Crossbows For Kids

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Crossbows For Kids

Postby OkXbowHunter » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:34 am

Can anyone recommend a light poundage crossbow for training 8 to 12 year old kids? I just started running the Royal Ranger program at my Church. Their archery equipment consists of some really crappy looking longbows and recurves that look like they're on their last leg.

We were at our annual regional Pinewood Car Race today and the host Church has several outside events set up, one of which was an Archery shoot. They were using Mathews Genesis bows and the boys loved them. Some had never shot archery before and were immediately hooked.

So my immediate plan is to try and score some Genesis off of ebay. I was looking for a good crossbow and naturally thought about Excalibur. I looked at the Pixel and the Apex and liked to blacked out when I saw the prices! Checked around on the net for used ones but could never find any. $469 to $500 for a 40lb crossbow is a little out of my price range! :shock:

I did find a few Horton Eagles (25lb pull) crossbows and they're in the $225 to $250 range. Geez, looks like a suction cup crossbow may be as close as they get to shooting a crossbow! lol

I do have a Vixen, but I would want them to be a little more experienced before letting them shoot that. Which is the whole idea behind lighter poundage crossbows to begin with.

Anyone have any suggestions or recommendations. They'd be greatly appreciated!
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die. Gen 27:3-4
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Re: Crossbows For Kids

Postby j.krug » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:36 am

Take a look at the Apex (90 lb) and Pixel (40 lb). Maybe one of these might do the trick?
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Re: Crossbows For Kids

Postby VixChix » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:34 am

Facing the same dilemma trying to find something for Ben - the price for the Pixel is way too high. I wish Excalibur carried something more affordable to get kids into the sport. :?
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Re: Crossbows For Kids

Postby OkXbowHunter » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:35 am

VixChix wrote:Facing the same dilemma trying to find something for Ben - the price for the Pixel is way too high. I wish Excalibur carried something more affordable to get kids into the sport. :?


I hear ya! I even tried ebay thinking I might find a used Pixel or Apex, but there were none. Will probably go with the Horton Eagle if I can find one on sale or a good used one.

I see that Barnett has the Phantom Jr. but it doesn't look very durable to me. More toyish looking to be honest.
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die. Gen 27:3-4
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Re: Crossbows For Kids

Postby wabi » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:56 am

I bought a Barnett Phantom Jr for my son to shoot, and it actually isn't too bad of bow. The red-dot sight leaves a lot to be desired but the bow itself is fairly accurate (nothing close to Excal accuracy) and the 60# draw is surprisingly powerful.
I've shot 2213s I made up for my Phoenix (flat nocks) from it and they work fine as long as distances are short (10-15 yards).

When I bought the bow my dealer told me it was the same stock as the RC 150 (less the length adjusting butt pad) and it could be upgraded to the RC 150 in the future for less than $100., but unfortunately he closed his business. :(
I may contact Barnett in the future and see if I can buy an RC 150 prod assembly.

Edited to add:
Called Barnett and they said it could NOT be upgraded.
I don't believe them, I think they just don't want to sell the parts for an upgrade when they could possibly sell a new crossbow. The tech admitted it's the same stock, so I see no reason the prod couldn't be changed. :roll:

BTW - the trigger on our 60# Phantom Jr is unbelievably sweet! Very light and NO creep!
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Re: Crossbows For Kids

Postby taz3 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:10 pm

VixChix wrote:Facing the same dilemma trying to find something for Ben - the price for the Pixel is way too high. I wish Excalibur carried something more affordable to get kids into the sport. :?


Here's an oversight for sure, the SMF should be available with the lighter crossbows, where lower pricing will have a greater impact. Youngsters of this hobby, are the future of this company, if there is no accommodations at the start, they may go elsewhere and consumers tend to be brand loyal as we see here.

Might be time to go back to the drawing board, for a solution, considering there are huge, long term benefits for the companies to keep a strong market hold!
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Re: Crossbows For Kids

Postby shafferm » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:44 pm

One thought would be to get ahold of Dan Miller and see what it would cost to get a riser and limbset from either the Pixel or Apex and then swap that out with the one on your vixen for the kids to shoot.

Should be quite a bit less than buying an entire different bow. Then you would only have the two riser bolts to fiddle with to go from light target weight to the full hunting draw of the vixen. It looks like the pixel and apex use the same riser as the rest of the bows, but Dan would know for certain if the switch would be a possibility.
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Re: Crossbows For Kids

Postby wheelie » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:15 pm

j.krug wrote:Take a look at the Apex (90 lb) and Pixel (40 lb). Maybe one of these might do the trick?

Oh yA, Just priced a Apex for bowfishing, I can buy a phoenix for same price. My stories will have to be of something else in my hand. Will be my vintage powermaster with fibreglass limbs.
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Re: Crossbows For Kids

Postby wheelie » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:41 pm

wabi wrote:When I bought the bow my dealer told me it was the same stock as the RC 150 (less the length adjusting butt pad) and it could be upgraded to the RC 150 in the future for less than $100., but unfortunately he closed his business. :(
I may contact Barnett in the future and see if I can buy an RC 150 prod assembly.

Edited to add:
Called Barnett and they said it could NOT be upgraded.
I don't believe them, I think they just don't want to sell the parts for an upgrade when they could possibly sell a new crossbow. The tech admitted it's the same stock, so I see no reason the prod couldn't be changed. :roll:

BTW - the trigger on our 60# Phantom Jr is unbelievably sweet! Very light and NO creep!

I own both bows and don't see how you could convert the Phantom jr over to the RC-150. I just looked. They are similar stock but RC-150 is much sturder. Love the Phantom Jr. and has good zip to it for a 60 pound crossbow. It is my indoor practise shooter. I added a 160 dollar 3 dot scope to mine. Now scope is worth more than the bow. Got Phontom jr for $70 used. I see Canadian Tire carries them now in Owen Sound. Believe they were $140.
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Re: Crossbows For Kids

Postby wabi » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:51 pm

The biggest advantage to the Phantom Jr for youth is the stock length IMO. I haven't measured the length of pull, but it fits my 11yo son very well.

wheelie wrote:I added a 160 dollar 3 dot scope to mine.

Did the better scope improve accuracy?
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Re: Crossbows For Kids

Postby wheelie » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:33 pm

Not sure, I through the other scope in the garbage as soon as the bow came here. Three dot gives me 15,20 and 25 yards. I find it shoots good. But I load it by hand and that is never as good as a cocking devise.

You can get a brand new RC-150 for $225. But be advised they are very hard on strings and most portable bow presses don't work. The cable that goes across the riser bows like a bananna. Hard to get even pressure on both sides.
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Re: Crossbows For Kids

Postby OkXbowHunter » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:12 pm

Wabi and Wheelie, thanks for the insight on the Phantom Jr. I'll reconsider buying one, especially since I can get one for around $100. I'm not a Barnett fan, but if ya'll say the little bow is a good one, that's good enough for me.

Taz, I agree. This is one thing that has always confused me about the company. Why Excalibur doesn't have a youth bow. Both the Pixel and Apex cost as much, or nearly so, as a full size hunting bow that is more powerful.

Hopefully they'll see the oversight and fix it soon! If a generation of crossbow shooters grow up with Barnett and Horton youth bows, which brands do you think they'll end up buying when they're older?
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die. Gen 27:3-4
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