Brian Miller 06.10.21

Killer Instinct Crossbows will release the new Swat X-1 crossbow later this summer. The Swat X-1 is Killer Instinct’s flagship crossbow. The Killer Instinct Swat X-1 has many features that will make a crossbow hunter smile. First, the bow measures 24.75 “long and 6.25” wide when cocked. This bow is a pleasure to hunt with inside a lampshade or in a tree. The Swat X-1 shoots 405 FPS (feet per second) and packs 142 pounds of kinetic energy out of the box. The Swat X-1 weighs 7.2 pounds. Another great feature is the Accutac barrel. The arrow is completely enclosed inside 2 extrusions, which minimizes the Archer paradox and greatly improves accuracy. Killer Instinct launched the new Synchronized X Cam system on the X-1 this year. The X Cam has 50% release for less locking pressure and gives the shooter more flexibility in what style of notch they want to use. The Killer Instinct Swat X-1 MSRP is $ 1,299.99 for the package.

Killer Instinct Swat X-1
Photo courtesy of Killer Instinct Crossbows

First impressions of the Killer Instinct Swat X-1 crossbow

The Killer Instinct Swat X-1 comes with the Elite Pack containing a Lumix Speed ​​Ring 1.5-5x32mm rifle scope with a reticle with ranges up to 100 meters. I used this scope to harvest a buck and a doe during archery season last year. The bezel has the choice between red or blue illumination. The Elite pack will come with three (3) Hyper 20 ″ bolts and a quick release quiver. The Elite pack also contains the compact crank system and the rope cocker spaniel. The compact crank system is a detachable crank that plugs into the back of the crossbow and easily stows away in your pocket when not in use. The compact crank system is the smallest crank system I have ever used. When you take the bow out of the box, you’ll notice guards protecting the entire cockpit. Additionally, with the very narrow 6.25 inch spindle width, most of the string is contained inside the barrel. I really appreciate this design feature, and in my opinion this bow is one of the safest shooter bows on the market.

Killer Instinct Swat X-1
Photo courtesy of Killer Instinct Crossbows

Loading the Killer Instinct Swat X-1 has a different procedure than most crossbows:

  1. Cock the crossbow with the compact crank or the rope cocker spaniel. The Swat X-1 will automatically turn on safely when armed.
  2. Point the Swat X-1 at an inclined angle and drop the arrow, vane up, down the barrel.
  3. While maintaining the vertical angle, press the red lever at the top of the stock forward and let the arrow drop into the arrow rest. You will see it drop about a quarter of an inch when the arrow is seated. The arrow is now kept in the bow and, when removed, is ready to fire.

More size comparisons

Killer Instinct X-1
Left to right: Killer Instinct X-1, Raven R26, Ten Point Havoc

Shooting impressions

The main reason I started shooting the Swat line of crossbows is the trigger. The Swat XP and the Swat X-1 share the same trigger box design. The trigger is the most rifle-like trigger I have found on a crossbow. The Swat series has almost zero pre-stroke and the classic glass rod breaks at about 3 pounds of pull. Most other brands of crossbows have a heavy 2-stage trigger, and personally I really struggle with this style of trigger for precision work.

The Swat crossbow series is a barrel design. The Accutac Barrel System mitigates Archers Paradox. All arrows oscillate when fired from a conventional bow where they are propelled from the rear. If the arrows are not indexed to the spine, it means that the rigid plane of the arrows are all oriented the same, which can lead to inaccuracies and fliers within groups of arrows. The Accutac Barrel limits how much the arrow can flex while accelerating down the barrel. Learning the flexible boom allows the Swat series to shoot tips of different weights at a much closer point of impact. Overall my Swat X-1 is the most accurate bow I have ever shot from a bench. The Killer Instinct Swat X-1 is truly a Sub-MOA bow with premium arrows.

The Swat X-1 is also one of the quietest crossbows on offer this year. The Swat X-1 does not require the use of string stops, which significantly reduces shock and vibration when firing. I have received many compliments on the silence of the Swat X-1 when filming archery tournaments in 3D. The new X Cam also makes the bow dead in the hands for shooting. When shooting with the X-1, the levels of vibration and movement are so low that you can watch a clear image of the arrow’s flight to the target.

Overall, Killer Instinct hit a home run with the new Swat X-1. The Swat X-1 will arrive in dealerships at the end of the summer, you owe it to yourself to grab one for a test drive!