|Model||Draw Weight||Velocity||Crossbow Weight|
|NcStar Pistol Crossbow|
Check Price on Cabelas.com
|Officially 90 lbs. (see review)||150 FPS||1.4 lbs.|
- 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
- Draw weight is actually 35-40#, not the advertised 90#
- Poor design allows bow string to drag too heavily on the rail
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.
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.