Ravin R20 Review – Another Top Crossbow From Ravin
The Ravin R20 is a fantastic crossbow, it’s small, lightweight and deadly accurate, check out my review below
Table of Contents
First Impressions Of The Ravin R20 Sniper
Seating at the pinnacle of all Ravin crossbows is the Ravin R20 Sniper, a top of the range bow that offers unmatched performance that is rivalled by very few bows today. Listed currently as the fourth fastest bow on the planet, right behind the Ravin R26, Tenpoint Nitro XRT (470fps), Scorpyd Aculeus (460fps) and the Tenpoint Nitro X (440fps), the R20 features the powerful HeliCoil technology plus the unique state of the art Frictionless Flight System that supercharge a bolt to a mind boggling 430fps of speed. It was unveiled in 2018 as part of Ravinâs industry defining line-up that also included the R10. This bow comes in a dual package that includes the R20 Standard and the R20 Sniper, which are distinguishable by few accessories but feature the same design and performance. Here is a detailed review of the R20 Sniper, Ravinâs magnum opus and a big upgrade to the R15
Ravin R20 Crossbow Specs
|Length (with stirrup)
|Axle to Axle
|430fps (using 380 grain arrow)
|164 ft. lbs
Ravin R20 Review
Outdoor Veteran Rating
Check Out The Awesome Features Of The R20
Design and Build
The R20 is fashioned after the previous R9 model, but it has been revamped to offer more speed and poundage. It comes with a narrow, ultra-compact and lightweight design that measures 34.5 inches full length, weighs 7.1 pounds and has axle to axle width of only 6 inches cocked and 10.5 inches uncocked. Its skeletonized stock is constructed from the lightweight and durable cast polymer that features cutouts on the buttstock, limbs and riser that reduce weight and improve balance. It does not come with a foot stirrup, but instead it features limb bumpers that are kept on the ground during cocking.
As a result, it is one of the smallest and lightest bows today, which makes it super-easy to handle in very tight spaces, small-quarter blinds and on treestands. This bow utilizes the Helicoil technology for its bow and cable system and the Trac-Trigger Firing System that is integrated with the Versa-Draw Cocking System. Although it features an aluminum track, the track is not used by the arrow as is the case with most bows. Instead, the flight track is used by the Trac-Trigger, during cocking. The Frictionless Flight System employed by the R20 is responsible for the âabove the rail arrow dispensation processâ. The soft, rubber textured comb is also optimized for perfect eye alignment.
Accessories for the sniper package include: 6 Ravin Branded .001 Premium Arrows and Nocks with six 100 Grain Practice Field Points, one removable cocking handle, a 3-arrow quiver, a mounting bracket, Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24mm illuminated scope, built-in sling mounts, a riser level and a Jack Plate Adjustable Elevation Mount. The standard package does not come with a Jack Plate Adjustable Elevation Mount and a riser level. It also features a different scope, the Ravin 100 Yard Illuminated scope. There are two color patterns featured on the R20 that you can choose from: the Predator Camo that blends well in the field or the Gunmetal Grey Polymer that gives it a rifle-like feel and finish.
Ravin R20 utilizes cutting edge technology to provide rifle like accuracy and performance up to 100 yards. With a 400 grain bolt, this bow can deliver up to 430fps speed and 164 foot-pounds of power, which is amazing considering that it comes with a shorter power stroke of only 13 inches. The high speed and poundage are made possible by the state of the art and patented Helicoil technology that is utilized for its string and cable system. When drawn, the cables coil away from the top and bottom of the cams in Helical grooves, which keeps the cams perfectly balanced, eliminating cam lean and increasing downrange accuracy of the bolt. The cams are also rotated up to 340 degrees, giving this bow the power to unleash a bolt to a lethal 430fps speed.
In addition, the R20 features the exclusive Frictionless Flight System that suspends the arrow and the string above the flight track allowing for uninhibited movements. The arrow only comes into contact with the string and the double rollers of the rest, which eliminates track friction allowing for constant trajectory and improved downrange accuracy. It also lengthens the bowâs lifespan by eliminating rail and string friction. Another top class feature of the R20 is the Trac-Trigger Firing System that doubles as a cocking device. It is firmly installed on the flight rail, which reduces side-to-side movements. Consequently, the Trac-Trigger device is able to attach at the center of the bowstring and to retract it uniformly. This allows straight nock travel, which further improves the degree of precision. The smooth and frictionless trigger breaks at around 2.9 pounds with less creep and overtravel making it one of the best trigger systems available.
Versa-Draw Cocking System
The Versa-Draw cocking system is fully integrated with the Trac-Trigger Firing System to allow for stress-free cocking experience. To cock this bow, you insert the cocking handle into either of the two recessed holes on the stock, an integrated magnet will hold it in place. Rotate the cocking handle, as you press the spool thumb release button to release any tension on the cocking strap and then remove the cocking handle. Press again on the spool thumb release button to free-up the Trac-Trigger unit. It will slide forward until it automatically clasps on the bowstring, upon which there will be an audible sound to indicate the contact.
The final step is to reinstate the cocking handle in the recessed hole and to rotate it clockwise until the Trac-Trigger unit is fully drawn back. To uncock the bow, the spool thumb release button is pressed continuously, as the cocking handle is rotated in an anticlockwise movement until the bowstring comes into contact with the string stops. You will also notice that the cocking strap will be slacked after the string is fully decocked. Cocking and decocking is super easy requiring only 12 pounds of draw force making it one of the most efficient cocking and decocking devices available. The system is also ambidextrous and can be used both by left handed and right handed individuals.
The R20 includes the auto-safety and the anti-dry fire features on its Trac-Trigger system that prevent dry firing, before the bolt is fully installed. The two safety features are automatically activated when the bowstring attaches on the Trac-Trigger unit. The auto-safety features an external knob that points to a white dot when it is on safety mode. The anti-dry fire on the other hand only disengages when a Ravin branded arrow is fully installed into the trigger mechanism. Installing the arrow takes about 10 pounds and an audible click sound will indicate when the arrow is correctly installed in place. You can then move the auto-safety knob manually to the firing position or the red dot and the trigger will be ready to shoot. In addition, the trigger is fixed on the stock and is only engaged when the bowstring is fully cocked. Also, this bow includes safety wings above the foregrip that prevent the hand from sliding into the flight path during action. The finger grooves and texturing on both sides of the foregrip reduces slips and allows for firm grip even with gloves.
Noise and Vibrations
The Helicoil technology and Frictionless Flight system utilized on this bow help reduce noise and vibrations by eliminating friction caused by the arrow and string on the aluminum flight rail. Unfortunately, the design does not entirely eliminate the noise and therefore, the R20 is still a very loud bow compared to Tenpointâs flagship models like the Nitro XRT that offer smooth soundless shots. However, the ultra-fast speed means that the prey will not be able to get away even if it hears the noise. The noise should not be a serious consideration, if you are looking to purchase this bow, since the R20 is extremely fast up to 100 yards.
Ravin Branded .001 Premium Arrows
The R20 Sniper package comes with a six pack Ravin Branded Premium Arrows and nocks with six 100 grain practice points. The 400 grain arrows boast of superior speed, power, accuracy and durability. They are constructed from high strength premium carbon and have straightness tolerance of .001 inches. They also feature polymer nocks, aluminum nock bushings, high impact brass threaded inserts and 2 inch high profile offset vanes. The standard package comes with a six pack 400 grain Match Grade .003 Arrows that also offer high speed, power and accuracy. The standard package also includes Ravin nocks and six 100 grain practice field points. Both packages feature a 3-arrow quiver and a mounting bracket.
The built-in scope for the sniper package is the Vortex Strike Eagle that features 1-8 power fully multi-coated optics for visual clarity and high light transmission. Constructed from aircraft grade aluminum with a hard anodized finish, the scope is nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed to protect against dust, moisture and fogging. It also features the AR-BDC2 reticle subtended with the popular 5.56 NATO ammo and a centered halo for quick target acquisition. The illuminated reticle allows for improved visual performance in low light conditions. In addition, it also includes capped 0.5 MOA reset turrets that allow easy W/E adjustments and zero re-indexing after sighting in. Also included in the sniper package is a riser level and the Jack Plate Adjustable Elevation Mount that allows you to dial the exact yardage from 20 to 200 yards for improved shooting accuracy.
The standard package comes with the Ravin 100 Yard Illuminated Scope that boasts of fully multi-coated 1.5 to 5 power optics. It has speed and arrow drop compensation setting for xbows that shoot between 300fps and 425fps. It also includes a 9-dot calibration for 20-100 yards and two rheostat controlled illumination modes that feature red and green colored dots. It is also fog proof, waterproof and shockproof and even includes mounting rings and flip-up lens caps. The standard package does not come with a Jack Plate Adjustable Elevation Mount or a riser level.
How Popular Is The R20 Sniper
The only drawback I can think of is the noise, which has already been taken care of by the bowâs ultra-fast speed. Some people complain about its high price, but its performance really speaks for itself. This rig will give you value for every dollar you spend on it. Another minor issue is that the R20 is only compatible with the Ravin 400 grain Premium Arrows and Nocks. Although the arrows offer exceptional performance in terms of trajectory and poundage, it would be better if the bow came with other alternatives, as is the case with most Tenpoint bows.
Ravin R20 Review
Outdoor Veteran Rating
- Ultra-fast speed of up to 430fps
- Compact, lightweight skeletonized design
- Cocking and decocking mechanism
- Offers constant pinpoint accuracy
- High Cost, but you do get a lot for your money
- A bit loud
My Final Thoughts On The R20 Sniper
Ravin did not take any chances with this bow and sealed all loopholes to ensure that the R20 is the safest and most user friendly bow in the market today. When it comes to design, the R20 utilizes a skeletonized stock and Helicoil technology that reduces its size and weight to almost half the size of most bows in the market. When it comes to performance, it offers enough power and speed to take out any large game. It is also among the few bows that offer rifle-like performance up to 100 yards. The Helicoil technology, Trac-Trigger and the Frictionless Flight System keep this bow in its own league. And even though it is not the fastest, it will give any rig above it a run for its money, especially over long ranges.