Barnett Explorer Crossbow Series – XP370/XP380/XP400 Review

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Barnett launched its brand new Explorer crossbow series this year. The Explorer series consists of three compound crossbows, the Explorer XP370, Explorer XP380, and the Explorer XP400. They all come pre-assembled in an affordable ready-to-hunt package. Barnett also released the Hyperghost 425 this year, which is the flagship model of their Hyperghost series, the tactical AR-style TS380, and they released two all-new recurve crossbows; the Blackcat and Wildcat.

Barnett’s story starts in 1962 when its founder Bernard Barnett began building crossbows in his garage as a hobby in Wolverton, England. Because people were interested in his designs Barnett slowly built up quite a reputation in the crossbow industry. Americans immediately fell in love with Barnett’s products. Barnett prices their bows at a point that is affordable. Even their high-end models have reasonable prices.

Barnett Explorer XP370/XP380/XP400 Crossbow Specs

Crossbow

Barnett Explorer XP370

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Barnett Explorer XP380

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Barnett Explorer XP400

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Speed

370 FPS

380 FPS

400 FPS

Weight

6 lbs

6 lbs

6.2 lbs

Width Axle-to-Axle (uncocked/cocked):

16.5" / 13.3"

16.5" / 13.3"

16.5" / 13.3"

Length

34.5"

34.5"

34.5"

Power Stroke

13.75"

13.75"

13.75"

Draw weight

165 lbs.

185 lbs.

200 lbs.

Extra Features

Metal Injection Molded trigger with TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology, Anti-Dry Fire/Auto Safety, Adjustable Butt Stock, Pass-Through Foregrip, Three Picatinny Rails, Single Bolt Assembly

Metal Injection Molded trigger with TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology, Anti-Dry Fire/Auto Safety, Adjustable Butt Stock, Pass-Through Foregrip, Three Picatinny Rails, Single Bolt Assembly. String dampeners

Metal Injection Molded trigger with TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology, Anti-Dry Fire/Auto Safety, Adjustable Butt Stock, Pass-Through Foregrip, Three Picatinny Rails, Single Bolt Assembly, String dampeners

Package Contents

  • Barnett Explorer crossbow
  • Two 20” carbon Arrows
  • 4x32mm multi-reticle scope
  • Lightweight side mount 3-arrow quiver
  • Rope cocking device
  • Lubrication wax

What we like

  • Hard-hitting 370-400 FPS
  • Accurate
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Beginner-friendly
  • TriggerTech trigger
  • Cheap

What we don’t like

  • The XP370 has no pre installed track mounted string dampeners

First Impressions / Size and Weight

The Barnett Explorer series crossbows all measure a total length of 34.5 inches(including stirrup) and a width(axle-to-axle) of 16.5 inches uncocked and 13.3 inches cocked. The crossbows are all lightweight, the Explorer XP370 and the Explorer XP380 each weigh 6 pounds. The Explorer XP400 has slightly more weight to it, tipping the scales at 6.2 pounds. The XP370’s black finish looks great, the Black Strike finish on the XP380 also looks nice and I especially like the XP400’s Strike camo.

These Explorer compound crossbows feature high energy cams that produce a lot of power, so they made sure the two laminated limbs are tough and durable. The crossbows have a crosswire string and cable system. They all have adjustable buttstocks for a custom length-of-pull and they all have a pass-through foregrip. All three crossbows have three Picatinny rails, so you can customize them with extra equipment, besides the 4×32 multi-reticle scope that is mounted on them you can also install quivers, bipods, lasers, other optics, vertical foregrips, etc.

The XP400 of the Barnett Explorer series

Speed and Arrows

According to Barnett, they speed tested the Explorer crossbows with 380-grain arrows. The Explorer XP370 has a 165-pound draw weight, the Explorer XP380 a 185-pound draw weight, and the Explorer XP400 a 200-pound draw weight. They all have a power stroke of 13.75 inches.

The Explorer XP370 shoots arrows with a velocity of 370 fps delivering up to 115 ft. lbs. of knockdown power, the Explorer XP380 380 fps with 122 ft. lbs. KE and the Explorer XP400 shoots arrows at 400 fps per second delivering 122 ft. lbs. KE. With these hard-hitting speeds, you can hunt big game animals, like a big whitetail buck, elk, or bears.

Barnett only delivers two arrows with their crossbows, and the arrows that are delivered in the package weigh a little bit more than 380-grain, they tip our scales at 400-grain. However, they are high-quality hunting arrows that I would personally hunt with. The crossbows come with a side mount quiver that can hold a total of three arrows.

Optics

The Explorer XP380 and the Explorer XP400 are both equipped with a 4x32mm multi-reticle scope. This is not a great scope by any means but it is a decent score considering the price range, and category of these crossbows. The scope allows you to aim accurately on distances up to 60 yards. The biggest downside of the scope is that it is not illuminated. The Explorer XP370 comes equipped with a fine Premium red/green dot sight.

Cocking

The Explorer series crossbows all come with a rope cocking device that slices their draw weight in half. Each crossbow is also compatible with Barnett’s crank cocking device, which reduces the draw weight by 90% and it allows you to silently cock your crossbow. In my experience cocking a crossbow with a crank makes a huge difference in your hunting efficiency, as you won’t scare off the animal that you are hunting by making too much noise during cocking.

Trigger and Safety Features

The Explorer series crossbows all feature a metal injection molded trigger equipped with the groundbreaking frictionless release technology called “TriggerTech”. There is a free-floating roller between the sear and the trigger that helps with a smoother shot. The frictionless release technology also ensures a light, crisp pull, giving you more control over the shot.

The Explorer crossbows have all the safety features you’d want from a crossbow. The Soft Lok Floating Bristle Arrow Retainer holds arrows securely against the CNC Aluminum flight track and the Anti-Dry Fire (ADF) prevents the crossbow from dry firing. Also, the crossbows all feature finger safety reminders to keep your fingers and thumbs safely out of the danger zone.

Barnett's TriggerTech™ Trigger Control System

Assembly and Sighting-in

The Explorer series crossbows are pre-assembled in the factory and feature a single bolt assembly, you’ll only have to install the riser with one bolt and the lightweight 3-arrow side mount quiver, which can be installed with just one bolt on the Picatinny rails. Sighting in the scope is also very easy, it only took me about 10 minutes and a couple of shots.

Read the user manual included in the package!

The XP400 from the Barnett Explorer series

Range test

We speed tested the Explorer crossbows with the same chronograph we use for all crossbows that pass our review table. The crossbows are comfortable to hold, carry, and shoulder and the crossbows are very well balanced.

We used the arrows included in the package. to speed test the crossbows. On our chronograph, we measured speeds in the range of 330-348.8 fps with the Explorer XP370. With the Explorer XP380 between 340 and 362.5 fps, and with the Explorer XP400 we measured a top speed of 382.3 fps.

One of the best features of the crossbows is the metal injection molded trigger equipped with TriggerTech. Shooting with a TriggerTech trigger always feels good and it gives you full control over the shot, it is a smooth pull with zero perceivable creep and the trigger system doesn’t make too much noise and there are no annoying vibrations.

The Soft Lok Floating Bristle Arrow Retainer is also a nice feature, it holds the arrows securely against the flight track, you can hold the crossbow upside down and the arrow won’t fall off.

The Explorer XP380 and the Explorer XP400 are remarkably quiet, Barnett installed them with track-mounted string dampeners. The string dampeners also extend the life of the strings. Also, all the crossbows have an anti-vibration rubberized stir up that also reduces vibrations. The XP370 does not comes with track mounted string dampeners.

Recommended Accessories

Arrows & Broadheads

I would recommend buying an extra pack of five Headhunter arrows from Barnett. If you want to pair the arrows with some good hunting heads then I recommend buying the Rage Crossbow X broadheads. These broadheads penetrate really well and they are optimized for high-velocity crossbows. If you want some decent budget broadheads for some practice shooting or to hunt small to medium-sized animals then I recommend buying a 12-pack of Sinbadteck broadheads.

6 Barnett-20-inch-Carbon-Headhunter-Arrows
Rage Crossbow X broadheads that are stainless steel

Storage and Transportation

I recommend buying a crossbow case to properly store and carry your crossbow around. The Supply SAS Black Deluxe Padded Soft Crossbow Case with Sling from Southland Archery is a fine affordable universal soft crossbow case that fits either one of these crossbows. If you want a sling with your crossbow don’t buy the expensive $30+ slings as they are often not worth their asking price if you ask me.

I recommend buying a Universal Black Padded Crossbow Sling from Southland Archery. It is a good quality sling with a non-slip design, custom swivels, and a heavy-duty adjustable strap that is reasonably priced.

Southland Archery Supply Soft Padded Crossbow Case
Southland Archery Sling for crossbows

Barnett Crank Cocking Device

If you want a crank cocking device with your Barnett Explorer crossbow you can buy a Barnett crank cocking device on Amazon. It is quite expensive but it reduces cocking tension to only 17 lbs.

Crank Cocking Device from Barnett

Our Verdict

Barnett continues to produce performance while lowering prices or staying the same. These reliable compound crossbows are hard-hitting and very accurate. The Explorer series crossbows are the perfect entry-models for beginners, they are easy to cock, they come with all the safety features you’d want from a crossbow and they are very comfortable and easy to handle. They all have a fantastic TriggerTech trigger, which is worth $200 on its own.

The crossbows are moderately quiet during shooting, only the XP370 that comes without the pre-installed track mounted string dampeners makes slightly more noise. The Explorer XP400 is a good pick, shooting up to 400 feet per second with a high-quality Barnett crossbow for under $430 really is a good deal and the Explorer XP370 definitely has the best price/quality ratio of the three models. These crossbows are great and you can’t go wrong with either one of them.

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