Wicked Ridge Warrior HL Review – a Compound Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Wicked Ridge Warrior HL

Wicked Ridge Warrior HL

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175 lbs.12.25"300 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"38" / 7 lbs.
Pros:
- Lightweight and powerful
- Accurate to 100 yards
- Built to last you a lifetime
- Dry fire inhibitor

Cons:
- No rope cocking device 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

Assembling The Wicked Ridge Warrior HL Crossbow

Putting the Warrior HL together is quick and easy, and the instructions are very easy to follow. You install the prod onto the riser, then attach the foot stirrup. Finally, you need to mount the scope and quiver and you’re ready to sight in and start testing your accuracy. I’d guess that it took me less than 20 minutes, from start to finish, to have the crossbow assembled and ready to fire.

Accuracy And Power

Wicked Ridge Warrior HLThe first thing you normally have to do before you can start testing your accuracy with a crossbow is sight in the scope. I say normally because this puppy was sighted in right out of the box! My first three shots from 25 yards were a ½” grouping, and then I moved out to 45 yards and shot a perfect 1” grouping.

I continued testing the Warrior HL, still using field tips, and was able to maintain my 1” grouping at 45 and 50 yards. I moved out to 75 yards, and shot a 2” grouping. That same 2” grouping held even at 100 yards, using the scope’s lower line to correct for elevation.

The crossbow definitely packs a punch of power, too. From 25 through 40 yards, my arrows would go clean through the target block and dig about halfway into my backstop. Even out to 100 yards, the arrows had excellent penetration, passing about ¾ of the way into the target block.

How Good Is This Crossbow For Hunting?

The Wicked Ridge Warrior HL deals out 85 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy, which is more than powerful enough to take Wicked Ridge Warrior HL 2on deer or elk. I wouldn’t trust the crossbow up against larger game, but it is certainly powerful enough for the most common game you would expect to go up against with a crossbow.

I’ve used the Warrior HL for two deer seasons, and it brought home two deer both seasons. The most memorable shot was a deer that was quartering to me from about 45 yards away. I took the shot, and the arrow passed all the way through the deer even from a quartering angle. I never found the arrow, but the deer…I found him about 25 yards away from where he stood when I shot him.

If you’re worried about weight when you’re out in the bush, rest assured that this is one of the lightest crossbows on the market for its power. At only 7 pounds, this crossbow feels great on your back and doesn’t lug you down when you are making your way to your deer stand.

Kinetic Energy Of The Wicked Ridge Warrior

All of that is well and good, of course, but how powerful is the crossbow? Well, flinging 425-grain arrows at 300 FPS means the Wicked Ridge Warrior will deal out around a whopping 85 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy at point blank range. Assuming a loss in kinetic energy of a few percent ft. lbs. for every yard away from point blank range, you’re looking at dealing a striking blow of at least 79 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy to your foe from 30 yards out. This is more than enough stopping power for deer, elk, wild boar, or even the toughest of legal North American game, the Cape buffalo or grizzly bear.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The Wicked Ridge Warrior HL

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.

Cocking the Wicked Ridge Warrior HL

Wicked Ridge Warrior HL 3The Wicked Ridge Warrior HL takes 175 pounds of draw weight to pull back the string. Unfortunately, Wicked Ridge does not include a rope cocking device with this crossbow, so I would recommend purchasing one (my vote is for the Jandao rope aid (amazon.com link) for the extra length and durability). Using a rope cocking device is crucial for accuracy with a crossbow, because it ensures an even, consistent draw for every shot.

If you have the extra money, my recommendation would be to purchase the optional ACU-52 rope cocking system that installs onto the stock of the crossbow. It’s a bit on the pricy side, but it is well worth the convenience of having the rope cocking device right there and not having to fish one out of your pocket if you need to recock your crossbow in the deer stand.

The Scope On This Crossbow

The manufacturer includes the Ten Point 3X Multi-Line scope with the Warrior HL. This is a decent scope, aside from its lack of illuminated reticles. It shot dead-on straight out of the box, and stayed zeroed in through one full hunting seasons.

The scope has poor light gathering capabilities, though, and is not much use in low light conditions. If you do most of your hunting during full daylight, though, the scope is very nice because of its multiple reticles. In fact, the lower part of the reticle where the line transitions from thick to thin is just about perfect for 50-yard shots.

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

Bolts For The Warrior HL

It astounds me these days that crossbow manufacturers ship their crossbows with aluminum arrows. Modern Wicked Rige Warrior HL Backcrossbows are simply too powerful for aluminum arrows to stand up to the damage the crossbow can deal, and the included aluminum arrows with the Warrior HL are no exception. Within two rounds of accuracy testing, the bolts were broken and I was moving on to my Firebolt carbon arrows.

Pick yourself out a nice carbon arrow, 20” long with a total weight of 425 grain, and you’ll find the sweet spot with this crossbow.

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

Safety and Design

The nicest safety feature of the Warrior HL is the dry fire inhibitor. The way this crossbow is designed, the crossbow absolutely will not fire if there is no crossbow fully loaded. Anti dry dire mechanisms are nice, but this is probably the most effective I’ve ever come across.

The crossbow’s trigger pull is a light 3.5 pounds, and is smooth and consistent. It’s also the quietest trigger I think I’ve ever heard (or not heard). Overall, the entire crossbow is much quieter than most of its class, which is very nice in the field.

The Warrior HL features CNC-machined riser and pockets, and the cable yokes are tuneable for the perfect shot and accuracy. The oversized foregrip makes it easy to keep your fingers away from the string when you take that shot.

Warranty

As with all crossbows from the Wicked Ridge series, this crossbow is covered by a 5 year old warranty, and the customer service representatives are always friendly and helpful. If you have a problem with your crossbow, they are quick to make the problem right again, and will sometimes even pay shipping costs for warranty repairs.

What Crossbow Case Fits the Wicked Ridge Warrior HL?

For those looking for a luxury hard case option, the SKB Hunter Series Crossbow Case is near $300. It feature adjustable straps to secure the Wicked Ridge Warrior HL in place. A deluxe soft case possibility for $70 is the Tarantula Deluxe Crossbow Case

Wicked Ridge Warrior HL

Thanks for reading our review of the Wicked Ridge Warrior HL. You won’t find many crossbows as nice as this one, other than the lack of an included rope cocking device. For a few extra bucks, you can buy your own rope cocking device and have a crossbow that is accurate, reliable, and as safe as any on the market. Take a look at today's amazon.com price on this crossbow and check out our top 10 crossbows rankings for more.

1 Comment

  1. This crossbow is wicked I took a buck at 30 yards it ran 20 yards before dropping. I can’t say enough about this crossbow.

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