Crossbows are a super powerful archery tool – noticeably more powerful than a standard vertical bow, with arrows shooting as fast as 300/400 feet per second.
If you’re looking for a great crossbow for either hunting or target practice, then give our buyers guide and our review of the Barnett Whitetail Hunter 2 (ii) a read!
It’s the perfect option if you’re a beginner, or if you’re unsure how to assemble a crossbow from scratch.
The company behind the crossbow, Barnett, is one of the best crossbow brands in the archery world, so it’s definitely a good idea to start with them.
- Can reliably shoot at 70 yards
- Easy to assemble
- Barnett have outstanding customer service
- Lighter than others of a similar size
- Narrow across the limbs
- May be too large if you're of a smaller stature
- The scope could be improved
- Can be quite noisy when fired
Barnett Whitetail Hunter II Crossbow Review Product Review
What Should I Consider Before Buying a Crossbow?
There are lots to consider before purchasing a crossbow – the size, shape, speed are all things that can affect how powerful it can shoot arrows. You should also consider what you’re using it for- you may be looking for different features if you’re target-shooting instead of hunting game.
Nobody wants a slow crossbow – even if the deer is right in front of you, a slow crossbow will do minimal (if any) damage.
The speed of the bolt is mostly determined by the draw weight, but the cam dynamics, kinetic energy, bolt weight, spine, and power stroke can all be used to maximize the speed.
Faster is better when it comes to crossbows. This is because when the crossbow is fired, it creates a loud noise that tends to startle game. The faster the arrow is fired, the higher the chance of hitting your target.
Most crossbows typically fire between 300 and 400 feet per second, but there are some more expensive crossbows out there that offer higher speeds.
It’s very unlikely you’d need a speed of more than 400 feet per second. For typical deer hunting or target shooting, 300fps should be more than enough.
The size of the crossbow you should get really depends on two things – how big you are, and what you’ll be using it for.
For target shooting, the size of the crossbow really doesn’t matter. For hunting on the other hand, the smaller the better. The more compact a crossbow is, the more mobile and portable it is, meaning you can carry it with you for longer periods of time.
You need to be able to hold and operate the crossbow, and it can take strength to do so.
First of all, you need to be able to cock the crossbow. Your arms must be long enough if you want the power stroke to be long!
The weight of the crossbow should also be considered. If you get shaky when holding the crossbow in position, then you need to either get stronger or get a lighter crossbow. Shaky arms and hands mean you’re probably going to miss your target.
If you’re new to archery, it’s probably best to get a crossbow that weighs under 7lbs, so you can get used to the feel.
The two main types of crossbow are recurve and compound. Both have their places in the target and hunting world, and they each have their differences.
A recurve crossbow has been around for hundreds of years. It’s simple and reliable, with a simple bow and string with no cables to adjust.The axle to axle (ATA) is wider on a recurve than on a compound. A recurve crossbow tends to have a higher draw weight with less speed than a compound.
Compound crossbows are more popular than the recurve, mostly because the draw weight is lower and the speed of the arrows is higher.There are added cables that you can adjust to get a narrower ATA and to improve your shot. The cables have a downside though – if they fail, then your game is gone.
Crossbows are weapons, so naturally, they can cause significant damage. Always put safety first when operating a crossbow! Some crossbows have in-built safety features that you should look out for.
It can be damaging to your crossbow if you fire the bow with no arrow in place. The energy released can go right back into the bow, and cause severe damage to the limbs, axles, cams and the string.
Luckily, a lot of modern crossbows feature a mechanism that won’t allow the string to be released without an arrow in place. This is known as an “anti-dry fire” or “dry fire inhibitor” device, and you should definitely check that a crossbow has this before making any purchases.
Like on a gun, it’s best to have an auto-engaging safety feature on a crossbow for obvious reasons. The mechanical safety works just like the safety on a rifle – it’s automatically set during the action of drawing the bowstring.
Especially if you’re a beginner, you’ll want to check that a crossbow has this feature before you purchase anything.
Introducing… The Barnett Whitetail Hunter 2 (II)
Barnett is one of the most trusted brands for archery equipment, and after reviewing the Whitetail 2, it’s clear why archers and bowmen love their products so much.
- 150lb draw weight
- 103-foot lb of kinetic energy
- 6.4lb overall weight
- 18.25 inches wide
Included in the Package:
- 4×32 scope
- Lightweight quiver
- Two headhunter arrows (both 20 inches long)
- Lube wax (lube strings after every 10 shots)
- Rope cocking device
Safety is hugely important when handling weapons of any kind, especially crossbows. Thankfully, the Whitetail Hunter 2 (II) is equipped with an anti-dry fire feature.
This will prevent you from prematurely firing, and one you cock the bow, you’ll be required to fire something before you set the crossbow down in a cocked and ready-to-go position.
This will keep you, passers-by and the crossbow safe.
This crossbow certainly packs a punch considering its low weight. At 6.4 pounds, the weight is a lot lighter than others of the same size available on the market. This means it’s a lot easier to handle, regardless of your size.
The stainless steel skeleton will stay rust-free even in heavy rain and should last for years and years.
It comes pretty much ready-to-go as soon as you open the box – you just need to adjust a couple of minor things like the scope.
To start, just attach the riser to the rail of the crossbow. Then connect the stock, so ensure all the strings are in the correct position.
They will click into place but should be secured with a bolt to keep everything in place.
Finally, attach the quiver and stirrup! Then you’re ready to shoot.
Although there are faster, more powerful crossbows on the market, this crossbow still shoots 350fps with 203fp of kinetic energy with ease.
As it’s lightweight, the bow is super easy to hold and balance while you’re out hunting game or shooting targets.
This crossbow is lethal – the center of balance is closer to the shooter than the end of the bow, which will massively improve your accuracy when hunting.
As you’d expect with any good product, this product comes with several accessories.
The product comes with quiver and bolts. The quiver can be easily detached and reattached, and it can hold up to three arrows at a time. This is great for if you miss your shot – you can make extra shots when necessary.
If you’re not new to the archery scene, you probably already have an arrow preference. If not, the company, Barnett, has provided two carbon arrows to go in the quiver.
The headhunter arrows are both 20 inches long, which is the average arrow size for most modern crossbows.
This crossbow is also equipped with a decocking bolt. To disable the anti-dry fire system, you need to fire something.
The bolt is designed to be heavy-duty, and it also has a glow in the dark feature so it’s easier to see in the dark.
The scope is built into this crossbow and is of similar quality to those found on $1000 crossbows.
Don’t worry if you already have a scope you love to use – you can easily switch the scopes! It’s designed to sit on a Picatinny rail, meaning it’s super easy to swap with another.
This is a great crossbow for beginners to mid-level hunters and archers. Not many crossbows can shoot cross bolts as bast as 350FPS while remaining lightweight and compact, but the Barnett Whitetail Hunter 2 manages to do just that.
It’s easy to assemble, easy to manage, and packs a powerful punch.
Pretty much any sized hunter could operate this crossbow, and could potentially shoot game from as far as 60 yards away.
It’s definitely a good investment, especially for such a low price. It has everything you could possibly want in a crossbow, including accessories.
Not only does it look great with a sleek, camo design – but it also performs brilliantly.
Have you tried the Barnett Whitetail Hunter 2 (II)? If you have, then what are your thoughts?
Let us know in the comments section below, and don’t forget to share this with your friends.