Your Next Rifle Should Be a Crossbow

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A good rifle can consistently punch holes in a 3-inch bullseye at 100 yards. Until now, that kind of accuracy was unheard of in a crossbow. With the advent of Ravin‘s patented HeliCoil technology, bolts are now matching bullets with lethal downrange accuracy.

Hunters and shooters are raving about Ravin’s accuracy. After zeroing in the scope that comes with every Ravin crossbow, shooters are consistently producing 3-inch groups at the length of a football field. What’s even more impressive is all that performance comes from a crossbow that measures just six inches from axle to axle when fully drawn.

Helicoil is a bold departure from traditional crossbow design. In addition to delivering dead-straight nock travel, Ravin bows have zero rail friction that otherwise robs a bolt of its speed and accuracy. As a result, a Ravin R15 crossbow can generate scorching bolt speeds of 425 feet per second.

The R15’s ambidextrous Versa-Draw handle makes drawing fast and easy too, requiring only 12 pounds of force. And it conveniently stows away in the integrated quiver when not in use.

So if you haven’t shot a Ravin crossbow, you don’t know how fun and accurate a crossbow can be. See all the technology that goes into the most advanced crossbows at


  1. avatar BLoving says:

    Y’all know why the racks at pawn shops almost always have a selection of crossbows available?
    Because the world is full of noobs who look at them and say to themselves,”it looks like a rifle! It must be just as easy to use as one!”
    No. It is archery. However fancy and newfangled you make it, its still an arrow – not a bullet.
    And the noobs mistake is your opportunity to buy a slightly used crossbow for cheap.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Not sure if I have the video I took at SHOT Show still, but I visited the Ravin booth on range day and practically stacked two arrows on top of each other at 100 yards. They had it scoped and the trigger was like a really nice bolt action rifle trigger.

  2. avatar JohnnyIShootStuff says:

    While I agree that crossbows are fun and accurate, a compound bow is faster and just as accurate as well as being much cheaper. Which is why I am a compound bow shooter and gave up on crossbows and cocking straps and/or cocking cranks.

    1. avatar RidgeRunner says:

      Same here. Not really sure on the faster and cheaper, though. Just very unwieldy in a tree. Crossbows are for people who can’t handle a compound bow (or recurve, respect).

    2. avatar anaxis says:

      I’d love to use a regular bow, but a lot of us who use crossbows also have various physical (or environmental) limitations that make compound bows uncomfortable/impractical.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:


        Yeah, that was what finally drove me to a crossbow. I am far from geriatric and I have no diagnosed injuries and yet my support shoulder could no longer handle the stress of operating my compound bow. So I switched to a crossbow and have never looked back.

        It would be nice to have the option to shoot either.

      2. avatar RidgeRunner says:

        Understood, and just as I said. I’m sure there will come a time when my torn rotator will rear its head again and I will appreciate a streamlined, accurate, powerful crossbow.

    3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      There are compound bows that launch arrows at 400+ fps? That is news to me.

      I think the main advantage of a crossbow over a compound bow is when you are hunting deer from the ground without a blind … where your odds of being able to draw a compound bow without spooking a deer are pretty low. In that scenario having the crossbow already cocked means all you have to do is ever so slightly adjust your aim and let the bolt fly … something that should not spook a deer if you have otherwise been motionless upon the deer’s approach.

      Disclaimer: above assumes that you are hunting a game trail where deer will walk in front of you and your crossbow is propped up on a “shooting stick” — enabling you to be motionless well before the deer can “make” you.

      1. avatar JohnnyIShootStuff says:

        “There are compound bows that launch arrows at 400+ fps”


    4. avatar Accur81 says:

      Which compound bow do you have that is faster than a Scorpyd RDT 165, Barnett Ghost 415, or this one? Which compound bow are you using that gets 3″ groups at 100 yards?

      I’d really like to buy one. My Barnett Ghost 410 is faster and more accurate than any compound bow I’ve ever owned or shot.

  3. avatar jwtaylor says:

    “A good rifle can consistently punch holes in a 3-inch bullseye at 300 yards.”

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:


    2. avatar ORCON says:

      The x-ring on a 600 yard F-Class target is 3″. Just sayin’.

  4. avatar anaxis says:

    My wife & I both have Parker crossbows. They each cost as much as an AK, and are nearly as burly, and accurate enough to be sure of a humane kill at bow ranges. Besides, where I hunt clear sightlines here rarely longer than 50yd.

    These Ravin crossbows are super cool, and I’d rather have one of them instead of a $2500 TenPoint… but a lot of high-end crossbows make me nervous due to their complexity (which often & easily translates to fragility). I understand the design’s advantages, except I don’t see them as dedicated tools…. more like expensive range/camp queens.

  5. avatar Jay says:

    I’m surprised that this company was able to register “Helicoil” as a trademark, as near as I can tell, the Heli-Coil Corporation is still in business and still using this trademark as well.

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      I came to say just that.

    2. avatar Serpent Vision says:

      Different international classes and unrelated products, so no likelihood of confusion. Much as Dove soap and Dove chocolate co-exist.

      1. avatar Joel says:

        No wonder the chocolate I had the other day tasted and looked so funny! ?

    3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Because Helicoil is a totally different application than Heli-Coil?

    4. avatar Somebody says:

      I believe the fastener inserts are properly Heli-Coil, with a dash, rather than a single word.

  6. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Uh oh. I see a problem coming up. These things are just as accurate as firearms and even more silent than firearms with “silencers” … and anyone can buy them without a background check. How long before thousands of assassins are running around silently silencing their political enemies with bolts and broadheads?!?!?!? We need a law immediately which requires background checks and ATF tax stamps for ALL crossbow purchases!


    1. avatar Somebody says:

      Well, NJ requires background checks for crossbows, so they have already thought of that.

      1. Wow, I did not know that, but as a denizen of New Jersey myself, I’m not surprised.
        It must be a new law, and it would explain why crossbows suddenly disappeared from the shelves of our local Dick’s Sporting Goods store around the same time that the “evil black rifle” disappeared from Dick’s Sporting Goods, after the Sandy Hook shooting. I’m not surprised, because New Jersey locked up a history teacher for possessing a 17th-century Queen Anne’s flintlock (for fear of drive-by flintlock shootings?) so I guess New Jersey is scared of drive-by crossbow shootings too! Our NJ legislators have nothing better to do than to constantly think up new laws for disarming law-abiding citizens. You don’t see too many street gangs killing people with crossbows, flintlocks, BB guns, or Taser stun guns, and yet those are the “weapons” that NJ legislators enjoy banning.

      2. avatar GS650G says:

        NJ considers sling shots firearms. Large clubs require background check and permit. You can still say “fuck you” at least.

    2. avatar guidoc says:

      Bows of all types should be required to be manufactured to activate a blank .12 gauge shell upon release of the bolt or arrow. This will let everyone know you are in the area, scare the game and require hearing protection.

      1. Be careful what you say, because hoplophobes (anti-gun people) have no sense of sarcasm or irony.
        They’ll take this as a serious suggestion!

    3. avatar Aaron says:

      quick liberals, don’t just stand there, BAN SOMETHING!

    4. Be careful what you say, because hoplophobes (anti-gun people) have no sense of sarcasm or irony.
      They’ll take this as a serious suggestion!

    5. avatar Adamanter says:

      it’s the dreaded assault crossbows that are most worrisome, they’re nearly as hazardous as the assault-lawmakers who are constantly and sadistically maiming common sense

  7. avatar former water walker says:

    Its on my radar for SHTF/apocalypse?

  8. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    By the way, as I understand it, a well designed/built crossbow shooting high-quality bolts is inherently more accurate than any firearm shooting any bullet.

    1. avatar Cloudbuster says:


    2. avatar Accur81 says:


    3. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “…as I understand it, a well designed/built crossbow shooting high-quality bolts is inherently more accurate than any firearm shooting any bullet.”

      More accurate than bench-rest firearms?

      That strains credibility in general. Got any links that back that up?

  9. avatar DrewN says:

    Well, I hunt to fill the freezer, not for sport, so I’ll stick with my rifles. If I want to enjoy the great outdoors I’ll do so without the need to stalk,shoot, dress, haul, butcher and package an animal. I cut plenty of meat at work, I’ll skip it on my time off.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Even with a rifle, you still need to “shoot, dress, haul, butcher and package an animal.” You might even need to stalk an animal. What am I missing?

      1. avatar DrewN says:

        Eh, i just go up to the cabin, get up early, shoot the first buck I see from the front porch, drive the mule with the A-frame over and dress it. Then i drive into the shed and finish processing. Usually done well before lunch.

    2. avatar Chad says:

      The appeal of crossbows to me is our archery season is 3 months compared to 10 days for rifle… I have a compound, but just don’t find enough time to practice, thus I’m looking for a crossbow.

      1. avatar DrewN says:

        That’s a very valid reason.

      2. avatar Quasimofo says:

        Same here (SE PA). Long archery season, and firearms season is typically a sh*tshow and after 2 days the deer have hightailed it to the burbs. I have little time to get proficient with a bow (I barely have time to get into the woods), so an xbow is the best option for me.

  10. avatar BDub says:

    How does it compare to their R9?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      I’d like to know how it can stay accurate with the scope dangling on a 6-inch unsupported ‘boom’.

      It seems to me one small bump on the scope will kill its zero real quick.

      (I don’t know about that particular one, but I’ve considered a X-bow could prove very handy to have around if the grabbers start grabbin’…)

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        A lot of crossbows have that design. Many also come with worthless Chinese scopes. I don’t think its very durable, either. I haven’t banged mine much, so I couldn’t say.

  11. avatar William says:

    I found shooting and hunting with a crossbow that it is its own thing, neither fish nor fowl. Shooting one does not feel like shooting a rifle and does not replicate a rifle capabilities. Nor is it like shooting a compound bow even if the projectile behaves similarly to an arrow fired from a bow.

    It is its own thing with its own long tradition behind it, and I recommend that shooter give it a try because it is ton-o-fun.

  12. avatar Quasimofo says:

    If you’re taking an xbow shot on a deer that’s ~100 yards away, you’re probably doing it wrong. That’s the kind of talk that gets the Pope & Young fogeys all worked up about xbows.

  13. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    3 inch groups at 100 yards. Ok, that’s 1/3 as accurate as a decent rifle. But what about windage? How do those bolts hold up in a 10 mph crosswind?

    I have no use for one of those things but I still want one. Just because.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      How does it hold up to a 10 mph crosswind at 100 yards? Not very well. Probably 6-10″ of drift or more. A bolt starting at a (fast for any arrow 375-425 FPS) takes roughly a full second of flight to cross 300 feet. The ballistic coefficient of a crossbow bolt isnt great. I figure an effective range in the field of about 50-60 yards on deer for my Ghost 410 and 22″ Easton Headhunter bolts.

  14. avatar Dutch says:

    The Ravin got a C+ review over at crossbowtestlabs . It looks cool but there are some better options and a compound bow is almost always going to be quieter than a crossbow.

  15. avatar Adamanter says:

    This sounds like an intriguing device but one line in particular stood out to me as suggesting that TTAG, whose journalism I generally respect highly, went a bit too far in swallowing and regurgitating advertising puffery:
    “Ravin bows have zero rail friction that otherwise robs a bolt of its speed and accuracy.” Having now entirely vanquished friction, I expect that Ravin will soon be solving our energy worries with a perpetual motion machine.

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      Nice to see I’m not alone in catching that!

      Though my thought was that if they’ve done away with friction, they could make a killing in bearings.

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