REVIEW: Barnett Recruit Recurve Crossbow ::



Posted By on Apr 22, 2017 | 4 comments


REVIEW: Barnett Recruit Recurve Crossbow

Review of the Barnett Recruit Recurve Crossbow

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ (8 Stars – extremely good)

Barnett Recruit Recurve Crossbow in action

Barnett Recruit Recurve Crossbow in action in the basement archery range.

Crossbows have been in use for nearly 2500 years, spreading across Asia and into Europe via Greece. Barnett Crossbows began manufacturing in 1962 in England and spread across the Atlantic to the US in the 1980’s, eventually landing in their new factory located in Tarpon Springs, FL. Like most other crossbow manufacturers, Barnett offers various models for hunters as well as target shooting.

The Recruit Recurve is easy to use, with built-in features to help keep the hunter and others safe. The Recruit Recurve I purchased came with a 4x32MM Barnett Scope rather than the “red dot” scope typically advertised with this crossbow.

Recruit Recurve Specs

  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Anti-Dry Fire Trigger
  • Finger reminders and pass-through foregrip
  • Speed: 245 fps*
  • Draw Weight: 150 lbs
  • Kinetic Energy: 65 ft lbs
  • Power Stroke: 12.5″ (in)
  • Dimensions: 32.5″L x 27.675″W


Barnett Recruit Recurve Crossbow is all About Safety

With your first use, the Recruit Recurve Crossbow is very easy to handle and yet accurately powerful enough for hunting whitetail. The 150lb-Draw causes this recurve crossbow to give a slight kick when fired, so be prepared.

Underneath the Rail, there are finger reminders (I call them finger protectors) and a pass-through foregrip so that you can easily grip and control the Crossbow in a safe manner. Additionally, as with most Cross bows, the Trigger Safety is engaged as soon as the Crossbow is cocked. However, with the anti-Dry-Fire mechanism, this Crossbow will also not fire without a bolt properly inserted.

The Recruit Recurve’s body and Rail are made of a high-quality composite resin, providing both a strong frame and one that is light-weight and easy to handle. With the Barnett 4x32MM Scope mounted onto the picatinny rail, my Recruit Recurve is incredibly accurate. We’re consistently hitting the center bulls-eye (about 2.5 inch diameter bullseye) at 20 yards.

The main thing to know about the Barnett Recruit Recurve is that it is FUN to shoot! This crossbow cocks quickly, whether as officially instructed with a cocking-string or manually by hand in the field. It has a great feel, being easy to operate and yet powerful enough for a 50 yard target. I truly could not be happier for what I wanted, as this crossbow provides all I required and more at a surprisingly affordable price.


Various training videos and instructionsclick here for Recurve Crossbow instructions.


Barnett 4x32MM Scope

Barnett 4x32MM Scope.

Important Notes:

  1. As with all Crossbows (full-sized rifle types or the smaller mini-crossbows), it is imperative to keep the rail well lubed with “Rail Lube” (either the liquid or the wax type) as well as the string (along the string about the width of the Rail to also reduce friction caused by the string rubbing against the rail). We often refer to this as “juicing” the Crossbow, or saying it is “juiced and ready to fire.”
  2. Additionally, for target shooting, I suggest the all purpose composite fiber Bolts using Omni nocks and a 100 grain Field Point tip (aka, Bullet tips). Also, to protect your bolts, use a good Field Point Target (and it is best to suspend the field target from rope or chain to increase longevity).
  3. Finally, have an extra string on hand, just in case. However, if you keep the rail lubed, your string will last for dozens and dozens of shots. I’m still using the same string after 5 months and having shot this Crossbow over 200 times. The point is, I keep the Rail very well lubed (or “juiced”).
Barnett Recruit Recurve Crossbow Sideview

Barnett Recruit Recurve Crossbow Sideview.


Key Positive Aspects:

  • High quality construction using Barnett custom composite laminated limbs
  • Auto-safety and Anti Dry Fire (ADF) trigger prevents you from shooting without an arrow
  • Metal Injected Mold (MIM) trigger allows for the tightest quality tolerances and smooth trigger pull
  • CNC machined 7/8″ Picatinny rail
  • Finger reminders and pass-through foregrip
  • Allows for the integration of a crank cocking device (sold separately)
  • Arrow Length/Grain: 18″/400
  • Very accurate (once properly sighted-in)
  • Very powerful (150-pound Draw provides bolt speeds up to 245 feet per second)
  • Recurve action (as opposed to a compound type with cams – a personal preference)

Key Negative Aspects:

  • Assembling the Recruit Recurve Crossbow out of the box can be challenging. At a minimum you will need two people, though, it is best to  have 3 people for attaching the string – one for each end and one for the string’s attachment.  If you purchase this from a big-box Store (such as Field & Stream or Dicks), they will often put it together for you (as with most  Crossbows purchased in these stores).

Overall Rating (1 to 10): 8 STARS (extremely good)

(Please note that Barnett Crossbows have received some negative press in the past several years due to hunters not handling the Crossbows properly. However, the Recruit Recurve was manufactured to address some of the concerns over safety. This Cross bow is incredibly safe, easy to handle, and yet very powerful.)


  1. Has anyone found a source for quality 18″ 300 grain aluminum bolts for this xbow? Adding a 100 grain point to this would give you 400 grains total.

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  2. Bought this crossbow for this years Missouri Deer Season. During target practice the three dot scope only required slight windage adjustments to bring point of impact over to the right 4-5″ to the bulls eye. I didn’t have to do any adjustment on the elevation and the three dot sight was hitting at 25 yrds, 35 yrds and 50 yrd perfectly. Be aware that you may need to pull your arrows out of your target after each shot or risk damaging the arrow with your next fired arrow. It is that accurate, it will litteraly “pile drive” an arrow on top of another one. Sort of like Robin Hood splinting an arrow with another arrow.

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    • We agree! Bang for buck, this Crossbow is excellent. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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