In my last column, we heard from pro shop owners about trends in the crossbow industry. One they mentioned is that new hunters tend to buy package crossbows, but as they gain experience and knowledge, they come back to upgrade their accessories. With that being said, let’s take a look at a few of the latest crossbow accessories.
Several years ago, the compound bow went on a diet, tapering down to small-diameter arrows. The crossbow industry has been slow to follow suit, partly because most crossbows only accept standard-diameter shafts (shooting anything smaller risks damaging the crossbow). Barnett has addressed this dilemma with its new HyperFlite bolts ($54.99 per three), designed specifically for use with Barnett’s Hyper series of crossbows. HyperFlite bolts have a .204-inchdiameter, are 22 inches long and boast a +/- .001-inch straightness for increased accuracy and penetration.
Speaking of reduction, probably the biggest trend in crossbows right now is narrow axle-to-axle widths, a trend that, like most extreme innovations, isn’t without its issues. TenPoint addressed a big one with its new Alpha-Nock. Designed to promote secure, precise string-to-nock engagement on extremely narrow crossbows, it features a deep bowstring groove; large, smooth radius base; and elongated ears. This results in straight nock travel and greater downrange accuracy while minimizing string serving wear and preventing “shoot-over” or “shoot-under.” If you really want to go “light,” the Alpha-Brite Lighted Nock System offers an illuminated alternative.
Alpha-Nocks are available in both TenPoint’s EVO-X CenterPunch Premium Carbon Arrows (+/- .001-inch straightness) in a standard six-pack ($89.99) or an illuminated three-pack ($99.99) and Pro Elite Carbon Arrows (+/- .003-inch straightness) in a standard six-pack ($59.99) or an illuminated three-pack ($69.99).
New from Excalibur Crossbow is the Expert Series PRO-SHOT ACP (Adjustable Custom Precision) Trigger ($209.99). Because opinions and preferences vary about one-stage vs. two-stage triggers, the new PRO-SHOT ACP’s stage-adjustment screw delivers the best of both. The one-stage setting breaks at a consistent 3 pounds with no creep, while the two-stage setting allows for a smooth .2-inch of travel while maintaining a mere 1 pound of spring tension until hitting the breaking point of the same 3 pounds. The PRO-SHOT ACP also features roller-catch frictionless technology that eliminates any grit from the sear and catch upon release while delivering a smooth, consistent pull and a clean break. The PRO-SHOT ACP Trigger works with most Excalibur models.
If you want to take your sight to the next level, consider Halo Optics’ new XBS-1 Laser Rangefinding Crossbow Sight ($299.99). This unit combines a UV-coated, organic LED glass display with Halo rangefinder features such as Auto Acquisition for instant range readings, Angle Intelligence for the angle-compensated distance and Scan Mode to lock in multiple targets at different yardages. The XBS-1 easily mounts to any Weaver-style rail and includes a remote button for instant activation without moving your hands from the proper shooting position.