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Reviewed: Kodabow Koda-Express Crossbow

Kodabow's Koda-Express model crossbow heralds the company's entry into the crossbow market. Unique and innovative in many ways, the Express is one of five Kodabow models ranging in pull weight from 125 lbs. (the Alpha Ultra Strike model) to 225 lbs. (the Big Rhino unit). The Koda-Express has a pull rating of 185 lbs. and a power stroke of 14 inches, which generates arrow speeds of 305 fps.

Built to simulate the AR-15 rifle, complete with adjustable buttstock and pistol grip, the Koda-Express features a split-limb design with no cams or cables. Limb color options include Black Night Weave, Camo or Desert Digital. The perforated riser reduces weight and noise while twin integrated rubber string stops help cut down on string slap and vibration.

Because the Koda-Express has no cables or cams, emergency string changes in the field are a snap. An extra string and changing tool are included with the bow package, which makes it easy to remember (and carry) both items should a mishap occur far from home or the nearest archery supply outlet.

Weighing in at 8 pounds without scope, the Koda-Express is 27.5 inches wide and 38.4 inches long (with the adjustable stock fully extended) or 34.75 inches with the stock at its minimum setting.

The Koda-Express comes with a 3x32 illuminated red-green scope with six aim points, or the purchaser may choose the Koda-BRO Multi-Fiber Optic Sight system including rear peep and four aim points with optional integrated rangefinder.

The ambidextrous safety and integrated Cam Following Trigger system includes an internal anti-dry-fire mechanism. The ADF system includes a visible lever on the receiver that indicates the status of the ADF mechanism. It is also used to enable the crossbow to be manually de-cocked using Kodabow's unique de-cocking rope system. The bow can be smoothly and easily unloaded by removing the arrow, affixing the de-cocking rope to the right side of the bow and using the left hand to manipulate the trigger, ADF lever and trigger at the same time. I have seen some exceptionally strong (and brave) men de-cock loaded crossbows using just their fingers, but the Kodabow system seems much easier (and safer) to me!

Assembly of the bow is quick and simple using two Allen-head bolts to attach the limb assembly to the rail. Kodabow is one of few crossbow companies that provide all of the necessary tools to assemble and maintain their bows as part of the basic package, which also includes the company's unique cocking rope and de-stringing tool. MSRP for the basic bow package is $899.99.

Another unique feature of the Koda-Express is the company's El-2 sling system. Unlike most other crossbows, which use the standard front and rear swivel studs requiring that the bow be carried over the shoulder military-rifle style, the El-2 attaches to the buttstock and front riser and is designed to be slipped over one shoulder so the bow can be carried in front, ready for instant use. Because the bow is so well balanced, the front carry position is convenient and less tiring, and the bow can be picked up and shot with the sling still over the shoulder.

The Koda-Express performed perfectly at the range. Designed to use 405-grain 20-inch carbon fiber arrows (with 110-grain broadhead attached), the bow was less than two inches off point of aim on the first shot out of the box. A few clicks of adjustment and the arrows were striking dead on at 20, 25 and 30 yards. I ruined three arrows by shooting more than twice at each bull's-eye, splintering all three with dead-on nock hits at 25 yards. Fortunately, the bow came equipped with nine arrows — I'll shoot the remaining six individually so I have enough to last me through the coming deer season!

The Superpak accessory kit includes nine 20-inch carbon arrows with field points, an extra bowstring, bowstring wax, and EL-2 sling and five-arrow quiver. MSRP for the Koda-Express with Superpak accessory kit is $999.99.

Additional accessories include the Koda-Crank cocking device, fixed blade or mechanical broadheads, a bipod, three-arrow Kwikee Quiver, a variety of hand grips, adjustable cheek rest and rear buttstock pad, de-cocking rope and LED nocks.

For more information on Kodabow's line of crossbows and accessories, log onto www.kodabow.com or call (484) 947-5471.


SPEC SHEET

Manufacturer: Kodabow

Model: Express

Trigger: Crisp break, minimal travel

Sights: 3x32 illuminated (red-green) multi-reticle

Stock: AR-15-style, adjustable

Overall Length: 34.75 to 38.4 inches

Width: 27.5 inches (cocked), 34 inches (cocked)

Power Stroke: 14 inches

Pull Weight: 185 lbs.

Arrow Speed: 305 fps

Weight: 8 lbs.(without scope)

Other Features: Machined riser, string stops, anti-dry-fire mechanism, de-cocking device included. Also available in Desert Digital, Camo, Black Night Weave.

MSRP: Bow only: $899.99. Superpak: (Bow, nine arrows w/field tips, extra bowstring, wax, EL-1 sling and quiver) $999.99.

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