Horton Brotherhood Review – Compound Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Horton Brotherhood Compound Crossbow

Horton Brotherhood Compound Crossbow

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160 lbs.13.5"300 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"37" / 8.6 lbs.
- Very accurate and reliable scope
- Includes nice quiver and arrows

- Manufacturer’s defect will cause scope to be higher in front than in back
- Horton no longer in business, so no warranty service
- Anti Dry Fire mechanism unreliable
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Also Recommended:Best Horton Crossbows

Package Contents

So, it’s time for another crossbow review. Welcome to this review of the Horton Brotherhood Crossbow. Each package delivered by includes the following items:

  • The Horton Brotherhood 160 crossbow
  • 4×32 Mult-A-Range Crossbow Scope
  • Hunter Elite 3-arrow quiver
  • 3 20” arrows with field tips
  • Owner’s manual
  • Warranty card

Once you confirm everything is there, it’s time to put your new crossbow together and get to shooting!

Assembling The Crossbow

Assembling the Horton Brotherhood is about what you would expect. You attach the prod to the riser, attach the foot stirrup, and then mount the quiver and scope. Assembly is easy and quick, and I had mine outfitted in less than 20 minutes. If you are new to crossbows, however, the owner’s manual is less than clear in the assembly instructions. The ease with which I assembled mine comes from years of assembling and disassembling crossbows.

Accuracy And Power

Horton BrotherhoodThe first problem I ran into with this crossbow was the fact that the scope mounted at an angle so that the scope was angled higher towards the front than the back, instead of being parallel to the shooting rail. This is a pretty major problem, because you will never be able to properly sight in a scope under those conditions.

Since this happened before Horton went out of business, I was able to take my Brotherhood to their repair facility (I was fortunate enough to live within 20 miles of their factory in Kent, Ohio), and have them repair the problem. Otherwise, I would have had to ship the crossbow at my expense to them. Within a week, they had the scope back to me in fully working order.

I was able to quickly and easily sight in the crossbow, since Horton’s Mult-A-Range scope comes pretty much dead-on accurate out of the box. During my practice runs with the crossbow, I was able to maintain 1-1/2” groupings out to 45 yards, which is really accurate for a crossbow.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The Horton Brotherhood

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

Horton Brotherhood2The Horton Brotherhood is lightweight and easy to carry in the field, and has the stopping power to take down most, if not all, legal game in North America. With my 425-gr arrows, the Horton Brotherhood deals out almost 85 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy, more than enough to stop a deer or elk in its tracks. I wouldn’t rely on this crossbow for larger game than that, though, since I won’t take on bear, moose, or Cape buffalo with less than 90 ft. lbs. of stopping power.

The Brotherhood is about as quiet as you would expect from a crossbow, and I’ve used mine to take down a couple of deer in the lifetime of the crossbow. During one of my hunting trips, I was able to get a heart shot with such accuracy that the deer dropped right on the spot, without having the energy to run off for any distance at all. This is a rare feat in bowhunting, and I’ve yet to repeat the experience. Call it a combination of a lucky shot and the deadly accuracy of the Mult-A-Range scope.

Cocking The Horton Brotherhood

With 160 pounds of draw weight, the Brotherhood is almost suitable for hand-cocking, but I would not recommend that. In fact, I don’t recommend hand-cocking any crossbow, since the accuracy of the bow is so dependent on having the string drawn back smoothly and consistently. Unfortunately, Horton did not include a rope cocking device with the Horton Brotherhood, but I have several on hand. If you purchase this crossbow, make sure you have a rope cocking device to ensure you have a safe, consistent, and accurate draw.

The Crossbow Scope

Horton Brotherhood4Horton’s Mult-A-Range scope is one of the nicest scopes on the market. Its eye relief is superb, the optics are clear and crisp, and the adjustment controls are easy to use. Once properly sighted in, the scope is very accurate out as far as 50 yards, and it is almost as good in low-light conditions as it is in full light.

The only problem I ran into with this scope was the aforementioned problem of the rings being misaligned. Horton did take care of the problem, but you would be hard-pressed to get the problem solved now without shelling out some dough to a bow technician to fix it for you. No more warranty service, since Horton is no more.

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

Bolts For The Brotherhood

Horton ships the Brotherhood with three 20” arrows, and these arrows are decent enough. I find them perfectly suited for casual shooting or accuracy tests, but I quickly swapped them out for my Firebolt arrows for the more serious shooting. Horton tests and rates its bows with 425 grain arrows, so make sure your setup is at 425-gr and you will be good to go.

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

Safety and Design

Horton Brotherhood3The main drawback to this crossbow is the anti dry fire mechanism; after several shots, the ADF jammed up and refused to move into the Fire position when the crossbow was cocked. I had to once again take my crossbow to Horton for repairs, which they did quickly and efficiently. Once again, though, Horton warranty support is now non-existent, so buyer beware. If you know how to repair the problem yourself (I do, now), this can be a great value crossbow. If you don’t, though, you should make good friends with your local bow technician if you decide to purchase this crossbow.


Since Horton has gone out of business, there is no warranty period for the Horton crossbows. Some sellers may offer a limited replacement warranty, but the manufacturer’s warranty no longer exists.

What Crossbow Case Fits the Horton Brotherhood?

A nice soft case selection for the Horton Brotherhood is the Carbon Express Deluxe Case, but only if the scope you use is on the smaller side. For those who prefer not to use small scopes, Allen Company case offers more room and is less than half price at $30.

Horton Brotherhood Review Summary

Thanks for reading our crossbow review. The Horton Brotherhood has its problems, but once those are repaired it is a nice little crossbow. If you are a bow technician or are friends with one, the Brotherhood can be an excellent value. Otherwise, though, it will end up collecting dust instead of bones, or turn into a money pit as you get repair work done on the bow. I can’t really recommend this particular crossbow to the average hunter. 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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