Crossbows have come a long way.
Since they hit the scene some 2500 years ago, they’ve gone from primitive wooden tools to compound mechanisms using the latest in lightweight materials.
But most crossbows share one problem:
They’re an awkward shape.
Compared to a rifle—or even a bow—they’re tough for hunters to maneuver in the woods.
Ravin has set out to change all that with the compact, slim-profile R15 crossbow.
Is the Ravin R15 Worth Your Money?
The Ravin R15 puts a modern spin on the crossbow, streamlining the platform considerably.
Though it comes in at a premium price, the R15 sends arrows downrange with a surprising amount of power and accuracy.
A Closer Look
The Ravin R15 comes to the market from an all new, manufacturer based in Minnesota.
While the company hasn’t been around long, they claim to be made up of industry veterans who are passionate about the outdoors and archery. This passion is definitely clear in Ravin’s innovative designs.
Through some innovative engineering, Ravin has taken the traditional compound crossbow design and made it significantly slimmer.
The biggest draw for most hunters is the R15’s compact size. The bow is only a little over six inches wide.
This makes the R15 the slimmest crossbow on the market, giving the bow a more rifle-like feel than many other crossbows.
And with its rifle-like feel, Ravin’s crossbow delivers something else that’s also decidedly rifle-like:
Long range accuracy.
Many shooters are making accurate shots out to 100 yards with the R15. That’s something that many crossbows—and especially bows—are simply not capable of.
Ravin credits this level of accuracy to the crossbow’s uniquely balanced design. From helically grooved cams, to a trigger that keep the cables balanced and centered, and a free-floating arrow design, Ravin has really ensured that the R15 is engineered for accuracy.
A Look at the Details
The Ravin R15 has more than just a sleek profile and rifle-like build going for it.
Here are a few of the R15’s most vital specs:
- Weighs less than seven pounds
- Arrow move at 425 fps
- Hard hitting 160 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy
- Comes from the factory with optic, but picatinny rail mount also works with other rifle-style optics
- Ships with six matched bolts and field points
Ease of Use & Reliability
Ravin makes the R15 easy to use with a very simple cocking system.
Rather than using a separate cocking device, Ravin built one right in. Users simply connect the included crank to the side of the R15 and crank the bolt and cable into position. There’s even a quiet setting for use in the field.
If you decide not to take the shot, the R15 can be safely de-cocked with the included crank.
For safety, Ravin includes a trigger safety and a mechanism to prevent accidental dry fires.
The R15 is a solid tool for serious hunters and shooters.
Here are a few of the R15’s key features:
- Compact and lightweight. The R15’s biggest pro is its compact profile.
- Rifle-like feel and function. Skip the awkward feel of most crossbows.
- Power and impressive shooting range—especially for a bow or crossbow.
Ravin’s R15 has a lot going for it.
But, like most things, it’s not perfect.
Here’s a couple cons to consider if you’re looking at an R15:
- Ravin’s premier crossbow doesn’t come cheap, something you’ll want to consider when cross shopping bows.
- Made by a newer company with unproven long-term reliability.
- Complicated cocking system. Though simple to use, the cocking system adds a lot of moving parts, which could lead to issues down the road.
What It Costs
The R15 is a premium crossbow.
Ravin has taken some innovative approaches to engineering that make this bow an impressive performer.
But, like most premium products, it comes with a premium price tag.
With a price in the range of $2000, it’s not for everyone.
Who Is the Ravin R15 for?
If you’re a hunter looking for a more compact, rifle-like crossbow with impressive range and accuracy, the R15 might just be for you.
There are many crossbows on the market.
But, most of them stick to one of two designs:
- A compound design similar to compound bows or,
- A recurve design similar to more traditional bow designs
Ravin steps outside this paradigm by creating a bow that optimizes the compound design, making it more powerful and accurate.
For those looking for a premium crossbow that takes full advantage of the latest materials and engineering techniques, the Ravin R15 is hard to pass up.
The R15 is a truly innovative product.
Ravin has taken a design that’s been around for decades and really brought it into the twenty-first century. From its compact, rifle-like design, to its safety features, the R15 offers shooters and hunters something they can’t find anywhere else.
If that level of innovation is something you’re willing to pay for, Ravin’s crossbow is definitely worth it.
But the reality is:
The Ravin R15 isn’t cheap. You could buy a very nice rifle (or two) for the price of the R15.
If the price isn’t a hang-up, the R15 is worth every penny.
Other Options Worth Looking At
Given the R15’s innovative design, it doesn’t have a whole lot of competition.
You won’t find a more compact crossbow. And there are few that can compete in terms of range and accuracy.
The biggest consideration most buyers need to make with the R15 is the price. Much of the competition comes in at lower price point, minus many of the R15’s defining characteristics.
If you’re interested in a premium, but simpler crossbow that’s a little easier on the wallet, you may want to consider some of Kodabow’s models.
Though they’re of a more traditional, recurve design, Kodabow’s crossbows take a modern approach to the platform and come in at around half the price of Ravin’s R15.
But, if you want an innovative, compact, rifle-like crossbow, the Ravin R15 is worth a look.