PSE Copperhead Review (In-Field) – Compound Crossbow

ModelDraw WeightStrokeVelocitySuggested Arrow LengthCrossbow Length / Weight
PSE Copperhead

PSE Copperhead

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150 lbs.10.5"260 FPS

How to sight a crossbow?
20"36" / 8 lbs. 11 ozs.

PSE Copperhead Package Contents

The PSE Copperhead is offered many package configurations. The one that we tested had:

  • A multi-reticle 4X32 mm scope
  • Four 20” arrows with 100-grain field points
  • A six-arrow detachable quiver

One item that was missing that we would have included is a rope-cocking aid. These aren’t too expensive and would be one accessory we would strongly recommend.

First Impressions: Design, Safety, Comfort and Accuracy

When you first look at the Copperhead, you can tell this is a crossbow that, like the PSE Rattler, is mainly designed for the beginning shooter. It basically uses the same stock and barrel as the Rattler so it shares the film-dipped camo finish as well as an anodized machined aluminum barrel. The Copperhead also has the fully rubber-dipped foot stirrup which helps stifle a small amount of the sound and vibration.

We really liked that it had an auto safety, but we would really have liked to have seen an anti-dry-fire system on the Copperhead, especially given that it will likely be shot by a novice shooter. Like the Rattler, there are no flanges above the fore grip to keep the shooters off-hand fingers and thumb from ever getting into the string path. One positive however is the ability to move the forward grip to the most comfortable position for the shooter’s forward hand.

Kinetic Energy of the PSE Copperhead

The PSE Copperhead combines a low draw weight with a short power stroke to sling arrows in the 350-grain range at about 260 fps. This translates to around 52 ft. lbs. of energy at the muzzle. This is getting into what we would consider a marginal range for hunting. This is plenty of power for learning to shoot at the range, but you are going to really need a good shot to ensure a clean kill with this amount of power. You could go for deer, however, although anything bigger is not recommended.

Use our arrow ballistics calculator for more valuable information.

Ballistic Data For The PSE Copperhead

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 with the PSE Copperhead

PSE Copperhead3The Copperhead is a basic crossbow that is really going to be much better suited for a day at the range than a day hunting anything much larger than a turkey. That isn’t to say that you can’t take a deer, but for a few dollars more, you might want to up the power a bit and go with the PSE Rattler or even the Sidewinder XB.

How Quiet is the Copperhead

The PSE Copperhead is not what we would consider quiet, especially given the rather low 150 lb. draw weight. Like the Rattler, this is definitely a crossbow that will benefit from both string suppressors as well as multiple limb and stock dampeners.

Cocking the PSE Copperhead

The Copperhead is very easy to cock, given the low draw weight and the short power stroke. This isn’t too bad at all to cock by hand, but if you are going to be doing more than just a few shots, do yourself a favor and purchase a rope cocking aid.

Quality of the Optics

PSE Copperhead2The Copperhead doesn’t come with the highest quality scope, but given the price point we really can’t complain too much. The multi-reticle 4 X 32 mm scope was adequate for most shots, but don’t get too hung up on thinking you are going to see great accuracy at the 40 yard mark. This is a good scope to learn with and to understand how the multi-range marks work with varying distances of shots.

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

What Arrows to use with the Copperhead

The arrows that arrive with the Copperhead are sufficient for a day at the range, and that is really what this crossbow is best suited for. We found the included 20” arrows were quite a bit heavier than the 350-grains the Copperhead was tested with. Like the Rattler, we have heard of some folks cutting back arrows to the 17” range, but we always hesitate to recommend deviating too much from the manufacturer’s recommended length.

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

Overall Thoughts

The PSE Copperhead is really a crossbow that the novice shooter should plan on taking to the range to really learn how to shoot a crossbow. As you learn to shoot the Copperhead, you really are going to want to focus on safety. Without an anti-dry-fire system, there is a real chance that a newbie is going to accidently dry fire the crossbow. Also, make sure you pay close attention to keeping your forward hand’s fingers and thumbs out of the string path as you aren’t going to have the safety flanges to remind you. All in all, this is a decent shooting crossbow, but be careful with it, especially if you are new to crossbows. 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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