Ravin R9 Review: A Compact, High Performance Crossbow

Ravin Crossbow 1108861 R110 Predator Crossbow Package, Camo, One SizeJust a few years ago, crossbow hunting was pretty limited.

Many states did not allow crossbows at all, limiting their use to certain parts of the season, or only to those with disabilities.

Now, most states allow them.

And crossbows have opened a world of opportunity for hunters.

Companies like Ravin are helping hunters take advantage of the platform with lighter, more maneuverable and rifle-like crossbows like the R9.


Is the Ravin R9 Worth Your Money?

The Ravin R9 takes a decidedly twenty-first approach to the crossbow, giving hunters and shooters a compact, easy to use bow.

Cheaper than its big brother the R15, the R9 provides similar power and accuracy for a somewhat more agreeable price.


Detailed Review & Breakdown

The R9 rounds out Minnesota based Ravin’s product lineup of just two crossbows.

With a stated goal to, “build the most accurate crossbows on the planet,” Ravin comes pretty close with their R9 and R15 bows.

While their R15 is really setting the standard for high performance crossbows, the R9 is bringing the same level of features to the market at a much lower cost.

 

Features

Much like its sibling, the R15, one of the Ravin R9’s most compelling features is its size.

Traditional crossbows can be a little awkward in the field and the R9’s profile sets out to fix that.

At just over six inches wide, it’s one of the most compact crossbows on the market.

This narrow profile, combined with the R9’s ergonomics, give the bow a very rifle-like feel. Something that should really appeal to hunters that would like to extend their season but aren’t as comfortable with a more traditional bow.

Thanks to an innovative, more balanced design, the R9 is also capable of more power, distance, and accuracy than most crossbows.

 

The Specs

The great thing about Ravin’s crossbows is … they didn’t stop at the design.

They’ve also made sure their bows have some of the most impressive performance and specs in the industry.

Here are just a few of the R9’s most interesting specs:

 

  • At less than seven pounds, it’s very light.
  • Its bolts fly at an impressive 390 fps.
  • Hard hitting 160 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy
  • The R9 comes fitted with an optic, but its picatinny rail also accommodates other optics.
  • Comes with six matched bolts and field points.

 

Ease of Use & Reliability

Ravin’s crossbows are surprisingly easy to use.

The engineers at Ravin have set aside the traditional—and not particularly easy—crossbow cocking method. Instead of having to use a separate tool, users just connect the included crank to the side of the bow and crank the bolt back.

The R9 also includes a trigger safety, a feature that prevents dry fire, and can be easily de-cocked with the included crank.

Made with quality materials in the US, the R9 is a reliable performer.

​P​ros

The R9 is a premium crossbow, made for serious bow hunters.

Some of the R9’s standout features include:

  • Slim, rifle-like profile. The R9 handles well in the field thanks to its innovative design.
  • Accuracy and range. With class leading range and accuracy, the R9 is a solid performer.
  • Competitive pricing. The R9 is still very much a premium bow, but is priced competitively with higher ends crossbows.

Cons

While the R9 has plenty of pluses, nothing can meet every need.

If you’re considering Ravin’s R9, there are a few downsides

  • Ravin hasn’t been around long. While the R9 is a solid product, the company hasn’t been around long.
  • Complex cocking system. Though simple to use, the cocking system adds a lot of moving parts, which could lead to issues down the road.
  • It’s still pricey. Although the R9 is a bit more affordable than Ravin’s other offerings, it still isn’t cheap.

What It Costs

The price isn’t quite as high as Ravin’s R15, but it’s still very much a higher-end crossbow.

Coming in at around $1500, the R9 is competitive with other major crossbow makers like Barnett, Excalibur, or TenPoint.

While there are certainly cheaper options on the market, Ravin’s crossbows are unique performers.


Who Is The Ravin R9 For?

Ravin’s R9 is a great choice for hunters looking for a more accurate crossbow in a compact package.

Ravin has developed some truly innovative products. While the R15 provides a bit more power, the R9 gives shooters a nearly identical profile in a more affordable package.

If you’re looking to extend your range during bow season and move to something with a more rifle-like feel, the R9 is a great choice at a price that’s not quite as hard to swallow as the R15.


Our Opinion

Ravin Crossbow 1108861 R110 Predator Crossbow Package, Camo, One Size

At just under 35 inches long and barely more than six inches wide, the R9 is one of the most maneuverable crossbows you’ll find.

This compact size makes it great for just about any hunting situation. From sitting in a cramped blind, to a tree stand, or even stalking—the R9 can be comfortably carried and maneuvered all day.

When combined with Ravin’s performance, you’ve got a real winner on your hands. Although the R9 is still far from cheap, it delivers premium performance.

So, if you can swing the price, this Ravin is definitely worth a look.

Other Options Worth Looking At

Ravin is an innovator.

Because of that, it’s tough to make straight-up comparisons with other bows on the market—no matter how high in quality and performance the competition may be.

If you want a compact, rifle-like feel, the R9 is tough to beat.

But, if you’re looking for something a bit more inexpensive that still sets a high bar for performance, the TenPoint Stealth NXT offers a similarly compact profile to the R9.

The TenPoint is a bit heavier though and does not offer the same innovative cocking and firing system as the R9.

If you’re looking for a crossbow that’s on the cutting edge, with performance to match, Ravin’s R9 should be at the top of your list.