If you want to learn more about crossbows in general, check out our Best Crossbows Guide.
If you’re looking for a bow that has excellent performance for a very reasonable price, the Barnett Jackal is the crossbow for you. This bow is really excellent value for money – in fact, we don’t think there is a better value crossbow out there – which is why we chose the Jackal as our best value crossbow. It shoots reasonably fast and is quite accurate, has very few noticeable flaws, and is really affordable. There’s not a single crossbow that performs better than the Jackal does in its price range, and the Jackal is probably even comparable with some models that are significantly more expensive.
Speed: 315 FPS
Crossbow Length: 35.5″
Draw Weight: 150lbs
Power Stroke: 12″
Crossbow Weight: 7.7lbs
Type: Compound Crossbow
Cocking Mechanism: Sold Separately
The main selling point of the Barnett Jackal is the price – we don’t believe that there is a better value crossbow to be had. It doesn’t perform exceptionally in any particular criteria – however, it is solid all-around, doesn’t have any gaping flaws, and has a very accessible price point. It’s also very versatile – suitable for target shooting as well as for hunting any kind of game.
The Jackal isn’t the fastest crossbow out there, but it does pack quite a punch – 315 fps is nothing to scoff at. It’s definitely fast enough for any kind of hunting that you might want to use it for. It’s also reasonably accurate – we didn’t have any issues shooting nice groups at the typical distances. The sight that comes with the Jackal is pretty good too – it’s a red dot sight with a number of useful settings that allow for more versatility.
The Jackal is spot on in terms of ergonomics – it’s both comfortable to hold and shoot, and the way it feels when you grip it is very similar to the way a similarly sized firearm would feel. The Jackal is about average weight and size for a compound crossbow – it’s definitely not big, but it’s also not particularly portable compared to the other models on the market – its just pretty typical portability as far as crossbows go. Barnett didn’t skimp on materials for the Jackal despite its affordability – the Jackal feels very durable and is clearly made of good quality materials.
The Barnett Jackal also has the typical anti dry-fire mechanism which we’re always big fans of, as dry-firing is very damaging to crossbows and can also be dangerous for the user. We like the trigger of this crossbow a lot – it strikes the perfect balance between being firm and easy to press. We’re told that the trigger mechanism of the Jackal requires about 3.5lbs to pull – this is probably the sweet spot for triggers and we’ll be on the lookout for bows with similar trigger weight.
The one flaw that we noticed in the Jackal is that it’s loud. There’s no getting away from it – when you fire it, there is a very audible sound, which may be an issue for really serious hunters. Also, the Jackal doesn’t come with any kind of cocker – so unless you’re someone who’s comfortable lifitng 150lbs pretty regularly, you’ll probably want to buy either a rope cocker or a compatible crank. This isn’t a huge deal – a reasonable rope cocker only costs about $20, but it is a minor inconvenience and we’d prefer if the Jackal was $20 more expensive and included the rope cocker. Other than that, we feel like the Jackal is solid all around without any major weaknesses.
- Stellar Value for Money
- Fast and Accurate for the price
- Accompanying sight is surprisingly good
- Reasonably good ergonomics
- Trigger mechanism is perfectly balanced
- Quite Loud on the shot
- Doesn’t come with any cocking device
The Barnett Jackal is just unbeatable value for money – at this price point, you definitely won’t find a better bow, and even at higher price points the Jackal measures up really well against the competition. In particular, we like to recommend the Jackal to beginners – it’s easy to shoot, accurate and accessible, and as a beginner, if you develop your shooting abilities, it’s also perfectly appropriate as a hunting bow, so the crossbow leaves room for development. On the other hand, if it turns out you don’t like shooting a crossbow, you haven’t invested a huge amount. Overall, we think the Jackal is just solid all-around, fantastic value, and a good buy for anyone on a budget looking for a good, versatile crossbow.