Outdoor Gear Reviews

Ravin Crossbows R9 Review

When the Ravin R9 Crossbow arrived, I was pretty excited. I first saw the new Ravin Crossbows on Media Day of SHOT Show and I had the opportunity to shoot the R15 at 100 yards. I fired three shots that day and I was blown away that each arrow was right on target. At 100 yards! I walked away from the booth with a new appreciation for what they had developed and that I would have to use a Ravin this year to do some hunting. It took a few months to get our hands on an R9 to test, and I was ready to get into the field.


Ravin Crossbow R9After holding an unboxing of the R9 on Facebook Live, we went through the contents of our carton and I got to work putting this package together. The Ravin R9 comes in a secure box completely assembled with the exception of the scope and quiver. Both mount to the attached Picatinny rail mounts and the entire process of adding the quiver took about a minute. The base of the scope was then mounted and tightened down. I leveled the scope, attached the bases, and I was done in under 15 minutes. Of course, if you prefer some assistance, do not hesitate to have your local archery shop or gunsmith mount the scope for you. Most will do this for little to no cost.


The next stop was the range. I brought my own target to the range because our range’s backstops are extremely difficult to pull arrows out of. It took me about seven shots to line up the scope and it was hitting dead accurate at 20 yards. I felt great. I ran the target out to 30 yards and it was dead on. I then moved the target through 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80 yards and I ran 3 bolts through at each range. I hit dead on at each of them except for 50 yards, which shot two inches to the left. I talked this over with a friend who hunts regularly with a crossbow and he felt that there may have been a small wind pocket that I was not seeing, and it was a little breezy. Either way, I knew I was ready to hit the field and chase some gobblers. Of course, the gobblers were not paying attention to my agenda.


Over five hunts, I did not get close to a single tom and got busted twice by the same bird. Something had to give, so on Friday the 19th I struck out to a new location on a private farm that I knew had birds. I got in kind of late and after seeing a nice bird, I realized that he was not going anywhere. So I backed out to let my wife Marjorie have the chance to take a turkey. With our busy schedules, it’s hard to find time to hunt together. A rare chance was coming up and we only had one day to hunt to get her a turkey. I texted Marjorie and prepared her for our Sunday hunt together – it was our anniversary and turkey hunting would be our date!


On Saturday, Marjorie took some shots with the Ravin R9 and she felt comfortable with the crossbow. We got up early on Sunday, got out to the farm at 5:20 and began to set up. The gobbler was roosted a whole lot closer than I anticipated. We had time to get the blind up and set out a purrfect pair of decoys from Montana Decoy along with a MAD Spin-N-Strut decoy.


Once we got the cameras all set up, two hens and the tom were already on the ground at 60 yards. I let out a quick series of yelps on my favorite call and twisted up the Spin-N-Strut which has a string to create motion. Once that gobbler saw the fan on the decoy come up he came right in. I ran the camera and Marjorie was on him. The fatal shot was right at 20 yards. He ran about 30 yards before piling up and our hunt was a fast success. We were home before 8:00 AM with fresh turkey for our anniversary dinner.


I am not a big fan of the phrase “game changer,” but the team at Ravin Crossbows has truly created a game changer for the crossbow market with the R9 and R15. Their HELICOIL technology is the engine behind the incredible speed, with cams rotating a full 340 degrees and coiling the cable away from the top and bottom of the cams. This keeps them both level, thus generating fantastic speed and accuracy. The FRICTIONLESS Flight System delivers zero friction on arrows and the string, creating consistent accuracy and increasing string and cable life. It all shows, because the R9 shoots like an absolute tack driver.


Ravin Crossbows R9 Field ShotWhat I really appreciate about the entire set up is that it allows anyone to have the opportunity to get out and hunt with a crossbow. It is amazingly accurate, and the TRAC-TRIGGER Firing System promises a perfect shot each time. It works for all hunters, left- or right-handed, and the straight-line nock travel keeps it accurate. The VERSA-DRAW Cocking System works in conjunction with the Trac-Trigger and lets anyone easily cock and un-cock the Ravin Crossbow without having to fire it. You just wind up the entire thing, click off the safety and you are ready to fire.


Did we say already that the R9 and R15 are game changers?  Let’s go through the details:



  • Speed (400 gr.) 390 fps
  • Power-Stroke 13”
  • Kinetic Energy 135 ft. lbs.
  • Draw Force 12 lbs.
  • Width Axle-Axle 6” cocked
  • Width Axle-Axle 10.5” un-cocked
  • Physical Weight 6.9 lbs.



  • Speed (400 gr.) 425 fps
  • Power-Stroke 13”
  • Kinetic Energy 160.5 ft. lbs.
  • Draw Force 10 lbs.
  • Width Axle-Axle 6” cocked
  • Width Axle-Axle 10.5” Un-cocked
  • Physical Weight 6.9 lbs.

The set up on the R9 and the R15 is identical. The only difference between the two units is the limbs, kinetic energy and speed. Both packages come fully assembled with the Ravin Crossbow, Illuminated Scope, 3-Arrow Quiver, Draw Handle, 6-Pack of 400 gr. Match Grade Arrows, 100 gr. Field Tips and an Accessories Bracket. We opted for the crossbow sling and the Ravin soft case that comes with backpack straps and enough pouches to carry extra gear. I am ready and excited to get out this fall with the Ravin and chase mule deer and whitetail here in Nebraska.


The R9 is the crossbow we tested and I got to shoot the R15 at the SHOT show. Both units are exceptional. The opportunity to hunt with serious tack-driving accuracy and downrange energy out to 100 yards is going to be absolutely awesome in the prairies and canyons that I hunt. If you are looking for an opportunity to get into shooting a serious crossbow, the RAVIN fits the bill.


Check them out at RavinCrossbows.com


Ravin and Case Ravin R9 Ravin Crossbow Ravin R9 Handle

Ravin Crossbows Turkey Beard
Ravin Crossbows Turkey Beard

Ravin Crossbows r9

Ravin R9 and Case
Ravin R9 and Case

Picatinny Rail on the Ravin Crossbow Ravin Crossbows Review


Kevin Paulson

Kevin Paulson is the Founder and CEO of HuntingLife.com. His passion for Hunting began at the age of 5 hunting alongside of his father. Kevin has followed his dreams through outfitting, conservation work, videography and hunting trips around the world.

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