SA Sports Empire Diablo Review – Budget 385 FPS Crossbow

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The Empire Diablo belongs to SA Sports their Empire line. This ultra-narrow gun-like, hard-hitting crossbow has many interesting features and comes at a very generous price.

SA Sports was founded in 2010 by Mark Ambrose, they aimed to be an influential presence in the outdoor sports world. They make excellent hunting gear for very attractive prices without sacrificing the quality of their product. Their motto; “never doubt your gear!”

SA Sports also released two more crossbows this year. The Empire Beast(400 FPS), and their 2020 flagship model the Empire Punisher(420 FPS.)

In the package, you’ll find the Empire Diablo compound crossbow, quick detach quiver, 3 Carbon 20-inch bolts, adjustable position foregrip, 4×32 Multi-Range Scope, and a rope cocking device.

SA Sports Empire Diablo Crossbow Specs

SA Sports Empire Diablo
SA Sports Empire Diablo Reverse Cam Compound Crossbow Package, 185 Pound Draw, 385 Feet per Second
Speed: 385 FPS
Weight: 6.5 lbs
Width Axle-to-Axle (uncocked/cocked): 18" / 15.5"
Length: 36"
Power stroke: 14"
Draw weight: 185 lbs.
Price not available
SA Sports Empire Diablo
SA Sports Empire Diablo Reverse Cam Compound Crossbow Package, 185 Pound Draw, 385 Feet per Second
Speed: 385 FPS
Weight: 6.5 lbs
Width Axle-to-Axle (uncocked/cocked): 18" / 15.5"
Length: 36"
Power stroke: 14"
Draw weight: 185 lbs.
Price not available

Size and Weight

The Empire Diablo is a compound crossbow that combines traditional design features with the latest high-tech features. The Empire Diablo is 36 inches long and the crossbow has an axle to axle width of 19 inches uncocked and a narrow 5.5 inches once cocked.

The crossbow features an traditional looking rifle stock that it is made from synthetic material. The barrel is made of the same material and has cutouts to lighten the crossbow. The crossbow is lightweight, it tips the scales at a mere 6.50 pounds.

Design and Construction

The crossbow has a precision matched aluminum riser with a 65 percent let off. It employs inverted cam technology called the Revo Ergomax CNC machined cams. The cams together with a long power stroke design and four narrow limbs produce fast and hard-hitting shots.

The Empire Diablo has an integrated full barrel Picatinny rail, an adjustable Picatinny mount foregrip, and adjustable string stoppers. The crossbow also features a large boot style stirrup.

mpire_Diablo_Compound_Crossbow

Speed and Arrows

This Empire Diablo boasts a hefty 185 pound draw weight and it has a long power stroke of 14 inches that gives the Diablo a lot of short-range knockdown power.

We tested the crossbow with the 20-inch carbon arrows that were included in the package. On our chronograph, we measured speeds in the range of 350-385 fps. We also tried out a couple of different broadheads. Always use suitable crossbow arrows with half-moon nocks!

Optics

The Empire Diablo comes with a 4×32 multi reticle scope that is designed to offer you multiple yardage options without having to make adjustments.

Assembly and Sighting-in

It does not come pre-assembled so you’ll have to install the crossbow yourself. Assembling the Empire Diablo is easy and takes about 10-20 minutes, depending on how experienced you are installing crossbows.

Start by sighting in your crossbow at the closest yardage you plan to hunt from, using the top cross-hair. Reasonable yardage to get started might be 20 yards, use the top line on the cross-hairs. Once you have zeroed in on the closest range, you will need to progressively move back in yardage in order to determine the remaining yardage points that your scope will be sighted.

Always make sure to properly read the instruction manual! You can find the instruction manual for the Empire Diablo here.

Cocking

Before you begin to cock the Empire Diablo, mark your string for the center while the bow is uncocked. It is important that you cock the crossbow centered each time. Mark the string on both sides of the flight rail so that you can verify it is cocked straight each shot.

The safety should always be in the “Fire” position before you cock the crossbow, the unit’s safety mechanism makes sure it will go to the safe position once the bow is cocked each time.

The use of the rope cocker reduces the effort required to cock the Empire Diablo by 50 percent. This device also ensures perfectly straight cocking, a key ingredient of top accuracy.

Trigger and Shooting

The trigger is really nice and with almost no creep. The trigger has an auto-fire safety tech that prevents dry firing and an ambidextrous auto-engaging safety switch.

The crossbow is well balanced and it feels comfortable holding it and shooting with it. It took a couple of shots to sight in the scope, when I finally did I was highly accurate over 50 yards.

Always be sure to check if your safety is on, which is the ”safe” position. Once you have confirmed your target. Push the safety forward to the ”Fire” position. The crossbow will now fire when the trigger is pulled. The safety must be disengaged in this manner prior to every shot.

SA Sports Empire Diablo Reverse Cam Compound Crossbow Package, 185 Pound Draw, 385 Feet per Second
  • Produces speeds up to 385 feet per second, 185 pound draw weight; combines tradition and technology for superior performance
  • Employs the enhanced energy technology of Revo Ergomax CNC machined inverted cams with a long power stroke and narrow limbs
  • Package includes a quick detach quiver, 3 carbon 20 inch bolts, 4x32 scope, and a rope cocking device
  • Equipped with an ambidextrous auto safety, an anti-dry fire trigger, adjustable Picatinny mount foregrip, and machined aluminum riser
  • Traditional style synthetic stock and barrel with cutouts to lighten the crossbow; features an integrated full barrel Picatinny rail and adjustable string stoppers

Recommended Accessories

Arrows & Broadheads

I recommend buying some cheap but decent quality hunting arrows for the Empire Diable crossbow. The REEGOX Carbon Crossbow Bolts are a fine pick.

REEGOX Bolts
REEGOX Carbon 20 inch Crossbow Bolts .006 with 3 inch USA Q2i Vanes (Pack of 6)
12pk
$30.99
REEGOX Bolts
REEGOX Carbon 20 inch Crossbow Bolts .006 with 3 inch USA Q2i Vanes (Pack of 6)
12pk
$30.99

Combine them with some budget broadheads. The Sinbadteck Hunting Broadheads are good heads that come cheap.

Sinbadteck Hunting Broadheads
Sinbadteck Hunting Broadheads, 12PCS 3 Blades Archery Broadheads 100 Grain Screw-in Arrow Heads Arrow Tips Compatible with Traditional Bows and Compound Bows (Black)
12pk
$19.99
Sinbadteck Hunting Broadheads
Sinbadteck Hunting Broadheads, 12PCS 3 Blades Archery Broadheads 100 Grain Screw-in Arrow Heads Arrow Tips Compatible with Traditional Bows and Compound Bows (Black)
12pk
$19.99

Storage and Transportation

Because this crossbow has a boot-sized foot stirrup, it’s possible to just store the crossbow by its foot stirrup. You can also hang the crossbow by its shoulder sling. However, we highly recommend storing the crossbow in a case.

SA Sports doesn’t manufacture crossbow cases right now, so there’s currently no official crossbow case for the Empire Diablo. However, you can buy a different case that fits this crossbow. The Archery AXCSBG Crossbow Case from Centerpoint is a cheap but decent quality case.

CenterPoint Archery AXCSBG Crossbow Case
CenterPoint Archery AXCSBG Crossbow Case, Black
$61.99
CenterPoint Archery AXCSBG Crossbow Case
CenterPoint Archery AXCSBG Crossbow Case, Black
$61.99

If you want a sling to comfortably carry the Empire Diablo crossbow I recommend buying a Universal Black Padded Crossbow Sling from Southland Archery.

Southland Archery Universal Crossbow Sling
Southland Archery Universal Black Padded Crossbow Sling (Camo)
$19.99
Southland Archery Universal Crossbow Sling
Southland Archery Universal Black Padded Crossbow Sling (Camo)
$19.99

Our Rating of the SA Sports Empire Diablo

Bryan Taylor

Empire Diablo pic for the review box
Speed
Durability
Accuracy
Value

Summary

The Empire Diablo is a solid 375fps compound crossbow that will not quickly be matched in value for your hard-earned money. The crossbow blends traditional design with the latest modern technology is very accurate and it has plenty of knockdown power. It is lightweight and the perfect crossbow for running and gunning situations.

3.1

What we like

  • 375+ fps
  • Lightweight
  • Accurate
  • Cheap

What we don’t like

  • No official SA Sports crossbow case

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