Killer Instinct SWAT Crossbow Review

Killer Instinct SWAT Crossbow


killer instinct swat crossbow review



Description of the product

Innovation, Innovation!

I have to say that I was impressed by the look and the new technology offered in this new 2017 Killer Instinct model. Killer Instinct dug into their mind to create a distinct and unique design to encompass velocity, safety, and precision in the same crossbow.

Such compact design at only 29 inches of overall length when you retract the foot stirrup is quite impressive. You really feel that you have a tactical weapon in your hands. As a hunter, when you are stalking your trophy, the thrill of hunting is enhanced while manipulating the KI Swat. 

The Killer Instinct SWAT could be the 2017 game-changer. Such power in such a compact design is impressive. Even reverse limb crossbows can't compete with the KI Swat. Hiding a 17.5-inch power stroke inside 29 inches long crossbow is a challenge. they succeeded by compressing the string into the barrel using Concealed String Technology (CST) that use compression levers to concealed the string inside. This provides almost six inches of a concealed power stroke. 

This crossbow is indeed for serious hunters but also a great crossbow for youth and women as it is super light, compact and maneuvrable. It is clearly a serious option for everybody that would like to get into crossbow shooting.

The Killer Instinct Swat crossbow review is an overview of the crossbow and how they made this unique design. Is it powder in the eyes or the Killer Instinct Swat really going to deliver great results as well as it is innovative?


Killer Instinct SWAT Crossbow – Specs summary 

Model Reviewed

Cocking draw weight



Suggested arrow length

Crossbow uncocked | Weight

Cocking device

Hunting Deer

Killer Instinct Swat Crossbow

 165 lbs.


 385 FPS


 14" | 6.9 lbs.

 Rope Cocking Included




  1. The safest design on the market
  2. No Frontal heaviness (29" long for 14" of width)
  3. Ultra-Compact design for tight hunting places
  4. Excellent crisp trigger at 2.5 pounds
  5. Great velocity and precision even with distance (100 yards)
  6. Innovative design with frictionless technology
  7. Tactical stock for maximum grip and retractable stirrup also used as a tripod
  8. One of the best optics on the market with the Hawke XB30


  1. Screws for tightening the scope on the rail tend to be fragile.
  2. Only offered in a black finish.
  3. No field tips included with bolts.
  4. Not compatible with their cranking cocking device yet (Coming soon)


Specifics of the package


The package offers almost all the best items on the market and should meet your highest expectations. The Killer Instinct SWAT crossbow package includes:

  • The SWAT crossbow,
  • Preinstalled Deadening string and limb suppressors
  • Hawke XB30 Pro 1–5x24mm illuminated x-bow scope
  • Five-bolt quiver with tactical side mount
  • Six SWAT 22-inch arrows by Black Eagle without field tips
  • A quick draw rope cocker,
  • A tactical side quiver mount,
  • A rail lube for maintenance,
  • A single point sling
  • Owner’s manual
  • Warranty card

Bolts:  The included bolts are 22 inches in carbon made by Black Eagles. They are pretty decent bolts. They do not come with field tips so you have to keep that in mind when you are buying a Swat from KI. However, they offer 6 bolts which its twice the amount of bolts that most of the competitors offer. They prefer to let you choose the kind of tips you want and its weight. Any 100 grain field tips will suit you just fine, as long as you maintain a weight of 400-grain for the overall weight of the bolt.

    Tip: We do repeat this in all crossbow reviews, do not go under the recommended weight from the manufacturer for the overall weight of the bolt. It includes the broadheads and the field tips weight. In this case, 400 grains is the minimum allowed. Not respecting this recommendation could lead to injuries and damages to your crossbow and void the warranty. Be aware when you are buying new bolts. 

    As mentioned above, this newest model from KI doesn't allow you to use their crank cocking device. The compression levers and its longer power stroke doesn't fit with the cranking device. They are planning to create a winch system to ease the cocking of the SWAT. Nonetheless, the rope cocker is perfectly efficient and at 165 pounds of draw weight, the SWAT is not the hardest to cock. You could actually go bare hands but for more safety, the rope cocker is quite designate for the job. A rope cocker means a more consistent draw every time you want to cock the crossbow and reduces an uneven serving placement into the latch.


    Possible add-ons to the Package

    Crossbow Cases:

     Killer Instinct narrow limb crossbow case

    The Killer Instinct Narrow Limb Crossbow Case is an option for maximum safety. It comes with adjustable straps to lock your bow securely in place. It also comes with the logo on the top and the following dimension :

    • Dimensions: 38" Case Length x 26" Case Width x 12" Case Height. 

    The case is a soft construction with extra reinforced padding to protect your investment and features the following:

    • For smaller compact crossbows and has extra reinforced padding to protect your investment.
    • Neoprene padding (600D), the interior has side mount quiver storage space and adjustable straps to lock your bow securely in place. 
    • The exterior is lined with versatile TAC Molle webbing loops and a rear zipper pocket for expanded storage. 
    • Reinforced handles and backpack straps for your carrying preference.


    Choosing the right broadheads for the right crossbow is often a difficult choice to make. That being said, It must always be sharp and should leave a sufficient blood trail to recover your target after a hit. The QAD exodus, the Rage broadheads or any RAMCAT would be my recommendation for any crossbows. They show impressive results and last longer than others. Either you choose mechanical or fixed blade broadheads, the KI SWAT will deliver good results.

      Tip: Always consider the weight of the broadhead when buying to make sure you do not go under the recommended overall bolt weight from the manufacturer.


      Assembling the SWAT crossbow

      Due to its specific design, the SWAT comes pre-assembled but you will have to mount the foot stirrup and the scope on the crossbow. Be careful when you are tightening up the screws on the Picatinny rail. The screws tend to be fragile and might break under too much pressure. 

      An extra set of tougher rings could easily counter-balanced this minor issue while mounting the crossbow.

      It is recommended to go through all parts of the crossbow to make sure that nothing loosen during transportation.


      Accuracy and Velocity

      Kinetic Energy

      The energy built when you pull the trigger is quite impressive for a 29 inches long crossbow. Based on the weight from the included bolts in the package, the SWAT will deliver around 131 ft-lbs of kinetic energy which is almost twice what you need to take down the toughest game in North America (Cape Buffalo and Moose).

      Depending on your setup of bolts (400 grain or heavier), the Kinetic may vary however you may gain in momentum which is perfect for hunting. Momentum will increase the bone crushing or splitting capacity of your bolts.

      Accuracy and distance:

      The package is advertised to be able to deliver good results until 100 yards and I have to say that it is delivering the results. Its ballistic curves are more than efficient even with extra yards ahead of you. At 50 yards the groupings are under 2 inches and at 100 yards (Magnification at maximum) the groupings were mainly under 3 inches tight which is excellent at this distance. The drop in kinetic energy does not affect the accuracy of the crossbow and to be honest, shooting animals over 50 yards is quite rare if you really want to take down your target. 

      Sighting-in the SWAT crossbow is fast with the included Hawke XB30 Pro scope. It offers great adjustability for crossbows with velocities from 215 to 450 FPS. After dial-in the scope at 385 FPS, you are ready to sight-in the scope. You should quickly master good groupings after few shots.

      The Hawke XB30 holds zero for a long time if not forever before you will have to re-sight-in the scope.

        Tip: Results may vary according to the weather and significantly with different bolt weights.


        The impression of the crossbow


        Like mentioned previously, it makes you feel like a Swat agent chasing his target. If it shows no major flaws with time, this technology will have a bright future. They are bringing sub-compact design to another level.

        First, the CST (Concealed String Technology) is marvelous new innovation for 2017 crossbows. In addition to offering a unique design, its main function is compressing the string into the barrel resulting in a better protection of the string. There are two levers on each side of the stock that you close back when cocked. This Concealed String Technology is really specific to this crossbow. The CST doubles as an ultra-comfortable cheek rest. The CST allows a bigger power stroke (17.5") on a compact designed crossbow (29") and helps to generate more velocity out of the compound riser.

        The second innovation is the free floating string in-between the upper and lower barrel from the enclosed CNC Double Barrel System. The string is literally floating freely in-between the upper and lower barrel. This Double Barrel System eliminates friction and has a clear impact on accuracy.

        This technology combined with the CST create the quietest and deadliest sub-compact crossbow on the market for 2017. 

        As for the finish, it only comes in matte black which is a lack according to some hunters. However, most animals that you will hunt are blind colors. This means it is more a personal preference than a real factor when choosing the color of your crossbow. 


        Its design delivers an unmatched safety mechanism among the newest crossbows. The Double Barrel System also brings complete safety towards the bolts. The fact that the bolt is literally concealed in the barrel system reducing exposition and possible injuries. 

        The anti-dry fire mechanism at the back of the stock won't engage as long as the bolt is not properly seated in the back of the chamber. You need to disengage the safety mechanism to shoot.

        Tip: One of the vanes need to be specifically up to enter the chamber so you know the nock will be properly aligned with the string.


        At only 6.9 lbs bear and around 8.5 to 9 lbs with all accessories installed, this crossbow won't cause fatigue when aiming for several minutes into your tree stand. The weight is perfectly distributed so the center of gravity holds on the shoulder. This crossbow has no front heaviness due to its short length and concealed power stroke. The buttstock goes smoothly into the shoulder increasing that feeling of a well-balanced crossbow. This sub-compact model is revolutionary.

        One of the main advantage of the Swat it is indeed its ultra-compact design, you gain extra room into any ground blinds with the dimension of this crossbow.

        The crossbow comes with the Hogue overmolded beavertail grip that enhances your feeling of a good grip. The molded forearm grip also leaves a nice feeling when holding it. No sweaty hands will slip from this crossbow when your trophy will be in sight.

        I really appreciated the foot stirrup which is quite useless after cocking on other crossbows. KI manage to install a nice folding foot stirrup that could be used as a tripod for calibration or simply increasing your precision while aiming at your target. It is also rubberized to reduce vibrations. 


        Hunting situation


        The CST combined with the Double Barrel System act as a noise and vibration suppressors.

        On the top of that, they added deadening limb and string silencers to make sure that this crossbow will stay as quiet as possible while you are hunting.

        In other words, the CST, the barrel chamber combined with the deadening limb and string silencers decrease significantly the sounds produced by the string when released. 

        The KI Sniper Trigger delivers an excellent crisp trigger at only  2.5 pounds. It is really sensitive, so it won't affect your accuracy.


        The sum of all the technology into the SWAT deliver stunning numbers. Shooting up to 385 FPS and expecting about 131 ft-lbs. of kinetic energy with 400 grain bolts will leave no chance to any legal game in North America. 

        This x-bow combined with the proper broadheads will generate enough momentum to crush all type of bones. 

        Having the Hawke XB30 as an included scope will increase your chances to be dead center shots after shots.



          Keeping good care of all parts of your crossbow is really important to keep your crossbow for a long time. Waxing the string and the cables are an excellent way to keep higher performances.

          The fact that there is no friction in-between the string and the rail will increase the longevity of your string and reduce your bill on rail lube.

            Lifetime warranty is offered for the original owner but I invite you to consult the warranty first to have more info about that



            The Killer instinct SWAT crossbow is a blast to manipulate and gives a unique experience. This new technology has its place in the market of crossbows and I hope they will keep developing interesting design like this one. This crossbow deserves all your attention if you are looking for something unique and deadly accurate.

            Thank you for reading us and do not hesitate to ask any questions related to this Killer Instinct SWAT crossbow review or leave any comments below.

            Have a nice hunt!

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