Horton Havoc 175 Review – Compound Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
Horton Havoc 175

Horton Havoc 175

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175 lbs.14.25"325 FPS

Crossbow Academy: ballistics, sighting, tuning
20"34.5" / 8.3 lbs.
- Reverse draw technology makes for a very compact design
- Very quiet in the field
- Highly powerful for such a compact design

- Horton is defunct as a company, so no warranty
- Very stiff trigger
- String rubs on itself where it crosses
Small Game Hunting?yes2
Deer, Elk Hunting?yes2
Moose, Bear Hunting?yes2
Target Shooting?yes2
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Also Recommended:Best Horton Crossbows

Package Contents

Hunting season will be on us before you know it, so let’s take a look at the Horton CB880 Havoc 175 Crossbow. Each package delivered by includes the following items:

  • The Horton CB880 Havoc 175 Crossbow
  • 4x32mm Mult-A-Range Crossbow scope with rings
  • Archnid black 5-arrow quiver
  • RDT Cocking Sled
  • 3 20” crossbow bolts with field points
  • Assembly hardware
  • Owner’s Manual
  • Warranty Card

Once you’ve unboxed your crossbow, it’s time for assembly.

Assembling The Havoc 175

When you unbox the crossbow, you should find that it is almost fully assembled. Attaching the prod to the riser is easy and quick, and then you just need to mount the scope and the quiver. From unboxing to ready to shoot, it took me about 20 minutes to assemble the Horton Havoc, and then I was ready to sight in the crossbow.

Accuracy And Power

Horton Havoc 175 2Sighting in the Horton Havoc was a dream, because the scope was almost perfectly zeroed in right out of the box. It only took me a couple of shots before I was consistently shooting 2” groupings out to 45 yards.

The trigger pull on the Havoc is pretty stiff, but the bow is forgiving enough that it does not affect accuracy all that much. I’ve had crossbows that I could shoot 1” groupings at 45 yards, but that is rare and definitely not going to happen with a stiff trigger pull.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The Horton Havoc

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.

Hunting: What To

Using my 425-gr arrows, this crossbow deals out 94 ft-lbs. of kinetic energy, which is more than enough to drop a deer or even larger game like moose, bears, or Cape buffalo. Whatever the legal game is in North America, the Havoc is powerful enough to wreck havoc on that animal’s lifespan.

At a mere 8.3 pounds, the Horton Havoc is easy to carry through the bush without fatigue. I’ve definitely used lighter crossbows, but this one just about hits the sweet spot for giving me that comforting feeling of knowing I’ve got death on a stick on my back while not getting exhausted traipsing through the backcountry.

The nicest thing about reverse draw technology crossbows is their axle-to-axle width. Once cocked, this crossbow is only about 13” wide, making it ideal for any type of shooting. Even from a popup blind with narrow windows, I had no problem bringing my Havoc to bear on my target.

Since acquiring the Horton Havoc 175, I have used it to fill my freezer with the meat of at least four deer, along with a bear and a Cape buffalo. Definitely a great investment for the hunter-gatherer in you!

Cocking The Horton Havoc

Horton Havoc 175The included RDT Cocking Sled is one of the nicest methods I’ve ever seen for cocking a crossbow. Specifically designed for reverse draw technology models, it attaches securely and reduces the required pull strength by about 70%.

You probably could cock the Havoc by hand, since the draw weight is only 175 pounds, but this is not advised. For smooth, accurate shots you want to ensure the string is pulled back evenly and consistently, and that it was a bow cocking device is for. Horton ships the Havoc with one of the best bow cocking devices on the market, so make use of it.

The Crossbow Scope

Horton was known for making strong, accurate crossbows, and part of that was because of the quality of their crossbow scopes. The included Mult-A-Range crossbow scope is very nice, and was zeroed in almost out of the box. It’s held true through several hunting trips since then, and is a star performer when it comes to stock crossbow scopes.

The eye relief on this scope is pretty good, and the optics are clear and easy to use. If you do need to make adjustments to the accuracy of the scope, the sighting knobs are easy to access and adjust.

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


The included bolts are pretty “meh,” so I quickly replaced them with my favorite Firebolt arrows. The included bolts are fine for target shooting and accuracy tests, but I would recommend upgrading pretty quickly to some high quality carbon arrows before setting out into the field to do any serious hunting.

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

Safety and Design

Horton Havoc 175 3The trigger on the Horton Havoc 175 is absolute garbage, being far too stiff for a crossbow of this grade. Even so, the crossbow is very nicely balanced, so it is easy to compensate for that stiff trigger pull and be able to get enough accuracy out of the crossbow to make it a fierce competitor on the hunting field.

Balanced—yes, I said it. This crossbow is not nearly as front-heavy as most crossbows, which makes it very nice to hold on target for as long as it takes to get a clear shot. The foregrip is perfectly designed to keep your fingers away from the string, and the compact size of the crossbow makes it easy to maneuver through tight spaces and even use from a small ground blind.


You’ll find no warranty or customer service for the Horton Havoc, because Horton closed its doors last year. The Havoc is a decent enough crossbow, though, and it might be worth taking the chance on it even without warranty support. Right now, aftermarket strings and cables are easy to find, and most bow technicians are very good at working with Horton crossbows.

What Crossbow Case Fits the Horton Havoc 175?

The Horton Havoc pairs very well with the Allen Company case which is an inexpensive soft case choice. It provides accessory room. For another soft case option try the Barnett Case (Model 17083) which also provides room enough for scopes and quivers. The cost for each is $30 and barely over $50, respectively.

Horton Havoc 175 CB880 Review Summary

Thanks for reading our crossbow review of the Horton Havoc 175. This is a great crossbow, even with its problems. My only concern is the fact that Horton is no longer in business. If you can find a decent deal on the Havoc 175, it is definitely worth looking into. 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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