SAS Dragon Review – Compound Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Weight
SAS Dragon

SAS Dragon

Check price on Amazon.com

165 lbs.14"340 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
16"6 lbs.
Pros:
- Very quiet crossbow

Cons:
- Only 3 aluminum arrows included
- Limb pockets prone to break
- Short 1-year warranty
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Also Recommended:Best SA Sports Crossbows

Package Contents

Hi there, and welcome to another crossbow review. Today we’re taking a look at the SA Sports Empire Dragon Each package delivered by SA Sports includes the following items:

  • The SA Sports Empire Dragon crossbow
  • 3 16” aluminum arrows
  • 4×32 Multi Range Scope
  • Quick-detach quiver
  • Rope cocking device
  • Assembly hardware and tools
  • Owner’s manual
  • Warranty card

Assembly

sasdrag1It would be nice if crossbows always arrived ready to shoot, but that’s seldom the case. Fortunately, the Empire Dragon is pretty easy to put together. SA Sports provides an excellent manual for assembly, and even includes a video of assembly on their web site.

You attach the cable slide to the cables, and then insert the cables into the barrel track. Once you have the barrel and riser properly aligned, you connect the pieces together using the included nose bolt and washer, then tighten the center set screw on the underside of the riser. Next, you install the foot stirrup, quiver, and crossbow scope.

Once all of that is done, you’re ready to head to the archery range.

How Straight and Powerful Does it Shoot?

sasdragThe Empire Dragon flings arrows at 340 fps, and deals out almost 95 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy. Knowing this, I set up my archery range with a backstop directly behind my target block, because otherwise the force of the arrows would have knocked my target block over.

The scope came almost sighted in straight out of the box, and required just a couple of shots before the scope was perfectly zeroed in. Accuracy of the Empire Dragon is pretty good for such an inexpensive crossbow. I was able to maintain 1” groupings at 30 yards, and 2” groupings from 50 and 70 yards.

After about 20 shots during my testing, the worst possible thing happened. The limb pockets broke, and the limbs came flying off the crossbow. Fortunately, nobody was around to get injured and the limbs just barely missed me. I talked to a bow technician about this, and he said that he’d had about a dozen Empire Dragons come back to him with the same broken pockets. Thus endeth what might have been a great hunting crossbow.

Hunting: What To Expect

With the amount of power the Empire Dragon deals, it would be suitable for hunting just about any legal North American game. Unfortunately, the limb pockets breaking led to me not testing this crossbow in a hunting trip.

Cocking The Sports Empire Dragon

This x-bow is very easy to cock, especially using the included rope cocking device. The draw weight is 154 lbs, and the 65% let off on the cams makes this draw smoother than just about any other crossbow I’ve used. The anti dry-fire mechanism worked flawlessly for every shot, as did the safety.

The Included Scope

sasdrag3The Empire Dragon comes with a 4×32 multi-range scope, and it’s a halfway decent scope. It comes almost sighted in right out of the box, and takes just a few adjustments to shoot true every time. Fog protection is good, but the scope has limited light gathering abilities and is almost useless in low light conditions.

Bolts

The bolts that come with the Dragon are 16” aluminum arrows, and broke after just a couple of shots each. You can use the same size arrows, or you can use 20” carbon arrows (my preference). SA Sports rates the speed of the bow using 375-gr arrows, so a heavier setup of arrow will yield slower speeds but comparable power.

Safety and Design

This crossbow features radical CNC machined cams with 65% let off, and a 3.5 pound smooth trigger assembly. You get an integrated full-barrel Picatinny rail for adding accessories, and the rear stock and barrel are lightweight, high performance synthetic.

Unfortunately, the crossbow has a major flaw in the limb pockets, causing the pockets to fail and break after about 15-20 shots. According to a local archery shop technician, the limb pockets on this x-bow fail more often than not. This is a pretty serious safety concern, so I’d call this crossbow one for the scrap heap.

Warranty

You only get a 1-year warranty on the Dragon, but SA Sports offers excellent service. I returned this one for a full refund, but I’ve had excellent experience with SA Sports in the past repairing crossbows under warranty.

Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our crossbow review. SA Sports produces some fine crossbows at excellent prices, but this isn’t one of them. The limb pocket failure rate makes this crossbow unsafe and unsuitable for any use beyond a few shots. Take a look at today's amazon.com price on this crossbow and check out our top 10 crossbows rankings for more.

4 Comments

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  1. I own the Dragon and the Beowulf have hunted with the Dragon many times and have taken two bucks with complete pass throughs I use string stoppers and limbsavers on both crossbows maybe this helps with limb pocket failure anyway I have put a few hundred bolts through the Dragon with no problems at all also with the Beowulf. Both excellent investments

    1. Crossbows like this put out a lot of power, and vibration which is killer on everything. Strings, limbs, bearings, limb pockets, etc. All soak up the vibration. Especially if you shoot the cheap included bolts.
      Failure of high performance crossbows with lighter bolts is common in pretty much every brand out there. Limbsavers will help as will good bolts. I put a bowjax kit on mine not for sound which is what everything thinks they are for. Just to soak up the vibrations as much as possible.

  2. My husband was using the empire dragon cross bow for the first time this year and he had his thumb to far up the guard and when he shot it the string hit his thumb ripping the corner off and tearing the tendons in his thumb he has used cross bows before and this has never happened

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