Thanks for checking out my Barnett Vicious Crossbow Review. I started using crossbows to hunt deer with in Wisconsin back in 2015. My first crossbow was the Barnett Jackal, an entry level crossbow, but earlier this year I upgraded to the Barnett Vicious.
(UPDATE: The Vicious is no longer being made, but Barnett has a really nice upgraded version that is also reverse draw called the Barnett Revengeance which is new for 2018. You can check out the Barnett Revengeance here).
There was a fair amount of research I put into purchased my new crossbow. Earlier in the spring I wasn’t sure what it was I exactly wanted. All I knew was that I wanted something smaller than the Jackal, and with a little more arrow speed.
My research eventually brought me to purchasing the Vicious, which is an upgraded version of the Barnett Reverse Raptor. So let’s take a look!
- Product: Barnett Vicious Reverse Draw Crossbow
- Price: Varies online, $575 to $699
- Cheapest Place To Buy: Amazon
- Warranty: Limited 5 years
- My Rating: 5/5
Barnett Vicious Crossbow Review – General Information
One of the main reasons I decided to go with purchasing a Barnett Vicious was it’s size. I hunt from the ground, usually in a blind but sometimes I do like to still hunt with a bow. Anybody switching over from a compound to crossbow will quickly find they are much more cumbersome and unwieldy in the woods. Enter the reverse draw crossbow…
- Weight: 6.4 lbs
- Speed (fps): 340
- Axle to axle not cocked: 16.75″
- Axle to axle cocked: 9″
- Draw wight: 150 lbs
- Kinetic energy: 97 ft lbs
- Power stroke: 15.375″
Most crossbows have additional features and the Vicious is no different. Here is what technology and extra features Barnett is touting for the Vicious:
- TriggerTech Frictionless Release: zero creep, and a nice crisp 3 lbs trigger pull
- Comes full assembled: Most crossbow require some assembly, not this one
- Carbon riser
- Soft-Lok Floating Bristle Arrow Retainer
- Anti dry fire trigger system
- Reverse draw technology
- 7/8″ picatinny rail
- Crank cocking device compatible
- Finger safety reminder
- Adjustable butt-pad
Most crossbow packages come with everything you need to get started. Here is what comes with the Barnett Vicious Crossbow Package:
- 4 x 32 illuminated scope
- Rope cocking device
- Side mount quiver
- Two 20″ Headhunter Arrows
- String dampeners
- Lubrication wax
What I Like About The Barnett Vicious Reverse Draw Crossbow
Back in 2016 I had the chance to shoot and get familiar with the Barnett Revers Raptor. I like it a lot. It was easier to handle than the beefy Jackal model I had, and it was faster and just as accurate.
I knew in 2017 I was going to upgrade and by a new crossbow, but I wasn’t what exactly I wanted. Admittedly I always had the Reverse Raptor in my mind, but was not sold on it. My need to do some thorough research was there in my thoughts, because I was open to spending close to a thousand dollars on a new crossbow setup.
To make a long story short and because you are here to read a Barnett Vicious crossbow review – I bought one from Amazon, and I am glad I did!
Like I said above, I hunt from the ground and use popup blinds more often than not. The Vicious is in my opinion the perfect crossbow for using inside popup blinds. Deer hunting, turkey hunting… whatever… this crossbow is compact and easier to maneuver around inside a blind.
Also, anybody who has ever stalked through the woods knows trying to do some with a crossbow can be a real pain in the butt. sticking to cover is hard to do with a wide limb crossbow. The Vicious makes it a little easier. When cocked the axle’s are less than 9″ from each other! This to me was a major feature I wanted in my crossbow.
I took it out in the woods around my cabin a few this past summer for some walks and practice stalks and noticed a huge difference from the wide limbed Jackal I had used the years before.
So yeah, I liked the easy to maneuver compact size, but what else do I like about this crossbow:
- It’s an accurate crossbow: Not all crossbows are, despite what you may hear or read online. Faster crossbows, just like compounds, can be less forgiving in regards to accuracy. At 340 fps this is not the fastest crossbow on the market, far from it, but it’s pretty darn descent and provides good arrow trajectories with accurate shot placement.
- Reverse draw technology is awesome: Reverse draw crossbows are more evenly weight balanced. They are not front heavy like a traditional crossbow. Having the weight more evening distributed helps carrying it during stalks, during offhand aiming and shooting. If you have held a traditional crossbow on a deer for extended amounts of time waiting for a shot you know how exhausting it can be, and how it can affect your shot. Reverse limb technology provide better crossbow balance.
- Barnett’s TriggerTech is fantastic: Crisp and clean trigger pull. An even 3 lbs break. I don’t know what else to say about this, it’s just so convenient and helps with accurate shooting and cleaner ethical kills. But you need to practice… always practice. Shooting any hunting weapon is a perishable skill and needs to be used or it will diminish.
- Anti Dry Fire Trigger System: Barnett is well know for this feature on their crossbows. Put simply, your crossbow will not fire when it is cocked unless their is an arrow loaded into it. Dry firing a crossbow will more than likely destroy it. Sure, nobody plans to do that, or they shouldn’t if they know what the heck they are doing… but accidents can happen. You can’t pull the trigger and fire this crossbow when it’s cocked – it has to be loaded in order to fire.
- 4 x 32 scope: Normally I replace any scoped that come with a rifle, and I did the same with I bought my Barnett Jackal. But I have to admit, the scope that came with it is fairly descent. I didn’t feel like I needed to get a new scope for the Vicious. It has internal markings for arrow drop distances that you can determine through shooting and testing. It’s nothing fancy, but it is certainly functional and has worked well for me so far. I’ll keep using it.
- Adjustable butt-stock: This is something you see on many crossbows being manufactured, and it certainly is a nice feature that I like about the Barnett Vicious. Just a few minor adjustments and my new crossbow was fitting me perfectly.
- It’s quiet: Crossbows typically are louder than compound bows, and the Vicious is no different. However, I have noticed when shooting among other at the local range using various other crossbows that mine is quieter, noticeably so. That is actually a design of the reverse draw crossbow.
- It looks really cool: Okay, looks are not that important, or at least they shouldn’t be… but to me this thing looks awesome!
What do you want to hunt? I shoot a 400 grain arrow/broad-head when I hunt deer, that gives me 97 foot pounds of kinetic energy with the Vicious. Of course that diminishes over distance the arrows travels.
At twenty yards kinetic energy drops to 92 foot pounds. Then at 30 yards it drops to 90 foot pounds. At forty yards the kinetic energy drops to 88 foot lbs.
Basically I know that I’m covered for hunting any big game I want to here in North America, as I don’t shoot anything with an arrow further than thirty yards away.
Check out the chart that shows the recommended kinetic energy for hunting various sized animals. You can see that with careful planning and working within the limits of the crossbow you can hunt even the biggest game North American has to offer.
Cocking The Barnett Vicious
It cocks pretty easily. Sure, it does have a 150 lbs pull, but with a cocking rope (it comes with one) it really is not a problem at all. Because the limbs are reversed, the string actually start down by the foot stirrup – you don’t have to lift any higher than you normally would strong cocking any other crossbow.
You just have to be sure you cock the crossbow evenly. But then you need to do that with any crossbow. If you don’t evenly cock a crossbow you are going to find you are not consistent at all with any shots you make. I don’t suggest ever hand cocking this crossbow. Use the cocking ropes it comes with, or if you want get the Barnett Crank Cocking Device.
One thing I read often when doing research into reverse draw crossbows is that they tend to not be as accurate as traditional compound crossbows. I could not find any reason for this that was attributed to design. Personally I did not shoot any better or worse with my Barnett Vicious than I did with the Jackal I owned.
In fact I test fired a variety of crossbows last winter and didn’t find I was better or worse with one over another. I appear to have hit a personal accuracy limit more so than the from any crossbow’s limit.
Here is how I sighted mine in and accuracy results from shooting offhand:
- Twenty Yards: I use the first reticle in the scope for my twenty yard sight in, and have it set to shoot one inch high at this range. My arrows are touching at this range when I fire more than one.
- Thirty Yards: The second reticle is dead on for me at thirty yards. My arrow groups are about an inch apart.
- Forty Yards: While I don’t shoot any game animals past thirty yards, I did site my Barnett Vicious out to forty. At this range my scope’s third reticle is pretty close to dead on. My offhand shots at this range tend to group at around 1.5 inches.
Barnett Vicious Crossbow Review – The Conclusion
First and foremost I am very happy with my purchase of the Barnett Vicious. It is certainly a tight package that is going to fit my hunting needs perfectly. Shooting it is so much fun. I have had it out a dozen times over this past summer of not more, and plan on running it through some more paces yet before I take it deer hunting here in Wisconsin for the first time.
It certainly is not an entry level crossbow. But nor it is a high end high priced one either. With that said if you are thinking of getting into crossbow hunting and have some money to spend above an entry level weapon, I would say to be sure to check out this crossbow.
No regrets with my purchase. Very pleased with everything about this crossbow.
I did some shopping around for the best price before I bought it. My local pro-shop had one on hand, but the price was a little steep than what I was seeing online.
It’s hard to beat Amazon’s pricing, and in the end that is where I bought mine. They are certainly worth checking out, and the price there does fluctuate a little. The Barnett Vicious is a new crossbow for 2017 and does not much out on it for reviews. It is an upgrade version of the Reverse Raptor, which is another fine crossbow.
You can BUY A BARNETT VICIOUS HERE.
If you have any questions about my Barnett Vicious Crossbow Review, please be sure to ask. I will do my best to answer.
Check out the new 2018 Barnett Revengeance Reverse Draw Crossbow here!
As always thanks for reading,