By now, you've heard and read all sorts of things about the new-for-2017 crossbows, and if you're in the market for one, chances are you've either already bought it or at least decided on the model. But a new year also brings a new crop of crossbow accessories, and this month we'll look at some of the year's most noteworthy products.
Shoot from the Hip
The foundation of crossbow accuracy is a stable shooting platform. TRUGLO's HIP€¢SHOT Crossbow Shooting Rest ($40) provides a lightweight (10 ounces), portable platform for any shooting position.
Those familiar with TenPoint's Steddy Eddy monopod will recognize the 20-29-inch telescoping pole with its sturdy rubber foot. But unlike the Eddy, which has a fixed attachment to the bow, the HIP€¢SHOT has a slingshot-style handle topped with a quiet, rubber U rest that will accommodate just about any crossbow with no need for special attachments. A wrist strap provides a secure attachment point to your arm, pack or belt.
Call the Bomb Squad
The Crossbow Defuser ($99) allows you to safely and silently un-cock virtually any crossbow in seconds.
Remove your bolt, set the defuser in place, pull the trigger and turn a knob to let down your bowstring. No longer will you have to lower your cocked bow when hunting from an elevated platform or fire discharge bolts into the ground.
Space Age Practice
Black Hole figured out a way to take technology and design cues from its current lineup of popular, four-sided, open-layer targets and put it in a price-competitive, durable Crossbow version ($69.99). It features the patented, friction-layered design of Black Hole targets, rated to stop bolts traveling in excess of 400 fps, while allowing for easy, one-handed removal.
The front and back can stop broadheads, while fieldpoints only are recommended for the woven, poly-wrapped sides. Measuring 16x16x14 inches, it offers multiple offset aiming spots for extended life.
No Assembly Required
With the new Simply Lethal crossbow bolt package ($59.99 per 3), Rage has done all the work in finding the ideal combination of carbon-fiber bolts, CrossbowX broadheads, vanes, fieldpoints and inserts.
Rage Simply Lethal crossbow bolts are available in 20- and 22-inch lengths and topped with 100-grain CrossbowX mechanical broadheads. Each package comes with three factory-fletched bolts, three broadheads, three 100-grain fieldpoints and both Omni-style and half-moon nocks.
Just Like That
A long overdue tier of NAP's QuikFletch platform, 3-inch Crossbow QuikFletch with QuikSpin Hellfire Vanes ($19.99 per 6) are designed for even the fastest crossbows, making it quick and easy to replace damaged vanes.
Once the shaft is prepped, slip on the QuikFletch, dip into boiling water, and within five minutes your new vanes are ready to shoot.
Hit or Miss
White shows blood and other bodily fluids better to help determine the point of impact and how you should proceed in tracking. That's the theory behind Beman's ICS White Out ($40.99 per 6), now available in a crossbow version.
Like the original, it's made of high-velocity, lightweight carbon, straightness checked for accuracy and weight matched for tighter groups. But this version is available with either Talon, half-moon or flat-back nocks.
A Deadly Threesome
Rage used its original 3-Blade design as a basis, then added stronger ferrules and blades, improved blade geometry and a deadly steel chisel tip to create the 100-grain 3-Blade Chisel Crossbow broadheads ($39.99 per 3).
They impact with an initial slap-cut potential diameter of 2.125 inches, followed by beefy .035-inch thick stainless steel blades that cam into their 1.6-inch final cutting diameter and feature swept back blade angles for increased penetration. Black polymer Shock Collars provide exceptional blade retention and consistently reliable deployment.
Protect Your Investment
Barnett's padded Ballistic Case ($99) features a rugged, secure EVA exterior and interior custom fit for all Recruit compound and Raptor series, Whitetail Hunter and Blackspur crossbows. A waterproof zipper keeps out the elements, while an ergonomic handle provides easy carrying.
Available in three HD camo finishes, the Whitetail Hunter model features a European skull-and-antlers design. The Blackspur has a gobbler head with wing feathers, while the Trubark model looks real enough to drop acorns.