Barnett penetrator crossbow review

Barnett penetrator crossbow review DEFAULT

Package ContentsBarnett Penetrator Review

Hi, and thanks for reading my review of the Barnett Penetrator crossbow. This crossbow is a beauty to shoot, and definitely qualifies as a tack driver. Each package delivered by includes the following items:

  • The Barnett Penetrator Crossbow
  • 4 x 32mm crossbow scope
  • Quick-detach quiver
  • Rope cocking device
  • 3 20” arrows with field tips

Assembling The Crossbow

Barnett Penetrator ReviewAs with most crossbows, assembling the Barnett Penetrator is pretty easy. All you have to do is attach the prod to the stock and tighten the bolts, then install your scope. Barnett’s included scope is a 4 x 32mm crossbow scope, and it installs quickly and easily on the mount.

Overall, I would say it took me less than 5 minutes to have my new crossbow ready to sight in and test out.

Accuracy And Power

The Barnett Penetrator flings arrows at 350 fps, and provides those arrows 109 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy to drive them deep into your target. A friend of mine tried shooting her new Penetrator at a sandbag target, and the arrow went clear through the bag, destroying the vane. Do not try this! Make sure you do your practice shooting at a foam target. It’s safer and you will be less likely to damage your arrows.

Once sighted in, I found that the speed of the Penetrator was matched only with its accuracy. Talk about a tack driver! I was able to maintain 1” groupings from 30 yards, and had 2” groupings at 50 yards. From 75 yards, I still kept 2.5” groupings on the center of the target, to my absolute amazement.

Ballistic Data For The Barnett Penetrator

  • Speed Reduction
  • Kinetic Energy
  • Hunting Requirements

Your actual results will vary slightly depending on weather, and significantly with arrow weight change. See our Crossbow Ballistics Guides section for a complete understanding of how we conducted our tests and why this data matters.

Hunting: What To Expect

This crossbow propels arrows at 350 fps, and punches them through the target with 109 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy. This is more than enough for small game as well as medium- to large-sized game. The Penetrator is a bit heavy, weighing 8.6 pounds, but I found it easy to carry through the woods. The Penetrator does not come with a padded sling, but it does have the attachment swivels for it, so definitely invest in a sling if you want to take this crossbow into the bush.

During my first hunting trip with the Penetrator, I saw a 12-point buck come down the trail about 30 yards from my deer stand. I took careful aim, followed him until he stopped for a minute, and then took the shot. My arrow went through his shoulder and out the other side without him even realizing he’d been shot until he dropped from blood loss. I’d guess he walked no more than 30 yards before he fell.

Kinetic Energy Of The Barnett Penetrator

I’m sure your next question is how much kinetic energy the Penetrator deals out. After all, KE is what really determines whether or not you can take out your intended prey with a humane kill shot. The Barnett Penetrator slings out the 400-grain arrows at 350 FPS, which will provide 109 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy for every shot from point blank range. From 30 yards out, the normal deduction of a few percent ft. lbs. for every yard away from point blank range would still leave you with 101 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy, which is plenty of KE to take down even the toughest North American game, such as grizzly bears or Cape buffalo.

Use our arrow ballistics calculatorfor more valuable information.

Cocking The Barnett Penetrator Crossbow

The Barnett Penetrator comes with a rope cocking device, but there’s also an available hand cranking cocking device that attaches directly to the butt. I would recommend the hand cranking cocking device for convenience and easier cocking of the 175 pounds of draw weight.

Using my rope cocking device, I was able to smoothly cock the crossbow. The hand crank worked even better, and I was cocked and ready to shoot in seconds.

The Crossbow Scope

Barnett includes their standard 4 x 32mm scope with the Penetrator, and it’s a pretty good scope. It was almost fully sighted in straight out of the box, meaning only a few shots of fine-tuning before it was ready to go. The scope holds zero (stays sighted in) through the worst of bumps and bangs, which is a welcome change from the old days of scopes that would need to be resighted every time you looked at them funny.

The eye relief of the included crossbow is good, and I was able to quickly adjust for different distances using the multiple reticles.

See our detailed guide on how to sight-in your crossbow


Barnett ships the Penetrator with three 20”, 400-grain arrows. Buy carbon arrows, though, and you will have much more life out of your arrows as well as better flight characteristics. The aluminum arrows that came with my Penetrator bent early on, but my Carbon Express 20” arrows shot reliably and safely through at least a hundred shots during my testing.

You can also learn more about crossbow arrowsand take a look at our broadhead recommendations

Safety and Design

This crossbow is well-built and safe to use. The pistol grip makes holding it on target natural, and the bow doesn’t have much in the way of frontal heaviness to pull your arrow down.

The only downfall of this crossbow is the included string. After about 7 shots, my string snapped with a loud bang and I had to replace the string. Barnett doesn’t usually cover string failures in their warranty coverage, but the customer service representative sent me a new string at no charge anyways. I found the replacement string to be much better made, and I had no problems after that.

Barnett’s Penetrator includes an Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) mechanism, and the safety is easy to use.


Barnett warrantees its crossbows for five years, covering the stock, trigger mechanism and limb assembly. They specifically state that string failures and failures due to misuse are not covered, but I’ve found Barnett to be very helpful when strings fail early in the life of the crossbow. Barnett knows their crossbows are string-breakers, and they tend to work hard to please customers. The customer service representatives are friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful.

What Crossbow Case Fits the Barnett Penetrator?

One of the most popular choices for any Barnett crossbow is the Barnett Case (Model 17083). It is usually just over $50 and is spacious enough for accessories. Another option is the Carbon Express Deluxe Case. It is under $70, but does not accommodate large accessories.

Crossbow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading this review of the Barnett Penetrator crossbow. This is a solid crossbow that will provide years of successful deer and even elk hunts. The price tag is reasonable, and the hand cranking device is top notch and a wonderful addition to the bow. Take a look at today's price on this crossbow and check out our top 10 crossbows rankings for more.


Barnett Penetrator Crossbow Review

Barnett crossbows boast of a five to one safety factor. They come with whiplash cams and crosswire strings, which make them smoother, quieter, faster, and more precise than any other crossbows. They are also compact.

Plus, they have an Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) Metal Injection Molding (MIM) trigger system as well as a 350 FPS speed.

Barnett Penetrator Crossbow Package (Quiver, 3-20-Inch Arrows and 4x32mm Scope)
Barnett Penetrator Crossbow Package (Quiver, 3-20-Inch Arrows and 4x32mm Scope)
  • Powerful, accurate crossbow has innovative design with shoot-through foot stirrup, and 12-inch power stroke capable of producing firing speeds up to 350 feet-per-second
  • Five-to-one safety factor; Crosswire string and cable system with high energy whiplash cams for faster, quieter shots; bow has new Anti-Dry Fire (ADF), Metal Injection Molding (MIM) trigger system with 3.5-pound pull
  • 175-pound draw weight, 116-foot-pounds of energy, 12-inch power stroke, and 350 feet-per-second firing velocity; 37 inches long and 24 inches wide, with 8.6-pound weight; fires 20-inch arrows
  • Includes limited five-year manufacturer's warranty
  • This item is not for sale in some specific zip codes

Specifications for Barnett Penetrator Reviews

  • 20-inch arrows
  • 6-lb. weight
  • 175-lb. draw weight
  • 12-inch power stroke
  • energy
  • 350 FPS firing velocity
  • 24-inch width, 37-inch length


This crossbow is good in quality, highly accurate, and fairly easy to operate. It is fast, powerful, well balanced, and simple to build. It is also appealing, hits hard, and has a good trigger break.

It costs less than $500, making it a good buy for a hunter on a budget. You do not have to wait a long time for it to arrive in your home either.


You may find that it is quite difficult to cock, even if you use a rope cocker that reduces the pull to 87.5 pounds. You can say that it is a bit on the heavy side since it weighs about 8.5 pounds. So if you are not strong enough, you may not be able to shoot offhand that easily. It is also not available in certain states.


Most Barnett Penetrator reviews are positive, which means that buyers are mostly satisfied with their purchase of this product. This crossbow, after all, is accurate, powerful, and has an innovative design. The set consists of the crossbow, arrows, quiver, and scope. It also has a limited 5-year manufacturer’s warranty. (Read Easton Crossbow Bolts Reviews)

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Barnett Penetrator CrossbowMany crossbows make promises of power and convenience that they don’t fulfill. When searching for items like crossbows, specifications and features can make products look far more valuable and useful than they actually are. With the Barnett Penetrator, that definitely is not the case.

With true power and wealth of features, this crossbow offers sportsmen the chance to get a top-of-the-line crossbow at a highly competitive price without sacrificing quality.

Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings and Reviews on


Barnett Penetrator Performance

Barnett has long been a trusted manufacturer in the crossbow and sport industry. With the release of the Barnett Penetrator, they have raised the bar with this new quad-limbed compound bow.

This crossbow features a draw weight of 175 pounds and is capable of shooting at over 350 feet per second. These two features alone set the Barnett Penetrator among the top of its class. On top of being powerful, the Penetrator is very accurate as well.

Featuring Barnett’s heralded fiber compound crossbow strings as well whiplash cams that reduce vibrations to ensure an accurate shot every time.

Barnett Outdoors Carbon Crossbow 20-Inch Arrows with Field PointsThe power of the Barnett Penetrator is remarkable. The 175 pound draw weight gives power to hit any game or target with more than enough strength. As a result, the bow can tend to over perform, but most hunters don’t seem to have a problem with that.

It is encourage to be wary of your surroundings to ensure that you don’t have to constantly replace your arrows from hitting hard surfaces like rocks should an arrow pass through your target.

Another convenient feature of the Penetrator is the unique shoot through stirrup. This feature shrinks the overall profile of the device by incorporating the stirrup directly into the body of the bow itself. A smaller profile means it is easier to wield and transport, especially in confined places like underbrush or woods.

Along with this, the magnesium STR riser increases the safety of the bow while making it stronger and lighter at the same time. Unlike many other cumbersome bows, this is a feature packed bow without the large profile and weight.
Perhaps one of the most useful features and one that has made Barnett a leading manufacturer among serious sportsmen is the inclusion of the ADF MIM system.

This firing systems ensure that your bow doesn’t get damaged through dry fires, as only knocked arrows allow the bow to be fired.

As a result, you ensure your bow is going to last a long time without the wear and tear of possible dry fires.

Upgrading the Crossbow

This bow also allows users to upgrade various features from the base model you purchase. The included 4 x 32 mm scope that is included is well suited for most sportsmen, but can be easily upgraded by users who desire a more powerful scope.

The other option to upgrade the bow is through the use of a crank system. These allow a faster cocking time and far easier crank than doing it manually with the bow itself. This is a great feature for those who are looking for quick reload times between shots or those who are looking to make the task of cocking easier on any bow.

Pros and Cons of the Barnett Penetrator

Overall, the Barnett Penetrator is a bow that will easily suit any hunter or sportsman’s needs at a great price. Barnett has included many high-end features on a very practical bow.

The price tag alone makes this an attractive bow for any beginner or experienced sportsman. The wealth of included features make the bow a great option for those looking for a bow they can easily purchase and use out of the box.

The option to upgrade the scope and add the cranking system give buyers the chance to further customize the bow, should they feel the need. All of these features coupled with the sheer strength of the bow make it a great option for anyone looking for a new bow.


Some aspects that Barnett may want to focus on in improving the Penetrator would be the noise of the bow. For many hunters, the bow can be a bit loud which can be a problem when hunting certain game.

Another aspect that has proved challenging to some is the cocking mechanism without the attachment. Some people have found that cocking the device can be cumbersome and difficult. Using the additional cocking system greatly improves the ease of the process, though.

The final issue that some hunters have had is the sheer strength of the bow. On occasion, the bow can “over-perform” or be too strong for certain types of game or targets.

Final Review

For the price and the features, the Barnett Penetrator is a must-buy for anyone looking for a great basic bow. The bow combines strength, durability, and portability to make a great overall package.

This bow is perfect for any hunter or target shooter looking for a high-quality product at a great price. When buying the bow, especially consider purchasing the additional Barnett cocking system to make the most out of your purchase.


Click Here to See Pricing, Ratings and Reviews on



Barnett Penetrator crossbow reviewKEY STATS:

  • Speed: 350 fps
  • Draw Weight: 175 lbs
  • Crossbow Weight: 8.6 lbs
  • Type: Compound

Barnett Penetrator Review:

The Penetrator crossbow is produced by Barnett for hunters. This crossbow has incredible power behind each shot whilst showing off a lightweight frame that is easy to move and manage. It has been made robust so it can be handled by any hunter, whilst staying sleek so it can be hidden easily. Like other Barnett crossbow the Penetrator features the Anti-Dry Fire adding that extra bit of safety as well as a high energy whiplash cam that aids quieter shots that are smooth and effortless.

The Barnett Penetrator has a newly designed thumb and finger guard to help protect you when shooting. It can also hold a lot of power in each shot, up to 350 feet per second, making it great for hunting larger animals at a longer distance. It is also designed to be easier to load, making hunting with this crossbow a graceful task. When you attach the scope you can get accurate shots from 40 yard up to 70 yards, which is also great for hunting. The scope is also very light and doesn’t add much weight to the crossbow, which helps to keep the shots precise.

There are many excellent aspects to this Penetrator crossbow including how easy it is to build out of the box, which means you will be using it in no time. As Barnett crossbows tend to have, this crossbow has a 5 to 1 safety factor, so do not fear that you will injure yourself when using this crossbow (as long as you operate within common sense limits). It also comes with a 5 year warranty to protect against workmanship and material defects, which is always appreciated.

Some issues that have been noted with the Barnett Penetrator crossbow include a fragile rope cocker. If the crossbow is not treated well, or not maintained as it should be it can cause the rope cocker to go wrong, which will have to be fixed to use the crossbow again. Other than this there are no other problems reported by users making it great for someone who wants a crossbow with no hassle.


  • The power that allows for graceful shots that is accurate up to 70 yards.
  • A 5 to 1 safety factor that is reassuring when you use the crossbow.
  • Sleek design that allows you to hide easily when hunting so you don’t startle your prey.
  • A 5 year warranty that adds encouragement when purchasing the crossbow against faults.


  • There is an issue with the crossbow, but it is down to how the shooter treats the crossbow, so if you do not look after it, you will have to expect issues after a while.  Other than that this is a great crossbow to buy if you want value for money.

>>Click here to see more Barnett Penetrator reviews and price<<

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Penetrator crossbow review barnett

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