Any experienced hunter knows speed kills. Whether it’s a centerfire rifle or bow and arrow, faster projectiles equal flatter trajectory, less guesswork and more ethical results afield. With more generous equipment regulations nationwide, crossbows have taken a larger share of the archery market over the past decade.
In Michigan, legislators enacted an inane “speed limit” on hunting crossbows at a maximum of 350 feet per second (fps), when they were first legalized for the general public. This shortsighted decision was eventually overturned and the speed limit was lifted. Since then, manufacturers have engaged in a race to pace the field and some remarkable innovations have come about. What follows are some of the latest inventions to hit the market.
— TenPoint Crossbow Technologies launched the Viper S400 at the 2020 ATA Show in Indianapolis, Indiana. TenPoint’s shortest forward-draw crossbow ever, the Viper S400 measures just 32-inches in length yet delivers speeds up to 400 fps and features the revolutionary ACUslide™ cocking and de-cocking system. The super-compact crossbow measures an ultra-narrow 7.2-inches wide and weighs an incredible half-pound less than previous TenPoint flagship models.
— TenPoint has launched the Vengent S440 — the fastest and narrowest forward-draw (or, reverse limb) crossbow ever delivering lightning speeds up to 440 fps measuring a scant 5.8-inches wide.
n Also. from TenPoint is the Vapor RS470 delivering supercharged speeds up to 470 FPS and featuring the new revolutionary ACUslide™ cocking and de-cocking system - the first safe option to de-cock a crossbow with a crank.
n Barnett’s all-new Hyperflite EVO 420™ features an entirely new and unique riser-mounted cam design that creates increased limb action and whip while reducing recoil and vibration making for longer-lasting cables and more speed.
The aluminum HyperFlite track reduces arrow contact to just the tip and nock while the shaft of the arrow floats above the track; as a result, the HyperFlite EVO 420 delivers best-in-class downrange accuracy. Pairing the HyperFlite EVO 420 with Barnett’s exclusive .204 small-diameter HyperFlite arrows makes for a deadly, accurate combination of blistering 420 fps speed and up to 25 percent greater penetration.
— From Frankenmuth, comes the Killer Instinct®, SPEED™ 425 producing an unstoppable amount of energy at 425fps. This electrifying speed is controlled with sniper precision from the Killer Instinct LUMIX™ Speed Ring Scope, which instantly matches the 20-100-yard reticle to be sighted in and provide HD clarity in low light conditions.
— Also from Frankenmuth is the SWAT™ XP. Years of research, design and testing have resulted in an ultra-compact 27-inch crossbow shooting 415 FPS and cocks down to 9-inches wide.
If you are in the market for the latest and greatest, check out these screamers and more at www.thinkingafield.org. Where it all ends is anyone’s guess but it’s safe to say the trend for speed will continue.