Hog Blog Gear Review: Dialing-in The Barnett RAZR
October 12, 2015
I couldn’t make myself wait to buy a new target.
After my initial experience with the Barnett RAZR and its total disdain for the stopping power of my worn-out archery targets, I figured it was time to finally replace the poor, old things. Hell, the Black Hole target has been sitting out in one backyard or another for well over six years. Even the Mathews occasionally sends one clean through.
But I’m a relatively long ways from a good outdoors shop, and the eagerness to play with the new “toy” was just too much.
Necessity…invention… mothers… or maybe I’m just cheap… but I decided that if I lined up the Black Hole and the Yellow Jacket, their combined forces would stop one of these bolts. So I did and they did, and handily. I can happily report that I have only destroyed one more bolt since implementation of my target “fix”.
I’ve heard, time and again, from people who bought their crossbows from the shop, brought them home, and they were already dialed dead on. I guess I should have known it was too much to hope for, and my doubts were verified when my first shots were over a foot low. I had to come up quite a bit on the scope, but once I had it where I wanted it, the accuracy and consistency were pretty amazing.
With all the shooting, there was a lot of loading and cocking the bow. Cocking the RAZR is not difficult, but it’s not easy. The rope cocking device uses pulleys and leverage to cut the draw weight in half. Still, half of 185 pounds is 92.5, and even with good technique, that puts some pull on the old back and shoulders. I let Kat try, and she really couldn’t budge it. They make a crank for folks who can’t pull the bow back, but I didn’t order one.
The trick, as best I can tell, is to do it all in one, smooth movement. If you stop halfway, you may as well let it down, take a breath, and start over. Iggy was patient and encouraging… really the perfect coach.
I call this out, by the way, not as criticism but as a reality check. One of the reasons some hunters switch to the crossbow is because of shoulder or back issues that prevent them from drawing or holding a regular bow. I can just about promise that, if you have those sorts of physical limitations, you will not be able to draw this crossbow (or any crossbow with this kind of draw weight). The crank device will pretty much be a requirement.
So, it’s cocked and sighted in? Now for the fun part!
As a kid, I was never good at sharing my toys. I’m slightly more mature now, though, so I wanted Kat to shoot the RAZR. She couldn’t cock it, but once I set it up, she shoots it as well as she shoots her rifle, which is pretty danged well.
And, seriously, one of the reasons I got this was so she could hunt with me during archery season. Of course, now that it’s here and set up, rifle season opens in a few days so it’s kind of a moot point.
I am hunting with it, though.
I packed the RAZR instead of my Mathews yesterday evening, just to get a feel for it. I’ve outfitted it with the Rage 2-blade Crossbow broadheads. I’m typically a little skeptical about mechanical broadheads, but the reputation of Rage is so good, and I know this bow delivers a crap-load of speed and energy, so I feel pretty confident they’ll work as advertised (and if they don’t, you can believe you’ll hear about it here).
Unfortunately, my neighbor chose yesterday evening to fire up his bush hog and mow his cow pasture, which adjoins my place. As a result, there was very little movement. A nice eight-point (not the one I’ve been watching) got up from his bed in the middle of the soybeans and bolted out of the field, and a big doe came out tentatively, but ran off when the tractor turned and started coming in her direction.
Finally, just at dark, a deer stepped out at 40 yards and started working towards me. She was obscured by some brush, so I eased the bow up and readied myself. Swinging this thing around in the tree stand is definitely a different feeling from either a rifle or a vertical bow, and I was thankful for the screen of bushes. I relaxed though, when she stepped out into the open and I could see she was just a little thing, probably just born this spring.
I’ll be heading out this evening for another go.