In your search for a crossbow, I am sure you are looking for one that is of good enough quality and that you can afford of. As an intermediate hunter, I was once in the same shoes as you. Months of deep inquiry led me to the purchase of the Wicked Ridge Invader G3 crossbow.
It is very typical in us humans to look for quality equipment that, if possible, can last a lifetime. The problem comes with how much we are willing and able to spend on the purchase and maintenance of the desired equipment.
High-end crossbows can cost you quite a fortune. For instance, the TenPoint Nitro X Crossbow is well over 2,000 dollars. Another one by the same company – the Carbon Xtra CLS – costs almost 3,000 dollars.
These high-end crossbows, of course, have all the features you can ever dream of as an aspiring hunter.
On the other side of the divide, we have crossbows as cheap as $ 199 – the Barnett BCR Recurve crossbow to be specific.
As you would expect, these low budget crossbows may be limited in functionality and features.
I am just driving home the point of quality versus affordability. So what is the best crossbow for the money? According to me, the TenPoint Wicked Ridge Invader G3 crossbow wins.
FYI, this wicked ridge invader crossbow is a winner of the Best Value Award from Petersen’s Hunting.
I’m going to share with you all you need to know about the crossbow in this Wicked Ridge Invader review. To start us off, it would be good to know the exact contents of the package that will be delivered to your premises once you order the crossbow.
Wicked Ridge Invader G3 Crossbow Review
Wicked Ridge Invader G3 package contents
You will find the following 6 components in the package:
- The wicked ridge invader G3 crossbow
- Camo stock
- 3X Multi-Line scope
- Instant release quiver
- Three 20” carbon crossbow arrows
- ACU-52 self-retracting rope cocking system
Assembling a Wicked Ridge crossbow will not cost you much time. I estimate that 10 minutes is enough. There is nothing in it so different from the other crossbow models by TenPoint.
Being one of the big players in the industry, I suppose you at one time or the other handled their crossbows. Otherwise, most of the parts come already fixed together – you just need to tighten a couple of screws and you are good to go. If you have other Wicked Ridge Invader G3 accessories, make sure to add them according to instructions.
Design of the Wicked Ridge Invader G3
I guess the weight of the crossbow will form a good starting point. At only 6.6 pounds, this crossbow is rightly classified as lightweight. Weight is a major consideration for crossbow manufacturers.
They normally get into the hunter’s shoes and visualize how long a beginner may need to hold the crossbow before firing. Fatigue is real when it comes to hunting out in the woods. The worst scenario is when the very weapon you are carrying weighs you down.
Wobbly fingers are one sure recipe for out-of-focus shots. And you know how awful it feels to shoot into the thin air.
With the Wicked Ridge Invader G3 Crossbow, you will not have to worry about the added burden in terms of weight. The light weight is partly brought about by the expertly engineered aluminum riser.
The cutouts in the riser are so placed to further cut down the weight. In addition, the stock is partially skeletal in structure. The semi-skeletal structure also adds to the stylish aspect of the crossbow – the reason why it resonates well even with the Generation Z hunters.
The two black limbs of the crossbow are cleverly crafted to a strong finish that is able to brave the rigors of hunting in the wilderness or in the woods. They are also fitted with energy wheels at their tips to promote a smooth and easy draw. The resulting combo of the limbs and riser add to the power of this crossbow.
We shall discuss the power of the crossbow further down in this Wicked Ridge Invader G3 crossbow review.
Still on the design, I particularly like its mossy camouflage finish. On top of remaining invisible to the prey, the camouflage automatically stirs a militaristic spirit within me. I can, therefore, hunt with the image of myself as a soldier in the armed forces.
The axle to axle length when the crossbow is cocked is 19”. I find this narrow enough to enable me to make shots even from very narrow spaces. The uncocked axle to axle length is 22”. While this is not the narrowest on the market, the crossbow is still relatively compact.
The wicked Ridge Invader G3 crossbow measures 37.75” in length. This is not short. I can classify it among the longer crossbows in the market. All the same you can easily find a fitting crossbow case for it, both the soft and hard varieties.
Performance of the Wicked Ridge Invader G3
TenPoint did not disappoint regarding the performance of this crossbow. The Wicked Ridge Invader G3 is capable of speeds up to 330 feet per second. The 165 pounds draw weight is certainly enough to propel the arrows with such velocity.
165 pounds may be a bit tricky for youngsters to pull through. They and many others are saved by the ACU-52 rope cocking device included in the package. With the rope cocking aid, the draw weight is reduced by a half. So, instead of pulling up with 165 pounds, you only have to exert around 85 pounds.
This is one added advantage of the Wicked Ridge Invader G3 crossbow. For most crossbows of the same price range, and even more expensive ones, you have to purchase the rope cocking device separately.
The rope cocking aid for this crossbow is designed to self-retract into the stock. I find this very appropriate because you will never have to worry about a lost rope cocking aid. I have been there and I know how disappointing it feels to lose the rope cocker in the heat of things.
The draw length for this crossbow is 13.5”. This is within the recommended optimum range of 10-14”. Some refer to this as the power stroke. Generally, do not go for a power stroke below 10”. The resulting tension in the string will be too little to produce enough kinetic energy.
I will wind up this performance bit by touching on the arrows. Three 20” carbon arrows are included in the Wicked Ridge Invader G3 package. The arrows weigh approximately 400 grain.
When shot at a speed of 330 fps, these arrows produce kinetic energy of about 90 foot-pounds. Experts tell us that you require only 75 FPKE to take down large game such as the Cape buffalo and elephants. Your Wicked Ridge invader G3 is therefore capable of taking down whatever game you are allowed to hunt. I hope you understand that the kinetic energy drops as the arrow covers a larger distance.
Similarly, the speed of the arrow reduces with increasing distance from the shooter. Here is another illustration:
Note that your actual results may vary depending on the prevailing weather conditions and changes in the weight of the arrow.
Again, do not restrict yourself to the three Wicked Ridge Invader bolts purchased with the crossbow. My advice is having around 10 arrows wherever you go hunting.
Below are two performance graphs for the Wicked Ridge Invader G3. 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.
Quality of the optics
The 3x scope is good enough even for skilled hunters. It has 3 aim points – 20, 30 and 40 yards. Shooting at these ranges is simply hassle-free.
One downside with this scope is that it is non-illuminated. You may not be able to use it in low light conditions. On top of that, it does not perform well in misty conditions. The scope quickly fogs up to a point you cannot see the prey at all.
Having been in the field for years, I strongly advise you to purchase a good quality illuminated scope compatible with the Wicked ridge invader G3 crossbow. It is inevitable that you will at some stage find yourself hunting till late, as a good number of animals come out at dusk and dawn, while others only emerge at night. Restricting yourself to daytime hunting may deny you quite some delicacies.
Noise suppression for the Wicked Ridge Invader G3
Whenever you shoot an arrow using the Wicked Ridge Invader G3, there is a distinct audible click that emanates from the crossbow. Though not very loud, it may sometimes scare away the more sensitive animals. This may be disheartening considering the time you have spent aiming for the best shot. If the noise precedes the arrow, the animal may dash away in shock and result in you missing the shot.
For this reason, I recommend investing in a string stop set to bring down the noise levels of the crossbow. We also have noise suppressors for the limbs as well as the frame. The more you suppress the noise the better. You may also want to silence the stirrup completely as it is also a great culprit regarding noise.
Your hunting colleagues will also prefer you to remain as quiet as people. Any noise on your part may contribute to driving away whatever prey they are stalking.
Safety features of the Wicked Ridge Invader G3
As in many other models, the wicked Ridge Invader G3 has incorporated the dry-fire inhibitor. This prevents you from firing without a bolt in place.
The moment you cock the crossbow, the auto safety engages. You have to manually disengage this auto safety before firing a shot.
Your hands are another endangered component when using the crossbow. A slight lack of caution may place your fingers right in the path of the string. Imagine a force enough to kill a Buffalo exerted on your little fingers.
I know of incidents where hunters broke their forearm bones or got bruised deeply by incorrectly holding the crossbow. So make sure to take advantage of the pass-through fore grip of the wicked Ridge Invader G3.
Just on top of the fore grip are the nylon safety wings. They are a bit bigger on this crossbow than on most other models. These make sure your hands do not come anywhere near the string.
The Wicked Ridge Invader G3 features the award-winning T2 trigger. This is normally found on high-end crossbows. Having a sharp 3.5 pounds release, it adds to the accuracy of your shots. You just apply the right amount of force required to release the arrow. It is also crisp enough to prevent misfires.
Finally, let’s look at a summary of the pros and cons of the Wicked Ridge Invader G3 crossbow:
Pros and Cons of the Wicked Ridge Invader G3 Crossbow
|The Good||The Bad|
From the get-go, the Wicked Ridge Invader G3 crossbow is one of the best crossbows for the money in the market today. At its price range, I can say the manufacturer has really exceeded the expectations of the customer.
Many crossbows in the same price range are not as high-quality as this crossbow. Others lack some of the beneficial features we have discussed above. This makes it a great model for those looking for good value for money.
It is also ideal for beginners who have just started learning the tricks of the trade, owing to its distinct safety features. More advanced hunters also benefit greatly from its high speed and good performance.
I hope you liked this Wicked Ridge Invader G3 Review. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with this crossbow in the comment section below. You may also want to compare other crossbows in the same price range as the Wicked Ridge Invader G3. Check the reviews below: