New Crossbows: The Revolution Continues High-Tech Improvements for 2017

Crossbows continue to gain a bigger presence in the deer and western big game hunting community; as companies push the boundaries of speed, size, features and performance, the result should be some excellent hunting gear choices both now and in the years to come

By: Lynn Burkhead,


Each year, crossbow manufactures continue to find ways to improve power efficiency and dampen shot noise. Crossbows, such as this Ravin R15, have become engineering marvels. (Photo courtesy of Ravin)


With a new year, the crossbow revolution continues to unfold in hunting supply shops and the in whitetail and big game hunting woods all across the country.

Harder to find a decade ago than they are now, there are plenty of new crossbow models this year that continue to push the envelope of technology while becoming sleeker and increasingly compact. Even so, most of these new models still offer hard-hitting performance, increasingly fast arrow-bolt speeds and easy to use in-the-field features.

As news of new models comes rolling out from industry marketing offices and crossbow manufacturers nationwide, here are several new models that have caught our attention.


Barnett Droptine Crossbow, rated at 350 feet per second (Photo courtesy of Barnett)


Barnett Crossbows’ ( recent new addition to its hunting line is the Barnett Droptine, a 35.75-inch by 21-inch model featuring 350-feet-per-second (fps) bolt-speed performance thanks to – among other things – a magnesium riser, a lightweight composite stock and a Crosswire string and cable system.

With a draw weight of 160 pounds and a power stroke of 13.5 inches, the high-definition Realtree-finished crossbow is a 7-pound model that should be perfect for deer hunters wanting a lightweight, easy-to-utilize bow for either the treestand or the ground blind.

Add in a 4×32 multi-reticle scope, a three-bolt quiver and three 20-inch Headhunter bolts, and this package checks in as a solid turn-key offering for hunters to consider in 2017.


CAMX X330 Crossbow, rated at 330 to 332 feet per second (Photo courtesy of CAMX)


CAMX ( checks in with the CAMX X330 crossbow model, a hunting weapon that delivers super-tight bolt groups at a guaranteed speed of 330 to 332 feet per second. With the ability to bring to bear 100.33 foot-pounds of kinetic energy, the crossbow checks in at 6 pounds, 14 ounces.

Add in a scope, quiver and four arrows and the overall weight of this 19.5-inch axle-to-axle model remains easy to handle at 8 pounds, 8 ounces. With an overall length of 35.5 inches when drawn and 22 inches in width when drawn (the width is 25 inches prior to the draw cycle), the X330 isn’t too cumbersome for hunters to handle in either a blind or a treestand.

Also offering trigger safety and arrow retention features, the crossbow comes in black, Realtree Xtra and Realtree Xtra Snow camo finishes designed to suit a variety of hunters’ needs all across the nation.


Excalibur Micro Suppressor Crossbow (Photo courtesy of Excalibur)


Not sitting on its laurels, Excalibur Crossbow ( is bringing a new flagship model out with its Excalibur Micro Suppressor model.

Built upon the company’s Micro 355 platform, the new crossbow brings an all new Sound Deadening System that utilizes an over-molded rubberized stirrup and hold down spring, an ExShox feature, String Stars and a R.A.V.S. (Recoil Anti-Vibration System) that combine to help deliver a smoother and quieter shooting experience.

Despite a Bullpup Ready Rest stock, an ambidextrous cheek-piece and oversize-finger guards, the length of this crossbow has still been reduced by some 2.5 inches. Combined with the company’s Guardian Anti-Dry-Fire System, the Micro Suppressor crossbow gives a compact and quiet performance that is right at home in the whitetail woods in either a ground blind or a treestand.


PSE Fang XT Crossbow, rated at 350 feet per second (Photo courtesy of PSE)


Building on the backbone of an already proven performer, PSE’s ( new PSE Fang XT model shoots bolts at 350 feet per second along with having an all-new butt stock design that aids in shoot ability and balance on the range or in the field.

With enhanced string stops, green limb dampers and an Anti-Dry Fire and Auto Safety Trigger system, the XT model also comes with a compact 4×32 MR (multi-reticle) scope, a five-bolt quiver and three 20-inch carbon tipped with 100-grain points.

Thanks to a rubber-coated foot stirrup and a soft coat trigger grip, this is a quick and quiet crossbow offering top-shelf performance, all in a package checking in at 1.25 inches shorter than previous models. All in all, PSE looks to have another winner for hunters sitting in whitetail and big game treestands and ground blinds from one coast to the other.


Ravin R15 Crossbow, rated at 425 feet per second (Photo courtesy of Ravin)


Ravin’s new Ravin R15 crossbow ( is another model to consider, a new offering that brings blistering 425-feet-per-second bolt speeds to hunters along with flat shooting capabilities that can produce tight groups downrange.

Delivering 160 foot-pounds of kinetic energy, the Ravin model’s patented HeliCoil technology “… coils the cables away from both the top and bottom of the cams in helical grooves, allowing the cams to rotate nearly 340 degrees.”

With both of the crossbows’ cams remaining perfectly level during the drawing and shooting cycles, the company’s technology also takes away speed-reducing rail friction.

With a Trac-Trigger firing system and patented Versa-Draw cocking system, the result is a high-performance, six-inch axle-to-axle crossbow (at full draw) that operates in the tight quarters of either a ground blind or treestand. All while still delivering amazing fast bolt speed and hard hitting performance downrange.

The bottom line is that crossbows, once a hunting novelty and now an industry mainstay, are becoming increasingly popular for both deer and big game hunters living all across the country.

As the technology envelope continues to get pushed and crossbows become lighter, faster and more maneuverable, the crossbow revolution is here to stay.

For complete ATA show coverage of all the new bowhunting gear for 2017, please visit:


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