When it comes to getting more bang for your crossbow buck, Crosman’s new CenterPoint Sniper 370 crossbow definitely leads the pack. At a price point considerably less than half that of most other crossbow manufacturers, the Sniper 370 includes many features that are generally offered as accessories, making this one of the most economical, hunter-friendly crossbows on the market.
The first item in the package was a quick-detachable sling, which made me very happy even before unpacking the camo riser and limbs. It takes only to carry a crossbow in the field for a few minutes to realize the value and utility of a good sling, yet a limited number of crossbow packages include this highly convenient and necessary hunting accessory.
As always, I studied the owner’s manual before beginning the assembly process. First, I wanted to ensure all the parts and elements of the crossbow were on hand, but I also wanted to check for new developments or surprises in the assembly or operation of the crossbow. As is often the case, I found something new and different amid the assembly and operating instructions, proving once again that a quick read of the instructions is highly recommended for any crossbow buyer.
I was pleased to see Crosman provides all the necessary hex wrenches required for the job, which involves just six screws. With the parts, tools and instructions laid out in front of me I had the crossbow and quiver fully assembled and ready to shoot in just minutes. It’s a process that can be a real chore with some other models. The Sniper 370 owner’s “manual” consists of a mere two pages of instructions and photos. This made assembly a breeze — even for those who are mechanically challenged.
Another pleasing feature of the Sniper 370 is its adjustable stock and foregrip. This is a great help during the scope-mounting process. I set the adjustables as far out as they would go, installed the scope then brought the stock pieces in to where I had a comfortable, on-target fit. Non-adjustable stocks often require the shooter to twist and squirm to get a good sight picture. With the adjustable stock it would be an easy matter to fit the Sniper 370 to a shooter with a smaller frame, shorter arms or longer neck. Youngsters and some women often struggle to hold and shoot a crossbow, but that problem is easy to remedy with the Sniper 370.
Speaking of scopes, the Sniper 370 package includes a 4×42 red-green illuminated scope with crossbow-friendly crosshair-and-circle reticles that are calibrated for 20, 30, 35 and 40 yards. This is reasonable and practical for crossbow shooting. A 40-yard-plus shot in typical whitetail habitat is a long poke for a crossbow even under ideal conditions, so hats off to Crosman for designing a scope that is tailored to a crossbow hunter’s needs.
Cocking and loading the Sniper 370 is pretty much standard operating procedure with one minor change (remember that owner’s manual?). To cock the crossbow, the Cocking Preparation Switch must be in the “On” position and held there while pushing the Safety switch into the “Fire” position. Otherwise, with the safety in the “Safe” position the trigger mechanism will not accept and hold the string during the cocking process. In addition, switching the Cocking Preparation Switch to the “Off” position will disengage the anti-dry fire mechanism, which could create additional problems should the trigger be pulled without an arrow on the rail. Cock and load the Sniper 370 per the instructions and then pull the trigger only when the safety is moved to the “Fire” position.
Following Crosman’s recommendation of applying a small amount of wax to the rail every 12 to 15 shots, the initial range session went off without a hitch. Cocking and loading using the provided rope cocker went smoothly after I adjusted the rope’s length. It was a simple matter of knotting the rope where it feels most comfortable.
Owner-installed scopes can sometimes be difficult to sight in, but the Sniper 370 was on target at 20 yards by shot No. 3, then it was off to the races. I fired numerous arrows at 20, 30, 35 and 40 yards simply to test the calibration of the scope and found it to be kill-zone accurate at all distances. While it is possible to sight in starting at 10 yards, or even 30 yards, and make the appropriate adjustments downrange, I chose to stick with the manual’s recommendations by starting at 20 yards. Shots at whitetails are exciting and difficult enough using standard crossbow settings; getting fancy only further complicates matters when quick decisions (and shots) must be made. My last dozen deer were taken at under 20 yards, including a big 10-pointer last year that was only 10 yards away. Also, I rarely hunt where shots over 40 yards are likely, which removes the temptation to simply “let fly” at iffy opportunities. There are those who think that crossbows are long-range implements, but it’s certain that they have not done much horizontal bowhunting.
I had the unique opportunity to put the Sniper 370 through its paces during a raging snowstorm and found that the crossbow was up to the test. Most of my roving-range foam targets are black or naturally-colored, not always visible in the driving snow, but the illuminated scope made it easy to center the appropriate reticle on target and all arrows flew straight and true as directed. By the end of the session I had to sweep the snow off some of the targets in order to take a shot, but the Sniper 370 performed as advertised with no misses or flyers due to snowmelt on the rail.
Regarding crossbow maintenance, it’s always a good idea to wipe down the rail and limbs after hunting in rain or snow. Over the years I have found that some crossbow parts are prone to rust, weakening the affected parts over time, so it’s a good idea to keep your crossbow clean and dry between outings.
Buyers should not overlook the value of Crosman’s five-year warranty on the Sniper 370. Any new crossbow should perform as advertised in the short term, but over time, and with extensive use, any mechanical device can falter or fail. It’s good to know that Crosman will cover all defective parts (except strings and accessories) for a period of five years for the original owner.
The complaint department was closed as far as the Sniper 370 is concerned. Any crossbow that comes with an illuminated scope designed for crossbow shooting, adjustable stock and foregrip with sling provided is about as good as it gets in this genre. If I had to nitpick I’d say that the Sniper 370 is a tad heavy at just under 8 pounds, but most crossbow hunters shoot from tree stands or blinds and are not likely to carry the unit at the ready for extended periods of time. Even at 8 pounds, the Sniper 370 is light enough for still-hunting in short bursts (which I attempt to emulate on my roving range). Otherwise, the Sniper 370 more than meets any whitetail hunter’s expectations and is a tremendous bargain.
The CenterPoint Sniper 370 crossbow package includes the crossbow in hunter camo, 4×32 CenterPoint illuminated scope, sling, QD quiver, rope cocker, three half-moon nock arrows and field points. MSRP is $349.99. For more information, log onto www.crosman.com.
Featured image: Crosman (Facebook)