Bow Review: CenterPoint Wrath 430

The CenterPoint Wrath 430 was so accurate during testing that the author had to shoot one arrow per bull’s-eye to avoid busting nocks and arrows.

Bow Review: CenterPoint Wrath 430

Whenever a new, unassembled crossbow is delivered to my door for field testing, the first thing I do is open the box, grab the paperwork and head for the recliner. While modern crossbows are essentially all the same, they are also different in subtle ways.

The CenterPoint Wrath 430 is a case in point.

For example, the Wrath 430 comes equipped with a cocking sled instead of the standard hook-and-rope unit supplied with many other crossbows. It’s important to read and understand the cocking instructions to avoid failures and potentially dangerous kick-backs. The bottom line is to make certain the safety is in the “Fire” position before cocking the crossbow and be sure that the cocking sled is applied face-up.

Also, CenterPoint recommends lubing the top — and side — of the rail every 12 to 15 shots, which is another important departure from other crossbow manufacturers, who generally recommend lightly lubing the flight rail alone.

Finally, CenterPoint advises against attempting to lubricate the rail while the crossbow is cocked or loaded for obvious safety reasons. Keep fingers, hands, cuffs, drawstrings and gloves well away from the rail when the crossbow is cocked – good advice when handling any crossbow.

Nearly 6 inches shorter than most crossbows at 28.26 inches, the Wrath 430 is also just 9 inches wide when cocked, far slimmer than standard crossbows with 18-inch-long limbs. For short-armed shooters like me, the Wrath 430 is a joy to carry, load and shoot, as we’ll discuss shortly. For shooters with longer arms, the Wrath 430 also features an adjustable, webbed and cushioned foregrip designed to help keep long fingers away from the shooting rail.

The Wrath’s black composite, weatherproof stock is topped with an aluminum rail coupled with compression fiberglass quad limbs. The bow is designed for use with 20-inch, 400-grain arrows fitted with half-moon nocks. Standard 100-grain field tips or broadheads are recommended. This feature alone will make it easier to resupply with aftermarket shafts when traveling to faraway places to hunt.

With a power stroke of 15 inches and draw weight of 200 pounds, the Wrath 430 generates 164 foot-pounds of kinetic energy, sending arrows downrange at an impressive 430 fps — hence the model name. Without question this is a hunter’s crossbow: short, lightweight and compact, ideal for use in ground blinds, treestands or while still-hunting.

The Wrath 430 is topped with a 4x32 red-green illuminated scope featuring four crosshair-and-circle reticles. Sighted in at 10 yards, the scope is calibrated in 10-yard increments out to 40 yards. Open-country hunters may opt to sight in at 20 yards and extend their effective range out to 50 yards, which is a reasonable limit when hunting deer, bear, hogs, turkeys and other game.

The Wrath 430 package comes with an illuminated crossbow scope, quiver and three arrows.
The Wrath 430 package comes with an illuminated crossbow scope, quiver and three arrows.

Assembly was quick and easy thanks to CenterPoint’s clear, concise instructions. All parts and provided tools are clearly illustrated in the manual in an easy step-by-step format. The only extra item the end user will need is a wide-bladed, flat screwdriver to attach the scope mounts to the Picatinny rail.

CenterPoint makes full use of its integrated picatinny rail system for firmly anchoring the ambidextrous quiver to the crossbow. Two screws and the job is done. All attachments (including the stirrup) are assembled using heavy-duty machined nuts and bolts that lock solidly into place – there are no annoying rattles or squeaks to deal with.

After carefully reading the entire manual (by habit and as recommended by the manufacturer), I had the Wrath 430 ready for the range in about 15 minutes, scope and quiver included.

Said manual cautions about placing the adjustable stirrup at full extension before cocking, good advice for those who may be tempted to cock the crossbow with the stirrup in the folded position. There is no safe way to step on the folded stirrup while applying upward pressure with the cocking rope. I tried (for testing purposes, of course) and found that, as always, the right way is the best way.

Call me old-school if you must, but I am a big fan of the basic rope cocker simply because I understand the mechanics involved and have grown used to the system after more than 25 years of practice. Loop, hook and pull – that’s pretty much all that is required, and the Wrath 430 is perfectly designed for the process. I always keep my rope in my right cargo pocket and return it there immediately after use so I know where it is at all times. CenterPoint’s custom sled cocker is lightweight and compact, fitting easily into any pack, shirt or pants pocket, so finding it when you need it is simplicity itself.

As is invariably the case after attaching a scope to a crossbow, it required a few shots to get the Wrath 430 on target at 10 yards, but once I had the scope locked in, I had to be careful not to shoot more than once at each bull’s-eye for fear of expensive Robin Hoods – of which I have collected many over the years.

I was pleased to see that the Wrath 430’s scope was perfectly calibrated in 10-yard increments as I moved back to 20, 30 and 40 yards. For testing purposes, I also shot the crossbow from a starting point of 20 yards. Accuracy was excellent out to 50 yards, which I consider the maximum effective hunting range for most crossbows. Granted, sub-minute target groups at 100 yards are possible with models designed for the purpose, but the Wrath 430 is marketed as a 50-yard hunting crossbow and it performed perfectly within those parameters.

The included noise-deadening string stops and dampeners are effective at reducing the sound of the Wrath 430’s shot.
The included noise-deadening string stops and dampeners are effective at reducing the sound of the Wrath 430’s shot.

On the Range

For testing purposes at the bench, I began shooting with 100-grain field tips and then switched to 100-grain fixed-blade broadheads, which showed little variation in flight or accuracy.  

I lubed the rail (top and side) every 15 shots as directed by the owner’s manual and had no issues with operation, function or performance. With every arrow striking very close to my aiming point (the occasional pulled shot was the result of operator error), I decided it was time to take the Wrath 430 to the final testing ground – the woodland roving course.

As it happened, the weather conditions couldn’t have been worse for a crossbow field test on my outdoor range. Gusting winds and temperatures more than 90 degrees had sweat running into my eyes before I reached the first silhouette target. The wind had the low-level greenery whipping and thrashing near and beside every target. The combination of bright sunlight and dark shadows created some interesting visual challenges, such that I decided to go with the scope’s green illumination instead of the standard black reticles.

One might think that illumination works only in low-light conditions (dawn and dusk for deer hunters), but I found that the green circles showed up clearly and distinctly against the green-and-black mottling of the natural foliage. The Wrath 430 was quick and easy to cock and load thanks to its compact size, and when I centered the green circle reticle on target, the arrow was there in an instant. At times I had to choose neck, shoulder or lung shots due to interfering leafy cover, but I was pleased to see that all arrows landed precisely where I had placed the reticle, this at varying distances from 10 to 50 yards.

Because the Wrath 430 is touted as being one of the “shortest, most compact crossbows on the market,” I tried a few shots from a sitting position on the ground while backed up against a tree or stump, turkey-hunter style. There’s no question that the Wrath 430’s diminutive design proved to be an advantage for over-the-knee shots from the left or right.

I was also able to cock and load the crossbow while sitting on the ground, which is not an easy task with some models. The process was made far easier while sitting in a ground blind and in a treestand. Being one with short arms and legs, I was also able to manipulate the Wrath 430 while sitting in my Viper climbing treestand 20 feet off the ground, which more than sealed the deal for me.

Fans of short, lightweight, compact, accurate crossbows will want to jump on the CenterPoint Wrath 430. I could find nothing to complain about regarding design, operation, function or performance. As always, a sling would be a nice addition to the package, as would a fitted case, but these can always be purchased as aftermarket accessories.

The Wrath 430 crossbow package comes in Stealth Black with an integrated folding stirrup that doubles as a bipod, a 4x32 illuminated crossbow scope, a QD quiver and three CenterPoint carbon arrows. MSRP is $699.99 with the Silent Cranking Device, or $649.99 with the standard sled cocker. Both include a 5-year limited warranty.

Published Specs

  • Manufacturer: CenterPoint
  • Model: Wrath 430
  • Draw weight: 200 pounds
  • Power stroke: 15 inches
  • Arrow length: 20 inches
  • Arrow speed: 430 fps
  • Trigger pull: 3.5 pounds; dry-fire inhibitor
  • Sights: 4x32 illuminated scope provided
  • Cocking device: Rope sled cocker included (optional silent cocking device available 
  • Overall Length: 28.26 inches
  • Axle-to-axle width: 9 inches cocked, 13 inches uncocked
  • Weight: 8.3 pounds
  • Other Features: Bullpup-style stock, ambidextrous safety, cam and string dampeners, adjustable integrated folding stirrup that doubles as a bipod; adjustable foregrip and a ball bearing retention spring.
  • MSRP: $649.99
The CenterPoint Wrath 430 features an adjustable folding stirrup that folds up for cocking and down for stability at the bench or in the field.
The CenterPoint Wrath 430 features an adjustable folding stirrup that folds up for cocking and down for stability at the bench or in the field.

Sidebar: CenterPoint Wrath 430 Adjustable Stirrup

CenterPoint’s Wrath 430 crossbow includes a unique adjustable, two-position stirrup, which serves as a handle and cocking stirrup, as well as a bench stabilizer and shooting rest.

The stirrup readily adjusts from the cocking position (straight out from the rail) to the folded position by simply lifting up on the release lever at the base of the stirrup and then moving the stirrup into the desired position.

This innovative feature will easily prove its worth when shooting from the bench, treestand, box blind, pop-up blind, or natural blind in confined quarters. When folded, the adjustable stirrup will also keep the crossbow elevated and out of the dirt and leaves, protecting the cams and also expensive arrows and broadheads. The folding stirrup may also be used to lock the crossbow in place over the rail or bar of a treestand for additional security and safety. It also provides additional options for hanging from hooks or convenient nearby tree limbs.

As a precaution, shooters should not attempt to adjust the stirrup while the crossbow is cocked or loaded.

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