This fall my daughter will experience her first hunt with a weapon in hand. She will be nine years old and her weapon of choice during Ohio archery season will be the Barnett RC-150 crossbow. I chose this particular crossbow because of many of its features which tailor to the beginner.
First off the RC-150 is probably the lightest crossbow in its class. At just under six pounds, 5.7 to be exact, the Barnett is light and balanced enough for her to use with minimum support. The adjustable stock guarantees as she grows, it will also. Combine these two features with a small footprint, 33.5" length, 25.5"width and you have a crossbow that is not overbearing and bulky for little hands. We will be using it from mostly a ground blind which will keep her concealed where small movements will not be noticed. (For more go to: Barnett Outdoors.)
The RC-150 was shipped with accessories that included a four arrow quiver, two pin adjustable sight, cocking device and four crossbow bolts complete with 100 grain field points. With in minutes of arriving my daughter was desperate to begin practicing. All that I need to do was mount the sight and adjust the stock to the proper length for Rachel. The adjustable stock is based on a two set screw system. It is a little tedious to setup with the adjustments but once set it is rock solid and you do not have to worry about it coming loose. With the extended stock removed my five year old was close to being able to shoot his first volley. I will give him another year but he will still accompany us to the blind.
The pistol grip design also allows for smaller hands the benefit of a good grip. The textured vertical molded design should also benefit during those cold crisp fall Ohio mornings. The forend also features a molded grip through design. This will also prevent your hands from gripping too close to the rail thereby alleviating any chance of contact with the string.
The RC-150 safety is conveniently located along the top right at the base of the rail. With the safety disengaged I did find that there is the possibility of dry firing the crossbow if no bolt is in place. My daughter also found it a little cumbersome to load a bolt with the front sight pin assembly. The mounting bracket connects on each side of the rail meaning a bolt must be threaded between the bracket to load. That is reason enough that I intend to mount a scope on the crossbow.
The Barnett RC-150 rail mounting system will make it easy to affix a red dot scope. The base is already slotted for a weaver type mount. A single red dot scope sighted in at 20 yards should be a perfect combination for my young daughter.
The trigger system is non-adjustable and does have about a 1/4" creep. I have been working with my daughter on squeezing the trigger and with practice she is becoming familiar with the creep.
The quiver is mounted on the front with an easy to remove dual bolt twist system. It is secured to the stock via a single screw in a locking channel. Once tight the quiver is easy to twist on or off and still allows a balanced feel to the RC-150.
Her first shots at ten yards were within the 3" circle so I felt pretty confident that we could get her dialed in to a maximum of 20 yards. As mentioned earlier the only thing I plan on changing is the addition of a Barnett Red Dot scope. This I feel will make it a little more accurate and easier for her at the longer distance of 20-25 yards. I know this crossbow is capable of longer ranges but for Rachel's first year 20-25 yard is plenty. Besides for most deer of the stand sites that we will be hunting, 25 is about the limit.
The 265 feet per second speed is accomplished by the combination of an aggressive 9.5" powerstroke from traditional straight limbs and the Veloci-Speed cam system. As you cock the RC-150 you can feel the poundage come up through the powerstroke. This model may not be as large as other Barnett crossbows but it is still capable of producing bolt speeds in excess of 265 fps.
After putting the RC-150 through a couple of practice rounds Rachel and I both feel confident this package will do nicely for the fall season. We will continue to work throughout the summer with different broadhead combinations to put the finishing touches on our preparation for opening day.
For more go to: Barnett Outdoors