Wicked Ridge Raider CLS Review – Compound Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Wicked Ridge Raider CLS Crossbow

Wicked Ridge Raider CLS Crossbow

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180 lbs.12.375"330 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"37.75" / 7 lbs.
- Easy to cock with integrated rope cocking device
- Compact size
- Includes everything you need to get started

- Included scope fogs easily and lacks illumination
- Included aluminum arrows break easily
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Also Recommended:Best Wicked Ridge Crossbows

Package Contents

Welcome to our Crossbow Review for the Wicked Ridge Raider CLS. Each package delivered by Wicked Ridge includes the following items:

  • The Wicked Ridge Raider CLS crossbow
  • Integrated ACU-52 rope-cocking system
  • TenPoint 3X Multi-Line Scope
  • Wicked Ridge quiver
  • 3 Wicked Ridge aluminum arrows
  • Wicked Ridge embroidered sling
  • Assembly hardware (including tools)
  • Owner’s Manual
  • Warranty Card

Once you’ve unboxed your crossbow, make sure you set the warranty registration card somewhere you’ll remember it, so you can fill it out and send it in. Then familiarize yourself with the owner’s manual and get started with assembly.

Assembling The Crossbow

Assembling the Wicked Ridge Raider CLS is about the same as most other crossbows. You install the cable guide, then attach the prod to the riser. Next, you attach the foot stirrup and mount the scope and quiver.

I was able to put my Raider CLS together in about 20 minutes, and then was off to the archery range for some sighting in and accuracy testing.

Accuracy And Power

Wicked Ridge Raider CLSThe Raider CLS delivers 101 ft. lbs. of bone-crushing kinetic energy, enough to knock the arrow all the way through my target block and halfway into my backstop from 40 yards. Once I’d taken a few shots to get a feel for the crossbow (and broken 2 of the included 3 arrows), it was time to sight in the scope.

The included scope was almost completely sighted in right out of the box, requiring only a couple of minor windage adjustments and a single elevation adjustment to get it right on target. After sighting in the crossbow, I was able to maintain ½” groupings from 30 yards, which is a personal best for me, I think. From 40 yards, I kept my groupings in the 1” range, and shot 1-1/2” groupings from 50 yards.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The Wicked Ridge Raider CLS

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.

What To Expect While Hunting?

Wicked Ridge Raider CLS2This crossbow has power like almost none other in its class, easily capable of taking down the largest legal game in North America with ease. It is also accurate enough for stalking and killing smaller game, like rabbits and squirrels. I’ve taken the Raider CLS out in the field several times, but one particular incident really sticks out in my mind.

I was deer hunting, sitting in my deer stand when I saw a large buck coming along one of the trails paralleling the one I was watching. The buck was probably 55 yards away, with some brush in the way of a completely clear shooting lane. Still, I could make out his complete silhouette, and a check with my binoculars showed no tree limbs or branches to get in the way of my shot. The buck stopped midway down the trail, and I took careful aim. Through my scope, I could count at least 10 points on his rack. I finally lined up my shot on his shoulder, and let the arrow fly. It drove straight into target, through the buck and out the other side, and he dropped almost instantaneously. I don’t think I’ve ever dropped a buck in his tracks with a crossbow, so I kept expecting him to get up and run off, but he was down for the count.

The Raider CLS has put quite a bit of meat in the freezer, and it’s very comfortable to carry through the forest and brush due to its compact size and light overall weight.

Cocking The Wicked Ridge Raider CLS

I’ve always been a big proponent of rope cocking devices. Not only do they make the job easier, they also make it more consistent and safer. The inclusion of the ACU-52 integrated rope cocking system on this crossbow is a fantastic feature, and one that I urge you to take advantage of.

The draw weight for the Raider CLS is 180 pounds, and the rope cocking device pulls that string back smooth like butter.

The Invader HP Scope

The manufacturer includes the Ten Point 3X Multi-Line scope with the Raider CLS package. This is a decent enough scope for starting out, but is not without its flaws. In cold weather, the scope fogs up badly if you don’t take measures to prevent that, and the reticles are not illuminated. If the scope had good light gathering capabilities, this wouldn’t be so bad, but the scope is essential useless in low light conditions.

The scope does sight in easily, and holds zero for months of transport and use. The coated optics are clear and crisp, as long as the lighting is good.

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

Bolts For The Invader HP

This crossbow is bundled with aluminum arrows, which I think is a big mistake. Two of the three included arrows snapped in half during my first salvo, so I switched to my Firebolt arrows. TenPoint recommends 20” arrows with a weight of at least 420 grain, so I shoot 425 grain arrows without any noticeable degradation of speed across my chronograph.

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

Safety and Design

Wicked Ridge Raider CLS3There are two features of this crossbow that are my favorites: the ACU-52 self-retracting rope cocking system and the 3.5 lbs. trigger pull. The trigger pull is smooth and quiet, and breaks at just the right time. It is consistent, lacks any wobble or play, and just flat out works like a charm.

The ACU-52 rope cocking system is a definite plus for this crossbow, making it easy to draw your crossbow without having to hunt for your rope cocking device. It stows away nicely in the stock, out of the way for that crucial shot on target.

The CNC-machined riser and pockets are durable and steady, and the crossbow just oozes TenPoint quality. The oversized foregrip makes it easy to keep your fingers away from the string when you take your shot.

Warranty on This Crossbow

The Raider CLS is covered by a five-year warranty, and their customer support staff are knowledgeable and friendly. I’ve never had a question they couldn’t answer, and they’ve always been helpful in dealing with the occasional manufacturer’s defect that I might run across.

What Crossbow Case Fits the Wicked Ridge Raider CLS?

The Wicked Ridge Raider is somewhat narrower than its siblings which allows for more choices. It fits well into the SKB Hunter Series Crossbow Case. Being a sturdy deluxe hard case it is priced accordingly so at $300. A soft case which is much less expensive is the Barnett Case (Model 17083).

Wicked Ridge Invader HP Summary

Thanks for reading our review of the Wicked Ridge Raider CLS. This is an excellent crossbow, perfect for all sorts of bow hunting. I can strongly recommend this particular crossbow, as I have seen (and tasted) the fruits of its labors! 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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