Barnett Raptor FX 2 First Look Review

By Jason Reid

AmmoLand Shooting Sports News
AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

When the state of New York moved to legalize the use of crossbows for hunting, I can remember the frustration and anxiety of many. The initial fears of many hunters I don’t believe were ever realized. Rather, I see the use of crossbows having provided a way for older hunters and youth to ethically take wild game and enjoy the fall. Being on a limited budget coming out of college, hunting with a crossbow wasn’t an option for me.

It wasn’t until my father needed emergency bypass surgery earlier this year that the potential use and the benefits of having a crossbow became a very viable solution as his pulling weight will be limited through the fall. Because of this we started looking for a solid crossbow option.

Great option for shooters of all ages.
Great option for shooters of all ages.

The Barnett Raptor FX 2 is the second generation of the award winning Raptor FX. As part of NRA Publications’ Golden Bullseye Awards, the Raptor FX won the 2016 American Hunter Bow of the Year award. For 2016 the bow has a few small upgrades, with Barnett’s patent-pending Bristle Retainer and high-definition camouflage finish. Safety for crossbows is incredibly important and the Raptor FX 2 features include an anti-dry fire trigger, finger reminders and pass-through fore grip which is one of my favorite aspects of this crossbow. A safe and simple bow, the Raptor FX 2 I’ve found to provide great power and features for a great price.

Weighing only 6.5 lbs. and measuring 17 inches from limb tip to tip, the composite stock and custom laminated limbs makes this bow easily maneuverable in the woods. Unlike other crossbows on the market, one of my first reactions was to take note of the maneuverability of the bow. I didn’t find myself dreading to move through the woods with this crossbow as it is not bulky and drastically heavy. This crossbow has the ability to fit to different size shooters since the butt pad is adjustable.

The laminate coating can stand up to ominous weather throughout the year.
The laminate coating can stand up to ominous weather throughout the year.

The Raptor FX 2 comes as a complete package for quick sight-in time to get you out in the field. Ready to go with three bolts bearing the HeadHunters brand name, a quiver, rail lube and cocking device, the crowning accessory is the multi-reticle red & green dot scope. This scope is fairly simple to use, just remember to not put it on backwards the first time like I did.

Standard issue red dot scope is easy to use.
Standard issue red dot scope is easy to use.

The trigger pull on the Raptor FX 2 is crisp. Some crossbows I’ve shot in the past have far to much creep with a sloppy break. This trigger pull finds a great balance between being light and heavy for consistent accuracy. I’ll also make note that the handle grip fits very well, deep into the shooting palm for a stable shot.

Crossbow safety is paramount to having a successful experience. I love the pass through fore grip for keeping my fingers well away from the string. This style grip I did feel like it provides extra stability while trying to bear down on your target while shooting off-hand. I am also a fan of the thumb safety. It is a bit oversized which is great for those cold mornings when you are needing to wear heavy gloves.

Ambidextrous safety.
Ambidextrous safety.

Loading this crossbow is easy and presents no problems even for people with shoulder issues. The Raptor FX 2 only has limbs of 150lbs. making it legal to use in states like New York, which I can totally appreciate. But don’t worry, this bow packs plenty of punch, pushing bolts at 330 FPS arrow and producing 97 pounds of kinetic energy. I just wish there was a de-cocking mechanism on this bow so I wouldn’t have to carry a target around in my truck for unloading after every hunt.

My only real concern is the foot stirrup might be a touch small for fitting heavy rubber hunting boots in. Outside of that, I have been very happy and have been shooting very accurately without any issues.

330 FPS and 97 lbs of KE can ethically take most big game species.
330 FPS and 97 lbs of KE can ethically take most big game species.

At first look this crossbow is worth trying out and is certainly worth the value. This bow retails right around the $499 range which helps give the Raptor FX 2 from Barnett the Reid seal of approval.

Buy it here at www.cabelas.com.

About: Jason Reid is a freelance writer and sales manager with a passion for bowhunting and endurance athletics. Follow him on social media at www.pushingthewildlimits.com