The Barnett Jackal compound crossbow has fast gained popularity as one of the most affordable crossbows. This is especially great for those of us just starting out.
Getting started with hunting sometimes seems an uphill task, yet we find ourselves beating all odds to start this life. It is just innate for humans to hunt for food.
Imagine it is now 2.1 million years since our ancestors stopped relying on leftovers from fresh kills by other predators. Since then, man has taken to hunting and is continuously improving his skills.
Skills go hand in hand with the advancement in equipment – in this case, weapons. I understand quite a lot of people champion the use of rifles for hunting. I do not find it as exciting as using a bow. The skill and practice required for a crossbow is nothing near what rifle owners have to go through.
And so I strongly recommend the use of a crossbow for hunting. The only thing you have to be sure of is the time you are willing to commit to practice. Not just in the woods – you can practice successfully with target shooting.
I know what you are asking right now:
What is the best crossbow for a beginner? I have written this Barnett Jackal Crossbow Review to answer this question. I will start by listing what you expect to be delivered once you order the crossbow.
BARNETT JACKAL CROSSBOW REVIEW
Barnett Jackal Package contents and assembly
Below is a list of the materials you should expect in the Barnett Jackal crossbow package.
- The Barnett Jackal compound crossbow
- Three 20” arrows with attachable field points
- The quick-detach quiver for arrows
- Quiver attachment fixture
- Red-dot sight
- Hex keys, bolts, screws for assembly
- Highly detailed Barnett Jackal manual
- Warranty card
As a beginner, it pays to follow the user manual in assembling the Barnett Jackal Crossbow parts. No need to scratch your head over what-bolt-goes-where kind of a thing. Among the Barnett Jackal assembly tasks you will have to do are:
• Attach the quiver bracket to the bottom of the stock using the provided screws
• Insert the cable slide, followed by the string and cables into the cams and limbs
• Push the riser into the stock until it clicks
• Reinforce the riser with the hex bolt
• Insert the foot stirrup into the opening at the bottom of the riser
• Secure the foot stirrup with the provided screws
• Mount the red-dot sight and adjust it to about 4 inches from your eyes when your cheek rests on the cheek piece
• Secure the red-dot sight onto the mount
• Lubricate the string and cables – Consider using the Ex Wax or TenPoint wax for this job. First, apply some wax to the exposed string on the Barnett Jackal crossbow. Use your thumb and index finger to spread the wax into the string. Do not put wax on the serving part of the string as this will create a gummed up trigger. More on this later, but now you are all set to make your first kill.
These tasks should take you about 20 – 30 minutes, depending on how handy you are. The recurve crossbows may take a bit less time because they are not as complicated as compound crossbows.
Also, watch this video for a comprehensive Barnett Jackal Crossbow Assembly tutorial.
Let us now look at the most essential Barnett Jackal Crossbow specs that make it ideal for beginners:
The performance of a given crossbow depends on its build. When evaluating the design of a given crossbow, we consider the following:
Is the crossbow sturdy?
We mostly consider how sturdy the limbs are. Of course, the engineers at Barnett would have used the densest metal on earth to make the limbs strong. This does not happen because the resulting product will be too weighty. The aim here is to provide a sturdy set of limbs that are both light and durable.
The Barnett Jackal features quad style limbs. They are made of a synthetic material that is very strong and durable. Thus the limbs can withstand the tension set up by the string when in the cocked position, while also ensuring a smooth draw.
The split-style limbs are very stable. They provide excellent support so you can take a good aim and make a killer shot. They help in accelerating the arrow even faster since they experience less air resistance than solid limbs. Such limbs are also striking in appearance
Is the crossbow well-balanced?
Consider the way you hold the crossbow when shooting the arrow. Does the left hand feel shaky under the weight of the crossbow? Such a design is poorly balanced.
The Barnett Jackal Crossbow has solved this problem by using machined aluminum for its riser. This is one of the best materials ever used for the manufacture of crossbow risers. In addition to maintaining quality, aluminum is quite lightweight. The crossbow is therefore appropriate even for small children and teens.
One of the Barnett Jackal Crossbow’s problems is the shoulder rest. I find it a bit too narrow. It does not offer the comfort I have experienced with other high-end crossbows. But at least this is still better than many other brands.
How light is the crossbow?
The overall weight of the Barnett Jackal crossbow is 7.7 pounds. This is light enough that you need not worry about carrying it to your favorite hunting spot. Whether you are on a bike, a saloon car or you travel by bus.
How easy is it to make a shot?
Several features in the Barnett Jackal crossbow contribute to the ease of drawing the crossbow. First and foremost, the Barnett Jackal has energy wheels at the end of the limbs, which enable you to make a smooth and powerful draw. The cable system for the compound bow adds to the power of the shot. A recurve crossbow has no such cable and wheel system.
Another useful feature is the 3.5-pound trigger. You usually want something easy to pull but also firm enough so that you avoid accidental misfires.
How visible is it to prey?
A good crossbow should be invisible to some degree to the prey. The Barnett Jackal crossbow features the traditional camouflage design that blends so well with the woods environment.
Do not think that the performance of this crossbow is compromised in lieu of its affordability. The manufacturer rates its shooting speed at 315 feet per second. Barnel Jackal Crossbow is one of the best crossbows for the money.
Its draw weight is 150 pounds. You have to move the string up by 12 inches to cock the crossbow. This is what we refer to as the power stroke. I guess this is manageable even by teen hunters. In case you find it a bit hard to cock the crossbow by hand, consider purchasing a rope cocking aid. The Barnett Jackal crossbow does not come with a rope cocking aid.
The combination of 150 pounds draw weight and 315 fps velocity produces kinetic energy of 95 foot-pounds. This is already more than the recommended average of 75 FPKE for killing big game. And this shows you’ve got enough power in your hands. You can use the Barnett Jackal crossbow for whatever kind of prey you are after.
Power is nothing without accuracy. When you focus on that elk, at least you should be sure that the arrow moves in the expected trajectory. This is made possible by the Picatinny rail, where you mount the bolt. The rail directs the release of the bolt in a perfectly straight direction. With great skill, you can achieve high accuracy with the Barnett Jackal up to 60 yards. This is impressive for a crossbow with the price range of the Barnett Jackal crossbow.
Below are two performance graphs for the Barnett Jackal Crossbow. The first one shows the reduction in speed of the arrow as it travels away from the shooting point. The second one shows the reduction in the kinetic energy of the arrow as it travels closer to the target.
The Three Barnett Jackal Bolts
The Barnet Jackal crossbow comes with three 400-grain bolts of relatively good quality. I like them because their field points are not glued in. Other cheaper crossbows are sold with glued-in field points, which you can use for target shooting. The field points for this crossbow can be removed and replaced with an appropriate broadhead. That is if you are into hunting.
You can choose from any of the following popular broadheads:
- Fixed-blade broadheads
- Removable-blade broadheads
- Expandable-blade broadheads
What I would advise you is to make sure whatever broadhead you use for replacement is of the same weight as the one you bought the crossbow with. Using a lighter bolt amounts to dry-firing, and this can void your warranty. There is, however, no problem with using a heavier bolt.
As for the arrow length, I recommend sticking with the 20” arrows to match the original arrow length. However, using the 18” arrows is just as fine.
Crossbow bolts usually are very durable. They do not break easily. In buying more, you are merely adding to the number so that you do not run out of arrows while trying to knock down the game.
Another downside to the Barnett Jackal crossbow is that it has no noise suppression devices. This leaves the crossbow a bit noisy. Noise from the crossbow is a great reason to miss your aim. Once the deer you had aimed at gets startled with the noise before the bolt hits, you can consider the shot gone.
It will, therefore, be worth it to invest in a quality noise dampening system compatible with your Barnett Jackal crossbow. This will go a long way in increasing your percentage of kills.
Ease of sighting
The Barnett Jackal crossbow comes with a pre-sighted scope that offers an accuracy of up to 20 yards. When you adjust it, you can improve the accuracy of the crossbow to 40 yards.
You can follow the guide by Orlando to know how to sight in the crossbow scope. The scope is not limited to the red-dot suggested by its name. It also has green and red lights, each with five settings for brightness. With these, you can hunt in whatever light conditions you find yourself in. The weather is also no hindrance with such a scope in hand.
Kindly note that the scope runs on batteries, and with many adjustments to different light conditions, the battery may get drained quite fast. To avoid any mishaps in the field, consider purchasing a pair or two of backup batteries.
Safety is paramount when it comes to hunting with crossbows. The Barnett Jackal engineers understood this well and designed the Barnett Jackal crossbow with safety in mind.
The first safety consideration is exhibited in the placement and design of the fore grip. It offers a good grip for the hand (by use of grooves) so that there is no chance for accidental firing. The left hand is also able to stay out of the path of the tensioned string as the bolt is released.
Next is the dry-fire inhibitor to guard you against the dangers of misfires.
As mentioned previously, this Barnett Jackal crossbow is built to last a lifetime. The materials used for the structure, such as machined aluminum, are known to last very long without any damage unless you are very determined to destroy the weapon.
Think of the 5-year warranty on this product. This tells you how much the manufacturer trusts the Barnett Jackal crossbow.
All that is left on your part is keeping watch over the crossbow, handling it mindfully, lubricating the rails and waxing the strings.
Pros and Cons of the Barnett Jackal Crossbow
|The Good||The Bad|
It is my sincere hope you gained something from this Barnett Jackal Review. Do you have any thoughts on this piece you feel like sharing? Please do so in the comment section below.