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Ravin released the Ravin R29 back in early 2019. After months of waiting for this crossbow to arrive, I finally received it last week and today I can finally publish my review! It’s a very compact, lightweight, accurate and also very expensive crossbow.
Ravin is one of the leading brands in the crossbow industry together with TenPoint, Excalibur and Barnett. They always produce high-quality, highly accurate and powerful crossbows.
One of my first ever reviews I published was about the Ravin R29X and I was immensely impressed with that crossbow. Later in this review I’ll compare both crossbows as well, click here to skip to the comparison.
Ravin R29 Crossbow Features
Width Axle-to-Axle (uncocked/cocked):
- Ravin R29 Predator Fully Assembled & Pre-Tuned
- 100 Yard Illuminated Scope
- 6x Ravin .003 Arrows & Field Tips (400 Grain Total)
- 3-Arrow Quiver & Mounting Bracket
- Removable Draw Handle
- Owner’s Manual
First Impressions / Size and Weight
Like with any Ravin crossbow we’ve bought and tested so far, the Ravin R29 Predator Crossbow Package comes fully assembled and pre-tuned. Which means you can instantly take it out to the range for some target practice.
Pulling the Ravin R29 out of the box, you’ll instantly notice how compact and lightweight this crossbow is. It feels very comfortable to hold and the ergonomic foregrip is really well made as well. These Ravin foregrips are rubberized and one of the better ones out there.
The Ravin R29 crossbow has a total weight of only 6.75 pounds, length of 29 inches and a width of 10 inches uncocked and 6 inches cocked! Ravin rated the R26 to be the most compact crossbow on the market, but the R29 is only 3 inches longer and 0.25 inches wider. But the R29 shoots 30 feet per second faster at 430 FPS.
All Ravin crossbows come with HeliCoil technology, the Ravin R29 Predator Crossbow is no exception to that. This crossbow also comes with a built-in cocking mechanism and a removable crank.
This crossbow looks a lot like the Ravin R29X, but there’s some small differences. Click here to skip to the comparison section.
Arrows and Speed
The Ravin R29 is rated at 430 feet per second with a 400-grain Ravin arrow. With a power stroke of only 12.5 inches, the Ravin R29 still has a kinetic energy of 164.
Ravin includes 6 Ravin .003 Arrows & Field Tips with this package. These arrows have a total weight of 400 grains, the shaft weighs 300 grains and the field trips 100 grains.
These arrows use special nocks that are required to properly cock and load the Ravin R29. If you do not use Ravin nocks, your warranty will void!
Also included with this package is a 3-arrow quiver. This quiver does the job and it’s very easy to install or remove. The mounting bracket that the quiver attaches to is also used for the detachable draw handle for the cocking mechanism.
Ravin always makes sure to include a proper scope with their crossbows. Mounted on the Ravin R29 sits a 100-Yard Illuminated Scope. This scope is one of the best scopes that comes with a crossbow.
This 9-dot, red or green illuminated scope comes pre-tuned for 20 to 100 yards and features a variable speed and arrow drop compensation setting.
Of course, this scope is fog-, weather-, shock- and recoil proof for optimal durability.
If you’d like to extend the range of the Ravin R29 out to 200 yards, you can order a Jack Plate Elevation Scope Mount on Amazon!
The only way to cock the Ravin R29 is with the Built-In Versa-Draw Cocking Mechanism. This built in cocking mechanism reduces the draw weight to only 12-pounds! Ravin also upgrade the cocking mechanism to be fully silent! No more sounds or clicking when you cock your crossbow. Because of the Trac-Trigger System it’s not possible to rope cock or cock this crossbow by hand.
The Trac-Trigger System slides along the rail to latch onto the center of the bowstring. Attach the removable draw handle to use the versa-draw cocking mechanism to cock the Ravin R29. Once you’ve fully cocked the crossbow, the trigger will automatically engage.
You can mount the removable crank next to quiver.
Trigger and Safety Features
Ravin installed a trigger that works together with the Trac-Trigger system. It breaks at around 3 pounds and has some creep. For a crossbow at this price level, I really hope this will go away once I’ve shot it a couple more times.
After cocking the Ravin R29, the trigger will automatically engage. The Anti-Dry Fire and safety switch will also automatically engage. The anti-dry fire mechanism will only disengage once you’ve loaded a .003 Ravin arrow. It takes about 10 pounds of force to get it loaded correctly, you’ll hear a click once it’s correctly loaded.
Assembly and Sighting-In
Ravin ships the Ravin R29 fully assembled and pre-tuned. Due the shipping of the crossbow, Ravin removed the scope from the stock. If the package gets knocked during shipping, the scope can get damaged or is not sighted in properly anymore.
Mount the scope, quiver bracket and quiver on the stock of the Ravin R29 and you’re ready to take it out to the range or a hunting trip! I made sure to use some levels to make sure the scope and stock are completely level.
Sighting in the scope wasn’t needed, Ravin already pre-tuned the scope correctly!
Because of the compact and lightweight design of the Ravin R29, it’s a really comfortable crossbow to hold. This crossbow is great for hunting in tight spaces, hunting blinds or tree stands.
Cocking this crossbow is really easy to do. It’s also finally fully silent. Unfortunately, you’re not able to let go mid-draw unlike TenPoint’s ACUslide. Ravin’s Versa-Draw reduces the effort to cock this crossbow to only 12 pounds of force.
Load the Ravin .003 arrow with the white vane point down. It takes quite a bit of force to actually load the arrow properly, once you’ve loaded it correctly, you’ll hear a click. It’s now ready to shoot!
Note: It’s impossible to put the safety to fire with your trigger-hand. It’s placed a bit weird at the end of the stock.
Sighting in the scope was not needed and I was getting really tight groups at 50-yards. Shooting the Ravin R29 at closer distances will greatly increase the chances of splitting arrows. Its accuracy is just ridiculous.
Ravin is always spot on with their speed ratings, so I expect this crossbow to also hit the advertised speeds of 430 feet per second. I managed to see speeds of 429, 427 and 429 FPS on our chronograph. Ravin really builds high-quality crossbows.
I decided to move the target to 100 yards to see how tight my groupings were. I shot 3 arrows and managed to get a 2-inch group. The arrows were still pretty deep inside the target as well. This means that you should be able to take out animals at 100 yards easily!
You’ll definitely feel the power that the Ravin R29 has to offer. It has some recoil, not enough to hurt to hurt anyone though.
This crossbow comes without any string or limb dampeners or other silencing features pre-installed. Without these features the R29 is already a pretty silent crossbow. But, if you’re already spending this much cash on a crossbow though, you’ll definitely want to get some limb dampers. This will greatly reduce the vibrations that goes through the limbs and reduce the noise even more.
Ravin R29 vs Ravin R29X
The R29X is the newer and faster brother of the R29. Below is a quick specification comparison of both crossbows.
Width Axle-to-Axle (uncocked/cocked):
Width Axle-to-Axle (uncocked/cocked):
As you can see there’s not much difference. The R29X shoots arrows at 20 feet per second faster and has a different scope mounted. This tactical scope with elevation mount extends the range of the crossbow out to 200 yards!
You can buy the elevation mount for the R29 as well, but the R29 might lack some power to actually get consistent accurate shots for 200-yard distances.
Arrows & Broadheads
Ravin features a big warning in the owner’s manual; “Use of arrows, nocks, strings or cables other than genuine Ravin components.” You’re only allowed to use Ravin branded arrows and nocks with the R29 crossbow. Ravin also states: “Use of fixed-blade broadheads with a maximum diameter greater than 1 5/8” with the model R29.”
Because of that I can only recommend to use Ravin arrows, there’s an exclusion to broadheads though. You can’t pick any broadhead that has a cutting diameter greater than 1 5/8”. I recommend to use the HME fixed blade broadheads in combination with the Ravin arrows for hunting.
To protect your crossbow during travel, transportation and storage, it’s best to store it in a case. I highly recommend to get the Ravin soft crossbow case. This crossbow case fits the R29 the best and has plenty of room for your arrows, field points, broadheads and other accessories you might want to bring with you.
Ravin offers 2 different slings for this crossbow. The first one is a padded shoulder sling and the second is a backpack sling. Both have different uses. I highly recommend to just get the shoulder sling and use the soft crossbow case for transportation.
Pros and Cons
The Ravin R29 is an insanely accurate, fast and high-quality crossbow. Ravin ships this crossbow fully assembled and pre-tuned which is a big plus as well.
Ravin uses multiple technologies to drive this crossbow. HeliCoil technology, Frictionless Flight System and the Trac-Trigger Firing System. Ravin used this tech to create a very powerful, compact and lightweight crossbow.