Horton Team RealTree Ultra-Lite Review

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Horton Team Realtree Ultra-Lite

Horton Team Realtree Ultra-Lite
Check Price on Cabelas.com
175 lbs.13.5"330 FPS


Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"37" / 6.5 lbs.
Pros:
- Very powerful and consistent shooting
- Exceptionally well-built; comfortable grip
- Light-weight
- Included string-stops silence the crossbow very well
- Anti-dry firing safety mechanism
- Very easy assembly
- Horton's warranty is awesome

Cons:
- Does not come with a rope cocking aid
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 & Assembly

Welcome to our Horton Team Realtree Ultra-Lite review. Each package ordered after March 2013 will include the following items:

  • Horton Team RealTree stock + riser with limbs and string stoppers
  • Foot stirrupHorton Team RealTree Ultra Lite Box
  • Lube wax for string and rail
  • 3-dot red dot scope
  • 3x 20 inch aluminum arrows with field points
  • Arrow quiver
  • All mounting hardware
  • Assembly & Use manual
  • Warranty card (3 years on limbs and scope + lifetime on the rest)

For a compound crossbow, installation was very much straightforward, and the instructions were as clear as they get. The riser came strung and with cables installed, so the first step was sliding the riser into the stock, then inserting the foot stirrup and tightening it with the washers/screw that come with the package. By doing this, you effectively secure both the stirrup and the riser to the stock at the same time.

Now it’s only a matter of screwing in the quiver mount to the bottom of the crossbow, mount the scope and tighten it with the screws, and that’s it. The string stops come already installed on the riser and positioned exactly where they need to be, which beginners will appreciate. I assembled this Horton in less than 10 minutes, and novices should expect to do it in less than 20.

Getting Ready To Shoot

Horton does include some lube wax with this crossbow, however the supply is very limited and you’ll run out very quickly, so I recommend getting some extra with your purchase to save you time down the line.

Also – and this is probably the biggest drawback – there is no rope cocking aid included with the Team RealTree Ultra-Lite. This crossbow has 175 lbs. of draw weight, which isn’t huge, but it’s definitely enough to give many people problems when attempting to draw the string. So if you decide to go for this model make sure to get the rope aid separately, which costs around $10-$20.

Once you use the rope, you can cock the crossbow very easily, particularly since this is a compound. The anti-dry firing system turns on the safety automatically as soon as the string is latched. The draw is very smooth and the foot stirrup doesn’t wobble whatsoever.

Ballistic Data For The Horton Team RealTree Ultra-Lite

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.

In Practice: Target Shooting & Hunting

With this high of a velocity (330 FPS), I knew that this Horton can be used equally well for both target practice and hunting. Once you get the scope sighted it’s an exceptionally accurate weapon and shoots pretty much like a quality rifle does. The power output is considerable so when target shooting I made sure to include a backstop (a large and thick Horton Team Realtree Ultra-Lite Crossbowpiece of wood in my case, from an old table) behind my target, as the arrow can pass right through your target and damage anything behind it. If you’re aim is good enough, you can easily hit targets from 80+ yards away while still maintaining decent arrow penetration. I personally shot it from up to 60 yards and my arrows would still dig a good 3 inches into the target.

As far as hunting goes, you’ll easily take down the largest game (including bear and elk) from a good 50 yards, as long as your arrow lands where it should. It’s obviously better to get closer and try to land a shot from no more than 35 yards, but if you need to keep your distance then it’ll still do perfectly fine. This is also where the string silencers truly shine: as you pull the trigger, the silencers will “catch” the string just as the arrow leaves the rail, and will stop it from vibrating, which makes this an exceptionally quiet weapon.

The Horton Team RealTree U-L is VERY light-weight. It doesn’t come with a shoulder sling, but you can get one and attach it if you’d like – I recommend that you do that for convenience sake, especially if you plan to walk a lot with the crossbow, regardless of how light it might be. It’s just easier. Oh and there’s also a very comfortable grip for your non-trigger arm that I feel made it much more convenient for me to aim the crossbow for an extended time before shooting, and without feeling as if my supporting hand is “fidgeting” or sweating.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

The Horton Team RealTree UL Scope

The package came with a 3-dot red dot scope, and it took me around 5 shots total to sight it properly (20 yards for top dot, and then the other two dots will be set for 30 and 40 yards automatically). It’s very accurate, holds zero very well, and just plain works. Nothing more for me to say here really – definitely no need to change the sight, unless you prefer a multi-reticle.

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

Arrows & Points

You’ll also get 3x 20″ aluminum arrows with 100 grain field points. I used these for a while and they were perfectly fine and accurate, however I ultimately switched to my 20″ carbons – just a matter of personal preference and by no means something that you need to do.

There are no hunting broadheads included so make sure to get some if you are going hunting, and make them expandable broadheads if they are legal in your jurisdiction.

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

Horton’s Warranty

What is really great about all of Horton’s crossbows is that they come with great warranty coverage. You basically get a lifetime warranty on everything (including stock, trigger etc.), plus a 3 year warranty on the limbs as well as the sight. When they say “lifetime” by the way, they actually mean “for the life of the owner” – not the crossbow itself. 🙂

What Crossbow Case Fits the Horton Team Realtree Ultra-Lite?

The Barnett Case (Model 17083) houses the Horton Ultra Lite nicely for about $53. This soft case features plenty of room for quivers and scopes. The SKB Hunter Series Crossbow Case is a more expensive hard case option. It is available for just over the $290 mark.

Horton Team RealTree Ultra-Lite Review – Summary

I bought this crossbow for $590, and I consider that an excellent price. There’s really nothing about this crossbow that isn’t worth the money paid. Take a look at today's cabelas.com price on this crossbow and check out our top 10 crossbows rankings for more.

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