Crossbow Review: Barnett HyperTac Pro 430

When it comes to top-notch features and performance, the Barnett HyperTac Pro 430 delivers in spades.

Crossbow Review: Barnett HyperTac Pro 430

With more than 60 years in the crossbow arena, Barnett has established itself among serious horizontal bowhunters. From its earliest days, this company became known as a provider of accurate, dependable and affordable crossbows.

In 2021, Barnett again raises the bar with its innovative, feature-filled HyperTac Pro 430, a crossbow that has everything a serious hunter requires — and more.

 

Published Specs

  • Manufacturer: Barnett
  • Model: HyperTac Pro 430
  • Draw weight: 230 pounds
  • Cocking effort: 7 pounds
  • Power stroke: 14.25 inches
  • Arrow length: 22 inches, HyperFlite .204-inch inside diameter shafts
  • Arrow speed: 430 fps
  • Trigger pull:  3 pounds; dry-fire inhibitor
  • Sights: Halo 1.5-5x illuminated scope
  • Cocking device: Integrated cocking system        
  • Overall length: 36.6 inches
  • Axle-to-axle width: 9.1 inches cocked      
  • Weight:  8.9 pounds
  • Other Features: Mossy Oak Terra Floodplain finish, custom trigger with zero creep, silent safety, monopod compatible, string dampeners, fully adjustable stock and comb.
  • MSRP:  $1,499.99
  • Contact: www.barnettcrossbows.com

The fun begins right out of the box. The Pro 430 comes fully assembled except for the scope and quiver, which rightfully should be installed by the end user. The Halo 1.5-5x illuminated scope attaches quickly to an integral Picatinny-style rail using two screws (Hex wrench provided), giving the owner a variety of alignment options for perfect eye-relief every time.

Similarly, the ambidextrous quiver can be mounted to satisfy the needs of left-handed and right-handed shooters alike, with one-screw mounting using the provided Hex wrench. After decades of crossbow hunting, I am a stickler for solid, no-rattle quiver mounts, and the Barnett Pro 430 leads the pack for two reasons. Not only does the quiver include a nifty angle adjustment to provide additional space between the stock and fletching, but it also boasts a quick-release function that beats all others. Simply press down on the release bar to remove the quiver from the mount – it’s as simple as that. The mount is solid, sturdy and dependable. In testing I took the quiver on and off the mount at least 100 times without a malfunction, and the quiver remained tight and secure throughout.

Speaking of ambidextrous, left-handed shooters will love the HyperTac Crank Cocking Device (CCD), which can be operated from either side of the crossbow and requires only 7 foot-pounds of effort. The cocking hooks remain attached to the bow forward of the string, and merely need to be cranked into position using the crank cocking device’s latch lever. With the safety in the “fire” position, simply flip the switch to “on” and begin cranking.

When the crossbow string is fully engaged in the trigger mechanism, the safety will automatically engage. Release the CCD latch lever, remove the handle and push the hooks forward until they disengage from the string. The hooks will automatically return to their “home” position at the front of the track (photo below).

In practice, the entire operation consumes about 10 seconds. The crank handle can be stowed in a convenient pouch or cargo pocket, much as is done with any rope cocking device.

There are plenty of other attractive, “cool” features included with the Pro 430. How does tool-free stock and comb adjustments sound? How about an adjustable foregrip that doubles as a tactical-style handle at the push of a button? Meanwhile, extra-wide flanges above the grip ensure that even long-fingered shooters are safe from accidental contact with the string while shooting.

Barnett’s Pro 430 custom trigger is a step above industry standards and is definitely worth talking about. “Zero creep” is bandied about throughout the industry, but in my mind if the trigger moves in the least before the arrow is released, it has creep. This trigger is set at 3 pounds and features zero creep with frictionless release. The Hypertac Pro 430 trigger is as silent, solid and smooth as any in the crossbow industry.

The silent safety is a definite plus in surprise, close-range situations. Deer, bear, turkeys and other big game are particularly suspicious about things that suddenly go “click” at dawn and dusk.

Finally, an integral nock sensor minimizes the possibility of dry-fires.

After hundreds of shots at the range and in the woods, the Pro 430’s trigger remained as crisp and sharp as new, a noticeable feature for hunters who take their shooting seriously. I expect continuous, dependable performance from my crossbows under all conditions, and the Pro 430 came through with flying colors.

The Pro 430 is designed for use with proprietary, 22-inch HyperFlite, small-diameter (.204-inch inside diameter) arrows and capture nocks. Barnett’s carbon arrows are noticeably pencil-thin and guaranteed straight to .001 inch. Using 380-grain arrows, the Pro 430 is rated at speeds up to 430 fps, or 60 fps faster than most standard arrows. It stands to reason that a thinner, straighter arrow with 255 pounds of draw weight behind it will fly faster than a comparatively “fatter” (.360 class) standard arrow. 

As it happened, I took the Pro 430 to the range along with several other crossbows I’d been sent for testing. The Pro 430s arrow speed was more than noticeable. In most cases, even at 20 yards, there is a short period of lag time between trigger pull and arrival of the arrow at the target, but with the Pro 430 the arrow hits the target with a loud “thwack” in the blink of an eye.

The benefit of the capture nock is there is no question when the arrow is properly seated, and the chance of forcing an arrow loose from the trigger assembly is greatly reduced. In testing I tried to loosen the arrow with some judicious bumping and jarring while in treestands and blinds with no success. When the arrow locks in, it’s there for the duration.

 

On the Range

I was eager to see how the Pro 430 would perform at the range. For all its bells and whistles it’s still a crossbow, and I wanted to see for myself if it stood up to its marketing hype.

Having owned and hunted with many Barnett crossbows over the last 20 years, I expected no less than the best in functionality and accuracy, and the Pro 430 came through with flying colors. At the bench I was able to cock and load the crossbow while sitting – a real benefit for ground blind and treestand hunters. As long as the crossbow is held solidly in place, it was easy to crank the string back into the trigger mechanism, remove the crank, load an arrow and shoot. I did this more than 100 times while sighting in and had no issues during the process.

The provided Halo scope is designed specifically for crossbow use with reticles set for 20 yards out to 70 yards, which is more than adequate for a hunting crossbow.

Perhaps the “coolest” feature of the scope is that the reticles turn from green to red with the push of a button on the side turret. Red-green-on-off. It doesn’t get any easier than that. The scope also comes with a set of scope caps that definitely come in handy during periods of gloom and sudden storms.

As usual, I started at 10 yards for expediency’s sake. Once I had my arrows on target at 20 yards, it was an easy matter to move back in 10-yard increments. Although I was able to post bull’s-eyes at all distances out to 70 yards just to prove it could be done, the bulk of my shooting was done at 40 yards and less, which is closer to typical for today’s crossbow hunters in thick-cover situations.

I was concerned about the cocking hooks that are mounted below the string and travel the length of the barrel in their own groove. Most of the time the hooks slid back to their “home” position, but every now and then I would give them a little encouragement. The owner’s manual clearly states that this may be necessary, and considering the overall convenience of this cocking system, I found nothing here to complain about.

One cautionary note: The Pro 430 isn’t designed for de-cocking using the CCD system. The crossbow can be de-cocked only by safely firing an arrow into a soft target.

Throughout the sighting-in and roving range sessions, the Pro 430 operated and functioned at top level. No issues arose and there were no malfunctions or complications to report. In fact, with practice I was able to cock and load the Pro 430 with surprising speed and efficiency, certainly an improvement over the typical rope-cocking process.

Drawbacks? Other than my perennial lament that a sling was not provided with the bow, there is nothing negative to say about Barnett’s latest offerings in the HyperTac line. The 22-inch HyperFlite shafts are custom arrows not likely to be found in every archery shop, and Barnett specifically warns against using any other style of arrow in the Pro 430 for safety and warranty reasons, so I would recommend that owners stock up on Hyperflite arrows prior to taking an extended trip.

On a minor note, the owner’s manual that comes with the crossbow includes very little information that applies specifically to the Pro 430. It does contain basic crossbow safety information and some useful tips on assembly (not needed because the Pro 430 arrives fully assembled), but it could use updating. There is a companion pamphlet provided that is dedicated to the operation of the Pro 430, yet it contains no information on the adjustable stock features. This seems odd because there are at least two blank pages in the pamphlet that could have been used for this purpose. But again, these are minor points.

From a function-and-feature standpoint, the Pro 430 is an excellent choice for hunters and bench shooters. Properly maintained and serviced, the Pro 430 should last for years.

The HyperTac Pro 430 package includes the crossbow; Halo 1.5-5x illuminated scope; integrated HyperTac Crank Cocking Device; QD quiver with side-mount adapter; three 22-inch HyperFlite, small-diameter arrows; string dampeners; and lubrication wax. MSRP is $1,499.99.

Sidebar: HyperTac Pro 430 Adjustable Stock

While most crossbow manufacturers offer some degree of adjustment in their stocks and foregrips, Barnett has taken the matter to the nth degree with the fully adjustable, call it “tweakable,” buttstock, comb and foregrip on its HyperTac Pro 430 model.

All of these adjustments can be made by hand, without tools and without removing or replacing any parts or disassembling the crossbow. Using simple buttons, levers and wheels, the stock can be extended, the comb and butt plate can be adjusted, and the foregrip can be extended to suit every shooter of any size. The result is near bench-quality fit even from the sitting, kneeling or off-hand positions. For more information along with an instructional video, log onto www.barnettcrossbows.com.

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