In the world of archery, the crossbow is an age-old weapon that has undergone significant innovations over time. Today’s market is saturated with various options that promise features ranging from advanced aiming technology to lightweight builds. But when it comes to finding a crossbow that balances performance, affordability, and ease of use, look no further than the Barnett Recruit XP. In this review, we’ll delve into why this particular model should be at the top of your list if you’re a first-time buyer in the market for a new crossbow.
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Build and Design
Upon unboxing the Barnett Recruit XP, the first thing you’ll notice is its robust yet lightweight construction. With a weight of just around 6.4 pounds, it is among the lightest crossbows available in its class. The lightweight design ensures that you can carry it through long hunting trips without feeling weighed down and fulfills its mission to be a great starter crossbow for someone new getting into the sport. Don’t be fooled by its lightness, though; this crossbow is built with high-quality materials that provide durability and longevity, yet still packs a punch.
Assembling this crossbow was quick and easy, with one single bolt to attach the limbs to the front of the frame, and 2 screws to fasten the quiver underneath the frame. I detached and re-mounted the included 30mm, 3-Dot/2 color illuminated optic to adjust for eye relief and ensure fasteners were tightened securely to approx. 25 inch-pounds. The included string lube rounded out the assembly and we were ready to hit the range.
The compact design, with an axle-to-axle width of a bit over 16 inches when cocked, makes it extremely maneuverable, perfect for hunting in tight spaces. It will be great in a ground blind or in a treestand where the compact design will be appreciated. Its sleek, black finish not only adds an aesthetic appeal but also serves a functional purpose by reducing glare, making you less detectable while hunting.
The trigger is surprisingly light and crisp, with Barnett’s TRIGGERTECH trigger. It breaks cleanly at about 3 pounds and has zero creep. This makes it easy to be consistent with your shooting. This trigger is used on their much more expensive crossbows and is a bonus on this more affordable model.
The Barnett Recruit XP boasts an impressive shooting speed of up to 330 feet per second (FPS). It allows for quick and precise shots, ensuring that you never miss your target. The kinetic energy generated is 92 ft-lbs., providing enough power for a clean, ethical kill on even large game animals.
Aiming the crossbow is clear with the illuminated 3-Dot optic. There is no magnification, but at this very affordable price point, this is a reasonable accommodation. The optic has a ballistic reticle that is capable of good groups at 20/30/40 yards and allows you to focus on targets at varying distances with ease. I did not shoot beyond 40 yards while testing this crossbow.
Safety and Ease of Use
Safety is a paramount concern when it comes to crossbows, and the Barnett Recruit XP scores high in this regard. The Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) mechanism prevents the bow from firing without an arrow in place, thus reducing the risk of accidental misfires. The finger safety reminders underneath the pass-through foregrip also ensure that you position your hands correctly, minimizing the chance of injury.
The draw weight of the Recruit XP is listed at 125 pounds. This is by far the easiest drawing crossbow that we have ever tested. It is clearly made for those who are very young and just getting into crossbow shooting and may be worried about their ability to cock the crossbow, or for those with physical challenges that need a lightweight draw to be successful. It still delivers on the performance end with 330 FPS speed and plenty of knock-down power. One other valuable feature is the ROPE-HOLD cocking device assistance. This is a clever design to hold the coking rope in the groove, and also ensures the rope won’t slip out of the cocking groove while the crossbow is being drawn.
As for ease of use, the Recruit XP comes with an adjustable buttstock, allowing you to customize the fit based on your size and comfort preferences. The crossbow is also ready to hunt right out of the box, supplied with a quiver, 2 arrows, lube wax, a cocking rope, and with minimal assembly required. You will need to select a 100 grain broadhead. These are some of our recommendations.
If you are a beginner keen to delve into the world of crossbow shooting and hunting, the Barnett Recruit XP is versatile enough to meet your needs. Its adjustable features and user-friendly design make it suitable for hunters of all ages, physical abilities, and skill levels. Moreover, its performance metrics are strong enough to make it a viable option for both small and big game hunting.
Price Point and Warranty – Retail Price $269.99
One of the most compelling reasons to go for the Barnett Recruit XP is its affordability. This model offers exceptional value at a considerably lower price point. The bang-for-your-buck ratio is genuinely remarkable, especially considering the advanced features and performance capabilities it offers.
To top it all off, Barnett provides a limited 5-year warranty on the Recruit XP, ensuring you’re covered if any manufacturer defects arise.
The Barnett Recruit XP crossbow delivers on multiple fronts — it’s lightweight yet durable, powerful yet precise, and versatile yet affordable. With its strong feature package and reliable performance, it’s an all-round winner that will serve both novices and seasoned hunters exceptionally well.
Additional Specs and Notables
|Feet Per Second [fps] @380gr||330|
|Kinetic Energy [KE]||92|
|Draw Weight [lbs]||130|
|Power Stroke [in]||13.6|
|Overall Weight [lbs]||6.0|
|Cocked Axle To Axle [in]||13.1|
|Overall Length [in]||35 1/2 – 38|