Rocky Mountain RM-415

The Rocky Mountain RM-415 crossbow package is affordable — MSRP of $349.99 — lightweight, reliable and accurate.

Rocky Mountain RM-415

Hunters in the market for an affordable, sturdy, reliable and accurate crossbow will be more than pleased with Rocky Mountain’s newest offering, the RM-415. In a world where $1,000 crossbows are the norm, it is almost shocking to find a hunting-level crossbow that sells for less than $400, yet the RM-415 delivers on the manufacturer’s promise of a reliable, durable and lightweight unit with an MSRP of $349.99.

The RM-415 package includes the crossbow, 4x32 illuminated (red and blue) scope, string suppressors, limb dampeners, QD quiver, rope cocker, three Carbon Express 380-grain arrows with field tips, and rail lubricant — everything the hunter needs to step onto the range and into the woods just minutes out of the box.

Assembly instructions are clear, concise and accurate, tailored specifically to the RM-415, which is a step above owner’s manuals that attempt to include (rather poorly in some cases) a variety of models and configurations, some long discontinued.

Three screws with washers secure the limbs to the barrel while an additional two set screws are used to attach the foot stirrup. All necessary tools are provided, making the assembly process quick and easy.

The quick-detachable quiver includes a solid, rattle-free composite mount that slides easily and quietly on and off the crossbow. Keep in mind during the assembly process that a few extra screws and fittings are included depending on the method of quiver attachment the user prefers. There are at least three mounting options to consider (rail, riser and side-bracket) and hardware is provided for each. I used the standard riser mount that requires just two provided hex screws.

The 4x32 multi-reticle scope (illuminated in green and blue) attaches to the Picatinny rail system in seconds using a standard flat screwdriver. I prefer to mount my crossbow scopes slightly closer than the standard 3-inch eye-to-lens recommendation, but there is plenty of room on the rail to mount the scope to fit the majority of users’ eye relief preferences.

  

Published Specs

  • Manufacturer: FeraDyne Outdoors
  • Model: RM-415
  • Draw weight: 215 pounds
  • Power stroke: 14.5 inches
  • Arrow length: 20 inches, half-moon nock
  • Arrow speed: 415 fps
  • Trigger pull:  3.5 pounds; dry-fire inhibitor
  • Sights: Illuminated (red/blue) 4x32 scope provided
  • Cocking device: Cocking rope provided                        
  • Length:  35 inches
  • Axle-to-axle width: 14.5 inches cocked, 18.5 inches uncocked
  • Weight:  7.5 pounds
  • Other features: suppressors, limb dampeners, QD quiver, adjustable foregrip, camo finish
  • MSRP:  $349.99
  • Contact: www.feradyne.com

Fully assembled and ready for the range the RM-415 weighs in at a well-balanced 7.5 pounds. At the bench I was able to assemble my test crossbow sooner than I was able to finish a cup of coffee. The assembly process was simple and straightforward with clear instructions and illustrations provided in the accompanying owner’s manual, which should be read thoroughly before assembling and shooting any crossbow.

As noted in the RM-415 manual, for example, FeraDyne points out that crossbow strings and cables are constructed of multiple strands of synthetic fibers and require frequent lubrication to prevent fraying. Apply rail-string lubricant to the exposed fibers and rub in with your fingers or a small piece of leather. Re-apply as needed but especially after hunting in the rain. Apply lubricant to the center section of the crossbow string and lightly on the top surface of the barrel. Apply extra lubricant where the cables cross. Re-apply lubricant every 25 shots and any time the crossbow is used in rain, snow, wet or icy conditions. Do not over-lubricate the center section of the crossbow string because this may cause a buildup of lubricant in the trigger housing, potentially causing trigger failure.

No other crossbow manufacturer lays out its recommendations for lubrication as clearly as Rocky Mountain, which highlights once again the importance of reading the owner’s manual prior to use.

Other unique features of the RM-415 are its adjustable foregrip and arrow retainer spring. Many other crossbows include the former but few highlight the latter. Over time the retainer spring is likely to rattle loose to the point that it no longer holds the arrow solidly in place, but a quick turn of the adjustment screw on the RM-415 easily solves that problem.

Also, the RM-415 features a rubberized pistol grip for maximum “feel” along with an oversized trigger guard that will please glove-wearing shooters during cold, windy late-season hunts in December, January and February.

 

First impressions

The RM-415 was quick to assemble, felt good in hand and seemed to be sturdy, lightweight and nicely balanced, all positive indicators for a hunting-level crossbow. I lubed the rail and cable slide following Rocky Mountain’s recommendations, tightened all DIY mounting screws one last time and then headed for the range to see how the RM-415 measured up on static targets set in 10-yard increments out to 50 yards.

The provided compact 4x32 scope is calibrated for 8 to 10 yards of trajectory per reticle when initially sighted in at 2 inches high at 10 yards. Moving back to 20 yards I had the RM-415 shooting dead-on with just two clicks of elevation. From that point on the crossbow was planting arrows dead center at 30, 40 and 50 yards. I did shoot several arrows at 60 yards (the maximum allowed with the reticles provided) and had repeated 2-inch groups at that distance — certainly accurate enough for deer and other big game. Certain, specific hunting conditions might allow the shooter to attempt a shot at 60 yards in which case the RM-415 is more than up to the task. My personal rule is to get closer (to a maximum of 40 yards) but it is a confidence builder to know that, should a long-range opportunity arise, the RM-415 will not disappoint.

With the crossbow duly sighted in and shooting potential Robin Hoods from the bench, I was ready to head for the roving range for some simulated in the field shooting opportunities. The goal in such testing is to evaluate how well the crossbow “carries,” how it functions away from the bench, and how accurate it is under normal hunting conditions. One should reasonably expect any crossbow to function and shoot well from a sturdy, stable bench at measured distances, but how will it do offhand at varying ranges in the sun-dappled woods?

Alas, no sling was provided with the basic package (an eternal lament of mine), but sling studs are provided. Using an after-market sling, I headed into the woods to find and shoot a variety of silhouettes ranging from bobcats to wild hogs, deer, bear and elk, all set at different distances along one of three roving trails.

 

On the Range

Using a rangefinder to determine exact distances, I put the RM-415 to the test, which it passed with flying colors. All hits were in the kill zone out to 50 yards, and most arrows released at less than 30 yards were dead-center hits.

The Rocky Mountain RM-415 features string stops and limb noise dampeners for extra-quiet shooting in all conditions.
The Rocky Mountain RM-415 features string stops and limb noise dampeners for extra-quiet shooting in all conditions.

Accuracy with any crossbow is an important feature and the RM-415 performed as well as crossbows costing hundreds, even thousands, more. I was particularly impressed with how quietly the bow shot, thanks in large part to the string stops and limb dampeners that come standard on the bow.

The pocket-sized rope cocking device slipped easily on and off the crossbow to make cocking and loading a breeze. Once I became used to using the cocking groove under the barrel rather than behind the receiver, I was able to load and shoot the RM-415 in less than 20 seconds, which is better than average for most crossbows featuring rope cocking systems. Practice makes perfect, which means an experienced shooter familiar with the RM-415’s cocking sequence should be able to shave a few more seconds off his loading time, a real boon when faced with unexpected second-shot situations.

Bottom line: FeraDyne’s Rocky Mountain RM-415 is an excellent choice for crossbow hunters seeking whitetails, wild hogs, bears, turkeys and other big game. As advertised, it is a lightweight, sturdy, durable unit that, with proper care and maintenance, should provide many years of dependable service in the field and at the bench.

It doesn’t hurt that the RM-415 is designed for use with standard 380-grain, 20-inch, half-moon nock arrows, which are affordable and easy to find in most sporting goods and archery shops. The 100-grain field tips that come with the crossbow package are a good match for most broadheads currently available in the same weight class. The use of heavier broadheads, of course, means the shooter should practice with field tips of the same weight. In my experience, shots at less than 20 yards show little difference in arrow performance regardless of tip weight or configuration, but at 30 or 40 yards and beyond the change in trajectory is clearly noticeable.

The RM-415’s kit includes a Quiet Crank, rope cocker, scope, quiver and three bolts with field points.
The RM-415’s kit includes a Quiet Crank, rope cocker, scope, quiver and three bolts with field points.

Sidebar: RM-415 4x32 Illuminated Scope

Most modern crossbow manufacturers offer illuminated red/green scopes specifically designed for crossbow use, but only Rocky Mountain provides a compact 4x32 scope that comes in red and BLUE illumination.

The scope features tapered crosshairs plus four additional aiming points providing functional accuracy out to 60 yards. Each aiming point is calibrated for arrow trajectory in 8- to 10-yard increments.

At first glance the blue illumination seems foreign and too bright for use in a hunting scope, however, the standard rule of thumb is to use the lowest possible brightness setting for each situation. For early morning or late evening shooting, the lowest blue setting makes the reticles stand out against the darker background without obscuring or overshadowing the target, including the most lifelike silhouettes.

Some hunters may prefer the red setting for low-light situations. In either case the entire reticle (including crosshairs and perimeter) is illuminated in the chosen color. This makes target acquisition and reticle centering much easier, especially at distances less than 40 yards. At longer ranges, the intensity of light tends to block out target details, which should not be an issue when hunting whitetails and other game in dense, dark habitat.

For more on FeraDyne’s line of Rocky Mountain crossbows and accessories, visit www.feradyne.com.

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