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Video ravin crossbows reviews

“Lightweight, compact and accurate to 100 yards” is enough to send any crossbow-fancier into a swoon. Most modern crossbows can send an arrow downrange accurately enough to hit a 6-inch bull’s-eye at 100 yards; the Ravin R10’s maker claims its crossbow can “hold groups comparable to a rifle at 100 yards.” Ravin Crossbow’s new line of crossbows is unique, unusual and surprising in many ways; primarily because they actually live up to the manufacturer’s claims.

First things first, it is all but mandatory that first-time users read and understand the owner’s manual. And because of the innovative new design of the Ravin R10, it’s a good idea for all users. The R10 is not your grandfather’s crossbow; in fact, it is as far removed from the old Gamo wood-stocked model with solid steel limbs as one can get. Outstanding features of the R10 include an internal cocking/decocking mechanism on a free-floating strap, which is cranked into the receiver section using only 12 pounds of pull. The cocking “sled” not only holds the arrow in place, but it contains the safety and trigger mechanisms as well.

The cocking handle and quiver attach to the same mount that is attached to the front of the crossbow and is interchangeable for left- or right-handed users. There is even a cocking assist bar attached to the grip portion of the stock that is also adjustable for left- or right-handed shooters.

The scope is specifically designed for the Ravin line of crossbows and is adjustable for arrow speeds ranging from 300 to 450 fps. This system delivers accurate arrow placement from 20 to 100 yards in 10-yard increments based on the advertised arrow speed rating of the crossbow.

As one might expect with the unique cocking-sled design, only Ravin Clip-On nocks are recommended for use with the Ravin line of crossbows. In fact, use of any other arrow-nock design will negate the 5-year warranty. In other words, use only 20-inch Ravin Clip-On nock arrows.

Testing the Ravin R10

The Ravin R10 is cocked and may be decocked using the provided cocking handle and integral cocking system. Cocking requires only 12 pounds of pull with a power stroke of just 11 inches. This is unquestionably the easiest, fastest way to cock a crossbow and the process may easily be mastered by anyone over 10 years old and “elders” who can handle the 12-pound pull required to crank the cocking mechanism into position. While I have hand-loaded crossbows with draw weights up to 175 pounds with considerable, focused effort, loading the R10 was a breeze.

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After more than 100 shots at the range and on the roving field, the cocking-and-loading process was fast, efficient and dependable. The procedure is marked by audible clicks beginning with attaching the cocking mechanism or sled to the string (with a click) and then cranking the cocking mechanism back to the firing position (with a click). The arrow is then loaded into the firing mechanism (with a click) and the crossbow is ready to fire.

The Ravin may be decocked using the same mechanism in the reverse order. A button located behind the receiver under the stock allows tension on the strap to be released as the ratchet handle is rotated. Fortunately, the owner’s manual offers a well-illustrated, complete explanation on how to decock the R10.

Yet another noticeable bit of innovation in design is that the Ravin features a free-floating arrow that does not touch the rail from the trigger mechanism to the two-roller style rest at the front of the barrel. The design of the unit allows for expandable or fixed broadheads up to 1.625 inches wide.

At only 33 inches long, 6.5 inches wide (when cocked) and less than 7 pounds total weight, the Ravin R10 definitely lives up to its “lightweight and compact” description. The crossbow is also easy and quick to cock and load, which leaves only one final, important variable to discuss: accuracy.

My test unit arrived with the scope and quiver mount installed. After a thorough read of the owner’s manual and some familiarization with the cocking and loading process, it was time to head to the range. I was anxious to see how the Ravin performed at standard hunting distances of 20, 30 and 40 yards, as well as its claimed abilities at longer distances. After all, when a crossbow’s accuracy is touted to be “comparable to a rifle at 100 yards” any shooter is going to be tempted to verify such a statement.

At the bench, the Ravin R10 performed perfectly. Cocking and loading was smooth and efficient, while the safety release and trigger mechanisms were clean and sharp; no rattle, creep or slap. I appreciate and prefer a crisp let-off with any trigger and the Ravin was definitely “comparable to a rifle” in that regard.

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Within three arrows, I was unwilling to risk costly “Robin Hoods” by shooting repeatedly at the same bull’s-eye. Just for fun, I drew a nickel-sized circle on my targets under 40 yards and was surprised that the Ravin was capable of dime-sized groups at those distances.

Long-Range Performance

Moving back to 50, 60 and even 70 yards the Ravin’s level of accuracy was astounding. Groups were inside of an inch even at 80 yards, and I could make 10 out of 10 hits inside a 3-inch circle. At 90 and 100 yards, my groups were scarcely larger. In one series, I had fletching from six arrows touching at 100 yards — amazing accuracy by any definition. Granted, there was no wind, the sun was behind me and there were no obstacles, not even a blade of grass, between the target and me.

On the roving range, the Ravin’s “lightweight, compact design” was a definite plus. My test Ravin arrived in early winter with no foliage to contend with and a foot of packed, frozen snow on the ground. The crossbow is slender and easy to carry. With practice, I was able to get on target quickly without hunting for the safety, the trigger or the proper reticle. In all scenarios, I was up, on target and releasing my arrow by the count of three, which is more than adequate reaction time for the average, oblivious whitetail. With time to evaluate and consider while shooting from a blind or treestand there’s no doubt that the R10 will deliver its arrow precisely to the point of aim.

Admittedly, any modern crossbow can do the same inside 40 yards, but the Ravin R10 offers the opportunity to score on a special deer at more than twice that distance. I’m not going to recommend taking shots at live animals at distances over 40 yards, but from what I’ve seen during testing the Ravin 10 may be the one to break that 40-yard limitation.

Final Thoughts

Complaints? No sling was provided with the R10, always a peeve of mine concerning crossbows, which are notoriously awkward and difficult to handle and carry. One additional point: The R10’s super-slim profile and ultra-thin axle-to-axle width make it difficult to prop up or stand up without the risk of toppling over. Lay the crossbow directly on the ground or hang it from a hook or sling when not in use.

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Overall, the R10 is an excellent, high-end crossbow that should deliver at least 5 years of exceptional service, if all maintenance and use recommendations are followed. The Ravin R10 package includes the fully assembled crossbow, illuminated scope, three-arrow quiver, draw handle, six-pack of 400-grain arrows, field tips and accessories bracket.

MSRP for the Ravin R10 in Predator Camo is $1,649.99 or $1,549.99 in Gunmetal Grey.

For additional information about the complete line of Ravin crossbows and accessories, visit www.ravincrossbows.com.

Ravin R10 Specs

  • Draw weight to crank: 12 pounds
  • Power stroke: 11 inches
  • Arrow length: 20 inches
  • Arrow speed: 400 fps
  • Trigger pull: 4 pounds; dry-fire inhibitor
  • Sights: 9-reticle, illuminated scope provided
  • Cocking device: Integrated crank device
  • Overall length: 33 inches
  • Axle-to-axle width: 6.5 inches cocked, 10.5 inches uncocked
  • Weight: 6.8 pounds
  • Other features: Available in Predator Camo or Gunmetal Grey; adjustable cocking handle, self-storing cocking crank, ambidextrous safety and quiver mount; red-green illuminated scope; accurate to 100 yards.
  • MSRP: $1,549.99 (grey), $1,649.99 (camo)

Sidebar: Ravin’s Easy-Crank Cocking System

In the world of crossbows, nothing is more aggravating or tedious than having to use a cocking rope to cock and load the unit. You have to dig the cocking rope out of a pocket (which one is it?), straighten out the rope, sort out the hooks, drape the rope properly over the stock or cocking groove — you get the idea.

With the Ravin line of crossbows, cocking is as simple as click, click, click — and it’s just about that fast. Remove the cocking handle from the quiver mount (which is very handy), insert the cocking handle onto the drive shaft pins, click the trigger mechanism over the string (first click), rotate the ratchet handle till the trigger mechanism is fully engaged (second click) and insert the arrow (third click). An experienced Ravin operator can easily cock, load and shoot his crossbow twice as fast as any traditional crossbow user – a definite advantage in cases where a follow-up shot is required.

Perhaps best of all is that the ratchet handle is quickly and easily installed in its slot in the quiver mount ready to be used again to decock or cock the crossbow.