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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok so the DNR apparently agrees that at 46 I'm old and decrepit enough for a handicapped crossbow permit. :sad: (I have a rotator cuff tear and some tennis elbow and bursitis issues, plus degenerating cervical discs.) So now I have to shop for a crossbow, among all the other stuff we need to be spending money on around here! I mostly deer hunt and turkey hunt so that is what it would be used for.

I stopped at Cabelas the other day and tried a couple different models. We were in a hurry so I didnt pay attention to models, but just wanted to get off a shot on a couple different types. One was an Excalibur, one was a reverse limb model, one was a regular compound Ten Point. This also gave me an idea of the difference between the Ten Point accudraw crank and the rope cockers.

One of the ones that he picked for me to try, for some reason he picked on with a 200lb draw weight. Plus it seemed a bit long for me (I'm 5 ft 6 in). I ALMOST was able to get it cocked but not quite. If it had been a little lighter draw weight I probably could have. So I'm thinking I would rather have something with a lower draw weight. Having been an archer (and obviously lower KE) since 2001, I'm not too concerned about having a super fast Xbow. Accuracy, light weight, and ease of draw would be a main factor. I hate to think of having to do a lot of mucking around in the dark in a tree stand. And I'm not getting younger. A quieter shot would be a plus. I also hate the fact that you have to shoot them to unload. :-\ But apparently there isn't any getting around that. Unless I shell out $1000 for a Parker Concorde which is super heavy, and isn't going to likely work in cold weather anyway.

I am thinking of the Parker Ambusher or Challenger models, or the Excalibur Vixen II. I'm just wondering if anyone has any ideas, pros/cons on these models.

I have had two Parkers and loved them. I started with the old vertical 2000 Challenger, my daughter also had a great little Challenger when they updated it a few years later before they discontinued it and it worked great for her. (she gave up hunting though so... :-/ ) I then upgraded to a Parker inferno in 2012 and I love it still. It allows me to go up to 54lbs and shot darts for me and did great even with fixed blade broadheads. So I am leaning toward Parker again. Others have told me they prefer recurve because there's less to go wrong. The one thing that gives me pause is that I have always used a single cam bow. I once tried a bow tech binary cam system and I could never get it tuned with fixed blade heads and I do not want to use mechs, the manufacturer couldn't fix it either. Parker never caused problems with fixed blade heads. I traded the Bowtech Soldier in for the inferno and the problems went away. It was such a relief to be able to feel confident again in my shooting. It's really discouraging to miss deer with easy shots and even worse to wound them terribly because the arrow did not go where you sent it.

But of course you don't get a compound Xbow with a single cam. Are there cam timing issues with these then too I suppose?
 

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So many choices!

First, you're doing the right thing by looking at as many bows as possible. Cabelas is a good place to see many brands and handle them a bit. Ultimately it's your decision and as an experienced archer, you'll make a good choice.

Any of the Excalibur or TenPoint Xbows will be excellent quality, have good features and will be very accurate. Those two brands are probably the top brand in their respective lines. Excalibur being the recurve bow line and TenPoint being the compound bow line.

Weight is a factor in handling Xbows and lighter may not necessarily be the single factor for you to consider. The Xbows with reverse limbs like TenPoint's Nitro, Horton's Storm, the Scorpyd line and several Barnett Xbows are built this way. The weight of the riser and bow moved to the middle for the Xbow makes these exceptionally well balanced. I would suggest you look carefully at these bows.

My most recent purchase was early this year. After researching for about 6 months I had developed a short list considering the Horton Storm, TenPoint Carbon Nitro, Parker Hurricane and even the CenterPoint Sniper 370. Now my needs/wants were a little different than yours. I tree stand hunt a great deal and cocking the Xbow has to be easy. We share that. My solution to that was the ACCUdraw system. It eliminates a loose rope cocking system and it takes a little getting use to but it's super efficient requiring less than 10lbs of force to use the cranking system. Something simple to do with one arm. Well worth the added cost to make cocking almost effortless. I also wanted a fast bow as well and 350fps was my goal. The Reverse Design bows all seem to be quite fast. They are also very efficient with longer draws and lower draw weights yet producing the performance I wanted.

Many of the better bows are pretty quite out of the box. The split limb design Xbows can have suppression products added to further reduce noise and vibration.

Cam timing is still important and the better Xbows have timing marks on the cams to aid in this.

I chose the Horton Storm. I really like the design, the feel, performance and safety features. It also was a package I could buy at a better price point than the TenPoint Carbon Nitro.

Storm2.jpg

Buying a new Xbow is a pretty fun experience if you approach it right. The best of luck to you and look for other good info. from the folks here on the Xbowtalk Forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
wow that thing is compact. And 165lbs draw weight seems not too bad. The 200lb wasn't insurmountable, I just wouldn't want to have to do it repeatedly. And when hunting you wouldn't have to I suppose.

Yeah I used the acudraw, it was easy to crank, but kinda annoying having to get the little sled thing in place without making a lot of noise. Maybe I'd get used to it. Cranking sure seems like a lot of motion for a longer amount of time than rope cocking if I had the option to get off a second shot. (not that I plan on missing the first one. ;-) ) The plain old rope cocker wasn't bad except at the end when I was just too short for the Xbow he gave me to try it on and my arms were too wimpy to give it that last half inch of pull. That might be fixable by exercise and having a little shorter rope or something. I don't know. I wish I'd had more time that day. Will be going again, to my local mom and pop shop that gives us great service. (though they have a little smaller selection).

I have a giant buck on my camera... making me excited for the coming year. (He was also there last year and made it through, cagey old guy -- it is a high pressure area -- so he kinda vanishes come mid September and we also have another hunter that thinks he still has permission to hunt there whenever he wants, which is TOO OFTEN. :mad: ). Hopefully that will change this year, the farm property is under 'new management' by a farmer who knows deer and deer hunting, as opposed to the actual owner who doesn't.
 

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The Storm and Nitro are only 10" axles to axle when cocked. I believe that's about the narrowest it gets for a Xbow. I wanted a Xbow that I could shoot either handed and not have to worry about it's width. This design is as good as it gets. I also want to be able to cock the bow sitting in a climber tree stand and I think this system is my best option. The ACCUdraw is not nearly as quick as a typical rope system but it's easy. And yes, you can tune/fit the rope lengths to your height so the pull to cock ends as low as possible. That will make the last part of the pull easier.

Now is the time to get your new Xbow, get it setup, practice and become very familiar with it. The best of luck with your shopping.

Sounds like you have spotted a nice buck. I hope the hunter contention gets solved. I hunt in national forest and there are spots that are "taken". I work around that and make the best out of being mobile.

Good luck!
 

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I have a Storm that I love but I also just bought a Parker Bushwacker and it is even easier to cock than the Storm not much louder and very accurate. Now while it's not as fast as the Storm the Parker is every bit as accurate as the Storm and lighter and the ease of cocking it is nice as my back is all messed up still after to operations.
 

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I chose the ACCUdraw with the Storm to have an attached system and solve "in-stand" cocking. I tree stand hunt almost all the time and that's about as easy as it comes without moving too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks! Yeah I'm not worried too much about speed. Anything is likely going to be faster than what I have been shooting (maybe 240fps) and likely the bolts are going to be heavier than my arrows are.

I just noticed that autocorrect turned xbow into xbox in one of the uses of it in the title of the thread. Ha. No I really don't want an XboX. :) it isn't likely to help me get a deer! :wink:

We had been planning to do shopping this past week and then I threw my back out somehow. grr.
 

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Look into the SZ350 or solution 350. 135lbs to cock and 350fps has a great trigger and on the smaller side. My wife can cock it and shoot it and my 10 year old nephew can shoot it also (not cock it tho)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks! I ended up going with a good basic PSE Fang 350. It's low end, yeah but it felt good to me especially considering the price. We'll see how it goes. 155lb with 20" bolts that supposedly fly at 350fps. I upgraded the scope immediately in the store, I know I wasn't going to be able to see those little black crosshairs in dim light so now I have a truglo IR scope that has 4 glowing rings (either red or green depending on what you want). I think it's the Cross Tec 4X32 IR compact scope. I just wish it had a hot pink string and cable. :-D Now for the learning curve...!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well the PSE Fang is not working for me - looking at trading up for a Wicked Ridge Ranger. The LOP is a lot shorter, fits me better. I couldn't get that Fang to group well enough for my tastes.
 
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