Barnett Quad AVI Crossbow By: Jason Balazs
If you have ever watched some of the old classic movies like Robin Hood or read stories about Knights rescuing the damsel in distress from the angry dragon, then you are familiar with the use of crossbows. Crossbows were developed in the second half of the fourth century BC as a form of weapon to use in warfare. This not only allowed the skilled archery to send an arrow farther, but deliver more kinetic energy to penetrate the armor of their enemy, something that was not possible with a stick bow at longer yardages. Well times sure have changed since we used crossbows in combat. Well, I guess not that much if you want to count the endless Rambo movies where he uses one. However, the design of how the crossbow has changed is very drastic.
Recently I was sent the Barnett Quad AVI crossbow to evaluate. I have shot crossbows in the past and am very familiar with them. The only thing different this time was I had to assemble it when it arrived. Needless to say, I was a little apprehensive about making sure I had it together correctly. This is one time that I read the whole manufactures manual before I even got started. Needless to say, my fears were not warranted. The folks at Barnett ensure that it is as easy as putting together a infants set of building blocks. Their step-by-step instructions include visualizations for you to see what they are expressing.
Upon opening the box that I received I had to take note of how precise everything was packed. There was a place for everything and in now way did any parts touch each other. This was an obvious plus for me, since the way something is packed tells a lot about a company and the products that they sell.
The first thing that I did was to take out the instruction manual and check the parts list against the items inside. This was almost not necessary because Barnett has a check off sheet taped right inside the box from the person who packed it. That is some great quality control there.
Once I had all the items out of the box I began to put together the crossbow. I videotaped the whole evaluation so, you, the reader would be able to watch it as well. There are two major parts to this crossbow, the limbs and the stock. If you notice there is a female connector point in the middle of the limbs. Now if you look at the stock, you will see a male end or nub at the distal or forward end of it. These two things line up to ensure that the limbs are centered on the stock for perfect string travel down the crossbow. To assemble them together first lubricate the string and cables of the bow with bow string wax. Barnett provides their own wax that comes in a handy Chap Stick type container. This wax allows you to roll it out and apply it, then roll it back in and put the lid on. Once that is done, you need to take the cables and slide them into the slit that is on the stock, then push the stock into the bow portion. Once everything is lined up, all you have to do is move the rubber coated foot stirrup away from the stock, set the limbs directly on the deck with the stock in the air, and push until it is seated firmly. Next thing is to install the main bolt that holds the limbs to the stock. There is a lock washer on the bolt and Barnett has even included the Allen wrench for this. Once that is tightened, move the foot stirrup into position and carefully insert the two plastic washers between the stock and the foot stirrup, then insert and tighten the screw. The plastic washers prevent you from crimping the stirrup and take some shock out of the bow when fired.
Once the bow is assembled, then only thing left to do before firing is attaching the sighting system. There are numerous choices that you can use for sighting systems on your cross bow, from open sights to red dot scopes. With this package, I was sent Barnett’s own 4X32X multi reticle crossbow scope. There are numerous crosshairs in the scope that allow you to hold for distance. I can compare it to the scope that everyone has seen on the Outdoor Channel for the new muzzleloaders. There is one Y-axis line (Up and down), with five X-axis lines (horizontal) for you to use for aiming. As far as mounting, there is a cantilever scope-mounting rail that is attached to the stock. This rail allows you to attach your scope rings that are already installed on the scope. Once again, Barnett has even included the tools for that too. The mount is set perfect for distance from cheek to eye and long enough for you to set the perfect eye relief. Once you have the mounts tightened the bow is ready to shoot.
First thing first is the importance of safety here. The Quad AVI is set with a safety just like a rifle. It is on the right side of the bow and says SAFETY on or off. It is very simple; you push it forward when you are ready to fire and back for it to be safe. Even if you can’t read the words it is marked in red and green. Red=dead and Green=good. Not wanting to insult anyone’s intelligence there, but on average, 20,000 people are shot accidentally by people who thought their weapons were on safe. During any of the weapon training in the Marine Corps, you live and breathe all of the rules of handling every type of weapon. First rule: Treat every weapon as if it was loaded. Second rule: Never point a weapon at anything you don’t intend to shoot. One of the most important rules is: Keep the weapon on safe until you are ready to fire. Ok, now that I am off my safety soapbox, lets get to the range with this awesome weapon.
First thing we will cover will be the cocking of this bow. All you have to do is place the foot stirrup down on the ground, place your foot inside of it, grab the bowstring on both sides of the rail and pull it back. What you are doing is pulling the string until you hear it click in place behind the firing mechanism. This sounds almost like a .38 special cocking and makes a, “click, click” sound. There is no need to put the arrow on yet, because you are just cocking the bow. If you are unable to cock the bow, Barnett has accessories that will help you. For instance, the side plates on the back of the Quad 400 AVI come off to reveal a hole through the stock that accepts a cranking device. There is also a rope-cocking device that takes the strain off of your fingers. To tell you the truth, pulling this 150lb bow back was really not that hard, yet if you had a disability these accessories would be great for you.
Now as far as loading goes, you need to get the bolt/arrow and place the cock vane down. Slide the arrow until it can no longer go back anymore. Once it is loaded, you are ready to fire. Remember, take the weapon off safe or you will be pulling the trigger all day with zero reaction from the bow. You might have some reaction, but the bow will not. Anyway, while having the crosshairs lined up on your target, squeeze the trigger slowly. Once you are through the slack part of the trigger the weapon will fire (Slack meaning, no tension felt at all). I have to admit (You won’t see this in the video on my site), but the first shot really surprised me, but once I got used to the trigger pull, I would hate to be a “Target” downrange of me. After sighting in the bow at 15 yards, I was ready for the speed test. Barnett had sent me a 425.5-grain arrow to use for the test, so I double-checked this weight on my scale and it was dead on. After shooting the crossbow through my Chronograph 10 times, the average speed was 338fps with the speed test arrow that was sent. One thing I must mention, the bow had so much kinetic energy, that it sent the bolt through my Cube target on just about every shot. There was some noise associated with the shot, but I had to think that 150 lbs of power behind these limbs has to release the energy somewhere. However, Barnett has dipped their limbs in a rubber coating as well as their foot stirrup to absorb as much shot as possible. When I was at the SHOT show in Las Vegas last February, I saw this coating on the numerous crossbows that Barnett has to offer. I stated to David Barnett that regular bow companies should adopt his concept. I am sure that sooner or later we are going to see this in our parallel limbs in the battle for zero noise and vibration. David, you sure have something that is awesome here!!
Overall, I am very impressed with the construction, design, and performance of the Quad AVI. If you have ever shot a rifle with a thumbhole stock can appreciate the ease and smoothness of trigger pull and shootability of that weapon. Well the Quad AVI is no different than shooting that same firearm. The weapon is perfectly balanced and feels natural in your hands with all the safety standards to allow you to be in control. Being a Military trained marksman myself, I want a quality weapon and a predictable trigger. Barnett has ensured their triggers are match grade, witch allows you to shoot with confidence. Believe me, when you need the shot to count, you don’t want your equipment failing you. My father is a retired Marine Scout Sniper from the Viet Nam war and he has always dreamed of having a crossbow for hunting. However, since he has severe nerve damage in his right shoulder from all the marches (called humps) from over the years, he cannot pull a bow back, which has kept him from bowhunting. He has always expressed how much he would like to have a crossbow. Well, with the aid of one of the accessories from Barnett, I am going to make that dream happen. I have decided to give my Father this crossbow for his birthday. This way, he can be out in the great outdoors once again chasing that passion that lives down in every one of us.
To learn more about Barnett crossbows, visit http://www.barnettcrossbows.com
Watch the whole review here: