I recently visited Bass Pro’s store in Macon, Georgia, and in the bargain area they had reconditioned Stryker crossbows for $750 compared to their release price of about $1,700. These crossbows were factory reconditioned with factory warranties, cases and accessories.
The Stryker made a splash 2-years ago as the fastest crossbow on the market. It reported a speed of over 400 fps with a heavy arrow which attracted immediate attention. Since then BowTech (the maker) has brought out lower powered (and much more user friendly) crossbows that are better suited to the average hunter.
The reason that the Stryker was discontinued was because it was too big, heavy and complicated to please most hunters. After receiving a sample and shooting it extensively, I found no mechanical problems; but expect to replace strings about every 100 shots.
This high-speed instrument is a specialized tool for the person who wants to push the comfortable limit of crossbow hunting to 50 yards. The arrow drop at 50 yards is about 6-inches when the crossbow is zeroed at 20 yards. I had no mechanical problems with the crossbow, even when a string broke. The instrument appears to be sufficiently “overdesigned” so that the limbs will not fly apart when the string fails. I particularly like the way it drives very wide-bladed mechanical points, like the Grim Reaper with extra long blades, through game.
Compared with the present high-speed products from PSE, which either use an AR-15 trigger assembly platform or another model which has a non-gun firing mechanism, the Stryker is much better as a hunting instrument and does not require special factory-furnished arrows.
Things to watch for with the Stryker concerns the strings. In storage, particularly in hot weather, the strings will stretch and change the bow’s zero. This can be corrected to removing the strings, shortening them by twisting and using the factory-supplied restringing cables to reinstall them. These strings will ultimately fail and must be kept waxed and the rails lubed for longer use cycles. They will polish the deck somewhat and the second, and subsequent strings will last longer than the first.
For anyone who shoots from a stand and wants longer range crossbow capabilities or who has to have the “baddest” crossbow on the block, the Stryker at $750 is an outstanding buy.