Barnett is one of the sought after brands in the context of purchasing crossbows. They have a wide range available, both for pros and beginners, and are manufactured in the US. Their crossbows are known to be both sturdy and reliable.
If you want the the most versatile crossbow for you needs, then you need to read our detailed crossbow review article!
The Wildcat C5 is extremely popular with beginners, and there are a number of reasons for this. In short, it's the perfect entry-level bow which comes with great specs and at an affordable price. Let's look at this crossbow in detail:
This bow has been designed using plain black or Next 1G Camo, whichever suits your style best. It is small in size and hence easy to use. Any beginner needs a bow that is not too difficult to maneuver. There are two types of packages available: one comes with no attachment I am just the bow, the 2nd comes with a quiver, bolts 20 inches long, along with a scope featuring a red sign on it, in the form of a dot. The good thing about the first option is that you can customise it as you like with whatever accessories you may want to purchase. A cocker for the rope is one accessory that you will have to purchase on your own.
Even if you have never assembled a crossbow by yourself, the C5 is pretty easy to put together. The limbs and riser are given separately. It comes with a detailed instruction manual for convenience purposes. The tools for assembling the bow's hardware are also given in the box. The red dot sign on the scope is illuminated, which makes target shots a lot easier with a good amount of practice. This tool is particularly good for the purpose of accuracy.
The brand markets this crossbow model to be not more than 8.5 pounds in weight, but this figure is probably accurate keeping only the bow in mind, without the accessories. If a hunter decides to carry his bow with him, having all its accessories attached, then it would probably weigh 11.5 pounds. The good thing is that the weight isn't too heavy and is quite manageable.
The Wildcat C5 is a compact and convenient model, being 35.5 inches in length and 26.7 inches in width. Once the bow is cocked, the width goes down to 22 inches approximately. Even its cams are quite small and narrow.
The speed of any bolt being shot is mostly determined by the power of the first stroke. A power stroke held longer will typically result in a faster shot. The C5 comes with a full power stroke of 13 inches, which is definitely better than an average bow's stroke of 11 or 12 inches. Hence, it does deliver shots with greater speed.
Now, when you cock a crossbow, the ease of doing so mainly depends on the overall draw weight. With the C5, it's only 150 pounds, which is quite easy to manage, especially if you have a cocker for the rope as well. And, the strain of the entire weight is only felt while pulling the string initially, since the bow has cams. Due to its absolute ease of usage, and the need for minimal strength, this bow would probably be the best choice even for kids, or adults with muscle and strength issues.
The Barnett Outdoors Carbon Crossbow Arrows come along with the Wildcat C5. The bolts come to around 8.1 ounces each, are 20 inches long and have field points and have 100 grains. These arrows can help you reach a speed of up to 320 FPS while shooting. Attaching broadheads to the bolts can ensure more precision shots, but the speed would most likely reduce by 5-20 fps. Barnett themselves produces broadheads of two types, one with 100 grains and one with 150. 100-grain broadheads would be the best choice for the Wildcat C5, so that there isn't too much of a drop in speed.
In terms of trigger quality, this model is surprisingly smooth and swift, despite being a smaller and cheaper model in the market.
Cocking the bow is easy and effortless because the stirrup both wide and accommodating enough to facilitate it. Right on the stock, there is an attachment with a crank, and this allows adding a cocking device for the crank to your list of accessories if you'd like to.
As soon as the crossbow has been cocked, the string and the latch stick together, and switches into a safe mode. It subsequently consists of an opposing dry fire system which doesn't allow the user to remove the safety mode when an arrow is not attached to the bow. As soon as the arrow has been attached, the safety mode becomes flexible so that you can shoot with ease.
The C5 has been engineered in such a way that shooting accuracy and distance is pretty commendable. In fact, even for a beginner, shooting is quite easy and it also works well for practice sessions. It's simple design and well-balanced structure allow it to be very easy to handle and maneuver. Hence, whatever your target might be getting an accurate shot becomes possible with this crossbow.
After each shot, this bow produces quite a bit of noise and vibration. The noise absorption isn't great and even the stability after a shot is shaky. This is probably because of it being lightweight and compact in size. Although supressers can be used to make it less noisy, it's not very essential because the speed at which the arrow shot is quite fast, making each shot a rather steady one.
With regards to the scope, it is definitely accurate but not exactly very easy to handle. The sturdiness and durability of the scope provided has been questioned on various occasions, so it's probably one feature that needs some work. The mount on the rail is plastic-made, which might be the main reason behind the instability. Although not a necessary occurrence, breakage is definitely a possibility, so the user has to be very careful and firm while handling the equipment.
The C5 is a very affordable compound crossbow, when compared with the other models in the market. Of course, it doesn't surpass the quality and durability of the high-range crossbows in the market, but it delivers above and beyond when the price range is kept in mind. It wins in terms of handling and performance, with the speed and accuracy being its top qualities. If the plastic mount for the scope gets a fix, this model would probably give competition even to the high-range models. Experienced hunters would also agree that the trigger is a pretty top notch one for such an affordable and small crossbow.
The Wildcat C5 is definitely more of an entry-level bow both for kids and adults who are still trying to learn and master the sport. This model is Barnett's best-selling one in the market.