Ravin R29 Review - The Latest Beast From Ravin
Here is another exceptional crossbow from Ravin, Read my review to see if it’s worth the money
First Impressions of the ravin r29
In 2018, Ravin revolutionized the game with a legendary line-up that consisted of the R10 and the R20, asserting itself as one of the main players in crossbow manufacturing. In 2019, the company changed its stance by unveiling miniature versions of the two legendary bows – the R26 was modelled after the R10, while the R29 after the R20. The R29 therefore shares the title of the fastest crossbow ever made by Ravin with the R20. Unlike its predecessor however, the R29 prides itself as being one of the shortest bows on the planet, only coming second to the R26. Ravin retained the same design and technology on this bow after the success of the R10 and R20. It boasts of the industry defining Helicoil technology, Trac-Trigger System and the unique Frictionless Flight System. But, its overall length was slightly shed off to improve its handling. Here is a detailed review of the R26, Ravin’s fastest bow and the second shortest bow on the planet.
Ravin R29 Crossbow Specs
|Length (with stirrup)||29”|
|Axle to Axle||6”|
|Speed||430fps (using 380 grain arrow)|
|Kinetic Energy||164 ft. lbs|
|Draw Weight||12 lbs|
Ravin R29 Review
Outdoor Veteran Rating
Check Out The Awesome Features Of The R29
Design and Build
The R29 is constructed from a skeletonized cast polymer stock that is 5.5 inches shy of its predecessor, the legendary R20. The narrow, lightweight and ultra-compressed design measures 29 inches full length, weighs 6.75 pounds and has axle to axle width of only 6 inches cocked and 10.5 inches uncocked. It is therefore the shortest bow on the planet, bar one the Ravin R26 which is only 26 inches long. The skeletonized stock features huge cutouts on the buttstock, limbs and riser that considerably reduce weight and improve balance. It comes with the state of the art helicoil technology for its cable system and the Trac-Trigger Firing System that is integrated with the Versa-Draw Cocking System. It also features a soft, rubber textured comb that is optimized for perfect eye alignment and the Frictionless Flight System that suspends the arrow above the aluminum flight track.
A notable exclusion from this bow is a foot stirrup, which helps to reduce its length and eliminate nose-heavy feel making it very easy to handle and maneuver with in close quarters blinds and treestands. The R29 is fully clad in the Predator Dusk Camo that does not fade or peel and also gives it the perfect cover in the woods. Although this bow is modelled after the R20, it comes with the accessories included in the R20 Standard package and not the R20 Sniper package. The R29 package comes with the following accessories: six 400 grain premium arrows and nocks, six 100 grain practice field points, a 3-arrow quiver, a mounting bracket, 100 yard illuminated scope, built-in sling mounts and a removable cocking handle. The bow comes pre-assembled and pre-tuned from the manufacturer and can be shot right out of the box.
What Performance Can You Expext From The R29
The R29 is a miniature version of the R20 and therefore performs at equal footing as its predecessor. Providing rifle like accuracy and performance up to 100 yards, this bow can deliver up to 430fps speed and 164 foot-pounds of power asserting its position at the top of all Ravin crossbows. What is amazing about this bow is that it comes with a shorter power stroke of only 12.5 inches, but still delivers the bone shattering speed and poundage like the R20. The only answer to such an incredible performance lies with the 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 also rotate up to 340 degrees, giving this bow the power to unleash a 400 grain bolt to the lethal speed. It also features the exclusive Frictionless Flight System that keeps the arrow suspended above the flight rail only coming into contact with the string and the double rollers of the rest. This eliminates bolt-track friction allowing for constant trajectory and improved downrange accuracy of the arrow. The system also eliminates string-track friction, which helps increase the lifespan of the bow. The Trac-Trigger Firing System (TTFS) utilized on this bow comes with a smooth 2.9 pound trigger break with less creep and overtravel and also features the auto-safety and the anti-dry fire safety features.
The TTFS, which doubles as a cocking and decocking device, is firmly installed on the flight rail to reduce side-to-side movements as it moves along the track. This allows the device to attach at the center of the bowstring and to retract it uniformly. This further improves accuracy by allowing straight nock travel to the point of contact. Like the R20, Ravin did a wonderful job on this bow to ensure that it comes with 99% precision up to 100 yards making it one of the most accurate bows ever made.
Versa-Draw Cocking System
One of the highlights of the R29 is the Versa-Draw, a unique cocking system that comes fully integrated with the Trac-Trigger Firing System. Cocking the R20 is super-easy with most of the operation already taken care of by the Versa-Draw. The ambidextrous system features two recessed holes on either side of the stock where the removable cocking handle is installed and held in place by a built-in magnet. To cock this bow, first install the cocking handle into one of the recessed holes. Secondly, press the spool thumb release button located behind the trigger grip, as you rotate the cocking handle in a clockwise fashion. This action helps releases tension on the cocking strap. Thirdly, remove the cocking handle and press once and let go of the spool thumb release button to engage the TTFS device.
The TTFS device will automatically slide along the aluminum track until it comes into contact with the string stop. It will then clasp at the bowstring and an audible sound will indicate this contact. Install the cocking handle again and rotate it in a clockwise fashion until the device is fully drawn. This whole process requires only 12 pounds of draw force, which makes it one of the least tedious cocking systems. Decocking is a bit tricky, as you will be required to press the spool thumb release button continuously as you rotate the handle in an anticlockwise direction until the TTFS device reaches the string stop. A slacked cocking strap will indicate to you that the bow is fully decocked.
Kindly note that the R29 does not include a foot stirrup and you may be required to purchase limb bumpers separately to help you hold it firmly on the ground as you draw it. Confirm with your supplier to be sure if the package comes with limb bumpers, as it may save you some bucks. Also note that the cocking system of this bow is permanently installed, which means that the weight listed on this bow is actually accurate. A common problem with many companies is that they deliberately omit the weight of their cocking systems to make their bows appear lighter. But, once the cocking systems are installed the bows turn out to be heavier than is advertised. This, in my opinion is wrong, since it is a marketing gimmick to dupe customers into buying their bows.
The R29 comes with the auto-safety and the anti-dry fire safety features on its Trac-Trigger Firing System, which are automatically activated to prevent dry firing before the arrow is properly loaded. The auto-safety feature is an external yellow switch that is automatically activated when the TTFS device clasps at the bowstring. The switch moves to the white dot indicating that it is on safety mode. When you are ready to make the shot, just manually move the switch to the firing mode (red dot) and the bow will be ready to shoot.
The anti-dry fire is also automatically activated when the TTFS device clasps at the bowstring and is only disengaged when a Ravin branded arrow is properly installed. It takes about 10 pounds of force to properly install an arrow and an audible click sound will inform you when the arrow is properly installed. The R29 also includes safety wings above the foregrip that prevent your hand from sliding into the flight path during operation. The finger grooves and hard texturing on both sides of the foregrip reduce slips and allow for firm grip even with gloves. In addition, the trigger is fixed on the stock and is only engaged when the bowstring is fully cocked.
Noise and Vibrations
One minor drawback you will experience with the R29 is that it comes with a very loud pop, a common problem with all ultra-powerful bows. However, I consider it a minor problem because of the speed of this rig. It is the fastest Ravin bow and even features a 99% accuracy up to 100 yards. No prey will be able to get away from the R29. However, discreetness and silence is always important in the woods to keep you in the game even when you miss your first shot. Too much noise will trigger all game to scatter away to safety. I would advise you to purchase limb vibration dampeners to control the noise. Unfortunately, this will add to the overall cost of the bow, which already costs an arm and leg.
400 Grain Match Grade Arrows
The R29 package comes with a six pack 400 grain Match Grade Arrows and nocks with six 100 grain practice points. These premium arrows boast of 100% pure carbon construction with high impact brass threaded inserts and aluminum nock bushings. They are also inspected for straightness tolerance to within .003 inches and feature 2 inch high profile offset vanes. The package also includes a three arrow quiver and a mounting bracket. Note that the R29 is only compatible with Ravin branded arrows and nocks and should not be used by any other type of arrow.
Ravin’s 100 Yard Illuminated Scope
The built-in scope for this bow is the Ravin 100 Yard Illuminated Scope. It boasts of fully multi-coated 1.5 to 5 power optics and speed and arrow drop compensation settings for crossbows that shoot between 300fps and 425fps. The scope also includes a 9-dot calibration for 20-100 yards for improved accuracy at different yards. In addition, it includes two rheostat controlled illumination modes that feature red and green colored dots for low light conditions. The scope is also nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed to make it fog proof, waterproof and dustproof. It comes with mounting rings and flip-up lens caps.
Is The R29 A Popular Crossbow?
The R29 is a very pricey crossbow and is therefore far beyond most people’s paychecks. However, this bow really deserves every cent you spend on it and will definitely give you value for your investment. Another problem is that the bow does not come with an alternative cocking method like we get in all Tenpoint bows, for instance. This means that your hunting expedition will be cut short in the advent of a crank system failure. I hope Ravin takes note of that and at least comes up with a manual way of cocking its bows to save hunters the inconvenience of a ruined hunting experience just because of a faulty crank system. Also, the ultra-compressed design of the R20 makes it hard for large individuals with a longer wingspan. An adjustable butt stock would have really come in handy for taller people.
Ravin R29 Review
Outdoor Veteran Rating
My Final Thoughts On The Ravin R29
The R29 is tied with the R20 as the fastest Ravin crossbow. What makes the R29 special however is that it is able to generate a lot of speed and power, despite being such a small bow. Personally, I feel like this bow is an improvement of the R20. It comes with a lightweight design, safety features, cocking/decocking mechanism plus all the bells and whistles of Ravin crossbows. It also offers 99% pinpoint accuracy up to 100 yards making it one of the best long range crossbows in the market today. The R29 may come with a heavy price tag, but it is worth the price. Some people may complain about its size being too small to handle. Lucky for them, they can always switch to the larger R20.