Ravin R9 Predator Review – Compound Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Ravin R9 Predator


Check Price on Cabelas.com
195 lbs.13"390 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"34.5" / 6.9 lbs.
Pros:
- Highly accurate and powerful
- Fairly lightweight
- Includes illuminated scopee

Cons:
- Slightly front-heavy
- Expensive investment
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Howdy, and welcome to another crossbow review. This time around, we’re looking at a product from a relative newcomer to the game, Ravin. Ravin means “violent seizure of prey,” and that’s what the x-bow we’re looking at is meant to do. The Ravin R9 Predator was bred from innovation by a group of hardcore hunters and world-class product designers aiming to reinvent the idea of reverse-draw technology and develop the most accurate crossbow ever.

When you take your first glance at the Ravin R9 Predator, you’re liable to wonder what in the world you’re looking at. The design of this x-bow is like nothing you’ve ever seen before, thanks to the HeliCoil technology and unique design of the limbs. HeliCoil technology coils the cables away from the top and bottom of the cams in helical grooves. This way, the cams are perfectly balanced and can rotate 340 degrees without tilting off-level.

Let’s see how the technology comes together in this baby.

What Comes With the Predator?

When you unbox your R9 Predator, you’ll find the following:

  • The Ravin R9 Predator crossbow itself, assembled and pretuned
  • Integrated cocking system
  • Removable cocking handle
  • 100-yard illuminated scope
  • Quiver with mounting bracket
  • Six Ravin arrows and nocks
  • Six 100gr field tips
  • Instruction manual
  • Warranty card

How Difficult Is the X-bow to Assemble?

Since the Predator is already assembled, you don’t have to do a thing except mount your scope, quiver, and cocking handle. Don’t get too arrogant, though, and pass up reading the instruction manual. Read it thoroughly. Then you can move on to sighting in and getting ready for target practice.

Speaking of Sighting in, How Hard Is That?

Ravin uses the same scope for its R9 and R15 x-bows, an illuminated reticle model adjustable to different velocities. You need to dial in the right speed on the scope before you take your first shot – 390 FPS for this model. Then you can follow the included instructions to sight in from 10 yards, 20 yards, and 50 yards. The process took me less than six shots, and the scope has held zero ever since.

How Powerful and Accurate is the Ravin R9 Predator?

Once you have your scope sighted in, you can start practicing with it. The scope provides aiming points out to 100 yards, and let me tell you – it really is accurate that far. From 50 yards, I was able to maintain one-inch groupings, a new record for me. For kicks, I backed out to 100 yards and tested the accuracy, and was able to shoot three-inch patterns with ease. Remember, this puppy flings arrows downrange at 390 feet per second. That’s not the fastest velocity I’ve ever seen in a x-bow, but it’s still pretty impressive.

As for power, the Predator really packs a punch. Kinetic energy rings in at 135 foot-pounds. That’s powerful enough that even from 50 yards, my arrows were going clean through my compressed foam target and halfway into my backstop. In hunting terms, 135 foot-pounds of kinetic energy more than twice the power needed to tackle grizzly bear or buffalo.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The TenPoint Carbon Phantom RCX

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.

How Difficult Is the Predator to Cock?

The integrated cocking mechanism makes this a breeze to get ready to shoot, but you are stuck with the hand-crank mechanism. Rope cocking aids won’t work with this design. I’ve never been a fan of hand-crank cocking mechanisms because of the noise factor; more on that in the next section.

Is This Crossbow Suitable for Hunting?

I think I already answered that, but not really. This crossbow is definitely powerful enough for any type of hunting purposes, but there are some caveats. The unique design of the R9 Predator makes it incompatible with rope cocking aids, and the hand-cranking mechanism is a bit noisy. That could easily scare off skittish game. What you can do to work around this, if you’ve got strong hands, is keep the ratchet-engagement lever depressed as you crank the string back. Just be careful; you can really hurt your knuckles and make a ton of noise if your hand slips. With that said, the Ravin R9 Predator is lightweight, well-balanced, fast, and powerful enough to make a suitable hunting companion.

What’s the Included Scope Like?

As previous discussed, the scope is very good. It’s accurate to 100 yards, with aiming points specific to that range, and is nicely illuminated. In fact, the brightness levels are perfect.

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

What Kind of Bolts Do I Need?

Ravin includes six arrows with the crossbow, and you need to use those. The x-bow makes use of a clip-on nock that works with the frictionless design of the flight rail, and other arrows might not be compatible. If you need more arrows, Ravin will gladly sell them to you at a decent price. The included arrows are very high quality.

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

How’s the Safety and Design?

Safety and design are top notch here, with a safety and anti dry-fire mechanism that work perfectly each and every time. The finger reminders keep you from getting your digits in the flight path or in the way of the string.

What Kind of Warranty Backs This Crossbow?

For such an expensive x-bow, this model has a pretty short warranty. It comes with a five-year non-transferable warranty. Customer service is great, though, and the staff is highly knowledgeable and eager to help.

Ravin R9 Predator Crossbow Review – Summary

This is a terrific crossbow with a unique and innovative design. It shoots great, even at long range, and is highly accurate. I just wish it wasn’t so loud to cock or expensive, but you can’t have it all.

Make sure to check today’s Cabelas.com price on the Ravin R9 Predator if you’re interested.

1 Comment

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  1. Got my r9 in may This bow is fantastic! Not only dead accurate but also very fast. Three years ago I suffered a serious neck injury that has left me unable to use a rope cocker. The cocking feature on the Ravin xbows are very easy to use, and I feel I may be able to hunt again this fall. Thanks Ravin!

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