Barnett Buck Commander Review

This Barnett Buck Commander revew was written by Martin Huntley.


Barnett Buck CommanderSpeedDraw WeightLengthWeightRating
Barnett Buck Commander

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365 FPS175 lbs.36"8.2 lbs.9.5/10


  • Fantastic value for the price
  • Very accurate and comfortable to aim
  • Enough power to take down the largest game in the world
  • Low on vibration and noise
  • Great scope included


  • A little on the heavy side

Package Contents

  • Buck Commander compound crossbow
  • Three 22″ crossbow arrows
  • Three practice field tips
  • Multi-reticle illuminated scope
  • Arrow quiver
  • Cocking aid (rope)
  • Owner’s Manual & 5-year warranty card
  • String wax
  • Assembly bolts and keys

Hunting broad-heads are not included, and you’ll need to get some extra string wax (the tube provided with the package will run out quickly).

Assembling The Buck Commander

Make sure to read the assembly instructions in the manual from start to finish before you begin the assembly process. Follow the illustrations carefully and you’ll be done in 10-15 minutes.

  1. Screw in the arrow quiver mount to the bottom of the stock
  2. Use the provided bolt and Allen key to secure the riser to the stock
  3. Mount the scope

Make sure to attach the quiver mount before you secure the riser to the stock.

First Impressions: Design, Durability, Safety

  • Like all Barnett crossbows, the Buck Commander is beautiful to look at, and looks better in real life than on the pictures you see online.
  • The Barnsdale laminated limbs have a split design, slightly increasing shooting speed when compared to “full” limbs.
  • The pockets keep the limbs securely attache, but at the same time provide for a bit of leeway, helping disperse residual energy better and making the crossbow very quiet to shoot.
  • Shoulder plate is wide and tall; no annoying recoil is felt and the crossbow is comfortable to aim – no need to constantly re-position the rest on your shoulder until you find the “perfect” spot.
  • Fore-grip is made from thermal materials (seems to hold on to heat really well). It’s also positioned low enough to keep your thumb away from the arrow rail.
  • The foot stirrup is built into the riser, giving the crossbow that awesome aggressive look it has. The design of the stirrup also allows for a more secure cocking procedure (it’s highly unlikely for the crossbow to slip from underneath your shoe).
  • Arrow retainer seems to have been built from quality materials, and is not something that will need replacing a few months down the line.
  • The ADF mechanism will automatically lock the trigger once the crossbow is cocked, and will only allow you to pull the trigger once an arrow is seated. This makes it downright impossible to dry fire the Buck Commander.
  • Whiplash cams included, just like in all of Barnett’s top x-bows.

Overall: I tried hard to find something I did not like about the design or the way the crossbow feels, but failed.

Trigger Assembly


  • Advertised 3.5 lbs. of trigger pressure match the results of my test (3.51 lbs.).
  • Very smooth pull even when trigger assembly isn’t being constantly lubricated.
  • Ambidextrous safety lever.

Overall: no surprises here.

Shooting Speed and Kinetic Energy Of The Buck Commander

  • Advertised shooting speed is 365 FPS. My chrono tests (5 arrows fired indoors, average taken) show 361 FPS when using the 22″ arrows in the package.
  • Advertised point-blank kinetic energy is 126 foot-pounds. My tests indicate it’s closer to 122.4 ft-lbs. Remember that KE will deteriorate by around 1.7 ft-lbs per 10 yards, and that using heavier arrows will increase KE.

Overall: actual KE and FPS are very close to the values advertised.

Shooting Accuracy And Stability

  • The weight distribution is overall well-balanced, however I would have liked for a little more weight to be shifted closer to the body and away from the front of the crossbow.
  • The Buck Commander is somewhat on the eavier side (8.1 lbs.), so if you’re used to shooting lighter crossbows expect to wait a few days before you get used to the weight and begin to shoot very accurately.
  • The grip, foregrip and shoulder plate are exceptionally comfortable and make holding and aiming this x-bow a real pleasure.
  • The scope included with the package holds zero perfectly and there’s no need for frequent adjustments, making shots very consistent.
  • The 360+ FPS shooting speed provides for very straight arrow fligh. With a little practice, shooting 2″ groups from 50+ yards away will not be the slightest problem.

Overall: very accurate at even long range. However, some people might need a few days of practice to get comfortable with the weight distribution on the Buck Comander.

Arrows For The Barnett Buck Commander

  • Any 22″ crossbow arrows will work perfectly well.
  • Due to the speed of the Buck Commander, I highly recommend using carbon arrows as opposed to aluminum arrows.
  • The arrows in the package are 425 grain (including field points). If you would like to shoot a little faster, you can try using 400 grain arrows.

Quality Of The Scope Included

  • It was sighted right out of the box.
  • Up to x3 magnification.
  • Four reticles total (20, 30, 40 and 50 yard distances.)
  • Each crosshair can be illuminated (either red or green dot). The dots are very bright, but not bright enough that they blurr the target behind them.
  • Almost no fogginess around the edges = very wide field of view. Really helps better assess the situation in the field.
  • Fog, water and vibration proof (accoring to the manufacturer – haven’t had the chance to test this out yet).
  • Don’t forget to carry a coin or screwdriver with you at all times in case you need to make knob adjustments.

Overall: a perfect crossbow scope in design, electronics and optics.

Is The Buck Commander Good For Beginners

Due to the inherent low-maintenance nature of crossbows, almost all of them are suitable for beginners – some more than others though. The Buck Commander is good for a beginner if you disregard the price tag. Some reasons:

  • Very comfortable to hold and shoot, allowing a beginner to work on aim and shooting form without distractions.
  • Trigger action is very smooth; this again makes it easy to focus on aim.
  • Scope does not require constant re-adjusting, letting you land shots with consistency.
  • The crossbow will “grow” with the beginner. You can start by shooting at 15 yards and slowly work your way up to 70 or more yards. The Buck Commander will keep up.
  • Once you decide to go hunting, the crossbow will be more than ready for that.

Is This Crossbow Suitable For Hunting?

  • To take down the largest game in the US (cape buffalo for example) you need 70 ft-lbs. or more of kinetic energy. The Buck Commander delivers over 120 ft-lbs. There’s no game in the country you can’t take down.
  • Very short, 36″ length. No problems at all moving around with it in a hunting blind.
  • Very quiet, will not alert half the area when fired.
  • At 8.1 it can be a little heavy for some people at the beginning, but you’ll get used to it rather quickly.
  • Included scope will really make your life easy regardless of weather conditions.

Overall: once you get used to the weight, it’s one of the best hunting crossbows you can own.

Quality of The Included String

The Crosswire string included lasted close to 1100 arrows before I had to replace it. It would have probably lasted an extra few hundred shots, but since I was beginning to notice serving separation I decided not to push it and just got it replace for $20.

Where To Buy The Barnett Buck Commander?

If you’re shopping online, check out’s price on the Buck Commander.

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    James Owens October 4, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    The Buck Commander is a real pleasure to shoot. The scope works well especially in cold weather. The weight took wasn’t bad. With a little practice it is very accurate.

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