The Barnett HyperGhost 425 Fills Your Need for Speed
Derrek Sigler 12.23.19
Crossbows have come a long way. They have been the fastest growing segment of the outdoors for a few years because they give hunters more opportunity to hunt with more seasons. Technologically speaking, every year they take a big jump, too. Barnett has been in the crossbow game for a long, long time. When they first introduced the Ghost series several years ago, it started a speed war. Every company tried to lay claim to the fastest crossbow. With that speed came advancements in the rest of the bow, to keep up with the speed and maintain accuracy. This season, I’ve been using the Barnett HyperGhost 425 and it has proven to be everything I thought it could be and more.
How Fast is it Really?
I am lucky enough to know a guy with a chronograph so we tested some real-world speed. Using Barnett’s HyperFlite micro-diameter bolts, and shooting on a calm day with 63-degree temps, I averaged 422.6 fps with 100gr field tips over 6 shots and 421.4 fps with expandable 100gr BloodSport Deadline broadheads. I tried the same test the next day and got 423.7 fps and 422.3 fps. I had a Swagger bipod to steady the bow and was shooting at a Rinehart Jimmy Big Tine target at 25 yards. Here’s the more impressive takeaway for me as a hunter – my groups were stupid tight. As in, I had to re-fletch bolts after every test. More so than speed, I care about shot placement.
On a side note about that speed though. I had to save out a couple bolts from being shot at the target because I wanted at least one for pictures. The bow is so fast that upon impact with the Rinehart target’s foam, the graphics on the shaft of each bolt basically melted.
How Fun is the Bow to Shoot?
When I first got into gun writing years ago, one of the “old timers” I worked with hammered home the notion that a good trigger can make up for a lot of user error. A week of shooting along side of him during some serious testing proved how right he was. There are lots of little things we do when pulling the trigger that can mess with our accuracy. That’s why a lot of firearm companies came out with advanced triggers. My early experiences with crossbows lead me to think not so highly of the trigger systems, but Barnett went to work on that.
Barnett’s TriggerTech system uses what they call Frictionless Release Technology. Much like a high-dollar custom trigger system, there is a free-floating roller between the sear and the trigger itself. It makes it smooth and has zero creep, something I have noticed when shooting other crossbows. It has a nice, three-pound pull weight and a crisp release that give you a nice, predictable and repeatable shot.
The only drawback that makes it harder to shoot is the draw weight. You don’t get to these speeds with a light draw. At 206lbs, you have to be ready when you pull back on the rope. There’s a crank kit available, and I might have to opt for one for next season. I’m getting old.
How Big Is the HyperGhost 425 Crossbow?
It’s a longer bow at over 36 inches, and compact for its size and power at around 17.6 inches axle-to-axle. The weight is pretty good at 7.7lbs and it’s balanced, something that I was concerned with. I shot an older Ghost 400 crossbow a few years ago at a hunting show and didn’t like how front-heavy it felt. This one is MUCH better, and they have an armpit stabilizer to boot, which makes it even more balanced feeling.
A picatinny rail lets you move the fore grip around to fit your style. The rail lets you play around some with how you mount the quiver. I haven’t found a combination yet that is comfortable for shooting with the quiver on, but I usually take it off anyway.
Hunting with the HyperGhost 425 has been fun. No bucks have come in yet, but a mature doe at 35 yards fell to the bow and Bloodsport Deadline broadhead combo. She ran about 10 yards, stood for 30 seconds and fell.
The Barnett HyperGhost 425 carries an MSRP of $1,299. I found them online for less than $850, which is a sweet deal on a sweet bow.