enough to take on some small game, as long as you have developed enough accuracy with it to hit the vital organs. Most sources agree that you need 5 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy to take down a rabbit or squirrel, so the Cobra 80 lbs. is more than powerful enough for these small game animals. I have used mine to bag several rabbits and squirrels, and found that my shots almost inevitably went straight through the animal, passing through the vitals and making a humane kill.

Cocking The Cobra 80 lbs. Self-Cocking Pistol Crossbow

The cocking mechanism on the Cobra works very well and cocking the pistol crossbow is quick and easy. Once you depress the latch just beneath the grip, the cocking lever is released and you can pull it down and back to pull the cocking arms back, thus cocking the string. It takes less than 20 seconds to cock and load this pistol weapon, once you’ve gotten used to the way it works.

One major safety issue with cocking this pistol crossbow, though, is the failure of the safety to engage after you draw the string. In my tests, I found the safety to automatically engage after only 2 out of 10 draws. To avoid a misfire or dry fire, make sure you maintain proper trigger control and check the safety for yourself before you even begin to load a dart into the rail.

The Crossbow Sight

The sight on the Cobra 80 lbs. Self-Cocking Pistol Crossbow is a simple device, but it allows for adjustments to windage and elevation by turning the exposed knobs. Unfortunately, however, the sight is not made to the same quality standards as you might expect, and it becomes easily misaligned by bumping the crossbow sight ever so softly during transport. Other than that difficulty, the pistol crossbow sight is easy to zero in, and makes the product very accurate for the price.

Darts

The Cobra 80 lbs. Self-Cocking crossbow comes with 3 6.25” crossbow darts, and some packages on Amazon.com will even come with an extra pack of a dozen aluminum crossbow darts. The manufacturer doesn’t really describe what crossbow bolts to look for, so just make sure they have at least field tip points on them and are a good 6.25” long. I have not yet been able to find broad heads that would fit these arrows, so if you want to use broad heads you will have to machine your own arrows and heads.

Safety and Design

The Cobra 80 lbs. Self-Cocking crossbow is lightweight and easy to shoot, but it can be dangerous if left in the unsupervised hands of a child or novice to archery. Since the safety does not reliably set itself when you cock the weapon, leaving the archer to realize this fact and set the safety before each and every shot.

Warranty

The Cobra 80 lbs. Self-Cocking Crossbow ships with a 1-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects. If you buy this bow from a reputable source, such as Amazon, make sure to ask them what warranty coverage they will provide you with if you purchase directly from them.

Pistol Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our review of the pistol crossbow. This crossbow looks like a toy, but its stainless steel design makes it sturdy and reliable. Mine has seen use in controlling the squirrel and rabbit population in my acreage, and it is easy to carry and have at the ready. You can get Amazon.com’s $38 discount on the Cobra if you decide to order online.

BladeUSA Eagle 2 Crossbow Review

Model
Draw Weight
Velocity
Crossbow Weight
BladeUSA Eagle 2

BladeUSA Eagle 2 Review
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150 lbs.250 FPS2.2 lbs.

Pros:

  • Unique design looks more like a Mossberg shotgun than a crossbow
  • Nice accuracy and power for the price
  • Solid wood stock and foregrip are sturdy and attractive

Cons:

  • No bow stringer included
  • Only ships with 2 arrows
  • No warranty

Package Contents

Welcome to my review of the BladesUSA Eagle 2 crossbow. This 150 lb. draw crossbow has a design more reminiscent of a rifle or shotgun than a crossbow, with its solid wooden stock and foregrip, making it very different in an industry marked by crossbows trying to differentiate themselves from rifles and shotguns. Each package delivered by BladesUSA includes the following items:

  • The BladesUSA Eagle 2 crossbow, including stock, riser and prod
  • Crossbow string
  • Vibration dampening pads
  • Steel compression plate
  • Retention screw and Allen key
  • 2x 14-inch aluminum crossbow arrows

Assembling The BladesUSA Eagle 2 Crossbow

To put the BladesUSA Eagle 2 together, you first need to insert the bow assembly, or the prod, into the riser. Vibration dampening pads and a steel compression plate are included; put one vibration pad on either side of the prod and then place the compression plate between the bow and the retention screw. Tighten down the retention screw with the included Allen key, being careful not to over tighten the screw.

That part is pretty easy. What is not so easy is stringing the bow. I tried doing this as a two-man job, but frankly, I found it’s better to handle it using a bow stringer. The Eagle 2 does not come with a bow stringer, so spend a bit of extra money and buy one, if you don’t already have it. This will be very handy down the road when you want to unstring and restring your bow to save the life of the string.

Accuracy And Power

The BladesUSA Eagle 2 has a draw weight of 150 pounds, and fires 14” crossbow arrows at speeds near 250 fps. This gives it a bit of a wallop, with almost 32 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy. To put this into layman’s terms, I fired mine at a watermelon from 40 yards, and the bolt went clean through the watermelon and lodged 4” into my backstop.

The accuracy of this crossbow is surprisingly good, given its power and inexpensive price tag. From 20 yards, I was able to maintain 1” groupings, and several times actually split my crossbow arrows. As I moved out in range, I saw my groupings expand pretty much the way I expected them. From 50 yards, I was able to keep my groupings down to an average of 3”, which is pretty good for shooting from 150 feet without a scope.

Hunting: What To Expect

While this crossbow is inexpensive, it definitely has some promise to it for hunting purposes. I took this with me on one hunting trip recently, and had a chance to take a short-range shot on an antlerless deer. With 32 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy, the Eagle 2 is solidly in the middle of what’s considered humane for taking down deer or antelope, and this crossbow proved herself. The shot did not go all the way through, but it did penetrate deep enough to hit the vitals. The downside to a shot not going all the way through, however, is that the animal doesn’t lose blood nearly as fast, so I spent a couple of hours tracking her before I found her expired from loss of blood.

I would recommend buying swivels to attach a padded sling to, and adding the sling to the crossbow. It makes it much easier to carry through the bush, and the crossbow doesn’t have the swivels preinstalled for you.

Cocking The BladesUSA Eagle 2 Crossbow

With a draw weight of 150 pounds, this is a crossbow that you could cock by hand, but why bother? You can do a much nicer job of it by using a rope-cocking device, since that allows you the symmetry that assures your arrow will fly in the exact direction you want it to.

The Eagle 2 has a nice, smooth draw. It is not the smoothest I’ve ever felt, but it’s surprisingly nice for such an inexpensive crossbow.

The BladesUSA Eagle 2 Crossbow Sight

The Eagle 2’s sight is simple and effective, and allows for adjustments for windage and elevation. My crossbow wasn’t even close to sighted in out of the box, but I had it perfectly zeroed within fifteen shots. Once it was sighted in, the crossbow’s sight held zero without any problems.

For serious target shooting or hunting use, I would recommend removing the included sight and installing a red dot scope or a multiple reticle scope. Either one of these will greatly improve your accuracy and allow you to make kill shots from longer ranges than you could using the included sight.

Arrows

The BladesUSA Eagle 2 ships with two 14” crossbow arrows. These included arrows are aluminum and have a total weight, including the shaft, brass insert and field tip, of 229 grains. Any 14” arrows will work fine with the Eagle 2, but I would make sure to shoot arrows that are at least 225 grains. In fact, I shot a couple of 20” Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak bolts on mine, and had decent results. The heavier arrows definitely bring my range and speed down a bit, but I would still call it well within the required speed and KE (kinetic energy) to take down a deer from close range. You can buy a 5-pack of the same arrows that come with the Eagle 2 very cheaply online.

Safety and Design

The design of the BladesUSA Eagle 2 is quite nice, with its solid wood stock and foregrip. The rail and other components of the stock are aluminum, and are quite solid. I’m not so sure about the polyester string, but it has held up to over 500 shots so far, so I’d call it pretty solid for the money.

Warranty

This is going to sound strange, but I couldn’t find any mention of a warranty anywhere on the box or in the included instructions. My guess would be that this crossbow doesn’t really have any warranty coverage, but it seems to be pretty solid and safe. I would feel comfortable recommending it, despite the lack of a warranty.

BladesUSA Eagle 2 Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading this crossbow review of the BladesUSA Eagle 2. This crossbow is a really nifty design, and the price is right for those with a very limited budget. While it doesn’t seem to have warranty coverage, I’d feel pretty confident recommending this crossbow to a beginner wanting to make their entry into crossbow archery and/or hunting. Get Amazon.com’s fantastic discount on the Eagle 2.

Avalanche Mini Crossbow Review

Model
Draw Weight
Velocity
Crossbow Weight
Avalanche Mini Crossbow

Avalanche Mini Pistol Xbow Review
Get Amazon.com's Discount Price

50 lbs.150 FPS1.05 lbs.

Pros:

  • Powerful for such a small, inexpensive crossbow
  • Cool-looking design
  • Fun to shoot, until it falls apart

Cons:

  • Cocking arm is easy to forget and leave it pulled back
  • Bow assembly shatters early

Package Contents

The Avalanche Mini Crossbow Tactical Pistol is a 50 lbs. crossbow on a pistol frame. Each package delivered by Avalanche includes the following items:

  • The Avalanche Mini Crossbow Tactical Pistol, including stock and prod
  • Polyester Bowstring
  • 5 Plastic Arrow Darts

Assembling The Crossbow

Assembly of the Avalanche Mini Crossbow is straightforward and easy, but stringing the bow requires either two people or a bow stringer. The prod slides into a hole in the riser, and a compression screw tightens the prod into place. More thought should have gone into how this bow is assembled, though, because the lack of vibration dampeners or a compression plate contributes to early failure of the prod assembly.

To install the bowstring, either have one person push the limbs together while the other strings the bow, or make use of a bow stringer. Avalanche does not include a bow stringer, so make sure you already have one if you want to use that method.

Accuracy And Power

The Avalanche Mini is only a 50 lb. crossbow, and I registered speed off the rail at around 142 FPS. The crossbow fires with approximately 12.5 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy, more than enough to bag a rabbit or squirrel with an accurate shot. I have seen this particular crossbow fire a bolt through a pineapple, wooden planks, and even a steel garbage can.

Accuracy is hard to determine for this crossbow, because it suffers from early failure of the prod assembly. The 15-20 shots I did get out of it, though, maintained 1” groupings at 20 yards and 2” groupings at 30 yards. If it didn’t break early in my testing, I’m sure I would have found it quite accurate out to 40 yards.

Hunting: What To Expect

Assuming you get an Avalanche Mini Crossbow that doesn’t fall apart on you while you’re sighting it in, this miniature crossbow should be adequate for small game, like rabbit or squirrel, at close range. If you shoot anything beyond 50 yards, though, your arrow will lose so much kinetic energy that you will likely maim, not kill, your target.

Cocking The Avalanche Mini Crossbow Tactical Pistol

To cock the Avalanche Mini Crossbow, you pull back on the cocking rod until the string is seated and cocked. Unfortunately, pulling this cocking rod back might make you think it is a stock extension and forget to push it back into place. This could be very dangerous, because the string would fling the cocking rod forward and likely damage the guide or destroy the bow altogether. I have heard anecdotes of this happening, and the end results are not pretty. One owner actually suffered a deep cut from the cocking rod flying forward and tearing off part of the guide rail.

The good news is that the safety engages perfectly every time the crossbow is cocked, so you have little worry of misfires or dry fires with this particular miniature crossbow.

The Crossbow Sight

The sight on the Avalanche Mini Crossbow Tactical Pistol is a very simple design, with adjustable knobs for windage and elevation. This particular sight seems of a decent design, and did not suffer from moving when it got bumped. Once I had it sighted in, it seemed to hold zero until the bow was destroyed.

The sight is removable, and a red dot scope or small multi-reticle scope could be installed if you wanted to increase your accuracy some.

Darts

The Avalanche Mini Crossbow Tactical Pistol ships with 5 plastic arrow darts. These are a one-piece design, other than the screw-on aluminum tip, and work very well for target practice. Some of the aluminum darts have a tendency to bend on impact, but the plastic darts don’t suffer from this problem. One nice thing about darts for miniature crossbows is that you can purchase 3-dozen of them without worrying about breaking the bank.

Safety and Design

This crossbow is not at all a safe miniature crossbow. The saying “You get what you paid for” definitely rings true with this crossbow. The problem is not in the materials, as far as I could tell, because the plastic grip is quite sturdy and the bow assembly itself is made out of steel. Unfortunately, Avalanche apparently has not tested its design very well; because the lack of vibration dampeners and a proper compression plate means the retention screw from the stock to the prod compresses the steel bow too much. After about 20-30 shots, I watched my bow assembly crack in half and fly apart.

Another safety concern is the cocking mechanism. The cocking bar would benefit from some sort of spring retention to pull it back into place after firing. Or, a redesign so that the cocking bar doesn’t resemble quite so much the adjustable stock many tactical weapons have. It is far too easy to forget that you have left the cocking bar pulled back, and the string can easily fling that bar forward, breaking parts of the bow and damaging the rail.

Warranty

The Avalanche Mini Crossbow Tactical Pistol doesn’t include a warranty at all, but the retailer I purchased mine from was more than happy to accept the broken crossbow as a return with a full refund. Looking through the reviews of this product on Amazon, you’ll see that more than a few people have had the exact same problems I experienced with my Avalanche.

Pistol Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our pistol crossbow review. I love crossbows, and I hate coming across one that’s a danger to its owner. This crossbow is definitely dangerous in the wrong way, due to a number of quality control and/or manufacturing flaws. I would not recommend this crossbow to anybody, if only because of the numerous reports of the bow assembly falling apart or breaking during normal use.