Southern Crossbow’s new Revolt 370 should be an excellent choice for blind and tree-stand hunters looking for a solid, dependable, accurate crossbow at a competitive price.
The Revolt 370 is built with a lightweight, reinforced composite stock and durable aluminum riser. The ultra-stiff fiberglass split limb design features quick and quiet cams for consistent arrow speed. The Revolt 370 features an anti-dry fire mechanism to prevent damage to the crossbow limbs. As an added safety feature, if the shooter forgets to place an arrow on the flight deck or an arrow is not fully seated in the firing mechanism the bow will not fire. Also included is integral noise suppressors to help minimize shot “slap” after the arrow is headed toward its target. Interestingly, the manufacturer advises against adding lubricant to the trigger, serving or barrel of the crossbow, which is all the more reason for purchasers to read the owner’s manual and other paperwork before proceeding to assemble and shoot the Revolt 370.
Assembly was relatively easy, although some end-user creativity was required. Two long and one short Allen-head screws are used to attach the limb assembly to the barrel, but the accompanying instructions were not clear in that regard. There is very little room for maneuvering of the provided Allen wrench. I cut the angle off mine and used a power drill to ease the three fine-threaded screws into place.
One of the required four stirrup screws was missing from my package — for some reason an extra threaded sling stud was included instead. A minor packaging oversight no doubt, but one worth remedying while preparing for the next hunting season. The three enclosed stirrup screws were sufficiently tight and held solid during the testing process, but acquiring that fourth screw is recommended for prolonged use or long-term ownership.
On first examination I liked the finger-saving integral handguard. The adjustable foregrip is also appealing because not every shooter has the same build, arm length or hand size. The foregrip slides along a Picatinny rail that offers several inches of adjustment, and the grip’s design keeps even the longest fingers away from the string and rail.
The Revolt 370 includes a solid, sturdy quiver mount that is easy to install and should stand up to repeated on-off use throughout the season. The only weak point is the two Phillips-head screws used to attach the quiver to the mount block. These screws are small and self-seating, which means you get one good chance to install them correctly. I dabbed a little rail lube onto each screw’s threads and had no problem seating them.
Although the Revolt 370 is a tad heavier than most crossbows under 36 inches long, it is well balanced and easy to carry at what passes for port arms with a crossbow. The Revolt felt comfortable and ready for action on a slow still-hunt along the perimeter of my 40-acre woodlot, and my simulated still-hunting indicated that the Revolt was smooth and quick to the target at ranges from 20 to 40 yards.
My sample crossbow came with a sling which, from a hunter’s viewpoint, should be part of every crossbow package. Most crossbow deer hunters operate from a blind or stand that might be hundreds of yards away across swamps, CRP fields, creek bottoms and other natural obstacles. Having the crossbow safely slung over one’s shoulder makes it much easier to traverse thick, uneven cover with hands free to help navigate.
While a sling was included in my sample package, it was not included on the printed accessory list in the owner’s manual or on the box. However, I did not receive a pair of safety glasses, which is noted on both lists. I’ll take a sling any day over safety glasses, but Southern Crossbow might want to update and clarify its owner’s manual and packaging blurbs.
These are small complaints, of course, and had no effect on the performance of the Revolt 370 in field testing where solid, tight, accurate and dependable are the features that matter most to a crossbow deer hunter.
I was, however, disappointed to see another no-name, non-illuminated scope designed for rifle shooting included with the Revolt 370 crossbow package. The accompanying brochure is full of typos and grammatical errors, but from a practical standpoint these are no great cause for concern. For hunting purposes a crossbow is a 40-yard tool, but when a scope’s accompanying instructions suggest starting out “at 100 meters,” there are some obvious issues for the crossbow shooter.
The scope included with the Revolt 370 has a total of 13 vertical reticles, only four of which apply to crossbow shooting. The remaining reticles, including a total of six windage reticles, serve only as distractions. Time spent at the range can help the shooter zero in using the reticles that are most useful.
I started with the center crosshair at 20 yards, and then moved back in 10-yard increments to 40 yards, which uses up only two additional reticles. I also sight in at 50 yards simply to see how well the review crossbow performs at that distance. I rarely try or recommend such long shots under hunting conditions.
I found that with the scope dead on at 20 yards, using the primary reticle, my arrows grouped again at 29 yards and 37 yards. I prefer to know exactly where my arrows will strike at any given distance so I always use a range finder from the bench as well as from a blind or tree stand. In my experience, one can afford to be off a few inches high or low when aiming for the heart-lung area, but any greater deviation demands additional time at the range. A few inches of elevation or windage can make a great deal of difference in the field, particularly when faced with quartering or directly-overhead shots.
The Revolt 370 fired tight groups at 20 yards, but was consistently low at successive 10-yard increments. I taped a range card to the stock so I could compensate appropriately when faced with hunting situations. This is why it is so important to sight in a new crossbow at all potential hunting distances. They are not all the same and accuracy varies considerably from crossbow to crossbow.
Past experience indicates a scope made specifically for crossbows will include built-in adjustments for flight at 10-yard increments, making it much less challenging to sight in than a scope designed for rifle shooting.
With all of this taken into consideration, the Revolt 370 performed well during the “roving” phase of testing. Loaded with field tips and rangefinder in hand, I was able to make killing shots on life-sized game targets at distances varying from 10 to 50 yards. For hunting purposes, I aim halfway up behind the shoulder and consider anything within 3 inches of point of aim to be a killing shot. The Revolt 370 “killed” all of my targets with one shot, and on a couple of occasions I sent a second arrow on its way to test the mechanical function of the bow. All hits were in the dead zone, which is plenty accurate for off-hand, free-style shooting.
The Revolt 370 is one of few crossbows offered geared for 20- or 22-inch arrows. When switching arrow lengths, it is important to sight in at all practical distances (20, 30 and 40 yards) because the longer arrows will land differently on target than 20-inch shafts, and the reverse is also true.
Bottom line: The Revolt 370 is short, well-balanced, accurate, dependable and more than enough crossbow for today’s blind- or tree-stand-based whitetail hunter. I suspect most purchasers will want to add an illuminated, crossbow-friendly scope at some point, but with an MSRP of $599.99 the Revolt 370 is a good entry-level unit as is.
Each Revolt 370 package includes a 4×32 scope, foot stirrup, three 20-inch carbon arrows with field tips, adjustable hand grip, integrated finger guard, three-arrow quiver, rail lube, safety glasses and cocking rope. Suggested MSRP is $599.99.
For more information, crossbow accessories and a catalog log onto www.southerncrossbow.com.