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Best Reverse Limb Crossbows

Posted by Patrick V on

For many centuries, the crossbow design stayed the same until they suddenly realized that more power could get out of a crossbow if you reverse the riser on the stock. A new era of crossbows was born. The design of reverse draw x-bows creates a more performant bow at a lower draw weight with a more balanced weight while manipulating. Literally, reverse limb crossbows were built under the sign of speed and efficiency.

To determine the best reverse limb crossbows, we need to understand how it is actually working. There are many advantages with reverse draw crossbows and making an overview of its technology will help you make your mind about their efficiency.

 

A unique Design

An inverted compound bow riser on a stock to propel the string forward at lower draw weight with a longer power stroke while cocking the crossbow. All modifications were made to obtain maximum velocities. It combines all the best from the technology of bows. The result of that unique disposition creates more aggressive cams in an extremely compact and powerful crossbow.

By being narrower and shorter, it creates a lighter and more balanced crossbow. That configuration makes easier to use in ground blinds and heavy brush.

The limbs still expand violently outward but the inverted "D" shape acts like a compound bow decreasing the vibrations to a minimum.

The fact that the design is inherently lighter with a better weight distribution means that this technology has a brighter future than older type of crossbows. Manufacturers decided to develop longer power stroke to generate extreme velocities, however, they are in a position to create really short and powerful crossbows. Will see what the future reserve us.

 

What makes it better

Weight distribution: The limbs are between your hands closer to your torso making the center of gravity in a more rear position. Maneuvering the crossbow is easier and feels more balanced. 

More powerful X-bows: Fast, enormous amount of kinetic energy and momentum are characteristic of reverse limb crossbows. Its design allows you to shoot heavier bolts straighter and further than more traditional crossbows. Its unique design can sustain massive velocities over 410 foot per second.

Smaller design: Not only shorter in length but also narrower in width. Great advantages while hunting, especially in ground blinds or tree stands.

Quieter: The design reduces the sound and the vibrations coming from the string and cables. 

Pros

Cons

More powerful without massive vibrations

More expensive 

Lighter weight 

Less options 

Less draw weight 

Fewer companies make them

More compact for tighter places

Complexe technology

Better Maneuvrability

 

 

Overall Differences

With traditional crossbows, you may have to make certain compromises like power, size, or design. But the reverse draw crossbow offers just about every advantage you can think of without any compromise.

However, they are more expensive and more complex. That means there are more things that can go wrong on the field because they have more movable parts. Keep in mind that they are also harder on bow strings so special maintenance is recommended to avoid any premature malfunctions.

Now that we all know what are really reverse draw crossbows. Let's have a look at their overview stats to see if they really deliver what they really are. 

 

Best Reverse Limb Crossbows Specs Summary

Model Reviewed

Cocking draw weight

Stroke

Velocity

Suggested arrow length

Crossbow uncocked | Weight

Cocking device

Hunting Deer

TenPoint Carbon Nitro RDX Crossbow Package

165 lbs.

16.5”

385 FPS

20"

15.5"| 7.8lbs.

Dedd Sled 50 or ACUdraw

Yes

Bear Bruzer Crossbow

125 lbs.

14”

335 FPS

20”

18”| 9 lbs.

Bear Cocking Sled

Yes

Horton Storm RDX Crossbow Package 

165 lbs.

16.5”

370 FPS

20”

15.5”| 8.2 lbs.

Dedd Sled 50 or ACUdraw

Yes

Scorpyd  VTEC Crossbow

175 lbs.

18.75”

440 FPS

20”

19.625”| 8.4 lbs.

Sled Cocker

Yes

Barnett Vicious Crossbow

 150 lbs.

 15.375”

340 FPS

 20”

16.75”| 6.4 lbs.

Rope Cocking  Included

Yes

 

Few things stand out from this summary. Reverse x-bows are indeed narrower and offer interesting velocities at such low draw weight. Let's see one by one the listed crossbows.

 

TenPoint Carbon Nitro RDX Crossbow Package

best reverse limb crossbows-TenPoint Carbon Nitro RDX Crossbow Package

 

Awards: Best Overall Reverse Limb Crossbow.

Tenpoint had to stamp their name on a reverse draw crossbow because they know there is an interesting market there. This high-end reverse limb crossbow is indeed pricey but you know what you get when you buy from TenPoint. The Carbon Nitro RDX is loaded with the best technology from TenPoint.

The one piece carbon stock with the carbon rail create a perfect combination to reduce weight and also vibrations from the previous version. The bow without accessories weight 7.8 pounds which is one of the lightest among other reverse draw crossbows. The impact of the carbon increase, even more, the natural balanced offered by reverse draw technology. Deep grooves keep the string perfectly in place and develop a smooth draw when cocked. 

The Rangemaster Pro is clearly one of the best on the market. This scope can be dial in at specific speeds to ease your life when using the crossbow and features an arrow drop-compensation.

At 165 pounds of draw weight with the ACUdraw or the Dedd sled is simply a charm to cock. The cams work flawlessly to bring the string into the latch. The limbs uncocked are about 15.5" wide and reduce to 10" when cocked. This is perfect for a great maneuverability in tight hunting places like ground blinds or tree stands.

TenPoint take seriously all safety points that crossbows demand. The assembly comes with the 3 ½-pound, T3 auto-engaging safety trigger and is equipped with their dry-fire-inhibitor, rubber safety wings to prevent the shooter’s fingers and thumb from moving above the flight deck.

The Carbon Nitro RDX crossbow delivers up to 385 FPS with the carbon pro lite bolts and generates about 122 ft-pounds of kinetic energy with 370 grain bolts. The velocity comes from its generous 16.5" of power stroke.

TenPoint brought on the market a nice product but probably too pricey for most of us. There are Tenpoint alternatives.

Pros:

  • Deliver top of the line performances
  • Light and compact for a remarkable design
  • Combined all key elements for successful hunting experiences
  • Accurate and extremely quiet crossbow
  • Have a quality safety mechanism,
  • Quick and easy to assemble
  • Well made and well-balanced crossbow
  • Excellent optics

Cons:

  • Incomplete package for the price

 

Bear Bruzer Crossbow

Best reverse limb Crossbows-Bear Bruzer crossbow

Awards: Lowest draw weight for maximum velocity

Quite more accessible than the previous one, the Bear Bruzer crossbow offers a unique design. This front forward limb model has everything you want from a reverse draw crossbow. Bear offers other models like the Torrix or the Fisix. All models are designed the same way but come with different settings and features.

At 9 pounds, this is not for beginners. They will have to adjust this downside if they want to stay competitive with other manufacturers. That said, the construction of Bear archery works flawlessly. The PowerV riser design extends behind the trigger to give the crossbow a better weight distribution to enhance its balance. The Powerlink cable routing hangers allow great tuning. It's forward facing limbs move the weight in-between the foregrip and the grip which create an optimal balanced for the shooter.

The Gaffstep foot stirrup is unique to Bear crossbows. It is not only a device to help you cocking the x-bow but also a nice hook that can hang just about anywhere. Small detail but really helpful when standing in a tree stand.

There is nothing particular with the scope included in the package other than its a 4x magnification scope. The settings for different distances and the performances from the Trophy Ridge XF425 Scope are honest and won't disappoint you but you might end up replacing it with an illuminated one. 

At 125 pounds of draw weight, this is the interesting feature about Bear crossbows. With the included Sled, the Bruzer FFL is a charm to cock. Everybody will be able to cock this crossbow almost effortlessly.

Safety is always set when cocking the crossbow and can be in safe or fire prior to cocking. Bear takes seriously safety on their models. The 3 Times Safe trigger is one of the safest on the market but has a little creep when triggered. Nothing major but could be a bit crisper when pulled.

The Bruzer FFL crossbow delivers a generous 335 FPS with 14" of power stroke at 125 pounds of draw weight. Those are great numbers considering it can generate about 99.3 ft-lbs of kinetic energy with the included Trophy Ridge X-Ray Arrows & Points. This is plenty enough KE to take down any legal game in North America.

The Bear Bruzer is a mid-range crossbow but digging into the Web might bring you to better prices.

Pros

  • Light draw weight for the amount of power it generates
  • Forward-facing limbs for better balance
  • Compact for excellent maneuverability
  • Gaffstep stirrup has double function

Cons:

  • Heavier than other models
  • Trigger pull is too long 
  • Included scope is not illuminated

Horton Storm RDX Crossbow Package 

Best reverse Limb Crossbows-horton storm rdx crossbow package

 

Awards: Second Best Overall Reverse Draw Crossbow

Horton is now under the effigy of TenPoint and they brought the oomph that was necessary to bring them back on the top of the line of crossbows. The new technology at a lower price worth your attention in 2017 new Horton models.

The RDX bow assembly enhances the balance and the maneuverability of the Storm RDX crossbow. The ATA when cocked is about 10'' wide making this beautiful weapon one of the narrowest reverse draw crossbows on the market. It features a machined and lightweight aluminum riser with self-locking limb pocket and cap system. That technology prevents limbs to twist and reduces the stress on those limbs. The RDX cams feature 440 stainless steel bearings to improve its stability.

The ABX stock is adjustable in 7 cheek piece and 3 butt plate positions to maximize your eye-level alignment and length of pull.

The standard package offers a standard scope which is not perfectly suited for the speed of this crossbow. However, the Pro-view 2 from the premium package will deliver great results and will be easy to sight-in after few shots.

The 13-inch tactical black limbs offer 165 pounds of draw weight to cock. With the optional ACUdraw crank cocking mechanism, the Horton Storm RDX is effortless to cock.

The new arrow retention brush has 3 sets of bristles that really made a difference in terms of silencing the shot as well as perfectly aligning the arrow in the center of the track every time. The new technology combined with their T3 trigger gives the x-bow the accuracy that should be expected with a high-end crossbow. The trigger has a clean and crisp break at about 2 pounds of pressure.

The DynaFLIGHT 97 string and cables and the RDX cams deliver its 400-grain carbon arrow at a blazing 370 FPS with an expected 122 foot per pounds of kinetic energy. This amount of energy generated by the Horton Storm RDX is clearly more than enough to hunt this season.

Stealth and very quiet with its string suppressor, this crossbow really worth the money you will spend on it. However, you might have a look around to compare different prices.

Pros:

  • Great velocity
  • Really nice design
  • Narrow ATA for tight hunting places
  • Easy to cock with both systems
  • Quiet and accurate crossbow

Cons:

  • High-end range price
  • Only premium package offers a better scope

 

Scorpyd  VTEC Crossbow

 Best reverse limb crossbows-Scorpyd vtec crossbow

 

Awards: Fastest Reverse Draw Crossbow on the market

Scorpyd has created a vast selection of reverse draw crossbows to satisfy all type of setups. Either you chose the VTEC, the Ventilator, the Deathstalker or the Aculeus, none of them will disappoint you. These crossbows are blistering fast and are for speed lovers. They also deliver great results which enhance the feeling of spending your money wisely.

The Scorpyd VTEC crossbow with the heaviest limbs set is clearly their flagship. Named the fastest crossbow in the world, the VTEC hides masterpiece of technology to achieve such goal. 

The forged riser, the Barnsdale Laminated Limbs, the Titanium Fasteners and Americas Best Strings and Cables are patented technology from Scorpyd and are under the incredible speed generated by the VTEC. The vented MIL spec type III anodized design on the foldable stock and the vented forearm give the impression that it is lighter than it is. The crossbow actually weights around 8.4 pounds. Few compromise has to be done to develop such velocity. That being said, this is not a major downside for the VTEC, 8.4 pounds won't cause you fatigue while manipulating it because it is a perfectly balanced. The weight distribution in a more rear position generates a smooth feeling into the shoulder giving the feeling of lightness.

No scope is offered in the basic kit, however, for few extra dollars, you can select the scope Plus package that packs the best items for crossbows. The scope included in this package is the Hawke 1.5X5 X32 IR Illuminated Scope. The best on the market for crossbows with variable speed functions. 

Choose the poundage and speed you need for whatever you need it. The VTEC is available in 175#, 160#, 135#, and 110# pull draw weight. There are few options for cocking it, the most recommended system is the ACUdraw system that lower the cocking weight to 5 pounds when cranking it (available in the Scope Plus package).

Their patented Kempf-Tec Trigger and Anti-DryFire device work flawlessly and increase your precision because you can focus on shooting. The manual safety works perfectly and leaves no doubts when cocking the crossbow.

Depending on your Limb selection, you will be able to obtain the following numbers with their 6 Scorpyd SPEC Black Eagle Arrows. 

  • 440 FPS - 175# Draw Weight | 172 ft\lb KE
  • 440 FPS - 160# Draw Weight | 156 ft\lb KE
  • 440 FPS - 135# Draw Weight | 135 ft\lb KE
  • 440 FPS - 110# Draw Weight | 109 ft\lb KE
    This crossbow is simply deadly no matter which draw weight you are selecting. The highest version from VTEC crossbows offers almost three times the kinetic energy to take down the toughest game in North America. For hunting purposes, heavier bolts are suggested so you might have to expect lower velocity but higher kinetic energy. Nothing serious enough to affect the accuracy of this crossbow.

     

    Combining the unmatched balance, precision, smoothness, and versatility of reverse draw technology with one of the best-rated triggers, Scorpyd Crossbows makes your shooting experience to another level.

     

    Pros:
    • Fastest Reverse limb crossbow
    • Hard hitting crossbow
    • Beautiful ventilated design
    • Many options for different setups concerning limbs weight
    • Well-balanced crossbow with great precision
    • Safety mechanism works flawlessly
    • The Plus package packs the best items on the market
    Cons:
    • Extreme velocity affect the width of the crossbow
    • Basic package doesn't include: scope, bolts, quiver, and sling
    • Pricey

    Barnett Vicious Crossbow

    Best reverse Limb Crossbows-barnett vicious crossbow

     

    Awards: Newest technology for great efficiency

    The proud successor of the well-known Barnett BC Raptor Reverse Draw Crossbow Package, the Barnet Vicious is simply the nec plus ultra version for 2017. Barnett invested in their 2017 models to upgrade all the technology from the bristle brush as a new arrow retention system to the new crisp Triggertech trigger. All in all, the upgrades from Barnett raised the bar for others to follow.

    The Kryptek Highlander camo pattern covers almost all parts of the x-bow leaving a nice feeling of camouflage. As for the construction, the combination of the Carbonlite riser and the reverse draw technology generates a better distribution of the crossbow weight in a more central-rear position. This technology generates more precision because the crossbow is easier to aim without causing fatigue while holding for several minutes before shooting your target.

    This fully assembled reverse draw technology crossbow is 6.4 pounds without hunting accessories. The lightest reverse limbs crossbow from this list. This means that combined with the rear center of gravity, the Vicious offer the perfect weapon for tight hunting places. Its maneuverability is above the other reverse draw crossbows.

    The 4x32mm Illuminated Scope is a standard one but will deliver good results with the speed of this crossbow. Sight-in the scope will take only a few shots before zeroing the scope.

    At 150 pounds with a rope cocker, the vicious is not the lightest but is pretty easy to cock. This 2017 model is compatible with the Barnett crank cocking device. 

    Barnett installed the new Triggertech trigger technology into the Vicious crossbow. It eliminates completely the creep of the previous trigger into the Barnett models. This frictionless release technology creates a free-floating roller between the sear and the trigger for a cleaner crisp break at only 3 pounds of pressure. They also changed the arrow retention spring for bristle arrow retention. This new brush arrow retention device not only reduces noise but also increases precision by improving the arrow grip and alignment on the flight track.

    As for safety, Barnett provides once again quality automatic safety system and anti-dry-fire system. It also features a finger reminder, a pass-through foregrip and an adjustable butt pad for added safety. 

    The Barnett Vicious Crossbow generates up to 340 FPS for about 97.5 ft-lbs. of kinetic with 380-grain bolts (Tested by Barnett) with 15.375" of power stroke. However, If you are using 400-grain bolts, you should expect less speed but more kinetic energy and momentum. In both situations, the Barnett Vicious still a deadly highly maneuverable crossbow for tight hunting places.

    The Barnett Vicious crossbow package is a serious contender among the reverse draw crossbows. If the original warranty for the first owner is not an issue for you, you can compare prices on the Web.

    Pros:

    • Highly maneuverable crossbow for tight hunting places.
    • Ultra light crossbow
    • Efficient new technology to increase accuracy
    • New Triggertech trigger for a crisper break
    • Fully assemble reverse draw crossbow
      Cons
      •  Starting package should offer more bolts

        Conclusion

        The best reverse limb crossbows was an overview of the next generation of reverse draw crossbows. You can expect much more in the next models but I hope they will continue with the quality for the price. There are pricey and we should expect better prices as the demand raise up for reverse draw crossbows.

        Thank you for reading us and do not hesitate to leave any comments or questions below regarding this article.

        Have a nice Hunt!

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