The Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR crossbow continues the proud tradition started by other models in the Company’s Whitetail Hunter series while building a reputation of its own. This is a value-added hunting platform, which could help you introduce new hunters to the sport without breaking the bank for new hunting equipment.

Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR Specifications:

  • Length: 34.875 inch
  • Width: 20 1/8 inch (unarmed)
  • Boom speed: (up to) 375 fps
  • Weight: 6.6 lbs
  • Pull the trigger: 4.5 lbs (as tested)
  • Power stroke: 15 7/16 inches
  • Finish: Mossy oak lowland
  • Price: $ 449

Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR

Barnett’s Whitetail Hunter STR may prove to be one of the best hunting crossbows the company has ever produced. Cabelas

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What type of crossbow is the Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR?

The Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR is perfectly suited for hunting game of the same name. This could be one of the best deer hunting crossbows on the market today, as it offers a mix of precision, speed and maneuverability that you might not expect given its asking price. The Whitetail Hunter STR is just under 35 inches, weighs 6.6 pounds, and comes with a built-in / stepper riser. It also features dry-fire technology, finger safety wings, a patented Soft-Lok floating bristle boom retainer, and a TriggerTech trigger.

The Whitetail Hunter STR begs to be taken in pursuit of the deer. I think it would make a great beginner crossbow as well, as it costs less than $ 500 and is lightweight.

How we tested this Barnett crossbow

I photographed my test model using a chronograph using the 22 inch Headhunter carbon arrows and 100 grain field tips that came with the crossbow. My digital boom weight scale sets the total boom weight at 400 grains. My trigger scale gave a reading of 4.5 pounds.

After getting these initial measurements, I placed a Foam Block target in an open field and then took several shots at 20, 30, 40, and 50 yards. Given the name of the Barnett crossbow, it seemed appropriate to aim for the stag silhouette side of the target. I used a large Primos Trigger Stick Gen 3 tripod to stabilize the Whitetail Hunter STR.

How the Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR Worked

Speed

While this might not be the fastest crossbow on the market today, my testing of the Whitetail Hunter STR yielded an average – and very consistent – arrow speed of 370 fps. Barnett says the Whitetail Hunter STR can reach speeds of up to 375 fps, but that would happen when using a 380 grain boom. The headhunters I used were a bit heavier, giving me slightly slower speeds.

chronograph for barnett hunter str arrows
The Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR produced an average speed of 370 fps with its supplied 22 inch Headhunter arrows. Taylor Pardue

Precision

I would have shot the two arrows Barnett includes with the Whitetail Hunter STR several times at each distance, but I managed to break the notch and break the shaft of one with the other while finishing aiming the crossbow at 20 meters. That, I guess, says a lot about the accuracy of the crossbow itself. However, being reduced to a single arrow forced me to focus on each shot and make it really count, just like I should have if I had used the Whitetail Hunter STR during hunting season.

Once I got used to the Halo Optics 4x32mm Multi-Reticle Scope that the Whitetail Hunter STR is equipped with (more on that later), I was able to hit the “vitals” on the target’s deer silhouette. Block at every distance I tried – heart at 20, 30 and 40 yards, lungs at 50. I’m sure others could use the crossbow even better, but remember, this is a picture of ‘a deer that fits on the side of a block, not a life- sized deer target.

Armament effort

The Whitetail Hunter STR I tested came with a standard rope cocking device. Cocking the crossbow was quite easy, with no problems encountered.

Noise and vibrations

I didn’t notice much noise and vibration when firing this crossbow – it’s not silent or vibration-free, of course, but there was nothing noticeable. The Whitetail Hunter STR is equipped with a string damping system, which I liked, but I can’t comment on how effective it was since I didn’t shoot the crossbow without it. it is installed for comparison. At the very least, the system adds uniformity to each shot and reduces some vibration by simply stopping the rope at the same point on the rail each time.

Handling

The Whitetail Hunter STR felt a bit long to me at just under 35 inches, but when paired with such light weight, the length turned out to be a plus. I was able to fully control the crossbow without it being whipped in my hands. This maneuverability would certainly come in handy when moving the crossbow for a tree shot.

Fit and finish

The Whitetail Hunter STR is dressed in the Mossy Oak Bottomland camouflage. It’s a proven pattern that will work almost anywhere, and it’s on the darker side, which could come in handy if you’re trying to blend into the shade of a floor shade. The three short Picatinny rails on the front of the headrest – one on each side and one on the bottom – are perfect for mounting accessories such as the included quiver. I also liked the slits cut in the front. These were undoubtedly designed to reduce the weight of the crossbow, but they also add texture.

I didn’t measure the pull length on this Barnett crossbow, but it appeared to be on the short side. I found myself having to adjust my face to the cheek a few times, but maybe it’s just me.

TriggerTech trigger for Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR crossbow
The Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR features a TriggerTech trigger that snaps clean at 4.5 pounds. Taylor Pardue

What the Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR does best

I was impressed with the speed of the Whitetail Hunter STR. There are certainly faster crossbows out there, but 370 fps is a flat shot for me. And what about the TriggerTech trigger that those who know the company may not already know? The trigger on my test model was incredibly sharp, and it is straight rather than curved. Straight triggers are ideal when wearing gloves late in the season, which is when I’m hunting most of my crossbows.

The Whitetail Hunter STR is lightweight, accurate at what I think are ethical hunting distances and beyond, and a good deal to boot. If I had a child, he would be vying for his first hunting crossbow.

The worst things the Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR does

Safety wings are very useful as they are, but they are short and curved at the ends. I could definitely get used to it, but I think I would like to shoot the crossbow a bit more if they came straight out and were a bit wider.

I was disappointed to find that Barnett only ships the Whitetail Hunter STR with two arrows instead of three. You can easily buy additional arrows with the money you’ll save on this crossbow compared to many of its competition, but most of the land comes with an additional arrow. Breaking that notch / splitting that arrow made my review a bit difficult.

The range of the Whitetail Hunter STR is good, but the reticle lines are not set for specified distances. Instead, you aim for 20 and then need to find out what distance each line represents for your given setup – that is, you shoot at increasingly distant distances until you find the one that matches each row. I would opt for a speed calibrated scope instead if I were to hunt with the Whitetail Hunter STR, just to avoid miscalculations when hunting.

Barnett crossbow leaning on the target
The Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR is precise enough to break the notch and split part of the left arrow shaft while aiming with the crossbow. Taylor Pardue

Does this Barnett crossbow fulfill its mission?

I tested the Barnett Whitetail Hunter STR without first checking its MSRP. After I finished I was sure the Barnett crossbow would cost between $ 700 and $ 800 which in my opinion was still huge value. Imagine my surprise when I learned that it actually sold for under $ 500!

Put simply, the Whitetail Hunter STR is fast, light, precise and inexpensive – perfect for someone who wants to buy the best crossbow possible at the best possible price.



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