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Crossbow Review: SYKD Hunt Vindicate XVC

Customizable, light and accurate!

Crossbow Review: SYKD Hunt Vindicate XVC

SYKD Hunt’s Vindicate XVC Crossbow is outfitted with a telescoping tactical stock that offers a personalized fit, along with a pistol grip with a rubber overmold wrap and a flared foregrip that promote comfort and control.

SYKD Hunt is a relative newcomer to the bowhunting world, with the company’s concept and vision born around a campfire in northern Pennsylvania.

The folks discussing possibilities that day were clear their venture would focus on hunting and the success of the hunters who trusted them with their hard-earned money. Any product with SYKD’s name on it would provide performance well beyond the price tag.

SYKD’s Vindicate XVC Crossbow is designed to be a workhorse and is built with the company’s values at the forefront. It features a lever-action, adjustable tactical stock; molded pistol and foregrips; aluminum rail; 4-pound trigger; Anti-Dry Fire and ambidextrous safety. The “bow” part of the Vindicate XVC is built on a cast aluminum riser, fiberglass split limbs and dual cams.

Comfort & Fit

A hunter’s experience is greatly influenced by the fit and comfort of a crossbow, and SYKD outfits the Vindicate XVC with a telescoping tactical stock that is easily adjusted over four positions that span 2 inches. Adjustments are made via a lever located on the underside of the stock, with minimal pressure needed to activate the lever. As a result, the shooter is able to quickly customize the length of pull to fit them, increasing control and comfort. A thin butt pad can be quickly removed, exposing the base stock that’s ribbed in the event you prefer shooting without the pad. A sling-mounting tab is also molded directly into the stock.

A separate, molded piece mounted to the rear of the rail is home to the tube to which the telescoping stock is anchored, a large trigger guard and tactical pistol grip. Four small screws secure the overmold wrap to the base pistol grip, which is attached with a single bolt.

Forward of the pistol grip and trigger guard, SYKD attached a Picatinny-style rail to the underside of the main, machined-aluminum flight rail where the flared foregrip and safety wing combo unit is attached. The foregrip/safety wing body can be quickly adjusted to any point along the attached rail for further customization aimed at comfort and performance.

Shooters will experience a relatively light trigger that is advertised at 4.25 pounds of pull but tested much lighter. The trigger is optimized for a crisp and motionless, single-stage break for smooth operation. A physical trigger safety and anti-dry fire mechanism are auto engaged when the Vindicate XVC is cocked. All are housed in the trigger housing, which is seated at the back of the flight rail and sports a scope-mounting rail and bolt-retention arm.

The Bow

A single bolt attaches the company’s cast aluminum bow riser to the front of the flight rail; its entire footprint is approximately 7x3x2 inches, making it rather compact. A dished-out section is cast directly into the riser to allow broadheads to be drawn further into its structure, and a generously sized foot stirrup is attached at the front of the riser and features a rubber coating and ribbed boot contact for a secure anchor. The main body of the limb pockets is also cast directly into the riser, with only a limb bolt and limb-bolt cap needed to complete the system.

A plastic wear pad is positioned between the pockets and limb pieces where they pivot. The 185-pound limbs are split in configuration, which means there are four separate pieces, with each measuring 11 inches long. The limbs are made of fiberglass and are built/formed through a compression molding process before being matched into sets based on deflection values.

Limbs are water-dip finished in G2 Camo. A set of two-track dual cams outfitted with BCY D97 string and cables works with the limbs to power the Vindicate XVC to advertised speeds of 380 fps with a 390-grain bolt. SYKD puts a premium on silence with the addition of dual string stops seated on rods connected to brackets mounted to the riser on either side of the flight rail. A set of rubber vibration-dampeners are also mounted between the split limbs for further silencing.

What’s in the Box?

The Vindicate XVC crossbow comes with a 4x32 two-color, illuminated scope with lens covers, rope cocking aid, three SYKD carbon crossbow bolts, 5-bolt quiver, string wax and rail lube.

At the Range

With the Vindicate XVC, SYKD accomplished its goal of creating a get-it-done workhorse at the very favorable price tag of only $529.99. It’s worth noting that SYKD exceeded its advertised speed of 380 fps with a 390-grain bolt, as our testing resulted in an average speed of 384.67 fps with a 420-grain bolt. The adjustable stock will fit a wide range of shooter body types, as proven by the good fit I found despite my T-Rex arms. Hunting weight, which we define as the overall weight of the crossbow as you would take it to the woods (minus the bolts), was a very lightweight 8.35 pounds.


I am hoping for a more compact version of this rig in the future, as the Vindicate XVC has a relatively large footprint. Cocking was pretty easy with the provided rope cocker, and the pistol grip and flared foregrip were both comfortable and functional, giving me excellent control.

The Specs

  • Manufacturer: SYKD Hunt, 866-797-9539;
  • Model: Vindicate XVC Safety Features: Anti-Dry Fire, auto trigger safety, safety wings
  • Cam System: Two-track dual cams, black anodized aluminum
  • Riser: Cast aluminum, black anodized
  • Overall Length: 35.5 inches
  • Axle-to-Axle Width: 17.75 inches (at rest); 14.5 inches (cocked)
  • Advertised Weight: 7.95 pounds
  • String: BCY D97, 37 inches
  • Cables (x4): BCY D97, 20.25 inches
  • Limbs: Split, compression-molded fiberglass
  • Draw Weight: 185 pounds
  • Power Stroke: 15 inches
  • Grip: Pistol, contoured rubber overmold wrap
  • Forearm: Flared, adjustable position
  • Finish: Black/G2 Camo
  • Advertised Speed: 380 fps with 390-grain bolt
  • MSRP: $529.99
  • Comments: Customizable, comfortable and lightweight.

Test Measurements

  • Maximum Width: 21.75 inches (at rest); 18.13 inches (cocked)
  • Overall Length: 36.25 inches (plus adjustments)
  • Mass Weight: 7.21 pounds (crossbow only); 8.35 pounds (with accessories)
  • Average Trigger Pull: 2.63 pounds
  • Length of Pull: 14 inches (plus adjustments)
  • Average Shot Noise: 105.8 dBA with 420-grain bolt; 105.6 dBA with 500-grain bolt
  • Maximum Shot Deviation at 35 Yards: .88-inch

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