Package and Features
Intercept is one of three lines of crossbows among the current offerings from Carbon Express. The Intercept Supercoil LT is the latest incarnation of the Intercept models, which are based on design elements featuring high speed, adjustable stocks, a compact frame and the customization made possible by Picatinny rails.
In last year’s report on the Carbon Express Covert SLS, we described that crossbow (at over 10 pounds) as “on the heavy side.” For 2015, Carbon Express has reduced the weight on all three lines of crossbows by redesigning the stirrup and shaving down the shooting rail. This not only saves nearly a pound in weight, it reduces the weight where it matters most – at the front end. This has the effect of moving the balance point back, making the crossbows easier to hold steady when shooting offhand. The Intercept Supercoil LT also features a skinnied-down extruded barrel and lighter machined riser to reach a very comfortable, if not super-light, weight of 7.45 pounds.
Carbon Express describes the overall design as an “AR-style design,” and it does resemble a black gun. The scope housing includes about 7 inches of Picatinny rail, allowing sufficient room to position the scope properly for any shooter. The pass-through foregrip is mounted on roughly 8 inches of Picatinny rail, which allows for the mounting of accessories in addition to adjusting the foregrip forward or backward for a customizable fit.
The trigger mechanism has been moved 4 inches forward (in comparison to many crossbows), to further optimize balance. A rubberized coating covers the area above the trigger and extends back to encompass the cheek rest and the rope cocker groove beneath it. The coating is comfortable and warm to the touch, and it may help reduce vibration and noise.
Interestingly, there is a set screw on the scope-mount housing that adjusts tension on the bolt-retention spring. This can be tightened if at any time the bolt appears to be less than fully secure. The scope is 4×32 with reticles. It features red or green illumination and a flip-open lens caps.
The Intercept Supercoil LT comes standard with a rope cocker, quick-detach three-arrow quiver, rail lubricant, the previously mentioned 4×32 lighted scope with reticles and three Maxima Hunter 20-inch crossbolts with field points. The field points are 100 grains and include separate 25-grain collars; the use of the collars is optional, allowing shooters to vary bolt weight plus or minus 25 grains.
Fit and finish, to the extent we can speak of fit and finish on a modular, AR-type weapon, are good. Certainly there were no visible flaws on any components. Though I am not a big fan of the AR-style firearms, the overall design of the Intercept Supercoil LT, with the triangular cutout of the buttstock replicated in the smaller cutout of the foregrip, together with the subtle but noticeable Kryptek Typhon camo pattern on limbs and on the rubberized portion of the stock, makes for a crossbow that looks good to my eyes.
Since this crossbow is pre-assembled, “assembly” consists of removing several labels, installing the scope, and making any desired adjustments to the stock or bolt-retention spring.
Carbon Express recommends adjusting the bolt-retention spring so that a bolt is secure when the crossbow is pointed down at the ground. In the case of the test crossbow, the spring needed no adjustment, length was perfect with the stocks as pre-assembled and my first guess about where to mount the scope proved accurate, so the crossbow was ready to shoot within five minutes after removal from the box.
Shooting the Bow
The rope cocking groove is on the underside of the barrel, offering some advantages that I have pointed out with similar designs in the past: it tends to exert force downward against the barrel when cocking, as opposed to lifting the string away from the barrel. This facilitates straight, even cocking, which is important for accuracy. It also reduces the likelihood that haste or low light will result in the rope being incorrectly placed against the scope housing or the scope itself.
I like the scope, which has crisp reticles, good lighting options and firm but precise adjustments.
A mass weight of 7.45 pounds brings this crossbow into the moderate range as far as weight goes – neither particularly heavy nor super light. The balance is good. And despite the geometrical shape of the forward pass-through grip, I found it very comfortable. The adjustability of this crossbow, together with good balance, the comfortable grip and the excellent scope, makes it a good crossbow for shooting offhand when spot-and-stalk hunting or an unusual angle makes offhand shooting the only option.
The trigger is up there with the best I’ve encountered on a crossbow – though if you prefer some travel in a trigger you won’t like it. It’s not a hair trigger by any means, but it is light at 3 ½ pounds and very crisp with no travel.
The Intercept Supercoil LT is on the loud side by current standards, though if you’re shooting a crossbow that’s more than three or four years old you’ll probably find it to be quiet in comparison.
The speed is evident at the shot, and the test bow came within 3 feet per second of matching the published velocity. At approximately 360 fps, the bolt gets from here to there quickly, a fact substantiated by the difficulty I had removing bolts from the crossbow target. There is a slight movement at the shot, but any vibration is barely discernible; in short, it’s pleasant to shoot.
The Intercept Supercoil LT, while retaining many of the features and even specifications of other Carbon Express crossbows, is an important addition to the Carbon Express lineup because it offers lighter weight, better balance, a sleeker look and enhanced adjustability while retaining the speed, capacity to customize and other features that Carbon Express crossbows are noted for. And it won’t hurt a bit that at $750 retail, it’s a great value.
Feet Per Second:………………………360+ fps
Kinetic Energy:………………122 ft. lb.
Draw Weight:…………………….. 175 lbs.
Power Stroke:…….. 13.5 inches
Overall Length:……………………… 30 1/4, 31, and 32 1/4 inches
Width (uncocked/cocked):…………….. 17 inches / 13.5 inches
Weight:…..………… 7.45 lbs.
Suggested Retail:………… $750
|Bolt Weight||Speed @ Launch||Speed @ 20 Yards||K.E. @ Launch||K.E. @ 20 Yards||Sound Level|
|390 grains||357 fps||348 fps||110.5 ft. lbs.||105 ft. lbs.