Ravin R26 Review – Compact 400 FPS Crossbow

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Ravin released the R26 as their most compact crossbow in 2019. With an ultra-narrow width of just 5.75 inches when cocked and only a total length of 26 inches, the R26 is a compact yet very powerful crossbow that shoots arrows at 400 FPS!

Ravin Crossbows is one of the best crossbow manufacturers. Ravin has been dominating the crossbow market for a long time together with TenPoint, Excalibur and Barnett. Ravin has designed some revolutionary new features like the HeliCoil technology, Versa-Draw cocking system, Trac-Trigger firing system and a frictionless flight-system. Ravin’s R29X, R29X Sniper and R29 sniper models also feature a fully integrated Silent Cocking System.

The R26 Ravin crossbow has a completely new frictionless flight-system so that the arrow does not make contact with the rail! Together with their HeliCoil technology, this ensures high speeds and high accuracy. This crossbow works with a cocking mechanism that is very safe and easy to use. Because of all of these amazing features, this crossbow can be used by everyone!

Ravin R26 - Compact and Lightweight 400 FPS Crossbow Review

Ravin R26 Compact 400 FPS Crossbow Features

RAVIN R26 Compact 400 FPS
Ravin R26 Review - Compact 400 FPS Crossbow 1Ravin R26 Review - Compact 400 FPS Crossbow 2
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Speed:
400 FPS

Weight:
6.5 lbs

Width Axle-to-Axle (uncocked/cocked):
9.25" / 5.75"

Length:
26"

Power Stroke:
9.5"

Draw weight:
12 lbs.

Extra Features:
HeliCoil Technology, Built-in Cocking Mechanism with Removable Draw Handle, 100 Yard Illuminated Scope,Anti-Dry Fire/Auto Safety

Extra Features

Ravin managed to make the R26 the most compact and lightweight crossbow currently on the market, still feature an amazing number of high-tech features and reach speeds of over 400 feet per second!

Ravin’s R26 features HeliCoil technology, Versa-Draw cocking system with an ambidextrous removable draw handle, Trac-Trigger firing system, frictionless flight-system and a premium 100-yard Illuminated scope from Ravin themselves.

Ravin R26 Side-View

Size and Weight

With just 9.25 inches wide when cocked and 5.75 inches wide uncocked and just a total length of 26 inches, the Ravin R26 is the most compact crossbow we’ve ever got to shoot. Even though it’s a very compact crossbow and only has a power stroke of 9.5 inches, the Ravin R26 can still shoot arrows at blistering speeds.

The R26 is also a very lightweight crossbow, only 6.5 lbs.! It feels really well balanced, not nose-heavy at all. Ravin did a fantastic job at making this a compact and lightweight crossbow.

Speed and Arrows

Ravin advertises the R26 as a 400 feet per second crossbow. We wanted to test this out, because it’s so compact and lightweight that we thought it’d be impossible to reach the 400 feet per second with the crossbow pre-assembled, pre-tuned and sighted by Ravin.

We were amazed at reading the speeds of the R26 on our ProChrono chronograph. 407, 405 and 411 feet per second! That’s even higher than advertised by Ravin.

Ravin R26 Crossbow Arrow.003-1

Ravin supplies 6 Ravin 20-inch, 400 grain, match-grade arrows with field tips. The field tips weigh 100 grains, the carbon arrows 300 grains. Usually the arrows that are provided with certain crossbows are just either too lightweight or straight up garbage. We think that the 400 grain arrows that Ravin delivers with the R26 are perfect.

These arrows have Ravin-engineered polymer nocks. Make sure the nock actually “clicks” into the string. If you didn’t properly load the crossbow, the trigger will not move into firing position.

WARNING: DO NOT USE NON-RAVIN ARROWS OR NOCKS WITH YOUR RAVIN CROSSBOW.

Scope

Ravin installed a 100 Yard Illuminated Scope on the Ravin R26. The scope measures 8.75 inches and has a variable speed and arrow drop compensation setting. The scope has 9 dots calibrated for 20 to 100 yards. It’s a perfect scope for crossbows that shoot 400 feet per second. The scope is tested to be fog-proof, weatherproof, shockproof, and recoil-proof.

Ravin R26 Back-View

Assembling and Disassembling

Ravin ships the R26 fully assembled and pre-tuned. You’ll only have to level the scope. To level the scope, we highly recommend you to get a Ravin Scope level. You can use this Ravin scope level for the R26, R29 and R29X crossbows.

Ravin designed the R26 to be easily carried with you in the field. It has 3 locations where you can attach the Ravin Backpack or shoulder slings.

At this price we really expected a crossbow case included with the package, there isn’t. You can either buy a Ravin soft case separately for around $150 on Amazon or on Ravincrossbows.com for $159.99.

If you’re thinking about getting the R26 crossbow with a crossbow case, you’re better off getting the Ravin R26 Predator Hunter’s Crossbow Bundle. It’s only around $100 more on Amazon and you’ll be getting the case and a Ravin Crossbows hat extra.

Cocking

One of the main features a Ravin crossbow sports is the built-in cocking mechanism with removable draw handle. Ravin patented it as the Versa-Draw™ Cocking System. With this cocking mechanism you’ll only need about 12 lbs. of force to fully cock the crossbow.

You can remove the draw handle and it’s possible to attach it on both sides of the stock. Unlike with TenPoint’s ACUdraw PRO or ACUslide you can not let go of the handle mid-crank.

While cocking the R26 is something to get used to, it’s also not the most silent way to cock a crossbow. Ravin’s R29X, R29X Sniper and R29 sniper models can also silently cock the crossbow.

We highly recommend to watch Ravin’s instructional video on how to cock the Ravin R26.

Ravin's Versa-Draw Cocking System Instructional Video

Shooting and Trigger

Ravin equipped the R26 with a Trac-Trigger firing system. The TTFS slides along the rail to catch the string, when the string is secured to the TTFS the safety and anti-dry fire will automatically engage.

The trigger mechanism works together with the TTFS. When you’ve properly cocked and loaded in an arrow, the trigger mechanism should automatically engage. If the trigger mechanism doesn’t engage, you’ve probably not loaded the arrow correctly. Make sure you hear a click when you load the arrow.

Ravin states in their manual that the trigger pull should be around 4.0 pounds. We tested this and actually came out at around 2.5 pounds.

The R26 is compact, lightweight and when you first look at it, you’ll probably think it’s a toy… We thought the same. After picking it up and shooting it, the toy-feeling instantly disappears. Ravin installed an ergonomic grip which makes this crossbow feel really good and well balanced in your hands. It’s very accurate and the amount of power from such a compact crossbow is just ridiculous.

Package Contents

The Ravin R26 comes fully assembled and pre-tuned. Included with your Ravin R26 crossbow package is the following:

  • Ravin R26 Crossbow
  • 100 Yard Illuminated Scope
  • 3-Arrow Quiver and Quiver Bracket
  • 6-Pack 400-Grain .003 Match Grade Arrows and Field Points
  • Accessories Bracket
  • Instruction Manual
Ravin R26 Top-View

Pros and Cons

Ravin R26 Review - Compact 400 FPS Crossbow 3

Pros

  • 400 FPS
  • Most compact crossbow
  • Lightweight
  • Feels really well balanced
  • Versa-Draw cocking system
  • Ergonomic Grip
  • Ready-To-Hunt
Ravin R26 Review - Compact 400 FPS Crossbow 4

Cons

  • At this price you’d expect a case included
  • Need to buy scope-level separate

Conclusion

Ravin managed to deliver a crossbow that’s very fast, yet compact and full of high-tech features. For smaller people the Ravin R26 might be the best option right now. We were really hoping that Ravin would upgrade their cocking system so you can let go mid-crank just like with TenPoint’s ACUslide.

This is still an exceptional crossbow and you can’t find anything like it on the market today!

If you’re looking for a cocking mechanism that allows you to let go mid-crank, we would recommend you to take a look at our TenPoint crossbow reviews.

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