ATA Show 2017: Shooting the New Ravin Crossbow
Dave Maas 01.13.17
The number of new products being introduced at the 2017 ATA (Archery Trade Association) Show in Indianapolis, Indiana, is staggering. And while taking it all in is a bit overwhelming, there was one product that stopped me in my tracks . . . and confession time . . . caused me to be 15 minutes late for a scheduled meeting.
Check this out: A new company called Ravin Crossbows out of Superior, Wisconsin, unveiled two new crossbows at this year’s ATA Show, the R9 and R15. Like many of today’s top-of-the-line crossbows, these models are packed with features, but I want to draw your attention to three in particular.
- Because I first saw these crossbows on a display table in the ATA’s new product section, I immediately walked over to the shooting lanes. After a Ravin Crossbows staffer gave me a 1-minute overview of the bow’s design, I prepared to shoot the R15. I slipped off the safety and it made NO noise. I slid it back to the “on” position and it made a distinct click. I again slid it to the “off” position and it was totally silent. I looked up from the bow at the Ravin rep and he smiled and said, “I can tell you have experience deer hunting with crossbows; a lot of guys don’t notice that feature. We made the safety perfectly silent when you get ready to shoot so you don’t alert nearby animals.”
- This is NOT a misprint: The axle-to-axle measurement on these cocked bows is an incredible 6 inches! Yes, the cocked limbs stretch out a touch wider than that, but only by another couple of inches. In a word – compact!
- Already impressed with the bow’s size, balance and quiet safety, I aimed and pulled the trigger, expecting to feel that usual heavy shotgun-like trigger found on most crossbows. And the arrow was gone before I was really expecting it. “Sorry, sir,” I said sheepishly to Mr. Ravin Rep. “I know there’s a line of people behind me, and I hate to ask, but could I possibly shoot just one more arrow? I was expecting the trigger to be heavy so I hammered it, but I get the feeling I didn’t need to.” After he cocked the R15 a second time, I pretended like I was shooting my favorite centerfire rifle, which has a super-sweet trigger thanks to work from a topnotch gunsmith. I aimed the R15 and then very slowly began to press the trigger. The bow fired with a trigger feel just like my go-to .270 Win. Simply amazing!
Because I’ve been in the industry a long time, I just had to ask about the company’s origins. You see, I’m a bit familiar with Superior, Wisconsin, (it’s only a couple of hours from my home) and the fact that Rage Broadheads and Field Logic (Block Targets) also began in the same small town couldn’t be a coincidence. “Yes, the man who started Field Logic and Rage, then sold those companies, is the driving force behind these crossbows,” said the Ravin staffer. “Many of us worked for him back with those two iconic brands, and now we’ve joined him with Ravin.” Everything was beginning to make sense.
This staffer also told me that Ravin Crossbows will be one of the few archery companies showcasing its products at next week’s SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show in Las Vegas. They’ll be part of the Industry Day at the Range, at he thinks they’ll have archery targets set up for 100 yards. I’m hoping for calm winds; I can’t wait!
Be sure to check back to OutdoorHub for a full report.
P.S. I forgot to mention one more incredible Ravin Crossbow feature, the Frictionless Flight System. The arrow never touches the rail! Check it out in the video below.