The modern archery enthusiast has a choice between several different weapons with which to target shoot or hunt, and the application of modern materials and engineering to these timeless designs has created a number of different approaches to the basic function of projecting an arrow accurately from the string.
Recurve bows are made in a fashion similar to hunting and war bows made for thousands of years, although with contemporary improvements such as fiberglass layering on the limbs, arrow rests, and carefully-designed strings using modern materials that ensure the maximum IBO speed rating. Compound bows use cams, laminated or uncut fiber limbs, and complex mechanics to fire an arrow with great accuracy and little strain to the user. And crossbows apply the centuries-old principles of this weapon system to the modern era with rifle-style stocks, laser sights, and similar conveniences.
The Horton Explorer HD 150 Red Dot Crossbow is a strong, accurate hunting crossbow that makes use of the ancient crossbow design and upgrades it to the modern era with materials, sights, and various other flourishes of archery technology. The crossbow is solidly sized and built, but not extremely heavy, since it is used largely in the manner of a rifle – the overall length of the weapon is 30 inches, its weight is 7.4 pounds, and the draw weight, as its name declares, is 150 pounds.
The bow limbs on the Horton Explorer are laminated for extra strength, and this, combined with the 150-pound draw weight and machined aluminum alloy wheels, gives the crossbow an IBO rating of 270 feet per second, which places it well above all but the most powerful compound bows. The crossbow is powerful enough to use for hunting white tailed deer, elk, and black bears, and can probably be used for heavier game as well with a broad head hunting arrow. Grizzly bears and African game may well be within its capabilities, as well. The crossbow uses a 20” bolt.
The effective range is in excess of 60 yards with a skillful, well-practiced archer, though much shorter ranges are advised for most users until they have built up their aim with experience. A shot with this crossbow is strong enough to blow through a deer’s body completely at close range, ensuring a fatal hit as long as placement is correct.
The Explorer HD 150 includes many other features meant to make shooting with it easier and more effective. The safety catch has an ambidextrous release, while the sight can be rapidly adjusted for range using the “Dial-a-Range trajectory compensator” built into the weapon. The trigger has a smooth pull and a good pull weight and let-off for easy, comfortable shooting. Finally, the crossbow includes a three-dot red laser sight called the “Mult-A-Range.” This sight is fairly accurate but may fog up in light rain. It can be replaced with single-dot laser sights if desired, though a single-dot sight is not included.
The package also includes a three-bolt quiver that attaches to the Horton Explorer crossbow and three practice bolts. The quiver’s attachment to the crossbow is extremely flimsy, however, unlike the rest of the engineering on the weapon, which is very tough and rugged. The quiver attachment is likely to break off quite quickly – although this will not reduce the functionality of the crossbow itself.
Several accessories on the market can help you get even more out of your Horton Explorer HD 150. A good fitted crossbow case will help to keep the weapon safe, clean, and dry when it is not actually being used, although the crossbow is very well made and will last for many years if you clean it carefully after each expedition. A crank cocking device is also very helpful given the draw weight of the bow. Lubricant wax will help it function better, and a spare string is never out of place. But, generally speaking, the Horton Explorer is a powerful, accurate, very sturdy crossbow with a good pull weight on the trigger, a decent laser sight, and moderate maneuverability because of its weight and size – a good crossbow for any type of sportsman interested in archery.