Bow Package Contents
For parents: If you have no idea about this topic please read my beginner’s guide here => Beginner’s Guide To Compound Bows. You won’t regret it! 🙂
The Barnett Lil Banshee compound comes pre-strung and is literally ready to shoot out of the box. It was designed by the company and is manufactured in China, which is no disadvantage at all as long as the American company guarantees for a certain quality and handles the customer service of the product. It is being advertised as ambidextrous which means it’s usable for left and right hand shooters (right hand means pulling the string back with your right hand while holding this model with your left). Some kids experienced problems while shooting left-handed, some not. And it looks like Barnett recommended to switch cam modules as well for shooting this way. The problem is, that you need a bow press to be able to do this, which means you need to take the compound to a professional shop for switching the cam system from left to right, in case you don’t have one.
The arrow rest is on the right and left side to be able to shoot right and left-handed. Sometimes the fletchings (plastic vanes, in this case) get ripped of when they hit the shelf while being shot. Another problem is that this will affect the flight of the arrow as well resulting in kinda wild shots. One solution would be to get additional arrows with feathers because those are more flexible and will bend around the shelf when shot, so this won’t affect accuracy as much as plastic vanes do. As the arrow rest is pretty small some kids will have problems with keeping the arrow there. To prevent them from falling off from time to time you could tell your youngster to hold the Barnett Lil Banshee compound with a slight angle or you could tape a small piece of cardboard to the side of the rest until they get used to shooting that way. A small disadvantage is that you cannot buy a better rest because there are no pre-drilled holes in the riser for doing this. On the other hand don’t forget that this is a compound for kids to introduce them to archery, not a full sized fancy one for adults!
There is also an adjustable pin sight coming with this model. It is a small black thing that is mounted right onto the plastic packaging. You have to unscrew it from the box before you can mount it to the Barnet Lil Banshee. And be careful: it is so small that a few parents oversaw it when throwing the box away! Some kids shoot without it anyway but as it comes with the compound I would mount it and let’em try if they like shooting with it.
The two target arrows (28″) that are included are junk. They are cheaply made fiberglass arrows that will lose their tips from time to time. So better shoot at softer targets. Some parents stated they bought the Easton genesis II aluminum arrows (28″ long) as a replacement and were pretty content with those (they are slightly longer but still rated for this model). The arrows have blunted tips but they could hurt humans or animals nonetheless. Therefore you have to supervise and guide your kiddos while they learn to handle this compound bow. This is not a toy (just watch the videos below)!
In case you have bought the set you will get 3 additional arrows (Barnett Junior Archery 28“). Just expect to buy a lot of arrows over time as they can get lost or damaged easily which happens all the time. Even I lose arrows from time to time and you just can’t do anything about it. So maybe get additional arrows when ordering the compound right away because it sucks when your kid wants to shoot but must stop because of a lack of arrows.
The Barnett Lil Banshee comes in three finishes that all look pretty cool, in my book. They are Realtree Camouflage, Black and Pink.
A good addition are finger rollers (pre-fitted finger holds) that are attached to the string. This has two advantages: it makes pulling the string back easier (you don’t need to buy a glove or tabs) and your kids are able to nock the arrow always into the same place on the string. This is good for consistency and therefore accuracy as they have a reference point. In case the rollers are too flexible (moving up or down on the string) you can fix them with duct tape.
The package can be used as carrying case but I would recommend – if you are transporting the compound a lot – to get a suitable carry case for it. This will protect it from heat and moisture while storing it.
You will also get a limited five year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship together with the Barnett Lil Banshee. This won’t cover damages resulting from dry-firing (shooting without an arrow) or other mistreatments.
Concerning the string and cables you should wax’em before shooting the first time and after that regularly to prevent them from wear (especially in the area where the arrows nock). At least this will elongate their lives a bit. At some point in time you might have to switch the stringing out against a new set, but that won’t cost an arm and a leg, so there’s no problem. I also found a case of a customer where the string jumped off the pulleys (don’t twist the string a lot while pulling back or shooting or this can happen!). If that happens contact Barnett as soon as possible and they will take care of it. Their customer service is just great!
There is no armguard included with the Lil Banshee so better get one. If your kid is really young it might be afraid of the bow after getting the first string slap on his or her forearm. This happens because of form problems while shooting. But as they are youngsters who should be introduced to archery they don’t know how to shoot correctly right away. So a bit of protection makes sense.
There is no target included. I recommend you either buying one that is not too hard (as the tips of the arrows might get off from time to time when pulling them out of the target or just get some hay bales and attach paper targets or spray paint’em onto those. They will catch the arrows safely without damaging them. Don’t use hard objects as backstop as the arrows might break or splinter when hitting things like trees and concrete or brick walls.
Safety tip: The Barnett Lil Banshee is by all means not a toy! It shoots arrows with blunt tips after all over quite some distance. No one should be standing in front of the shooter while shooting and don’t aim too high or you will have no controll where the arrow might fly to. Don’t let your kids aim at people or your neighbours cat or you will get in serious trouble. So don’t say I haven’t warned you! 🙂
There is also no quiver included. If you need one I would recommend you get a cheap hip quiver for starting out. And if someone is telling you you will need a release aid for this compound that’s just not true. Remember the finger rollers? This model can and should be finger-shot (although it is not recommended to shoot full sized compounds this way!). It is for starting out in archery, not for taking down a grizzly 🙂
Noise Level / Handshock
The Barnett Lil Banshee sounds pretty normal and I would not mess around with string silencers as it does not need to be more silent. You won’t go hunting with it, will you?
Bow Specifics / Limbs / Riser / Grip / String
The Barnett Lil Banshee is well made and solid. It feels like a real compound bow, not like a toy and a lot of parents were surprised how well it was built concerning the low price. It is quite durable and won’t fall apart when dropped on the floor from time to time.
It is ambidextrous (don’t forget that you need a bow press if you’d want to switch the stringing to the right side for lefties), it has a reinforced handle with a rubberized and molded soft-touch grip that should fit the hands of your kiddos well. It is way too small for adults, though.
This model has a length of 33.5“ which is just right for kids that are around 8 – 12 years old. It is big enough to work for them but not too heavy to be carried around for hours – which means more time being outside for them. The net weight of this model is around 1.8 pounds which is absolutely okay for young archers.
Draw Cycle / Shootability
The cams deliver a relatively smooth draw that makes the Barnett Lil Banshee a joy to shoot. You can hit targets that are 15 – 20 yards away so don’t forget to take care of an adequate backstop to catch wild shots. For longer distances the accuracy will suffer, of course, but it should be possible to hit a 2’ x 2’ target at 15 yards (not everytime, but often enough to keep the motivation high).
This model has a draw weight of 18 lbs which is not adjustable. This can cause problems for kids that are too weak to pull the string back as you cannot lower the poundage. So even when this bow is often recommended for kids that are between 8 and 12 years old you always need to consider the strength of the individual youngster. Strong 7 year olds may be able to pull it back while weaker 9 year olds maybe won’t be able to do it.
Its draw length is 18“ – 22“. That means it can be shot by kids who have a draw length between 18 and 22 inches. If your kid has longer arms or is taller than the average youngster he or she might need a bigger compound bow. You will recognize this when your child cannot reach the anchor point (corner of his or her mouth) when pulling the string back with proper form because the bow won’t allow it.
Shooting Speed Of The Barnett Lil Banshee Compound Bow
As the Barnett Lil Banshee is a kid’s bow there is no information about its speed available. And there is really no need to know it. With this model all should be about fun, not speed anyway.
Proper For Hunting / Kinetic Energy (KE)
The Barnett Lil Banshee is of course not proper for bowhunting. It is way too weak for going after game animals, so please don’t try! If you would like to learn more about the recommended Kinetic Energy for hunting feel free to read our guide her => Kinetic Energy For Bowhunting.
Proper For Bowfishing
You cannot attach a bowfishing reel without losing the warranty as there are no pre-drilled holes on the riser. So you’d have to mess around with it and I would not recommend doing that. The poundage of 18 lbs is not much anyway so it might have a hard time penetrating the water and hitting the fish properly.
You will get the Barnett Lil Banshee for under 30 bucks. If you think longer about it this is pretty ridiculous as you get a really sturdy and well manufactured compound in exchange for your hard earned money. This thing looks and feels like a real compound bow and surely is not a simple toy. So if I would like my kids to be more often outside and away from TV, smartphone and videogames I definitely would invest those bucks because if the spark gets ignited, those were well spent. And think about it: You can test for under $ 30 if your youngsters might be interested in archery at all. And if her or she is not you did not lose an arm and a leg to be sure about it.
Pros & Cons of The Barnett Lil Banshee Compound Bow
– extremely affordable to introduce the kids to archery
– simple to handle and to shoot
– a sturdy and durable well made product
– arrows are crap
With kids being between 8 years and older the Barnett Lil Banshee is clearly meant to be shot by the younger crowd. As this is just a recommendation you always have to look at the individual before buying one. If your seven year old seems to go after Hulk he might be able to handle the draw weight quite well, compared to your neighbour’s ten year old child who might tend to go after Elasti-Girl instead. Besides the joys of shooting outside, this model is also a great tool for your offspring to learn responsibility – it’s shooting arrows, after all – so your supervision will be needed for a while. But all in all I would prefer to see my kids outside the house in our digital times rather more often than not. And if they pick up the ‘bug’ for archery I couldn’t be happier. So dear parents, if there is the slightest chance that your kiddos might be interested in shooting compound bows then gift’em this model. You won’t regret it.
I hope you enjoyed this review, thanks for reading and shoot straight!
Sorry buddy, I just came across your extensive review when googling. I bought my son the Lil Banshee for just that purpose, to get my youngest boy outside off the gadgets. It’s working now that his Dad has a compound bow to shoot alongside him with. I use a release aid and I am wondering about the possibilities of adding a D loop to do the same on the Lil banshee. I’v efired it a few times with the kids and those finger rollers can be harsh on soft little fingers.
My boy is a small 8 year old and he is struggling with the draw weight except when he has to show off for his older sister so he won’t necessarily be going up to another bow for a while. I thought adding the release aide, if possible later in the year as he is progressing may inspire him even more.
I’m sure it will void the warranty but I’m not concerned about that.
Hey Dalles! Glad you got your son outside for shooting 🙂
I never tried to add a D-loop to a Lil Banshee, to be honest. It has a solid cable as string, not a ‘real’ one like your own compound. But I’m sure you can try to get a D-loop on it. Maybe bring it to a local Pro shop and ask if they could add one – those guys are all MacGyvers and I bet they can help you out.
Just watch your son carefully when he’s shooting with an aid. When it confuses him more than it helps I would wait a few months.
i was looking around to find some softer arrow tips for the arrows so maybe i could shoot at my friends, like archery tag arrow tips but i couldn’t find the diameter of the arrow tip for a slip-on.
I was search around and I saw this post, I love the way it is very helpful and in depth for young archers.
how do you lower the draw weight?