Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow Review 2024

Are you looking for your first crossbow?

There are a lot to choose from great selections, and it would be hard to narrow multiple options into one.

In this article, we’ll focus on crossbows suitable for the small and average frame hunters.

The Barnett Recruit Crossbow fits these preliminary qualifications; it’s a crossbow that offers a lot of unique features.

To know more about this product and the good stuff, read on this Barnett Recruit Crossbow review.

Barnett Company Background


Founded on 1962, Barnett has continuously manufactured different crossbows and other archery products that are all bestsellers on their own.

With their increasing years as a company, their technology has also advanced to bring you the best crossbow for the money that will aid you in hunting regarding superior accuracy and performance.

All of their products are designed and made in the USA. Not only crossbows but they also have compound bows and recurve bows that target novice hunters to the most experienced.

In short, their wide customer market is what makes them one of the top billers.

Product Specifications

Barnett Recruit Compound Crossbow Review

  • Speed: 350 fps
  • Power stroke: 12.5″
  • Arrow length: 20”
  • Draw weight: 150 lbs.
  • Overall Length: 34.25″
  • Overall Width: 18.25”
  • Axle to axle: 16.125”
  • String Length: 32”
  • Cable Length: 17.125”
  • Crossbow Weight: 6.4 lbs.


Package Contents

At a hefty price ranging from ~300 dollars, the following are what makes the Barnett Recruit Crossbow package a must-have:

  • Barnett Recruit Crossbow
  • Three 20-inch headhunter arrows and lube wax
  • Includes 4X32 scope
  • Side Mount Quiver
  • Rope cocking device
  • Instruction manual
  • Warranty card

Barnett Recruit Crossbow At a Glance


  • Lightweight with a low draw weight
  • Small-sized for women and children
  • Adjustable butt stock for different body sizes
  • Easy to assemble
  • Good for hunting a wide range of animals


  • Quiet
  • Scope not as accurate in long distances
  • Only has a red dot sight
  • String is prone to snapping


Barnett Recruit Crossbow is packed with important features that you don’t want to miss. Their features meet the needs of different people who are into hunting or just for target shooting.

The Recruit Crossbow has undergone the superb engineering and craftsmanship by the Barnett engineers.

1 Easy Assembly

The assembly guide for Recruit Crossbow is easier compared to other crossbows.

It comes with sets of instruction for the attachment of riser and foot stirrup to the stock, scope installation, quiver installation, and the butt pad adjustment.

They are very detailed and easy to follow wherein you can get it ready in 10 minutes.

2 Accuracy and Power

Two of the greater strengths for this Barnett crossbow are its power and accuracy.

Though it’s not as powerful as the bigger crossbows, this Recruit Crossbows packs quite a punch though it’s originally designed for small to medium-sized hunters.

With its power stroke measured at 12.5 inches and draw weight at 150 pounds, the crossbow can produce 103 ft lbs of kinetic energy – plenty enough to take down small animals to bigger preys as big as moose and bears.

Some high-spec crossbows have a general draw weight of 150 pounds. But it’s important to remember that the higher the draw weight, the more strength you will be using to fire the arrows.

Recruit Crossbow’s 150-lb draw weight is plenty merciful for people who aren’t as strong as the most experienced hunters.

3 Arrow Selection

There are three arrows already included in this crossbow as part of the package. They are measured at 20 inches and made out of carbon.

They are seemingly good for target practice, but you may want to upgrade to something more powerful if you plan to hunt larger animals.

It is general information to all who are into archery that the arrows serve as the greatest variable whether you can take down prey or not.

Picking the right crossbow is one important thing, but you can’t ignore arrow selection right away. Arrows differ greatly in structure and have diverged flight characteristics.

There are many factors to consider when selecting arrows such as speed, kinetic energy, down range penetration, accuracy, and potential stress on the crossbow.

One thing to be aware is that the heavier arrows carry more energy down range while the lighter arrows shoot faster. But at longer distances, the energy decreases gradually.

For a Barnett crossbow, their carbon arrows are correctly “spined” which means the arrow stiffness. They are measured carefully to absorb the high energy generated.

Barnett strongly recommends using their exclusively-made arrows as they passed the crossbow industry standards.

The minimum recommended weight for a Barnett arrow is no lesser than 400 grains. That number already includes the 100-grain broadhead.

4 Broadhead Selection

The tip of an arrow or the broadhead is the first thing that will make contact with something after you pulled the trigger. And so, in order to take down a prey during hunting, you must do it one shot.

Depending on the shape of the broadhead, some factors like the cutting efficiency, impact, penetration, and flight travel varies.

Broadheads are classified into fixed blades and mechanical broadheads. The choice is up to the shooter whether you want deeper penetration or larger wound area.

Barnett recommends using any three-blade, low-profile broadheads with their cutting diameters at a maximum of 1-3/16 inches.

5 Speed

The official product information for Recruit Crossbow says that the crossbow can provide 300 fps of speed. This speed applies to 400-grain arrows that come with the crossbow package.

Barnett had thought that this arrow weight is the most ideal to deliver the supreme of the crossbow’s potential.

If you choose an arrow that is lesser than 400 grains, say 380 grains, then the maximum speed that the arrow can travel is 306 fps.

Going lesser than 400 grains is highly not advisable for Barnett Recruit Crossbow.

The distance that the arrow can travel if it weighs 425 grains is lower than 300 fps. It’s at 292 fps, and it’s not recommended to go for heavier arrows so as to not sacrifice the power and speed.

6 Design

The external features of Recruit Crossbow are composed of lightweight and durable materials. The limbs and stock make use of composite materials which largely contribute to its weight of just 6.5 pounds.

Furthermore, these quad limbs provide great energy whenever you send an arrow flying.

Though originally design for people with smaller bodies like women and children, this crossbow fits some individuals who are close to six feet in height.

Recruit Crossbow is much acclaimed by its users for the adjustable butt stock which fits easily and adjusts to any body size. This proves to be a huge advantage for kids who are still growing so they can use the same crossbow for a long time.

The CNC machined 7/8” Picatinny rail at the scope area makes it easy to mount accessories like a scope or even a pistol light. Anything goes as long as it matches with the rail design.

Not only that the Picatinny rail gives off the rifle-like feel, but the grip and the metal-injection-molded trigger guard are also just like a pistol’s.

Other accessories that make up the entirety of the crossbow include the anti-vibration foot stirrup, Crosswire® string and cable system for quiet shots, and the quiver bracket for easy arrow access.

7 Finger Safety

A newbie using a crossbow is prone to accidents more than the seasoned shooters. In the archery business, the fingers are the most crucial part of a human’s body and must always be guarded against the possible mishaps.


This Barnett crossbow highly prioritizes your safety with its finger safety reminder located at the crossbow’s foregrip.

8 Scope

The optics that is included in the crossbow package is a premium red dot sight which is simple to use.


Installation is easy; you just need to do a shooting position while estimating the placement of the scope on the Picatinny rail. You should also consider the eye relief distance and the full field vision.

When shooting at short distances, the crossbow scope does great at sighting prey. At longer distances, however, the accuracy is not as high.

The scope’s other great points are its fog and water resistance, and it appears to be quite durable.

9 Warranty

Barnett imposes a 3-year limited warranty on all of their crossbows. The terms and conditions do not cover shipping charges to and from their service centers, so you will have to pay for them.

The warranty does not cover defects on the strings, cables, arrows, accessories, scratches, and normal wear and tear.

Cocking the Crossbow


To cock a crossbow, two methods are commonly used: the rope cocking device and the crank cocking device.

The former is already included in the package and the method preferred by Barnett. It’s important to incorporate safety methods such as wearing footwear.

The use of a cocking device ensures that the string is pulled back evenly and consistently.

Instructions found in the manual are easy to follow, and you can get the crossbow cocked in less than five minutes.

Safety Measures

A crossbow is pretty lethal especially if you’re at the receiving end of it. It is classified as a weapon to most countries and as such, safety guidelines and warnings must adhere when handling it.

One thing that must be followed, and not only limited to handling a Barnett crossbow, is to never dry fire the crossbow. This pertains to firing the crossbow without any arrow loaded.

This not only immediately voids the warranty but could result in the damage of the equipment. If you or your child happens to dry fire the crossbow, don’t use it and have it inspected by some expert to assess the damage.

Dry firing is highly not advisable among all crossbows and compound bows as this can not only result in equipment damage but may also bring serious injury to the wielder and others.

Fortunately for Barnett crossbows, there’s an automatic anti-dry fire mechanism that activates each time the crossbow is cocked.

In short, when an arrow is loaded into the flight track, the safety is released and disengaged. It is only safe to shoot when the safety is in the “off” position.

Barnett doesn’t recommend the use of wooden arrows, arrows that have improper stiffness, arrows that weigh less than 400 grains. The arrows must be of proper length and should have a half-moon or moon nock classification.

Make sure that your trigger finger is below the flight track and away from the string and cables whenever you shoot with the crossbow. Otherwise, it can result in personal injury as the string velocity is immense as it travels forward.


This crossbow is indeed popular among the buyers as evident from the number of positive reviews accumulated from its release on 2013.

Most of them praised the bow for its accuracy and power that are almost on par with bigger crossbows.

One user commended the Barnett Recruit Crossbow for being one of the greatest crossbow bargains he had gotten.

He said that the features from the manual are spot on upon real time observation and puts great value on the money spent on the purchase.

But since all products have their drawbacks, some users observed that the string is prone to breaking after several shots.

Traveling with this crossbow posed no problems so far because it didn’t accidentally catch on branches. This crossbow’s limbs aren’t made of metal so having a small crossbow is a good catch to reduce chances of bending and breaking.


Barnett Recruit Crossbow is primarily made for growing kids and women alike. It’s a crossbow that promotes safety and convenience that you will always look when purchasing a product.

And since, this crossbow is smaller and lighter than the others, carrying it around won’t be as tiring.

With our Barnett Recruit Crossbow review, we hope that you learned new things and would then consider to buy this crossbow as a gift to someone you know or even to yourself so you can enjoy hunting without exerting much effort.