Now in its 16th year, theNRA Golden Bullseye Awardsrepresent the pinnacle of achievement within the shooting, hunting and outdoor trade.
In 2017, after years of record-breaking sales, many industry observers wondered what ingenious introductions might still be unveiled. After all, any product worthy of our gold standard must meet or exceedAmerican Hunter’sexpectations of innovation—and they absolutely must provide hunters with value for their money. But once again, we were surprised when we collected nominations and tallied our votes.
Bow of the Year: Ravin R9 Crossbow With a 190-pound draw weight and a 13-inch powerstroke that launches a 400-grain arrow at 390 fps with 135 ft.-lbs. of kinetic energy, the Ravin R9 is faster and more powerful than 90 percent of crossbows on the market. Uncocked, it measures 10.5 inches axle-to-axle. When cocked axle-to-axle length is only 6 inches; cam-edge-to-cam-edge span is just 9.25 inches.
The bow’s HeliCoil eccentric system, four cables that wind around the cam axles in helical channels, reduces leverage on each cam and applies force evenly to send an arrow directly down the string’s centerline. An innovative arrow rest virtually eliminates friction. Ravin’s sliding fire-control system, Trac-Trigger, contains an anti-dry-fire device, and engages the trigger sear and safety. It works with a cocking system that requires only 10 pounds of force; the system is ambidextrous and can be cranked silently. Trigger pull weight is only 2.32 pounds.
Field Editor Jeff Johnston’s testing produced .78-inch groups at 30 yards, which is remarkable (“Hardware,” April 2017). The Ravin R9, he wrote, is “as easy to carry and cock as crossbows come, yet it remains incredibly powerful and accurate. Indeed, it’s a game changer.”