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Barnett Crossbows may be a household name in the US, but you may be surprised to learn that Barnett Crossbows started in a garage by Bernard Barnett in the UK in 1962. And they have been bringing their A-game to the hunting world ever since. Barnett has been the first for many of the innovations you see in crossbows today.
They were the first to offer, feature, or patent a crank cocking device, a rope-cocking device, an overloaded sound dampening foot stirrup, a shoot-through foot stirrup, carbon riser technology, to break a speed of 300 FPS, and many more. So it is no wonder that Barnett is still one of the leading and most successful crossbow makers out there.
In this review, I will highlight several of the Barnett crossbows and their features. To do this, we have first broken down the Barnett crossbows by their different design styles – the Compound Crossbows, the Step-Through Riser Crossbows, and their Hyper Crossbows. Then, we’ll show you what we have found to be the best from each design. Each section gathers first-hand experience, as well as close relationship input, that know what makes Barnett such a great pick.
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|Barnett TS380||Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR||Barnett Hypertac 420||Barnett Explorer XP400|
|420 FPS||400 FPS|
|Size||32.4"L, 18.8"W||34.9"L, 20.1"W||N/A||31.3"L, 19"W|
|Price||Around $550||Around $350||Around $800||Around $460|
|More Info.||Barnett TS380||Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR||Barnett Hypertac 420||Barnett Explorer XP400|
Unpack the Barrett TS380 out of the box and you’ll instantly be satisfied with your purchase because this crossbow looks awesome! We love the camo and we like even better how quickly you can take it out shooting. It’s pretty much ready to go right away. The Barnett TS380 is Barnett's best overall crossbow because the one-bolt assembly makes this crossbow super easy to assemble and if you’re a beginner, you should not have any issues here.
Right out the gate the first feature you may notice is the TriggerTech technology included on this crossbow – if you don’t know, TriggerTech triggers are valued at $200 alone! This trigger has a smooth zero-creep 3 lb. pull as well as anti-dry fire safety and nock sensors. So right there, you can be confident that Barnett is out to make one of the best compound crossbows right out of the box.
When you get the Barnett TS380 in your hands, you’ll notice right away how comfortable it is. The stock is rubberized everywhere you would want or need to put your hands and is one of our favorite foregrips on the market. The adjustable butt stock allows you to adjust it as you would like and is always a plus in our opinion.
The Barnett TS380 is pretty compact and the aluminum flight track and magnesium alloy riser make it pretty light in weight at 6.9 lbs. As the name implies, the Barnett TS380 shoots at a speed of 380 feet per second - plenty enough to bring down a wide collection of game.
The scope is a 4x32 Multi-Reticle Scope and works plenty well enough. It’s very clear at long range and provides a good look at details. Our real concern about this scope is that it is not fog-proof which would be a problem if you were hunting in temps below freezing.
As much as we like this crossbow, especially for the cost, we are not huge fans of the crank-cocking device. It could be quieter. In fact, we would not recommend you using the crank while you’re out hunting at all. It makes a loud clicking sound when you turn the crank and will scare away game if you don’t crank it beforehand. Now, that’s not to say it should scare you away from this crossbow – it is still a great crossbow and again, you can get around this. On the other hand, shooting the TS380 is super quiet and produces no sounds other than a low thump.
Overall, this is the best compound crossbow that Barnett offers and one of the best on the market in its price range. We do wish that it had a better crank-cocking device, but for the price, and the quality you receive, you won’t be disappointed.
The Whitetail Hunter STR comes in at 34.875” long and 18.125” wide axle-to-axle. Once it is cocked, it’s reduced down to 13”. Because of its compact design and lightweight (6.6 lbs), it makes maneuvering in tight spots, whether in blinds or stands, really easy.
For as small and lightweight as this crossbow is, one of the reasons it tops the list of “Barnett’s Best Step-Through Riser Crossbow” is because of its quality build. As soon as you hold it, you can tell it’s a sturdy, well-designed crossbow as well as very comfortable. The Step-Through Riser design shifts the crossbow’s center of gravity back leading to greater stability while shooting. This translates to increased accuracy downrange as well. It should also be noted that the Step-Through Riser’s design also makes it super easy to cock this crossbow.
Another feature we liked on the Whitetail Hunter STR crossbow was its 3lb TriggerTech trigger. This is a Frictionless Release Technology where a free-floating roller is between the sear and the trigger. We liked this because it results in a smoother, crisper, creep-free pull. The crossbow also comes loaded with safety features here including nock sensors, an anti-dry fire system and a Soft-Lok floating bristle arrow retainer to ensure dry fires are prevented.
The scope that comes with the Whitetail Hunter STR is a 4x32mm Multi-Reticle Scope. It works well for this crossbow and the adjustments let you zero in on targets with accuracy from 20 yards up to 80 yards away. The scope comes pretty much sighted in already and will only take little adjusting on your end. Other than that, it is very accurate. The downside of this scope is that it is not illuminated.
Once you zero in on your target and let loose, the Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR shoots arrows downrange at a speed up to 375 feet-per-second and can deliver a knockdown power of 118.6 ft. lbs. Again, it is a very accurate crossbow.
Overall, we really like the Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR. The compact design makes it easy to use and that, added with its quality build, are two of the big reasons it is one of Barnett’s most popular crossbows on the market.
The Barnett Hypertac 420 is one of Barnett’s leading compact crossbows in the marketplace today. Not only does it look awesome, it’s a very high quality crossbow as well. Maybe the best part is that it comes in at a reasonable price when so many other high quality crossbows out there today seem to thrive on charging a high premium. Barnett sidesteps this issue once again and provides us with yet another high quality solid crossbow to choose from out of their lineup.
The Hypertac 420 crossbow utilizes Barnett’s HyperFlite technology to achieve its compact size. At an axle width of 18.75” uncocked and 9.1875” cocked, Barnett really was kidding when they set out to create a compact crossbow here! At nearly 8 lbs. (7.9), it’s not the lightest on the market, but that doesn’t detract from it in any way. Once you’re handling it, it actually feels lighter than you would expect.
The ability to maneuver in tighter spots is the name of the game and Barnett’s main goal (at least by our estimate!) when they set out to design the Hypertac 420. The tactical-style buttstock is adjustable allowing you to set it as you wish and the crossbow features a highly compact riser assembly.
When you pull this crossbow out of the box, you’ll notice that it is quite comfortable to handle. Along with the adjustable buttstock, the Hypertac 420 features a pass-through forend and multi-position pistol grip.
Assembling should be super easy for you – it requires only a single bolt to assemble the riser and the Halo scope is not hard to calibrate. If you have additional hardware items, flashlight, extra quiver, etc., you can attach them to one of the three Pic rails featured on the crossbow. This has become more of a staple feature for Barnett crossbows.
The Hypertac 420 comes with a 1.5-5 x 32mm Halo scope. This is a fine scope providing quality aiming in 10-yard intervals from 20 yards all the way up to 70 yards. The speed selector is a cool feature on this scope – it allows you to match the speed at which your crossbow is shooting (between 300 – 425 feet per second). Unlike the Whitetail Hunter STR, we like that this scope has an on/off switch to make it illuminated in low-light conditions.
The 3 lb. TriggerTech trigger system is again another great feature on this crossbow. The Frictionless Release Technology and Metal Injection Molded trigger help improve accuracy with a nice, light and smooth pull with zero creep.
Once you shoot this crossbow, you’ll realize just how powerful it is. It rockets bows out at 420 feet per second thanks to its 15.5” power stroke. For such a compact crossbow, this is super impressive! And cocking the Hypertac 420 with the rope cocker is not bad at all. It feels easy and smooth.
Overall, we really like the Barnett Hypertac 420 and would highly recommend it if you’re looking for a high-quality crossbow and you’re not afraid to spend a little more cash. That said, this is still a ridiculously good price for a crossbow of this caliber. This crossbow is very well constructed, compact, lightweight, and overall good quality with some cool features.
Barnett Compound Crossbows
Barnett’s compound crossbows have been a staple in the hunting industry for years. They are right up there with each and every other top manufacturer and produce some of the best crossbows you can find. Not only are they built well, shoot accurately and fast, but they’re also some of the most affordable crossbows out there as well.
Barnett Step-Through Riser Crossbows
Barnett introduced their step-through riser crossbows because with added comfort and confidence when handling your crossbow, you’ll be more lethal. The Barnett Step-Through Riser integrates the foot stirrup directly into the riser, thus making it easier to control and balance while using.
Barnett Hyper Crossbows
For a long time, really only vertical bow hunters could take advantage of smaller diameter arrows. Now, with the Hyper Crossbows, Barnett has made this possible for crossbow hunters as well. With the Hyper Crossbows’ ability to shoot .204” diameter arrows, crossbow hunters can get the same precision and penetration that once was limited only to vertical bow hunters. These are Barnett’s highest performing bows and will reach speeds at well over 400 fps with their HyperFlite arrows – arrows designed to sink extra deep and take down large game with a single hit.
Of course, money is most always a part of the decision-making process when buying a crossbow. That’s one of the main reasons we love Barnett crossbows – they make high quality crossbows at reasonable prices. Some cost more than others depending on the technology and features and as always, you get what you pay for. If you’re a beginner, it’s never a bad idea to start on the lower end to learn and save some money.
As a beginner with a Barnett, you can be rest assured you’re still receiving a high quality crossbow. If you’re a seasoned vet, it’s up to you how important having a top-tier crossbow is to your hunting experience. Figure out what you like, what you don't like, and minimize the cost of your mistakes.
On the other hand, if you're highly dedicated to the sport and you're to round out your trophy fall, swipe that credit card and go crazy! No matter the experience or wallet size, Barnett has you covered!
State Regulations / Legality
Before you start going down the rabbit hole of which brand and model crossbow you'd like to purchase, make sure you know your state's rules and regulations for crossbow hunting. The use of a crossbow change drastically by state, and it's important to realize what options are available. For the most up to date knowledge, check out this map provide by Best Crossbow Source on each state's crossbow rules and regulations.
Overall Size, Weight, & Speed
As pointed out above, Barnett offers a variety of models that range in different sizes, weights, and speeds. Not all hunters pursue game in the same manner - some prefer to spot and stalk, while others utilize a compact set-up in a treestand or blind. It's important to take a second and think about your conditions in the field and what model best suites your style. While Barnett provides a lot of different price points, crossbows are a hefty purchase and one that needs to be evaluated seriously. If you're still uncertain, take some time and reach out with any questions – we’ll see if we can help you out whether it be on your decision or the price.
For the review of the Best TenPoint Crossbows we have that too!