REVIEW: Rogue River Self Cocking Mini Crossbow
Review of the Rogue River 80lb-Draw Mini-Crossbow
Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆☆ (6 Stars – good)
Mini-Crossbows, also known as Pistol Crossbows, have been around for decades. Barnett and other manufacturers have offered various models for hunters as well as for target shooters. I first became interested in the Mini-Crossbows many years ago when a friend, a good ole country boy, had one for protection in the house that we rented together.
In recent years, a number of very cheaply made Mini-Crossbows have surfaced, becoming huge hits at flea markets and gun shows. However, these “cheap” ones (selling for under $25) are made of plastic and are prone to break after just a dozen or so uses. I had one literally fall apart in my hand while I was shooting it. (If you have a cheap one, keep an eye on tightening the hardware after each use to avoid catastrophic failure.)
Last autumn, Trumper (one of our core group members) purchased an old Barnett Mini-Crossbow at an estate sale. An older model, completely made of metal components, and quite difficult to cock. Trumper’s purchase began my process of locating a good Mini-Crossbow for entertainment purposes. So, I began searching for a good quality Mini Pistol Crossbow at flea markets, gun shows, specialty shops, and then online.
My first purchase was one of the cheap ones, which I bought at a local Gun Show for $25. It was fun and somewhat accurate with a 50-lbs draw. However, it was completely made of plastic and after about a dozen uses (target shooting), as I mentioned above, it disassembled itself and would not go back together.
Rogue River Mini Pistol Crossbow
(same as the Cobra brand)
Upon receiving the Rogue River Pistol Crossbow, I was immediately struck by the quality. Almost entirely made of metal (not plastic), except for a few components (such as the trigger).
The self-cocking mechanism works great, allowing you to cock the Crossbow within seconds (especially good when hunting). Once properly sighted-in (i.e., the sights adjusted to allow for accurate shooting), the Rogue River Mini-Crossbow is incredibly accurate and very powerful.
BE CAREFUL, THIS IS NOT A TOY!
Various training videos and instructions – click here for Mini Pistol Crossbow instructions.
- As with all Crossbows (full-sized rifle types or these 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.”
- Additionally, for target shooting, the plastic bolts are much better than the metal bolts that come with the crossbow. The metal bolts are better for hunting, but the plastic ones last much longer when shooting targets for fun.
- Finally, have an extra string on hand, just in case. However, if you keep the rail lubed, your string will last for dozens of shots. I’m still using the same string after 5 months and having shot the Mini Crossbow well over 100 times. The point is, I keep the rail lubed.
Key Positive Aspects:
- Primarily made of metal
- Self-Cocking mechanism works great (and easily)
- Automatically sets itself into SAFE once cocked
- Very accurate (once sighted in properly)
- Very powerful (80-pound Draw, can easily target shoot from 10 or 15 yards)
- Recurve action (as opposed to a compound with cams – personal preference)
Key Negative Aspects:
- SAFETY mechanism needs to be re-engineered
(the SAFE sticks in place and when you force it free to the FIRE setting, you can inadvertently trigger the pistol to shoot. we have accidentally fired the crossbow a good dozen times due to this, and luckily no one got hurt. BE CAREFUL! BUYER BEWARE!)
- The Sights on the Mini-Crossbow do Not stay in place properly after traveling
(even if you tighten the screw holding the sights in place, it can still loosen and the sights will move when you travel any distance. I have to re-align the sights and test BEFORE each session of shooting, and sometimes multiple times during a target-shooting session.)
Overall Rating (1 to 10): 6 STARS (good or decent)
(Please note that this Mini-Crossbow has received above average remarks on several other websites as well as on Amazon’s Reviews.)