The decision by respected bowmaker BowTech to produce a line of crossbows started in 2005. Options included the possibilities of licensing the project to another company—or possibly buying the trigger assemblies outright.
“We didn’t feel that outsourcing would accomplish our goals or get us any place in the market,” said Sam Coalson, BowTech’s director of marketing. “We didn’t want to simply buy someone else’s technology; we wanted a product that would penetrate deep into the market and made the decision to do it in-house and create our own new technology.”
In January 2007 a new brand, Stryker, launched its first Stryker crossbow. “It was very easy to use and able to break that 400 fps barrier when everyone else was struggling to break 350 fps,” Coalson related. “The mechanical cocking aid made a huge difference, and our patented Binary cam slaved everything together for perfect timing and accuracy.”
Then, in 2008, Stryker built on its success with the introduction of the Desert Stryker, a lighter, more-compact version of the Stryker. “More than just a lighter version of the same, the Desert Stryker was the first crossbow with a center pivot design. Our engineers created the design, giving it more power than previous designs,” Coalson enumerated. He went on to describe 2009’s StrykeForce basically as an updated Desert Stryker with a higher draw weight and higher performance.
For 2011 Stryker has introduced its Strykezone series of crossbows. The Strykezone 350 and 380—each classified by its rated speed—stand to sever the competition at different price points. The Strykezone 380, for example, has a draw weight of 150 pounds with a 16-inch power stroke and weighs just less than seven pounds. “We put a lot into safety,” Coalson explained. “The Strykezone features an automatic magnetic safety switch; every time you cock it and load a bolt, the safety activates. Several crossbows have a similar feature, but what makes the Strykezone’s safety different is that when in the fire position, if the bow is dropped or the stock receives a bump, the safety will automatically reengage.”
To add to that, Stryker added a second safety known as the Cease-Fire. “The Cease-Fire is a double barbed plug that, when inserted into the trigger housing, shuts down the trigger mechanism and the jaws,” explained Coalson. “The most exciting part of the Strykezone is the Kill Switch trigger mechanism. It is less than a three-pound pull, which is unheard of in a crossbow trigger. Others we looked at in the industry ranged from five to 18 pounds.”
“We are making a tremendous push in the social media realm,” Coalson said. “With the opening of new states to crossbows, we are taking a very regional approach to our marketing and media focus to best serve our dealers’ and consumers’ needs.”
(541) 284-4711; www.strykerxbow.com