Horton Zombie RIP Review

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Horton Zombie RIP

Horton Zombie RIP
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160 lbs.13.5"305 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
- Textured pistol grip with ergonomic thumbhole
- Ambidextrous safety
- Great for hunting small and medium sized game, and acceptable for some larger game
- Easy to hold with rail to keep your hand away from the string
- Scope holds zero very well; easy to sight

- Many reported failures of the Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) mechanism, either out of the box or after several shots
- Some reports of the prod snapping while cocking
- No warranty support from Horton, since Horton is now defunct
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Also Recommended:Best Horton Crossbows

Horton Zombie RIP Package Contents

Welcome to our Horton Zombie RIP Crossbow Review. This crossbow is a special edition of the Horton Brotherhood, differing from the Brotherhood only in the zombie apocalypse-inspired decal on the prod. Each package delivered by Horton includes the following items:

  • The Horton Zombie RIP Crossbow (stock, prod, cams, string and cables)
  • Steel foot stirrup
  • Horton 4x 32mm Mult-A-Range Scope
  • Hunter Elite Quiver
  • Three 20” arrows
  • Assembly and maintenance booklet
  • Horton’s Warranty card (lifetime)
  • Assembly hardware (bolts, keys)

The Horton Zombie RIP , like its brother the Horton Brotherhood, does not come with a rope cocking device, wax, or lube in the package. Be sure to factor the cost of these accessories into your purchase.

Assembling The Crossbow

Horton Zombie RIPThe Zombie RIP comes with cams, cable and string already installed, so all you have to do is connect the prod to the stock and screw in the foot stirrup and quiver, then mount the scope. Unfortunately, the included instructions won’t show how to install the cable protection device or how the anti-dry fire (ADF) mechanism works. When Horton was still in business, buyers could go to Horton’s web site to find instructions on these features, but the website is no longer running. A quick Google search doesn’t bring up any tips on this, so make sure your archery shop assembles the crossbow for you.

The other thing to watch out for is the bolts coming loose from vibrations. If you assemble the crossbow yourself, make sure you use Loctite on all of the bolts. If your archery shop assembles it, ask them to use Loctite.

Accuracy And Power

This crossbow is designed for beginners and intermediate shooters, and isn’t exceptionally powerful. Even so, the 160-lb draw weight will give you speeds of around 305 FPS with 87 ft.-lbs. of kinetic energy. This will prove to be more than enough to drop a buck. The scope is easy to sight in, and once sighted in, I was able to shoot 1-inch groupings at 30 yards without any issues.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The Horton Zombie RIP

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

This crossbow fires arrows at roughly 305 FPS (depending on the weather, arrow weight, and a few other factors), with 85 ft.-lbs. of kinetic energy. This is more than enough to take down small- to medium-sized game. During my first hunting trip with this bow, I was able to pull off a full bolt pass-through from ~40 yards of the shoulder of a large buck. He ran just 60 yards before he collapsed, and the crossbow is fast enough that the buck couldn’t duck and avoid the bolt when I shot him.

If you’re hunting larger game, like elk, the Zombie RIP might do the trick, but it’s at the bottom edge of the recommended speed for elk.

One problem I ran into when hunting with this bow was how front-heavy the bow is. If you’re training on target for a long time, the front weight of the bow is going to pull your shot down quite a bit. Make sure you have some sort of shooting rest to counter-act the forward weight, and you’ll be good to go.

Cocking The Zombie RIP

The Zombie RIP, as mentioned earlier, doesn’t come with a rope-cocking device. The cams do provide about 55% let-off on the 160-lb draw weight, but you still will benefit from spending a little bit of extra cash on a rope cocking device. It will improve your accuracy and extend the life of your bow.

The Horton Zombie RIP Crossbow Scope

The Horton 4x 32mm Mult-A-Range scope has five crosshairs for yardage at 10-12 yard increments, with 3.27” eye relief. The optics are fully coated and the scope has high performance aerospace aluminum rings. The scope is easy to sight in, and is mostly sighted in right out of the box. It holds zero (remains properly sighted) reliably. The only downside is that the reticles aren’t illuminated, so if you plan to hunt in low-light or foggy conditions like we see here in NE Ohio pretty often, you may want to buy a separate illuminated multi-reticle scope.

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

Horton Zombie RIP Arrows

The crossbow is best suited for use with 20”, 415-grain carbon arrows. This grain weight includes the broad-head/field point, so you’ll want a 300-grain shaft and 115-grain field points to get the 415-grain weight.

The included arrows are decent, but you’ll definitely benefit from better arrows for hunting. You can use heavier arrows with decent results; I fired 430-grain arrows at 40 yards and could still hold a 2” group. As with all crossbows, never use less than the recommended weight of 415 grains!

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

Safety and Design

Horton Zombie RIP2The Horton Zombie RIP is definitely safe to shoot, as long as it remains in working order. The ADF automatically engages the safety as soon as the crossbow is cocked, and the safety is ambidextrous, making it easy to disengage with either your left or right hand.

The grip is a textured pistol-style grip with an ergonomic thumbhole design, making it as comfortable to grip as a handgun. The forearm has a rail underneath the stock for gripping the crossbow, so there’s no worry about your fingers or thumb getting caught in the string when you fire the crossbow.

I didn’t experience this problem, but several other shooters have reported the ADF failing either out of the box or after firing 20-30 shots. When Horton was still in business, they would replace the ADF free of charge. Now, however, you’ll have to contact Ten Point to find an archery dealer near you who still has the parts to replace the ADF, and possibly spend another $100 or so to replace the mechanism.

Horton’s Warranty

The Horton Zombie RIP Crossbow, like other Horton crossbows, originally shipped with a limited lifetime warranty. Unfortunately, since Horton Archery LLC has gone out of business, none of Horton’s crossbows are covered by warranties anymore. If your Horton Crossbow needs service, Ten Point’s customer service representatives can direct you to a dealer or repair center in your area.

What Crossbow Case Fits the Horton Zombie RIP?

As long as the Horton Zombie RIP is equipped with a smaller scope it will match to the Carbon Express Deluxe Case. It prices at under $70. Some crossbows with larger scopes will fit; however, care must be taken when zipping up the case. Opt for the SKB Hunter Series Crossbow Case instead. It is a little pricier, but accommodates larger scopes.

Horton Zombie RIP Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our Horton Zombie RIP crossbow review. While my Zombie RIP has been terrific for hunting and target shooting alike, there are a few safety concerns that might lead you to check out a different bow. The Zombie RIP was marketed at beginners and intermediate shooters, but the lack of warranty support nowadays and reported failures of the ADF are things to consider when making a buying decision. 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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