Barnett Predator 430 Review

Barnett Predator 430 Review

I Thoroughly Enjoyed Shooting The Barnett Predator, Check Out This Review And Find Out Why It’s The Best Barnett Crossbow Around

First Impressions

The best way to describe the Barnett Predator 430 is that it is a ‘crossbow on steroids’. Only three crossbows on the market can hold their candle against the Predator when it comes to speed: the Scorpyd Aculeus (460fps), TenPoint Nitro X (440fps) and Ravin R20 (430fps). Speed aside, the Predator performs at equal footing as these three highly rated bows, if not better. It is no wonder that it is one of the most sought after crossbow by the pros. The speed, power and dominance of the Predator rightfully asserts it at the top of the food chain. I mean it’s called the ‘Predator’ for a reason. We all know that you can never go wrong with a Barnett crossbow. The fact that the Predator 430 is the company’s flagship bow speaks volumes about this crossbows.

Barnett Predator Crossbow Specs

Length (with stirrup)37.125”
Width (uncocked)20.375”
Axle to Axle17.667”
Weight7.8 lbs
Speed430fps (using 380 grain arrow)
Power Stroke16.333”
Kinetic Energy156 ft. lbs
Draw Weight187 lbs

Barnett Predator 430 Review

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What Makes Up The Barnett Predator?

Check Out The Awesome Design Of The Predator

The most obvious feature you notice about the Predator is its unique black finish, which deviates from the conventional finishes like Realtree Xtra Camo and Mossy Oak Treestand. The black color has definitely sacrificed invisibility. However, this drawback has been perfectly compensated for by the speed of this crossbow, meaning that even if the target notices the bow, it is highly unlikely that it will get away. It is slightly larger than the average Barnett crossbow measuring 37.125” x 20.375” and weighing 7.8 lbs, comparing that to the Raptor Pro that weighs 6.9lbs The differences however are negligible and you can still maneuver with it in tight spaces and on a treestand, without any problems.

You also notice the cross wire string and cables system that Barnett utilizes in all its bows. The woven design of the strings makes them very sturdy and long-lasting, an important factor considering the high draw weight. The premium strings also feature color accents that perfectly contrast the black finish of the bow, which makes the bow nice to look at. 

The single bolt assembly allows this crossbow to be easily assembled and disassembled and it also comes pre-assembled just in case you don’t know your way around a wrench. It also features an ambidextrous handle that is padded for a tight nonslip grip. Maintenance is super-easy thanks to its simple design and you only need to oil the string with the lubrication wax that it comes with.

How Does The Predator 430 Perform

This is the best Barnett shooter, bar one – the Barnett HyperGhost 425. Although it is third fastest bolt shooter on the market today, it offers the same high performance as the top rated Scorpyd Aculeus (460fps), TenPoint Nitro X (440fps) and Ravin R20 (430fps). It delivers top range speed of up to 430fps with a maximum distance of 70 yards.

Power is also another highlight of this crossbow. It features 156 ft. lbs. kinetic energy, 16.33 inches power stroke and 187lbs. draw weight.

No animal is too large or fast enough to evade the ultimate predator.

It works with the Headhunter arrows, the top-selling bolts by Barnett that harness more speed and power delivering more penetration and less wind drift. The arrows can be used with broadheads for hunts or field points for target practice.

Another feature I particularly love about the Predator is its balance. Conveniently placed at the butt stock is the Retractable Underarm Counter-Balance Support (RUCS), a foldable arm that hooks under your arm acting as an equalizer when the frontal weight pushes the crossbow down during operation. The RUCS is so efficient that you can practically handle the bow with one arm, if you are strong enough. Also, the carbonlite riser is very light reducing nearly 43% of the frontal weight.

The integration of the riser with the foot stirrup further reduces the overall weight of the bow. Honestly, if these specs do not impress, then you are better off with a rifle and not a crossbow!

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Barnett Predator Side On Triggertech

Barnett Predator Features And Accessories

TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology

I have not yet encountered a better trigger system than this. What separates this trigger system from the rest is a unique design that has a free-floating roller between the sear and trigger. The result is a zero creep, frictionless 3 pound trigger that offers no resistance during operation. The TriggerTech assembly also includes safety measures to keep you from harm’s way. It has nock sensors and anti-dry fire (ADF), which prevent dry firing that may either lead to accidents or destruction of the bow string.

Rope Cocking Device

At 187lb, the draw weight of the Predator is quite high and manually snapping the rope is out of question for the average shooter. Luckily, it comes with a rope cocking device that cuts the draw weight by half. Snapping is easy for this bow. Just use the foot stirrup to balance it on the ground and then snap the rope back using the rope cocking device. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with any crank cocking device, meaning that you are only stuck with the rope cocking device.

Sound-Proof Operation

One of the major challenges of powerful bows is that they produce a lot sound due to extreme vibrations of the string and arrows as they pierce through the air. Barnett curtails this problem by including string dampeners conveniently placed on both sides of the string that reduce the vibrations and result in soundless shots. The string dampeners are lightweight and do not add to the overall weight of the bow. In as much as the string dampeners are very crucial, I believe you can still make a kill with all the noise because of the speed of the bolt, especially in shorter ranges.

Barnett Predator Cams

Safety Features

The first safety features of the Predator are the nock sensors and anti-dry fire (ADF) trigger that prevent dry firing before the arrow is fully loaded, which further prevents accidents and string damage. The next feature is the Soft-Lok Floating Bristle Arrow Retainer that self-adjusts to push the arrow further downwards to keep it more secure. Then, there are finger safety reminders installed on both sides of the rail that remind you to keep your fingers out of harm’s way during operation. It comes with a pass-through foregrip below the rail that provides a safe haven for the fingers and also more stability during operation.

Side-Mount Quiver

As is common with all Barnett crossbows, this one also features a quiver, but it is conveniently placed on the side for quick and easy drawing. The alignment of the arrows is parallel to the rail, which distributes their weight throughout the bow reducing the weight on the front end. This alignment also makes maneuverability in tight spaces easier, as opposed to a cross aligned quiver that adds to the breadth of the bow. Aside from just holding the arrows, the quiver also protects the broadheads during storage and transport. It comes with three 22” Headhunter arrows to get you started.

CNC Machined Aluminum Flight Track

The coolest feature of the Predator 430 that will definitely wow everyone around you is the CNC Machined Aluminum Flight Track that utilizes a gun metal finish. The sleek shiny aluminum flight track is not only good to look at, but the smooth finish also allows arrows to be released effortlessly without any resistance allowing for more consistency and accuracy to the point of target. It is also rust-proof and resistant to scratches caused by friction from the arrow.

Barnett Predator Side View

1.5-5x32mm Premium Illuminated Scope

The Predator comes with the state of the art 1.5-5×32 Premium Illuminated Scope. It is designed for fast crossbows and it features a speed selector that allows you to match it with any speed between 300 and 425fps. It provides 10 yard intervals and can project from 20 to 70 yards maximum. For added accuracy and precision, the scope features seven layers of multi-coated polarized lenses that work jointly to bring the image 1.5x to 5x closer to you. It is also illuminated with green and red reticles for low light conditions that ensures your target is always under the scope regardless of the conditions in the woods.


The Predator is also customizable like all the other Barnett crossbows. The only difference is that it comes with four 7/8” picatinny rails, as opposed to one which gives you more customizable options. You can use the four picatinny rails to attach whichever accessories that will enhance your hunting experience. You may install quivers, bipods, optics, lights, vertical fore grips etc.

Barnett Predator 430 Review

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Who The Barnett Predator Isn’t For

The Barnett Predator is a crossbow designed for the big boys. It performs exceptionally well and will give you the thrills if you love speed and power. The only drawback of this crossbow is that it is not compatible with any crank cocking device. The best you will get out of this bow is with a rope cocking device and although it considerably reduces the draw weight by half, to some people the reduced weight is still too much. If you have any back or shoulder problems, I wouldn’t advise you to purchase this crossbow despite the great features it comes with. It is also a bit heavy, but that is a common feature for all powerful compound crossbows, so it’s not suitable for kids and the power makes it unsuitable for most beginners.


  • Delivers great speed of up to 430fps
  • Includes safety measure – anti-dry fire, nock sensors, finger safety reminders
  • Long range shooting of up to 70 yards
  • Zero creep, frictionless 3 pound trigger
  • Customizable


  • Expensive (Although worth it)
  • It’s a bit heavy at 7.8lbs
  • Not compatible with crank cocking devices

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Summing Up My Barnett Predator Review

The Predator is the ultimate crossbow. The very fact that it is the flagship bow of Barnett is a direct giveaway that the Predator is an exceptional crossbow.

Whatever you are looking for in a crossbow, speed, power and range, you will get it in this crossbow. Although some people are put off by the black finish, the reality is that invisibility is not a major requirement for the Predator since it has the speed and power to outpace even the fastest game. It is due to this reason that it is a darling for the pro shooters. It is a high-end model and is quite expensive, but it is worth every penny. With the Barnett Predator 430, both the prey and the competition do not stand a chance. Enjoy!

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Justin Archer
Hi, I'm Justin Archer a family man with 2 boys and a wife. I'm an outdoorsman who loves hunting, fishing, hiking and lots of other outdoor activities. I love testing new outdoor gear, learning new things and passing on the knowledge I have gained. Feel free to contact me anytime -

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