by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- What I got
- What it is
- Robin Hood?
- Some assembly required
- Laser designator
- How powerful is it?
- The arrows
- The story of the Robin Hood
- The sound
- The plan
- Show us what you got
What I got
This is the surprise I mentioned a few days ago — my Christmas present from Pyramyd Air — the Sen-X AR-6 Tactical Arrow Repeating Crossbow. It arrived several days ago. I told you about this bow back in August, in Part 1 of my report on the 2019 Pyramyd Air Cup. I even showed you a picture of me shooting it.
What it is
The AR-6 is a 6-shot repeating crossbow pistol. In all ways it is a crossbow, except that it is a repeater that is held in the hands like a pistol instead of against the shoulder.
It’s not powerful, but more of a fun thing. It can generate up to 12.66 foot-pounds with heavy arrows and shoots in the 220 f.p.s. region with lighter ones.
Oh, and did I mention that it’s accurate?
Okay, BB, you have our attention! Yes, this quiet little crossbow is so accurate that, as I was getting used to it, I almost shot a Robin Hood!
That is when one arrow goes into the back of another — like the shot Robin Hood made to win the archery contest in the story. I’ll return to that in a moment, but first let me tell you about setting up the bow.
Some assembly required
The bow comes to you in three main pieces, with the limb (the bow) being separate from the crossbow deck. The repeating mechanism is the third part. When I first saw that I thought I was in trouble, but fortunately they sent a paracord stringing aid in the box and I had the bow attached to the deck and strung in 20 minutes.
The repeating mechanism went right on with two bolts and I was ready to shoot! I set up my crossbow target bag in the backyard and let fly from 15 feet. The AR-6 has a front sight post and I remembered from last August to line it up just over the top of the magazine cover spring that sticks up at the rear of the bow. When I use this sight the arrows land in line with the sight but below the aim point.
This crossbow also has a laser designator built in. I have examined it but not yet sighted it in. It is pointing far below the aim point (the sight I just described) at present.
To ready the bow for shooting if there is an arrow in the magazine you simply cock it. A small leaf spring inside the magazine pushes the arrows down onto the flight deck. Cocking the bow brings the bowstring back behind the bottom arrow, making it ready to fly.
The magazine holds up to 6 arrows. There are slots around the magazine that allow you to check the status of arrows.
To cock the bow you press the latch on top of the cocking handle behind the grip with your thumb and then press down on the cocking handle at the back of the bow. It’s not unlike cocking a breakbarrel air rifle. It takes some force to cock, but after a couple arrows you get used to it. It’s no harder than cocking a magnum spring rifle.
The firing safety is a golden bar that sticks out on both sides of the bow above the pistol grip. Once the bow is cocked and the cocking lever and pistol grip are returned to their locked position, push this safety forward and hear a small click. The bow is ready to fire. It took you far longer to read about it than it takes to do it. Because this is a repeater you keep doing the same thing until the magazine is empty. There are slots on both sides of the mag to show you the status. You don’t want to dry-fire the crossbow, as that will damage it.
How powerful is it?
I know the stated power is just 12.5 foot-pounds, but we are not talking about a lightweight pellet. These arrows are 103-grains (or more!) missiles that don’t want to stop, once they are in motion. Look at the bag target above. That is able to stop 400-grain arrows going 440 f.p.s. and these arrows are a quarter the weight and only going half that speed. Yet they sunk in almost 4-inches!
I was sent several target arrows. They are the lightest and go the fastest. And truthfully they are the ones I will use the most. I also have three broadhead hunting arrows.
The story of the Robin Hood
After assembling the bow I was in my back yard with my neighbor, Denny, and we were both learning about the AR-6. I remembered a few things from shooting one at the Pyramyd Air Cup, plus I had the owner’s manual. That was enough to get us going.
I started us at 15 feet because I didn’t want to miss the bag. I’m sure my fence would stop these arrows, but they might also glance off something and go who knows where. So we started at 15 feet. And both of us did pretty good. We only shot two target arrows each at this time.
On my second turn I backed up to 20 feet. I now knew what to expect, so I held offhand as well as I could and sighted for the center bullseye on the bag. Then I squeezed the trigger they way you are supposed to. When I shot neither Denny or I could see where my arrows had gone. All we knew from the sound was they had both hit the bag.
When we walked to the bag and saw the arrows I photographed them. I also decided to shoot from farther away, because the AR-6 is quite accurate! In fact, I think I will not shoot two arrows at the same target again, unless the distance is 10 meters or more. Just wait until I get the laser adjusted!
Crossbows are very quiet to begin with, and this pistol probably sets a record among them for being the quietest. And the impact of the arrow on the bag isn’t very loud. This is a very backyard-friendly piece!
What is the attraction to the AR-6? Well, if you like to shoot — this is something that’s quiet and relatively short range. Do you remember the WW II German submarine captain who had a BB pistol in his cabin when his boat was captured? Well, the AR-6 is your way to shoot a crossbow in a small urban back yard in complete anonymity and relative safety.
Do you like to throw darts? The AR-6 is just a bigger game of darts. And that is as far as I will go with that. You either understand and see the benefit or the AR-6 is not your cup of tea.
I will tell you all about this bow and show you everything. I’m just taking it easy today.
I think this AR-6 is a big deal. I plan to write several reports and also to make a video or two, to show you how it works. Today is Christmas, though I’m writing this on Christmas Eve. Yes, there will be another report tomorrow, but I am working half days during the holidays. Just 12 hours instead of 18! Ha!
Show us what you got
I showed you my present. Now show us yours.