The Barnett Jackal compound crossbow is often on the list of recommendations for affordable, reliable crossbows. Most of its users speak highly of it and give it excellent ratings. Let’s look at some of the features that inspire this positive feedback.
What’s Included In Package
- The Jackal compound crossbow
- Three 20″ arrows with attachable field points
- Red-dot sight
- Quiver for your arrows
- Quiver attachment platform
- All the hex keys, bolts and screws required for assembly
- Instruction & Safety manual
- Warranty card (5 year, limited)
Barnett Jackal Crossbow Detailed Review:
Even though it may not be among the most powerful crossbows in the market, it still holds its own by offering sufficient power to take down most games. It has a velocity of about 315fps and delivers arrows at about 90 FPKE. This would mean that even under less-than-ideal weather conditions, it would still strike its target with force above the required 75 FPKE. It is, therefore, good enough to hunt all sizes of game up to and including grizzly bears.
Its ideal accuracy range is up to about 40 yards, but if you have great precision, you’ll find that you can exceed 50-60 yards. This accuracy is not the norm for crossbows within their price range. One of the main contributors to this accuracy is the Picatinny rail guide system that keeps your arrows firmly on track.
It has a highly detailed instruction manual for setting up, and the assembly should take at most 20 minutes. Compound crossbows are generally a bit more complex to assemble the recurves. The Jackal’s build is simply superb, starting from the quad split style limbs that are extremely stable: providing great support so you can take proper aim and make an accurate shot.
These limbs are not only visually appealing, but the design allows for a slightly faster acceleration rate thanks to a significant reduction in air resistance. This really helps with the overall speed and is a major plus for this bow.
Its design is lightweight and therefore ensures there will be no arm fatigue during your hunting expedition, and you can keep going for hours on end. However, the retainer isn’t of the best quality and will likely need to be replaced in about a year if you use the weapon frequently. Considering the price of the bow, this is not so surprising.
The Barnett Jackal has energy wheels strategically positioned on the edges of the limbs to make for an easy draw. The stock is inspired by a military-style rifle and gives the bow a classy look. The stock also provides functionality with a foregrip that is ideally designed for a comfortable and firm hold. It features a camouflage design that makes it easy for the hunter to blend in the wild.
Its riser is made of machined aluminum – one of the best materials available- to ensure high quality and durability while keeping the weight to a minimum. Its shoulder rest is not the worst in the industry but lacks a little width that would otherwise make it very comfortable.
The three bolts that come on the package are relatively good quality and weigh a total of 400 grains. Their field points are not glued in: meaning they can be removed if you wish to get a different broadhead. They do not easily break on impact, and you will only need to buy more to have enough options while you are right in the middle of hunting.
At a total weight of only 7.7 lbs, the Jackal can be used by virtually anyone, including younger hunters in training. This crossbow has no front heaviness, as the weight is evenly distributed, making it comfortable to use. The only downside to its numerous great features is that it does not come with a rope-cocking aid. You will have to keep drawing the 150lbs of draw weight every time until you make a point to get one, so we highly recommend it (check the addon section).
Like any other compound crossbow, the Barnett Jackal is pretty loud when firing arrows. It does not include any noise suppression devices in the packaging, so purchasing a dampening system is highly recommended to enable you to get some actual hunting done. Otherwise, you might scare away every target you set your eyes on and go back home empty-handed.
Quality of Optics
The included scope is pre-sighted, offering accuracy for up to 20 yards, but it allows for double that distance when adjusted. Sighting it is not a challenge, and in about five shots or so, it should be dead zero and ready to go. After the first sighting, the scope holds zero for a long time and does not require any adjustments.
Even though it is referred to as a red-dot scope, the scope has green and red lights, which feature five brightness settings. These can easily be adjusted to suit the lighting and weather conditions. However, remember that this might drain the battery pretty fast, and it is always a good idea to have backup batteries close at hand.
Unless you must have a reticle scope, this one comes with most of the relevant features and should last you for quite a reasonable duration.
The positioning of the foregrip serves to secure your hold on the bow, reducing the chances of accidental firing. It also keeps your fingers out of harm’s way by ensuring that they are nowhere near the string’s path as you draw on it to release an arrow.
The trigger system offers about 3.5 lbs of resistance, being firm enough to ensure that you do not pull on it by mistake and allowing for a sufficiently smooth experience to give you efficient performance every time.
Most importantly, it features a dry-fire inhibitor, a tool that is standard for most models and that will ensure your safety and that of your weapon for as long as it is in use.
The majority of features on this crossbow indicate that it was built to last. Most of its parts will last you well past the 5-year warranty period for as long as you take good care of it. Always remember to wax and condition the string for optimal performance and to ensure that they will last you a good while. Without such diligent care, the strings will soon start separating and will not give you their full service of approximately 800 arrows.
- Lightweight and compact
- Decent fps & penetration (most game)
- Energy wheels enhance performance
- No rope cocking device included
- Really loud
While shopping for a dampening system, it is highly recommended that you go for one that does not add significant weight to your crossbow. The Jackal also needs a rope-cocking device since it does not come with one. This would help to cut down the 150lbs draw weight to only 75lbs making the bow even easier to use. We recommend using Carbon Express PileDriver for the type of bolts.
Please note that for the TenPoint dampening system, you will have to modify it slightly. If you’re not comfortable doing this, buy Broadband Dampeners.
- TenPoint Crossbows String Noise Dampening System
- Barnett Rope Cocking Device
- Carbon Express PileDriver
From the above review, it is clear that the Barnett Jackal offers much more than one would expect from its low price point. Its sleek design and lightweight build make it easy to carry around and deliver enough power to take down all games.
Apart from being a bit loud and not including a rope cocking device, which are problems that can be addressed easily, this gear is remarkable and surely deserves all the glowing tributes it has been getting.