Hi and thanks for reading my Barnett Banshee Quad Compound Bow Review!
In case you wonder how I came about this one: Last week I was camping with a few archer friends of mine near some hunting grounds. And believe it or not, there were a lot of kiddos running around who were equipped with this little compound shooter – and they loved it. So while mommy and daddy were getting ready to hunt, their offspring nailed a few old 3d targets. You bet I was immediately interested and had to take a closer look. So that’s how this review was born. Hope you enjoy reading it! And always remember: never ever stand between a youngster and his target 🙂
- 1 Bow Package Contents
- 2 Noise Level / Handshock
- 3 Bow Specifics /Limbs / Riser / Grip / String
- 4 Draw Cycle / Shootability
- 5 Shooting Speed Of The Barnett Banshee Quad Compound Bow
- 6 Proper For Hunting / Kinetic Energy (KE)
- 7 Proper For Bowfishing
- 8 Pricing Of The Barnett Banshee Quad Compound Bow
- 9 Pros & Cons
- 10 Summary
- 11 Customer Reviews
Bow Package Contents
As I have found a few parents asking what a compound bow actually is, here we go: A compound has cams or wheels on either limb to reduce the draw weight by as much as 65% in this case. Every model has a different let-off. That means that when you pull behind the let-off it gets a lot easier to draw it entirely back and hold it there, as the cam system helps you with that. This is contrary to a recurve, where this is done by your muscles only. If you want to learn more about the topic please read my beginner’s guide here => Beginner’s Guide To Compound Bows.
The Barnett Banshee comes as ambidextrous which means he can be shot right- and left-handed. It comes set-up for right-handed shooters out of the box. To change it, so that southpaws can use it, you have to bring it to a bow shop because this can only be done with a bow-press to get the pressure out of the compound. This will cost around 5-10 bucks, so it’s not a real downer. Just don’t buy it as a gift for Christmas if you don’t have enough time to bring it to a shop for switching the string, or you will see sad faces!
Along with the Barnett Banshee come 2 fiberglass target arrows with a length of 26″. This equals the maximum draw length of the bow. So if your kid has long arms and pulls the string back farther than 26″ better get longer arrows, as he or she could hurt themselves. If you buy the set you get 3 additional fiberglass arrows with a length of 28″. In general those arrows won’t last long. Fiberglass tends to splinter or break. Because of this you should always check the arrows for cracks after hitting hard surfaces. If they break while shooting, splinters could end up in your kids hand.
As these few arrows will be lost anyway (that happens a lot while shooting bows, especially at the beginning) you should get a few more arrows right from the beginning. An idea would be to get arrows with feathers, as the plastic vanes will touch the arrow rest more often than not which costs accuracy. Feathers are more flexible and will bend around the rest, therefore you will have better and consistent accuracy. The arrows come with blunt tips, by the way, and I would suggest you keep those for a while. Even if this compound is meant for kids there is some power behind its 25 lbs draw weight.
The finger rollers are okay for starting out, but they cannot be used by a lefty.
Along with the Barnett Banshee Quad you will get an adjustable simple pin sight made of plastic, which is embedded in the cardboard of the box. It is difficult to see in there, so don’t throw the box away without pulling it out. The sight is fairly accurate up to 20 yards, but don’t expect too much of it. Really tight groups won’t be possible, but you can get the arrows into a foot wide circle after some practice, which is not bad at all. You can use this model without a sight as well (then it feels a bit like instinctive shooting). A drawback is, that you cannot switch the sight against another easily. You will need to fiddle around a bit, to attach a better one (think glue and tape).
The arrow rest is on both sides of the Barnett Banshee so that it can be shot by right- and left handed shooters. As it is molded you cannot attach a better one without being a bit creative. As the arrow rest is rather small, arrows tend to fall off it. So be careful when shooting.
The string that comes with the Barnett Banshee Quad is not nocked – well, to be honest, I also found a review that said it was nocked. So I assume it won’t have a nock. If that’s the case you could go to a professional shop to get one. Nocks are pretty cheap, attaching them is easy if you know where and how. Getting a nock would be good for practicing, as the arrows always can be nocked at the same point, which is good for consistency and therefore accuracy. The bowstring seems to be a bit narrow. So in case you buy other arrows and those would not hold you could wrap some tape around the string to thicken it up.
If you order the set you should get a paper target along with the Barnett Banshee as well. Speaking of targets: I would get a few hay bales or hay squares if you have the space left in your backyard. You can attach paper targets to them and they will stop arrows that miss them securely. Don’t use walls or hard objects as backstops or you risk damaging your arrows (cracks, splinters).
Now let’s talk about accessories that are not included in the set:
There is no case for storage or transport. You could use the box the Barnett came with at least for storage. If you are driving a lot or take it with you while camping or on vacation, a case would make sense in the long run. Don’t leave it longer in a hot car or at places with moisture. This can damage it!
If your kid is outside a lot with the it you might think about getting a quiver for carrying the arrows around. I am not sure if you could get one that needs to be mounted on to this model as I did not see pre-drilled holes for one. But a sidequiver is good as well. A mounted one makes the whole compound heavier which is not good for practicing anyway.
There are no archery gloves included. I would recommend you get some as the 25 lbs poundage of the Barnett Banshee is not as easy to pull back for some kids as you might think. A glove would make it a bit easier
Some parents said there was a forearm guard included, some say there wasn’t. As a simple one is not expensive, I would recommend you better get one if there was none in your package. It will protect your kids forearm against string slaps that occur when you are shooting without proper form (release errors, no back tension, etc.).
A release aid is missing in the package too. You can get one when your kid has problems pulling the string back, but this model can be finger-shot as well (just remember that finger-shooting is not recommended for compound bows. So when your kid has outgrown this model and gets one for adults he or she will need a release aid for sure).
Noise Level / Handshock
The Barnett Banshee sounds pretty normal and has no significant hand shock.
I found bad opinions about great vibrations that felt like being electrocuted when shooting: Well, dear parents, that happens when you dry-fire a bow (does not matter if compound or recurve). When you shoot any bow without an arrow in place you risk damaging it severly. So please don’t you ever do that and tell your kids to not dry-fire it as well! Want to know more about dry firing? Then read this => Dry Firing A Compound Bow.
Some parents were complaining about string slaps to the forearms of their kiddos. String slaps happen when you are not shooting with proper form (stance, back tension, bad release, etc etc.). Those are a sign that there is something wrong. You should buy an armguard for your kids to prevent pain, but you also should find out what he or she is doing to get that many string slaps.
Some vibrations are pretty normal for any compound. Normally you could mount a stabilizer to bring’em down but in this case you cannot do that, as there are no mounting holes. But always remember that this is a compound for introducing archery to your kids, so don’t expect too much from it.
Bow Specifics /Limbs / Riser / Grip / String
Like I have described already the Barnett Banshee is ambidextrous and therefore can be used by right- and left-hand shooters, but it has to be restrung with a bow press if you want to switch from right to left and vice versa.
Its axle to axle length is 39″ which makes it great for young archers.
All in all it seems to be of good quality. It is a durable, sturdy compound and looks and feels like an adult model. The excellent workmanship is a result of it being made in America!
The Barnett Banshee has quad limbs and metal reinforced pulleys. Its limbs, cams and construction are far better than a lot of the competitor youth models that are available. The cam action on the wheels is pretty decent. Everything works like it should.
It has a reinforced handle with a very comfortable soft grip and is rather light, which is good for kids that carry it around a lot.
The string that comes with the compound is okay. But one word of caution: You need to wax it before shooting the compound for the very first time (also wax cables). Then you have to wax it regularly. Otherwise the plastic sheet will come off the string after some time. You have to do this with every bow, by the way, just in case you wonder.
Draw Cycle / Shootability
The Barnett Banshee is smooth to draw. There is one hump halfway before you reach the let-off area while pulling back. As soon as you are past this point it is rather easy to finish the full draw and hold it there. The let-off (65%) is good for aiming and learning to shoot well, the cam system does not feel aggressive at all.
The 25 pound draw weight (more than the regular Banshee) cannot be adjusted down. So think about this before buying it for your kid. Some 10-12 year olds had problems pulling it back, others made it with ease. So if your kid is around 10 years old and on the stronger side your are good to go. I would not recommend it for younger children as 25 lbs is not that easy to pull back.
For kids 14 years and older I would recommend to get an adjustable adult compound like the Infinite Edge Pro (5-70 lbs) anyway. As these cost a bit more this only makes sense if your kid is really into archery and will stay there for a few years.
It seems that some females 16 years and older also enjoyed shooting the Barnett Banshee. This will only work if they are kinda shorter types. Remember that this model is meant for kids, therefore it is only 39″ long. So with a certain body height it just makes no sense to use a model of this size.
The draw length is between 24-26″. If your kid‘s draw length is bigger than that, you will need to get a different model. Read our guide to measure draw length here => How To Measure Your Draw Length.
The Barnett Banshee can be pretty accurate up to 20 yards when shot well. There were some problems with strings that did not line up with risers, but most of the buyers I asked were glad they bought this model for testing if their kids would be interested in archery. And they did not experience any problems with string or riser.
Shooting Speed Of The Barnett Banshee Quad Compound Bow
As this is a children’s compound there is no information out there concerning its speed.
Proper For Hunting / Kinetic Energy (KE)
Definitely no. It’s way too weak for hunting, which means its poundage won’t meet the minimum draw weight requirements of most states. Apart from that this model was designed to introduce children to archery for learning and practicing, not for hunting anything with it.
Proper For Bowfishing
There is no pre-drilled hole to attach a bowfishing reel, so if you are not like MacGyver, you won’t be able to use it for bowfishing. Just saying 🙂
Pricing Of The Barnett Banshee Quad Compound Bow
The Barnett Banshee is the most affordable compound bow under $ 50. You won’t find another model that is of such a high quality in this price range. If you want to get your kiddos away from the TV or computer games but don’t want to invest an arm and a leg to test if they are interested in shooting bows at all, just go with this one. You cannot do much wrong at this price point, to be honest, and you won’t find one that is that cheap and made in the USA anyway.
Pros & Cons
– great price, very affordable
– made in the USA, very durable and sturdy
– not much accessories included
– poundage is not adjustable
Overall this is the ideal model to introduce the joys of archery to your youngsters. It is very affordable but still of a high quality and it’s made in America. Which is a big plus in my opinion! If you want your kids away from the TV or computer just gift’em this bow and hopefully they will spend much more time outside of your house. The Barnett Banshee is as inexpensive as it gets when it comes to compound shooting but it is a great little shooter for your kids. They will outgrow this model sooner or later for sure, but with such a low price that shouldn’t hurt you too much.
And always remember: Even if it’s meant for children this is not a toy. Therefore your kids will need some guidance and supervision when learning to shoot a compound. 25 lbs is not that weak and the arrows will fly quite some distance.
Thanks for reading and shoot straight!