First Look: Traditions Crackshot XBR

posted on June 3, 2019

Anyone that loves plinking, guns, archery and getting outdoors, will want to check out the new Traditions Crackshot XBR. There is an XBR upper, or barrel with part of the receiver built in, which looks like a shrouded barrel with a narrow tube insert for seating and shooting arrows. The upper receiver fits into the lower receiver to make the XBR functional. The unique XBR also comes with a 16.5-inch .22 caliber upper, or barrel, which is perfect for small-game hunting and plinking. The XBR and .22 caliber uppers are interchangeable on the lower receiver to allow users to plink with a .22 caliber rifle or shoot arrows with the specialized XBR upper.


It may sound like a strange contraption, but there is a regular barrel with a tube insert running through the center, which looks like a shrouded barrel. Using an arrow without a nock users slide the hollow end of the arrow onto the tube inside the barrel from the muzzle. The diameter of the barrel allows clearance for the fletching on the arrow.  

Specialized Firebolt 16-inch 2216 aluminum arrows have been designed for the Crackshot XBR. Ignition and launch of the arrow is made possible with a powder-charged rimfire casing. Insert an arrow into the upper, break open the rifle, place a Traditions XBR Powerload .27 Cal. Long in the chamber, close the gun, click the safety off and squeeze the trigger to fire the arrow.

The accuracy of the arrows will surprise most shooters. Hitting the bull’s eye at normal archery range is as easy with the arrow as it is with a .22 caliber bullet. The fundamentals of shooting are the same, and with good form and trigger control, you can be on target for every shot.

The Firebolt arrows can reach up to 385 fps, with repeatable accuracy. The bolt is pulled from the front instead of pushed from the rear, so the arrow maintains a steady trajectory. The energy from the powder burn travels through the tube in the upper to generate propulsion from the front end of the arrow. Like a vehicle with front-wheel drive, the front-centered energy makes it easy to steer and keeps arrow flight straight and consistent.

Recoil is low, and the rifle is lightweight, meaning the whole family can use it. The small powder charge in the XBR Powerload emits a low decibel reading when fired, but hearing protection is still recommended. There is a side-mount quiver that runs along the barrel for storing and carrying up to three Firebolts.

The Crackshot XBR is a great unit for any recreational shooting, with options for bullets or arrows. Adults and youth will find the XBR addictive in nature, wanting to shoot it at various distances and figure out the trajectory.  

The Crackshot XBR is available with a black synthetic, Realtree Edge or a Kryptek Highlander finish. The black synthetic model has an MSRP of $449, which the Realtree Edge and Kryptek Highlander models have an MSRP of $499. A five-arrow quiver is available for $35.49, the XBR Powerloads come in boxes of 100 for $24.95, and extra Firebolt arrows with fieldtips can be purchased in packs of six for $29.95.

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