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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
YO @Golphin - You said you wanted to see my first kill with the crossbow! Well, here he is bud!!

Where to start... Bought Killer Instinct Ripper 415 Crossbow from Golphin last year. New in Box, he looked at it, decided he didn't want to bow hunt, and taped it back closed. Little did he know what a wise decision that was!

First I want to say, I absolutely LOVE this crossbow, unbelievable accuracy, ungodly fast, absolutely amazing bow. I have never shot so many 3 and 4 shot groups with all the shafts touching in target as I have with this crossbow. Sighted it in twice, have shot knocks out of previous fired bolts each time. 5 - 6 shots to zero it each time, steps in scope are dead on, zero at 20, at 30 yards it's simply mind boggling, every time, finds its most consistent groups there every time for some reason. 40 yards, 1/2" groups (or smaller) time after time. It is seriously a pleasure to shoot. 30 yards on left, adjusted scope left on that one that's over by itself, it was shooting pretty consistently right. 40 yards on right.

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Upgraded scope to a Hawke XB-1 1.5 - 5 x 30 - Speed-rated scope; zero at 30, set speed, it adjusts all the pins in the scope to what you're shooting. Too many features to mention, but it is illuminated - Red/Green, decent glass, works reasonably well in low light for a crossbow scope. I am impressed there!

HOWEVER... This damn bow has sorely tried my patience to date!

Sighted it in last year, blown away with performance, hunted with it 3 days. Had a hog coming into plot, was going to stick him with it so I stayed late. Deer were coming early, planned to be back out well before daybreak. Left it cocked, hanging in stand overnight. Pulled the plug 10:30 pm, arrived 5 am, still within manufacturer's specs for leaving it cocked, to find...

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If you look on the internet, you will find this is a common occurrence on ALL crossbows in the $400 price range, and 400 FPS performance spec. It's not limited just to Killer Instinct. But, KI sho has a rash of this bullpucky!

Called the company, 45 minutes on hold waiting on someone to pick up the phone on their end, they asked if it was registered, told them, "No technically I am the third owner, I have no receipt. Bought it from a friend, who won it on a raffle, it was brand spanking new, still in the box." She told me to go ahead and register it, then call back, so I did! That time was only 29 minutes on hold before someone answered. Unfortunately, parts were out of stock, and they were looking at 3 - 4 weeks to get them in, first gal I talked to. When I called back, the guy I talked to said 4 - 8 weeks. Sold my old Barnett to the niece's husband, the day before this one blew up, so no spare bow, and I was forced to sit out the 2021 Archery season.

June of '22 submitted form on KI website, asking if they had ever received any limbs. Received reply soon as they opened door apparently. Within16 hours my parts were boxed, and ready to ship, they left the next morning, and were in my mailbox in less than 72 hours of my submitting the form. NO complaints with customer service that trip.

Got the limbs installed a couple weeks ago, it was challenging, let me tell you! These things have some SERIOUS PRESSURE on them!! Installed the new XB1 scope, sighted it in AGAIN. Ready to Hunt! AGAIN!

Meanwhile neighbor's Killer Instinct Speed 425 shattered limbs. He ordered new limbs, replaced those same week I replaced mine. Kid tried to sight it in, and had issues zeroing it. He was frustrated, gave up. Turned out the speed ring on the scope was off. Easy fix, just tuned it to correct speed, not Mach 1! He was having fun shooting his old bow, left that one parked for awhile.

Archery season started Saturday morning, I hunted religiously morning and evening 4 days straight.

-- Saturday morning, had a doe in for about 2 minutes, in over 2 hours sitting on stand. 7 pt was coming in a little after 9, was waiting on him, it's only 8, so I was playing on my phone, look up and nice 8 pt is on the corn pile. Before I could get the bow up, he walks off. Saw doe and a little spike that evening.

-- Sunday morning, 7 pt. was in before sunrise, I dozed back off, got there 6:34 rather than 6:10 as planned, he was in feed plot and left, when I walked out. Doe and little spike in that evening.

-- Monday morning, 7 pt came through before first light, 6:25 am, stopped 17 yards out, I couldn't see horns to save my life. He went down the field for a bit, and came back. He was on a mission; head down, quick steady pace. Gave him a little grunt as he passed the stand, and he hesitated, gave him a bleat and he locked up. Got bow out the window, had him in the crosshairs, safety clicked a little to loudly when I let it off, and he was gone! Had a little 5 pt come in that evening, it was late, 5 minutes left to shoot, he's a young deer, 43 yards out, simply said, NO. Didn't feel like messing with it, let him grow up. If he looks as good as he does at 2, he's gonna be a monster some day. So I let him walk!

-- Tuesday morning, 7 pt was in 4 am, 8 pt was in plot when I went out. And, of course he left. Didn't see a thing. Tuesday evening, I cocked my bow set it up on the windowsill, looked over, and... No, that little piece right of the limb silencer is NOT supposed to hang down like that.

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To say I was not impressed, would be a gross understatement! Contacted KI Customer Support Wednesday via e-mail and waited. No Reply. Went back to Customer Service form on website Friday, got their standard line of bovine excrement, concerning warranty repairs, but I should have new set of limbs next week some time.

Wednesday, the neighbor took his to the stand, cocked it, and the limb shattered on it again, as well. After talking with KI Customer Support, he was so GRUMPY, he said he was going to throw the damn thing in the garbage and go buy something different. Simply done with it! Looked at his picture, left side broke on his, right side broke on mine, "WHOA WAIT MINUTE DUDE! Bring it to me, I can rob parts off it. They sent us both Ripper 425 limbs."

So last night, I tore 2 Killer Instinct crossbows apart. Lots of differences in the two, but limbs were the same. Liked the cam bushing set up on the axles much better on the Speed 425, robbed bushings out of it and put in mine as well. Whopping 0.2 mm difference in bushing stack height, and it shifted my string up maybe a millimeter. So freed up the cams a little, centered the cams between between the limbs better, and the string doesn't rub the bed as hard. Win/Win in all respects, in my book, I don't care what their engineers say! I now have a KI FrankenBow Ripper 415, with Ripper 425 limbs, and Speed 425 cam bushings, but it's whole and it works again!

7 pt. was in 8:30 Wednesday morning, 8:03 Thursday morning, big 8 pt Stud Buck was in 6 am Friday morning, so yeah, I expedited repair on that rascal last night! Whole 2 1/2 hours to tear both of them down, assess parts, determine plan of action, completely overhaul mine, restring it, lube and wax everything, check all nuts and bolts, and sight it in. Was on stand with it, 6 am this morning.

At 6:50 am, precisely 1/2 hour before sunrise here, 7 pt. walks in, right up in front of my stand, and I sent an arrow through him at 15 yards. Thank God for luminocs, or I'd have never found my arrow.

Buck ran south to wooded portion of my field, exited feed plot. Found my glowing knock in the grass, barely. Looked for blood, none to be found anywhere, except on arrow, not impressed!! Decided to give it a little more time just in case. Have about 10 acres that's wooded over there, trail around perimeter, walked the trail to make sure he laid down. Got back to where he left feed plot, had been an hour, walked out 5 yards and there he laid in the middle of a little clear spot. He ran maybe 50 yards and tipped over. Had he turned right at the big bay tree, instead of left, he'd have fallen within a matter of feet from where my last crossbow kill dropped.

So being persistent, and fighting with this damn bow paid off, and here's your first kill with it Tim! Got two more better than this one I'm chasing this year, and it's early, could have a good one or two move up out the river bottom yet.


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is there a recommended crossbow that doesn't have this issue under a grand?
Honestly don't know, haven't really looked yet. I do know that regardless of what archery forum you look at, you find complaints about crossbows in the $400/400 FPS range. Brand doesn't seem to matter, and no one is talking about there being one brand that's not seeing this issue.

Personally, I'm going to look at Barnett, and see what they have. Have another neighbor, has a Barnett his wife shoots. He needed something for that one, called them up, found they were here in Florida, and they over-nighted his parts to him at no charge. Called mid-afternoon, parts were here by noon next day, he was impressed.

May buy a bow press, open a bow shop, and sell lots of $400 crossbows, I could make a decent living fixing them. Not sure about the rest but, KI has a limited lifetime warranty, they only cover parts unless you send it to them for repair. But, you pick up shipping one way, 10 day turn-around in their shop, and shipping time both ways. Your archery season is pretty much shot. Supposed to carry it to a certified bow shop, but for me that amounts to a 70 mile trip east or 90 miles south, so you incur gas, time, and shop time for them to fix it. If they don't get it fixed that day, you're looking at 2 trips, or shipping both ways with God knows what thrown on top of it.

Had a Barnett Jackal, entry level bow, was pretty much trouble free. Was not altogether impressed with it, was too heavy on the front end, not balanced well at all. Tough to shoot unless you're on a rest. The Ripper 415 weighs within ounces of the Jackal, but much better balanced, easier to shoot off hand. And, 30% faster. It's a great bow, except for limbs shattering. They should send an extra set with them, and maybe Murphy's Law of spare parts would kick in. You know the one where you get tired of driving to town frequently after parts every time something tears up, so you buy extra each time and put them on the shelf, where they collect dust, until your estate sale 35 years later.
 

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I like those made by Barnett myself. I started out about 15 years ago, after I retired from the Army, with a Barnett Quad 400 and it served me well for several years. Five years ago, I was practicing before the season opened and my rope broke while I was cocking the crossbow, creating a dry fire. I checked the crossbow thoroughly and found the right limb cracked where it goes into the limb pocket. I called Barnett down in Florida the next day and they told me to ship the crossbow on out to them for repair.

I already had a hunting trip scheduled in south central Illinois for late October that year, and I didn't want to cancel it because bucks were already chasing does hard in the area I had access to. Due to rotator cuff injuries in both shoulders, I was unable to draw any of my vertical bows. I also could not wait for the crossbow to be shipped to Florida, repaired, and then shipped back to me in East Tennessee, so I just went to a local mom & pop sporting goods dealer and bought a new Barnett Raptor FX-3 Pro, Then I shipped my Quad 400 to Barnett for repair before I departed for Illinois.

A funny thing then happened. I went on and had a great hunt in Illinois and took a great buck. When I returned home my original crossbow, the Quad 400, was waiting for me. As it turned out, Barnett no longer had factory limbs for my Quad 400, so they took a set of limbs for a Ghost 400 and put on my Quad 400 receiver, creating a Frankenbow in the process. It did not change the draw weight, speed, or bolt length at all. But what it did do was drastically reduce the axle-to-axle width of the crossbow, and now it is much more maneuverable when moving through the thick stuff. So now I use the Quad/Ghost 400 frankenbow as a backup while the Raptor is now my primary.

I can't speak for other brands, but Barnett customer service has always been top notch in my experience. Others may have had different experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I like those made by Barnett myself. I started out about 15 years ago, after I retired from the Army, with a Barnett Quad 400 and it served me well for several years. Five years ago, I was practicing before the season opened and my rope broke while I was cocking the crossbow, creating a dry fire. I checked the crossbow thoroughly and found the right limb cracked where it goes into the limb pocket. I called Barnett down in Florida the next day and they told me to ship the crossbow on out to them for repair.

I already had a hunting trip scheduled in south central Illinois for late October that year, and I didn't want to cancel it because bucks were already chasing does hard in the area I had access to. Due to rotator cuff injuries in both shoulders, I was unable to draw any of my vertical bows. I also could not wait for the crossbow to be shipped to Florida, repaired, and then shipped back to me in East Tennessee, so I just went to a local mom & pop sporting goods dealer and bought a new Barnett Raptor FX-3 Pro, Then I shipped my Quad 400 to Barnett for repair before I departed for Illinois.

A funny thing then happened. I went on and had a great hunt in Illinois and took a great buck. When I returned home my original crossbow, the Quad 400, was waiting for me. As it turned out, Barnett no longer had factory limbs for my Quad 400, so they took a set of limbs for a Ghost 400 and put on my Quad 400 receiver, creating a Frankenbow in the process. It did not change the draw weight, speed, or bolt length at all. But what it did do was drastically reduce the axle-to-axle width of the crossbow, and now it is much more maneuverable when moving through the thick stuff. So now I use the Quad/Ghost 400 frankenbow.

I can't speak for other brands, but Barnett customer service has always been top notch in my experience. Others may have had different experiences.
Not sure what's up with the Ripper 425 limbs being sent for different bows by KI. Since the excuse in September '21 for them being out of stock was... "They're on one of those boats parked in the ocean off the coast of California. We're really not sure when we will get them." That tells me 1.) The limbs are made in China, and... 2.) They are still having supply chain problems, or the Chinese folks sent them a whole container load of Ripper 425 limbs by mistake.

There is some difference in the limbs, as the shim with divider, that goes in the limb pocket, was shipped with them, with specific instructions to use those for the 425 limbs. And, I know things did not exactly go back like they should have when I put it all back together last time. This time I was pleased with the way it went together.

I'd really like to see the cams on a Ripper 425 and see if they resemble the 415 cams or the Speed 425 cams. The Ripper 415 has a much more aggressive cam than the Speed 425. Steeper angles about it, whereas the speed has more rounded angles. I think I'm becoming addicted to crossbows! I feel the NEED to READ! :geek::geek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nice Buck Rocky. Thanks for the story and pictures.
He's decent, not real tall, not real thick, but fairly wide. The other 2 are better.

He's plenty tasty though! Fried up a little backstrap last night; french fries, grilled asparagus, and fresh sliced tomato to go with it.
 

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I did not read all of every post,but hear is my suggestion as to crossbow purchase. Avoid compound style, too many things to break or go wrong a recurve limb style may not be as fast, but will get it done every time.It can be down strung in off season and will drive tacks if set up properly. I own an Excalibur Ibex I've had since TN.allowed them,that's been at least 6 or 7 years now.
 
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