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COVID-19 crippled lots of things last year, but it didn’t stop crossbow manufacturers from engineering a litany of new horizontal tack drivers. The fascinating world of crossbows continues to evolve as bows are designed to hit radar-busting speeds and produce jaw-dropping accuracy. As in years past, there are budget bows and flagship models, and most come outfitted as a field-ready package. Whether you’re a veteran crossbow hunter or a newcomer to the world of horizontal bows, give these new products a serious once over. I have no doubt you’ll find something of interest. And watch for our complete vertical bow and crossbow tests coming in a couple of months.

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Excalibur TwinStrike

Excalibur TwinStrike
Excalibur TwinStrike Excalibur

A first of its kind and a massive leap in horizontal-bow technology, this 358-pound draw-weight crossbow is the Over/Under Rail System, which holds a pair of bolts that shoot through the riser for increased accuracy. With the TwinStrike, a follow-up shot is always at the ready. The DualFire two-trigger platform gives the shooter a pair of ultra-smooth 4-pound, frictionless triggers. The front trigger fires the top rail, and the back trigger fires the bottom rail. CeaseFire Technology boosts safety by ensuring the crossbow will not fire unless a bolt is loaded, and this technology works in concert with Excalibur’s new Rhino Nock to give shooters a positive, audible click to indicate a bolt is properly seated. The TwinStrike has a fighting weight of 7.75 pounds, hits speeds up to 360 fps and has an overall length of 33.4 inches. The crossbow is sold with an impressive package that includes Excalibur’s new Overwatch Illuminated Scope, Rebolt 4-Arrow Quiver, and plenty of other accessories. ($2,222.22; excaliburcrossbow.com)

TenPoint Havoc RS440 XERO

TenPoint Havoc RS440 XERO
TenPoint Havoc RS440 XERO TenPoint

A long-range crossbow topped with Garmin’s new-for-2021 Xero X1i Rangefinding Scope, TenPoint’s latest horizontal incarnation is sure to be coveted by the masses. The Havoc RS440 XERO is capable of speeds up to 440 fps. Topped with a 3.5x magnification auto-ranging scope that instantly delivers ranges on game up to 250 yards away and reflective targets up to 500 yards away, precision won’t be a problem. Precise illuminated aim points in the reticle automatically adjust for both distance and brightness, and custom bolt profiles can be created. Of course, the Havoc RS440 features legendary TenPoint innovations like the ACUslide cocking and de-cocking system, but new features grace the bow as well. The two-piece Tec-Tactical stock ensures a custom fit, and a built-in range button has been added to the pistol grip so shooters can get an accurate range without ever removing their hand from the grip. The stock sports a tactical-style butt stock as well as an elevated cheek piece to ensure perfect eye-level alignment. The bow’s 16-inch Micro-Trac fluted aluminum barrel reportedly reduces flight deck surface by 50 percent, which boosts accuracy and increases string life. The Havoc RS440 XERO measures 26.5 inches long, is a mere 7.5 inches wide, and is fitted with a smooth two-stage S1 trigger. ($3,600; tenpointcrossbows.com)

TenPoint Siege RS410

TenPoint Siege RS410
TenPoint Siege RS410 TenPoint

TenPoint’s Siege RS410 offers a lot of bang for your buck. A reverse-draw crossbow that delivers lung-punching 410-fps speed, the Siege measures just 26.5 inches long and 7.5 inches wide. Compact and comfortable, the crossbow features TenPoint’s ACUslide cocking and de-cocking system. Like the Havoc RS440 XERO, the Siege’s fluted aluminum barrel reduces flight-deck surface, which boosts both accuracy and string life. The tactical-style butt stock’s plate extends 1 inch (in 1/2-inch increments) to provide shooters a tailored fit and feel. The RX7-Cam system rotates a full 360 degrees to help the crossbow hit maximum speeds. The Vector-Quad cable technology, which uses four cables rather than two, eliminates cam lean and generates straight nock travel. This crossbow comes in an impressive package that includes TenPoint’s RangeMaster Pro Variable Speed Scope plenty of other amenities. ($1,700-$1,800; tenpointcrossbows.com)

Ravin R18

Ravin R18
Ravin R18 Ravin

Ravin continues to impress. For 2021, the manufacturer offers the industry’s first-ever take-down crossbow. Dubbed the R18, this horizontal slice of heaven utilizes Ravin’s new VertiCoil Cam System to give crossbow goers a bow that delivers maximum power in a rig that’s super small. Measuring 4.1-inches wide (uncocked) and only 18-inches long, this rig was made for the woods. The ultra-small cams rotate 720 degrees, wrapping the crossbow string and cables around the cam and cam axle. This results in a 1.3-inch axle-to-axle measurement when cocked. Impressive. The limbs on Ravin’s shiny new penny expand vertically rather than horizontally, and the crossbow has a weight rating of just 6 pounds. The stock is detachable and has an integrated quiver system. Cocking effort is nil via the built-in cocking mechanism. The R18 comes with a plethora of accessory items and will be available in the Spring of 2021. ($1,549.99; ravincrossbows.com)

Barnett HyperTac Pro 430

Barnett HyperTac Pro 430
Barnett HyperTac Pro 430 Barnett

Barnett’s shiny new penny, the HyperTac Pro 430, is a compact horizontal wonder designed with shooter comfort in mind. Every touchpoint on the crossbow is fully customizable. Shooters will love the flip-down Verti-Grip as well as the micro-adjustable butt stock and cheek piece. Designed to be ultra-maneuverable, this 8.9-pound crossbow measures 9.5-inches between the axles when cocked and hits a top speed of, you guessed it, 430 fps. The bow’s blend of a traditional frontend and narrow backend provide second-to-none balance. This balance along with multiple shooter customization points leads to exceptional downrange accuracy. Promising undeniable smoothness is the 3-pound, zero-creep TriggerTech trigger. Frictionless Release Technology creates a free-floating roller between the sear and trigger, which allows the shooter to execute each shot at a heightened level. The bow’s forend is a pass-through style with a multi-position pistol grip. Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) and nock sensors increase safety and boost peace of mind. This 14.25-inch power stroke shooter comes with a 1.5-5×32 red/green illuminated speed compensating scope, multi-position quiver and pre-installed string dampeners. The crossbow comes fully assembled and is ready-to-hunt right out of the box. ($800; barnettcrossbows.com)

Read Next: Our Picks for the Best New Bows and Crossbows of 2020

PSE Coalition Frontier

PSE Coalition Frontier
PSE Coalition Frontier PSE Archery

Capable of speeds between 370 and 380 fps, PSE’s new Coalition Frontier is branded with a draw weight of 190 pounds and has an overall length of 33.625 inches. Producing enough kinetic energy to push a bolt through any heavy-boned critter on the planet, this 6.9-pound crossbow comes topped with a V4x32 illuminated reticle scope, dual string stops, a 5-bolt quiver, three 20-inch carbon bolts and a cocking rope. Other standard features include limb dampers, a sturdy foot stirrup, anti-dry fire, and an auto-safety trigger. ($300; psearchery.com)

Wicked Ridge Blackhawk 360

Wicked Ridge Blackhawk 360
Wicked Ridge Blackhawk 360 Wicked Ridge

Priced to please and made in the USA, Wicked Ridge’s Blackhawk 360 is a head spinner. Sold as a package that includes an impressive pile of accessory items, this simple-to-assemble crossbow gets shooters into the field quickly, and without having to crack open a bottle of Ibuprofen to fight assembly headaches. Measuring 35-inches long and weighing just 6 pounds, the Blackhawk 360 sends bolts downrange at 360 fps and features a fully integrated foregrip fitted with elongated safety wings to ensure the shooter’s hand stays below the path of the speeding bowstring. A picatinny rail has been included on the underside of the barrel for mounting additional accessories, and the stock sports TenPoint’s coveted DFI (Dry-Fire-Inhibitor). The trigger promises a rifle-like 3-pound pull and draw weight is 175 pounds. The bow’s 11-inch WRX laminated limbs melt into the machined-aluminum limb pockets and the 5S Cams ensure precision. $400; wickedridgecrossbows.com

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Wicked Ridge NXT 400

Wicked Ridge NXT 400
Wicked Ridge NXT 400 Wicked Ridge

Measuring just 6-inches wide when cocked and delivering speeds up to 400 fps, the NXT 400 from Wicked Ridge was designed for accuracy and extreme maneuverability. Fueled by XR6-Cams and sporting Vector-Quad cable technology, the NXT allows for maximum cam rotation, which springs the 200-pound Dual Flex limbs into action. At 7.4 pounds, this horizontal shooter is equipped with the ACUdraw crank-cocking device, which means any shooter can cock the bow with minimal effort, and since the assembly is mounted to a lightweight 21.5-inch machined-aluminum barrel, noise and vibration have been reduced. The auto-engaging 3.5-pound trigger is as crisp as they come, and a weaver-style dovetail with a nylon-filament arrow retention brush improves bolt grip and alignment, which leads to increased downrange accuracy. ($1,099; wickedridgecrossbows.com)

CenterPoint Wrath 430

CenterPoint Wrath 430
CenterPoint Wrath 430 CenterPoint

A sleek 9-inches axle-to-axle when cocked, and hitting speeds up to 430 fps, CenterPoint’s Wrath 430 will create plenty of interest among the crossbow crowd. Available with or without a Silent Cranking Device, this bullpup-style crossbow measures a shade under 29 inches long and boasts an ultra-slim look, which makes it ideal for tight treestands and ground blinds. Tipping the scale just over the 8-pound mark, CenterPoint engineers added a ball-bearing retention spring to ensure smooth operation and no-hassle arrow retention. The Wrath 430 comes fitted with an integrated folding stirrup that doubles as a bipod, 4×32 illuminated crossbow scope, quiver and three CenterPoint bolts. ($650-$700; centerpointarchery.com

Bear Archery Impact

Bear Archery Impact
Bear Archery Impact Bear Archery

Ready to tackle any terrain and suited to fit any style of hunting, Bear’s 8.125-inch wide-when-cocked Impact pushes the fps meter to 420 and has a draw weight of 180 pounds. Fitted with a detachable, silent-cocking crank, cocking effort is practically nil and shooters can use the device to safely de-cock the bow as well. Available in a ready-to-hunt package that includes three Bear X True bolts, illuminated scope, 4-arrow quiver, wax and rail lube, the Impact comes cloaked in TrueTimber Strata and Veil Stoke camo options. ($1,050; beararchery.com)

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