Barnett Raptor Review – Compound Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Barnett Raptor

Barnett Raptor

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150 lbs.12.5"330 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"34.25" / 6.5 lbs.
- Sights in easily
- Lightweight and narrow
- Powerful enough for any legal game in N. America

- Only comes with 3 arrows
- Quiver only holds 3 arrows
- Strings snap frequently and early in xbow usage
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Also Recommended:Best Barnett Crossbows

What’s Comes With It?

Welcome to our Crossbow Review. Each package delivered by Barnett includes the following items:

  • The Barnett Raptor crossbow
  • 4×32 Multi-Reticle Scope
  • 3-arrow quiver
  • 3 20” Headhunter arrows
  • Rope cocking device
  • Assembly tools and hardware
  • Owner’s manual
  • Warranty card

Assembling the Raptor

barnet1I spent a few minutes examining the owner’s manual, and then got to work putting my new x-bow together. The Raptor goes together quite easily; install the riser onto the stock, attach the foot stirrup, and then mount the quiver and scope. I only spent about 15 minutes putting this baby together, and went straight to the range to sight in and begin testing the bow’s power and accuracy.

How Powerful and Accurate Is It?

Sighting the Raptor in was an exercise in frustration, not because of problems with the scope but because of problems with the crossbow itself. After my first shot, the crossbow string snapped and slapped me in the face. When I received my replacement crossbow, the same thing happened, but I managed to get 3 shots in this time. The third crossbow from Barnett, after about three weeks of waiting for the different replacements to arrive, finally stayed in one piece long enough to sight in and test.

barnet3Sighting in the third Raptor was easy enough, requiring just 3 shots to have every shot in the bull’s-eye. After that, the crossbow gave me half-inch groupings out to 40 yards, and 1” groupings from 50 and 60 yards. The crossbow is pretty powerful, too, shelling out 97 ft. lbs. of energy; that is enough energy to push my target block over if there isn’t something propping it up, and all of my shots went clear through the target block.

On my last shot with the third crossbow, the string snapped again. Counting down, I got in 1 shot with the first crossbow, 3 shots with the second crossbow, and about a dozen and a half shots with the third crossbow. That’s not good news for this crossbow, and I never bothered taking it hunting with me.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The Barnett Raptor

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.

Do Hunters Love the Raptor?

If the crossbow was reliable, it would be great for hunting. It’s a bare 18” wide, so it is fantastic for going through brush and trees, and it only weights 6.5 pounds. So, you won’t get worn out carrying the crossbow through the woods. Unfortunately, the problem with the strings snapping is a pretty serious safety issue, so I wouldn’t take the xbow out into the field. It’s a shame, really, because I expected to bag a decent-sized buck with this crossbow, based on what I’d seen on my trail cameras during the month I was testing out the Raptor.

Cocking The Barnett Raptor

The draw on this bow is a mere 150 pounds, so you could easily draw it by hand. It’s a nice, smooth draw, but I still always recommend using a rope cocking device when cocking a crossbow. You just get a much more reliable, consistent, and even draw when you use a rope cocking device.

The Crossbow Scope

The scope that comes with the Barnett Raptor is a 4×32 multi-reticle scope. It sights in very easily; in fact, it’s almost sighted in right out of the box. I’ve used this particular model of scope before on other, more reliable crossbows, and it held true for months between sighting in. The scope is pretty fog-resistant, and the clarity of the target is excellent. The light-gathering capability is just mediocre, though, so the scope is pretty useless during low-light conditions.

See our detailed guide on how to sight-in your crossbowbarnet2


Barnett includes 3 20” Headhunter arrows with the Raptor. These are decent enough arrows, but I would recommend upgrading to Carbon Express or Firebolt arrows, instead. Stick with 20” arrows at 400-grain or higher, and you’re golden.

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

Safety and Design

The Barnett Raptor’s safety and anti-dry fire mechanisms work flawlessly every time, and the bow looks quite nice. However, something is amiss in manufacturing and the crossbow suffers from broken strings far more often than any crossbow should. I had a total of three Raptors, and the strings broke on each and every one of them within a few shots. With this poor safety record, this crossbow appears to be a lawsuit waiting to happen.


Barnett offers a 3-year warranty on all of their crossbows. Their customer service representatives are friendly and knowledgeable, and they were quick to send replacement crossbows when the strings broke on mine. With that said, they attempted to send replacement strings, first—I had to make it clear that I did not feel the problem was with the strings, but with the crossbow itself. Even so, three crossbows with three broken strings is my limit, and I eventually returned the crossbow for a refund.

What Crossbow Case Fits the Barnett Raptor?

The Barnett Raptor is on the smaller side as far as bows go so the Allen Company case will work well. It goes for around 30 bucks. A nicer soft case for around 70 bucks is the Carbon Express Deluxe Case; however, it does not accommodate all larger scopes. A third choice, of course, is the Barnett Case (Model 17083).

Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our crossbow review. This is a nice-looking crossbow, but the safety flaws and broken strings eventually led to a returned crossbow and a switch to a different make and model. I cannot recommend this crossbow to anybody for any reason. Take a look at today's price on this crossbow and check out our top 10 crossbows rankings for more.

1 Comment

  1. This review should be amended. Barnett has come up with a solution to the broken string problem. It turns out that upon release of a bolt the recoil in the limbs was too great for the string. Apparently Barnett has now went to a much tougher string and also some sort of dampener in the limb pockets. It doesn’t seem fare to Barnett to leave this review “as is” giving Barnett raptors a bad rap for a problem that has been corrected. Since the solution has been implemented none of the corrected units have been reported to have this issue any more.

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