The ravine crossbow R10 is surprisingly easy to use for a crossbow that seems so powerful and technologically advanced. And I think that’s what made Ravines so popular in recent years. Without sacrificing an inch in terms of performance – they set the standard, they set the standard – they took the intimidating factor out of crossbows. Men, women and children of almost all ages, abilities and stature can cock, load and shoot this crossbow with incredible precision at impressive distances.

Ravine R10

A fast and precise crossbow for under $ 1,500. Ravine


Presentation of the Ravin R10 crossbow

Ravin launched the R10 in 2019, and it remains in the crossbow manufacturer’s lineup today. I guess that’s because it allows Ravin to offer a high-quality crossbow at a lower price than its newer models. After all, not everyone wants to shell out $ 2,500 for a crossbow, and the R10 sells for half that amount.

The R10 The crossbow bundle I borrowed from Lancaster Archery Supply for this review sells for $ 1,299.99. This includes the bow and crank, scope, quiver, and three bolts with field points. Across the spectrum of the best crossbows on the market, it’s a bit more expensive than average. But for what you get and what this thing can do, it’s a steal.

This Ravin crossbow is 33 inches long and weighs less than 7 pounds. This length is about normal when it comes to crossbows, but where the Ravin R10 separates is in its width. It is only 10.5 inches wide at the cams. That’s half of what you’ll find on a lot of crossbows. And when cocked, the gap narrows to just 6 inches. What the skinny is so tight? It makes handling a dream. If you’ve ever pivoted inside a ground awning or in a tree with a crossbow, you know how limited a wide arc can be. Compact crossbows are hunting crossbows that kill.

You would think that such a narrow crossbow that only has an 11-inch power stroke wouldn’t be too powerful. You would be wrong about the R10. This baby spits out 400 grain Ravin crossbow bolts at a legitimate speed of 400 fps, making it one of the most powerful crossbows around.

How is it possible? Use Ravin’s revolutionary HeliCoil cam system, which allows the cams to rotate 340 degrees to launch an arrow. This rotation amplifies the power of the limbs that do not flex during a shot.

Now, to take this rotation into account, Ravin had to provide a place for the control cables of the compound bow. Ravin used two cables for each cam – one above and one below – which wrap around the axles away from the cams. This system keeps the cams perfectly level before, during and after a shot. The stroke of the level cam is critical to accuracy – another score for Ravin.

In addition, the Ravin R10 does not have a rail. The bolt is held in place by two rollers at the end of the point and by the Trac trigger firing system at the end of the notch. Essentially, it’s held by string and an arrow rest – just like the world’s most accurate compound bows. This eliminates the friction created by a crossbow rail, improving accuracy and reducing string wear.

The Trac Trigger is a block controlled by a nylon strap. When released from stock, the block slides forward and captures the chain in the exact same spot every time. Another key element of precision. Ravin’s Versa Draw system winds the strap and returns the Trac Trigger to the firing position when you turn the grip.

If you don’t pull the string all the way back, the bow won’t shoot. If you don’t hear a “click” when you install the lock, the arc will not fire. The click lets you know the notch is in place and the notch ears disable the R10’s dry fire safety.

Arrows Ravin R10 in deer target
The author had no trouble hitting his mark from 20 to 80 meters with the Ravin R10. PJ Reilly

Ravin R10 test

One thing I really wanted to know about the R10 was how much – or how little – skill it took to get one out of the box, assemble it, and aim it to drive spikes. Of course, if you have access to a professional archery shop, technicians can do all of that for you. But what if you don’t have such a place near you? What if you were on your own and had to start with a crossbow in a sealed box?

Full disclosure here, I have several years of experience behind the counter in an archery shop, and have assembled many crossbows. But I had never assembled an R10 before this test, and, on the contrary, I think my experience helps me to understand whether an assembly is complicated or not.

the R10 is basically packaged at the factory in five pieces. The crossbow itself is fully assembled. All you need to do is mount two scope rings on the Picatinny rail, then mount the scope, then screw an accessory mount under the stock, which holds the crank and quiver. That’s it. I bet it took me 15 minutes to get the R10 ready for the lineup.

The Ravin R10 telescope supplied with the R10 package is calibrated according to the speed. The telescope reticle has aiming points of 20 to 100 meters in 10 meter increments. You turn a dial on the bezel to match the dividing line with the speed of your arc, and the reticles are supposed to be properly spaced.

The info card that came with my bow indicated a speed of 400 fps. This uses the 300 grit bolts and 100 grit tips included in the package. Using Lancaster Archery Supply’s Custom Chrono Chronograph, I timed my bolts at 405, 406 and 406 fps on three successive strokes. This speed follows the rhythm of the fastest crossbows like the Ravin R26.

So I turned my bezel dial to the 400 mark and sat down to see. With the bow resting on a tripod so that I could easily make adjustments to the scope if needed, I took my first shot at 20 yards. The bolt hit about an inch to the right and three inches high at 20 yards. Not bad right out of the box.

With the crossbow resting on the tripod, I turned the scope dials to move the aiming point 20 meters up and to the right. I took another photo and was about a half inch below the bull. A few more clicks to move the aim point down, and my third hit hit the bull. A three shot aim is easy in my book.

Then I went out to stretch the shots a bit. A shot at 30 yards took a few clicks to move the bolt an inch to the left. After that, 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80 all fell just behind the aiming point. And while a bench would have given me ultimate stability, I like to test my hunting style. So I shot from a chair, the crossbow resting on my knee, as I would from my tree.

Installation and observation was really easy. But that’s not all. It is just as easy to arm the R10. It takes 12 pounds of force to turn the crank that returns the Trac Trigger block. And it takes 12 full turns of the handle to cock the bow.

In keeping with the “easy operation” that I continue to harass, the handle has a built-in safety feature that prevents over-cocking. Once the Trac Trigger is correctly positioned at full draw, the handle “slides”. The gears disengage inside the crank, so you can continue to wrap the grip, but the mechanism inside the stock that brings the Trac Trigger block back will no longer rotate. Great simple feature that prevents damage to the crossbow.

Remember how I mentioned that the Ravin R10 is priced right because of what you get and what it can do? Crossbow prices increase dramatically once a crank mechanism is added. Well, Ravin’s Versa Draw weapon system isn’t just any crank mechanism. It is one of the best in the industry because of its efficiency and safety features. You can pay a lot more for crossbows with crank systems that aren’t as advanced as the R10s.

Hunter hiker and carrying Ravin R10
The Ravin R10 is easy to use for any hunter. Ravine

What the R10 does best

It’s easy to use. You press a button to release the Trac Trigger, turn the crank 12 times, then nock a bolt. It really is that simple. You don’t need to be particularly strong or coordinated to prepare this crossbow for shooting.

It is precise and fast. I had no trouble hitting my aim point at 80 yards and 400 fps howl quickly. Archery hunters of all ages and abilities will do well with the R10.

Where the R10 crossbow is missing

It’s strong. Hey, there has to be somewhere when you have a narrow arc, with a short power stroke, that throws bolts just as fast as this one. There just isn’t enough space or material to absorb the huge release of energy, and so the R10 cracks. Even by crossbow standards this thing is loud.

Technically, you can disarm this crossbow by unwinding the crank while holding the Trac Trigger release button down. But you’d better hang on to this grip for life when you relax. If it slips, it will spin freely with all the force there is in those limbs, and it will crack you very well if your hand gets in your way.

I like it when the equipment matches the investment required to acquire it. The ravine crossbow R10 is one of the best crossbows for the money, and it’s easy to use. It’s a rare find these days.