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Barnett Jackal Crossbow Review [An Excellent Starter Bow]

Barnett jackal crossbow

Hunting has become an integral part of the culture; therefore, crossbows have come to represent more than just medieval weaponry. It has become a sign of one’s love of nature. Therefore, we have decided to assess one of the entry-level crossbows that world leader in hunting equipment Barnett has to offer.

This Barnett Jackal crossbow Review should function as a guide for the crossbow’s viability for you. Here is a quick recap on what we think of this crossbow.

Our Rating
  • Power and Accuracy
  • Red Dot Sight
  • Smart Stealth Design
  • Attention to details

About the Manufacturer

Barnett Outdoors, LLC is a world leader in the manufacturing of archery, slingshot, and Crossbow products.

It was started in 1962 by Bernard Barnett who pursued the hobby of hunting with crossbows in the United Kingdom. Mr. Barnett initially made crossbows for acquaintances awed by his craftsmanship. From there, the business was born.

The company now has multiple manufacturing locations across the UK. Once the company saw an opportunity for substantial growth in the USA market with slightly different needs compared to the UK enthusiasts, additional product lines, streamlined manufacturing processes and cost reduction eventually brought operations to the U.S. permanently in 2003. One of the products that came from this decision is the Barnett Jackal.

If you would like to know more about the evolution of crossbows, check out this post.


Barnett jackal crossbow review

The Jackal is aimed mostly at the beginner’s market. However, it has qualities of a novice to intermediate crossbows at the core competencies which such as power, speed, and accuracy. Therefore, it can’t squarely be categorized as a beginner bow. Its drawbacks lie in subtler qualities such as its overall weight and general design.

The Jackal is a no-frills crossbow that young hunters and hobbyists can use to train with. It has the qualities of an excellent bow so that practice sessions feel as close to hardcore equipment deployed in the woods.

Barnett Jackal Crossbow Review

People have different reasons for purchasing a crossbow. Some like having it for target practice while others use this crossbow for game hunting. Whatever your purpose, we did this comprehensive review so that you don't have to search for hours for advice on the product.

This review will help you decide if it fits your purpose. It’s a guide that could potentially save you a couple of hundreds of dollars.

Key Specifications

  • Velocity: 315 FPS 
  • Smooth 3.5 lb. trigger pull

  • Draw weight: 150 lbs
  • Energy: 95 ft. lbs
  • Power stroke: 12”
  • Arrow length: 20”
  • Dimensions: 35.5” x 26.5”
  • Total Weight: 7.7 lbs
  • Complete crossbow package
  • Includes 3 x 380 grain bolts

4 Main Features of Barnett Jackal Crossbow

1. Soft-Lok Floating Bristle Arrow Retainer

Maintain a downward pressure on a properly loaded arrow with this technology. It serves as another line of defense from accidental firings.

2. Premium Strings and Cables

Crosswire™ branded strings are durable so it can endure a lot of shots before needing to be replaced. These long-lasting bowstrings can also withstand the harshest elements so tension will remain the same in extreme weather conditions such as snow and intense heat.

3. Anti-Dry Fire

A spring-loaded safety bar helps to keep the bolt from firing prematurely. This prevents potentially lethal accidental shots further bolstering the Recruiter Terrain’s reputation as an exceptional beginner’s crossbow.

4. Trigger Tech

The Frictionless Release Technology™ makes it an extremely accurate as it almost eliminates trigger jerk when firing. It offers a buttery smooth release that is unrivaled in the market.

The 3.5 lb. Zero creep trigger gives you the poise to make the shot. The metal injection molded trigger also helps keep the crossbow steady as metal moves better than plastic. All of these help the crossbow to remain stable when firing.

The Pros and Cons

Of course, we do have some crossbow models that are of better quality than the Jackal. However, for this inexpensive price, we cannot expect them to be better than the more premium models.

Here is the quick overview of the pros and cons of this highly recommended crossbow for your assessment:


  • The product comes at an affordable price.
  • Durable materials used on the Jackal makes it strong enough to reach the power that it generates per shot.
  • Only 10-minute assembly time. 
  • The ergonomic design of the crossbow makes holding it exactly like military rifles.
  • The paint job reinforces the military rifle-like grip.
  • Customer Service is a great selling point for all Barnett products as they act quickly to replace defective units under warranty.


  • The weight might be too heavy to some for long periods of hunting sessions.
  • Lacks a cocking device.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can left-handed people use the Jackal?

Yes. The safety is double sided so you can operate the crossbow from either side.

2. Does the Barnett Recruiter Terrain come with a warranty?

Barnett gives a standard warranty of 3 years on all of their products.

3. Should I loosen the strings when I put it in storage when hunting season is over?

The performance of the bow might suffer when it’s not tightened properly when the next hunting season begins.

4. Is it good for hunting deer?

Yes. It is accurate enough to kill deer from a distance of 50 yards. You can also check out other affordable models on our best crossbows under 500 dollars article.

5. What case is recommended?

Aside from hard cases, which are far more expensive, the Barnett branded crossbow case is the best regarding fit, features, padding, and quality.

6. What weight do arrows come with this?

Approximately 285 grains, add 100-grain tip and you are close to 390 total arrow weight.

7. Why should I buy a compound crossbow rather than a recurve?

The Jackal is a compound crossbow and has a lot of components. This means that the chances of breakage of one of these components are quite high. However, this downside is erased by the ease of usage. Compound crossbows generally require a lot less energy to cock as compared to a recurve crossbow so you can hunt for longer periods of time even if you're not physically gifted.


Barnett Jackal Crossbow

Our Rating

The Barnett Jackal only has the bare minimum of what makes a crossbow great. It’s durable, powerful, and accurate. It is excellent for shooting down prey such as deer, elk, and even large bears or just for target practice in the backyard.

While it does a great job at shooting, it does not do a good job in the long run. For long hunting sessions, the 8 lbs. total weight might be too much to bring around in the woods. It may drain too much energy from the hunter in the long run as the weight would add up over time. This would essentially make the hunter less effective.

The lack of a hand crank to cock it makes it an absolute nightmare if you’re not a physically gifted individual. So, repeated firings might tire you out in the long run as well.

Its pricing is perhaps the most attractive aspect of the Jackal. The Barnett Jackal crossbow price is not a lot, and it offers great value for money. The price is justifiable for what the Jackal can do. It’s an extremely sturdy piece of hunting hardware that will not just break after a few hundred shots.

Lastly, our Barnett Jackal crossbow review has concluded that it is a highly recommended product for beginners and intermediate users looking for a quick, no-frills crossbow for an affordable price. We rate this crossbow 4.7 stars out of 5.

Roderick Harrington

Hi, Roderick here! I love to hunt and shoot. I started hunting at a very young age of 18 when I used to go with my father to hunt deer. As time passes, my interest in hunting kept increasing. With all the knowledge and experience, I thought that I should write insightful and thoroughly researched content on hunting equipments for my readers.

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Giovanna Bellemy - September 23, 2018

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